Hooray, hooray! The Magic of Modern Art: How to Love the Art of Our Time has been submitted to the publisher! I hit “send” on Saturday, July 31st at precisely 4:18 pm Central Time. (Let the record show that this fulfilled my promise to have the book complete and sent to the publisher by that day.)
This accomplishment is the culmination of untold hours, days and years of loving labor—and one of which I am most proud.
People Who Contributed
When I say untold years, I’m including all the runs I’d made at writing this book starting almost forty years ago! I got really serious about it four years ago. I made an ironclad commitment to get the book written no matter what. To this end, I enlisted the incomparable collaboration of Carol Winkler. Her facility with words and organized mind made this project a source of joy and discovery.
I knew that Carol was not an art expert, but I didn’t anticipate the gift that would turn out to be. She was not just my writing partner but also the perfect guinea pig. If Carol didn’t grasp some particular concept I was trying to convey, we knew our readers wouldn’t either. She would stop me and ask me to expound on the topic that was unclear. While I extemporized on the subject, she took dictation. From that, we could extract the essence of our message.
Once we declared the book complete, Carol and I managed (with great self-restraint) to avoid the temptation to re-read the book one last time before submitting it to the publisher. Based on our history, we were terrified that we would find ourselves thrown right back into editing mode.
Carol isn’t the only one who contributed to the fulfillment of this project. No large undertaking happens in a vacuum, and this one was no exception. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about the other contributors.
Antonio Manega is the talent behind the design of the covers, the logo and the book’s interior. He also designed the banner for the website and the Facebook page. His aesthetic sensibility is incredibly similar to mine. very time I asked him to create another design, he would present me with something I loved almost immediately. The most mind-boggling thing is how easy he made it all look. He remained unruffled every time there were breakdowns or urgently needed adjustments.
I don’t have a categorical title for Renee McGivern. Let’s just say she’s the Yoda. She was the on-call wise woman who could cut to the chase. She spoke just the perfect sentence or two to provide clarity when Carol and I were completely flummoxed by how to approach some aspect of the book. Renee’s brain-prints are tucked away in many niches and corners of the book.
Anthony Schmitt’s title is “committed listener.” After our having met only briefly at a virtual conference, Anthony took on having a weekly phone conversation with me. Each Friday, I would tell him what I’d accomplished in the previous week and make promises for the following week. He has done this without fail since May of 2020. But Anthony does more than listen. He also questions me and coaches me and tells me stories from his life and listens to mine.
As we finished editing the book for the umpteenth time, Meryl Sher heroically volunteered to proofread the entire book. Her expert eye and literary savvy provided not just corrections, but in many cases, smoother, more rhythmic turns of phrase. This book improved as a result of her loving attention.
There’s a group of people that I affectionately named “The Magic of Modern Art Mensches.” They are talented, passionate art lovers who have supported this book with unabashed enthusiasm. They have brainstormed with me to create ways to make the book richer and more relevant. They have introduced me to other artists, art lovers and institutions that are aligned with the book’s goals. The Mensches are amazing, individually and collectively.
I saved the best for last. I want to acknowledge my amazing husband, Otto Fox. Otto is one of the kindest, most loving human beings I’ve ever known, and I have the privilege of being among those he loves. Not only is he a man of keen intelligence, but one of unshakeable integrity and sharp wit. His supports of me is unconditional. He is proud of my accomplishment in having written the book and appreciates its potential to transform the world’s relationship to the art of our time.
About the Book Itself
What would be the point of telling you how wonderful the people are who have contributed to bringing this book to fruition if I didn’t share a little bit about the book itself?
The Magic of Modern Art’s mission is simple—to offer everyone the opportunity to become as wild about Modern Art as I am. Modern Art is a treasure trove of experiential wonder. I believe this book provides what people need so that their visits to Modern Art exhibits become joyful, enriching experiences—experiences that they eagerly anticipate, avidly soak in and never get over. In short, I wrote this book so that everyone, everywhere, can have the magic of Modern Art in their life!
The key to unlocking the magic of Modern Art is in the ability to immerse oneself in the art and to truly “experience” it. So the obvious and most vital question is, “How does one learn to experience Modern Art?” That, in essence, is the work of the book.
I wish I could tell you that my book, The Magic of Modern Art, is available right now. Unfortunately, it will be three or four months before it’s published. Time goes by so quickly these days—I hope that’s the case for these next few months!