Naumann’s Mentors makes a “break from the sexist world” — Review from The Brooklyn Rail

In a comprehensive review of Naumann’s Mentors, The Brooklyn Rail pays special attention not only to the author’s close relationship to accomplished potter Beatrice Wood, but the effects this relationship had on the traditionally masculine world of art-scholarship:

“Naumann allows the reader to see how patterns of sexual comradery among prominent male scholars reinforced the masculinization of art historical scholarship. Naumann broke with that sexist world when, to both Steinberg’s and Rewald’s befuddlement, he took an interest in the work of Beatrice Wood, an accomplished California potter. […] Naumann first met Wood in 1976 during the course of his research into New York Dada when she was 84 and he 28, and he played a tireless role in reigniting her art world career through his devotion to writing about and exhibiting her work—something he has continued to do for other forgotten women Dada and Surrealist artists including Mary Callery, Henrietta Myers, and Maria Martins. Wood became Naumann’s ‘closest friend and confidant’ until her death at 105 in 1998. […] The course of Naumann’s life directed by his choice to adopt different aspects of his mentors, shows how we become ourselves through the ongoing transformation spawned by these relationships.”

–Robert R. Shane, The Brooklyn Rail

Read the full review here, or catch the February print edition.