about the author

Photo Credit: Edward Hillel

Photo Credit: Edward Hillel

DEBORAH GOODMAN DAVIS has introduced modern and contemporary art to audiences of all ages for many years. As an art historian and curator, she was involved in significant gallery and museum exhibitions, including Paul Gauguin: A Retrospective at the National Gallery of Art and the Art Institute of Chicago.  She has written on the history of art, including an essay in Félix Vallotton: A Retrospective (Abbeville Press/Yale University). She lives in New York City with her husband and two teenage kids, Lizzie and Ben, and loves to visit museums! Please visit her at

author's note & inspiration

Great architecture and great art together make visiting the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum a truly unique and inspirational experience.  The combination of the two also creates a dynamic backdrop for a story that introduces young minds to art.

The selection of artworks in Speeding Down the Spiral includes work from the earliest days of modernism, and sweeps across the 20th century to conclude with current, cutting-edge artwork.

I was visiting the Guggenheim Museum with my friend and her young son. As we began our descent down the ramp, I wondered what would happen if we accidentally let go of the stroller.  This reminded me of an adventure story I loved as a little girl, Billy Brown: The Baby Sitter by Tamara Kitt. I imagined a ride down Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed spiral, and the many beautiful and engaging artworks that would be encountered along the way. I asked Sophy Naess to illustrate my story because I thought her colorful, lively style would bring my words to life and be enjoyed by both children and adults.

All the fine art reproduced in Speeding Down the Spiral is in the Guggenheim’s permanent collection.

learn about the illustrator


Click here for Spiral Sellsheet