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ArtsCape: Picasso, Provincetown, Fame & Marketing Among Topics of Art Talks

Written by Laura M. Reckford

Author Hugh Eakin said he is often interested in the peripheral characters of history, those whose names may not be widely know but their impact was significant.

In his new book, “Picasso’s War: How Modern Art Came To America,” he divides the book into sections, writing first about John Quinn, an important early collector of modern art. Because Quinn died young and his collection was dispersed, his name is perhaps not widely known. But, as an early collector of Picasso’s work, his influence on introducing modern art to Americans was significant.

Mr. Eakin is just one of the speakers in Falmouth Art Center’s 2023 annual spring series, Speaking of Art.

His talk is Wednesday, March 22, at 6:30pm on Zoom. Tickets to Hugh Eakin’s talk and the other three talks can be purchased on Falmouth Art Center’s website.

Author Hugh Eakin will give a talk about his new book, “Picasso’s War: How Modern Art Came To America.” Photo by Aaron Lavinsky

“Picasso’s War” is a finalist for the LA Times book award for history and has been named one of the best books of 2022 for the New York Times, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair.

While the talk by Hugh Eakin will touch on the marketing of Picasso, the other talks in the series will discuss the Provincetown art colony; a retrospective of a cutting edge photographer and the work of a Haitian tapestry artist.

The second speaker in the series, John Taylor “Ike” Williams, will discuss his new book, “The Shores of Bohemia: A Cape Cod Story, 1910-1960.” The talk is Thursday, March 30 at 1:30pm on Zoom.

Williams’ book, named one of the Best Books of 2022 by The New Yorker, “renders the twisting lives and careers of a generation of staggering American thinkers and creators” who descended on the Cape Cod towns of Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet in the first half of the 20th century.

John Taylor “Ike” Williams will be speaking about his new book, “The Shores of Bohemia: A Cape Cod Story: 1910-1960.” Photo by Caleb Taylor Williams

Among the famous names making appearances in the book are Eugene O’Neill, Willem de Kooning, Josef and Anna Albers, Emma Goldman, Mary McCarthy, Edward Hopper, Walter Gropius and more. As the book jacket details about some of the characters in the book, ‘They began as progressives but soon turned to socialism, then communism. They founded theaters, periodicals and art schools. They formed editorial boards that met in beach shacks and performed radical new plays in a shanty on the docks, where they could see the ocean through the cracks in the floor.”

Ike Williams lives in Cambridge and Wellfleet. He is a founder of the literary agency, Kneerim & Williams and a lawyer specializing in intellectual property and First Amendment litigation. He served as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts awards panel and as a trustee of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, among other positions.

Williams married into the Cape’s artistic world and has spent half a century talking about and walking among its shores with these cultural and political luminaries.

Katherine Smith and Jerry Philogene are curators of a new exhibit about Myrlande Constant, a Haitian tapestry artist.

For the third talk, Los Angeles museum curators Katherine Smith and Jerry Philogene will discuss the work of Myrlande Constant, a Haitian artist who creates elaborate colorful tapestries inspired by Haitian culture and made up of thousands of sequins and beads. The talk is Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30pm on Zoom.

For the final talk, UMass Boston art historian Carol Scollans will discuss the work of artist, educator and activist Melissa Shook (1939-2020), a photographer known for her self-portraits and documentary style photography “representing and humanizing marginalized peoples, including Queer folks, the homeless, immigrants and the elderly.” The talk is Thursday, April 13, at 6:30pm on Zoom.

Melissa Shook was a cutting-edge artist, photographer and activist, who passed away in 2020. Carol Scollans will discuss her work.

The speakers will be joining the talks from around the country and overseas, so the talks will all be on Zoom.

The talks are sponsored by John and Karen Burton of Burton & Burton Sotheby’s International Realty.

This program is supported in part by a grant from Falmouth Cultural Council, a local agency that is supported by Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.

Tickets to the talks–$25 per talk or all four talks for $80–are available at or by calling 508-540-3304.

The Falmouth Art Center located at 137 Gifford Street in Falmouth is free and open to the public daily, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm; Saturday 10am to 2pm and Sunday 1 to 4pm. For more information, go to or call 508-540-3304.

The Falmouth Art Center, a 501c3 nonprofit founded in 1966, is dedicated to the visual arts, providing educational and exhibition opportunities and welcoming students of all ages and abilities and all who enjoy and appreciate art.

ArtsCape is a Cape Cod Wave column about arts on Cape Cod written by Laura M. Reckford, co-founder of Cape Cod Wave and executive director of the Falmouth Art Center.

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About the author

Laura M. Reckford

Laura M. Reckford is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. She has been a reporter and editor on Cape Cod for more than 20 years in magazines, newspapers and radio. She has also authored numerous Frommer's Travel Guide editions on Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.

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