Eleanor Munro, who profiled women artists, dies at 94

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, April 17, 2024


Eleanor Munro, who profiled women artists, dies at 94
Her 1979 book featured interviews with dozens of artists, but she also wrote on other subjects — pilgrimages, for instance.

by Neil Genzlinger



NEW YORK, NY.- Eleanor Munro, who in an illuminating 1979 book profiled and interviewed dozens of women artists, probing for common threads in their works and their experiences trying to pursue the creative life in a society and art world that limited opportunities for them, died April 1 at an assisted-living center in Rye, New Hampshire. She was 94.

Her son, David Frankfurter, said the cause was complications of dementia.

Munro had been writing frequently about art for The Atlantic, Partisan Review, The New York Times and other publications when she published “Originals: American Women Artists” in 1979. The book, full of extensive interviews with Georgia O’Keeffe, Alice Neel, Joan Mitchell, Anne Truitt, Faith Ringgold and other important artists, stands as a rich historical resource, but Munro made it more than just a collection of profiles. In telling their stories, she examined how the climate for women artists had changed over the decades. And their struggles illuminated her own life.

“In a way,” she told The Atlanta Constitution on 1979, “the book was an autobiographical search for myself.”

She had been raised in an artistic household. Her father was a curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art, but that hadn’t necessarily meant that she was encouraged creatively (a dynamic she explored in a 1988 book, “Memoir of a Modernist’s Daughter”). And she had seen her mother give up her dream of becoming a concert pianist in favor of a more traditional role as a homemaker and piano teacher.

As she put it: “In our household, you could love Beethoven, but God forbid that you should be him. God forbid that you should have an artistic temperament.”

The resulting book, as novelist Janet Hobhouse wrote in her review in The New York Times, was more than just a women-in-a-male-dominated-world lament.

“Miss Munro’s book is about the processes and hardships of the creative life,” Hobhouse wrote, “the long solitary journeys that result in bits of string and wire, in oily shapes on canvas — a far more engaging subject than whether women are capable of rising above the patchwork quilt to the heights of Leonardo.”

Although Munro wrote frequently about art, her interests ranged widely. For her other best-known book, “On Glory Roads: A Pilgrim’s Book About Pilgrimage” (1987), she visited Jerusalem, Hindu shrines in India, the Buddhist temple Borobudur on Java and other revered sites, examining the phenomenon of pilgrimage from the perspective of, in her words, a “visionary humanist.”




The book was part travelogue and part meditation on what inspires pilgrimages, what those who make them are seeking.

“This is a meditative, reflective book,” Merle Rubin wrote in reviewing it for The Christian Science Monitor, “a careful blend of objectivity and subjectivity, written in an open-minded spirit delicately balanced between belief and disbelief.”

Eleanor Carroll Munro was born March 28, 1928, in Brooklyn, New York, to Thomas and Lucile Nadler Munro. The family moved to the Cleveland area when her father secured the curatorial position at the Cleveland Museum, and she graduated from the Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She graduated from Smith College in 1949, then studied at the Sorbonne in Paris for a year. In 1968, she earned a master’s degree in English at Columbia University.

In the 1950s, she was an editor at Art News magazine (now ARTnews) and then managing editor of Art News Annual. Art News’ editor at the time was Alfred Frankfurter. They married in 1960. He died in 1965.

In 1969, Munro married E.J. Kahn Jr., a writer for The New Yorker. He died in 1994.

In addition to her son, a professor of religion at Boston University, Munro is survived by two sisters, Cynthia Beeker and Elisabeth Smith; a brother, Donald; and two grandchildren. Another son from her first marriage, Alexander, died in 1993.

Munro’s other books included “The Golden Encyclopedia of Art” (1961) and “Through the Vermilion Gates: A Journey Into China’s Past” (1971). She also compiled two books of readings, “Wedding Readings: Centuries of Writing and Rituals for Love and Marriage” (1989) and “Readings for Remembrance: A Collection for Funerals and Memorial Services” (2000).

In a 1993 article for the Travel section of the Times, she offered a sort of memorial of her own. She told a story from when she was working on the book about pilgrimages: She took her mother, who was then 86 and seemed to be fading, on one of her pilgrimage trips, through France and Spain. The trip, she wrote, seemed to revive her mother’s interest in life, if briefly.

“The details of the trip were soon gone from Mother’s mind,” she wrote at the end of that essay, “as I knew they would be, but it left in mine a most palpable sense of her questing personality and her life-savoring presence. Mother died in 1991 at the age of 94.”

When Munro died, she had just passed her 94th birthday.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.










Today's News

April 10, 2022

J.M.W. Turner: The Romantic turns Reformist

New MoMA PS1 director leans into social justice and reaches out to Long Island City

Rare Chinese vase created for the Qianlong Emperor discovered in a kitchen in England

Sweeping Basquiat show curated by his sisters offers intimate look at the artist

Alice Neel's exclusive West Coast presentation comes to the de Young Museum

Betty White's collection of scripts, furniture, jewelry, personal items and wardrobe to Shine at Julien's Auctions

Exhibition of new work by Jordan Nassar opens at James Cohan

Maradona's "The Hand of God" football shirt to be offered at auction with £4 million estimate

The Guggenheim Bilbao opens 'Motion: Autos, Art, Architecture'

Phillips announces highlights from the April Editions Auction

AstaGuru celebrates the 'Month of Masters' this April as a tribute to Indian modernists

India's rich textile heritage and enduring influence on global design is celebrated in new exhibition

Exhibition coincides with UN celebration of the International Year of Glass

NGV International opens 'Transforming Worlds: Change and Tradition in Contemporary India'

Using film to tell a personal history of America and race

Eleanor Munro, who profiled women artists, dies at 94

In Mariupol's drama theater, a cry for 'Mama!' That offered brief relief

New book from Daylight showcases the passion of incarcerated artists

Ke Huy Quan: From short round to romantic lead in just four long decades

Contemporary art in greater demand than ever: Buyers seek quality from all price ranges

OSL Contemporary opens Emily Gernild 'SOIL' curated by Milena Høgsberg

Artcurial to offer pieces from the collection belonging to Isabelle and Hervé Poulain

'Articulating Activism: Works from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection' on view at The 8th Floor

The Approach opens the UK debut solo exhibition of paintings by Pam Evelyn

Iranian-born, UK-based artist and former Paralympian Mohammad Barrangi opens new exhibition

Best Marketing Tools for Beauty Brands in 2022

How to Travel Safely While Touring European Art Galleries

Three ways brands can increase their Instagram engagement 2022




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Attorneys
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful