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Speeding Down The Spiral: An Artful Adventure

New Children’s Book Features Modern and Contemporary Artwork From One of America’s Finest Collections

New York, NY (January 1, 2013) - A Life In Print announces the release of the new children’s book, Speeding Down The Spiral: An Artful Adventure by Deborah Goodman Davis. A rollicking tale set in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the story begins at the top of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famed rotunda, and unfurls through the Museum’s spiral as the protagonists speed by masterpieces from the collection.  Children will delight in the colorful illustrations by artist Sophy Naess, and encounter a selection from the Museum’s collection in brilliant reproduction. The book is for children ages 5 and up and costs $15.99, visit

Speeding Down the Spiral is the first book of children’s fiction since the 1950’s to use the auspicious Frank Lloyd Wright building as a backdrop. “What better place to introduce young minds to art than the Guggenheim?” asks Davis. “The rotunda is a visually stupendous feat of architecture; the Museum’s permanent collection constitutes a primer of 20th Century art, and the ongoing exhibition program presents work that is not only visually stimulating, but introduces children to the‘no-holds-barred’ aspect of current artmaking.” 

The story begins with an encounter with Roy Lichtenstein’s Grrrrrrrrrrr! from 1965, and concludes at the foot of the rotunda, with Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ Untitled(Public Opinion) from 1991.Along the way, children see masterpieces from Bourgeois, Brancusi, Cézanne, Chagall, Giacometti, Kandinsky, Miró, Picasso, and Warhol.

Speeding Down the Spiral is the first children’s book written by Deborah Goodman Davis, who is a New York-based art historian and fine art advisor.



One sunny Sunday, Lizzie and her baby brother Ben visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City with their father. They take the elevator to the top floor and begin walking down the ramp to look at the art. After an e-mail distracts Dad, and Lizzie comes face-to-face with Lichtenstein’s giant growling dog, the stroller begins speeding down the spiral with Baby Ben. And a quiet museum trip turns into a madcap chase, with Lizzie in the lead, followed by a museum guard, a teacher, students, and people with earphones listening to an audio tour. 

The story is coupled with the colorful and lively illustrations by Sophy Naess, bringing to life not only the Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece of modern architecture but encouraging children and adults to see for themselves the Bourgeois, Brancusi, Cézanne, Chagall, Giacometti, Gonzalez-Torres, Kandinsky, Lichtenstein, Miró, Picasso, and Warhol paintings and sculptures featured in this book, along with the many other great works of art in the Guggenheim’s collection.


DEBORAH GOODMAN DAVIS has introduced Modern and contemporary art to audiences as an art historian, art advisor 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 Felix Vallotton: A Retrospective (Yale University Press). She received her B.A. from Cornell University and her M.A. from the University of Chicago.  She works in New York City, where she loves to visit museums, living with her husband and two kids. Please visit her at

SOPHY NAESS is an artist, illustrator, printmaker and teacher.  Her illustrations have appeared in TimeOut New York and American Express Black Ink magazine.  She illustrated poet Elinor Nauen’s book My Marriage From A to Z.  Her own artist book, called Color: A New Novel, has been met with critical acclaim. Sophy lives in Brooklyn, NY.  To learn more about her work, visit


Deborah Davis' wonderfully written and colorfully illustrated book will delight and thrill young children and even turn them into passionate art lovers. Hopefully they'll want to visit the real Guggenheim Museum someday (and walk down the ramps really slowly!)

-Jennifer Stockman, President, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

The book is unique in that it weaves modern and contemporary masterworks into the storyline, to engage young minds to truly consider these great works of art.  Because the action is driven by the character's response to these works, the reader is also encouraged to look closely and respond.  I liked it so much I’m sending it to my grandchildren!

-Walter E. Massey, President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

 Lovely illustration by artist Sophy Naess depicts Frank Lloyd Wright's marvelous spiral and successfully highlights the reproductions of work from the Guggenheim's collection.  In addition to writing a lively story, Deborah Goodman Davis has chosen artwork that acts as an overview of seminal 20th century art, exposing young minds to the breadth of modern and contemporary art-making.

-Richard Fishman, Professor of Visual Arts, Brown University

Davis' creative story will captivate young readers and lead them on a visual journey through 20th-century art and architecture, enticing them to look closely, ask questions, and be inspired.

-Stephanie Wiles, Director, Herbert F Johnson Museum, Cornell University

ISBN: 978-0-9855568-0-8

Cost: $15.95

Available on AMAZON

A Life in Print specializes in private publishing and self-published works of literature, scholarly texts, and other non-fiction. We help individuals, organizations and corporations publish books of the highest quality. To learn more about our services, visit us at