The Artist in Venice at Darren Winston, Bookseller

On Saturday, April 6, from 2 to 4 p.m., bookseller and gallerist Darren Winston located in Sharon Connecticut in the Litchfield Hills will host a reading and book-signing by Adam Van Doren to celebrate the publication of The Artist in Venice, at Darren Winston, Bookseller (81 Main Street, Sharon, Connecticut). A selection of paintings by Van Doren, including pieces featured in the book, will be on display from April 2–28.

Van Doren’s new book showcases not only his virtuosity as a painter but also his writing talent. He first went to Venice to paint in 1986, to escape the “barren and cheerless” New York winter. He left as an architecture student and came back a painter—and “Venice was responsible.” The Artist in Venice presents twenty-five glorious watercolor paintings of that city, accompanied by sketches, maps, and the artist’s insightful narrative and history.

In the introduction to the book, the writer Simon Winchester observes: “Adam Van Doren has a way with light. His painterly calling-card is, in its essence, illumination. It is opalescence, iridescence, brilliance.” Publisher’s Weekly says of the book: “Architect and artist Van Doren offers a love letter to Venice in this elegant and slender volume, and he sings his praise to the city through majestic prose and 25 beautiful watercolor paintings.”

Adam Van Doren was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1962 and is of the distinguished New York literary and artistic family that includes his grandfather Mark Van Doren—the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and celebrated Columbia professor—and his great-uncle Carl Van Doren, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian. His great-aunt Irita Van Doren was the editor of the Books section of The Herald Tribune for forty years, and his grandmother Dorothy Van Doren was a novelist and editor at The Nation. His mother is a painter and was integral in cultivating his artistic sensibilities.

Van Doren studied at Columbia University and the National Academy of Design. He has exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., among other institutions, and his work is included in the Art Institute of Chicago, the Princeton University Art Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), the Yale University Art Gallery, The Addison Gallery of American Art, and The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of American Art, among others. Van Doren has been a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome and an instructor at the Institute of Classical Architecture in New York. He is an Associate Fellow and former Lustman Fund Lecturer at Yale University. He maintains a studio in Manhattan, where he exhibits annually.

Although he was raised in New York, Van Doren and his family have deep connections to the Litchfield Hills in northwest Connecticut. While growing up he spent summers in Cornwall Hollow on the old farm owned by his grandparents, and now he splits his time between that property (in a new house he designed and had built there) and his home in Manhattan. In a recent interview he remembered stories of how his grandfather and uncle had to travel from Manhattan for five hours in a Model-T to reach the farm in Connecticut. “I can only imagine what it was like,” he said. “It might have meant they didn’t come up too often. They went for the summer and stayed there.” Van Doren returns to Darren Winston, Bookseller following the bookstore-gallery’s popular October 2011 exhibit of his paintings, which garnered favorable coverage in The New York Times.

For more information about Darren Winston, Bookseller, please call (860) 364-1890 or e-mail The shop’s hours are Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment, and the website is For area information

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