AN INTERVIEW WITH CAROL STRICKLAND by KERRIE KENNEDY New Orleans native Carol Strickland is a national art critic whose stories have appeared in The New York Times, Art in America, and The Christian Science Monitor, among others. She is also the author of a number of art history books, including the bestselling The Annotated Mona Lisa and Impressionism: A Legacy of Light, which was recently released as a newly enhanced e-book for iPad. She talked with ART+DESIGN about why she’s embracing this high-resolution, clickable format. Most people think art books belong on the coffee table. What are some of the advantages of an e-book format for an art book in particular? I’m a recent convert—my background is in print books. But I think this is the way to go. I want readers to be informed and to be entertained, and an enhanced e-book does things a printed page just can’t do. It’s an interactive experience that allows readers to explore timelines, zoom in on blow-ups of details, and discover background info, analyses of technique, and deeper layers of information. It’s a compact, accessible, and democratic way to get the love of art out to people, and it’s a lot cheaper than a print book. You’ve drawn comparisons between the Impressionists featured in your book and the pioneers of today’s digital frontier. Impressionists were reacting against what academic, traditional painters were doing at the time, which were paintings of the past. Impressionists wanted to be of the present. They used the technique of fast brush strokes to capture light and be true to their time. They were objects of derision—rebels and outcasts—but they believed in each other and helped each other. The same thing happened later in Silicon Valley, when a group of friends collaborated in a garage to create something new. I do think it takes a group—a whole community of like-minded people—to create change. How has New Orleans influenced your work? New Orleans is so steeped in culture in an authentic way. It’s rich and lush, and the architecture is funky and lovely. My imagination always goes back to that. I also had the best peers at Ben Franklin High School. They were ambitious and wanted to achieve something and set me on a path to do something with my life that would be important. What’s your next project? SHOWROOM 300 Jefferson Highway • New Orleans (504) 304-2144 NEXT TO DOP ANTIQUES www.havencustomfurnishings.com I’m working on a historical novel [in e-book format] about the life of Eliza Linley, who married the Restoration playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan. Eliza (1754-92) was known as the “Fair Maid of Bath” and had an exquisite soprano voice. She was acclaimed for singing Handel oratorios and was a national sensation, drawing critical raves and huge crowds. Mad King George III pined for her, as did his son, the Prince Regent. But she eloped with Sheridan, who fought a duel for her. After they married, Sheridan refused to let her continue her career, and she never sang again publicly. He went on to fame as a playwright and politician, aided by her help with music, plot, characters, and dialogue (for which she was not acknowledged by him). I’d like to give her back her voice.