SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography
By Deirdre Bair
From the publisher: From National Book Award winner Deirdre Bair, the definitive biography of Saul Steinberg, one of The New Yorker’s most iconic artists.
The issue date was March 29, 1976. The New Yorker cost 75 cents. And on the cover unfolded Saul Steinberg’s vision of the world: New York City, the Hudson River, and then…well, it’s really just a bunch of stuff you needn’t concern yourself with. Steinberg’s brilliant depiction of the world according to self-satisfied New Yorkers placed him squarely in the pantheon of the magazine’s—and the era’s—most celebrated artists.
But if you look beyond the searing wit and stunning artistry, you’ll find one of the most fascinating lives of the twentieth century. Born in Romania, Steinberg was educated in Milan and was already famous for his satirical drawings when World War II forced him to immigrate to the United States. On a single day, Steinberg became a US citizen, a commissioned officer in the US Navy, and a member of the OSS, assigned to spy in China, North Africa, and Italy. After the war ended, he returned to America and to his art. He quickly gained entree into influential circles that included Saul Bellow, Vladimir Nabokov, Willem de Kooning, and Le Corbusier. His wife was the artist Hedda Sterne, from whom he separated in 1960 but never divorced and with whom he remained in daily contact for the rest of his life. This conveniently freed him up to amass a coterie of young mistresses and lovers. But his truly great love was the United States, where he traveled extensively by bus, train, and car, drawing, observing, and writing.
His body of work is staggering and influential in ways we may not yet even be able to fully grasp, quite possibly because there has not been a full-scale biography of him until now. Deirdre Bair had access to 177 boxes of documents and more than 400 drawings. In addition, she conducted several hundred personal interviews. Steinberg’s curious talent for creating myths about himself did not make her job an easy one, but the result is a stunning achievement to admire and enjoy.
Read more about SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography By Deirdre Bair
Drawing the Line, and Crossing It: ‘Saul Steinberg: A Biography,’ by Deirdre Bair
By Deborah Solomon, New York Times
Bair writes bio of artist Saul Steinberg
By Ann Levin, Associated Press
Esther Murphy was a brilliant New York intellectual who dazzled friends and strangers with an unstoppable flow of conversation. But she never finished the books she was contracted to write—a painful failure and yet a kind of achievement.
The quintessential fan, Mercedes de Acosta had intimate friendships with the legendary actresses and dancers of the twentieth century. Her ephemeral legacy lies in the thousands of objects she collected to preserve the memory of those performers and to honor the feelings they inspired.
An icon of haute couture and a fashion editor of British Vogue, Madge Garland held bracing views on dress that drew on her feminism, her ideas about modernity, and her love of women. Existing both vividly and invisibly at the center of cultural life, she—like Murphy and de Acosta—is now almost completely forgotten.
In All We Know, Lisa Cohen describes these women’s glamorous choices, complicated failures, and controversial personal lives with lyricism and empathy. At once a series of intimate portraits and a startling investigation into style, celebrity, sexuality, and the genre of biography itself, All We Know explores a hidden history of modernism and pays tribute to three compelling lives.
More about All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen
“Descriptions of Literature”:
Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers
Exhibition on view October 8–December 14, 2012
“Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?”
by Joan Retallack, poet, essayist, critic, and professor at Bard College
Exhibition opening lecture, Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm
Gertrude Stein Society Meeting
Friday October 26, 2012
Registration and Information
“Descriptions of Literature”: Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers
Celebrating the recent publication of several new editions of Gertrude Stein’s work, “Descriptions of Literature” explores Stein’s creative process and writing life as documented in materials drawn from the extraordinarily rich Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers housed in the Yale Collection of American Literature. The exhibition considers Stein’s work in various genres, including poetry, fiction, plays, essays, and writing for children, tracing the evolution of key works; additionally, the exhibition reveals something of the environment in which these works were created, from the domestic life Stein shared with Alice B. Toklas, her muse, publisher, companion, and caretaker to her creative interactions with fellow artists and writers Thornton Wilder, Carl Van Vechten, and others. The exhibition offers a portrait of Stein’s life and creative process represented in manuscript drafts, notebooks, typescripts, correspondence, photographs, books and printed materials, and personal effects.
This exhibition was organized with the assistance of Ariel Doctoroff, Y’2013, and Charlotte Parker, Y’2013.
“Descriptions of Literature” carefully considers three of Stein’s works, all recently reissued by the Yale University Press: To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays (introduced by Timothy Young and illustrated by Giselle Potter; Ida: A Novel (edited by Logan Esdale); and Stanzas in Meditation, The Corrected Edition (edited by Susannah Hollister and Emily Setina).
Poet and critic Joan Retallack will give the exhibition opening lecture, “Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?”, at the Library on Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm.
The Gertrude Stein Society will hold a one-day symposium at the Beinecke Library on Friday October 26th, 2012. The event will include two plenary sessions, one on Stanzas in Meditation and the other on the topic of Stein and war, together with a round-table discussion on teaching Stein in the classroom. Anyone wishing to attend the Symposium must reserve a spot in advance. You can make your reservation by emailing Stein Society President Amy Moorman Robbins at Amy.Robbins@hunter.cuny.edu. Please put Symposium Reservation in the subject line and include in the email your name, affiliation if any, and contact information. Additional information about the Stein Society Symposium can be found online: Gertrude Stein Symposium; for more information about the Stein Society, visit their website: http://www.gertrudesteinsociety.org/index.html.
Images of birds from a compilation of engraved plates:
Eillars, Giovanni. Varii Et Diversi Uccelli Cavati Dal Naturale Et Intaglate [“sic”] in Rame … Dno Francisco, Dni Marii Piccolominei Filio, Joan. Eillars D. D. S.l: s.n, n.d..
which may be variant or copied plates from a more widely-known work:
Olina, Giovanni Pietro. Vccelliera, ouero, Discorso della natura, e proprieta di diversi vccelli : e in particolare di que’ che cantano, con il modo di prendergli, conoscergli, alleuar gli, e mantenergli. E con le figure cauate dal vero, e diligentemente intagliate in rame dal Tempesta, e dal Villamena / opera di Gio. Pietro Olina.
In Roma : Presso M. Angelo de Rossi, 1684.
Pages from Façade, a magazine published approximately twice yearly in Paris between 1976 – 1983.
Taking inspiration from Interview Magazine, Façade covered cultural high life in france, documenting night clubbing, music, fashion, and general fabulousness.
The first example shows an article about Guy Cuevas Carrion a Cuban-born writer who morphed into one of the trendiest DJs during the disco years, holding court at Club Sept in Paris. He also recorded several singles, including the legendary “Obsession”
[Please alert the editors of Room 26 if anyone makes a mix of the songs listed in the interview!]
Beinecke acquisitions offer insights into public and private life of Georgia O’Keeffe
Recent acquisitions by the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library shed light on the life and work of artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The collections document O’Keeffe’s public face and the business of showing and selling her art, and also her private friendships, casual observations, and unguarded moments. Several of the acquisitions include not only letters and manuscripts, but also photographs of O’Keeffe and her friends and family. These photographs depict her residences at Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch as well as many other settings (a beauty parlor, while hiking, shopping, driving, and boating). The artist’s legacy was managed and promoted for two decades by the Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation, whose records document the distribution of O’Keeffe’s assets and the perpetuation of her artistic legacy.
The new additions complement Beinecke’s holdings relating to O’Keeffe and to other American artists. Beinecke continuously adds to its exciting collection, which consists not only of vast and comprehensive collections relating to O’Keeffe and Stieglitz, but also numerous small collections and individual letters, manuscripts, photographs, works of art, and books.
The lives and work of American artists and arts communities are well documented in Beinecke’s Yale Collection of American Literature, especially at points of intersection between literature and the visual arts. Activities around Alfred Stieglitz’s important photography and art galleries, 291 and An American Place, and his influential publication Camera Work, as well as conversations and exchanges among artists and writers in the Southwest are documented in the Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O’Keeffe Archive; the archive includes work, correspondence, and writings by artists Anne Brigman, Marsden Hartley, Paul Strand, Edward Steichen, and others.
The recent O’Keeffe acquisitions include:
Georgia O’Keeffe letters to the Girard family, 1957-1983 (YCAL MSS 209)
Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Alan Priest, 1950-1961 (YCAL MSS 271)
Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation records, 1950-2006 (YCAL MSS 342)
Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Betty Pilkington, 1952-1976 (YCAL MSS 344)
Georgia O’Keeffe letters to Edith Evans Asbury, 1957-1986 (YCAL MSS 363)
Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz letters to Erma Stix (uncataloged)
Related collections at the Beinecke include:
Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe archive, 1728-1986 (YCAL MSS 85)
Flora Stieglitz Straus collection of Stieglitz family papers, 1860-1999 (YCAL MSS 89)
Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe collection, 1893-ongoing (YCAL MSS 104)
O’Keeffe at Abiquiu (YCAL MSS 263)
Angna Enters and Louis Kalonyme papers, 1919-1960 (YCAL MSS 430)
These collections are available for research. Researchers may contact the Beinecke Library Reference Staff for further information. Selections from Beinecke’s collections are included in the recent publication of letters by O’Keeffe and Stieglitz, available from Yale University Press.
Ansel Adams, [Photograph of Georgia O’Keeffe, seated, writing a letter, in Yosemite, California],
1938 Sept 11, Alfred Stieglitz / Georgia O’Keeffe Archive (YCAL MSS 85).
Beinecke Library archivist Matthew Mason has identified the photographer of an important photograph documenting Sigmund Freud’s 1909 visit to Clark University; though the image is well known, until now the photographer has been unidentified. Mason’s essay can be found online here: “Providing Context: Schervee & Bushong Group Portrait Photograph of Sigmund Freud and Participants in the Psychology, Pedagogy and School Hygiene Conference at Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, September 1909,” in Views, July 2012, Volume 26, Number 2.
In September 1909, G. Stanley Hall, the president of Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, invited Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud to deliver lectures on the discipline of psychoanalysis at Clark’s Psychology, Pedagogy and School Hygiene Conference…The event drew widespread media interest in psychoanalysis and attracted public recognition to Freud’s work. For the lecture, Freud earned an honorarium of $750 (approximately $18,000 when adjusted for inflation for 2012), as well as an honorary doctorate from Clark University…At one point in the conference a photographer created a group portrait of forty-two participants. He was from the studio of Herman Schervee and John Chester Bushong, in Worcester, Massachusetts, where Schervee and Bushong operated their photographic studio from 1900 to 1923…The photograph includes a “who’s who” of pioneers in psychiatry and psychology, including Freud, Jung, Ferenczi, William James, Franz Boas, and others. Additionally, the group includes war criminal Edwin Maria Katzenellenbogen, who served as the prison doctor in the Buchenwald concentration camp during World War II. A catalog record describing the print at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is available at http://hdl.handle.net/10079/bibid/10455573.
Conference participants pictured:
First Row (left to right):
Franz Boas (1858-1942)
Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927)
William James (1842-1910)
William Stern (1871-1938)
Leo Burgerstein (1853-1928)
Granville Stanley Hall (1844-1924)
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
Adolf Meyer (1866-1950)
Herbert Spencer Jennings (1868-1947)
Second Row (left to right):
Carl Emil Seashore (1866-1949)
Joseph Jastrow (1863-1944)
James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944)
Edward Franklin Buchner (1868-1929)
Edwin Maria Katzenellenbogen (1882-1950)
Ernest Jones (1879-1958)
Abraham Arden Brill (1874-1948)
William Henry Burnham (1855-1941)
Alexander Francis Chamberlain (1865-1914)
Third Row (left to right):
Albert Schinz (1870-1943)
John Augustus Magni (born 1861)
Bird Thomas Baldwin (1875-1928)
Frederic Lyman Wells (1884-1964)
George Mather Forbes (1853-1934)
Edwin Asbury Kirkpatrick (1862-1937)
Sándor Ferenczi (1873-1933)
Edmund Clark Sanford (1859-1924)
James Pertice Porter (1873-1956)
Sakyō Kanda (1874-1939)
Hikozō Kakise (1874-1944)
Fourth Row (left to right):
George Ellsworth Dawson, 1861-1936.
Samuel Perkins Hayes (1874-1958)
Edwin Bissell Holt (1873-1946)
Charles Scott Berry (1875-1960)
Guy Montrose Whipple (1876-1941)
Frank Drew (born 1860)
Jacob William Albert Young (1865-1948)
Louis N. Wilson (1857-1937)
Karl Johan Karlson (born 1877)
Henry Herbert Goddard (1866-1957)
Henry I. Klopp (1870-1945)
Solomon Carter Fuller (1872-1953)
Pages from scrapbooks in Beinecke Library collections (some of these and other examples from Beinecke collections are featured in Scrapbooks: An American History by Jessica Helfand, Yale UP, 2008)
Glenway Wescott (YCAL MSS 134)
(featured page includes photos of Glenway Wescott and Yvor Winters)
Jane (Brakhage) Wodening (YCAL MSS 229)
(featured page includes photos of Jane and Stan Brakhage and their children, clippings, letters, and manuscripts)
H. D. (YCAL MSS 24)
(featured page includes photograph of H. D. and clippings)
Katherine Dreier / Societe Anonyme (YCAL MSS 101)
(featured page includes clipping from The Toronto Evening Telegram)
Howard K. Hollister (Gen MSS 317)
(featured page includes silhouette of Hollister and Rough Riders event program)
Hattie Pinckard (WA MSS S-1911)
(featured page includes “Seeing China Town (Los Angeles)” guide and balloon ride ticket)
Birthplace of Hart Crane, Garrettsville, Ohio.
Photographed by John S. Baker, March, 1967
Hart Crane collection, 1910-1972; YCAL MSS 37
PSNH: The Ends of the Book: Authors, Readers, Public Spaces A lecture by Matthew Stadler, founder of Publication Studio, on the occasion of Publication Studio New Haven, a one-week project hosted by Beinecke Library and ArtSpace New Haven. Followed by an interview with project coordinator, Timothy Young and an audience Q&A.