The first of several posts about my trip to Paris must be about the exhibition pictured above. Opening on May 6, at Galerie des Bibliothèques, Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris, 22 rue Mahler, 75004 Paris and running through August 1 when it will move to the Rimbaud Museum in Charleville, this event was the impetus for our travel. Thrilling does not begin to describe the feeling of being there for the opening, and experiencing the show.
Beautiful typography in neon orange and acid green, and an installation on the gallery walls, pictured above, welcomed visitors into the museum.
And, in the very first room, my two pieces of jewelry drew attendees to their glass cabinet. The lighting was too dramatic for my digital camera, so I picture the pieces in the 320-page exhibition catalog/book.
It’s a gorgeous book (in French) and as soon as I have a link for purchasing I’ll share it with you dear readers.
Many of you are familiar with the Poet Rosary necklace that curator Claude Jeancolas originally purchased for the exhibit; this piece has been an integral part of the So Charmed Poets Collection for a long time now. When Mssr. Jeancolas informed me about the piece’s inclusion in RimbaudMania as well as his 18th published book on the subject of the iconic poet, I decided to make him a small gift, hoping he might wear it on his jacket to the opening. This was included in the show instead. Pictured above, the piece was crafted from a vintage pin finding and includes a vintage pen nib inscribed with the words Made in France. A limited number of these will be available at So Charmed soon. Although Claude was being followed around by the press and many admirers the evening of the opening, he made time to speak with myself, David, and Molly, remarking how the Internet had brought us together and how poetic that was!
This fun crossstitch/embroidery hung above my jewelry case. Other cultural items in the room described as Objects Fetiches included furniture, clothing, stamps, plates, even an I Heart Rimbaud coffee mug.
Much of the exhibit was organized by medium, the second room being music and film. Patti Smith figured prominently, along with the Clash, and the poster from the Leonardo DiCaprio film, Total Eclipse. If memory serves me, it was via Patti Smith that I first discovered Rimbaud, when I was in college studying art. He was a hero, icon, and muse to many musicians and artists in the burgeoning punk/new wave scene. A novel, Godlike by punk poet/musician Richard Hell was also included in the exhibit.
There were a lot of photographs included, my favorite being the series by Robert Mapplethorpe illustrating A Season in Hell.
One room contained works of fine art from the Rimbaud Museum, including the piece above by Picasso. There were also lovely ink drawings by Jean Cocteau, Fernand Leger, Alberto Giacometti and Jim Dine among others.
Graphic design was well-represented with dozens and dozens of book covers, including the illustrated calligraphic piece above by Leger, one of my favorites in the exhibit.
The most touching room in the show held encased original manuscripts by the poet; seeing these handwritten documents up close was intimate and breathtaking and made us sorely wish we could read French. Speaking of which, I plan to be in touch with Mssr. Jeancolas regarding an English-language version of the exhibit and book for possible travel to the USA. I’ve thought of The Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institution, and the French Embassy as possible venues. All of these, naturally, here in Washington DC! A great idea, n’est pas?
And, with that sentiment, I’ll leave you with a poem by Arthur Rimbaud and bid you adieu, for now.
A DREAM FOR WINTER
In the winter, we shall travel in a little pink railway carriage
With blue cushions.
We shall be comfortable. A nest of mad kisses lies in wait
In each soft corner.
You will close your eyes, so as not to see, through the glass,
The evening shadows pulling faces.
Those snarling monsters, a population
Of black devils and black wolves.
Then you’ll feel your cheek scratched…
A little kiss, like a crazy spider,
Will run round your neck…
And you’ll say to me : “Find it !” bending your head
– And we’ll take a long time to find that creature
– Which travels a lot…