“Paris Primitive” by the Seine

This new book  by Sally Price explores the story behind the creation of Paris’ newest museum  devoted to the so called “primitive arts.” The story begins in 1990 when Jacques Chirac, the future president of France and a passionate fan of non-European art, met Jacques Kerchache, a maverick art collector with the lifelong ambition of displaying African sculpture in the holy temple of French culture, the Louvre. Together they began laying plans, and ten years later African fetishes were on view under the same roof as the Mona Lisa. Then, in 2006, amidst a maelstrom of controversy and hype, Chirac presided over the opening of a new museum dedicated to primitive art in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower: the Musée du Quai Branly. Continue reading ““Paris Primitive” by the Seine”

They’ve always had Paris…

Patricia Wells, long recognized as the leading American authority on French food, and her husband, Walter (former senior editor of the International Herald Tribune), live the life in France that many people have often fantasized about. Now the couple has put together a sort of “scrapbook” of their memories co-writting a new book “We’ve Always Had Paris… and Provence.” (Harper Collins) Continue reading “They’ve always had Paris…”

Tastey poems about cheese

Colette once said “If I had a son that was about to marry, I would say to him: ‘beware of a young woman that does not like wine, truffles, cheese and music.” So what is a lover of cheese to do? Perhaps do as David Nutt and write a book of poems inspired by the topic.

“It all started,” says Nutt “with the mouse on a cheese icon.  After several years of writing a web  newsletter about traditional French cheese for //www.fromage.com I came to the conclusion these remarkable French products deserved to enter the world stage in a more romantic light. So I decided to put together a book of poetry that pays homage to 30 of France’s most renowned cheeses.” Continue reading “Tastey poems about cheese”

Street Photography, from Atget to Cartier-Bresson

 

ImageStreet photography is perhaps the best-loved and most widely known of all photographic genres, with names like Cartier-Bresson, Brassai and Doisneau familiar even to those with a fleeting knowledge of the medium. Yet what exactly is street photography? From what viewpoint does it present its subjects, and how does this viewpoint differ from that of documentary photography? Looking closely at the work Atget, Kertesz, Bovis, Rene-Jacques, Brassai, Doisneau, Cartier- Bresson and more, this elegantly written book unpicks Parisian street photography’s complex relationship with parallel literary trends — from Baudelaire to Soupault — as well as its more evident affinity with Impressionist art. Street Photography reveals the genre to be poetic, even “picturesque,” looking not to the type but to the individual, not to the reality of the street but to its “romance.”

 

Aveyron, A Bridge to French Arcadia

Image “It all began in Paris with a riot of wisteria.” says Paris-based travel writer Thirza Vallois explaining how she became fascinated with this obscure region of France, mostly known for its Roquefort cheese. This led to a chance meeting between the author and two Aveyronnais Georges and Odette, visits to the region and Vallois’ love affair with Aveyron and its enchanting landscapes tucked away on the southern edge of the Massif Central. Continue reading “Aveyron, A Bridge to French Arcadia”

Pontoise… in the days of the impressionists

Camille Pissarro, considered by many to be the father of the impressionist movement, moved to Pontoise in 1871 where he made such memorable paintings as “The River Oise Near Pontoise, 1873” and “A Cowherd at Pontoise. 1874”  He was joined by other painters such as Cézanne and Claude Monet who along with Pissarro immortalized the village and surrounding landscapes Continue reading “Pontoise… in the days of the impressionists”