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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Beauford's Paris: Rue des Carmes

In looking for references to Thanksgiving in Amazing Grace: A Life of Beauford Delaney, I found a passage that talks about Beauford spending a great deal of time at the apartment of his friend Mary Painter in the 5th arrondissement.  Biographer David Leeming states that on most weekends between January and November 1956, Beauford and whomever else was staying at Beauford's Clamart residence would go to visit Painter at her "new and very grand apartment" on rue des Carmes (exact address not mentioned).  These people included James Baldwin and his lover Arnold, Bernard Hassell, and Richard Olney.   They enjoyed extravagant meals prepared by Painter and Olney, listened to jazz and blues, and drank lots of whisky.  They called these parties the "Saturday Night Functions" after the song of the same name.

The Pantheon viewed from rue des Carmes
© Discover Paris!

The final gathering at the Painter apartment took place on Thanksgiving Day 1956, after which Painter left Paris to return to the U.S.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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