French Chic & Slim
|| 5 February 2017 (updated 16 feb - Scroll down page to access added info)
A chic and interesting 20th century woman died in November 2016 at age 100. I have been meaning to call her and her life to your attention. Other topics intervened. But today Rosamond Bernier.
Her obituary in the New York Times called her Art Insider Who Turned Lectures Into Theater. But before the art lectures at major art museums Rosamond Bernier had been a “Vogue correspondent in postwar Paris and worked for art magazines before starting her own, the celebrated L’Oeil (The Eye). For a dozen years as the editor and principal contributor, she drew on her friendships with Picasso, Matisse, Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger for material to fill its glossy pages.”
New Yorker article on her last lecture. The topic of her last museum lecture was about her “life in the French couture.”
Bernier lived in Paris for more than two decades. She left Vogue in 1950, and married a French journalist named Georges Bernier. Together they started L’Œil, a monthly, whose motto was “Tous les arts, tous les pays, tous les temps.” When the Berniers divorced, in 1970, Rosamond returned to New York. After an uncharacteristic period of misery, she reinvented herself as a lecturer.
Her website offers much information about Rosamond Bernier.
|| 16 February 2017
One of our Chic & Slim readers in New York generously shared her experience attending one of Rosamond Bernier's Metropolitan Museum of Art lectures. She wrote:
I had missed hearing about Rosamond Bernier's death. I was lucky enough to have attended one of her lectures at the Met. I think it must have been from the series: "The Modern Masters, conversational accounts of Rosamond Bernier's friendships with Picasso, Matisse and Miró." This would have been in the early 1990s, so I'm guessing that she was repeating her early talks.
It was impossible to get tickets to those lectures, and I believe that they were also quite expensive, much more than any of the other lecture series. And they were in the evening. One of the clients of the gallery I worked in had an extra ticket because a friend had cancelled, and she kindly invited me to go along with her after work. Bernier was mesmerizing, and wore an outfit as beautiful as the one in the video of her last lecture.
However, as chic as she was in so many ways, she was very full of herself in a way that put me off. I remember that the gallery owner, who had mixed in those circles somewhat herself, and I used to joke around, saying to each other, "When I was having breakfast with Matisse this morning..." Still, I am glad that I had the experience. Rosamond Bernier was very like she was in the NYT video.
image: (left) book cover title of Rosamond Bernier's 2011 memoir (center) Rosamond Bernier on book cover (right) lecturing at museum.
be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone