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Alive StillNell Blaine, American Painter$
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Cathy Curtis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190908812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190908812.001.0001

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Paris, Poets, and Poverty

Paris, Poets, and Poverty

(p.41) 4 Paris, Poets, and Poverty
Alive Still

Cathy Curtis

Oxford University Press

Freelance income and frugality allowed Nell to embark on her first trip abroad in 1950. In Paris, she felt as though she had stepped into an Impressionist landscape. Bowled over by Chartres Cathedral and the museums, she also visited two of her art idols, Jean Hélion and Fernand Léger. She became involved with a German woman with whom she traveled to Florence and Rome. Back in New York, while living with Midi Garth, she enjoyed hanging out with several of the poets later known as the New York School: Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. Bebop records played at her boisterous parties, which often included marathon games of poker. In her painting, she had embarked on a period of experimentation with figurative imagery. Midi and Brook evokes a pastoral scene in Vermont, where the women vacationed. Meanwhile, her freelance work included serving as designer of the Village Voice.

Keywords:   Paris, Florence, Rome, Frank O’Hara, bebop, figurative, Jean Hélion, Fernand Léger, Village Voice, Midi Garth

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