Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Generous VisionThe Creative Life of Elaine de Kooning$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Cathy Curtis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190498474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190498474.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 August 2021

Life with Bill

Life with Bill

(p.21) 2 Life with Bill
A Generous Vision

Cathy Curtis

Oxford University Press

Elaine married Willem de Kooning on December 9, 1943, and they began living in an industrial loft that he had refurbished. He taught her to paint still lifes, and she also began drawing New York streetscapes and painting portraits. The de Koonings’ circle included photographer Rudy Burckhardt, poet and critic Edwin Denby, and painters Arshile Gorky and Joop Sanders. Scraping by with odd jobs—Elaine modeled, Bill worked on commercial art projects—the couple ate meals at cafeterias where artists congregated. Hunger was pervasive in those days, when no one’s work was selling. While Bill spent nights painting, Elaine preferred going out on the town. She had no interest in cooking or other “wifely” tasks, and was sometimes unfaithful. But they put a good face on their disagreements and both became active members of the Club, the artists’ gathering place, where Elaine’s vitality and intelligence took center stage.

Keywords:   marriage, New York, Willem de Kooning, Rudy Burckhardt, Edwin Denby, Arshile Gorky, cafeteria, the Club, still life, portrait

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .