The accidental surrealist: Mary Reynolds, American in Paris
By Sheila Lennon
posted: 12-15-08
Mary Reynolds' binding for Les Mains libre (Hands free), Paul Eluard's poetry accompanied by Man Ray's drawings
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“Warm Ashes: The Life and Career of Mary Reynolds is astonishing. Why haven't we heard of Mary Reynolds before, in the same breath as Anais Nin and Djuna Barnes? Perhaps because she did not write. She bound books. In a time when the world was small enough that all the artists seemed to know each other, Mary Hubachek Reyholds, born in 1891, lived in Greenwich Village with her soulmate husband, enjoying Bohemia. He enlisted in WWI sixteen months into their marriage, and died of the flu somewhere in Europe two years later. Pressured by her parents to move on, remarry and start a family, she fled to Paris, to Montparnasse. She took up with Marcel Duchamp, who would be, despite rocky early years, her lover for the rest of her life, and eventually took up bookbinding as her own art.”

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