The Albion Beatnik Bookstore website (or how a bookshop once changed a light bulb)

The web page of the Albion Beatnik Bookstore in Oxford, now closed (as usual) for business: muses and misspills on books, jazz, poetry, stuff like false flags and smoke screen: was randomly decrepit and proven to be more than neo-bankrupt: it was so analogue it was anal and now deceased.

Harriet Backer’s Chez Moi

I saw this painting in a lovely art gallery in Tromsø: Chez Moi by Harriet Backer, painted in 1887. Throughout her life, Backer (1845-1932) painted pianists at play.

Harriet Backer painted the domestic and serene, and, despite lengthy study and stay in Europe, remained robustly Norwegian and belonged to no school of painting; her technique is described as “both slow and thorough.” (She taught novelist Cora Sandel, whose paintings were also in the gallery.)

Backer accompanied her sister, Agathe Backer Grøndahl, a celebrated local concert pianist and composer, on her European tours. Grøndahl was praised excessively by many (including George Bernard Shaw when she visited England) and made her name as a champion of Grieg. Her career was halted by nerves and deafness by the age of fifty. Her compositions are unremarkable but charming, and like her sister’s paintings, they display unfussy beauty. Modesty is so beautiful.

Here are more of her paintings of pianists:

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This entry was posted on 9th July 2018 by in Agathe Backer Grøndahl, Harriet Backer and tagged , , , , , .

News of Albion Beatnik Press

Two new series of titles – American Vintage and British Vintage – 24 titles to be published in 2019

Sarah Gillespie’s Queen Ithaca Blues

“Dipped in song, these are dizzying poems in which lovers are skyscrapers and words walk on wires between them.Bright with horror and stricken with laughter, Sarah Gillespie’s lyrical collection lives in the extremities, dealing with loss, vertigo and joy.” – Caroline Bird


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