Thursday, February 7, 2013

Maira Kalman: Remembrance of Things Proust

The January 21 issue of The New Yorker contains a Sketchbook page by Maira Kalman entitled Marcel's Way. This is not a typical stand-alone Sketchbook page, but rather an illustration specifically promoting the Morgan Library's new Marcel Proust show which commemorates the centennial of Swann's Way. This book, of course, is the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past, now often referred to by the new translation's title of In Search of Lost Time.

Ms. Kalman based her illustration on a studio photograph in the Morgan Library show which includes Proust, his mother, and his brother Robert circa 1895. The artist chose the bold colors red, pink, yellow, orange, and green, but she used muted colors to paint Marcel, which lets his figure retain more of the old world feel of the vintage photograph. Marcel is shown with his mother, a pairing of great interest to students of literature and, perhaps, of psychoanalysis. Marcel's younger brother Robert, the one who did not stay in his mother's home and write a great seven-volume masterwork in bed but instead became an eminent surgeon, author, and later the publisher of his brother's posthumous work, suffers the indignity of being replaced by a wooden stand and a potted plant.

The show "Marcel Proust and Swann's Way: 100th Anniversary" opens on February 15 at the Morgan Library and Museum and will run through April 28, 2013.

Maira Kalman, Sketchbook:  Marcel's Way
The New Yorker, January 21, 2013, Page 45

Marcel Proust and his mother and brother Robert, ca. 1895.
Bibliotheque Nationale de France (BnF), Paris, France
© BnF, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
The Morgan Library & Museum

April 27, 2013 Update:  The original artwork (sans lettering) by Maira Kalman is available from the Julie Saul Gallery in New York. Tempting....


1 comment:

  1. I studied Illustration at PCA & Pratt & also got a Masters in Ed at Antioch.
    I was a Clothing Designer,Art Teacher & Therapist.
    I became a Believer in G-d after I died in 1982 & was Resurrected from the Dead.
    I just learned the Mitzvah # 313 that forbids making Images of Figures (Human,Angels etc)- even for Decoration.I never knew-as a Jew- that this was Idolatrous?
    I just wanted to share that with you because your work is wonderful- I love it!!!!!!!!