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Posts from the ‘gertrude stein’ Category

27 rue de Fleurus

July 28th, 2012

Daniel Pontius

Finally, I made it to see Gertrude and Alice’s building at 27 rue de Fleurus. One rainy morning I jogged from the Marais to the apartment–and took some photos.  It being garbage day made it all feel a bit unremarkable, so I went on and ran through the Luxembourg Gardens imaging Gertrude stomping thru in her sandals and brown corduroy with her dog, Basket.

I can’t get enough of all the beautiful shades of yellow flowers.


Pillows: dieu et mon droit

August 5th, 2011

Daniel Pontius

I am waiting for my new camera to arrive, but thanks for the help Android.

3 coronation flag pillows that I made for Pat McGann Gallery.

God and my right shall me defend

Gertrude Stein pointed out: “The earth is the earth as a peasant sees it, the world is the world as a duchess sees it, and anyway a duchess would be nothing if the earth was not there as the peasant sees it.” 

Airplanes & Alice

May 31st, 2010

Daniel Pontius

The autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. c1933

Gertrude Stein, Alice B. Toklas, United Airlines, Newark Airport, November 7, 1934.

Gertrude Stein at Monticello. February 4, 1935.


April 26th, 2010

Daniel Pontius

Ms Stein said that, Human beings are interested in two things. They are interested in the reality and interested in telling about it.  

And how, she might have added.

I just reread my post on Anouska Hemple…Stein might have said that I was just telling about it… with no point.

….sometimes it is more pleasant to look at photos… Gertrude & Basket…. Alice & Gertrude…somewhere in France. 

3 Days From a Life Made in France

September 24th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Gertrude Stein during her lecture tour in America, May 2, 1935.
Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein on the Terrace at Bilignin, June 13, 1934.
Gertrude Stein at the Abbey of Hautecombe (Luc du Bourget, Savoie, France), June 12, 1934.
Gertrude Stein with Pepe; Mark Lutz with Basket I on the Terrace of the Villa at Bilignin, June 13, 1934.
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas at Les Charwelles, June 12, 1934.

Carl Saigon, in his Cosmos series says that human life exists as ten seconds on the time-line of the cosmos;
Isabella sent me links to images of Gertrude and Alice on the NYPL Digital Gallery. These are some of my favorites.

Gertrude at 27

April 25th, 2009

Daniel Pontius

Gertrude and Alice at 27 in 1930.

“…she was positively, richly attractive in her grand ampleur. She always seemed to like her own fat anyway and that usually helps other people to accept it. She had none of the funny embarrassment Anglo-Saxons have about the flesh. She gloried in hers.” Mable Dodge on Gertrude Stein.

When all is tedious and nothing, beyond Susan Boyle, has sparked my imagination (although she too has begun to wane) I shall look to the great St. Gertrude.

In 1933 The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was published which made Miss. Stein famous especially in America where it was a best seller. After having spent most of her adult life in Paris, Gertrude took her first trip back to the states with Alice to go on a lecture tour having been gone for 30 years. It was 1934.

Gertrude loved the monotony of the everyday. She liked daily habits, walks around Paris, and loved her Standard Poodle, Basket. She liked Basket so much in fact that when Basket died, Basket II arrived, soon after. In this first photo we see Alice and Gertrude sitting in their salon at 27 Rue de Fleurus. A domestic scene, a photo that is my reference for when I hear the term “salon style” used as it relates to the arrangement of art.

There are a handful of Cecil Beaton photos at the National Portrait Gallery. Since they will only allow their use for a fee, you will have to see the photographs on your your own: links one and two.

In image ONE we see Gertrude and Alice and their Standard Poodle, Basket. This photo is taken in 1936. We know this is Basket because he died in 1937 after which came Basket II. We imagine Gertrude not wanting to have to switch from, “Come Basket!” on her way out the door.

The room is lofty. A fireplace off to the side. Gertrude is captured with her hand on Basket as if to get him to behave, to sit. Alice looks on slightly amused perhaps at Basket misbehaving. There are four paintings vertical in the background, a bowl in the forground, could it be called a “tiered tazza” perhaps just a scalloped bowl with handle, ready to be picked up with the offer of nuts. The room is spare, as if they have yet to unpack, as if they have just moved and Alice has just made it tidy for the photo.

In image TWO we see Gertrude looking gruff. Did they put Basket in the other room? Note that the door is now shut. Alice is gently in the background, smiling and gazing over to Gertrude. There is a fantastic lamp with a wonderfully oversized lampshade in a diamond pattern that feels like Bloomsbury, the Omega Workshop. There is another scallop motif this time a planter on the desk next to the lamp.

This is a richer home than the salon at 27. The grand rolled arm sofa–large enough to hold Ms. Stein in what looks like a strie velvet. But they both appear as if they are just borrowing the room, and a bit uncomfortable, as if it is a hotel. But the art seems like theirs although I do not know the nude in the background.

It makes me wonder if the photo was mislabeled, that this is perhaps 1937, after Basket died and after their landlord refused to renew the lease at 27 and they moved to an apartment on Germain. Perhaps it is 1937, if it is, they won’t have been here long, they will spend the Second World War, at their country house in Bilignin.