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Oral history interview with Patricia Faure, 2004 Nov. 17-24

Faure, Patricia, 1928-



Collection Information

Size: 1 Item, Sound recording, master: 6 sound discs (5 hrs. and 20 min.) : digital ; 2 5/8 in; 104 Pages, Transcript

Summary: An interview of Patricia Faure conducted 2004 Nov. 17-24, by Susan Ehrlich, for the Archives of American Art, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Faure spoke about her early childhood in Wisconsin and the family's move to California; attending Hollywood High and meeting young stars; modeling; working for Vincent Price on Saturday's during high school; moving to New York for her modeling career; her first husband Philip Peyton; classes at the New School of Social Research, New York; meeting Joseph Cornell; her return to Los Angeles in the early 1950s; Riko Mizuno and other galleries in operation before she opened Asher-Faure;photography; her marriage to Jacques Faure and living in France; her daughter Zazu, born 1965; working for Nick Wilder, and the numerous artists and actors she met through his gallery; opening Asher-Faure with Betty Asher; the growth of galleries and art museums in Southern California; collectors; art writers, including Christopher Knight, Suzanne Muchnic, David Pagel, Leah Ollman, and Holly Meyers; her shows that combine a New York gallery and an artist from that gallery, for example the André Emmerich Gallery and Franz Kline or Philip Guston; the other businesses in Bergamont Station; her enjoyment of putting up a show; dogs bringing their owners into her gallery space; the independence of the art market from the stock market; and how she has profited in many ways from this journey. Faure also recalls Man Ray, Rico Lebrun, Frank Sinatra, Larry Rivers, Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston, John Altoon, Sam Francis, Irving Blum, Peggy Moffit, Bill Claxton, Felix Landau, Everett Ellin, Maurice Tuchman, Rona Pondick, Jo Baer, and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Patricia Faure (1928-2008) was a gallery owner from Los Angeles, Calif. Interviewer Susan Ehrlich: Art historian, Beverly Hills, Calif.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.



The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Patricia Faure on November 17, 22, 24, 2004. The interview took place in Beverly Hills, California, and was conducted by Susan Ehrlich for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Patricia Faure and Susan Ehrlich have reviewed the transcript and have made corrections and emendations. The reader should bear in mind that he or she is reading a transcript of spoken, rather than written, prose.


MS. SUSAN EHRLICH: This is Susan Ehrlich interviewing Patricia Faure in her home in Beverly Hills, California, on November 17, 2004, for the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution. This is Disc Number One, Side One.

Well, let’s begin with your childhood, where were you born, when were you born, and tell me about your early life and experience?

MS. PATRICIA FAURE: I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 8, 1928. I grew up there as well, went to school there, until I was 15, when we moved to Los Angeles, because after I was born, immediately after I was born, I got pneumonia. And I had pneumonia at least twice before I was six months old, and at one time the hospital called my parents and said to come and see me, for the last time. But my good German Luxembourgian grandmother knew the cure, and she came to the hospital, and asked to see me, and rubbed a little goose grease on my chest. And that saved my life.


MS. EHRLICH: Oh, my God.

MS. FAURE: Goose grease saved my life.

So then I went on living. And then when I was 15, about 14 I guess, I got pneumonia again, and my mother thought we had to move out of Milwaukee and the cold weather, so we moved to California. And I never got pneumonia again, since then.


MS. FAURE: So that was good.

MS. EHRLICH: And your maiden name then was Patty –

MS. FAURE: Enk, E-n-k, which in Holland means “scary.”

MS. EHRLICH: Oo-oo-oo! [Laughter.]

And your father, what did he do?

MS. FAURE: He had a company called Unit Drop Forge and I guess they made whatever dropforges are, I don’t know what they are actually. But they must have made those, being that it was in the title. And he died very early at age 36, leaving my mother with three daughters, and I was the youngest, so that was very sad. And he lost his business, as many people did, during the Depression, and then afterwards, the government kind of gave back the businesses to the people that had lost them, at least to run, because there weren’t enough people around that knew how to run all the business that went under. So it was restarted with my father at the helm again, but he didn’t own it any more.

And I think that when he died it was kind of [from] a broken heart, in a way, you know, he was so worried not to be able to take care of all the things he had to take care of, and we’d moved in with my grandfather. And we were all living in one house in Milwaukee at that time: my grandfather, my mother, my father and my two sisters and me. And he was interesting, my grandfather, so it wasn’t terrible for us, but anyway we all weathered this.

MS. EHRLICH: And your sisters were how much older than you?

MS. FAURE: We were all three years apart, so the oldest one is six years older and the middle one was three years older.

MS. EHRLICH: And you must have been just a year old when the Depression hit? I mean the fall of the stock market [was] in ‘29?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I was just a year old.

MS. EHRLICH: So you were just a little kid.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: – when he went through all of this. And your grandfather was interesting?

MS. FAURE: I thought so, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: In what way?

MS. FAURE: He was kind of a Civil War historian.

MS. EHRLICH: Oh, really?

MS. FAURE: And the early books that we had to read were all about the Civil War, he would read us things.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?


MS. FAURE: That was kind of funny, when other people were reading Mickey Mouse. And he –

MS. EHRLICH: And you found that interesting as a young girl?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I found it very interesting.

MS. EHRLICH: And so was it a nice family? You said it wasn’t bad even though you were all living together?

MS. FAURE: Well, you know, it was pleasant, and it was nice to have my grandfather in the house, in lieu of the fact that my mother had to go to work, and she distinguished herself as well –

MS. EHRLICH: Really, and how?

MS. FAURE: – working. She went to work for – I forget what the name of the company was in Milwaukee – she went to work for that company and sort of got into personnel management, which at that time was very early for a woman –


MS. FAURE: – to be involved in that way, in the hiring of workers, clerical and factory workers, the whole thing. And when we came out here, she was offered a job at Lockheed.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: It was during the war, of course. And she was offered this job at Lockheed, which would have been in that capacity. But then she was offered another job, more locally, and it wasn’t as far, so she took the one that wasn’t as far, and she did really run the place. And that was terrific, and in fact there are some people that she hired that I’m still friendly with.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?


MS. EHRLICH: So you saw your mom with entrepreneurial skills then, too?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes, and when she was 69 she finally married again.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Almost 70 years old.



MS. FAURE: Yes, she got married again to Captain Calhoun [ph], and he was interesting. And they lived in Hawaii at first, and then she moved – oh, then he died and she moved to San Clemente to be near my oldest sister. And she was pretty interesting, and she lived to 97, but she spent the last few years in a nursing home.

MS. EHRLICH: Going back, your father died when he was 36, and how old were you then?

MS. FAURE: I was 5.

MS. EHRLICH: So you really didn’t have a chance to know him very well?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I didn’t. Well, I felt like I did, but I guess I really didn’t, I couldn’t have.

MS. EHRLICH: So you have memories of him?


MS. EHRLICH: And it must have been very tough on your mom then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was difficult.

MS. EHRLICH: She was a stay-at-home mom before then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was difficult. Well, everyone was a stay-at-home mom, then.

MS. EHRLICH: Of course.


MS. FAURE: We didn’t even use that [term].

MS. EHRLICH: Of course. You’re right, that wasn’t a term yet.

MS. FAURE: That was invented later.

MS. EHRLICH: You’re right. And then she left, but you had your grandparents there?

MS. FAURE: Grandfather, no, my grandmother had died before my father. And my mother’s sister, oh maybe it was my mother’s aunt [who] died – grandmother’s sister, [who] died before my grandmother, then my grandmother, and then my father; like one after another.

MS. EHRLICH: And so this was your maternal grandfather, right?


MS. EHRLICH: Your mom’s father?

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: Any other relatives that you remember that helped out or were there?

MS. FAURE: They weren’t helping out, but they were there. They were friendly and everything.

MS. EHRLICH: And schooling, what do you remember from your early schooling?

MS. FAURE: I went to 37th Street School. I went to all public schools, which I do believe in, and I did the same thing with my daughter, sent her to all public schools in America. I think especially when you have talented, bright children, you owe it to keep them in the school system, the regular school system; otherwise it just falls apart, if everybody’s going to take their kids out because they’re smart. And I was smart, enough, you know, my grades were good.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you remember any particular favorites or interests in this early time? Were you interested in art?



MS. FAURE: No, I didn’t even know about it – at 37th Street School which, I went to. And then we moved to a suburb of Milwaukee called Wauwatosa; something about water, I think it means, running water or something like that. It was a very beautiful suburb, it was really attractive, and we had a beautiful house there and my grandfather – I guess he hadn’t died yet, he was still living but he wasn’t living with us. I wonder if he was in a home or something. He must’ve been. We lived in this really nice house, and I went to Wauwatosa High School, and I must have started at the 9th grade. Is that when all high schools start, 9th or 10th?

MS. EHRLICH: They did then in 9th or 10th – mine started at 9th, others started at 10th.

MS. FAURE: Yes, I think this one started in 9th.


MS. FAURE: And I must have been – I would have been in intermediate school between grade school and this, unless my grade school went up through to 8th grade, and finished 8th grade. Maybe it did, and then I just went in to Wauwatosa High School, and that was very nice. But I don’t remember any, you know, like teachers at this point, because I’m so old now. [Laughter.] I can’t remember that far back.

MS. EHRLICH: But you were good in sports, right, you had an athletic award?

MS. FAURE: Yes, that was silly, though, don’t you think? For basketball.

MS. EHRLICH: For basketball?

MS. FAURE: I think it was.

MS. EHRLICH: How do you spell Wauwatosa?

MS. FAURE: W-a-u-w-a-t-o-s-a.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay, and your sisters lived at home then too, I assume?


My one sister who was six years older than me, she became a stewardess. She became actually a meteorologist for American Airlines, and moved to Detroit – Akron, and worked for them there, but before that she went to Immaculate Heart or Holy Angels, I think it was called. She went to this private high school. It was a Catholic school, and my other sister went to Catholic school too, Marilyn her name was.

MS. EHRLICH: Your sister who was six years older than you, what was her name?

MS. FAURE: Marjorie.

MS. EHRLICH: So Marjorie and Marilyn?


MS. EHRLICH: And they both went to Catholic school?


MS. EHRLICH: Was that for the schools or was your family practicing Catholics?

MS. FAURE: We were practicing Catholics but I – wasn’t put in that school.

MS. EHRLICH: Anything else memorable about those early years before we get to California?


MS. FAURE: It’s funny, they’re fading away. I told you about going to Chicago and seeing the first panda?


MS. FAURE: – that was brought to America.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, the first panda [Su Lin, arrived in February 1937] ever in America was at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago. And I went there and saw it, and then the person that took me there was a friend of my mother’s named Mildred, and Mildred bought me a stuffed panda. That was nice. There was a train called the “Hiawatha” that would go from Milwaukee to Chicago, and it was not even an hour long – as I remember, it was really short. And they’d put me on the train and give a dollar to the porter and tell him when I was supposed to get off and this lady, Mildred, would meet me there. And I would be on that train all alone, that was maybe seven, eight years old. Couldn’t do that today, could you?

MS. EHRLICH: Absolutely not. Things were different.


MS. EHRLICH: So you moved to Los Angeles in 1943?


MS. EHRLICH: When you were about 14 or 15?

MS. FAURE: Fifteen.

MS. EHRLICH: Fifteen?

MS. FAURE: Wasn’t it ‘42?

MS. EHRLICH: I don’t know.

MS. FAURE: Well I was 15, and so it had to be ‘43, because I was born in ‘28, 28 and 15 is 43, isn’t it? But the war was still on, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. You moved with your mother and –

MS. FAURE: And my two sisters.

MS. EHRLICH: Both of them?


MS. EHRLICH: So your –

MS. FAURE: My eldest sister was by then in Akron, and I went to visit her.

MS. EHRLICH: So you lived with your mother and one sister then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and my older sister was already employed by American Airlines, and living in Akron.

MS. EHRLICH: And what prompted the move?

MS. FAURE: My health, and because I think my mother thought I’d get in movies.


MS. EHRLICH: Did she know anyone here?

MS. FAURE: No, she took a trip here and she’d eaten an avocado –

MS. EHRLICH: No kidding?

MS. FAURE: – yeah, and she thought it was fantastic, and we did have – not a relative but a very close friend of the family that lived here, and had lived on a little orchard, and that was wonderful, so she loved it all and she thought it was so healthy and marvelous. So we came out here, but during the war, you couldn’t get an apartment, we had to live in hotels. We lived for a bit in the Roosevelt, like a few days, and then had to move to a lower-end hotel, because we were running out of money fast, to the St. Francis which is – near Western and Hollywood Boulevard.

And then we got an apartment on Gramercy Place which is a couple of blocks west of Western, and I could take the Red Car to school, to Hollywood High, right there down Hollywood Boulevard.

MS. EHRLICH: And so she only knew this one friend here?

MS. FAURE: Uh-huh. [Affirmative.]

MS. EHRLICH: And the orchard was here in Los Angeles?

MS. FAURE: Well, I think he lived in Glendale, you know, so there was a little bit more room. We almost bought a house on Sunset in the – what is that area just west of Beverly Hills in Westwood? It has a name to it but I forget.


MS. FAURE: No, it wasn’t Bel Air or Brentwood, it was another area.

MS. EHRLICH: West of Beverly Hills, Holmby Hills?

MS. FAURE: Holmby Hills, yes. It was a corner lot. It was a little house with an orchard on a quarter acre, the orchard was a quarter acre, and it was $60,000.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, that was high then.

MS. FAURE: And that’s what people told my mother. They said don’t get it now, this is ridiculous, and then when the war is over all these prices are going to plummet.



MS. FAURE: It was good advice, wasn’t it?

MS. EHRLICH: I couldn’t touch it then. So your mother did get a job right away?

MS. FAURE: Yes, but she didn’t take the job at Lockheed because it was too far. And she had to learn to drive. She’d never been driving or anything like that. And she had this job at a place that was on Western Avenue, so it was close, but a little bit south. They liked her, she was quite pleased, I think, being here.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, the climate certainly is wonderful, and she got a job and you were going to high school.

MS. FAURE: Hollywood High.

MS. EHRLICH: Hollywood, and what was that like?

MS. FAURE: It was terrific. I told you about Vincent Price?

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, tell me.

MS. FAURE: Do you remember what I said before?

MS. EHRLICH: Well, you should say it.

MS. FAURE: Okay, Vincent Price had started this thing in Beverly Hills called the Beverly Hills Museum of Modern Art [Modern Institute of Art}. He came to Hollywood High, to an assembly, and in the auditorium he told all of us that we should come and visit this museum because it was so wonderful. And it was mostly put together with works loaned from collections in Beverly Hills. So there were a million Utrillos, but there was also an occasional Blue Period Picasso and Braques and Miró and a lot of people of that nature, and so it was essentially that. So I went to see the museum and I really thought it was great, and I took – it cost a dollar to join, and I took out my dollar and put it on the desk next to Vincent, and said “Okay, I’m joining.” He said, “Put your money away and come and work here as a volunteer on Saturdays when you’re off school.” And he said, “I’ll usually be here too.” And I said “Fine, I’ll do that, save the buck” – there’s my other that cat came in – look up who you could talk to about it that could tell you, like Bea Gersh before she dies, you better talk to her. And her kids too, David – David the Gershes are the only local family who created a second generation of collectors.

MS. EHRLICH: So tell me more about the Modern Institute of Art in Beverly Hills. It was in existence in the late ‘40s, around 1948 to 1949, it was like just 14 months–

MS. FAURE: Is that all?


MS. FAURE: That’s terrible.

MS. EHRLICH: An incredible institution – tell me about the space –

MS. FAURE: It was in that – Frank Lloyd Wright building on Rodeo Drive that’s kind of funny shaped and you’ve got to go up a curvy staircase to arrive at it, and it was spectacular. I saw my first – besides those paintings that I already mentioned – I saw my first Calder, and I remember I said to – I didn’t mean to interrupt.

MS. EHRLICH: No, that’s okay.

MS. FAURE: I said to Vincent, “what’s that?” because I’d never seen anything like that. And he gave me a little book about Alexander Calder, and a picture of Calder, and then other pictures of the work, and it explained a little bit about him, and so that was nice. I kept it for a long, long time, I don’t know where it is now. And then later when I went to work for Nick [Wilder] and Vincent came into the gallery, he told Nick, “She started with me.” And also he came when Betty [Asher] and I opened a gallery – he came to that. And he still knew that that was me, even with various name changes.


MS. EHRLICH: So interestingly, Vincent Price got you started in art.

MS. FAURE: In a way, he took full credit for it. [Laughter.] And I just later on began to realize that that was an important eye-opener to something else. Prior to that, my main interest in the arts was with writers, and I’m still a little bit partial to writers, even today and poets. I loved all of that. So the plastic arts, I just hadn’t paid that much attention to until this time, and that was terrific.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you remember who else was involved in the –

MS. FAURE: I think Billy Wilder and the Gershes and I don’t know – I don’t think Ray Stark was, I think he came later into the picture.

MS. EHRLICH: Fanny Brice, though?

MS. FAURE: Fanny Brice, yes, she might have been, definitely.

MS. EHRLICH: Did she ever come in?

MS. FAURE: No, but I know Bill Brice very well and I used to go with a man named Cy Howard. Cy was a comedy writer, and he lived in a house that Fanny Brice did for him because she was also a decorator, and it was interesting, it was like masculine Hawaiian. [Laughter.] That was in the Holmby Hills.

MS. EHRLICH: The Arensbergs were also involved with that?

MS. FAURE: Maybe, I didn’t know them.

MS. EHRLICH: You didn’t know them?


MS. EHRLICH: A number of movie people, too?

MS. FAURE: Yes, a lot of movie people.

MS. EHRLICH: Sam Jaffe?

MS. FAURE: Yes, the Jaffes, Sam and Mildred, and all of those people.

MS. EHRLICH: And Edward G. Robinson was –


MS. EHRLICH: Did he come into the gallery? Of course, you were only there on Saturdays?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I was only there on Saturdays, and they didn’t come in that often. But later I knew the Jaffes quite well because I knew their daughter, Barbara, and they moved to London later on, and sold their collection because the children didn’t want it, really. They didn’t want the problems that come with it, the insurance and the security and all of that.

MS. EHRLICH: The Jaffes were collectors, though?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes, great, great collectors.

MS. EHRLICH: And Charles Laughton was also involved with the –

MS. FAURE: With the Beverly Hills Museum?


MS. FAURE: Yes, but they might have just given some work, too.

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, that was another way, they could loan to shows.

MS. FAURE: It was a good idea.

MS. EHRLICH: It was a great idea. Clifford Odets, did he come in at all, because he was on the list of having started this –


MS. EHRLICH: Barbara and Jim Poe?

MS. FAURE: Yeah, Barbara Poe I know because she’s an artist, but they were rich, to – [laughter] – so they might have –

MS. EHRLICH: And Louis and Annette Kaufman were also involved?


MS. EHRLICH: Louis was a musician, a violinist?

MS. FAURE: A good strong Hollywood group supported it. I always felt slightly responsible for its closure because my activity was to use a counter and count the people that came in, and I did it methodically. I could have done it more and so it would look like more people – [laughter] – but I didn’t learn about that until later in life.

MS. EHRLICH: They had financial problems and severe ones so I don’t know that you were responsible –

MS. FAURE: I know, but they could have gotten more money if they thought so many people came in.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, maybe the climate wasn’t right, then, for modern art because they essentially showed progressive art there. Could that be some of the reason?

MS. FAURE: Probably.

MS. EHRLICH: Now, Rico Lebrun had a show there?

MS. FAURE: He did?

MS. EHRLICH: He had some of his works shown there, did he ever come in? You don’t know?

MS. FAURE: I saw him later, but –

MS. EHRLICH: And Man Ray?

MS. FAURE: Man Ray I saw there, and also in Paris, because when my husband, Jacques Faure, was art director for French Vogue, Man Ray wanted to put his pictures in that he was taking then in the ‘60s, but they weren’t as great as his early pictures were.

MS. EHRLICH: So you saw him here then in the ‘40s when he lived here. What was he like, was he –

MS. FAURE: Well, he was very, you know, a very interesting man. The ‘40s was a great time in Los Angeles, Man Ray was here, Thomas Mann was here – and Christopher Isherwood.

I remember a friend of Christopher’s that used to be out here all the time, Stephen Spender. Just so many people around, a lot of literary people.

MS. EHRLICH: So Man Ray was aloof, or –


MS. EHRLICH: No, he wasn’t?

MS. FAURE: No, and nor was his wife.

MS. EHRLICH: Juliet?

MS. FAURE: Juliet, she was friendly too.

MS. EHRLICH: And were there other high school students like you counting –

MS. FAURE: I don’t remember any. I just had Saturday, and so they couldn’t have come in on Saturday. Maybe they were open on Sunday, I don’t know if they were.

MS. EHRLICH: Kenneth Ross ran it for a little while and then Karl With.

MS. FAURE: Really?

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, they were directors of it in its short lifespan. Vincent Price, prior to that time, had a gallery here in Beverly Hills.


MS. EHRLICH: The Little Gallery of Beverly Hills. He was an art collector himself.


MS. EHRLICH: – an art entrepreneur –

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: And he was a welcoming personality?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was lovely, an absolutely lovely person, and he had a wonderful house, and he had a wonderful wife, and they were friends with a lot of terrific people.

MS. EHRLICH: So you saw their collection in the house?

MS. FAURE: Well, I saw their house, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: And where was it?

MS. FAURE: In Beverly Hills, I can’t remember where it was.

MS. EHRLICH: But it was in Beverly Hills?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I think so.

MS. EHRLICH: More about Hollywood High, were there a lot of movie kids?

MS. FAURE: They used to do scenes from movies, they’d shoot them in the quad, you know, and have then busloads of so-called students that they’d bring in to walk around like Hollywood High school students. And you just couldn’t stop looking at it because there’d be this huge film crew and make up people and everything, and these fake students, it was fascinating.


MS. EHRLICH: They could’ve used you.

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was fascinating. Richard Jaeckel went to school there just before me. And there were lots of different people that went to school there, that went on to fame of some sort.

MS. EHRLICH: Who was Richard Jaeckel?

MS. FAURE: He was a movie actor, he did Guadalcanal Diary [1943]. He played a young Marine, a youngster that joined the Marines.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you know how that’s spelled?

MS. FAURE: J-a-e-c-k-e-l, you think – does that look right?

MS. EHRLICH: We’ll find out, we’ll look it up.

And did you major in anything in high school, I mean were there courses that you were particularly interested in?

MS. FAURE: I loved mathematics, I liked science but I wasn’t too good at it. We all had to take Spanish, writing courses, and you know, English language courses, that sort of thing.

MS. EHRLICH: Outside interests while you were a teenager?

MS. FAURE: Well, aside from the Beverly Hills museum – [laughs] – I liked watching plays. I liked ballet to look at. I liked music a lot, I’d already met Bobby Short. I’d already met Frank Sinatra and had my moment with him, and in fact Bobby Short’s coming here in January.

MS. EHRLICH: Oh, really?

MS. FAURE: Just to see me, he said, but he’s also doing a couple of parties to pay the expenses of the trip here, so that’s nice. But that’s who I knew at that time, when I was still in high school.

MS. EHRLICH: Bobby Short the singer was a popular singer of the times, and was he older than you? Did he go to the high school?

MS. FAURE: He just turned 80, and he had this huge party at the Paradise Ballroom in New York, that was thrown for him, and Lenny Kravitz and Tony Martin serenaded him. Isn’t that sweet, the old and the young of it? And everyone was there, le tout New York, and it was terrific, and I couldn’t go, that’s another thing I couldn’t do.

MS. EHRLICH: But you knew him here in LA?

MS. FAURE: Yes, then.

MS. EHRLICH: And he was working in LA?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was working at The Hague, which was a club on Wilshire Boulevard, near the Ambassador Hotel. And he, when he first came out here from Illinois, was living with this couple, Nelly and Harold Brown. He was living with them and they lived more where black people lived in this time, near Adams Boulevard. But a pleasant house, and they had parties to which Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and everybody came. And one could always go to their parties, and that was nice. So I got to meet a lot of musicians through them, and that was terrific. And they just took care of Bobby, and they didn’t think it was right for him to live in this St. Francis hotel, the same one that we stayed in, because it was all, by then, filled with drug addicts and things, and they thought it wasn’t a healthy thing for him.

MS. EHRLICH: So that’s nice, and you’ve maintained a long time friendship with Bobby Short as well?

MS. FAURE: We have his 80th anniversary I mentioned to you – no, our 60th anniversary, as he became 80.

MS. EHRLICH: And he’s since moved to New York, is that where –

MS. FAURE: He lives in New York, he’s Mr. New York, that’s what the New York Times calls him. When they do cleanup campaigns for New York City, they show Bobby in his tuxedo sweeping.


MS. EHRLICH: So you also said you knew Frank Sinatra?


MS. EHRLICH: And you have a 1945 photograph of him?

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: Was it when you were in high school?

MS. FAURE: Yes, when I was in Hollywood High, I got a bad reputation. [Laughter.] He was terrific, but I kept saying to him, he should sing better songs because I already knew Bobby Short, and Bobby Short sang Cole Porter and Frank Sinatra was singing popular hits of the day, and he didn’t get into that music, the classical pop music until later. But I was always telling that to him and everybody kind of raised their eyebrows at me for talking like that. But I said, you have such a nice voice, why don’t you sing these really great songs? [Laughs.] It was outrageous.

MS. EHRLICH: But he wasn’t doing badly then –

MS. FAURE: No, he was really great, he was a superstar, with Bobby soxers screaming, and – he invented Bobby soxers, didn’t he?


MS. FAURE: But he was fantastic, and he’d have the New Year’s Eve parties at his home with Nancy and the girls, and I got to go to one, at least, at their home in Toluca Lake. They had a little stage at the end of their living room, and people would entertain. And Sammy Cahn introduced the song “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” Anyway, so he introduced that song there. And I used to see Sammy Cahn here with another friend of mine, years later, and I would tell him that, that I was there, and he would make believe he remembered.


MS. EHRLICH: That’s Sammy Cahn the songwriter?


MS. EHRLICH: And the parties were fantastic at Frank’s?

MS. FAURE: Well, that was pretty fantastic, and they would send a car for me that matched my dress.

MS. EHRLICH: No kidding?

MS. FAURE: Yeah, because I couldn’t drive or anything, and I wasn’t invited to bring somebody. Though usually when I went out to dinner with Frank, my brother-in-law to be would take me. He would be there too, he happened to be Italian too, so he loved it.

MS. EHRLICH: Your brother-in-law to be was who?

MS. FAURE: Was Roy Romagnino, and he married my oldest sister Margie. R-o-m-a-g-n-i-n-o. Romagnino. And so he would take me, like we’d go to – there was a Lucky Strike Hit Parade that Frankie was on, and it was broadcast in Hollywood at some studio there, and we would go to that, and then afterwards we’d all go out to dinner – and that was nice.

MS. EHRLICH: And you were still a high school student then?


MS. EHRLICH: That must have been very exciting?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I thought it was great.

MS. EHRLICH: Why not. Were you modeling then during that time?

MS. FAURE: Yes, that’s how I met Frank, modeling in Palm Springs, because he was staying at the Desert Inn and we were all staying there for the magazine shoot. I was underage, so I always had to have a tutor with me. I was having breakfast outside at the Desert Inn with a model who was older than me. Frank came over to the table and he invited us to a party he was giving, and my friend said she’d drive us there.

So we went to the party and it was terrific, and there were all kind of Hollywood people there – none of whom I remember – and musicians and all that sort of thing. He came up to me at the party and said, “When are you leaving?” and I said “I’m leaving tomorrow, we’re going back home tomorrow.” And he said “Well, I’m leaving tomorrow too, so I’ll drive you home,” but I had to get permission from my mother, you see, otherwise they couldn’t let me go. And so they called my mother and said “Frank Sinatra’s here and he wants to drive her home,” and my mother said “Sure, of course.”


MS. EHRLICH: And so you went with him?

MS. FAURE: Yeah, so he drove me home, and he knew where I lived at this little apartment on Gramercy Place – I mean he knew the building and everything, and the address. I gave him my phone number, and that’s why he called me and invited me to dinner after the broadcast, and invited me to the New Year’s Eve party.

MS. EHRLICH: You were a very good looking young lady? [Laughs.]

MS. FAURE: I was adorable, I was just adorable.

MS. EHRLICH: So good looking that the top singer, idol, seems to have been very attracted to you, so you were really this –

MS. FAURE: I think he liked really young people. He married Mia Farrow, she might have been younger than me. You know, I think he really liked young people.

MS. EHRLICH: Those early years when you were modeling, were you with the Ford agency then or another agency?

MS. FAURE: No, I was with an agency here in California, I was represented by Mary Webb Davis. I went with the Fords I went to New York.

MS. EHRLICH: So the assignments were more localized rather than for big publishers and the like?

MS. FAURE: We did some fancy advertising, too, important newspaper and magazine ads. At one time there was a magazine that Harper’s Bazaar was publishing called Junior Bazaar, and Richard Avedon was sent out here to interview people and to book models for that magazine. I didn’t meet him, I didn’t go, maybe I was someplace else at the time, so I never met him out here. I met him in New York and worked with him there through the Fords. But this one I missed, this whole Junior Bazaar, but then it collapsed anyway, so it wasn’t a big loss. But I thought that it was amazing that they sent him out, they thought he was terrific, and he was, as it turned out.

This year [2004] we lost Avedon and Helmut [Helmut Newton] and Francesco Scavullo. That’s a lot of photographers to have died in a year, isn’t it?

MS. EHRLICH: Absolutely. And you knew all of them?


MS. EHRLICH: You know that Salvador Dali was here working at Disney?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and I met him there.

MS. EHRLICH: So tell me about that.

MS. FAURE: That was also in high school. A lot of my friends worked at Disney. One guy in particular, Virgil Parch’s brother, Bud Parch was there, and Tommy Oreb, this guy that had gone to school with [Jackson] Pollock, worked there as a story man.

MS. EHRLICH: Tommy – what was his name?

MS. FAURE: Oreb, O-r-e-b. By that time I was kind of interested in making doodles and designs and things. So I could go out there and they’d fill up the car with paper and crayons and supplies of all nature that they’d get from Walt Disney’s place, so I had everything to work with. And that was good, against Disney, don’t you think it was good that they did that?

MS. EHRLICH: Absolutely.

MS. FAURE: Stealing.

And Salvador Dali was there working on Fantasia

MS. EHRLICH: – and Spellbound.

MS. FAURE: – and Spellbound

MS. EHRLICH: – the movie – the dream sequence –

MS. FAURE: – yeah, that was great.

MS. EHRLICH: With Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck. He did the dream sequence at the studio.

MS. FAURE: He did that at the same time?

MS. EHRLICH: He did that in the late ‘40s?


MS. EHRLICH: So that’s what he was probably working on, but some of his images looked like Fantasia.

MS. FAURE: Well, Disney did hire him.



MS. EHRLICH: Well, that was certainly a privilege for you to go to Disney in the first place, because it’s a rather locked or gated community, too.

MS. FAURE: I know it, but they would let people in that worked there.

MS. EHRLICH: Sure, and so you went with Bud Parch?

MS. FAURE: Yes, with him or Tommy, one of them.

MS. EHRLICH: How fun.

MS. FAURE: That was good, and that’s how I met Salvador Dali.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was he like?

MS. FAURE: He was creepy, he was really strange. And he had this thing of not letting anybody near him or near Gala, his wife. You had to stand 10 feet away from her. In his presence you couldn’t get close to her at all. Nobody, man or woman.


MS. FAURE: And maybe I’m exaggerating that number of feet, maybe it was only four or five feet, but still that’s far. How far is this?

MS. EHRLICH: About two feet. So it’s very strange.

MS. FAURE: Yes. And you couldn’t shake her hand or anything like that. You weren’t allowed to touch her.

MS. EHRLICH: Was it a fear of germs do you think, or do you know why?

MS. FAURE: I don’t know why, I just think it was some creepy thing that he had going for him. Isn’t that funny?

MS. EHRLICH: He looks it, with strange –

MS. FAURE: Moustache and everything, I mean he was really weird. But he was a good artist. I think he’s really good, and there are all these museums now of his work that I like.


MS. FAURE: The one in New York I don’t hear about any more, but there’s one in Florida, and one someplace else, I can’t remember where the other one is.

MS. EHRLICH: In Ohio, I think.


MS. EHRLICH: Morse Reynolds [A. Reynolds Morse] is the one in Florida, the Salvador Dali Museum [St. Petersburg, Florida].

So he was creepy then, and he just spoke French, but did you –

MS. FAURE: I didn’t speak French then.

MS. EHRLICH: That would come later?


MS. EHRLICH: So after high school, you graduated in the late ‘40s?

MS. FAURE: Late ‘40s, the war had just ended and the veterans had priority. I would have had to take classes over again to build up my average. I had to have a straight A average to get in at all. So then I went and took a course at City College that Ernst Krenek, the musician and composer, and that was good. And a friend of mine was taking his class, and that’s why I enrolled there.

MS. EHRLICH: He was a very famous musician, we should spell it, K-r-e-n-e-k.

MS. FAURE: Yes, Krenek, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was he like?

MS. FAURE: He was a very, very interesting man. It was wonderful – I mean Mozart was his favorite composer, and Don Giovanni was his favorite opera, so we had a lot of that. He was wonderful. I stayed there until I left for New York and then in New York I went to the New School of Social Research, and that was good. There were a lot of people teaching there that were interesting, including Anatole Broyard, do you remember who that is?

MS. EHRLICH: Tell me about him, and do you know how to spell it?

MS. FAURE: Yes, B-r-o-y-a-r-d.

MS. EHRLICH: Tell me about him.

MS. FAURE: He was a very controversial writer, and he was published in lots of different art magazines at that time. He taught at the New School. Before I went to the New School, I had gotten involved with Barney Rossett who published Grove Press, and we were going to get married, but then I met my first husband, Philip Peyton, and I got married to him instead. But I am still friendly with Barney.

MS. EHRLICH: And Barney Rossett?

MS. FAURE: Rossett. R-o-s-s-e-t-t, he’d been married to Joan Mitchell, they were both rich kids from Chicago – [laughter] – she could afford to paint and he could afford to buy a publishing house, which was Grove Press, it was already established when he bought it. He really did some wonderful things.

MS. EHRLICH: So he was married at the time?

MS. FAURE: No, he wasn’t when I met him, they had just divorced and he was actively looking for some replacement – [laughter] – and she was actively looking to disparage any choice he’d make. But we did become friendly afterwards, Joan too. All of us did.

MS. EHRLICH: And he was a possibility for you? What was he like?

MS. FAURE: He was very smart. But he made a fatal error of inviting Margaret Mead to dinner and telling me I couldn’t come. I guess he was afraid I’d embarrass him and say something stupid. [Laughs.] Isn’t that awful? So maybe that’s why I fell in with Phil Peyton, because I hated that, to not meet Margaret Mead when she was coming to his house for dinner, of all things.


MS. FAURE: She would have liked me – [laughs].

MS. EHRLICH: She would have loved you.

MS. FAURE: I don’t know, maybe he was thinking he wanted to discuss business with her, and he didn’t think it would be good to have another person there, maybe it was just that. But I took it the other way, like he thought I was too dumb.


MS. EHRLICH: Other than that, he was an okay guy – [laughs].

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was an okay guy, and he did something worthy.

MS. EHRLICH: By running Grove Press?

MS. FAURE: Running Grove Press.

MS. EHRLICH: Did you meet writers through him?

MS. FAURE: Yes – but I can’t remember who.

MS. EHRLICH: So back to the New School of Social Research.

MS. FAURE: “Civilization and Its Discontent,” was the name of the course I took.

MS. EHRLICH: With Broyard?

MS. FAURE: With Broyard? I’m not sure if it was with Broyard. He might have been just around. I can’t remember, and I don’t think it was Arthur Danto, I don’t think he did that.

MS. EHRLICH: What else do you remember about the schools, any other teachers or speakers or students there?

MS. FAURE: I don’t remember anything, isn’t that terrible? I’m so sorry.

MS. EHRLICH: But you do remember Broyard?


MS. EHRLICH: And you made friends with artists then. Who comprised your circle of friends?

MS. FAURE: Larry Rivers, [Willem] de Kooning, Ad Reinhardt, that was a good one.

MS. EHRLICH: So you met him?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he lived above Anatole Broyard. He had a big studio in the Village. He took me to the Stables gallery, when they opened. That was the first time a place like that opened in an offbeat area. Stables was in SoHo, wasn’t it?

MS. EHRLICH: That I don’t know.

MS. FAURE: Somebody just interviewed me recently about why artists make big works. Is it a question of their ego or do they just think they’ll get more money if they’re bigger? It has nothing to do with that, it has to do with the fact that Stables opened in New York in the late ‘40s, and it was the first industrial space turned into an art gallery. Before that galleries were carpeted, and they were on 57th Street, or in Paris or London. All the galleries were similar usually with low ceilings, and people-shaped small rooms. There were no rooms before then to accommodate large paintings.

Then suddenly this space opened up, and it wasn’t a museum, but it was like a kunsthal – it’s as close as we ever got to that. Joan Mitchell had a show there, [Helen] Frankenthaler, all these people, and guys as well. Everybody made great big paintings because the space was large, and they saw it and they couldn’t envision doing a bunch of tiny little paintings. That’s what did it. It wasn’t about making money, in fact they couldn’t be sold because no one had the room to hang them.

MS. EHRLICH: That’s true.

Let’s back up, and tell me when you relocated to New York. And why did you?

MS. FAURE: Because the modeling business was there, that’s why. I moved to New York to get the other jobs. I loved the travel that accompanied modeling. And if you were in New York you could go to Bermuda, you could even go to Paris, you could go to all sorts of places.

MS. EHRLICH: And did you then stay with your same agency or did you change agencies when you went to New York?

MS. FAURE: No, I changed. I went to the Eileen Ford agency, and I stayed with them until I stopped modeling.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was that like?

MS. FAURE: It was pretty interesting, I think. It was good. They were really nice, Eileen and Jerry, and they ran a good shop. They had great models and I think it was a good business for them.

MS. EHRLICH: So you went to New York to expand in your profession, and you joined one of the top agencies in the business?


MS. EHRLICH: And you liked it?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was okay.

MS. EHRLICH: And the people were good and you made friends with other models there?

MS. FAURE: Yes, well the one model that I knew in Los Angeles, Carol McCaulson, and she had gone to New York a couple of years before me. She was so beautiful, she looked like Garbo. In fact walking down 5th Avenue one day, Carol and I were stalked by Garbo.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: And I guess it was because she saw this look alike, younger version.

MS. EHRLICH: And she was your contemporary?

MS. FAURE: Yes, she was maybe a couple of years older than me, at the most.

MS. EHRLICH: And you kept in touch with her?

MS. FAURE: Yes, she died a few years ago, actually more than a few years ago. And she married Francesco Scavullo, and then she married Bertram L. Taylor III. They had a daughter, Daisy, I have a picture of her in my bedroom. I still see Daisy, she is now married, too.

MS. EHRLICH: So you had some friends when you set forth to New York?

MS. FAURE: When I went there, yes. I lived with Carol at first.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. And she was with Ford also?

MS. FAURE: Yes. Carol was from Glendale. She introduced me to Bobby Short.

MS. EHRLICH: When you were here in LA? Now, how do you spell her last name?

MS. FAURE: McCaulson, M-c-C-a-u-l-s-o-n. I think that’s how you spell it.

MS. EHRLICH: I’ll look it up. And then how did you meet and connect with your husband there?

MS. FAURE: My first husband?

MS. EHRLICH: Your first husband.

MS. FAURE: Well, I was disappointed with Barney for not letting me come to dinner with Margaret Mead. I met Phil Peyton, through Carol. He was a drummer, and he looked exactly like me, that was a funny thing.

MS. EHRLICH: He looked like you?

MS. FAURE: He looked just like me, like we could have been brother and sister. We looked so much alike, and yet he was Jewish and from Brooklyn, and I was German and a Catholic and from Milwaukee, but it’s funny, isn’t it?


MS. FAURE: He looked so much like me, when we’d go out people would think we were brother and sister. He was great.


MS. EHRLICH: And so he was a drummer and he played with bands?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and a lot of the artists had bands, so he knew them too, he knew all of the same people that I did. One time, after I left New York, he was driving out to East Hampton. He was in the car behind Pollock when Pollock crashed –


MS. FAURE: – and he got out to see if he could help the people, and there it was, Jackson Pollock. He was so shocked.

MS. EHRLICH: You knew Pollock, then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and he knew who it was. I don’t think they were super friends, but he did know him, and he called me – I was here in Los Angeles, and had left New York for a little bit. He called me right after he got to where he was going in the East Hampton and told me about Jackson Pollock. It was shocking.

MS. EHRLICH: You married him, when?

MS. FAURE: I married him, it must have been ’51 or ‘52. And then I left and came back here, I guess it was ‘55. We were only married a few years when I came back to L.A. He didn’t want to move and he didn’t want children. So I decided to stay, and that’s when I filed for divorce. But he was really nice, he was a nice guy, he was terrific, and funny. You know that scene in Last Tango in Paris [1972] when Marlon Brando takes off his pants and moons all those people? He copied that from Phil Peyton.

MS. EHRLICH: So he was doing that while you were married or before you were married?

MS. FAURE: No, Phil Peyton did it way before. He had a friend named George de Leon, and George was very funny too. They were all friends with Wally Cox and Marlon Brando, who was living in New York at that time. These students in Brooklyn would go out to the highway and open up their car doors and play their radios and dance. That annoyed Phil, it really did. So that’s where he did it, he mooned those kids. [Laughs.] I think George told Marlon and Wally and they thought it was just the funniest thing in the world, to take out your anger at people by mooning them, and that’s why that was in that movie.

Isn’t that great?

MS. EHRLICH: So while you were married to him those few years, those four, five years –

MS. FAURE: Yeah, at the most, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: He played with Larry Rivers, then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, well, because Larry Rivers and other artists had bands that played in New York. Musicians in New York were being frowned upon because there were a lot of drugs involved, and so you had to have a cabaret card in order to play in a New York club. You couldn’t get a cabaret card if you’d been arrested for drugs, so Charlie Parker and others had to play at the Open Door in Greenwich Village because it didn’t come under that cabaret licensing jurisdiction. So they were all there, Max Roach and all of them, and so Phil would play with them.

MS. EHRLICH: And so you met those musicians then?

MS. FAURE: At that time. When they got their cabaret cards back and they could play at Birdland, I met a lot of people there, too.

MS. EHRLICH: What were they like?

MS. FAURE: Well, they were each one very different from the other. I mean, they were real people. [Laughs.] And I don’t know if I had any really strong opinions about them. I usually do about everything, I don’t know why I don’t about them.

MS. EHRLICH: What was Larry Rivers like?

MS. FAURE: Larry Rivers was lovely, he was an absolutely lovely person, and he did drawings of me. He did one drawing called My Friend in the Sailor Blouse, and I felt it was so awful I didn’t even take it, or ask him what it would cost if I wanted it. It ended up in a show at the Museum of Modern Art, and Carol McCaulson sent me a postcard when I was living in Paris. I tried to get them from the museum, but they don’t have any more.

Isn’t that funny?

MS. EHRLICH: So he was an enjoyable person to be with?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was very nice. He was living with his mother-in-law, you know, that famous lady that he did the nude portrait of?

MS. EHRLICH: Birdie?

MS. FAURE: Birdie, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: And where did he draw you, at your place?

MS. FAURE: At his place, Long Island, in East Hampton, around that area. There were a lot of artists out there, East Hampton, West Hampton, South Hampton.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was his place like with Birdie?

MS. FAURE: It was just a big old summer house. I don’t know, maybe Birdie lived there all year long, she could’ve. But it was a big old house, nice.

MS. EHRLICH: You mentioned other artists out there. Did you meet with any other artists out there besides Larry?

MS. FAURE: Do you remember Alfonso Ossorio? He had a big place out there, and he had a lot of art. He had Pollock, he had de Kooning, he had everybody on the walls, [Mark] Rothko, [Theodoros] Stamos, everyone. He had a great collection, including his own work, which wasn’t as good as the others.


MS. EHRLICH: And what was he like?

MS. FAURE: He was a good – and a very generous man, and pleasant. I don’t remember anything very distinctive. He was from Chile, wasn’t he? He’s the heir to a sugar fortune. So he had a lot of people liking him for that.


MS. EHRLICH: So he could buy their works, right?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Anyone else that was part of that milieu or whom you met?

MS. FAURE: I can’t remember if de Kooning came out there, I don’t remember him out there, I just remember him in town.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was he like?

MS. FAURE: He was very nice, very friendly.

I had this idea that I wanted to invite all the artists that I’d met to my place in New York where I lived with Phil. It was a big apartment, and we had a dining room that had a fireplace in it. It was really nice. I thought, I’d like them all to do espaliered pear trees all over the walls, that is what I would like, nothing that wasn’t distinctively something that you could see and understand. I told them that, and they came up and they looked at it. De Kooning looked at it he didn’t say he would do an espalier pear tree for me – but he said there was a little thing about this high, a little tiny frame, oval frame that I’d found in an antique store. I had put some pressed leaves in it, and it was hanging on the fireplace and he said “I like that, you give me that, bring it to me, I give you a drawing.”

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: But I didn’t, because that piece was so important to me. I felt like if I take it down, the whole chimney would collapse, so I never did it. I didn’t do so many things like that, it’s awful.

MS. EHRLICH: So he came to your house for dinner, then?

MS. FAURE: Well, he came to look at the dining room to see if he wanted to do what I suggested, but nobody did it. [Laughter.] It was the wrong group I was asking.

MS. EHRLICH: Sounds that way. Whom else do you remember from those days in New York?

MS. FAURE: Let me see, isn’t that terrible, my memory is going away. Oh, Robert Motherwell. Robert Motherwell used to small take groups of people to visit artists’ studios. He took us to Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg’s studio that they shared, and I saw all that early work up on the wall that hadn’t yet been shown. It was quite extraordinary, it was sort of like medicine chests, it kind of looked like that to me.

MS. EHRLICH: Like medicine chests?

MS. FAURE: Yes, like with things all over it, though. Shelves of stuff. I didn’t even know what it was called then. I thought it was quite interesting, but Robert Motherwell was so interesting to take us there, that was amazing. The second place he took us was to [Joseph] Cornell’s house where he lived with his mother and his disabled brother in a basket. He kept his brother right there with him the entire time we were there. He took us to the back yard and he had a most beautiful olive tree, and hanging from one of the branches was one of those wonderful cutouts that he did, maybe it was Botticelli.

He would show us the dining room table where he worked, and he would show us how he cuts things out of these books and magazines – and whatever he cuts out of, he was cutting all the time. Then his mother came home, and she said “What have you been doing in here?” And he said, “I was just showing them how I cut things.” And she said, “There are schnubols everywhere.” Schnubols is a funny word.

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, what is that?

MS. FAURE: It means little bits of paper.

MS. EHRLICH: So it’s German?

MS. FAURE: It sounds German to me because I knew what it meant. And she said there are schnubols everywhere, lets get rid of those, like he was ruining her house.

MS. EHRLICH: This is Susan Ehrlich interviewing Patricia Faure at her home in Beverly Hills, on November 22, 2004, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This is Disc Number Two, Session Two.

So, we were talking about Joseph Cornell on the last tape. What happened? Why did he get in trouble, do you recall?

MS. FAURE: He was very interested in a woman that sold tickets at the neighborhood theater. And she was in a kiosk – which kind of resembles his work in a way – and this pretty woman inside there. He really was taken with her, enough so that he went and got a bunch of flowers, came back to the movie theater, and shoved the flowers through the hole in the kiosk where you get your tickets. It so frightened her that she called out for help and the police came and he was arrested.

MS. EHRLICH: In New York as well, you worked for a short while for Scavullo, Francesco Scavullo?

MS. FAURE: Yes, in New York.

MS. EHRLICH: And he was a good teacher?

MS. FAURE: Well, he was the master of styling. He could do that: beautifully style the sets, style clothes on the model, so I picked up a lot of that from him. I’d also worked for him as a model, so I knew him that way, too. I did finally see what goes into a photo shoot, whether it be an automobile or a fur coat or lingerie, anything, I could see how he prepared for it. It was pretty interesting.

MS. EHRLICH: And then you returned to Los Angeles, in the late 1950s?

MS. FAURE: It was 1955.

MS. EHRLICH: And why did you come back here?

MS. FAURE: I missed it, I really did, and there was a very lively scene here by the time I was here, in about mid ‘50s, I’d say. I met a lot of the artists out here, as I’d met them in New York, and they were kind of fascinated with the fact that I’d belonged to the Art Club, and had met so many people in New York that they admired. So it was interesting. I met Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston, John Altoon, Sam Francis – the works.

MS. EHRLICH: So you were a part of that circle of the up-and-coming artists here?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Irving Blum arrived about the same time, in 1958, and bought into Ferus Gallery. He moved to L.A. from New York, and he really liked it a lot, he thought it was great. We were friends. I was also friends with Peggy Moffit and Bill Claxton, who were also friends with Irving. It was a big group.

MS. EHRLICH: And Bill Claxton?

MS. FAURE: He is a photographer and is married to Peggy Moffit. He is quite well known as a photographer, of jazz musicians, and also of Peggy. He did the topless bathing suit on Peggy and things like that, for Rudi Gernreich.

MS. EHRLICH: And was Rudi out here then, at the time?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes, he was very much here, and important.

MS. EHRLICH: And so you had friendships with essentially the Ferus artists and the Ferus group?


MS. EHRLICH: And what was that like, the early Ferus –

MS. FAURE: Well, they were terrific, and it was very fun-loving and kind of marvelous. There were a lot of talented people – this is before Irving started bringing works like Andy Warhol to Los Angeles. It was a very interesting situation.

MS. EHRLICH: What were their openings like?

MS. FAURE: Big parties, big fun things.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you remember any artists in particular who –

MS. FAURE: Who impressed me?


MS. FAURE: Yes. The Riko Mizuno gallery was here on La Cienega. She had extraordinary shows of Vija Celmins, Mike Kelly and Chris Burden. One show she did with Chris was, he had himself laid out on the street, La Cienega Boulevard, close to the tire of a car, in traffic. He had his body covered with a tarpaulin, so it looked like he’d been run over. And he of course was arrested for that. There were just a series of arrests all through my life. [Laughter.]

And they took him away. Eugenia Butler’s husband, Jim Butler, was a big lawyer at the time and a collector and an interesting fellow as well, and Jim had to go get him out of jail. But it was a terrific piece. And Riko also showed – but this was in the late 60s in another place – she showed the paper sculptures of John Chamberlain, which were really good. They were $500, each one, and we just had one in our paper show sell for $20,000.

Isn’t that nice?

MS. EHRLICH: In your current paper –

MS. FAURE: Yes, in our current paper show.

MS. EHRLICH: So Riko Mizuno was here early on then?

MS. FAURE: Yes. Originally she went into business with Eugenia Butler, they were in business together and then they split up and each went their own way. And Riko was a memorable gallery, just extraordinary. I mean, she was truly the most innovative of all of them. She was extraordinary.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you remember some other earlier artists, I mean gallerists like Felix Landau?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I knew Felix, I mean I’d met him. Didn’t Felix Landau show John McLaughlin early on?


MS. FAURE: And Ed Moses took me to that, to see those paintings.

MS. EHRLICH: And Paul Kantor?

MS. FAURE: Paul Kantor I loved, yes. Yes, he was wonderful. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but during the late ‘50s – and I left here in ‘59 – he had a show of de Kooning and nobody bought anything, so he said I’m leaving this up until they buy them, and he just refused to change his shows. And maybe that’s just hearsay because I wasn’t here at the time, but I thought that was a great attitude.

MS. EHRLICH: He also showed among others, Richard Diebenkorn.


MS. EHRLICH: And some Los Angeles artists, Lee Mullican and Jules Engel.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: But you liked him, he –

MS. FAURE: I thought he was terrific, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: And other gallerists at the time in the ‘50s that you might remember?

MS. FAURE: I’m having trouble thinking of them now, Everett Ellin who was going to be speaking at the Getty with me and Irving Blum and Henry Hopkins, and Elise and Stanley Grinstein.

MS. EHRLICH: So you knew Everett Ellin?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and I saw him recently and was reminded I did know him. I did know him in the ‘50s, late ‘50s.

MS. EHRLICH: And what kind of artists did he show?

MS. FAURE: I can’t remember that, but I know it was contemporary people from either here or the Bay Area.

MS. EHRLICH: Mainly California?


MS. EHRLICH: And he was on La Cienega, too, if you remember?

MS. FAURE: I think he was, actually, I should find out from Irving what he showed, before I go to talk at the Getty – [laughs].

MS. EHRLICH: And what were they – they had Monday Night Walks.

MS. FAURE: Walks, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: That may have started in the ‘60s.


MS. EHRLICH: But I imagine there was a lot of activity with other galleries there on La Cienega, as well. And you photographed some of the Ferus artists?


MS. EHRLICH: Tell us about that, and who was there?

MS. FAURE: Well, I had just started taking pictures, so I thought it would be amusing to photograph those fellows, which I did. I had a studio, and I just piled them all inside and took pictures of them, and that was that. And they went on using them forever.

MS. EHRLICH: Those are iconic pictures.

MS. FAURE: Yes, those are the pictures [Both are looking at a book].

MS. EHRLICH: – of John Altoon.

MS. FAURE: John Altoon and –

MS. EHRLICH: Is that Craig Kauffman?

MS. FAURE: I think so, by the top of the head there, and Ed Kienholz. This is somebody, Allen Lynch, I think his name is, I don’t know about him. Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Bob Irwin and Billy Al Bengston.

MS. EHRLICH: And you have them in all sorts of different poses.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: Some funky, although they didn’t use that term then, but they’re repeatedly used.

MS. FAURE: Yes, I was sort of – when did I do these?

MS. EHRLICH: 1959.

MS. FAURE: ‘59, and I hadn’t been to Paris but it does look like all those people on the Arc de Triumph, doesn’t it?


MS. EHRLICH: Holding the American flag, that’s right.

MS. FAURE: Just jumbled up.

MS. EHRLICH: Jumbled up, yes, and one is upside down, that’s right. So that must have been fun to do in the studio?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was.

MS. EHRLICH: Were they an irreverent group?


MS. EHRLICH: And did you know John Altoon?


MS. EHRLICH: And what was he like?

MS. FAURE: He was wonderful, the real artist’s artist. He was somebody my mother recognized as an artist because he looked like an artist – [laughter] – and she was sort of distrustful of Ed Moses and those other people because they could have been garage mechanics or anything, but John Altoon was a true artist.

MS. EHRLICH: In what ways, I mean was he –

MS. FAURE: Well, I mean that’s what my mother thought, just because he had the physicality of what she perceived to be an artist. But he was very gifted, he was a gifted draftsman, a gifted painter, he had a lot going for him. He was also pretty nutty. [Laughs.]

MS. EHRLICH: Yes. And Ed Moses, what was he like in those early years?

MS. FAURE: He was wonderful. I think he shared a studio then with Craig Kauffman, which is why I probably met Craig at the same time. And I mean he was terrific. And Riko did that incredible show of Ed’s where he had the ceiling of a gallery removed and just the beams remained.

MS. EHRLICH: The struts?

MS. FAURE: The sun would come in and it would make these patterns on the floor which looked like his paintings, and that’s where that started, I guess. I don’t know if the paintings came before that or after.

MS. EHRLICH: Very interesting.

MS. FAURE: And then when Bob Irwin saw that with the ceiling out, he did his first scrim piece there. That was next show after Ed. He had this whole ceiling out which made the scrim piece just look great, wonderful. So those were important. Then Chris Burden lying on La Cienega Boulevard was important, everything was important that she did.

MS. EHRLICH: That was at Riko Mizuno’s?


MS. EHRLICH: And what about Billy Al, Billy Al Bengston, what can you tell us about him?

MS. FAURE: He was a most amazing colorist, one of the most amazing that we had here, a very gifted painter. He gave wonderful parties, like he’d do an Academy Award party and you’d get to vote on the movies.

MS. EHRLICH: Oh, really?

MS. FAURE: Yeah, and he served Kentucky Fried Chicken or something like that, it was nice. So that was fun.

MS. EHRLICH: Was he riding his motorcycle at the time –

MS. FAURE: Yes, I broke my leg on his motorcycle.

MS. EHRLICH: You did? How did that happen?

MS. FAURE: He was taking me some place to deliver film or something. I was on the back of his motorcycle and a big car bumped into my leg and pushed it against the bike, and so all those parts went into my foot.

MS. EHRLICH: Oh, my gosh.

MS. FAURE: And I had to go to the hospital and everything. Isn’t that amazing?

MS. EHRLICH: And that was – when was that?

MS. FAURE: That was in the ‘50s, at that period.

MS. EHRLICH: So they reset your leg and –

MS. FAURE: They reset my leg and I was on crutches a little bit and then with a cane, and there were a lot of pictures taken of me with this cast on.

MS. EHRLICH: Oh, really?


MS. FAURE: Bill Claxton took them. But I don’t know where they are.

MS. EHRLICH: So he was part of the circle, too?

MS. FAURE: He was around, yeah. And then when I left for Paris, Dennis Hopper and Bill and different people took over the photography chores of Ferus gallery, photographing the openings and the artists and all of that. So they moved right in.

MS. EHRLICH: Yes. And Ed Kienholz, what was he like?

MS. FAURE: He was another amazing artist. I guess he was showing at Ferus because he’s in all the pictures, and he’s on the cover there with Wally Berman – have you met Wally Berman?

MS. EHRLICH: No. The first show, you may or may not have been back there for then. These are your photographs.

MS. FAURE: But I noticed Wally Berman wasn’t in that photograph. That was something that Craig took me to.

MS. EHRLICH: There’s a photograph here of you and Craig Kauffman at an opening at Ferus Gallery, and it’s identified as a Hassel Smith show?

MS. FAURE: Hassel Smith, it is.

MS. EHRLICH: And you look like you’re having a lot of fun.

MS. FAURE: This girl slept with everybody. [Laughter.] But don’t say her name.

MS. EHRLICH: I won’t say her name, but she’s very attractive.

MS. FAURE: She is.

MS. EHRLICH: So this was a rather boisterous group then?

MS. FAURE: “War Babies” was good. Wasn’t that Henry Hopkins and all those people had that gallery, Huysman Gallery?

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, the Husman Gallery, did you go to those?

MS. FAURE: I don’t think I really knew that when I was here in the ‘50s.

MS. EHRLICH: But you knew that then from later?

MS. FAURE: I knew about them later.

MS. EHRLICH: And Joe Goode was here?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he showed there too. Joe Goode and Ed Ruscha, I think both showed there.

MS. EHRLICH: Did you know them, and what were they like?

MS. FAURE: Well, I met them more in the ‘70s.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay, we’ll get to that then, as well. Virginia Dwan was here?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I didn’t really know her.

MS. EHRLICH: And she was in Westwood, so and she wasn’t part of that La Cienega scene?

MS. FAURE: Yes, she was in Westwood, it was terrific, and a terrific gallery, but wasn’t she a little bit later into the ‘60s?

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, yes, and so then you were already in Europe.


MS. EHRLICH: Just before we get to Europe, what about Ken Price, did you meet him, and what was he –

MS. FAURE: I didn’t know him, but I liked him very much once I did know him, much later.

MS. EHRLICH: All right, we’ll get to that then. Can you just synopsize what the gallery scene was like in the ‘50s, and then we’ll compare it to the ‘70s, and ‘80s and ‘90s.

MS. FAURE: And now.

MS. EHRLICH: And now, right.

MS. FAURE: It seemed very lively to me, however there wasn’t a lot of money in it, and nobody could really pay their expenses and pay the artists and do everything that they wanted to do. So you had to be very careful. That’s why Billy’s idea of these parties where you treated people to Kentucky Fried Chicken were really smart.

MS. EHRLICH: He got collectors together with artists, is that the idea of it, too?

MS. FAURE: Right, there were some collectors and mostly artists.

MS. EHRLICH: So then you went to Paris. Tell us about the genesis of that.

MS. FAURE: Well, I got married in ‘59 to Jacques Faure, and then we went to Paris for our honeymoon. But once there he was offered a really terrific job as art director for French Vogue, and Adam and a couple of other Condé Nast magazines. So it was really worth his while to stay there, and I liked it a lot, I thought it was terrific.

MS. EHRLICH: And what did you like about it?

MS. FAURE: Well, I liked that it was so beautiful, and I took pictures there, and picture taking was really fun. I was under contract to the New York Times and took pictures of celebrated personalities like Josephine Baker, Collette’s daughter, Hubert Givenchy, and various people of that nature. It was really fun. And then fashion was fun, that was terrific to do. So I enjoyed doing that a lot. All my samples for photographs were the Ferus pictures and Rudi Gernreich, and Gus Tassell was my great friend in the ‘50s and still is. Gustave Tassell, he’s a designer, a wonderful designer.

And actually, Peggy Moffitt worked first for him, and that’s how I met her. She was just straight out of Marlborough, but she had lots of makeup, and very extreme hair and things like that, so everybody loved her. Then Rudi saw her and he decided he wanted her. Gustave Tassell was like Jimmy Galanos, but you know, it’s not as amusing as Rudi. You can do more funny things with Rudi Gernreich clothes, and so she was attracted to that, and Gus was like Balenciaga, or somebody like that. Very serious great clothes.

MS. EHRLICH: So you were really immersed in the fashion scene then?


MS. EHRLICH: And the photography scene as well?

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: And a combination of Condé Nast publications and your freelance work for the New York Times, you said?

MS. FAURE: New York Times, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: And then also Marie France?

MS. FAURE: Marie France, and Elle, and I was supposedly not to work for my husband, they didn’t like that. So I avoided it, but I did do a couple of things for Adam, the men’s magazine, and that was good.

MS. EHRLICH: And your daughter was born there?

MS. FAURE: And my daughter was born in 1965, and that convinced me, more than ever, to be there because it was so easy to have a baby there. I waited until I had live-in help, for one, that in itself is not a difficulty there. So I knew that I wanted to keep working, so I wanted to have that before I had the baby, which is what we did. We got a nice apartment, really big, and had this baby at the American hospital. I had a drug free delivery.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: And I wasn’t that young, even then, I wasn’t. It was terrific, and I breast fed her for four months or five months, and I didn’t think I’d do any of those things, but the nurses just start you off that way. And the French government gives you money when you have a child.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, they’re so happy about that – [laughter] – another French person. But the one thing is that they wouldn’t let me name her Zazu. When Jacques went to where you list the babies, where you enter them into the French culture, he said, “her name is Zazu Faure,” and they said “oh, no, no it’s not,” because Zazu spelt Z-a-z-o-u means zoot suitor or pachuco in French.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it’s the equivalent of that.

MS. EHRLICH: And how did you come up with the name Zazu?

MS. FAURE: Well, I like Zasu Pitts, but she spelt her name Z-a-s-u, but I like Zs, so I put in another Z in it, it’s kind of an English name. And she was a great beauty, which people forget about her, they think of her only as a slap dash comic. But she was also a great beauty, and I though that it was a good name and I like Zs.

MS. EHRLICH: While you were there in France, you knew Rudi Gernreich, and Helmut Newton as well?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Rudi wasn’t in France, he was in Los Angeles.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay, there was a photograph [of you with him] in the Paris café?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was visiting us.

MS. EHRLICH: He was visiting, from L.A.?


MS. EHRLICH: But Helmut Newton was there?

MS. FAURE: He lived there, yes. And he worked for my husband.

MS. EHRLICH: So tell us about him, and your relationship with him and his wife –

MS. FAURE: We were best friends, the two couples, we were the very best of friends. We would go eating together, drinking together, everything. Helmut and I worked for a couple of the same people, like the magazine from Germany called Elegance, we both did that. But otherwise, he’s such a great photographer, I never was very good – as Helmut was always there to point out.


MS. EHRLICH: So he was a critic then, as well?

MS. FAURE: Yes, especially of me because he thought I wasn’t careful enough, you know.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, he has been called the “king of kink,” so maybe you weren’t kinky enough?

MS. FAURE: No, he meant technically.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. And his wife, Alice Springs, what was she like?

MS. FAURE: She was wonderful, Alice Springs, but she’s June Newton to me. She was wonderful. She was a stellar actress in Australia, actually better – more employed than say Maggie Smith, did more things on the stage. She was a wonderful actress, I’m sure of it, though I never saw her in a play, I just know she was. They lived there and she didn’t know French. They moved from Australia to England because he was shipped out from Germany by his parents – I don’t know if I told you that – during the war. They were Jewish so they had to get him out of Berlin. He was shipped out when he was young, and he went to Hong Kong or Singapore, one of those two, and then to Australia. It’s all in his book.


MS. FAURE: And he was there for a while, a little while at least, and then he got – he was allowed to go to Australia, so he went there. Then in Australia, I think he was first put in jail – another jailee. [Laughter.] And then when he got out of jail, he saw June Newton was in these plays, and he’d see her and she was so beautiful, and he had photographed her, maybe for the theatrical production. And then they later got married, and then he wanted to leave Australia and move to London, and she thought that would be fine, because they still spoke English there – as you may well know.


MS. FAURE: But he got tired of London in very short order, and moved to Paris. She couldn’t speak French, she couldn’t be in anything, she couldn’t do it, so she became a photographer, and she’s pretty good. They were coming to Los Angeles every Christmastime.

MS. EHRLICH: To Los Angeles?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and spending a couple of months here at that time of year. And by now they had moved to Monte Carlo, and they would come and stay at the Chateau Marmont and it was wonderful until he died at the Chateau Marmont. I couldn’t even go to his funeral or anything. He was buried next to Marlene Dietrich in Berlin. So his body is back in Berlin, or his ashes at least, and not in Australia and not here at the Chateau Marmont and not in Paris or London. They did it so nicely in Berlin, and it was like going back home again. In fact, he had an exhibition in this place – recently they did it again – but he had one before he died. I’m not sure if it was where he had the exhibition or where he’s buried, looked right across the street at this train station. That was the train he took out of there as a teenager. Isn’t that amazing? And so he liked that place, and which was the last time he saw his parents.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?


MS. EHRLICH: And you saw him when he came here?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I always saw him. We spent a lot of time together.

MS. EHRLICH: He showed his works here in Los Angeles, too.

MS. FAURE: At Nicholas Wilder, I introduced Nick to him and he had his first show there, I think it might have been his first gallery show, and it was terrific, it was just terrific. And Betty and I had one show of his, too.

MS. EHRLICH: So then you came back to Los Angeles.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: So tell us about that transition.

MS. FAURE: We were in Paris from ‘59 to 1970, then we returned here, and we lived first in Santa Monica in one of those wonderful houses on Margarita, right at the ocean, and that was very nice. Zazu started school, she didn’t speak much English, because she refused to speak English in France, and then she refused to speak French here, and she just died that I would send her to this school where some of the teachers where Swiss and spoke French. And she said, “If they speak to me in French I’m not staying, I’ll be too embarrassed” – [laughs]. So the transition was an easy one. Naturally I had to learn to drive because I hadn’t been driving at all, so that was a big part.

MS. EHRLICH: And why did you come back?

MS. FAURE: Because Jacques really wanted to. French people are in love with L.A. The whole country of France is in love with L.A. They think of New York as a 19th century city like Paris, or even earlier. [Laughs.]

MS. EHRLICH: How would you describe the change, if there was one, or the evolution of L.A. from the late ‘50s when you left to the ‘70s when you returned?

MS. FAURE: I didn’t really even notice so much difference. It just seemed the same friendly place that it always was.

MS. EHRLICH: So you picked up with the same –

MS. FAURE: With the same crowd, and I have old friends from Hollywood High that I’ve known since I was 15 and I still see those people too, the ones that are still living. And I have my family here, I had them, there are not many of them left any more.

MS. EHRLICH: And you began to work with Nick Wilder, how did that happen?

MS. FAURE: Because Babs Altoon, John’s widow, knew that he was desperate to have somebody there, and she told me about him, and I thought, he sounded pretty fascinating. I said, well, I’d go for a little while to help, until he gets over the hump, and he’d just lost a bunch of people and he was having a lot of troubles. So I went for this short time, I thought, and then I decided to stay because he was fascinating. One of the most important reasons I decided to stay, other than he showed Altoon, is that he showed this artist named Bruce Nauman. I had seen Jane Livingston’s exhibition, a mid-career retrospective of Bruce Nauman. I saw that before I ever went to work for Nick – and I thought this is amazing, it’s like something I never dreamed possible. It was something I knew nothing about, and that interested me. And when I went to work for Nick, I found that he showed Bruce Nauman, so I thought, this is a good place.

MS. EHRLICH: Tell us about Nick, and what kind of person he was.

MS. FAURE: He was super intelligent, very kind and decent with people, absolutely amazing. He made people feel smart after they talked to him; they left there feeling good about themselves. I don’t know if I’m capable of doing it, but I think about that a lot. Because galleries are so often snobby.

MS. EHRLICH: You bet.

MS. FAURE: People felt bad when they left most galleries. But people felt good when they left Nick. Isn’t that an amazing talent to have?

MS. EHRLICH: It is, and it’s wonderful. It’s great that you perceived that in him, and it sounds like that was a lesson you learned from him…

MS. FAURE: Yes, I don’t know if I do it as well as he did, certainly, but it really is uppermost in my mind – even while disliking the people. [Laughs.] – as I often do, but you don’t want them to think they’re dumb.


MS. FAURE: – or that they just don’t know about things, like art, like it’s some special thing that they can’t know about. That’s the impression that most people get in galleries, in so many of the galleries, isn’t that amazing?

MS. EHRLICH: Well, they become intimidated?


MS. EHRLICH: Because what you like also becomes a statement of who you are, right?

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: And your tastes and the like. So he was, from your description, was very generous with people?

MS. FAURE: Yes, absolutely.

MS. EHRLICH: And instructive too?

MS. FAURE: And instructive – there was a brilliance about him, he was beautiful looking, and he would gesture with his hands, and you felt the electricity, the intelligence leaping off his fingers. It was amazing. He was really an incredible person. He was a law student at Stanford when he just got so interested in art, and the law professor said that if he would run a gallery at Stanford, in Palo Alto, that they would back it. So he did. And he showed some of his earliest artists, he may have showed Bruce Nauman because he went to school up north. And I know he showed Tom Holland, and people like that, and probably others that I’m leaving out even from back then. Then he moved to Los Angeles, which was different than moving to San Francisco which was kind of the logical thing to do, wasn’t it?


MS. FAURE: But he didn’t do that, he moved down here, and he thought it was really an interesting place – amazing.

MS. EHRLICH: I didn’t know him, and so this is instructive to me.


MS. EHRLICH: The description of him is that he dressed well and he had nice cars –


MS. EHRLICH: – and he was very elegant and gentlemanly.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you find that true?

MS. FAURE: Absolutely, all of those things.

MS. EHRLICH: But the persona, the kind of man he was, you would know personally –

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was just a dream. In fact if he hadn’t wanted so desperately to go out of business – and he also made art –

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it’s quite interesting. And he wanted to go out of business, he just didn’t want to do it any more. I would never have left, I’d still be there.

MS. EHRLICH: So he was a good boss?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was good, and he was so nice to Zazu, he gave her her first two-wheeler bike, her first phone, all those kind of things.

[End of Tape 1.]

MS. FAURE: Yes, and he had a terrible dog named Nigel – [laughter] – an English bulldog. But I used to have to take it home with me. It was funny, it was a funny dog. And Nick showed, of course, David Hockney.

MS. EHRLICH: Early on then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, his first show in California.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you remember any other artists whom he showed?

MS. FAURE: Besides Bruce? Robert Graham.

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, Robert Graham.

MS. FAURE: Yes, and Joe Goode, and of course my favorite was John McLaughlin. We used to go out to McLaughlin’s place in Dana Point and meet with him, it was great. Tony de Lap, who I show today. Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston. At one time he showed all those people.

MS. EHRLICH: You said you went out to visit John McLaughlin?


MS. EHRLICH: Tell us about that.

MS. FAURE: Well, he’s just a master of all, isn’t he? We went out there to look at things he was preparing for an exhibition at Nick’s, and to have lunch with them, with John and Florence, his wife.

MS. EHRLICH: They lived in Dana Point?

MS. FAURE: In Dana Point, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was the house like and his environment?

MS. FAURE: Well, it was just a simple place. It wasn’t fancy but it was very nice and commodious, he had a place to paint and a place to store things, and it was all there, it was terrific.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was his relationship with – you mentioned Robert Graham, what was his relationship there, he gave Robert Graham a number of shows?

MS. FAURE: Yes. Well, we showed some beautiful work, I mean, that looked extremely promising, early on. And then Bob also – I think he went to London – he did some work there as well, and he was pretty interesting then, those little nudes on a platform with mirrors and things. They were quite terrific.

MS. EHRLICH: And Ron Davis?

MS. FAURE: And Ron Davis, I forgot that, yes. Those were the great works of Ron. You know, what do you call those things, dodecahedrons.

MS. EHRLICH: He actually showed Ron Davis in the mid and late ‘60s, and lots of Tom Holland shows?


MS. EHRLICH: And did Tom Holland come down from northern California?


MS. EHRLICH: What was he like? I haven’t met him.

MS. FAURE: He was very, very friendly and sweet and nice, and they lived a beautiful life up in Berkeley. They had lovely children, and it was all very, very pleasant. I mean you couldn’t ask for a better company than all of these people.

MS. EHRLICH: And Nick was pleasant so he maintained good relationships with these artists?

MS. FAURE: Yes, they loved him, really, everybody did.

MS. EHRLICH: And how were sales of their work?

MS. FAURE: Ron Davis sold very well, as did Robert Graham. There were always commissions and things like that, besides the sales. And most everybody did okay, you know, the terminology that comes from the stock market had not yet invaded the art market, even “art market” I object to. It makes it seem like you’re selling Popsicles or Coca Cola. I think it’s a bad word, “market” and “sell out shows,” that’s another thing I hate.

You know, you don’t sell out shows very often. We did with Andy Moses, but they have to be at a certain price and probably a young artist, and that’s that. All that stuff and “what’s the market like?” is another thing that offends me. There is no art market, is my answer to that, there never has been and there probably never will be. Those terms are really relegated to things that are mass-produced. These are unique works that you’re dealing with, and there is only one of everything, so you can’t make a market that way. So I don’t like those words.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, his success with you loving to work there and with artists, came from, if you had to sum it up, what characteristics?

MS. FAURE: I think he was smarter than most anybody else, and that opened up a lot of doors and possibilities. See, that’s a good thing.

MS. EHRLICH: And yet at the same time, he didn’t make you feel –

MS. FAURE: No, he made me feel smart. That’s the magic.

MS. EHRLICH: That’s the magic?


MS. EHRLICH: And he must have treated the artists well then, too?

MS. FAURE: I think he did.

MS. EHRLICH: And sold their work?

MS. FAURE: Yes. I don’t think people really had complaints about him not paying them or something like that. We had an accountant that took care of everything and he was good, too.

MS. EHRLICH: So the way the gallery operated then. You had contracts, exclusive rights?


MS. EHRLICH: No? How did it operate?

MS. FAURE: Just the way we operate today, we don’t have any contracts. And it’s all, you know, word of mouth. And I figure if you don’t do well by the artist, they can leave, and if they don’t do well by me, I can leave, and I think that’s what Nick felt, too.

MS. EHRLICH: So you continued in the same way he did?

MS. FAURE: Exactly the same way.

MS. EHRLICH: And were there exclusive understandings, that he would be the only dealer?

MS. FAURE: The only dealer in this area, but not – there was still San Francisco and New York and Paris and London, and Chicago was a big thing too, at that time.

MS. EHRLICH: What about advances or paying the artists in advance?

MS. FAURE: Well, he didn’t have the money to do it, and in my own gallery I never had the money to do that.

MS. EHRLICH: So that didn’t happen?

MS. FAURE: No, it didn’t happen with us.

MS. EHRLICH: He showed Sam Francis too a few times?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and Sam adored him, really, really loved him. That’s a picture of Sam Francis when he finished a Basel mural in his studio in Paris. That’s the man who took the picture and gave it to me. He was so pleased with himself when he finished that painting, it’s just amazing. Couldn’t have been happier.

MS. EHRLICH: So he had good relationships with top artists working here then in the ‘70s?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and good relationships with artists he didn’t show, like he was very close with Diebenkorn.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and he didn’t even show him.

MS. EHRLICH: And he showed some New York artists, too, Morris Louis and [Kenneth] Noland and –

MS. FAURE: Agnes Martin.

MS. EHRLICH: Agnes Martin.

MS. FAURE: That was early on.

MS. EHRLICH: And did he go through their New York dealer?

MS. FAURE: I’d imagine so, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: And who were some of his clients?

MS. FAURE: Robert Rowan was a big one, and Ed Janss, and all those lawyers from Stanford. I can’t think of their names unfortunately, but they showed up often, the Weismans, Marcia in particular. I remember Betty Freeman and people like that, Maybelle Wolfe.

MS. EHRLICH: And you knew these collectors then, too?


MS. EHRLICH: What was Ed Janss like?

MS. FAURE: He was wonderful, I loved him. I’m still very friendly with his widow, Anne.


MS. FAURE: And also with Dagny, his daughter. He also had a son. I never did know him that much, the son.

MS. EHRLICH: Now, did Dagny have her store then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, on Santa Monica, above Nick Wilder –

MS. EHRLICH: So she was above Nick Wilder, that was Dagny Corcoran, her Art Catalogues.

MS. FAURE: Yes, Art Catalogues it was called.

MS. EHRLICH: Her store.

MS. FAURE: We put Jim Corcoran into that building too, at the other end, and he did a pretty good job there, too. I wish he was still in business, but he doesn’t like to deal with people, he says.

MS. EHRLICH: So tell us about that space then, we started –

MS. FAURE: There’s a little one.

MS. EHRLICH: We started with Nick, you were at 8225 and a-half –

MS. FAURE: Five-and-a-half.

MS. EHRLICH: Santa Monica Boulevard.

MS. FAURE: Was that his address?

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, and in what is now West Hollywood, I imagine, it was then just Los Angeles.


MS. EHRLICH: So others in that little complex?

MS. FAURE: There was Jan Baum, she was in the middle one, and then we moved – Asher Faure moved upstairs above Corcoran, and Dagny’s book store was above Nick, and we had walk-throughs there. So that was good.

MS. EHRLICH: So Jan Baum was there also with Silverman?

MS. FAURE: She had a partner, Baum Silverman, it was called, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: What about other dealers at that time in the ‘70s?

MS. FAURE: Well, there was Margo [Leavin] and Rosamund [Felsen] opened. She took Riko’s space on La Cienega.

MS. EHRLICH: So that’s Rosamund Felsen?

MS. FAURE: Rosamund Felsen, yes. Gemini of course was there all the time.

MS. EHRLICH: And did you know the Gemini people?

MS. FAURE: Oh, yes, Sidney Felsen and Stanley and Elise [Grinstein], yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Molly Barnes?

MS. FAURE: Molly Barnes I know too, though she had moved away a little bit sometime in the ‘70s, I think.

MS. EHRLICH: What about Jack Glenn, was he –

MS. FAURE: Yes, Jack Glenn was a very important dealer. I just gave a talk on Connie Glenn, his wife, because Jack Glenn had a gallery in Newport or in that area where they lived, and he single-handedly just generated a crop of collectors. They didn’t even know they were collectors until he talked to them, and showed them things. Largely all the museum activity there comes from that. And I thought he was terrific.

MS. EHRLICH: So you had positive relationships with these other dealers?


MS. EHRLICH: But didn’t show the same artists?

MS. FAURE: No, no, we showed different artists. Sometimes we’d overlap or at one time you would show somebody and then they would end up showing someplace else, but rarely. Most artists really stayed. But I know when Riko closed, Alexis Smith, all these girls like Riko. Alex and Vija Celmins were babysitters for Zazu.

[Pause as phone rings.]

I very much like Claire Copley. She comes from a wonderful art family of Noma Copley and her famous father. They were really terrific. She had a great gallery and one really fascinating show she did was Michael Asher. And I wanted Michael Asher only to show with Betty and me. But anyway, that didn’t happen, he wouldn’t do it, so because Betty was his mother and he didn’t think that was right. And I told you about Jack Glenn.


MS. FAURE: And I really liked him a lot. Ruth Shaffner was in Santa Barbara, wasn’t she? Wasn’t she – was she down here too?

MS. EHRLICH: That I can’t answer.

MS. FAURE: Jodi Scully, Felix Landau and Perls. I still see the wife, or the widow, of Frank Perls, I think his name was.


MS. FAURE: And she has a gallery in Palm Springs.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: She runs a business there, anyway, maybe it’s not a fully fledged gallery. Molly Barnes did a lot of things here, brought in a lot of movie people and that sort of thing. Wasn’t that interesting? But Margo Leavin has a very good gallery, and she was already starting in the early ‘70s. Didn’t she start – or did she just move there, to her present location in the ‘70s, ‘72 or something? I think she did. So she might have been around in another place before then. And Janus is Jan Turner and those people, and that’s fine. She’s not there any more.

LA Louver I think has done an excellent job for a long period of time. I think he came here in 1971 or ‘72, something like that. And he’s onto another gallery and another gallery. And Joni Gordon at Newspace, she’s stuck in there a long time. And Mallory Freeman has been around. David Stuart I loved.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I loved David Stuart, I think he was –

MS. EHRLICH: Do you remember any of his shows or what he specialized in?

MS. FAURE: Well, one thing he did was pre-Colombian with Primus. But then he also showed Llyn Foulkes and different people of that nature. I think he showed Copley, what’s her name’s father.

MS. EHRLICH: Bill Copley?

MS. FAURE: Bill Copley, yes, I’m quite sure he did, showed Bill Copley. Newspace, of course, I know, too. And Mallory Freeman I knew, too. But the ones I was closest to were Irving, Margo, LA Louver, Rosamund, Gemini and that’s enough, isn’t it?

MS. EHRLICH: It absolutely is.

MS. FAURE: – Perls and Felix Landau were interesting galleries. She came and bought something from me not long ago.

[Pause for phone.]

MS. EHRLICH: This is Susan Ehrlich interviewing Patricia Faure at her home in Beverly Hills on 22 November 2004 for the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art. This is Tape Number Three.

So we were talking about Los Angeles in the 1970s, and about other gallerists. What about the institutions here, the support structures for art, what can you tell me about them, your relationships with them: LACMA [Los Angeles County Museum of Art]?

MS. FAURE: LAICA [Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art], the Pasadena Art Museum was pretty interesting, too. I think it was still intact then, in early ‘70s. By ‘72 it was closed.

MS. EHRLICH: Around ‘74 –

MS. FAURE: It was sold to Norton Simon.

MS. EHRLICH: Right, so tell us what it was like before that, before it was sold?

MS. FAURE: It was fantastic because Walter Hopps was running it, they had the very first Marcel Duchamp show, I think maybe his first museum show. Isn’t that amazing? And it was an incredible museum, and I remember there were – I took pictures of a Larry Bell show out there, that was beautiful with those great paragon and glass and with all the reflected people that were in the place, shown in the glass, and it was great. It was a terrific museum. They had young director, unless Walter was director and she was head curator, Barbara Haskell, who ended up at the Whitney, was so good. I know I was engaged by Glamour magazine to photograph her.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Because she was the youngest director in America, in any place in the museum world. I think Walter had already been let go, which was a mistake.

MS. EHRLICH: Walter Hopps?

MS. FAURE: Walter Hopps, yes, I thought he was terrific.

But she was great, so that was nice too. But Walter did all those wonderful shows there like Marcel Duchamp, and it’s amazing, that it happened here, and not in New York. Isn’t that incredible? Because of that couple here who owned the big glass [The Large Glass: The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even 1915-1923] of Duchamp, begins with an A, their name, but I’ve forgotten it.

MS. EHRLICH: Arensberg?

MS. FAURE: Arensberg, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Walter and Louise Arensberg.

MS. FAURE: Yes, they owned that piece of Duchamp.

MS. EHRLICH: And Walter Hopps knew the Arensberg from before?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he grew up in that area. He grew up with Craig Kauffman actually.

MS. EHRLICH: Oh, really?

MS. FAURE: They went to the same school and all that sort of thing, their primary education. Walter was so brilliant, too, that was another thing that was good. I liked those smart people. At LACMA was Maurice Tuchman who was very controversial. I don’t know if his shows were so lambasted by people, but sometimes they seemed to be all right to me, in retrospect.

MS. EHRLICH: Why was he controversial?

MS. FAURE: I guess he had habits people didn’t like. I know people that were all these Guerilla Girls that were manifesting about galleries and museums that didn’t include women in their shows. They once manifested in front of Nicholas Wilder’s gallery while he was having a show of Jo Baer.

MS. EHRLICH: Who is a woman.

MS. FAURE: Yes, and they were carrying on. They hadn’t done their homework. Isn’t that good?

MS. EHRLICH: So that was one reason for Maurice Tuchman. What about his support of Los Angeles artists?

MS. FAURE: I thought he did that all right. But maybe he didn’t bring the most extraordinary exhibitions here. They seem to do better now, with Howard and all the ladies there, Stephanie Barron and those people. And UCLA, right, that was good, always. Barnsdall was always kind of interesting.

MS. EHRLICH: Barnsdall, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes, that was pretty interesting.

MS. EHRLICH: Josine Ianco Starrels –

MS. FAURE: Yes, she was there and she did a good job.

MS. EHRLICH: Showed Los Angeles artists? And so Nick had a good relationship with all of these sources?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes, right.

MS. EHRLICH: Why do you think – we can get back to the institutions – going back to Nick Wilder, why do you think he closed his gallery?

MS. FAURE: Because he was tired of it and because he wanted to paint. He took the place in New York and he painted there and he also sold some work there so he could support himself while painting.

MS. EHRLICH: He sold his own work or –

MS. FAURE: No, he sold as a dealer, as a private dealer.

MS. EHRLICH: Did you keep in touch with him?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and then he got sick, and he was dying, so I used to see him when I’d go back there. My daughter was at Columbia University at the time, and so she saw him. When she graduated he was there, and he came to the graduation, too. After that, he died. Maybe he wasn’t that sick at the time of her graduation.

MS. EHRLICH: He died in 1989?

MS. FAURE: Yes, so that’s much later.

MS. EHRLICH: Now, some of his late exhibitions seemed to shift a bit – of some of the exhibitions that you remember at Nick Wilders, you mentioned John McCracken?

MS. FAURE: Yes, beautiful pieces of John McCracken, a big yellow pyramid. It was so gorgeous, and it was recently in the show at MOCA, that yellow piece.

MS. EHRLICH: A ziggurat form?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was great. And it had been sold to a collector in Hawaii and MOCA got it back for that show. And that was beautiful. He also showed Ken Price. That’s after I was there, because Ken Price was a friend.

MS. EHRLICH: And you mentioned Agnes Martin?

MS. FAURE: Agnes Martin, I’m trying to see when it was, I can’t see it here.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, we can look that up. What do you recall from her –

MS. FAURE: Well, I know Agnes Martin was there with us, and she was pretty fascinating herself. And she was in town because of this show at the Pasadena museum, a retrospective, and that’s why we were showing her silk screens, because we couldn’t get our hands on any paintings at that time because everything was in Pasadena. And they were beautiful. They were the only kind of multiple of that nature that she had ever done, at least until that time, maybe she did some afterwards, I don’t remember. But she was a very interesting artist and an interesting woman too, as well. She lived in Santa Fe, I think, or Taos, and built her own house with her own two hands. She was pretty amazing. I don’t see what year that was, here.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, we can look that up. Do you remember Agnes Martin, that show?

MS. FAURE: I remember that show very well. Also, Alan McCallum, that was a really interesting show, too.

MS. EHRLICH: And he was a young emerging artist then?

MS. FAURE: Yeah, he had already sort of emerged I think. Maybe not, maybe he was just emerg-ing – [laughs]. And then George Herms was terrific too. Of course Sam Francis and Tony de Lap and Michael Todd, and forever McLaughlin, John McLaughlin was perfect. And here it says “American Quilts,” maybe he did show them in ‘79. I was already out of there and we’d moved in our gallery upstairs, and I just don’t remember it. George Platt Lyons, surreal, campy, sexy, fantasy, frankly gay images.


MS. EHRLICH: That’s what one of the reviewers said –

MS. FAURE: – and that’s true

MS. EHRLICH: [Laughing] – said about the show, Suzanne Muchnic, I believe, for the Los Angeles Times. William Wilson did most of the reviews for this show.

MS. FAURE: And then before that there was – what was it – who was it? Henry Seldis.

MS. EHRLICH: Henry Seldis, yes. And did you welcome them? What was your relationship with those two reviewers?

MS. FAURE: They were okay. I mean I think today they do a much, much better job, I mean it’s just inconceivable by comparison. I remember I put this book together of all of Nick’s reviews, is that the book you took from the gallery?

MS. EHRLICH: And returned.

MS. FAURE: Yes. And I remember when Christopher Knight gets really depressed, I give him that to read – [laughter] – and then he gets to feel better about himself, because it’s so much better now. There’s no comparison.

MS. EHRLICH: Although William Wilson and Suzanne Muchnic seemed to write positively about a number of the reviews then too?

MS. FAURE: Yes. No, I mean they didn’t always put everything down. It’s just – I don’t think it – well, Suzanne I think is a very good writer, anyway. Good with material. And by ‘79 Nick had gotten involved with a young man who brought in all this Duane Michals and George Platt Lynes and all of that.

MS. EHRLICH: And then he closed his gallery –

MS. FAURE: And went to New York.

MS. EHRLICH: Went to New York, and then you began a gallery with Betty Asher?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Nick was very, very helpful. He liked the idea and he thought that Betty Asher was a good choice for a partner for me and he really, really was most helpful. He set me up because my idea was to bring the dealers to Los Angeles with their shows. That’s why we opened with André Emmerich bringing all the Morris Louis. Then we did Leo Castelli and [Richard] Artschwager. We did Larry Rubin, and I forget who we did with him. I think it was a group show. And Paula Cooper brought Joel Shapiro.

I did that for a reason, these kind of shows, because I had seen Corcoran and Nick sit there with extraordinary shows that people didn’t buy because they thought they had to go to New York to get the really good stuff. There was this pervasive inferiority complex about Los Angeles. And I thought, well, if I bring the dealers out here they’ll see for themselves that they came out with this material and they’ll know it’s good. André Emmerich always reminded me that when he had all those Morris Louises, people would come up to him and say, “You know, we’ve always wanted a Morris Louis, but we’re going to have to come to New York and see what you have there.” And he said, “What I have there is what’s here, and, you know, it’s the cream of the crop that I brought here and I wouldn’t do anything else.” But it really was hard for people and they never quite did get it.

MS. EHRLICH: Your announcements were very interesting. They would go: “André Emmerich presents paintings by Morris Louis in Los Angeles at Asher Faure.”


MS. EHRLICH: So you had credit both ways?

MS. FAURE: Yeah.

MS. EHRLICH: And how did you establish that connection with Emmerich?

MS. FAURE: Well, I knew him from Nick. And I knew Leo Castelli in that way, and I knew Paula Cooper. Paula Cooper had come out here to spend a couple of months in the summer showing Joel Shapiro in the early ‘70s at Riko Mizuno’s gallery. She took it over for the summer.

So I had met her there. But also Paula Cooper and I had this weird history. My mother-in-law in Paris rented out a room in her place, her apartment, to students at the Sorbonne, and when Paula came there to go to the Sorbonne, she stayed with my mother-in-law. And my mother-in-law never forgot her and thought she was so wonderful and she always called her “la petite americaine” – or “ma petit americaine.” And she called me “l’ americaine sauvage.”

MS. EHRLICH: The savage.

MS. FAURE: Yeah, because I ate apples without peeling them – [laughs] – and ate them in my hands – ooh, without cutting them either. And so when Paula came to visit Paris with her mother in the ‘60s, she had to go and see Antoinette [Faure], my mother-in-law. And my mother-in-law said, “Oh we’ll all meet for lunch.” So we did and I got to meet this “la petite americaine,” and we’ve been friends ever since. Isn’t that nice?

MS. EHRLICH: That’s wonderful. A great story. And with Paula Cooper you showed Joel Shapiro?

MS. FAURE: Joel Shapiro, yeah. And went on to show him even without her.

MS. EHRLICH: It looked like a wonderful exhibition of Morris Louis.

MS. FAURE: It was. It was absolutely gorgeous. And every one of those exhibitions that we did – we did Philip Guston with David McKee. We did the first show with “Guston and Kline: Works on Paper”, which was amazing. That was with David too, and then we did a big Guston show. I think we did two of them in fact.

MS. EHRLICH: And David McKee was also through Nick Wilder?

MS. FAURE: Yes. Nick always loved Guston and he kept thinking he’d do a show of that, so instead I did it – [laughs]. Those are all people I met through Nick.

MS. EHRLICH: Going back to the beginning one more time, how did you connect with Betty Asher?

MS. FAURE: Well, first of all, back in the ‘60s I was here visiting from Paris and I went to Irving Blum’s gallery. I think it was by then called Irving Blum, not Ferus any more – I think it was, I’m not sure about that. And he was having a show of Ed Ruscha and I saw this painting called Annie [1965], a famous, famous painting and I said to Irving, I cannot leave and go back to Paris without that painting. It’s such a perfect painting for an American to have there. And I said, it just has to be in my living room. And he said, I’m sorry, I just sold it to a lady. And of course the lady was Betty Asher, right?

MS. EHRLICH: Mm-hmm.

MS. FAURE: When I met her in the ‘70s when I was back here, I even knew about her before then because there was a big party some people gave for Jacque and I, when we were visiting, and before we even had Zazu. I think that it was a big party at a photographer’s studio and then John Altoon got sick there. It must have been around ‘68. Instead of taking him to a hospital, they took him to Betty Asher’s house because her husband was a famous doctor – or rather famous. They took him there and then he perished. So by the time I came back from Paris and moved here, he was gone.

MS. EHRLICH: You were not at the party?

MS. FAURE: I think we were, yeah.

MS. EHRLICH: And John Altoon got sick at the party?

MS. FAURE: Yeah. I think the party was for us, unless I’m completely mistaken.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. And the photography studio might have been yours?

MS. FAURE: No, it wasn’t mine.

MS. EHRLICH: It was somebody else’s?

MS. FAURE: It was Tommy Mitchell’s. He was a photographer here.

MS. EHRLICH: And Altoon was at that party?


MS. EHRLICH: Got sick and then they took him to Leonard Asher’s house?


MS. EHRLICH: And he died there?


MS. EHRLICH: My lord. What type of doctor was Leonard Asher?

MS. FAURE: I think he was an everything doctor.

MS. EHRLICH: A GP [General Practioner]?

MS. FAURE: Yeah.

MS. EHRLICH: So you knew of Betty then, or met her?

MS. FAURE: I didn’t know her. I wasn’t with John over there or anything like that. I may be mistaken about that whole thing.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. [Laughs.]

MS. FAURE: I’ll have to look it up.

MS. EHRLICH: All right. But you knew Betty before –

MS. FAURE: I knew of her.


MS. FAURE: That’s all. But I didn’t really meet her really until she’d divorced Leonard and I met her at Nick Wilder – and she lived not too far from here on Oakhurst.

MS. EHRLICH: In Beverly Hills?

MS. FAURE: Yeah. And she gave up the house. But she was internationally known as a collector and she worked for Maurice [Tuchman]. She was his assistant. She was always around the galleries.


MS. EHRLICH: So continuing with Betty Asher, you were talking about how you met her. And how did you connect with her? How did you decide to develop this partnership?

MS. FAURE: Well, actually Betty wanted to leave LACMA. She thought that things weren’t going well there at the time and she didn’t feel comfortable in her position, or that she would even be there forever. Why I don’t know, because they never had anybody better – ever. You know, I don’t know why. She just felt that. And she heard what I was going to do and she asked me.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes. She said, I like the idea that you want a partner. And I said, yes, because she was fantastic because of her involvement as a collector and as a museum person. She had everything working for her. She was nice and smart and gentle and quite a terrific person. One of the best things she did – I think it is in that catalogue I talk about it – are the parties that she used to give to bring people together. I mean, she would have [Roy] Lichtenstein meeting Joe Goode, for instance. And she would have all of these different people or whoever was in town. She would get them all together with major artists from other parts of the country or Europe and they’d all meet at Betty Asher’s house. So that was nice. She was very well known and of course Leo Castelli liked her a lot. So, I had a major push from Nick Wilder and that was greatly enhanced by making my partnership with Betty Asher.

MS. EHRLICH: So Nick was for it and –

MS. FAURE: Oh, yes. He thought it was a good idea and he really wanted me to do this.

MS. EHRLICH: And so you opened a gallery where?

MS. FAURE: There, right where he was upstairs, above Corcoran [Corcoran Gallery on Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles].

MS. EHRLICH: And how did you divvy up responsibilities to share tasks or the like?

MS. FAURE: We both did everything. Yeah, we did absolutely everything. Though, when we moved the gallery to Almont, Betty let me take care of that totally and she just went along with anything.

MS. EHRLICH: And what do you think that you both brought to the table? She was a little older than you then. Is that correct?

MS. FAURE: Yes. Well, she was older and perhaps wiser and – but that’s not always called for, you know – [laughs]. She was a really solid person and she also had this incredibly gifted son, Michael Asher, and he was something too. I thought he was a great artist and I always wanted to show him, and I still want to show him – and maybe some day I will. Maybe I’ll get to do that, I don’t know for sure.

MS. EHRLICH: And what did you like about his work?

MS. FAURE: I liked it because, again, I like things that were something I’d never seen before. The first show that I saw was his painted room that he did in Venice with three walls white and one wall black that just seemed to recede into space in the most alarming way. He’s very, very smart, Michael, too.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you still maintain contact with him?

[Tape change.]

MS. EHRLICH: This is Susan Ehrlich interviewing Patricia Faure at her home in Beverly Hills on November 24, 2004, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This is Disc Number 4, Session 3. We left off with your establishing a partnership with Betty Asher and we talked about the genesis of that relationship. It went, from all accounts, very well?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was terrific.

MS. EHRLICH: And why do you think – how did you do it?

MS. FAURE: Well, because actually Betty came to me when she wanted to leave. She decided she wanted to leave the County Museum, she wasn’t happy there for one reason or another, but she wanted to stay in the business. She heard what I was going to do, open this gallery that Nick had been very helpful in setting up for me and getting people to listen to me and talk to me about it. She liked the idea of bringing these dealers from New York and doing these sensational exhibitions and bringing the dealers here, too. Everybody could meet them and talk about their desires and that sort of thing. It worked pretty well and in between those shows – and we worked with – did I go over this before?

MS. EHRLICH: We started going over some of them. We talked about your opening, you had Morris Louis.

MS. FAURE: With André Emmerich.

MS. EHRLICH: With André Emmerich. And then you had a drawing show with Franz Kline and Philip Guston.

MS. FAURE: With David McKee.

MS. EHRLICH: David McKee. And then you had Nicholas Africano, but I don’t know whether that was with any dealer?

MS. FAURE: I don’t think it was.

MS. EHRLICH: I don’t think so either.

MS. FAURE: I don’t think so.

MS. EHRLICH: And then you had a group show with Knoedler?

MS. FAURE: Yeah, that was Larry Rubin, yeah.

MS. EHRLICH: That was Larry Rubin. You showed Calder and Motherwell?

MS. FAURE: A lot of – and Tony Smith.

MS. EHRLICH: And Jules –

MS. FAURE: Olitski, yes, as well. Nick had shown Olitski also before then. Richard Artschwager we showed with Leo Castelli. And, again, he came out. So it was great fun. In between these kind of shows we showed young people, or people from here. And we also did the ‘50s paintings of Sam Francis with Robert Elkon. That was a beautiful show. And so it worked out very well.

But Betty was interested in that concept and she realized that there was this terrible inferiority complex amongst collectors here, that if it was in Los Angeles it couldn’t be good, right? It was an inferiority complex about Los Angeles, not about anything else. And they couldn’t look at the art and know it was good. It took more than that to convince them. This was a little more than they had in the past. It wasn’t necessarily that successful, but it really was a very high profile opening and – from the beginning, and it remained a very high profile gallery.

Betty was lovely to work with. She was internationally known as a collector and she’d also worked at the County Museum as assistant to Maurice Tuchman and she had a big following herself. I knew a lot of people from working with Nick, so it was a good combination and it was a very pleasant association. Much later, when Betty got sick and had to retire and subsequently died, I took her name off the gallery and just called it Patricia Faure. But that was in ‘94 after she was no longer with us, and I had moved the gallery to Bergamot Station.

MS. EHRLICH: It sounds like your relationship with East Coast dealers was a win-win situation?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I’ve always had good relationships with those people and I work well with them today, too, even with people like Sonnabend, Antonio Homem, now that Illeana Sonnabend is not spending that much time at the gallery.

MS. EHRLICH: So the New York dealers came out here and met the people here?

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: You were able to show Los Angeles clients and collectors that you had an East Coast/West Coast following?


MS. EHRLICH: And the artists got more exposure?

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: As did the dealers. You also did one with Emmerich, André Emmerich?

MS. FAURE: That was the Morris Louis.

MS. EHRLICH: That one and then again with –

MS. FAURE: With Hans Hofmann. Yeah, Betty went to New York and chose that show of Hans Hofmann, and she remembered that in the ‘40s Hans Hofmann came out here and did a series of paintings in Long Beach of the oil wells and that sort of thing, and that really amused her. So those are the paintings she chose for our show.

MS. EHRLICH: Oh, really?

MS. FAURE: So it was something no one had ever seen and it didn’t even look like him.


MS. FAURE: You know, it was oil wells, things of that nature.

MS. EHRLICH: He came out here briefly early on. It could have even been in the ‘30s and then –

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: – and then, of course, he was in Berkeley for many years.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: So he was – he had a California presence. And you did an Arthur Dove show with Terry Dintenfass?

MS. FAURE: Yes. That was beautiful too. I forgot that. I forgot about Terry. It was gorgeous.

MS. EHRLICH: It received a lot of good press.

MS. FAURE: Yes, tremendous.

MS. EHRLICH: And the Kenneth Noland was an East Coast relationship also. Did he – and he came out here? I think we –

MS. FAURE: Yes. I think he came out for that. Would it have come from André or would it have come from Knoedler? I think Knoedler – I believe.

MS. EHRLICH: Did Richard Artschwager come out here?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Was he feted?


MS. EHRLICH: Appropriately?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was. And when we first opened, the very first show of the Morris Louises with André, we had three or four major collectors vying to give us our opening dinner party. And finally Eli Broad won out and it was at his house. I hope I thanked him adequately.

MS. EHRLICH: [Laughs.] So there were a number of collectors who had opening –


MS. EHRLICH: – parties, receptions, dinners for the artists?

MS. FAURE: And the collectors, they wanted the dealers from New York there too.

MS. EHRLICH: Right. Was Betty married still when she started the gallery with you?

MS. FAURE: No, she and Leonard Asher had divorced, and maybe she was worried about her future, I don’t know. She sold their house and she’d bought an apartment in Beverly Hills.

MS. EHRLICH: And she had a collection of major artists. Are there any that you remember being there?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Lichtenstein, Stella. Wonderful. There was an auction of her works after her death and it was really beautiful and a little catalogue was published with it. She bought for Michael Asher’s bedroom, when he was growing up, she got him a Warhol, like Elvis Presley or one of those things with tight pants and maybe guns in his pockets. [Laughs.] I can’t remember that well, but a very famous painting. And then she had a large collection of ceramics, as well, which she gave to the County Museum, and that was very good. From Kenny Price – early Kenny Prices to everybody. It was terrific.

MS. EHRLICH: So her collection was sold off after her death and –

MS. FAURE: Well, most –

MS. EHRLICH: – some was given to the County [LACMA]?

MS. FAURE: Most of the paintings were sold at auction. The ceramics were all given away. But she left behind a family of Michael – and Michael’s sister had died prior to Betty’s demise – but the sister had several children, two or three children. Everything was left to everybody, so it was difficult to divide it up. It was easier to sell it and do it that way. But there were some remarkable things.

MS. EHRLICH: So some of the artists that you exhibited early on, can you talk about some whom you exhibited frequently, with whom you’d established good relationships early on?


MS. EHRLICH: Gwynn Murrill?

MS. FAURE: Gwynn Murrill. But I don’t show her any more.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. You did then?

MS. FAURE: I did then. And I also showed Gwynn Murrill at Nick Wilder’s. She started there and then I just took her along with me. I think she’s a very interesting artist actually. I still have that early rhino piece here. Riko showed her first, and then when Riko closed, I talked Nick into it and then I took her with me when Betty and I opened.

[End of Tape.]

MS. FAURE: And we did some really terrific shows of hers, and I also got her a wonderful gallery in New York. It was Joan Washburn, a very good place, and she’s been showing there ever since.

MS. EHRLICH: You showed Elaine Carhartt and John Okulick and Bruce Cohen early on –


MS. EHRLICH: – in a number of shows. Margaret Nielson?

MS. FAURE: Yes. I still show Margaret Nielson. And I still show Maxwell Hendler, who I started then, with Betty, and we started showing him. And I think show Llyn Foulkes.


MS. EHRLICH: Right. Ron Davis, he was very popular early on –


MS. EHRLICH: – I remember in the ‘70s, and he showed –


MS. EHRLICH: – his work –

MS. FAURE: In the ‘60s too.

MS. EHRLICH: – in the ‘60s.

MS. FAURE: Yes. We only had one show with Ron, but Nick showed him.


MS. FAURE: And that was important. Everything was sold to museums and this was just after the dodecahedrons. They were gorgeous. Museums all over the United States bought them and some European museums as well.

MS. EHRLICH: You also showed some pattern and decoration painters, Robert Kushner?

MS. FAURE: Yeah.

MS. EHRLICH: Robert Zakanitch?

MS. FAURE: Zakanitch, I still show him. Robert Kushner I don’t show, but he’s good. They were interesting in their moment. They all showed with Holly Solomon. They had really a decent run of it, they did. Holly was feted and brought to Germany where she was invited to speak at a museum. She went there and spoke about all of them – Nicholas Africano, the whole works. They loved her. She was really important. Then a few years passed and she was invited to go back and she did. And when she spoke about pattern and décor the students booed her.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: She was just torn apart by this. It was so upsetting to her. She couldn’t imagine what has happened. I don’t think she ever quite recovered from that.

MS. EHRLICH: I don’t blame her. Art goes through cycles too.


MS. EHRLICH: What may be out one year will come back –

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: – in a few years in the future.

MS. FAURE: You sound like my lawyer. He was telling me about the financial cycles galleries go through. [Laughter.] But then there are other cycles too.

MS. EHRLICH: Right. [Laughs.] That women go through.


MS. EHRLICH: Well, you live long enough you see some things coming, some things going, and I can’t possibly see that pattern and decoration would be offensive. I mean, it appeals to the eye, it’s beautiful work.

MS. FAURE: And Kim MacConnel, who is still so amusing and wonderful. The show that Michael Duncan did at the Santa Monica Museum was pretty interesting.

MS. EHRLICH: Tell us about that multi gallery effort –

MS. FAURE: At Bergamot Station?

MS. EHRLICH: And conjunction of that show at the Santa Monica Museum?

MS. FAURE: Well, I don’t know how that really came about. It might have been an idea of Michael’s – Michael Duncan. But he wanted shows that corresponded in some way and he knew I showed Zakanitch so he wanted me to have my Zakanitch show at that time. And I think Rosamund [Felsen] shows Kim MacConnel, so maybe she had that at that time.

I’m not quite sure who did what, and I think even Shoshana Wayne did something that coincided. And it was okay, at the end when you look at the whole pattern and décor thing, it loses interest, so maybe it has seen its day. Maybe enough is enough.

MS. EHRLICH: But the more recent show in the 21st century seemed to do well, it received good reviews from the LA Times.


MS. EHRLICH: So could there be a comeback?

MS. FAURE: No, I don’t think so, I really don’t think so.

MS. EHRLICH: You also did a Pace exhibition, back now to your gallery with Betty Asher, you moved from Santa Monica Boulevard.

MS. FAURE: To Almont.

MS. EHRLICH: To Almont Drive, and you had a big opening with an exhibition of artists from Pace –

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: – Arnold Glimcher and Jeffrey Hoffeld. So tell us about that, and tell us about why you moved to Almont?

MS. FAURE: Well, we needed a bigger space, and actually Larry Gagosian was across the street, and so he called me and told me that he’d found a perfect space. It had a little house in front and in back was a factory, and the factory is what we made into the gallery. The little house we just used to serve lunch and Betty had a lot of ceramics in the little house, and it was quite nice. The rent rose so enormously over the years, otherwise I would have stayed there. So I think there’s a gallery in there now. My housekeeper told me she passed by and there was a new gallery in there.

MS. EHRLICH: There were other galleries in that little area on Almont.

MS. FAURE: Well, there was – first of all, there was Larry, and then Betty and I were across the street. Then Kuhlenschmidt was on the corner of Almont and what is that street, Melrose?

MS. EHRLICH: Melrose?

MS. FAURE: Melrose. And there were a couple of other people, but these were the main ones. And Margo was, of course, on Robertson, but down the road a piece.

MS. EHRLICH: And Dagny eventually moved there?

MS. FAURE: And Dagny moved over there because I moved there, yes, she had to be near us. We found that space for her, so she moved there, because before she was above Nick, and when we were above Corcoran, we could walk through to Dagny and she served lunch in her place.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: And I had some wonderful lunches there. I had a luncheon for Bobby Short, and it was great. And all the food was comprised of leftovers from Ed Janss, from his big parties, there would always be great leftovers.

MS. EHRLICH: So tell us about Ed Janss’s parties.

MS. FAURE: He was great. I think I did tell you about the Salon des Refuses – that he operated. You know, all the people with no place else to go, that nobody wanted, so we’d do that on holidays. When I was divorced from Jacques, I would go with Zazu to his parties. He would gather together all those kinds of people that were kind of lost for a moment. He was nice, and he was a good collector.

Nick Wilder had this enormous storage facility behind his gallery, you just had to go through a back hall, and there was a really big square room with racks for paintings. In the middle of that room was a pile of stuff, just one thing on top of another. And of course I wasn’t there two weeks when I got that all cleaned up. I hired people to completely put it in order.

And Ed Janss came in and he said, “What have you done here?” And I said, “Well, do you like it?” And he said, “No, I hate it. You’ve ruined the gallery. I have no sense of discovery any more when I come in here.” So that was that. Isn’t that good?

MS. EHRLICH: That’s great. But he still invited you to his parties?

MS. FAURE: Yes, but he wanted to let me know that I should keep my hands off that mess.

MS. EHRLICH: So he could make the discovery –

MS. FAURE: Yes, he himself, and I robbed people of that by being too neat, which is a thing I’ve lost now.

MS. EHRLICH: So the Salon de Refuses was for people rather than for the rejected art works?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes it was for people.

MS. EHRLICH: How nice.

MS. FAURE: Isn’t that nice, people that had been refused – that’s the way he put it, it wasn’t really that bad.

MS. EHRLICH: Right. And what about his collection?

MS. FAURE: Terrific, it was fantastic, Van Gogh Walking, a [Francis] Bacon – incredible, incredible painting that ended up in Mortons Restaurant.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he bought it from Ed, I guess, I don’t know if it was when Ed was still living or not. He had the best Sam Francis, Blue Balls, the best David Hockney, the really, really early paintings, really amazing things. It was a great collection. And he was a great cook.

MS. EHRLICH: So he cooked?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he cooked and he made things that steamed all over, like – if you make ice cream, does steam come out of anything?

MS. EHRLICH: If you make the ice cream, I think so, because it’s like a refrigerator’s ice box.

MS. FAURE: It seems to me I remember seeing Warhol’s head bobbing up above the steam, or Lichtenstein or people like that. They were there too, and a lot of local people as well. And he once bought a Michael McMillan. I think it’s still in the house, that’s set into the wall with a little curtain over it, and you could look inside and this was like a diorama of some mystery house. He had wonderful things. And, of course, Westermanns galore.

MS. EHRLICH: And he was married to Anne at the time?

MS. FAURE: He married Anne Howe during that time.

MS. EHRLICH: And where did he live?

MS. FAURE: Well, he bought that house on Purdue which she still lives in. And he bought it because it was close to the Japanese people and all the grocery stores where you could get really fresh fish, so that’s why he did it.

MS. EHRLICH: On Sawtelle?

MS. FAURE: Well, it’s near Sawtelle, yes, on Purdue.

MS. EHRLICH: And Santa Monica, or LA?

MS. FAURE: I think it’s Santa Monica, or it’s west LA. It’s before you get to Barrington, so that might be west LA.

MS. EHRLICH: That’s west LA.

MS. FAURE: Yes, and it’s still there, and it’s nice, and I go there quite often and see her. Walter Hopps just had an exhibition there recently.

MS. EHRLICH: At the house?

MS. FAURE: Yes, there’s another house next door to them, that actually they hired John M. Miller to put together for them, to make it into a little place where they could show art. So it’s just an empty little house, and that’s what he did.

MS. EHRLICH: And the house that they lived in on Purdue – how was that?

MS. FAURE: That was lovely, it was nice. And not immodest either.

MS. EHRLICH: Somehow I assumed that he might have something out in Westlake, where Janss –

MS. FAURE: Where Janss Corporation is.

MS. EHRLICH: Right. Did he maintain connections with that and the family?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes. He established, Thousand Oaks.


MS. FAURE: And Sun Valley, and numerous others.

MS. EHRLICH: Now, you mentioned Michael McMillan. You had exhibitions of his work as well, very –

MS. FAURE: With Betty, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: In the 1980s?

MS. FAURE: Yes, but before Betty even left, Michael left the gallery and went to Peter Goulds. I lose everybody to Peter Gould. Anybody I’ve loved – they’ve never left – nobody’s ever left me that I really adore.

MS. EHRLICH: Craig Kauffman, speaking of someone who has been with you a long time –

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: He showed with Nick.

MS. FAURE: He showed with Ferus.

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, but I mean Nick knew him then too?

MS. FAURE: Yes, but I don’t know if he ever showed with Nick, I can’t remember.

MS. EHRLICH: All right, but then he showed with you early on.

MS. FAURE: Yes, and I have a show coming up now.

MS. EHRLICH: So you’ve had a long relationship, 1981 you started showing his work?

MS. FAURE: Yes, but I met him in the ‘50s.


MS. FAURE: Right, when he shared his studio with Ed Moses.

MS. EHRLICH: So what was that like?

MS. FAURE: Well, they were both pretty interesting people. He was doing funny paintings that looked like curls, with curly kind of movement on them, and they were kind of black on white. And Ed was doing whatever he did, which was always pretty interesting. He had a beautiful show at Bobbie Greenfield.
It’s really gorgeous, a lot of energy in it. What you don’t especially associate with him, or I don’t anyway.

MS. EHRLICH: Did Craig live here the whole time, or did he move, where –

MS. FAURE: Well, he also had studios in New York, and maybe he lived in those studios, I don’t know. I used to see him also in Paris, he would come there, and now he lives in the Philippines.

MS. EHRLICH: I’d imagine a number of artists are difficult, too. How do you negotiate that terrain?

MS. FAURE: We don’t have much negotiation to do. If you want to show them, you show them, and then you sell their work or you don’t sell it and you send it back, or you pay them for it, and that’s that. I usually get pretty good press so that always pleases everybody.

MS. EHRLICH: Continuing now with your Asher-Faure Gallery, you showed Sterling Holloway’s collection?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was a very good friend of Betty’s. Maybe they bought art, at the same time, and that was the basis of their friendship. He had a wonderful collection, we showed it in the little house, not in the main gallery, and there were terrific pieces, a Kienholz piece I remember in particular that we sold to the Art Institute of Chicago.

MS. EHRLICH: The John Doe piece?

MS. FAURE: The John Doe piece, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: That was in 1986. There were some stellar works in that show.


MS. EHRLICH: Altoon and [Larry] Bell and Bengston and –

MS. FAURE: Yes, really beautiful, beautiful peaces.

MS. EHRLICH: Deforest and McLaughlin.


MS. EHRLICH: Okulick, McCracken.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: So it must have gone well?

MS. FAURE: Yes, of course.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was Sterling Holloway like?

MS. FAURE: He was just a very pleasant man. He was on our board, too. He was on the board of directors.

MS. EHRLICH: In the Asher-Faure Gallery?

MS. FAURE: Asher-Faure Gallery.

MS. EHRLICH: So you had stockholders?

MS. FAURE: Yes, to a small degree. They didn’t put in much money or anything, but there were some stellar personalities, like both Weismans, Marcia and –

MS. EHRLICH: Frederick?

MS. FAURE: – and Frederick. And Alfred Esberg, the one I told you that negotiated the sale to Norton Simon of the Pasadena museum. The Coopers, Bea Cooper, Nate Cooper, and Marcia and Fred Weisman, and Norman Lear.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. That’s interesting, how did you develop that idea with stockholders?

MS. FAURE: Well – we needed about $100,000 to open, that was the opening expenses of taking that little space and everything and then fixing it up. So we decided to sell stock at $15 a share to some people that we knew.

MS. EHRLICH: So these people were clients of yours from before, and must have purchased some –

MS. FAURE: I knew them, yes. I knew Norman Lear from Nick Wilder. I’m leaving out some important people but I can’t remember who they are.

MS. EHRLICH: And did Norman Lear have a nice collection, did you ever see it?

MS. FAURE: Yes, we went to his house and saw his collection. It wasn’t enormous but he did have some really nice things. He had Kenneth Noland, I remember. I sent him to Kenneth Noland’s studio and he got really friendly with him. He went to his farmhouse or something in the east, and he loved that.

MS. EHRLICH: Robert Halff, was he –

MS. FAURE: He was a very friendly person, but he wasn’t on the board. He wasn’t a stockholder. He was just a very good friend. I still see him.

MS. EHRLICH: Any other collectors, that you can mention then, whether they were on the board or not?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Robert Rowan, and Barry Lowen.

MS. EHRLICH: Barry Lowen.

MS. FAURE: And Robert Halff. And all these people bought a little bit from us too. We sold this beautiful Ed Ruscha to Norman Lear, a beautiful piece, so that was good.

MS. EHRLICH: Some other shows that you had, you had one of John Coplans?

MS. FAURE: I loved that, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Tell me about that.

MS. FAURE: He’s quite wonderful, of course. And he was so instrumental in putting Los Angeles on the map as far as the art world was concerned, having ArtForum here and then moving it ultimately to San Francisco.

MS. EHRLICH: And then New York?

MS. FAURE: And then New York. He was involved with the Ferus Gallery, and he worked with Irving, and then he left and went to the Pasadena museum. Somewhere along the way between Pasadena and his flight east, and his involvement back east in different museums, he started representing peoples collections of really extraordinary photography, and selling them to the Metropolitan, who had already started on an incredible photographic collection. And I don’t know, it wasn’t Walker Evans but it was somebody like that, one of those major early photographers.

And then he started taking pictures. He had started out actually as a painter in London, and he was a painter when he came over here. He didn’t sell his paintings so he had to do something else, so he became a dealer. And then when he started taking pictures, he was already getting older, so he was kind of documenting the disintegration of his body, and that was a pretty amazing thing to do. It made for a horrifying exhibition, absolutely horrifying, but truly interesting.

MS. EHRLICH: He did close up shots of parts of his body.


MS. EHRLICH: Some of which became flabby and wrinkled and hairy and the like, but it –

MS. FAURE: And the feet and the hands and all of that. That was amazing.

MS. EHRLICH: But there was an honesty and a directness, and a confrontation with the truth.

MS. FAURE: Right, and I think they were a little soft porn, too. I think there was that element in it. And he’s no longer with us.

MS. EHRLICH: He was a hard edged painter, because he was in the California Hard Edge Painting show in the early ‘60s [1964].

MS. FAURE: He was?

MS. EHRLICH: Here in – I was going to say Los Angeles, but it was at Newport Harbor. But you know what, you weren’t here then.


MS. EHRLICH: You were in France. Can you explain his representing people’s photography collections?

MS. FAURE: Well, that was just as an art dealer, as a private dealer in this case. He was considered such an authority in this realm that it was easy for him to get people to give their collections to him to represent and sell. He put them in such prestigious places like the Metropolitan.

MS. EHRLICH: And he did this on his own in New York?

MS. FAURE: He did this when he was back east, yes. He might not have been in New York City exactly but he was back east. And he developed quite a reputation for doing that, so that people wanted him to represent their collections.

MS. EHRLICH: And what was his impact here? Was he was here when you were here as well?

MS. FAURE: He was here, well, I made several trips back here so I probably even saw him then, but I think when he was at the Pasadena museum I was here. Yes, I think that was in the ‘70s.

MS. EHRLICH: He had a show on Serial Imagery.

MS. FAURE: Yes, that’s great, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Speaking of photography, you also showed Judy Fiskin?

MS. FAURE: Yes, she’s great isn’t she? And now she doesn’t do those photographs any more.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: She’s only doing movies.

MS. EHRLICH: Movies?

MS. FAURE: Yes. But I’m going to do a big photography show and she’s agreed to be in it. It’ll have a lot of different people in it.

MS. EHRLICH: And what has it been like to work with Maxwell Hendler?

MS. FAURE: I love him, as you can see in my apartment. I think he’s a terrific painter. I thought he was terrific back in the early ‘70s when we first started showing him, and he was doing his realist painting. This little painting behind me came much later.

MS. EHRLICH: That little painting says HM with a period, it’s pink with –

MS. FAURE: Paler pink.

MS. EHRLICH: – letters on it.

MS. FAURE: Yes. It’s a little text piece. And we showed those too, but a little bit later. He was often spoken of in the same terms as somebody like Vija Celmins because he did these careful, careful paintings. Some would take a year or longer to do, or something extraordinary like that. You couldn’t imagine how he could stay with it.

And the watercolors that he did were – I don’t know if you saw the one in the current show, which is called Mass Grave? And he took a picture from the New York Times of a mass grave someplace, and they ran the picture with the caption underneath. He cut out that image and the caption underneath and laid it down on a little Formica table. He was probably living in a trailer.

He laid it down on the table and then to hold it steady, he put some stones on top of it to weigh it down. Then did a freehand watercolor of the entire thing, the Formica, the newspaper clipping with the printing, probably done with a brush with one bristle on it, because they are tiny little letters. If you were to repeat this in a watercolor it would be difficult, wouldn’t it?

And that’s what he could do, it was genius. A little bit nuts too, because it just seemed so – such a hopeless thing, because you could just have that piece of newspaper with that printing. You didn’t have to repeat it all in watercolor, in a difficult medium to begin with.

So that’s what he would do, as well as oil paintings of sand that took forever. That’s what took months to do, where every little grain of sand seemed to be painted one by one.

Then from that he went into the text paintings. There may have been something just before the text paintings which would have been more watercolors of that ilk, some with popular items like a can of grapefruit. Then the text paintings came and, of course, that was encroaching upon Ed Ruscha’s territory. But they were too different – I mean Ed Ruscha never did anything like him, ever. But he was magnificent of course and he still is – a wonderful painter. Then from that mix, went to the resin paintings which he’s still doing today, like that red one over the couch.

MS. EHRLICH: So he’s working with resin right now?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and he has been for the past 10, 12 years. Maybe even a little longer, different scales and that sort of thing.

MS. EHRLICH: And where does he live?

MS. FAURE: He lives here. He lives in the Mount Washington area.

MS. EHRLICH: You had mentioned a trailer?

MS. FAURE: Well, that was when he was poorer. I think he did live in a trailer, because I think that little piece was done in a trailer, I think he’s told me that.

MS. EHRLICH: And his reception, critical reception –

MS. FAURE: Is excellent. Really excellent. And now Walter Hopps just got in touch with me and he wants to do something with him. I don’t know if it’s at the collection in Houston.

MS. EHRLICH: The Menil?

MS. FAURE: Menil Collection, or it’s someplace else, because he’s doing so many different things, Walter. And doing these shows with the Guggenheim, also.

MS. EHRLICH: As a freelance curator?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it must be because he’s not hired by them, and I don’t think he would want to be, even. Because he likes living where he lives in Houston, and he still is attached to the Menil collection. And he’s pretty wonderful, too. I like him, don’t you?

MS. EHRLICH: When did you meet him or establish a friendship?

MS. FAURE: When Irving first came here, actually Walter and Ed Kienholz had opened Ferus Gallery, and I’d moved back from New York. And that’s when I met them and I thought that was pretty amazing, that wonderful way of doing business that they had. And I liked the artists that they showed. It was a pleasant, happy situation, even. And then Irving came here from New York and bought out Ed Kienholz, I think, for $500. Yes, and owned half the gallery with Walter, ultimately married Walter’s wife.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Shirley, who was also brilliant, and they had a terrific son named Jason, who was a terrific child. And she was brilliant, Shirley, and she was one of the few people that I liked to listen talk about art. She’d give lectures all around town.

Then they got divorced and now he’s married to Jackie and they have a nice son named Otis. He does make nice children! I met Walter with Ed Kienholz back then in the ‘50s, earlier ‘50s when I was back here. Then I met Irving a little bit later when he came here, also in the ‘50s.

MS. EHRLICH: And Shirley went by Hopps or Blum?

MS. FAURE: Blum, Shirley Blum, by the time she was married to Irving. When she was first here it was Shirley Hopps.

MS. EHRLICH: That was some partnership they had.

MS. FAURE: Yes, that was good.

MS. EHRLICH: And she gave lectures on art?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and she was so smart.

[Tape change]

MS. EHRLICH: This is Susan Ehrlich with Patricia Faure at her home in Beverly Hills on November 24, 2004, and this is an interview for the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution. This is tape number five of session number three.

We were talking about Shirley Blum and her giving lectures on art around town, and that would have been in the ‘50s or later?

MS. FAURE: In the ‘50s.

MS. EHRLICH: And then Irving was married to Jackie. Was she an art devotee also?

MS. FAURE: No, she’s an English girl, and I don’t know what she did, but she didn’t do that.

MS. EHRLICH: Now that we’ve gone back to the ‘50s and ‘70s crowd, let’s just briefly look at some of the images that you took. There’s an image in a publication, published by Craig Krull [“Images of the 60’s”], and there are some of your photographs in here, one of Robert Irwin in a bathtub?

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: How did that happen?

MS. FAURE: Because I was doing this series of artists at their leisure, exercising or whatever they did, and this is what he liked to do. And that’s his penis coming through the bubbles.

MS. EHRLICH: So that was –

MS. FAURE: He set it all up and I just came there and took the picture, yes. And Ed and Kenny set this up, to make it look like they were just in such awful shape playing tennis, Ed with his stomach sticking out.

MS. EHRLICH: Ed Moses and Ken Price?


MS. EHRLICH: In awful shape, shaking hands across –

MS. FAURE: A tennis net.

MS. EHRLICH: A tennis net, so that was all a set up?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and this was a set up too, in a way.

MS. EHRLICH: Larry Bell jogging?

MS. FAURE: Larry Bell jogging, yes, in front of his studio. And see that pose with this arm this way and that arm that way.

MS. EHRLICH: A gawky pose?


MS. EHRLICH: So they sound like a humorous bunch.

MS. FAURE: They were, they were very funny.

MS. EHRLICH: And not afraid of poking fun at themselves?

MS. FAURE: No, not at all.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you think that would have been true if they were New York artists?

MS. FAURE: I don’t know, they were much more fun than the New York artists, because I saw them too.

MS. EHRLICH: And what would you say is the difference between the attitude here in California, in those early days of the ‘50s and the ‘70s versus New York?

MS. FAURE: I guess they didn’t have anything to lose here. They didn’t have much to gain, nowhere near the – you couldn’t make that comparison.

MS. EHRLICH: And in an article in that same publication by Craig Krull, you talk about Betty Asher’s parties, and everyone was there. What do you remember about her get-togethers, her parties?

MS. FAURE: I have to remember most of it from what I’ve been told by artists that were there, or what Betty told me, because I wasn’t there. Most of this happened in the ‘60s when I was away in Paris. But the best thing about it was the fact that she brought the cultural east and west together in a very significant way. She would have had Henry Geldzahler from the Metropolitan, or James Speyer from the Chicago Art Institute.

And they’d be there, Roy Lichtenstein would be there, Rauschenberg, all sorts of people like that. And there would be the curators from the county museum and collectors and Los Angeles artists. Bob Irwin could be seen talking to Roy Lichtenstein or to a curator from another town, and everybody in Los Angeles came to those parties.

There was another one who came there. There’s Everett Ellin who will be speaking with me too [at the Getty].

MS. EHRLICH: And Niki de St. Phalle and Jean Tinguely?

MS. FAURE: Tinguely, yes. I photographed them in Paris.

MS. EHRLICH: You did?


MS. EHRLICH: What were they like?

MS. FAURE: They were nice, they had already shown out here a couple of times, with Everett Ellin. Then Jean Tinguely did some kind of happening.

MS. EHRLICH: And they showed with Virginia Dwan then?


MS. EHRLICH: So you essentially continued that trend bringing east coast people here and having them mingle with west coast artists and the like?

MS. FAURE: I hope I did.

MS. EHRLICH: Going back to the Asher-Faure Gallery, you showed other artists as well, John Okulick.

MS. FAURE: Yes, that was the –

MS. EHRLICH: A number of times.


MS. EHRLICH: Bruce Cohen?

MS. FAURE: Yes, a number of times. A couple of times.

MS. EHRLICH: And how were they received?

MS. FAURE: They were very popular, both of them. It didn’t last forever but they enjoyed a long run.

MS. EHRLICH: What about Jack Goldstein?

MS. FAURE: He was a devil, but he was a really gifted painter, really terrific, but a very unnerving presence. He was the one person that would say to me that he never liked Nicholas Wilder because he felt Nick was a snob and he didn’t want to show anybody that was from the east – which wasn’t true at all, because he showed Agnes Martin and all sorts of people. So that simply was a misconception on his part. He felt that he didn’t get the proper attention because he wasn’t from L.A.

MS. EHRLICH: But he was out here for a while.

MS. FAURE: He was here in L.A. He went to Cal Arts, thus the Cal Arts mafia book. He didn’t feel that he got the attention that local artists received. Artists from L.A. could show at Ferus Gallery or with Irving Blum after he dissolved Ferus or with Riko Mizuno, or Nicholas Wilder. There were an endless number of people L.A. artists could show with. But he didn’t feel that anybody wanted him, and maybe nobody did. That happens.

MS. EHRLICH: But you showed him?

MS. FAURE: I showed him much later. He had done two very important series of work. I went and looked at his work, and I thought it was thrilling. It had this wonderful take of either working from the sky and stars, or working from the skin and pores. So the paintings were inspired by one or the other of those things.

MS. EHRLICH: A macrocosm or a microcosm?

MS. FAURE: Yes. That’s well put.

MS. EHRLICH: But he was a troubled person?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was really troubled. One time I’d sold a painting of his, and the collectors had it in their home, but they hadn’t paid for it yet. That happens, people have 30 days to pay after receiving an invoice, they don’t have to pay right away. Jack went over to their house and told them that he wanted the money right then or he’s taking the painting back.

And not only did it ruin that sale, but it ruined my business, and ruined the sale for other artists to that same person. I mean it was just out of control. And I remember also Fred Weisman wanted him to do the windows in the temple on Wilshire.

MS. EHRLICH: At Sinai Temple?

MS. FAURE: No, the Wilshire Boulevard temple. And Fred wanted him to do the stained glass windows, which meant doing a design for them which would be fabricated for him.

He stood to earn a lot of money, there were many windows, and for the design offer they would pay $10,000 a window, so he would have made $60,000 to $100,000. Enormous, and he bothered them so much saying, “Well, let me see some cash from you. So far it’s all just talk.”

And, of course, they were very offended. And I couldn’t keep him away from the foundation where Fred was. He kept going there over and over again and calling them ceaselessly, endlessly.

MS. EHRLICH: So he kept on contacting them, and at the same time was demanding money?

MS. FAURE: Yes, so I mean he was really troubled, you can only put it that way. He ended up taking his own life, so you can imagine how miserable he was.

MS. EHRLICH: So he must have been difficult for you too?

MS. FAURE: It was difficult to work with him. Betty and I took him to dinner at some fancy restaurant, and we were talking to some other collectors, young collectors that were really interested in his work. The husband was a movie director, and the wife was a young pretty woman, and they were interested in his work and the whole concept of it intrigued them.

[Tape change.]

MS. FAURE: – and then Jack wanted his friend – to come to the dinner too, so we invited him. They kept getting up one after another and going to the men’s room and then handing the other one a little package of something, and then the other one was going to the men’s room. This went on all night. Betty was just horrified, and it was all so obvious.

Then his friend asked the movie director, “What do you mean, you’re a movie director? What kind of movies do you direct?” And he said – mentioned some names. He said, “Oh, you mean you direct commercial films,” like that was a real step down for him. So that ruined it, too. I mean, it was just one thing after another.

MS. EHRLICH: So he was insulting as well as –

MS. FAURE: Demanding.

MS. EHRLICH: Demanding.

MS. FAURE: Yes. He also got great reviews.

MS. EHRLICH: Yes, he did. Other artists who showed at your gallery, or whom you’d given a number of shows to, exhibitions to, Rona Pondick?

MS. FAURE: I love Rona Pondick, still. I think she’s brilliant, and she’s filled with ideas. I mean, there’s so much more that’s coming out of her. Every year there’s a big surge of activity, mental activity, and new ideas and new everything. She’s really smart and would be a brilliant teacher if she wasn’t capable of making this art. Since she’s been with Sonnabend they’ve taken such good care of her.

MS. EHRLICH: But she shows with you out here, correct?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: So do you have some relationship with Sonnabend?

MS. FAURE: Just that we both show Rona.

MS. EHRLICH: And where is she based?

MS. FAURE: In New York.

MS. EHRLICH: But she comes out here periodically?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and she comes out for the shows.

MS. EHRLICH: Robert Yarber?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I like him, he shows at Sonnabend too, though I don’t know if he does any more. I haven’t shown him in a long time because it just sort of lost its punch here.

MS. EHRLICH: You were at Almont for many years, and then Betty Asher died and –

MS. FAURE: Well, actually, she retired.

MS. EHRLICH: She retired? About when?

MS. FAURE: About – let’s see, she died in ‘94, and retired about ‘89 or ‘90.


MS. FAURE: Then she fell ill, and I decided to move out of the place on Almont because the rent was just going up without halt. This place at Bergamot Station was available, a bigger space, and it was much more agreeable in many ways it was a little less than half the price. I did have to make it into a gallery, of course, so that was an expense, but it still was terrific. Then I moved out of the gallery on Almont and Betty never saw the space at Bergamot because she was in the hospital when we moved in, and she died just as we opened.

MS. EHRLICH: So you operated with her name for a number of years?

MS. FAURE: Yes, after she retired.

MS. EHRLICH: After she retired there on Almont and then when you moved to Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, that’s when you opened as Patricia Faure?

MS. FAURE: Yes. And I always thought maybe she’d come back, you know, and sort of left the door open for that, if she wanted to return.

MS. EHRLICH: So tell us about the complex there, the Bergamot Station complex. You said the rent was half the price, it was a bigger space, so those were all positives.


MS. EHRLICH: But there must have been other things as well that prompted your move, or were there?

MS. FAURE: That was pretty much it.

MS. EHRLICH: It was going to be an art complex, essentially?

MS. FAURE: There weren’t artists that were there.

MS. EHRLICH: I mean gallerists.

MS. FAURE: Gallerists, yes, and there were a lot of them, and it was Wayne Blank that started the whole thing. And another collector that I had been working with, was Tom Patchett, who opened Track 16. And I think he was encouraged because I was going to be there, and there were other galleries there too.

It was pretty good, it’s an answer to a lot of problems. First of all, security is great, and you don’t have to worry about people breaking into your car or anything like that while you’re there, so that part is excellent. There’s plenty of parking, it’s all close to whichever gallery you’re going to. And 20th Century Fox is next door to us. That’s an extra studio they have for television shows and a lot of things go on there.

MS. EHRLICH: And so you get some movie people coming over, looking at the – they collect too?

MS. FAURE: Some of them do, but they don’t come from there. You know, the ones I’ve sold, Nicholas Cage, Jack Nicholson, those kind of people over the years.

MS. EHRLICH: And Nicholas Cage has developed a collection?

MS. FAURE: He was buying – I don’t know if he still does, I haven’t seen him for a while. He bought conservatively from me, considering he’s not a very conservative actor. You expect more, but he buys landscape paintings. Isn’t that amazing?

MS. EHRLICH: Realistic kind of works?

MS. FAURE: It’s very beautifully painted but it’s not –

MS. EHRLICH: It’s not demanding?


MS. EHRLICH: What about Jack Nicholson?

MS. FAURE: Well, Jack Nicholson, I saw him less often after I opened with Betty than when I was with Nick Wilder, but I still see him, too. I still see him now, even. But he was buying Hockney and that sort of thing. I think he bought Llyn Foulkes too. Dennis Hopper, of course, he bought a lot. He was very involved with Irving and all of those people, and with me too a little bit.

MS. EHRLICH: Where did his tastes reside, generally?

MS. FAURE: Well, he was married to Brooke Hayward who became Brooke Hopper, and they had an important kind of collection, when they were married and they lived here together.

MS. EHRLICH: And they’re no longer married I presume?


MS. EHRLICH: She was an artist, a collector?

MS. FAURE: No, she was from a very famous family. Her father was Leland Hayward and her mother was Margaret Sullivan. And I still see her, too. She comes here and visits. She lives in New York now. Doug Cramer was a terrific collector, I forgot about him.

[Audio break.]

MS. EHRLICH: We were talking about collectors and Doug Cramer.

MS. FAURE: He was very important. It’s a big loss to Los Angeles, as far as I’m concerned, that he’s not here. First of all, he bought things from us, but he also gave the most marvelous parties, and that was terrific.

And he did a lot for MOCA – he did so much in the very beginning. He gave parties on the Love Boat and he’d have the whole crew – remember that captain on that boat – they would all stand at attention as we walked onto the boat. And he had entertainment. He had Bobby Short singing and all sorts of things like that.

He gave a Christmas party every year, and to which I always went. It was on Christmas Eve, and it was at the Bistro. He’d have it upstairs. Then he changed it to his own house. When he got the house in – out of town, you know where he had –

MS. EHRLICH: In Santa Barbara?

MS. FAURE: North of Santa Barbara quite a bit. Santa Ynez, I think. That was a terrific place, and he had art all over, and it was quite wonderful. He was very, very generous of course. Now he’s one of the big contributors to the Museum of Modern Art and their building project.

MS. EHRLICH: In New York?

MS. FAURE: In New York.

MS. EHRLICH: Why do you think he left, do you know?

MS. FAURE: Maybe that seemed more interesting to him. But also he wasn’t doing as much television any more. Remember at one time he had the Love Boat, and then what was that one in Texas?

MS. EHRLICH: Dallas?

MS. FAURE: Dallas, the ladies fought each other. He also had other things too but I can’t remember. Dynasty, that was his.

MS. EHRLICH: He was a major collector, then, and a catalyst for other collectors, potentially?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes. Somewhat, but everybody was. Every major collector brought in somebody else somewhere along the line. I mean certainly Marcia Weisman did that taking her tours about. The Gershs were great, and they were the only ones I know of that created a second generation of collectors in their two sons, David and Bobby.

MS. EHRLICH: Do David and Bobby come by the gallery?

MS. FAURE: Yes, they always do. And I think I sold David, or Bobby – Bobby, I think it was, a work that he purchased very early on in his life, which was a David Hockney drawing of a seated male in one of those camp chairs. You really felt the weight of the body, sitting in it. And he just had to have it, the enthusiasm was marvelous. Then David married a young lady who opened a gallery, Sue Gersh.

MS. EHRLICH: Sue Gersh?

MS. FAURE: Yes. I mean that was her name after she married him, of course.

MS. EHRLICH: And that was the name of the gallery?

MS. FAURE: I think it was, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: So you were selling David Hockney’s works then, too? Was that at Almont or at Bergamot?

MS. FAURE: No, that was at Nick Wilder’s.

MS. EHRLICH: Way back?

MS. FAURE: Yes. I’ve never showed David, I wouldn’t mind at all.

MS. EHRLICH: Other catalysts here, and supporters of the arts, were Joel Wachs?

MS. FAURE: Joel Wachs is terrific, too.

MS. EHRLICH: Los Angeles City Councilman.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: Tell me about him.

MS. FAURE: It seems to me, I’m not exactly positive about this, but it seems to me when I first met him was when I worked for Nick. And I think he lived on his Councilman’s salary which wasn’t enormous, and he used to do his laundry at a Laundromat across from Nick. When it was drying, he would come over and look at art. That may be a slight exaggeration on my part but I think I remember Nick saying that. He was terrific, too, and of course he’s got a very important job in New York with the Warhol estate.

MS. EHRLICH: With the Warhol Foundation, yes.

MS. FAURE: Warhol Foundation, yes. So that’s still a good thing. But I miss those people, I liked it when they were here. The ones that died or the ones that moved away, they were good. But there are ones here now that are pretty interesting, and there’s still the Gersh boys. There are quite a few, and there are a host of new ones. Not as well known, and not names that will mean anything for a little bit, but that still exists.

MS. EHRLICH: Collectors, beginning collectors?

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes. And I think like MOCA and LACMA both do a good job of gathering those younger people together, and taking them to artist studios, taking them to galleries, taking them to talks, and all things of that nature, which make them feel closer to the situation. And it is interesting, and it is good. A positive move always.

MS. EHRLICH: Nurturing an upcoming body of collectors and clients and appreciators of the arts.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: How do you think that the gallery scene and the art scene has evolved over this earlier time? You mentioned this now with MOCA’s involvement and LACMA’s beginning to nurture art collectors.

MS. FAURE: They had these groups that you could join if you’re a young collector, or a new collector. Several people that have worked for me have joined those groups. I think it’s – it really is helpful. They do tours as well, to outlying places.

MS. EHRLICH: So that’s a difference, then, between now and the early period when you were here in the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s? Was there involvement then with the –

MS. FAURE: It wasn’t that – no, it wasn’t that organized, certainly. But, they could look to collectors like Betty Asher and find out about art.

MS. EHRLICH: Returning now to Bergamot Station, were you allowed first choice for galleries? How did you pick this base that you currently have now which is a very nice space at one end of the complex.

MS. FAURE: Yes, I wanted to be in a place where I could have an outdoor space, and that was the prime location for an outdoor area, so that’s why I took that particular gallery.

MS. EHRLICH: There have been problems at Bergamot Station. What can you tell me about some of the tensions that may have arisen there?

MS. FAURE: It has not been very problematic. I mean some people seem to get annoyed with Wayne Blank, who started the whole thing, and originally rented the entire space for $25,000.

MS. EHRLICH: The whole Bergamot Station?

MS. FAURE: The whole Bergamot Station, not – excluding the museum, but everything else or most everything else. I think the museum and certain places, just in front of it, were not included. They had more accessibility from Michigan Avenue. In the others you all had to enter from the Bergamot Station entrance to get to the places.

MS. EHRLICH: Then he sublet, is that what the arrangement was? How did this happen?

MS. FAURE: Then he just broke it up into spaces, and we rented those spaces from him. And, of course, the rent has gone up considerably over 10 years, but it’s still less than any place else that I know of. Maybe some of the new spaces like La Cienega South, maybe they’re less. But I don’t know because they’re kind of dangerous areas, where you get your car broken into. And none of that happens here.

Even on Almont I remember being there on a Sunday or late at night and really being afraid to go outside and get into my car. I had to call somebody to come and see what I was doing because it was just too scary. But here it’s never scary, you know.

There’s a guard there 24 hours a day, and you don’t have those kind of fears from the urban world. So it’s set apart a little bit. I think it’s been very successful. Sometimes it’s not all class A galleries, as it were, but neither is Chelsea or SoHo.


MS. FAURE: Or any of these places, you know, nothing is all – absolutely top level. It just isn’t anywhere. But it is good, I think it is good.

MS. EHRLICH: There’s synergy there. And now you have the Santa Monica museum there, you had it for a number of years…not in the very beginning.


MS. EHRLICH: But people go there to see the galleries and they have openings, tell us about the openings with you all.

MS. FAURE: Well, we don’t have openings together, we try not to.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I mean you can’t get in if we do. Even all the parking that there is there isn’t enough for that, for a bunch of galleries having – I mean sometimes it happens that three or four galleries will open at the same time, but it’s almost a mistake when it does, because we weren’t paying attention. We like to do our openings on Saturday, and so other people do to, right?


MS. FAURE: But it works out fine, and the museum is fine there, I think it’s terrific. She’s wonderful, Elsa Longhauser, and she comes from Moore College in Philadelphia, and with the best reputation, one equal to Annie Philbin at the Drawing Center in New York. And Annie’s certainly done a wonderful job at the Hammer.

So we have these two illustrious women, both of them have done a good job. I think Elsa still has a little way to go to convince everybody, but women have a very difficult time here in those positions. I don’t know why that is, really, but it’s not been easy for Annie, and it’s not been easy for Elsa.

MS. EHRLICH: Really, in what ways? I would have thought that it was – tell me about – what you think.

MS. FAURE: Well, I think maybe they don’t have the financial support that they need. At Moore College, Elsa had the Duponts behind her. And I know artists prefer to show with her at Moore College rather than showing at the Philadelphia museum, so that’s amazing, isn’t it?


MS. FAURE: And Annie, of course, her drawing shows were just without parallel. They were amazing, beautiful shows.

MS. EHRLICH: At the Drawing Center in New York?


MS. EHRLICH: What about women in general, do you think they’ve had a tough time here in the art world in Los Angeles, or have things vastly improved?

MS. FAURE: I don’t think it’s been worse here than any place else, I don’t think it was ever any better in New York. And I think they have somewhat improved, but I don’t know if vastly isn’t too big a word for the improvement.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay. Have you noticed any difficulties as a woman in the art world?


MS. EHRLICH: There are a good number of women dealers?

MS. FAURE: Yes, there are many women dealers. I haven’t noticed it at all, or any discrimination from being a woman, no, I can’t say I have.

MS. EHRLICH: Or women artists, have you noticed any of them?

MS. FAURE: Women artists seem to have the most complaints and perhaps the most problems, but did I tell you about when there were those Guerilla Girls going around – did I tell you that?

MS. EHRLICH: Tell me about it again.

MS. FAURE: They were going about and manifesting in front of museums and things of that nature, when they felt women were left out of shows, like big group shows. And when they came to do their striking number in front of Nick Wilder’s gallery, he was showing Jo Baer.

MS. EHRLICH: That’s right.

MS. FAURE: Yes, they didn’t know it was a woman.

MS. EHRLICH: And you’ve shown a good number of women?

MS. FAURE: Yes, I do show a lot of women.

MS. EHRLICH: And it’s a choice, to show them as artists, whether or not they are women, I mean you’re not making a conscious decision?


MS. EHRLICH: Like I’ll have this many women and this many men.

MS. FAURE: No, no. It’s just what the work is like.

MS. EHRLICH: Other artists whom you’ve shown at Bergamot Station in more recent times are Salomon Huerta?


MS. EHRLICH: You’ve had great success with him, and he’s had great success. Tell me about him and his work, and how you two came together.

MS. FAURE: Well, first of all I have this person that tells me about art. A lot of my artists teach me about art, and the one whose name I’ve brought up before is John Miller. John Miller was teaching at UCLA and Salomon had gone back to school there to get his Masters or MFA. John saw the way he worked, and he was fascinated with his work, and he also looked at it as if it was abstract painting.

When John speaks I have to listen. I mean, he really knows about art. He really knows so much, it’s amazing. And he said to me, you have to go look at this person’s work, I think he’s terrific, and I think you will like him and I think you’d really be able to sell it, too.

So I went and looked at the work and then I gave him a show. He had already shown a couple of times before getting his MFA. He had shown with Julie Rico, I don’t know if you ever know who that is.


MS. FAURE: And he sold almost everything that he showed at whatever price it was. If he wasn’t showing with Julie Rico, his sister Catalina would put up his paintings in the house. And they’d sell from there.

We had a huge amount of people that had been buying his work for years. I met some collectors from Chicago, Illinois, who had bought his work early on, and had paintings I’d never even heard of, or seen at all, so that was interesting. And I gave him a show, and it was very successful. From that show he was picked up – for the Whitney Biannual in 2000.

A couple of people in New York wanted to show him, but the most insistent was Larry Gagosian. He wanted to show him first in London, which was okay with me. And I thought it was, you know, good for him.

We went there and Larry was extremely generous. He got me a first class ticket on the plane and put me up in Browns Hotel. That’s most unusual. We don’t do that for dealers. We may like them but we don’t do things like that. But that’s what he did, plus bringing Salomon and the paintings and everything. Of course, he sold everything.

MS. EHRLICH: So right now you’re his sole representative, his sole gallerist?

MS. FAURE: Right now, yes, but that’ll change in a minute. And I put him with a lot of people for different things, in group shows. And there are people that want him, that are in New York, very good galleries, excellent galleries. But he has to go back there and look at them and meet the people, because he won’t do it otherwise. I mean he doesn’t just follow me blindly.


MS. FAURE: He has some input, you see. So until that’s arranged, I remain his only gallery, unless Larry wants to show him again in London. And now he has a new space there that’s just divine, I’ve heard.

MS. EHRLICH: John Divola.

MS. FAURE: John Divola is that wonderful photographer, and he was brought to me by Judy Fiskin. I get most of my artists from other artists that I already show. And she really liked his work, so you know, I listen when they say that. And I do enjoy a good relationship with him, and he’ll be in the big photographic show that I’m going to do.

MS. EHRLICH: An upcoming group show?

MS. FAURE: Yes, a big one though that will look at photography from different angles. So it will be nice, I think.

MS. EHRLICH: Great. So how did you decide between group and solo shows? Do you generally do some percentage of one, do you vary them, or is it just however you feel?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it’s however, whenever I come up with something that I really like, then I’ll do it like that, otherwise I do solo shows.

MS. EHRLICH: Reverend Ethan Acres?

MS. FAURE: Yes, that’s a real – a real winner.

MS. EHRLICH: How did that happen?

MS. FAURE: Dave Hickey met the Reverend in Texas, when Dave goes around to look at graduating students’ work, and he was going to school there in Austin, I think. Dave went to see him and convinced him he’s brilliant, the Reverend, he’s absolutely brilliant. And Dave was living in Las Vegas. He had nobody to talk to except his wife, and she’s wonderful too.

So he convinced the Reverend to go to Las Vegas for graduate school. Then he had him there, right, and so he really enjoys him so much. Dave Hickey had purchased a little Max Hendler from me, and he sent the Reverend to pick it up. And he never said a thing to me and he never said a thing to him, so suddenly this strange and wonderful person was in my gallery picking up this piece. I knew somebody was going to pick up the Max Hendler.

So I asked him, “What do you do?” And he said, “I’m in the art school in Las Vegas.” And he told me the story about how David convinced him to go to school there. So I said, “You’re an artist, show me what you do.”

And he did show me a bunch of things, you know, just on the computer. And they were really great, and that’s what Dave does, he doesn’t want to be pushy, you see. You know, he does it in this back door way, and that’s nice, isn’t it?

MS. EHRLICH: It’s wonderful, very subtle, so it’s like serendipity but it’s not really.

MS. FAURE: Right, and so the first show we did was fantastic and a big seller, and it was mostly all those miracle photographs that he did, of miracles like himself, like him in the presence of a beached whale and then praying over it and the whale goes off to heaven, and develops little wings and things and a halo. I have a big poster of that at work. But they’re marvelously funny miracles that he makes on the computer. See, he has his wife going around taking pictures of him standing next to dogs that have been run over, or whatever. And then she takes the picture and then he does the miracle on the computer.

MS. EHRLICH: On the computer.

MS. FAURE: I think he is great. He’s rented this building that’s actually for sale so they gave it to him very cheaply, and it’s in the Culver City area. The building is so large that he can build his little chapel inside of it, and then – and even have space left over he could use for performances and stuff like that.

I think the church is called God’s Fools, because he believes in being a fool for God. He does believe in that, and he’s a real preacher, he really is. He marries people and does all sorts of things. And he’s forgiven me for all future sins I may commit.

MS. EHRLICH: How nice.

MS. FAURE: Yes, I feel twice blessed. He is good.

MS. EHRLICH: A double benefit, right?

MS. FAURE: Yes. And he’s shown in New York, and now he’s in the Corcoran Biannual, Biennale – I say it so many ways don’t I?

MS. EHRLICH: Well, everyone does, you can do it any way.


MS. EHRLICH: Well, he’s quite a character, is he like that in real life?

MS. FAURE: Right, and he has a beautiful wife, she’s absolutely gorgeous. And when we do religious services at the gallery, outside, she accompanies him on the organ, but she also plays the trumpet, and I got her a trumpet.

MS. EHRLICH: Really?

MS. FAURE: So that she could play that, and it’s just a muted trumpet so it’s like Gabriel. Isn’t that sweet? And now she’s pregnant with their second child, the first one, Cyrus, has ringlets in his hair, blond curls looking like a Botticelli child. And the next one that is going to be born in December, which is right around the corner, is going to be a girl. And his wife is named Lisa, or the Reverend Mrs., as we refer to her.

MS. EHRLICH: Lisa? L-i-s-a?


MS. EHRLICH: Well, they sound like an interesting duo.

MS. FAURE: Yes, they are. Do you know what he did in the Santa Monica museum when they had his fundraiser?

MS. EHRLICH: No, tell me.

MS. FAURE: Just now. I told you about the fundraiser?

MS. EHRLICH: You told me about the fundraiser but not what the Reverend did.

MS. FAURE: Yes, he did a Holy Ghost. He did a ghost. He drew a ghost or painted it maybe, I don’t remember even seeing it. I think I looked at it as an abstract painting. And it had holes in it, and that’s what made it the Holy Ghost.

MS. EHRLICH: So he’s also an irreverent Reverend?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he’s very much that.

MS. EHRLICH: Collectors, he’s been successful – [with them?]

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes.

MS. EHRLICH: Andy Moses, tell me about your relationship with him.

MS. FAURE: Well, it comes from Ed Moses to begin with, who I already knew, and Avilda Moses. I think I met Andy the first time when he was three years old, when they came through Paris on their way to the Netherlands where they lived for six months or more. They had their two kids with them, and Andy was the younger of the two.

I’ve shown Andy in group shows over the past 17 years, something like that. And when I saw this new body of work, I finally realized he was ready for a one person show. He’s had them before with other people, but I never did it, and it was extremely successful. But he is very successful. He’s a success ridden person. He’s really good at presenting himself and doing those kind of things that a lot of artists don’t know how to do. Even his father doesn’t do it as well as he does.

MS. EHRLICH: Interesting.

MS. FAURE: Yes, they produced a monster.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, he watched carefully and maybe knew what he should be doing, right?

MS. FAURE: The other day he came over here and he saw that Ed Moses and the zebra, and he said, “I don’t believe it, I’ve never seen that piece.” And he said, “You know, about 12 years ago I did a zebra painting.” And he said, “I never saw that and I never heard of it.” And he said “That’s DNA for you.”

MS. EHRLICH: And that zebra is his father’s piece?


MS. EHRLICH: Interesting.

MS. FAURE: It sort of just came out. Maybe it was even longer ago than that, that he did it, because it was probably when he was in Cal Arts or something that he did it, which is about the time that this was done by Ed, just prior to that.

MS. EHRLICH: So you’ve kept in touch with him for many years, from the time he was a little boy.

MS. FAURE: Well, I knew them after I moved back here, and we would see him. We lived in Santa Monica first, so we saw the parents a lot. Then when we moved out, we moved to Hancock Park, and they used to come and –

[Tape change]

– they’d play with Zazu. She thought they were her boyfriends. But they didn’t think they were.

MS. EHRLICH: Are they around the same age?

MS. FAURE: They’re older than she is. Andy is about six years older, I’d say, and Cedd’s maybe 10 years older or eight years older, anyway.


MS. FAURE: Cedd, C-e-d-d. I don’t know what kind of name that is.

MS. EHRLICH: Is he an artist too?

MS. FAURE: No, he was a stockbroker, and now he’s a restauranteur.

MS. EHRLICH: Somebody had to do it.

MS. FAURE: Right.

MS. EHRLICH: And Tony DeLap?

MS. FAURE: That’s from Nick Wilder, Tony DeLap, but I think he’s really a terrific artist who’s not appreciated enough today. He falls into that realm of abstract work that people are tired of, maybe. They’re onto all these cartoon things, and that sort of thing, and I’m tired of that.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, you recently had a beautiful show. It started with McLaughlin?


MS. EHRLICH: Of all abstract work.

MS. FAURE: Yes, I loved that too.

MS. EHRLICH: One collector we left out, Barry Lowen?


MS. EHRLICH: Did you have a relationship with him?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Betty was a very close friend with Barry, and I think that maybe she got him started in a way. We used to go up to his house a lot, and he did have a remarkable collection, most of which he gave to MOCA.

MS. EHRLICH: Monty Factor?

MS. FAURE: Yes, that’s another one that’s been around for a long time, Monty and the son. No, Don Factor, that’s maybe the nephew, they’re all Max Factor people. And I still see Monty and Betty.

MS. EHRLICH: Steve Martin?

MS. FAURE: Yes, he was another one, and he was good, too. He used to go with that Bernadette Peters, and they were – every time they’d come into the gallery, it was remarkable. They were the whitest people that I had any contact with.

MS. EHRLICH: Their skin was white?

MS. FAURE: Their skin was white. They were pale, pale white people that would come into this white gallery.

MS. EHRLICH: So they blended in with the walls?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and then they broke up and I was sorry about that, but he’s had lots of nice ladies since then.

MS. EHRLICH: What about writers here, critics, art critics, how –

MS. FAURE: Those are my favorites, I actually like writers better than artists.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay, tell me about that.

MS. FAURE: I told you that once before to get you on my side.

MS. EHRLICH: Okay, thank you.

MS. FAURE: I think they’re terrific, and I think Christopher Knight has done a remarkable job on the LA Times. Really, it’s so – I told you about that book of things I put together when Nick died? We had this memorial for him at Trumps restaurant.

Everybody came, even Mary Boone. And Leo – Leo sent money, he couldn’t come here. But Mary Boone came, and I don’t even think she knew Nick, but she came with Doug Cramer. And everybody came and gave money that went to AIDS research. So that was nice. It cost a lot of money to go to this dinner, and people really came out in droves for it.

MS. EHRLICH: And that was when, in the late ‘80s, early ‘90s?

MS. FAURE: I’m trying to think when it was, it would have been the late ‘80s, yes, because I know that Nick was at – Zazu, when Zazu graduated from Columbia he was there, and then it was after that, he died. And how old are you when you graduate from college?

MS. EHRLICH: If you’ve gone the four years, you’re 21 or 22.

MS. FAURE: Yes, and she was born in 1965.

MS. EHRLICH: So was it in the ‘80s?

MS. FAURE: Yes, it was in the ‘80s.

MS. EHRLICH: And he died in the late ‘80s [1989]?

MS. FAURE: Yes, then he died after that.

MS. EHRLICH: And we were talking about writers, then?

MS. FAURE: Yes, well I think Christopher Knight has done a remarkable job, and I think there are a lot of good writers that he’s hired: David Pagel, and both the girls, Leah Ollman and Holly Meyers. They’re all good, and so much better than what was there before. There’s just no comparison. In fact one of the terrible things is the New York Times tries to hire everybody away. They tried with Christopher but he didn’t want to leave here, ever. And they did – they took Nicholai – I forget his whole name, what’s the name, he was the –

MS. EHRLICH: The architecture critic? Ouroussoff?

MS. FAURE: Ouroussoff, yes, they took him, now he’s gone. You know, they can’t resist the New York Times.

MS. EHRLICH: So things have improved?

MS. FAURE: I think so, there are more museums. There are more – certainly, there are 150 galleries. That’s what Christopher told me recently. He said, “When people complain that I don’t write about them,” he said “I get to write about four galleries a month, and there are 150 galleries here.” So that’s – that explains a lot, doesn’t it?

MS. EHRLICH: So much has gotten better. There are more institutions. There are writers that are probably generous and probably understand the art, good writers, which we desperately needed for many years, and a nurturing of starting collectors. And Suzanne Muchnic has been very good?

MS. FAURE: Yes, she’s been terrific too. And Hunter Drohojowska.

MS. EHRLICH: And Hunter Drohojowska-Philp?

MS. FAURE: Yes, Philp, Drohojowska.

MS. EHRLICH: Definitely. So what do you enjoy about this business, the art business, being an art dealer, the most?

MS. FAURE: I think I’ve learned a lot from the art, from the art and the artist, and I just like it. I like putting up a show. Actually, Ed Moses taught me when I was with Nick how to hang a show, you know, how to even things out and give a lot of space and that sort of thing, and I’ve not really changed any of that.

I like the camaraderie of the artists too, and I like a lot of the collectors. I especially like the writers. So what better group can you have?

MS. EHRLICH: What have you disliked about the business?

MS. FAURE: I’m hard put to tell you.

MS. EHRLICH: What annoys you?

MS. FAURE: People constantly asking for discounts, that annoys me a lot. Collector’s discount, it’s called.

MS. EHRLICH: Tell us about that.

MS. FAURE: That’s just a standard thing and so you think, yes, they can have 10 percent. But maybe they weren’t collectors, you know, they just say that because they know they’re supposed to say that. And then you just have to decide. You have to say no, which may just ruin the sale. Or, you’ll have to say yes, and keep it to 10 percent, because they’ll try to get 15 or 20.

There are people around town that are not qualified to be selling art privately. They’re just not qualified to do that, those who come in with their clients and their pieces of rug samples, and tell you, you know, what they want, and then want a big commission.

MS. EHRLICH: So you’re saying some agents for a private – private dealers?

MS. FAURE: Yes, well, private dealers, I don’t even call them dealers, like decorators, usually. You know, that’s why I mentioned coming in with the swatch of the rug, and then going from there. That’s kind of annoying.

There are also dumb people that are annoying, just because they’re dumb, and there are also classes that come that make so much noise, that’s a big thing. I like the people that bring in their dogs, and I keep treats for all dogs. So some dogs when they come to Bergamot Station just tear at their owner to come to my place first. And they can’t avoid it because their dog is pulling on them because they know that treats are there.

MS. EHRLICH: Well, you have a dog yourself there?

MS. FAURE: Yes, but that’s Heather’s dog, Chelsea, she’s our guard dog.

MS. EHRLICH: Right. A tiny dog.

MS. FAURE: Yes, but she’s adorable.

MS. EHRLICH: So the groups are art appreciation classes? Or what are the groups that come through and make noise?

MS. FAURE: Art appreciation, schools, you know, that sort of thing. Or just a bunch of talky people. It’s funny, it’s a funny business. It’s for nuts, this business.

MS. EHRLICH: And what roles do you think that the art dealer plays in shaping or molding taste: individuals or the community? Have you done that or –

MS. FAURE: I don’t know that I’ve done that, I really don’t. I don’t know that you can do that. I mean you try to if you’re working with somebody putting together their collection for them. In those kind of instances, you could – but this is the thing – these are one of a kind pieces. They’re unique. The people buying them are unique, and they have their way of looking at art. And they might, buy all the right things and put them together wrong, as far as I’m concerned.

But I generally like the most sparse collections. Robert Halff is a good example of that. A nice little house with just a piece here and then a piece far over there. You know, just a lot of space between everything, the sculpture, the painting, whatever.

MS. EHRLICH: So each piece has a breathing space, and commands that section alone?

MS. FAURE: Yes. Right.

MS. EHRLICH: How do you think you have grown as a dealer? What are some of the important lessons you have learned along the way, from Nick, from other dealers?

MS. FAURE: From Nick, from Betty.

MS. EHRLICH: From Betty. The difference between when you started out, and now.

MS. FAURE: I don’t know, I think I started out at a place that was not so uninformed, I spent so much time with artists, here and New York and even in Paris. I spent so much time with them and so much time with Irving [Blum] and Walter [Hopps] and those people, so I think I came amply prepared in many ways. But along the way I’ve certainly learned things. I don’t know what they are at this moment.

MS. EHRLICH: About business?

MS. FAURE: If you would have been with my lawyer and my daughter today you would think I know nothing about business. That’s what they’re trying to convince me of, that I’m the worst business person.

MS. EHRLICH: I think we touched upon this. Did you have contracts with artists?


MS. EHRLICH: It was all just a handshake?

MS. FAURE: Yes, and word of mouth.

MS. EHRLICH: And did that ever get you into difficulties?

MS. FAURE: No. I’ve never had any difficulties, really. Not terrible difficulties that couldn’t be solved, with artists or collectors or museum people, or anything that I can think of, or put my finger on.

MS. EHRLICH: Do you think this is a good profession for young people to – the next generation to enter into, or is it tougher now than it was before?

MS. FAURE: Well, I think there’s much more competition now. I mean 150 galleries, when Betty and I opened there were maybe 30 or 40. It’s much different now. But I think – almost everybody has a kind of tough time. There are good times and bad times. It’s very cyclical. It’s a difficult business in that way. It’s not like making cereal to sell, you know.

MS. EHRLICH: Everyone loves it, is that –

MS. FAURE: And they have to eat cereal, they have to have something to eat. They don’t need art, that’s the awful thing, the awful truth. That’s what Andy Schwartz, my lawyer, said today, who is also a very interesting collector. Andrew Schwartz, he and his brother used to buy things together.

MS. EHRLICH: And he said people don’t need art like they need food.

MS. FAURE: Yes, yes. They absolutely don’t need it, they can live without it. I, on the other hand, think they do need it. Make their life better, won’t it?

MS. EHRLICH: It certainly made your life better. So that’s an issue that you’ll been constantly dealing with, and perhaps more so in tough economic times, because –

MS. FAURE: Well, this is one thing that I’ve always maintained, that the stock market can rise and fall and have little or no bearing whatsoever on my business. And I have noticed this since 1972. I’ve taken note of this all along, that there’s no correlation between unemployment and people losing all their money, and you know, even a depression, and the art business. It seems like there are always people who will buy it. There are always people who will have money, and there are always people who will buy it on another level, even if they don’t have that much money. So it just goes on no matter what.

And more then, the opposite of that, when the stock market rallies and things are great and we’re really in a prosperous cycle, my business doesn’t necessarily get prosperous. I have never seen any correlation between those two things. Everybody else I know sees the correlation.

I mean, I hear dealers saying, well, what do you expect, look at the stock market. And people are losing money by the barrel, you can’t expect them to buy art. I do. I go right on and I expect them to buy art. And I’ve never seen it ever, and the most blatant part is when things are really great.

[Tapes ends.]

MS. EHRLICH: This is Susan Ehrlich with Patricia Faure at her home in Beverly Hills on November 24, 2004, and this is tape 6 of session 3. So to sum up your years as a gallerist, as an art dealer, we talked about some of the things that you liked, some pet peeves and the importance of art. What role has art played in your life, and through these good and bad economic times as you were just stating –

MS. FAURE: Did we talk about that at length?

MS. EHRLICH: We started to, the good and bad.

MS. FAURE: My impression that the rise and fall of the stock market or depression or recession, or incredibly good times, I’ve noticed since 1972, that they’ve had no bearing whatsoever of the business of selling art. The business of selling art really is totally geared to what you’re showing, and if people in their many guises care for it, I don’t think you can talk anybody into anything. I think that those who are talked into art, it usually doesn’t last, it comes popping back.

But it’s a strange, even queer business. I don’t think there is any other one like it. Other creative businesses, even the ballerinas with their sore feet have nothing on us. It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve profited in many, many ways, not necessarily financially, but in other ways, with terrific friendships, and extraordinary insights into the world of art. All of it has been lovely, and that’s why I’m still in business even though I should probably get out now while the going’s good.

MS. EHRLICH: What a wonderful way to enjoy your profession, and you certainly have been very successful over the years. Thank you so much for this interview. It’s been wonderful speaking with you, and it’s been a learning experience for me too.

Thank you, Patricia Faure.

MS. FAURE: Thank you.


Last updated... April 25, 2006


How to Use This Collection

Transcript available on line

Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Patricia Faure, 2004 Nov. 17-24. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.