From Library Journal Rieder, a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, provides an intriguing and lively glimpse into the social world of two wealthy, ex-patriate Americans, Matilda Gay and her artist husband, Walter, who lived in France before, during, and after World War I. The narrative is based on Matilda's extensive, recently available diaries in which she recorded a lifetime of observation that revealed her connoisseurship and social interactions. Here she recounted everyday life, from hiring and firing servants to social extravaganzas, lifelong friendship with Edith Wharton, intimate conversations with Henry James, the acquisition and activities at her beloved Chateau Breau, and France during World War I. Fully illustrated with Walter's signature paintings of well-furnished interiors that were popular with the aristocracy and wealthy of his day, the book will transport the reader back in time to a lavish, privileged, well-mannered, and leisured way of life that was shared by a rarefied few. Rieder has succeeded in rescuing a unique social and artistic history that is well researched and a joy to read. Recommended for most public, social history, art school, and museum collections. Ellen Bates, New York Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. Read more
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