Just back from listening to long lost analog recording of an interview with Romaine Brooks, age 94. What a fabulous experience. It’s in French but getting it transcribed in English through the generosity of another researcher, translator Suzanne Stroh–link to http://suzannestroh.com/home/lost-recording-romaine-brooks. What an incredible thrill to finally hear the voice of a woman who was celebrated for her speaking voice. She spoke French with what people said was a charming American accent and it is perfectly clear that despite living in Europe, mainly France and Italy for most of her adult life–she always thought in English and titled her drawings in English in her notebooks. In the interview when asked if she had drawings other than those that appeared in the 1968 Bizarre issue with essays by Paul Morand, Edouard MacAvoy Michel Desbrueres devoted entirely to her by MacAvoy–she said I’ve drawn throughout my life. So folks where are the other drawings??? We only have two period of her entire drawn output. Where are the rest??? We really don’t know–Did she destroy them? What would they have looked like? Was her style consistent? LIke Frida Kahlo–Brooks is on the threshold of a total reassessment. Who knows what works may still be out there. Treasure hunters unite. We need to ferret out her other works. Here you see Lily de Gramont and Natalie Barney on their honey moon at Niagara Falls prior to returning to France where the two united with Romaine Brooks to form a stable three way family of choice that lasted until Lily’s death in 1954. Who knew but my book tells all.
FYI I will be on a panel at the International Biography conference presenting new information on Romaine Brooks that will turn Romaine Brooks studies on their head.