Category Archives: Paris history

Footsteps and Sidetracks

I sometimes think that if I had it all to do over again, I would become a biographer. I’ve no interest in writing fiction when real life is so fascinating. Even in my day-job as a researcher, I love tracking … Continue reading

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A ghost at the Paris Salon

On a recent visit to the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Norman and I wandered into a room that was hung with paintings in the old-fashioned way, covering the walls, much as paintings were once hung at the Paris Salon, although … Continue reading

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Life on the rue du Ranelagh

By the time you read this, we will have returned from Paris, where we spent Christmas. Friends had graciously given us the use of an apartment on the boulevard Suchet in the 16th arrondissement. “Ah, le seizième ! C’est un … Continue reading

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The lost neighbourhood

Last month, I was inspired by one of Lawren Harris’s paintings to investigate gasometers in Toronto and Paris. A second visit to the Lawren Harris exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario evoked another parallel between the two cities: the destruction … Continue reading

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The art of the gasometer

The major summer exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario is devoted to the work of Canadian artist Lawren Harris (1885–1970). I associate his name with bold, abstracted images of Canada’s Far North – mountains and glaciers and frozen seas. … Continue reading

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Trespassing at Port-Royal

Tuesday, June 24, 2014. A hot day in Paris and Norman was feeling under the weather. He’d finally drifted off to sleep and I decided to go for a walk – not far, just to get some air. The bedroom … Continue reading

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Rescued from oblivion

On the morning of April 12, 2016, three of us set out from this courtyard on an astounding walk through the Marais. But the story starts much earlier. In 1980, a sharp-eyed passerby spotted some photographs in a Paris dumpster … Continue reading

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