Reframing Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald: Her Quest for Artistic Self-Expression
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Hood College Arts & Humanities
Master of Arts
Citation of Original Publication
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900 – 1948), an artist, writer, and dancer, is best known today as the flamboyant wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald; a woman atomized and associated with everything except the single area of her life in which she strove to make her legacy — her visual art. Zelda was an artist above all else. With over 230 extant works, her art reflects her lifelong interests in modern painting, dance, music, history, and literature. Yet, with few exceptions, the scholarly discourse on Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald lacks rigor in this area, with many preferring to gloss over her artistic achievements. This Capstone examines how her visual art has been ignored, censored, or destroyed over time. It offers a systematic analysis of much of her surviving work in oil paintings, watercolors, and graphics. What emerges is a new understanding of her artistic vision, her perseverance in the face of constant dismissal or indifference, and a newfound appreciation for how much she managed to achieve in the hostile environment women artists had to endure in the first half of the 20th century. Hopefully, this research will invite curiosity and initiate new scholarship to further investigate Zelda’s creative vision.