Thunderclap: A Memoir of Art and Life and Sudden Death


Laura Cumming


Meeting: Thursday, March 21 @ 6-7:30 PM


Location: Kelly-McKenna Gallery, 1308 Third Avenue, Spring Lake, NJ


Wine Selection: Cantor El Cantor Rojo Rioijo 2020


Summary: In 1654, the Dutch city of Delft was devastated by a massive explosion at a gunpowder store that claimed the lives of hundreds, including the talented painter Carel Fabritius. A pupil of Rembrandt, Fabritius developed an artistic style uniquely his own through his experiments with light and perspective. He is best known today for his painting The Goldfinch, which inspired a Pulitzer Prize winning book and movie of the same name.


Centering the narrative on Fabritius, author Laura Cumming sheds light on this pivotal moment in art history. Through the lens of Dutch art, the tale gradually connects various elements of life—from country to city, street, house, and even the smallest details like a bird on its perch or a blue and white tile. At its core, Thunderclap explores the profound impact of art on our thoughts and perceptions, highlighting how paintings can shape our understanding of the world. Cumming offers a unique perspective on her most captivating subject yet.


Enhanced with vibrant full-color images of Dutch paintings, this book serves as a splendid homage to the individuals who demonstrated to Cumming the profound truth that paintings create a world of their own—a society, a place to exist.


About Art Book Club: We meet the third Thursday of every month at Kelly-McKenna Gallery to discuss all topics art, architecture, and design adjacent. 


You can follow us on Instagram: @kmgbookclub


You can purchase our monthly reading selections at Thunder Road Books; (973) 436-0914.


Our monthly wine selection is available at Bottle Shop of Spring Lake; (732) 449-5525

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