Where the Muses Hold Sway


Here’s another brief plunge into the British Pathé archives, this time taking us to between-the-wars Montparnasse (“…Where the Muses Hold Sway”). Shot in 1929, this silent newsreel footage shows, among other things, the Japanese artist Foujita (captured by Berenice Abbott here), as well as an artist’s model. This, the terse, vital poetry of the Pathé description contends, may in fact be the most memorable Montparnassian muse of them all:

“The smart art world’s latest vogue – ” is demonstrated. A woman (most probably the famous Kiki de Montparnasse) poses whilst a man sculpts her head in telephone wire (!) C/U of the 3-D wire portrait. He holds it up against her face. The sculptor then displays a full size model of a woman. It waves around.

You can compare with her appearance here; meanwhile the newsreel which I can’t seem to embed, is here.

Update: for some reason I can’t even embed the link, so here it is: http://www.britishpathe.com/video/montparnasse-where-the-muses-hold-sway/


  1. I can’t even tell you how delightful I find this!

  2. The link doesn’t work! ACK!!!

  3. Pingback: Man Ray | portraits « Strange Flowers

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