A lackadaisical gardener of earthly delights (pgrape) wrote,
A lackadaisical gardener of earthly delights

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First Regrets - ?

A friend and I are trying to do some research on Lee Lufkin Kaula, who was an artist active during the first half of the twentieth century. She was primarily a painter in oils, although I have seen at least one watercolor she did. She was married to William Jurian Kaula, another artist, whose reputation was the more luminous during their lifetimes. She is now beginning to eclipse him--prices for her work have roughly doubled in the past two years. However, so far as we know there has been no monograph devoted to LLK.

We would like to do an article, maybe more. But nowadays, neither one of us is affiliated with a university. I left graduate school in 1995, and she held her last teaching post in spring 2002.

I had no idea how impossible it is to do worthwhile research without an academic affiliation until we tried to get this project off the ground. We live ten minutes from Yale, but Yale does not permit even reading privileges to outsiders. At least Yale, as a tourist courtesy, does permit people to enter the library and browse the card catalogs. The other local colleges don't appear to permit even that much.

The Internet will allow one to see a table of contents for a journal, but only subscribers can actualy view the content. Genealogy sites can be helpful, but only if one has already established some basic points. Such as, was "Lufkin" LLK's maiden name, or her original middle name? Can't get much further without that...

It's been frustrating, in short. Scraping individual factoids from the barest of references, hoping to score the occasional interview with a knowledgeable dealer who will spare two "independent scholars" his valuable time. This is perhaps the first time I have regretted abandoning the academic life.


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