Linfield professor to discuss journal of European art

Marie Bashkirtseff’s “Self-Portrait With a Palette,” 1880, oil on canvas, private collection.
Marie Bashkirtseff’s “Self-Portrait With a Palette,” 1880, oil on canvas, private collection.

Professor Katherine Kernberger will present “Marie and Her Passions” at 4:30 p.m. in the Jereld R. Nicholson Library. Admission is free.

Kernberger, a professor of English at Linfield since 1979, will read selected passages from “The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff.” She also will display examples of Bashkirtseff’s art.

Bashkirtseff began keeping a journal at the age of 14. She had hoped to gain fame as a singer, but developed a debilitating case of tuberculosis and turned to art. She achieved a degree of success in the annual salons before dying of the disease at the age of 25.

Kernberger has worked with Bashkirtseff’s journal since 1991, when she took over the project from her late mother. Her translation of selections from Bashkirtseff’s 106 notebooks has recently appeared as an e-book, available online from Amazon and other sources.

Earlier versions of the journal, based on bowdlerized excerpts, deliver a portrait of Marie that largely reflected the Victorian ideal, Kernberger said.

She said her translation corrects this. It presents her as a more assertive, self-centered and modern figure, troubled and angry about the restrictions girls and women faced — someone who would probably be more at home in today’s world than she was in her own.

The reading is being sponsored by the English Department and Nicholson Library. For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte at 503-883-2517 or Kernberger at 503-883-2289.

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