NEWPORT, R.I. – James L. Yarnall, associate professor of art at Salve Regina University, has authored the first biography in a century of the American painter, illustrator, muralist, stained-glass artist and writer, John La Farge.
“John La Farge, A Biographical and Critical Study” examines the artist’s career from his youth to his late rebound as a decorative artist from New York City and New England, to Europe, Japan, and to the South Seas. Published in February by Ashgate/Lund Humphries Publishing Company, it is the only biography to date composed independently of the artist and his estate.
Yarnall teaches the history of art and architecture at Salve Regina. He is also editor of publications for the Newport Historical Society, including its journal, Newport History.
Drawing on primary documentation culled from archives and contemporary newspapers and journals, the biography thoroughly documents La Farge’s career and artwork. Earlier biographies avoided the darker aspects of his complex and conflicted life, which had dramatic effects on his work.
The study also offers critical analysis of the artist’s works, showing influences from other artists and giving contemporary and modern responses. Yarnall scrutinizes how posterity has viewed the artist throughout the century since his death. The book is copiously illustrated with black-and-white and color images.