Today's blog comes from Candace Weir, Central Library staff:
“Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserve: it is life’s undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room.”
-Harriet Beecher Stowe
For nearly 30 years, the photographer David Douglas Duncan and his wife lived near Pablo and Jacqueline Picasso in southern France. In those years, the photographer documented the relationship between Picasso and his last muse in their home.
In Goodbye Picasso, Duncan wrote, “Picasso and Jacqueline lived a frugal, almost monastic existence together. …The villa was bare of modern comforts… and yet it was a noble place, bursting with creations of the artist’s hands and mind.”( p221).
The CPL Arts collection is home to six of Duncan’s books on Picasso. Two of these books, photographed mostly in black and white, read to me like a novel. They are about a home and the design of a life. They are also about the way a creative life shapes the environment around it. The titles are: Picasso & Lump and The Silent Studio.
Lump was a dachshund, a dog muse, whose portrait appears in drawings, paintings and even on plates. You can sneak a peek at some of the delightful photos from the book in this post on the Habitually Chic blog.
The Silent Studio speaks of objects and the echoes of a life. Poignant pictures of empty spaces wait for the sound of sandals slapping along tiled corridors, chairs that wait for the weight of the sitter and a silent studio.