Finding Leonardo’s Muses

leoOn a trip to Milan, I visited The Last Supper, which can only be seen by appointment and in small groups. After everyone had left the room, I remained, strangely drawn to the mural on the opposite wall, the Crucifixion scene by Giovanni Montorfano. In the lower right corner, witnessing the Crucifixion, are several Dominican nuns. This caught my eye, having been educated by the Dominicans in New Orleans. Who, I wondered, was the ghostly figure kneeling in prayer, virtually nestled in the skirts … Read more.

Why I Wrote Kleopatra

KleoOf all the women distorted by history and myth, Kleopatra is the most vivid example. Far from the sexual and treacherous archetype of feminine evil who lives in the popular imagination, Kleopatra was one of the ancient world’s most brilliant and powerful rulers. She survived blood-curdling family rivalries for the throne, single-handedly ruled a rich nation with an eye for turning a profit, and kept Egypt independent while all its neighboring countries had been annexed to the Roman Empire. … Read more.

My Life Being Groped (I never came forward)

My Life Being Groped (I never came forward)

In the early years of my professional life, receiving unwanted and unprovoked groping and kissing was not unusual.  It was the story of my life, and now we are discovering that it is not unusual.  It is many women’s stories.

How many times did I speak out?  None.  We don’t speak out.  The most ambitious, careful women never speak out.  Why?  Because it’s too hard to get into the room in the first place to complain about men’s behavior once we are there.

To wit:

I was … Read more.

Mrs. George Clooney takes on the battle for the Elgin Marbles

STEALING ATHENA, my novel about the 2300 year journey of the contrversial  Elgin Marbles, is written from the perspectives of two of history’s most fascinating women. Now, another fascinating women,  Amal Alamuddin Clooney, has joined the legal team arguing for restoration of  the marbles (aka The Parthenon Sculptures) to Greece.  It’s a complex issue with a long history, and  I hope Mrs. Clooney can help move it forward in a constructive way.   Please read on…

WHO OWNS ART?  WHO OWNS DEMOCRACY?

By Karen Essex

After years of … Read more.