Wife Peggy Guggenheim, Kay Boyle, Partner Jean Connolly
Villa Coustille, Moyenne Corniche, 06360 Èze, France
Laurence Vail, born in Paris on January 28, 1891 and died in Cannes (Alpes-Maritimes) on April 16, 1968 is a French novelist, poet, painter and sculptor. In 1931 Laurence Vail and Kay Boyle moved in Villa Coustille, a red stone house hidden in a thick grove of pine trees high above the old town on the Moyenne Corniche, in Villefranche-sur-Mer. They form their own coterie which includes Robert Carlton Brow, Mary Reynolds, Marcel Duchamp, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Allan Ross MacDougall, and James Stern.
Son of the American painter Eugene Lawrence Vail (1857-1934), Laurence Vail was the lover of Djuna Barnes, then married in 1922 the billionaire and patron Peggy Guggenheim, with whom he has two children, Sindbad and Pegeen. After his divorce, he remarried in 1932 to the writer Kay Boyle, with whom he had lived since 1929 and who gave him three more children.
By the mid 1940s Jean Connolly had dropped Clement Greenberg and was involved with Laurence Vail, the Surrealist artist and former husband of Peggy Guggenheim, heiress, angel of expatriate European artists, and owner of Art of This Century Gallery. With bohemian aplomb, however, it was the two women who began living together in Guggenheim's duplex at East 61st Street, New York. Thank to this arrangement, Rupert Barneby and Dwight Ripley found themselves frequently in New York at the center of Upper Bohemia. "Jean Connolly, Dwight Ripley, Matta, Marcel Duchamp were around a great deal," recalled Lee Krasner, the painter who was Jackson Pollock's wife. "They were at all the parties." Rupert and Dwight were at the now famous party during which Pollock's Mural was first shown and Pollock relieved himself in the fireplace. Barneby remembered Marcel Duchamp, the avatar of cool in the art world today, as a "pompous pundit." He recalled Guggenheim herself as "mean"; she "dressed like a hag," her stagy consersational asides were "like a dagger in the heart."
He was dubbed the "King of Bohemia" by the Parisian intellectual milieu of the 1920s.
His works are kept in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.
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