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Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life

Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life

Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life

Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life


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“[A] spirited and deeply researched project…. [Benkemoun’s] affection for her subject is infectious. This book gives a satisfying treatment to a woman who has been confined for decades to a Cubist’s limited interpretation.” — Joumana Khatib, The New York Times

Merging biography, memoir, and cultural history, this compelling book, a bestseller in France, traces the life of Dora Maar through a serendipitous encounter with the artist’s address book.

In search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the European avant-garde.

After realizing that the address book belonged to Dora Maar—Picasso’s famous “Weeping Woman” and a brilliant artist in her own right—Benkemoun embarks on a two-year voyage of discovery to learn more about this provocative, passionate, and enigmatic woman, and the role that each of these figures played in her life.

Longlisted for the prestigious literary award Prix Renaudot, Finding Dora Maar is a fascinating and breathtaking portrait of the artist.

This work received support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States through their publishing assistance program.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606066591
Publisher: Getty Publications
Publication date: 05/19/2020
Edition description: 1
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 663,498
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Brigitte Benkemoun is a journalist and writer. She is the author of La petite fille sur la photo (2012) and Albert le Magnifique (2016).

Jody Gladding is a poet and translator. She has translated some thirty books from French, including, most recently, Roland Barthes’s Album: Unpublished Correspondence and Texts (2018), Michel Pastoureau’s Yellow: The History of a Color (2019), and Jean Giono’s Occupation Journal (2020).

Table of Contents

Foreword - Found Object 9

Michèle S. 11

Achille de Ménerbes 15

Theodora Markovitch 19

Marcel Fleiss 23

Breton 27

Lamba 31

Huguette Lamba 41

Chavance 51

Brassai 56

Éluard 60

Dubois 69

Cocteau 76

Plombier 82

Leyris 84

Trillat 94

Madeleine 100

Lacan 103

Michel 112

Vic. Noailles 116

Boudinot 125

Marchand 127

Douglas Cooper 134

Picasso 141

Anchorena 144

Étienne Périer 147

Effront 153

Penrose 156

Sarraute 160

Du Bouchet 163

Staël 167

Shedan 170

Vétérinaire Pichon 175

Andre Marchand 177

Balthus 181

Leyris 183

Due de Luynes 185

Architecte Ménerbes 190

Marbrier Pouillaud 193

Picasso 198

Dora Maar 201

Notes 206

Acknowledgments 214

Translator's Note 216

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