Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas

August 28, 2018 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
The Stable at The Mount
2 Plunkett St
Lenox, MA 01240
$30 general; $25 Mount members
Photo by by Henry Wiencek

The Mount’s 2018 summer lectures series will conclude with a rollicking lecture by author Donna Lucey about her latest book, Sargent’s Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas. Based on original letters and diaries, Lucey illuminates four extraordinary American heiresses painted by the great society portraitist John Singer Sargent, all of whom defied expectations, had illicit love affairs, and, in one case, created her own art museum. These women were self-possessed characters who created their own paths, despite the stifling conventions and road blocks they faced.  Elsie Palmer traveled between her father’s Rocky Mountain castle and the medieval English manor house where her mother took refuge, surrounded by artists, writers, and actors. Elsie hid labyrinthine passions, including her love for a man who would betray her. As the veiled Sally Fairchild―beautiful and commanding―emerged on Sargent’s canvas, the power of his artistry lured her sister, Lucia, into a Bohemian life. The saintly Elizabeth Chanler embarked on a surreptitious love affair with her best friend’s husband. And the iron-willed Isabella Stewart Gardner scandalized Boston society and became Sargent’s greatest patron and friend.

The lecture, which will be held in the historic Stable, will be followed by a tea and book signing. The doors will open at 10:15 a.m.


Eventbrite - The 2018 Summer Lecture Series

Donna Lucey is the author of the New York Times best-selling Archie and Amélie: Love and Madness in the Gilded Age and other books, including I Dwell in Possibility: Women Build a Nation, 1600 to 1920 and Photographing Montana 1894–1928: The Life and Work of Evelyn Cameron. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities grants, and is currently the media editor at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. She was a 2017 writer-in-residence at The Mount, and we are delighted to welcome her back.

Refund requests will only be honored if made more than one week prior to lecture date.

Lecture Series books can be purchased in advance from The Mount’s Bookstore! Mount members receive a 10% discount.  Everyone receives a 15% discount if all 9 books are purchased together. If you would like to order your book(s) ahead of the lecture, e-mail our Bookstore Manager Patricia at

We would like to thank Blantyre, a Relais & Chateau property, for their generous donation and support of this season’s Summer Lecture Series at The Mount.

The Mount is a Massachusetts Cultural Council UP designated organization welcoming participants of all disabilities. Please contact The Mount at 413-551-5100 or by email at, to discuss accommodations needed to participate fully in this event. Caregivers are admitted free-of-charge.