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Montgomery Museum of Fine Art

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Book Club

Ekphrasis is a monthly book club devoted to the history of art for Museum members. Works of fiction and non-fiction are featured, covering periods ranging from the ancient world to the present. For this unique program, staff members lead presentations to provide visual context for the chosen books.

2018–2019 Schedule

The Girl with the Gallery by Lindsay Pollock
Discussion led by Outreach Coordinator Laura Bocquin
Wed, Aug 8, 2018, at NoonIn an era when American artists didn’t count and women were expected to stay home, Edith Gregor Halpert burst onto the fledgling New York gallery scene, defying all cultural and societal rules. Read more on
From Bauhaus to Our House by Tom Wolfe
Discussion led by Curator of Education Alice Novak and Jim Barganier
Wed, Sep 12, 2018, at NoonTom Wolfe, “America’s most skillful satirist” (The Atlantic Monthly), examines the strange saga of American architecture in this sequel to The Painted Word. Read more on
Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures from the Nazis by Robert M. Edsel
Discussion led by Assistant Curator of Education Elisabeth Palmer
Wed, Oct 10, 2018, at NoonOn the eve of the Allied invasion, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect these historic riches. Read more on
In Sunlight or in Shadow: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper by Lawrence Block
Discussion led by Senior Curator of Art Margaret Lynne Ausfeld
Wed, Nov 14, 2018, at NoonA truly unprecedented literary achievement by author and editor Lawrence Block, a newly-commissioned anthology of seventeen superbly-crafted stories inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper. Read more on
The Painter’s Chair: George Washington and the Making of American Art by Hugh Howard
Discussion led by Assistant Curator of Education Elisabeth Palmer
Wed, Jan 9, 2019, at NoonWhen George Washington was born, the New World had virtually no artists. Over the course of his life, a cultural transformation would occur. Virtually everyone regarded Washington as America’s indispensable man, and the early painters and sculptors were no exception. Read more on
Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland
Discussion led by Assistant Curator of Education Kaci Norman
Wed, Feb 13, 2019, at NoonThis luminous story begins in the present day when a professor invites a colleague to his home to see a painting that he has kept secret for decades. Read more on
The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art by Sebastian Smee
Discussion led by Curator of Art Jennifer Jankauskas, Ph.D.
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, at NoonRivalry is at the heart of some of the most famous and fruitful relationships in history. The Art of Rivalry follows eight celebrated artists, each linked to a counterpart by friendship, admiration, envy, and ambition. Read more on
A Piece of the World: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
Discussion led by Collections Information Specialist Sarah Graves
Wed, Apr 10, 2019, at NoonFrom the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the smash bestseller Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World. Read more on
Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine’s Passion to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures by Matthew Bogdanos
Discussion led by Curator of Education Alice Novak
Wed, May 8, 2019, at NoonThieves of Baghdad is a riveting account of Colonel Matthew Bogdanos and his team’s extraordinary efforts to recover over 5,000 priceless antiquities stolen from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad. Read more on


To reserve lunch from Café M, please contact or call 334.625.4365. Orders must be received by the Tuesday the week prior to the book club meeting.

Become a Member

This program is for Museum members only. Not a Museum member? Click here to join today!