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Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In search of a replacement for his lost Hermès agenda, Brigitte Benkemoun’s husband buys a vintage diary on eBay. When it arrives, she opens it and finds inside private notes dating back to 1951—twenty pages of phone numbers and addresses for Balthus, Brassaï, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Paul Éluard, Leonor Fini, Jacqueline Lamba, and other artistic luminaries of the ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2020 by Getty Publications
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Diane S ☔
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nfr-2020
3.5 When her husband bids on s vintage diary on eBay, the author is surprised when it arrives. It turns out to be an address book and after some bookish detective work she traces the book back to Dora Maar.

A very unique approach to an autobiography as she uses the book as an investigative tool to explore Dora's life. Researching the people in her book and their relationship with Dora, the author pieces together Dora's struggles as well as her accomplishments. Therefore, the reader gets a
...more
Rachel Pollock
Jan 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I was incredibly taken with the premise of this book--the author bought an old address book online and when it arrived, it turned out to be the former possession of artist/photographer Dora Maar. She then uses the nature of an address book as the structural framework for what amounts to a biographical/historical peek into the life of Dora Maar and her various friends, colleagues, acquaintances, lovers, etc.

I enjoyed reading about Maar, although I recently read/reviewed another book about her, an
...more
Béatrice
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Remarquable exercice de style, qui ressemble presque à une enquête policière !
Veronique
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Passionnant !! A lire absolument !
Pauline
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
L’autrice retrouve dans un agenda un répertoire. Cocteau, Breton, Brassaï... elle mène l’enquête et va reconstituer l’histoire de Dora Maar à travers ses proches. Passionnant ! Je ne l’ai pas lâché !
J Earl
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life by Brigitte Benkemoun is a fascinating look at both Dora Maar's life as well as at the European art world of the mid-20th century.

This is not, strictly speaking, a biography. While there is a lot more information here about her life than was in the exhibition catalogue I recently read (which contained several essays devoted to her work with some life story included) there is a lot less than in a biography of her I also recently read. So this
...more
Melanie Garrett
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this and SO wished it had happened to me. A chance purchase on eBay leading to one of the most compelling literary mysteries for years. Early on in this investigation, someone points out, show me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are. It's food for thought - even if, like me, your friends aren't a Who's Who listing of the great and the good from the world of art and literature in 20th Century Paris!

I loved that the author didn't approach the names in the
...more
Debra Schoenberger
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very interesting look into the search for one of Picasso's former mistresses Dora Maar. Dora was an artist and photographer who had achieved some acclaim in her own right. A tour de force, Dora's volatile personality didn't sit well with everyone, however she maintained her presence in the artistic community for several decades.

Although Dora is the main character in this biography, the book contains countless details of other well known artists during her lifetime, painters, writers,
...more
Matatoune
Dec 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Vous aimez les enquêtes et les biographies originales… Alors » Je suis le carnet de Dora Maar » écrit par Brigitte Benkemoun est une lecture qui va vous enchanter !
Le mari de Brigitte Benkemoun perd son carnet. Uniquement disponible en occasion, elle en rachète un autre et découvre, en recevant l’envoi, un répertoire datant de 1951. Apparaissent les adresses d’Eluard, Cocteau, Douglas Cooperland et tant d’autres … Petit à petit, il devient évident que l’égérie des surréalistes en était la
...more
Nanou
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
L’auteur a trouvé dans un agenda acheté sur eBay un répertoire téléphonique où elle découvre avec surprise des noms célèbres : Cocteau, Chagall, Giacometti, Lacan, Aragon, Breton, Brassaï, Braque, Balthus, Éluard, Leonor Fini et d’autres encore. Un calendrier à la fin du carnet lui permet de dater ce répertoire de l’année 1951. Elle commence alors son enquête pour tenter d’identifier à qui il appartenait. En quelques mois, elle arrive à la conclusion qu’il s’agit de Dora Maar, qui fut l’une des ...more
Margaux Tatin Blanc
Genial!
Cela n'explique pas Dora Maar... ou pourquoi elle s'est mise dans une telle relation avec Picasso... ou pourquoi de l'extreme gauche et artiste/bohemienne des annees 30 et 40 elle devient une super religieuse anti semite faciste... Mais cela lui redonne vie... charme et passion!
LOVED IT!
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