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Kiki's Paris: Artists and Lovers 1900-1930 Paperback – 1 Jan 1998

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.; New edition edition (1 Jan. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810925915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810925915
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 2.2 x 29.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,020,325 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


In the space of one week Harry N. Abrams publish two books concerning legendary women who led remarkable lives on their own terms. "The Red Rose Girls" by Alice A. Carter, reveals the fortunes and mutual attactions of three hugely successful American artist/illustrators of the early 20th century: Jessie Willcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green and Violet Oakley. Graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, they progressed to an idyllic existence together on a quasi-English country estate just outside Philadelphia. Financed by commissions from major publishers and architects, and buoyed up by public and critical acclaim that took no offence at their bohemian lifestyle, everything seemed perfect - until various problems arose and one of them opted out for conventional marriage to a man. Set in an era that wavered between obscured female sexuality and emerging women's rights, this fascinating and touching account of the Red Rose group includes numerous contemporary photographs and colour reproductions of their artwork. (Run on to 0810925915 "Kiki's Paris") - Charlotte Gerlings The arts scene of "Kiki's Paris, Artists and Lovers 1900-1930" jumps out in striking contrast to the constricted world of the Red Rose girls. The ferment of the modern movement in Montparnasse points up the city's internationality and the incessant pushing of artistic boundaries during that period. Visitors to the exhibition "Paris: Capital of the Arts, 1900-1968" at London's Royal Academy have recently been treated to works by all the leading artists mentioned in this attentively revised edition of Billy Kluver and Julie Martin's history - including Pablo Gargallo's exquisite sculpture of the "Queen of Montparnasse" herself. Scarcely anyone in art, music or literature was not either a friend or lover of the captivating Kiki; here she weaves in and out of the social and cultural parade - "very wonderful to look at", as Hemingway remarked, adding later, "being a Queen of course is very different from being a lady." (Run on after 0810990687 "Red Rose Girls") - Charlotte Gerlings

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book journeys in photographs and text through the Parisian art world between 1900 and 1930, a time when the French capital - and the district of Montparnasse on the Left Bank, in particular - was the mecca for painters and writers. The authors have spent years gathering not only well-known images (such the photographs of Man Ray) but thousands of photographs from what seem to be private albums. The book is divided into short sections, roughly chronological, each one focusing on an individual or a group: painters, models, writers, collectors and so on.

The thoroughness of the biographical and geographical detail, the wealth of anecdote and the richness of the images is exceptional, and makes for many pleasurable hours of browsing. Famous names and their relationships come to life as never before, and every nook and cranny of the famous Montparnasse district (sadly much changed in recent decades) is mapped out.

The book gives pleasure, but its sheer thoroughness makes it a genuinely important work of scholarship. Would that other important times and places were explored in such revealing detail.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8b90d18c) out of 5 stars 11 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ba4e3d8) out of 5 stars A PAEAN TO HALCYON DAYS 30 July 2004
By KOMET - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"KIKI'S PARIS: Artist and Lovers 1900-1930" faithfully evokes the era when Paris served as the nexus for the flowering of artistic movements as diverse as cubism, fauvism, futurism, and dadaism. Each photograph tells a rich story of the personalities and the city that shaped and inspired them.

This is a book that you'll want to read and re-read again and again. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8b8bcd2c) out of 5 stars A good social history 20 April 2004
By S. A Troutt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book gives both an excellent pictorial and verbal description of the evolution of the artistic life in bohemian Paris in the early twentieth century. Well researched and written, it brings the ongoing revolution in art (what defines art?) as well as society (the role of classes, women, etc) into both clear focus and understanding. The pictures are both numerous and superb and gives the book a real 'you are there' sense as well. The wealth of detail is sometimes almost overwhelming in fact. An very readable and enjoyable book!!
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bd5d1f8) out of 5 stars Queen of the Left Bank Artists Quarter 6 July 1998
By koko1920 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The quarter mile of the Left bank in the early 1920s is what Marcel Duchamp called, "The first really international colony of artist we ever had". This book contains thousands of photographs of the Montparnasse in the 1920s. It's an excellent resource if you are researching Man Ray, Calder, Duchamp, Matisse, Hemingway, Picasso or Stravinsky. Alice Prin or Kiki, was the queen of the artists' quarter. She had a beautiful body and a fine voice. She was the Man Ray's lover and modeled for many Left Bank artists. The book adds the human side of the times, and the art that was made in them. I would recommend this book to any working artist or collector.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ba469e4) out of 5 stars Photo Album of Paris's Legendary Turn-of-the Century "Camelot of Art" 24 Oct. 2007
By James R. Holland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
New information is always one of the factors I like to glean from a non-fiction book. Sometimes the new material is major, sometimes minor. I immediately liked this book because I found a tiny bit of information that I've been curious about for years. A famous unsung, middle-class patron of many of the world's great artists who resided in Montparnasse ran a "Cremerie" directly across the street from Academie Colarossi Art School. The tiny café was described in numerous biographies but the shop owner was always described simply as "Madame Charlotte." I'd done a little research trying to discover more about this fascinating businesswoman whose building was stuffed with artworks and who loaned money to Gauguin so he could travel to the South Seas, but was unable to find her last name. It seemed to have been lost to history. On page 22 of this book the mystery was solved. She was identified as "Madame Charlotte Caron." That discovery immediately led me to buy this book that is chuck full of interesting biographies as well as more than 700 photographs of the artists described and their work as well as information about the people around this legendary Roaring Twenties artist's community. This encyclopedia of information is tied together by featuring Kiki (Alice Prin) at various points. It could have been tied together by using anyone of several artists who were such an integral part of the "Camelot of Paris Art." Picasso or Man Ray would have done equally as well, but neither of them was French or as sexy to look at in the nude.
This book is well worth reading. In many ways, it's like looking at a personal photo album with really good captions explaining the pictures and the people in them. Unlike most personal photo albums this one includes pictures of the "underside" of Paris along with pictures of its residents dressed and undressed. The residents apparently loved to party as demonstrated by the huge number of masked balls and other wild parties shown in picture after picture. This book is extra interesting because of the informal portraits of so many famous artists at work and definitely at play. With snapshots of the smoky world of the cafes, the brothels, the art schools, and the hedonistic picnics, the book makes that by-gone era live again. Kiki, with her cabaret dancing, nude modeling, infamous lovemaking and bubbling personality was the very personification of the hedonistic age that produced creativity the likes of which the world has seldom witnessed. She makes a perfect sexy trunk and limbs upon which to hang this elm tree-sized collection of colorful historic portraits.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ba75864) out of 5 stars It truly was Kiki's Paris 15 Jan. 2006
By Michael B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gives a wonderful photo journal insight into the free-spirited years of early 20th century Paris. The photos and descriptions are magnificent. This book will take you there in an instant.
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