TRAVELS ABROAD

During the 1920s and '30s Cummings made many trips abroad, typically using Paris as a base for travels into Southern Europe--Italy, Portugal, and Spain--and Northern Africa. One series of eight watercolors in the collection is from the coastal town of Pornic in the south of France, which Cummings visited in 1922. Another interesting series included here consists of five paintings that he did in 1933 in Hammomet, on the coast of Tunisia. In a letter to his mother, Cummings wrote of Hammomet, "The sea lives a few hundred feet away have already made many sketches and one watercolor; our host is kindness personified, offers me sanguine and easel and space and time." More than two dozen paintings included here were executed in Paris during the 1920s and '30s of the city's street scenes, rooftops, hotel rooms, and colorful citizens. One of Cummings' ink drawings from the 1920s, "Calchidas," when removed from the frame, revealed a lengthy, poetic journal entry in his hand, which begins, "What am I doing here on top of this hill...."


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