Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Gerald and Sara Murphy

The Williams College Art Museum has an exhibit on Gerald and Sara Murphy (artists, bon vivants, and the models for Fitzgerald's Dick and Nicole Diver). The couple were friends with Cole Porter, Fernand Leger, Pablo Picasso, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and other people involved in art and literature who lived in France in the 1920's.

The New Yorker has an article and slideshow dedicated to the Murphys, who are a fascinating couple. Two of their children died very young, Gerald apparently stifled his homosexual tendencies, and Sara wore her pearls to the beach since they "wanted sunning." The pair also have impeccable style — unsurprising given their literary incarnations in "Tender is the Night."

My interest in the Murphys comes from a class I took at Amherst College in spring 2006. "Americans in Paris," taught by Allen Guttmann, is a class that I have fond memories of.

The exhibit at Williams College runs through November 11.

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