Reviews of Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir


Kirkus Review!

Publishers Weekly

From the publisher:

Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir is an informal story of an unusually full life, remarkable for its vividness and diversity of experience.

Rosamond Bernier's memoirs span several continents, beginning in the United States, in Philadelphia, continuing to Mexico and then on to France, where she lived for several decades in Paris running the art review she co-founded, L'OEIL, and finally returning to the United States where she became renowned as a lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and all over the country.

Through Rosamond Bernier's stories of her encounters with some of the twentieth century's great artists and musicians — including Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, Max Ernst, Louise Bourgeois, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Simon Rattle, and colorful individuals such as Malcolm Lowery and Karl Lagerfeld — we come to understand the sheer richness of her experiences, interactions and memories.

The result is a multi-faceted self-portrait of a life informed and surrounded by the arts. It is pithy, hilarious, and wise — a rewarding chronicle of many lives fully lived.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Bernier, an American, arrived in Paris in 1947 and spent more than 20 years there. Founder of the art journal L'Oeil , which she edited until 1969, she was a friend and associate of many famous artists, including the trio profiled in this snazzily illustrated book, replete with 350 reproductions and photographs (200 in color), and based on her lectures at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. In southern France she met Matisse, "a benign figure of Edwardian elegance," a world traveler who "made everywhere work for him," whether he was in Morocco, Tahiti, Saint Tropez or Spain. She limns Picasso as a man of multiple selves, "Prince Charming and Jack the Ripper" all in one. In Barcelona she befriended Miró, seen here as a dark surrealist visionary "eaten alive by his visions," rather than the purveyor of gentle whimsy beloved of the public. Bernier's enchanting reminiscences are rich in anecdote and insight.

From Library Journal:

Bernier's reminiscences of her friendship with three of this century's most revered artists provides insight into their work and entertaining stories of their character. In a breezy tone that makes reading a pleasure, she reveals Picasso's love of disguises (he painted himself in various costumes and was fascinated by a ten-gallon hat given him by Gary Cooper); Matisse's incessant cursing while he worked and his painstaking planning of the Venice Chapel; and Miro's visit with the Calders to a dance hall in Harlem. The book is based on a series of successful museum lectures seen recently on PBS.

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