History of Modern France

The Third French Republic 1870-1940. Part 8

1 December 2021

Zoom lecture

The American Women of Belle Epoque Paris: Artists and Patrons

with Anne Catherine Abecassis


Romaine Brooks, Self Portrait, 1923 Smithsonian American Art Museum

They were rich, artistic and philanthropic. They painted, danced, wrote, played music, held salons and loved. They brought a great whiff of freedom to the, often, staid conventions of Belle Epoque Paris at the same time as they escaped the social constraints of their own country. Their impact on the artistic and cultural life of the capital of modern art was considerable thanks to their energy, their talent... and their financial resources!

 

The pioneers of modern dance, Loïe Fuller (Mary Louise Fuller) and Isadora Duncan, the painters Romaine Brooks and Anna Klumpke, the musical salon of Winnaretta Singer, princesse de Polignac, and the famous art collection at the studio of Gertrude Stein, all contributed greatly to the birth of Modernism in Paris in the years before the First World War. They are six of the most iconic Paris Americans of the period whom we will be covering in our presentation.

Isadora Duncan by Paul Berger 1900