Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Susan Hollis Clayson  

Pen Name: Hollis Clayson, S. Hollis Clayson

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1946 in Chicago,Illinois


-- Website -- http://www.wcas.northwestern.edu/arthistory/faculty/clayson.htm
-- Susan Hollis Clayson on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=susan+hollis+clayson


Illinois Connection

Clayson was born in Chicago and has taught at both the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle and at Northwestern University.

Biographical and Professional Information

Clayson is a historian of modern art who specializes in 19th-century Europe, especially France, and transatlantic exchanges between France and the U.S.


Published Works Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

Painted Love: Prostitution in French Art of the Impressionist Era (Texts & Documents)
ISBN: 0892367296

Getty Research Institute. 2003

In this engrossing book, Hollis Clayson provides the first description and analysis of French artistic interest in women prostitutes, examining how the subject was treated in the art of the 1870s and 1880s by such avant-garde painters as Cézanne, Degas, Manet, and Renoir, as well as by the academic and low-brow painters who were their contemporaries.
Clayson not only illuminates the imagery of prostitution-with its contradictory connotations of disgust and fascination-but also tackles the issues and problems relevant to women and men in a patriarchal society. She discusses the conspicuous sexual commerce during this era and the resulting public panic about the deterioration of social life and civilized mores. She describes the system that evolved out of regulating prostitutes and the subsequent rise of clandestine prostitutes who escaped police regulation and who were condemned both for blurring social boundaries and for spreading sexual licentiousness among their moral and social superiors. Clayson argues that the subject of covert prostitution was especially attractive to vanguard painters because it exemplified the commercialization and the ambiguity of modern life.
This is a reprint of the book first published by Yale University Press in 1991.

Paris in Despair: Art and Everyday Life under Siege (1870-1871)
ISBN: 0226109577

University of Chicago Press. 2005

The siege of Paris by Prussians in the fall and winter of 1870 and 1871 turned the city upside down, radically altering its appearance, social structure, and mood. As Hollis Clayson demonstrates in Paris in Despair, the siege took an especially heavy toll on the city's artists, forcing them out of the spaces and routines of their insular prewar lives and thrusting them onto the ramparts (as many became soldiers).

But the crisis did not halt artistic production, as some have suggested. In fact, Clayson argues that the siege actually encouraged innovation, fostering changed attitudes and new approaches to representation among a wide variety of artists as they made art out of their individual experiences of adversity and change—art that has not previously been considered within the context of the siege. Clayson focuses especially on Rosa Bonheur, Edgar Degas, Jean-Alexandre-Joseph Falguière, Edouard Manet, and Henri Regnault, but she also covers a host of other artists, including Ernest Barrias, Gustave Courbet, Edouard Detaille, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Albert Robida, and James Tissot. Paris in Despair includes more than two hundred color and black-and-white images of works by these artists and others, many never before published.

Using the visual arts as an interpretive lens, Clayson illuminates the wide range of issues at play during the siege and thereafter, including questions of political and cultural identity, artistic masculinity and femininity, public versus private space, everyday life and modernity, and gender and class roles in military and civilian society. For anyone concerned with these issues, or with nineteenth-century French art in general, Paris in Despair will be a landmark work.


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