Tuesday, May 12, 2009
france-1969 part 5

I mentioned in an earlier post, The Foundation Maeght which is a great great Museum in St. Paul de Vence. We had the great pleasure of going there a few times.....It was built in the early 1960's and opened around 1964-65, so it was only a few years old when I saw it. Aime & Marguerite Maeght were Art Dealers in Paris and in The South of France, starting in 1945, and they knew all the spectacularly talented Artists of the 1930's and 1940's and on into the '50's and '60's. Aime Maeght, (pronounced 'MUG') was a Print maker and a Lithographer at the start of his career and the Maeghts lives revolved around Art and Artists. Above, they are with Chagall.....One of the many Artists who was a dear friend, as well......The Maeghts had two sons, and one if them, Bernard, died of Leukemia when he was quite young. They were, needless to say, devastated by this loss....They wanted to do something to honor his memory and to somehow make their grief and his life, mean something lasting. All their Artist friends encouraged them to build this wonderful Museum and many of the Artists contributed works to be permanently housed there, and some of their works became part of the building, itself.They also built a Chapel in Bernard's Honor, right there on this beautiful hill in St. Paul De Vence.Aside from the memories of being their in this amazing place filled with such fantastic Art, the one image that has stayed with me all these years was seeing a group of Alberto Giacometti's thin thin beautiful figure sculptures, sitting on this grassy area as one came up towards the Museum itself.....I cannot find any pictures of that image, though there are many many Giacometti's everywhere at Foundation Maeght...So, maybe I just imagined it---but I don't think so....(I have no idea why I did not take my camera with me that day and evening but I didn't. So I have no pictures that I took, myself). But, from what I can gather, those Giacometti figures are placed in a different area entirely now. Giacometti is one of my most favorite Sculptors.....The way he saw things was so very unique....And not like anyone else, ever..... These sculptures above were the ones that I remember being on the lawn as one approached the building.....I swear, that is where they were..... Right there, above, over on the right side of the walkway....And, maybe they were there that July.....That is where I see them......There were and still are, many many other major Sculptural Works of Art, placed all over this stunning property by Artists like Miro.... And, more Miro...... And even more and more Miro......And lots and lots of Calder's.......(With that wonderful whimsical Miro right near it.....)......And any number of Braque's...this one below, built right into a low water pool..... And there are so many more great sculptures here at The Maeght....it is quite overwhelming, especially so, in this very very beautiful setting.....Of course, there is great great Art in the actual Museum building, too......

I found this picture above, on the net.....Aime & Marguerite were much older in this picture than when I met them....They are standing near that same Calder Stabile that we saw in the picture above....The Maeghts had invited Daddy & Olga & Myself for Cocktails and Dinner at their very very beautiful home near the Museum. Their garden was filled with beautiful flowers and I learned only recently that Aime Maeght had a Cactus Garden which he tended himself---How I wish I had known that, back then....There were quite a few very interesting people there that evening---Louis & Ann Le Brucky, a young couple who were both Artists, were there---and in fact we went to dinner at their home the following week---and a few other people were there as well....It was again, a very relaxed evening. Their cats and dogs were just "there", as relaxed as The Maeghts---It was obvious that their pets were a big part of their daily life and that they were 'family' to them, moving in and out of the house, at will. One of the most interesting things to me about their home besides the fact that it was so very beautiful was, that all the furniture in the Dining Room and in their living room, too, had all been designed by Alberto Giacometti's incredibly talented brother, Diego.These pieces of furniture were completely sculptural. Their home was filled with beautiful "art" everywhere you looked and the whole feeling in this house was that it was a home filled with lots of love for everything creative, including their animals, and that it was lived in and enjoyed....Aime Maeght was a Prince-like man in stature and looks....Because I didn't have my camera with me, as I said, I don't have any pictures of them. But I found some on The Net, and when I saw this one above, I thought...Yes! That is the man, exactly as I remember him....Very very attractive and elegant, he was an extremely handsome man, and both he and Marguerite couldn't have been nicer....And again, these people were so warm and welcoming, as were all the people who were there. That evening was special in every way and I was thrilled to have been lucky enough to be included.And like this very special evening, much of my time in France was spent in taking advantage of seeing and visiting all the great great Museums and Artists and Dealers who lived and worked right there in The South of France, like this extraordinary Foundation Maeght. In fact, it was there at the Opening of that current show in July of 1969, "Matisse & His Friends", that we ran into Frank Perls, and the great architect Gordon Bunshaft, who had come to France just to have some meetings with Daddy about some changes in the plans for the Museum, came with us to The Maeght that evening.....These many experiences there in The South Of France were so very rich and layered in every way....to be in the company of such deeply creative people, all of whom were dedicated to Art. Their love of Art was unforgettable in every way and fed my own creative spirit as if it was plasma....... This is a fantastic book all about the Maeght Family and the continuation of this very very great Museum right up to the present......

More To Come........

NOTE: The Drawing included in this post is a drawing of Marguerite Maeght by Matisse.

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Oh Wow! I have never seen these artwork before and I must say it looks very intriguing.

Thank you for all the effort in sharing all these lovely memories Naomi ;D

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 3:16:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

More beautiful memories of a most wonderful time of your life.

The sculptures by Giacometti are amazing, and to see them as you approach the building...what a greeting!

I would've liked to have seen the Maeghts' Cactus Garden. With their love or art, I imagine it was beautiful!

Miro's colorful piece is fantastic, and what I wouldn't have given to see "Matisse & His Friends." It must've been quite a show.

Once again, Naomi, thanks for sharing the memories!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 10:38:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I always enjoy looking at photos from other places and interesting lives but this post made me want to BE there right now!

wonderful my dear friend, absolutely wonderful!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You got so much out of your trip to France, Naomi... Gald it was so wealthy in so many ways for you - visually, emotionally and intellectually !

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 3:53:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Such perfection, to my eye.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 6:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You have led such an interesting life, Naomi. I love your posts.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 8:34:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I can see why you would remember those sculptures... they are very unique, aren't they? So skinny looking, anorexic, if there is such a thing in inanimate objects.

Interesting what you say about their pets being at ease too. I picked up on that because I wish our cats were more at ease around strangers. A couple of them are but the rest run and hide. (sigh)

Lovely post, as always. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 11:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Awesome Naomi. How lucky you have been to see such works and meet such people. What a cherished life you have led...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 2:11:00 AM PDT 

Blogger Mar
had this to say:

I am so glad you have your blog to share your incredible and amazing stories! I never heard of Giacometti's thin beautiful figure sculptures before, very interesting! Nice seeing some of Miro's works too, his work is also all over Barcelona :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 5:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Thanks for the art history. I cannot imagine how horizon-broadening you trip to France was. Truly, those things stay with you forever.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 7:37:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I love the Giacometti sculptures. My style completely. I could sit in that little courtyard area and gaze upon them for hours. Stunningly simple and interesting.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 8:43:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You have lived such a fascinating life Naomi, If I can do a smidge of the things you have I will die a happy happy woman!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 9:51:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

What fertile ground your artistic spirit grew in. And what a life changing trip that is still so much a part of you today.

I love the fact that those skinny sculptures can be moved around and look entirely new when they are. And the lady in red sitting in several pieces really has an effect to loosen the minds hold on reality!

Great series, Naomi. More?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:12:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Dear Naomi,
What a GREAT serie about France you did here! I am amazed by such wonderful artwork and memories. I will come back to reading again and translate some passages. Just awesome, Naomi!

Last but not least, thank you so much for your kind and nice words about my decision to maintain my blog. I appreciate very much your compliments. To meet you is really a great pleasure and a gift to me!
Many hugs!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 2:29:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

We had a giant Calder sculpture in downtown Fort Worth for years and years, and it wasn't until it "disappeared" that it got a lot of notice. It's now in the Seattle Art Museum Park. I bet I walked by that thing 200 times and didn't really know what it was.
People always ask what would you do if you could go back in time. Well, I would go back in time as you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 10:48:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

i am excited to read all of your story of france...i quickly wnted to pop by and say i am still around and reading but life has been a bit nuts so i haven't been commenting around. i went to paris 2 years ago and fell in love with it...can't wait to hear about your france!! have a good day, Karyne
I always love your stories!

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 2:59:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm struck by how deeply the human experience can influence the creation of art. And then how that art - in all its glorious forms - can in turn influence the human experience of those who follow.

A great, big, glorious endless cycle of growth and wonder. Thanks for keeping it going, Naomi: your trips are wonderful.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 1:48:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love how you said that their love of art infused you like plasma. I've seen firsthand how your love of art in many forms is shown throughout your home. You are surrounded by paintings, drawings, sculptures, and interesting trinkets and decor all over your home.
BTW, my mother's name is Marguerite.
I also find it interesting that Aime and Marguerite's last name is pronounced Mug. So many letters and such a simple pronunciation.

I sure agree with what you said on my blog. I don't find good in people's deaths. The only thing I can hold on to is the good memories and great blessing I feel for having known and loved that person. I live with a hole in my heart for my dear Gramillo. I can't think of her too long, or I get so sad. When I look at photos of her, I always touch the pics in order to somehow feel connected to her. I also do this same thing with pictures of my dear FIL.
I do my best to try and have a positive attitude and thankful heart, but that does not keep me from feeling the pain that comes with life.
I am so sorry to hear you lost another dear loved one besides Dom. I wish I had some supersonic, high powered rose colored glasses to give you.
Hang in there, dear friend.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 7:34:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Wow Naomi!! Such delightful sculptures and artwork! Such wonderful memories for you and no doubt all this inspired you in your own passion for painting and art.

I have enjoyed your trip down memory lane in the South of France! It would be so exciting to go there and see some of this in person!

Hope you and Sweetie are doing well Naomi!! Hugs to you both!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 9:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

You have the most miraculous memory!! I wish I remembered half as much as you do!!

What a fabulous time of your life!! thank you for sharing, as always, Naomi

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 3:40:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

There are so many fascinating places filled with art in this world that I would love to see. This was a great post!

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 7:57:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Such beautiful art pieces! Terrific photos Naomi. When we were in France last yr, we did't go the the very south of France, it is promised for the next trip lol...Although we did travel over much of France seeing family all over ...I couldn't get enough of it.

Friday, May 15, 2009 at 2:58:00 PM PDT 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

I'm glad you mentioned the drawing - I had thought it was Modigliani.
I love it all but especially the Braque fishes.
And what an unusual pronunciation of their name. Who would have guessed?
Gosh you were one lucky girl!

Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 8:05:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Talk about the epitome of creativity and talent.
What a rich experience for you to be a part of all of it.
In that one photo, where he's sitting on the wall, he reminds me a lot of Kirk Douglas.
Great post!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 1:33:00 PM PDT 

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