I’m off to Portland, Oregon on Saturday for Bizarrocon and donuts. I’ll be gone for about three weeks but when I return I’ll be full of writerly information and other helpful things.
I’ve read in a couple of different places that Portland is “becoming like Paris in the 1920s,” all the writers and artists are flocking there. I don’t expect it to look the same as 1920s Paris, even Paris doesn’t look the same as 1920s Paris, but I hope to be inspired by a similar artistic atmosphere.
The Années folles (crazy years) was a time between wars where everyone who wanted to make art, dance to jazz or just get a drink (America was under Prohibition) converged on the city. Gertrude Stein held court at her artistic salon (described in her book The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas), Andre Breton was leading the Surrealist movement, and Anais Nin was a brief fixture of the Montparnasse cafe scene.
If you wanted to get a glimpse of dancing girls (*whisper* in the nude) you could pop off to The Folies Bergère. One of the headliners at the time was Josephine Baker, a woman of colour treated like a second class citizen in her native America and a star in Paris.
Tracking shot in the 1927 Clara Bow movie Wings:
Below is a promotional film for Josephine Baker’s ‘new’ show. Contains 1920s boobies:
Paris was known for the latest fashions:
And finally, a silent travelogue through all the city had to offer. Toodle pip, and I’ll see you on the other side of my own adventures!
14 thoughts on “Jazz And Surrealism: Paris In The 1920s”
Very cool. Enjoy Portland. I’m very interested in visiting a new art scene.
Thank you! I’ll post all about it
Great! Again enjoy.
Have fun in America 😀
Wish I was able to make it again this year, but alas. Have a fucking blast and safe travels.
I will, shame we can’t meet in person but perhaps we will some day!
Loved seeing the Josephine Baker clip. That was an incredible era.
Absolutely! Yes it’s cool seeing her in movement at the height of her career
Very nice! I’ve always shaken my head about all the great artists, writers, and musicians that America relegates to shit status. Then they go to Paris and London and find themselves celebrated. Not enough room to list them all, but Josephine Baker, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix are just a few. One of my favorite bands, The Fun Lovin’ Criminals, originally from NYC have to stay in Europe to survive. Definitely shows where American priorities are!
Very true! I guess America and Europe have different tastes
Love love love this my Parisian Proustian Swann!
Yay!!! Thank you!
20’s Paris and the Surrealists, guaranteed winner with me.