JOSEPHINE BAKER - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 02/19/1965 - HFSID 172181
Sale Price $595.00
She types and signs this letter in French, dated in 1965, in response to a previous letter
Typed Letter signed: "Josephine et tribu", 2p (front and verso), 8¼x10½. Les Milandes, Castelnaud - Fayrac, Dordogne (France), 1965 February 19. To Tino Davini, Italmusica, Brescia (Italy). Signed on page 2. Embossed in upper left: "Village du Monde/Capitale Touristique/Du Perigord". In French, translated in full: "My Dear David, I just received a copy of your letter to the Ministry from Feb 10, 1965 concerning the transportation of our paintings. You have done well to touch everything, but besides that I do not see a single solution. That was the purpose for which Father Giovanni Maria gave the spectacle on Thursday, April 1st, 1965 in order to have on April 2nd, the money necessary for the transportation. Evidently it is necessary that we count much more than the 1,500,000 lire to cover this transportation, but even so this has already been a guarantee, given that the Father has spoken about 20 million for the event (party). Prepare everything in advance in such a manner that the truck can leave in 48 hours. The artist decorator that you have chosen for the placement is already in Milandes & has all the preparations: wall decoration, etc. will already be finished at the arrival of the works of art. This way we won't lose time. Don't forget to get in touch with the consul general of Italy, at Bordeaux & the Embassy at Paris so that all the necessary publicity is done in an extraordinary manner from the part of the government even before obtaining the maximum of visitors - hoping for the best buyers. The Consulate General of Italy in Bordeaux is marvelously situated from this point, & you can see for yourself by their letters that they desire to give us a helping hand. The Ambassador for his part is marvelously well placed in Paris, & he can help us enormously through his colleague, the cultural Ad. I have written to the Publicity Director for Fiat in Turin, concerning the car, so that she can be here to put the exposition in place around April 18th. Also we will sell it during the last week of the exposition. Up until now we are without any news of Anna Magnani, nor of Mrs. Berenice, concerning the 700,000 lire that was promised. It's a pity that these women didn't keep their promises, as you can imagine. I'm writing impatiently for this money for the payments that are absolutely urgent for me to execute. I don't really understand their silence. I would be very pleased if you would pester (chase after) these two women again., You can eventually ask a person that is well placed in Rome to go find them directly. Because this isn't nice on their part, first to give me a check that I cannot touch (cash), then not to be able to immediately deposit it, & finally to make promises that aren't valid. Good luck, good continuation, do something dignified in Italy; kiss your family - affectionately from all of us. Say hello to father Giovanni Maria. 'Who is in charge here?' It's Davini …" Accompanying the ALS are two items: 1) a photocopy of it, upon which has been written in an unknown hand a request for a translation; 2) A manuscript translation, also in an unknown hand. Flamboyant dancer and jazz singer Josephine Baker (1906-1975) first attracted attention in the all-Black musical revue Shuffle Along (1921). During the early 1920s, she made regular appearances at the Cotton Club and other New York nightclubs, performing dances created by Blacks. After appearing in La revue Nègre in Paris, Baker became enormously popular in France, where the Parisians had a passion for African-American culture. After World War II, Josephine Baker purchased an impressive chateau dating from 1489 in les Milandes in southwestern France, living there until 1969. She called Les Milandes a Village of the World, and promoted it as an artistic and cultural center with a 4-star hotel and heliport. At les Milandes Baker raised orphans from around the world, and maintained a collection of animals who roamed freely. The venture ultimately failed financially, a result foreshadowed in the financial urgency expressed in this letter, and the chateau was seized for payment of debts in 1969. A collection of items from Josephine Baker, including art, costumes and documents, may still be visited at the Chateau des Milandes. Lightly creased. Minor nicks along left edge. ¼-inch paper separation at right edge of horizontal fold. Pen numbering (unknown hand) at upper left of signature side. Otherwise, fine condition.
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