Sara Kirschenbaum
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Academie de la Grande Chaumiere

Posted Tuesday, Jul 23rd, 2019 at 4:21pm

In 1948, my mother skipped her high school graduation and took a troop ship to France. Her mother walked the stage for her as my mom sailed across the ocean.

In France, she attended the Acadamie Julien and stayed at a pension. Turns out a handsome gentleman, Robert Rauschenberg, was at both these institutions. Soon they started cutting class togehter to go to museums. And went to draw, with blessedly no instruction, nude models, at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere

It has been a great joy for me to return to the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, to draw, when I am in Paris. I had that opportunity this month. And was able to share the experience with my wife, who has recently taken up drawing and watercolors. My wife, who is a bit more of a neatnik than I, says that it appeared that nothing had changed at studio for it's 100+ history, including the dust.

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The room ingeniously can be set up and broken down in minutes with a few cleverly placed supports.

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The light, in front of the huge windows, is gorgeous! Here is my lovely wife demonstrating:

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The windows not only cast beautiful light but they also make impressionist work of the plants outside.

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Everything glows.

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This room is also used for painting classes and I loved the chorus of paintings in various stages of completion, that glance at us from the perimeter of the room.

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So many painters have drawn at this Academie: Gauguin, Modigliani, Morher, André Lhote, Delacroix, Manet, Picasso and Cézanne...and my mom and Bob Rauschenberg. The beauty lurks everywhere.

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It was a treat to draw in this hallowed place.

157 comments

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