Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Artist of the Week: Decorative Paper

Jungle Hippos
Originally uploaded by Teckelcar
This week's artist is Carl Gydesen (aka Guy de Sen) of Denmark. He was a member of a decorative paper guild and a friend of my Grandmother. He made this picture for her during her visit in 1938.

My Grandmother had been wanting to go to Europe for years to do research on her book about decorative papers. 1938 my Grandfather (at least according to my mother) said "Put up or shut up." So off she went, by herself, to visit all the makers of decorative papers in Europe.

It was an interesting time to be in Europe. Hitler and Nazism were making life very difficult for Jews and since many if not all of the decorative paper makers were Jewish my Grandmother had a hard time. She went to a central office to look up various names she had been given and she was told that the office was closed. A man seeing her plight pulled her aside and offered to meet her later, away from the office. When they met again he explained to her that it was dangerous for her and the particular people she was looking for to pursue that line of inquiry. In the end she did find some of the people she was looking for and one of them was Carl Gydesen.

I'm not sure where they met, but they did become friends. He made this beautiful picture for her on plain brown paper. She tried to keep in touch with him after her return stateside, but sadly he disappeared. She never knew his exact fate and that of the other people she met. However she was certain that he was one of the many victims of the Holocaust.

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