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Virtual Book Club Discussion: Optic Nerve
Fri, June 24th at 12:00 PM
The NOMA Book Club meets monthly to discuss fiction and nonfiction books related to art in NOMA’s collection and exhibitions. It is an informal group open to anyone on a month-to-month basis. You do not have to attend every meeting or read every book! In addition to monthly virtual book discussions, the Book Club meets periodically in person for curatorial programs related to the book selections.
Books are selected in advance and planned for the entire year according to the exhibition schedule. Participants are expected to procure their own copy of the selected titles. Most of the titles are available for purchase in store at the NOMA Museum Shop.
For more information on the NOMA Book Club please contact NOMA’s Curator of Education, Tracy Kennan, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 658-4113.
Virtual Book Discussion Group | Friday, June 24, 12 PM
Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza
Catapult, 2020, ISBN: 978-1646220021
The narrator of Optic Nerve is an Argentinian woman whose obsession is art. The story of her life is the story of the paintings, and painters, who matter to her. Her intimate, digressive voice guides us through a gallery of moments that have touched her. Fascinating episodes in art history interact with the narrator’s life in Buenos Aires— her family and work; her loves and losses; her infatuations and disappointments.
In these pages, El Greco visits the Sistine Chapel and is appalled by Michelangelo’s bodies. The mystery of Rothko’s refusal to finish murals for the Seagram Building
in New York is blended with the story of a hospital in which a prostitute walks the halls while the narrator’s husband receives chemotherapy. Alfred de Dreux visits Géricault’s workshop. Seductive and capricious, Optic Nerve marks the English– language debut of a major Argentinian writer. It is a book that captures, like no other, the mysterious connections between a work of art and the person who perceives it.
Education and outreach initiatives at NOMA are supported in part by the Zemurray Foundation; the Lois and Lloyd Hawkins Jr. Foundation; The Helis Foundation; The Gayle and Tom Benson Foundation; The City of New Orleans; IBERIABANK; The Wagner Foundation; Janice Parmelee and Bill Hammack; the Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative, funded by the Walton Family Foundation and the Ford Foundation; Sara and David Kelso; Patrick F. Taylor Foundation; Dr. Scott S. Cowen; The RosaMary Foundation; The Azby Fund; the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency; The Collins C. Diboll Private Foundation; Burkenroad Foundation; Marian Dreux Van Horn Education Endowment; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Ruby K. Worner Trust through the PNC Charitable Trusts Grant Review Committee; The Harry T. Howard III Foundation; New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.; Harvey and Marie Orth; The Bruce J. Heim Foundation; and Mrs. Bennett A. Molter, Jr. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.