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Paris Portraits: Stories of Picasso, Matisse, Gertrude Stein, and Their Circle

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The girlhood memoir of Harriet Lane Levy, friend and neighbor of Alice B. Toklas, provides an intimate and detailed glimpse into San Francisco's Victorian past.
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Overview

The girlhood memoir of Harriet Lane Levy, friend and neighbor of Alice B. Toklas, provides an intimate and detailed glimpse into San Francisco's Victorian past.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Levy (1867–1950) was a noted journalist and drama critic in San Francisco early in the last century. In 1907, her friend and neighbor Alice B. Toklas convinced Levy that they should move to Paris. It was there that she once again crossed paths with her former acquaintances Gertrude and Leo Stein. Levy and Toklas's survival of the great San Francisco earthquake of 1906 made them instant celebrities in the Steins' inner circle of artistic friends, namely Matisse and Picasso. Gertrude championed Picasso, while her sister-in-law Sarah pushed Matisse, creating a substantial rivalry. Gertrude fully believed she was a genius, so must be right, and was less than gracious to anyone who disagreed. Levy and others were caught in the middle. Although Levy says that Gertrude taught her to see art in a new way, all the Steins come off as monstrously egotistical and self-aggrandizing in these pages, and the reader can feel how uncomfortable it was for Levy and other nongeniuses to be around them. VERDICT Previously unpublished, Levy's manuscript has been kept in the Bancroft Library (Univ. of California, Berkeley). She writes in an easy conversational style, making this a quick, pleasant outing. Readers interested in behind-the-scenes intelligence on the Steins or any of the artists portrayed here will enjoy this. A worthy purchase for art and lit collections.—Mike Rogers, Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597141574
  • Publisher: Heyday Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2011
  • Pages: 103
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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