The WPI is working in collaboration with Theodore Reff to publish his long-awaited compilation of Edgar Degas’s letters. This three-volume publication includes a transcription of more than 1,200 letters Degas wrote over fifty years, accompanied by Reff’s extensive annotations that provide insights into the artist’s life and the social and intellectual concerns of his time. The range and variety of the texts offer a dynamic portrait of the artist and his work, and provide new information on his practice, his relations with a wide range of artists, and his central role among the Impressionists. In his letters, Degas reveals himself as an ambitious and inventive writer for whom verbal expression was a major source of pleasure. Documenting the artist’s observations, opinions and beliefs in his own words throughout his life, The Letters of Edgar Degas sheds new light on this canonical figure.
The Letters of Edgar Degas will include transcriptions of the original letters in French, their translations into English, and a scholarly analysis with informative appendices. This publication will become an indispensable reference for scholars interested in this major artist, his circle or his era. The WPI will be releasing The Letters of Edgar Degas in the Spring of 2020, which will be distributed by Penn State University Press.