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Old 01-17-2011, 03:15 AM
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Default Early 20th Century Artist Triad?

Last weekend, I went to the Hide/Seek exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. This is the exhibit focusing on portraits of the LGBT community that stirred up some controversy when it opened.

One of the pieces in the exhibit is a haunting black and white photograph of a two men and a woman on stairs overlooking a beach. The placard explained that they were three artists (from the early 20th century, I can't be any more specific unfortunately) who worked so closely together that they were often referred to collectively by the first syllables of their name strung together (which I unfortunately don't remember either). The two men had been a couple, but eventually incorporated the woman into their relationship, which also remained open.

I took a picture with my cell phone, but since it was crowded (and I wasn't supposed to be taking pictures in the first place), I neglected to take a photo of the placard as well. I don't think it was mentioned in the program (my copy is currently MIA).

Does this ring a bell with anybody? I would love to find out their names.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:18 AM
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I just searched for the image on their website. Really cool show! I would love to go to a show like this! I didn't find anything though... too bad, it sounds familiar but I can't place it... that is what my art degree is worth although I was a art education major, not art history, so I am hoping to be forgiven.
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Old 01-17-2011, 05:27 PM
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Found this on the NPG's website:
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ?

The research staff of the Catalog of American Portraits will help you find the answers to portrait-related inquiries.

E-mail:
NPGResearch@si.edu
Why not shoot an email over to them with your inquiry - maybe send them the image you took -- and come back here to let us know the response. I am very curious!
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:25 PM
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I think you are talking about surrealist painters Max Ernst, Paul Éluard and his wife Gala, later Gala Dalí.

But not sure, because I couldn't find the picture you described.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:12 AM
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I did an image search for that and didn't see anything that made me think would be it.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:21 AM
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found this really cool article on the lives of Max Ernst, Gala and Paul Eluard during their three years together while searching for that photograph.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/03/ar...=all&position=
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:07 AM
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I don't think Ernst, Eluard, and Dali were it... I probably would have remembered learning Max Ernst was poly (I was surprised to find out during that exhibit that Jasper Johns is gay, so what the hell do I know ). Although that is a really interesting story, thank you for sharing!

I emailed the SI last night, they have yet to respond. I'll share their response when (if?) they do.
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:17 AM
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This is the photograph in question:

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Old 01-18-2011, 05:27 AM
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oh wow, gorgeous.. I see what you mean about the mood.. I love the composition and energy it evokes... too bad you can't copy paste an image into a search engine... I bet we will be able to soon enough though
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:20 AM
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The Smithsonian responded, hurray!

Quote:
Margaret French, George Tooker and Jared French, Nantucket
PaJaMa
c. 1946
Gelatin silver print
D. C. Moore Gallery, New York

The photographic partnership PaJaMa-consisting of Paul Cadmus (1904-1999), Jared French (1905-1988), and Margaret French (1889-1973)-was founded on their intertwined personal relationships. The trio, whose label was taken from their first names, regularly summered together and made themselves the objects of photographic projects, notably in a stylized series of pictures taken on the beaches of Fire Island and Nantucket. Jared French and Cadmus had been lovers, and when French married Margaret Hoenig in 1937, the partners incorporated her into their preexisting relationship. The PaJaMa ménage was free-floating, adding people-as friends, lovers, and artistic collaborators-such as George Tooker and Lincoln Kirstein. These relationships created a protective space where the fluid boundaries of personal relationships enabled artistic creativity and experimentation.
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