Eli Lotar at Jeu de Paume

Portrait by Eli Lotar of actress Wanda Vaugen, 1929

French photographer and filmmaker Eli Lotar (1905-1969) is featured with a retrospective at  Paris’ Jeu de Paume. Although now he is not known by many outside the cognoscenti in the late twenties and thirties he was considered among Paris’ top photographers (to May 28, 2017). Lotar (Eliazar Lotar Theodoresco) was born in Paris, the son of Tudor Arghezi, a Romanian poet. After spending his childhood in Bucharest he returned to Paris in 1924. He became the assistant and close friend of the Germaine Krull (1926), who taught him about photography. While only in his early twenties Lotar quickly became one of the city’s leading avant-garde photographers.

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The Mistress of Paris

Take a walk on the wild side of Belle Epoque Paris with this biography of Emile-Louise Delabigne, known as countess Valtesse de la Bigne (1848-1910). who was a legendary French courtesan and demi-modaine. Her lovers included countless painters, writers and politicians, while her affairs with women caused a scandal in turn-of-the-century Paris. She was painted by Édouard Manet and inspired Émile Zola, who immortalized her in his scandalous novel “Nana.” Continue reading “The Mistress of Paris”

John Baxter’s Saint-Germain-des-Pres

The Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood is world famous for its connection with artists, writers and intellectuals… and now shopping. For many years this part of Paris has been a stronghold of the “sans culottes,” a refuge to artists and a place for bohemians. Napoleon, Hemingway, and Sartre have all called it home. Descartes is buried there. The writer Oscar Wilde spent his last days in the quarter, at the small, run-down hotel called the Hotel d’Alsace at 13 rue des Beaux‑Arts. The legendary Ecole des Beaux-Arts—attended by such artists as Pierre Bonnard, Edgar Degas and Georges Seurat—is here. And the Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres is where students battled the police in May 1968. Continue reading “John Baxter’s Saint-Germain-des-Pres”

Paris Scratch

Bart Plantenga describes his new book “Paris Scratch” as “not quite poems, not quite journal entries… meta-factual snapshots of everyday Paris life. With 365 entries or “snaps” this book is like a year of postcards sent from the bohemian Paris of twenty-five years ago. Indeed back in the day (1990 to be exact) Plantenga wrote some amazing stories for the print version of Parisvoice par exemple Continue reading “Paris Scratch”

Paris by it’s Writers

Much of Paris’ romantic patina comes from tales told by writers who have lived here. Balzac in Passy, Proust in the Monceau plain, Colette in the Palais-Royal, Hemingway in Montparnasse, Sartre and Beauvoir in Saint-Germain-des-Prés…  A new bilingual book “Paris by it’s Writers,” written by Francoise Besse (published by Parisgramme) describes the lives of twenty Paris legendary authors and how the city is woven into their novels. Continue reading “Paris by it’s Writers”

Louis Faurer Exhibited in Paris

Most of Louis Faurer’s (1916-2001) photography career was spent producing fashion photographs for such magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue and Mademoiselle. But we remember him now mostly for his early street photography taken in the forties and early fifties. These photos are currently exhibited in Paris at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (until December 18, 2016). Continue reading “Louis Faurer Exhibited in Paris”

Louis Stettner Remembered

Paris long-time expat Louis Stettner recently died at his home in Saint-Ouen, France. He was 93. Stettner was one of the last living “humanist” photographers of his generation, which included Bresson and Doisneau.  His black and white photographs are both social documents and poetry. Pupil and lifelong friend of the photographer Brassai, Stettner sought to capture in his glimpses of daily life a profound connection to reality while casting light on the human experience in all its facets. Continue reading “Louis Stettner Remembered”

Pancakes in Paris

Meet Craig Carlson (October 27, 10am) the man behind the Paris American diner “Breakfast In America” at Shakespeare and Co. (October 27, 10am) when he talks about his new memoir “Pancakes in Paris.” The book is the story of Craig tackling what seemed like the impossible, from raising the money to fund his dream to tracking down international suppliers for “exotic” American ingredients… and even finding love along the way. His diner, Breakfast In America, is now a renowned tourist destination, and the story of how it came to be is just as delicious as the classic breakfast that tops its menu. Continue reading “Pancakes in Paris”