Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rosamond Bernier on luck


Rosamond Bernier, noted writer, editor and lecturer, was profiled in Calvin Tomkins' article in the March 2008 New Yorker. Her last lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was on her "life in the French couture", and what a life she can recall, in and out of fashion!

At ninety-one, she is scaling back her commitments to spend more time with her husband, John Russell, former art critic for the New York Times.

Tomkins writes,

"Bernier herself seems impervious to time’s arrows. 'I don’t know why,' she said. 'I eat everything. I drink. I had T.B. as a child, so I’ve never smoked, but I don’t exercise regularly, and I wear the same clothes I had forty years ago.

Luck has been a big part of it. When I was at Sarah Lawrence, I went on a trip to Mexico. My father, a lawyer who was on the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra, had arranged for me to go to a rehearsal conducted by Carlos Chávez, and Aaron Copland was playing his piano concerto. Aaron and I became lifelong friends on the spot.

There were two other guests at the rehearsal, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. They said, "Come on, kid, you’ll go with us tonight." I was dressed in my best outfit, and Frida said, ‘That will never do.’ She fixed me up in a Mexican skirt, and did my hair in bows and ribbons, and off we went to a night club. What a way to begin!' ".

5 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Wow, what a life. She sounds fascinating.

greying pixie said...

I'm disappointed there is nothing about her on Youtube. But I'm delighted she is connected with my 90 something heroine Louise Bourgeois. Women are such wonderful creatures, they never cease to amaze me with their achievements.

Anjela said...

What a charming human!
I ordered a few of her DVDs from Amazon. I want to learn more about her. She would be a lovely dinner guest for you to have Duchesse. She eats everything!

Duchesse said...

Anjela: Please tell me how you like the DVDs.

A life I could hear about for days!

materfamilias said...

I love biographies of women whose lifespan encompasses such rich and diverse interests and activities. Such an inspiration to keep getting out there and squeezing the most out of life.