What a lovely day.
Irish-American lawyer and art collector, John Quinn, 51, has some business at the American Art Galleries, where the Kelekian Collection is about to go on sale. He has invited along Irish painter John Butler “JB” Yeats, 82, father of Quinn’s friend, Irish poet William Butler Yeats, 56.
Since Yeats’ Dad has been living in New York for the past few years, Quinn has basically been taking care of him.
Quinn has arranged for a Packard touring car and driver and had his assistant [and mistress], Mrs. Jeanne Foster, 42, go on ahead to pick up JB. She has wrapped him up nice and warm against the bright chilly day, and they have met John at the gallery.
Packard touring car
The three are having a great time looking at the paintings. Quinn is interested to see how the sale goes overall, because it will be an indication of the worth of his own similar—but much superior, in his view—collection.
Mr. Yeats and Mrs. Foster are both just enjoying being surrounded by such works of art. Corots! Courbets! Cezannes!
Quinn admires the self-portrait by Toulouse Lautrec. JB says that, the way that man looks, he should be guillotined. They make fun of a pastel by Degas. JB calls it “the washer woman exposed.” Quinn asks their opinion of the Seurat, La Poudreuse. They both agree that it is lovely.
Quinn can tell that the old man is starting to tire, and his cough is getting more distressing. But he is definitely enjoying Jeanne’s company.
Quinn bundles them both into the Packard to have a restful lunch, do some shopping, then end up back at JB’s rooms. Quinn goes back into the galleries to determine how much to bid for La Poudreuse at the upcoming auction.
La Poudreuse by Seurat
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 3, 2022, we will be celebrating the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here.
At the end of February I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.
If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”: Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.