Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Mary LaskerMary Lasker
Photo Gallery

Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

So I said, “All right.” In the meantime, I asked Pierre Matisse, “What is the price of Chagall water colors these days?” This was in; 62, and he said, “Well, a good water color is about $16,000.” This stunned me. I thought a good water color would be about $2,000 or $3,000. As a matter of fact, the one water color I have was $600 in 1950. This change in the value of his work had escaped me.

I did go to see them, and I did see the book, and I do think it's one of the greatest illustrated books since the time of Fouke's book of ours that's now The Fouquet book was done by hand, and this is a book of which there are 250 copies, but it's really a triumph of modern lithography. You can see it there, it's that cream-colored book.

Well, this was a great success with the Blairs. They took the lithographs out of the book and framed them, decorated the embassy in Denmark with them. I've since bought a copy for myself, and one for a friend. They're quite expensive, but Chagall made a sketch in the one for the Blairs and he made a sketch in the one that I have, which adds to its pleasure.

He came to lunch, with his wife, to villa Florentina, one day last August, when Mrs. Joseph P. Kennedy, Rose Kennedy, was visiting me, and they got on very well. She persuaded him to autograph the books of his works -- ordinary art books of his work -- for her children. Later, she and Jeanne Smith and Jackie Kennedy had him to lunch in New York, when he was here.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help