Lucky young Americans in Paris during the 1920s, including Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Gershwin, measured themselves against monumental figures of the time: Joyce, Picasso, Stravinsky. Powerful personal connections link the works that grew from near-daily contact with other geniuses.
What has been obscured by the halo of their success is that many were audaciously trying media with which they had little experience. Writers and composers painted up a storm, artists turned into poets, and the theater gathered dream teams of talent. Hemingway was a connoisseur of contemporary art, Gershwin and cummings exhibited paintings, Leger made films, Pound wrote an opera, and Picasso was spending more time backstage at the Ballets Russes than in the studio. This is a celebration of the courage to go beyond one’s specialty to experiment.
The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue, the walls lined with leather-bound treasures from a book hand printed in 1480 to a limited edition Ulysses signed by Henri Matisse, the illustrator, and by James Joyce.
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