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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.
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