In late January 2018, we (Suzanne Churchill, Linda Kinnahan, and Susan Rosenbaum) defied the weather gods and traveled to Maine for a five-day work retreat. When frozen pipes locked us out of Suzanne’s family cottage in Bridgton, friends came to the rescue, offering their lovely home in Round Pond, just around the corner from the beguiling, but sadly closed-for-the-season Round Pond Art Gallery. With its warm, Tuscan color palette, dilapidated charm, fanciful windmill, and street sign designating “Rue Sisley,” the Gallery seemed to invoke Loy’s travels, as well as her aesthetics.
During the retreat, we focused on technology training, content development, and continued conceptualization of the principles underlying our site architecture. “Big ideas” to emerge from this retreat include a focus on geography, mapping, navigating, and use of “Baedeker” as a project metaphor and organizational concept. This retreat offered us an opportunity to work together within the new site that Greg Lord is developing and to learn some of the technological skills we need. (We also ate quite well, regarding feasts as important to focus and creativity).
While in Maine, we accepted an invitation from Roger Conover—Loy’s editor and literary executor, Executive Editor at MIT Press, and a project advisor—to visit him at his home in Freeport, Maine to see his collection of Loy materials and artifacts, including her artwork, letters, books, and magazines. Roger generously spent hours with us, telling us about the artifacts and the contexts of their creating, discovery, and/or acquisition.
We also had the lovely opportunity, in a Skype interview, to talk with two PhD students from Queen Mary University of London, Charlotte Whalen and Jade French, who are working on women modernists. They recently organized a conference entitled ‘Decorating Dissidence: Modernism, Feminism, and the Arts’, which took an interdisciplinary approach to reassess the place of the domestic arts, craft and the decorative in modernism. They interviewed about the Mina Loy project for their blog for their next event, which will focus on feminist modernist research practice and methodologies.(See their interesting website for their recent conference, Decorating Dissidence: Feminism, Modernism & the Arts; and for their blog, Decorating Dissidence. They expressed particular intrigue by the concept of the en dehors garde and its implications for future ongoing research into female avant-garde figures. Stay tuned for their soon-to-be published interview.
Stay tuned for their soon-to-be published interview.