Spotlight Series: The Art of Zelda Fitzgerald

March 18 - March 31, 2017

Called “the first flapper,” Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900-1948) was one of the best known figures of the Jazz Age alongside her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940). Scott took inspiration from their fast lifestyle and episodes recorded in Zelda’s journals for his seminal novels like The Great Gatsby (1925) and Tender Is the Night (1934).

For many years, Zelda’s own talents in writing, dance, and painting were overshadowed by Scott’s fame and her own struggles with mental illness. Indeed, her dogged pursuit of ballet may have contributed to her first mental breakdown in 1930. She turned to painting in her mid-20s as a form of occupational therapy, producing cityscapes, religious scenes, flower paintings, and other subjects until her death in a tragic fire at Asheville’s Highland Hospital. Though many of her paintings were lost in this and other fires, the two on view in this installation give a sense of her distinct style.

The Museum is pleased to present these paintings as part of the city-wide programming for the annual event Celebrate Zelda!

The Spotlight Series brings fresh perspectives to works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection.

Related programs & events

Art Break | March 10, 12pm

Group visits

Groups of 10 to 20 students or adults are invited to schedule a visit to Spotlight Series: The Art of Zelda Fitzgerald. Our inquiry-based group visits, led by volunteer docents or Museum staff, challenge visitors to hone their observation skills.

Read more and schedule your group visit.

View selected works in the exhibition »