Gluck was born into a wealthy Jewish family, the child of Joseph Gluckstein, whose brothers Isidore and Montague had founded J. Lyons and Co., a British coffee house and catering empire. Gluck's American-born mother, Francesca Halle, was an opera singer. Gluck's brother, Sir Louis Gluckstein, was a Conservative politician.
In the 1920s and 30s Gluck became known for portraits and floral paintings; the latter were favoured by the interior decorator Syrie Maugham. Gluck insisted on being known only as Gluck, "no prefix, suffix, or quotes", and when an art society of which Gluck was vice president identified Gluck as "Miss Gluck" on its letterhead, Gluck resigned. Gluck identified with no artistic school or movement and showed Gluck's work only in solo exhibitions, where they were displayed in a special frame Gluck invented and patented. This Gluck-frame rose from the wall in three tiers; painted or papered to match the wall on which it hung, it made the artist's paintings look like part of the architecture of the room. (P: Medallion by Gluck, 1937: this self-portrait of Gluck with her lover Nesta Obermer, which she painted after a shared night at the opera and referred to as the “YouWe”-picture)
Peter (A Young English Girl) by Romaine Brooks, 1923/24 (Portrait of Gluck)
The famous English painter Peter Gluck was born as Hannah Glukstein to a wealthy and close-knit Jewish family. In 1944 Gluck moved to Chantry House in Steyning, Sussex, living with lover Edith Shackleton Heald until her death. One of Gluck's bestknown paintings, Medallion, is a dual portrait of Gluck and Gluck's lover Nesta Obermer, inspired by a night when they attended a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Gluck also had a romantic relationship with the British floral designer Constance Spry.
One of Gluck's best-known paintings, Medallion, is a dual portrait of Gluck and Gluck's lover Nesta Obermer, inspired by a night in 1936 when they attended a Fritz Busch production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. According to Gluck's biographer Diana Souhami, "They sat in the third row and she felt the intensity of the music fused them into one person and matched their love." Gluck referred to it as the "YouWe" picture. It was later used as the cover of a Virago Press edition of The Well of Loneliness. Gluck also had a romantic relationship with the British floral designer Constance Spry, whose work informed the artist's paintings.
In the 1950s Gluck became dissatisfied with the artist's paints available and began a "paint war" to increase their quality. Ultimately, Gluck persuaded the British Standards Institution to create a new standard for oil paints; however, the campaign consumed Gluck's time and energy to the exclusion of painting for more than a decade.
In Gluck's seventies, using special handmade paints supplied free by a manufacturer who had taken Gluck's exacting standards as a challenge, Gluck returned to painting and had another well-received solo show. It was Gluck's first since 1937, and Gluck's last: Gluck died in 1978.
Gluck's last major work was a painting of a decomposing fish head on the beach entitled Rage, Rage against the Dying of the Light.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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