Betye Saar: Heart of a Wanderer (Hardcover)

Betye Saar: Heart of a Wanderer By Diana Seave Greenwald (Editor), Makeda Best (Contribution by), Stephanie Sparling Williams (Contribution by) Cover Image
By Diana Seave Greenwald (Editor), Makeda Best (Contribution by), Stephanie Sparling Williams (Contribution by)
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A richly illustrated look at how travel influenced the work of renowned contemporary artist Betye Saar

Betye Saar (b. 1926) is an artist whose assemblages tell visual stories and convey powerful political messages. A leading figure of the Black Arts Movement in the 1970s, she works with found objects--many of which she gathers on her extensive travels--to explore themes like symbolic mysticism, feminism, racism, and Eurocentric chauvinism. Betye Saar: Heart of a Wanderer sheds new light on Saar's unique creative process, her trips around the world, and the diverse ways in which her artworks engage with global histories of travel and forced migration. It presents how the artist's work conjures the transporting experience of a voyage to a faraway place.

This beautifully illustrated book draws on original, in-depth interviews with Saar and the companions who accompanied the artist in her travels across four continents over several decades. Essays by leading scholars contextualize Saar's journeys within her broader life and career, as well as how her practice fits into broader traditions--such as scrapbooking--in African American visual culture. In addition to providing this context, this book explores how Saar's assemblage practice both echoes and provides a critical counterpoint to the collecting practices of Gilded Age American art collectors like Isabella Stewart Gardner.

Featuring a wealth of previously unpublished material--including almost thirty travel sketchbooks and two dozen finished assemblages--Betye Saar: Heart of a Wanderer provides a fresh look at a groundbreaking American artist while offering a timely social history of the impact of travel on the African American experience.

Distributed for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Exhibition Schedule
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
February 16-May 21, 2023

About the Author

Diana Seave Greenwald is assistant curator of the collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Her books include Isabella Stewart Gardner: A Life (with Nathaniel Silver) and Painting by Numbers: Data-Driven Histories of Nineteenth-Century Art (both Princeton).
Product Details
ISBN: 9780691973852
ISBN-10: 0691973857
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: April 4th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English