“Brigitte Benkemoun, French journalist and author, bought a vintage Hermès pocket diary through eBay for €70. It was a replacement for a lost diary. When she opened it, she found it was made in 1951 and the address portion was intact and used. She saw a startling list of contacts: Cocteau, Lacan, Balthus, Chagall, Giacometti and Breton. There was no name in the diary but Benkemoun realised this diary had belonged to someone at the heart of post-war Parisian art and intellectual circles. Finding Dora Maar: An Artist, an Address Book, a Life is Benkemoun’s discovery of the provenance of the address book and what it told her about the owner’s life.
“It seemed clear the owner was someone with ties to Paris but it was the mention of Ménerbes, Southern France which tipped off Benkemoun. Dora Maar had moved to the town in the 1940s. It was not clear how the book had come to be sold but research proved that this was Maar’s address book. Benkemoun consulted Picasso’s son, John Richardson and other Picasso scholars to piece together Maar’s connections with the people listed in her diary.
“Before this year if you had heard of Dora Maar (1907-1997) then it would have been in connection with Picasso…”
Read the full review in The Critic here: https://thecritic.co.uk/a-life-in-miniature/