I have been and have almost finished reading The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein and have been enthralled with the illustrations of such personalities of Picasso, Matisse and Juan Gris. However what I have found even more interesting were those artistic personalities associated with Paris between 1907 and the late 1920’s that I had not yet really studied.


I hate writing in my books. I like to think I am building a library, but with this one I found myself underlining names and works for research later. Literally on almost every other page there was another name. Gertrude Stein did us all a favor by doing some serious name dropping.

One of those artists was Man Ray. An American who spent the majority of his career in Paris. He left only because of WWII and came back once it was over. He was loosely tied to Dada and Surrealism, but was best known for his Rayographs. Portrait photographs that he took of so many of the ‘characters’ mentioned in this book.

He photographed Duchamp, Picasso, Ezra Pound, Matisse, Stein herself and many others. I was enchanted by these images. Not only are they interesting subjects, but they have that beautiful quality that old photo processing gave images taken during the 1920’s.

The Man Ray Trust holds all rights to these images including paintings and other works. I have great respect for those copyrights and will not post any images here.  You can view them online and even purchase reproductions at the Man Ray Trust Website. I truly fell under the spell of his photographs. They give each subject a mystic even if the subject is his studio.

I found the 1922 portrait of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas interesting for obvious reasons. I loved having an image of her Paris home to go with her descriptions.

I absolutely LOVE the 1923 portrait he did of his companion Kiki de Montparnasse, titled, portrait woman at a café with a hat. I am seriously considering this one for purchase. It just captures that feeling of a chic Parisian girl in the 20’s.