Friday, July 24, 2020

Bonjour Adrienne Fidelin, Man Ray's Muse and Model, and Beth's First Museum Quiz

Dear Friends,

Bonjour Paris recently relaunched its website with a beautiful new look - refreshed and ready for the reopening of museums and other "non-essential" activities. Please support Bonjour Paris, the insider's guide to la vie française by signing up for the weekly newsletter today -  Merci beaucoup

Photo from Roland Penrose, Portrait of Picasso, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1971, page 64.
Photographed by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the art historian Wendy A. Grossman about her fascinating article on Adrienne Fidelin, the little-known muse and model who lived with Surrealist  American artist Man Ray for about 5 years (1935-1940).  The photograph above records the tight-knit group of Surrealists vacationing during the summer of 1937, hosted by the gallerist Marie Cuttoli (now the subject of an exhibition at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia) and her husband Senator Paul Cuttoli. Note that Adrienne Fidelin, sitting on the extreme left, was identified as "a friend," as if the author did not know her.  That was far from the truth.  Adrienne Fidelin, known as Ady to Penrose et al., came from her birthplace Guadeloupe to Paris as young teenager, following the deaths of her parents. Dr. Grossman's essay about Ady, who was also the first black model to grace an American high fashion magazine, Harper's Bazaar, asserts that Picasso's painting Woman Seated Against Yellow and Pink II (1937) is based on her likeness. Indeed, we might consider this a Surrealist "portrait" in the same vein as other portraits from this period. In her Bonjour Paris interview Dr. Grossman described how she researched a person who became "invisible even in plain sight."

Claude Monet, Impression: Le Havre, 1872

Also in Bonjour Paris, my first museum quiz!  

Do you remember where you can see Claude Monet's Impression: Le Havre, the great namesake of the Impressionist movement?  Is it in the Musée d'Orsay or Musée Marmotton?  Test your memory of where to find Paris' best known works of art right here.

Bonne chance - et bon weekend,

Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, Ph.D.
Director and owner
New York Arts Exchange

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Fourth of July Greetings