Page 228. " A miniature Topkapi "
Topkapi Palace
GNU Free Documentation LicenseTopkapi Palace - Credit: Radomil

The Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, was the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years, from 1465 to 1856.  Today, it contains the most holy relics of the Muslim world, including the Prophet Muhammed's cloak and sword.  Construction began in 1459.  At the height of its existence as a royal residence, it was home to 4,000 people. The palace complex includes mosques, a hospital, bakeries, and a mint, together with hundreds of rooms and chambers. 

After the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1921, Topkapı Palace was transformed by government decree in 1924 into a museum of the imperial era. The palace today is full of examples of Ottoman architecture and also contains large collections of porcelain, robes, weapons, shields, armor, Ottoman minatures, Islamic colligraphic manuscripts and murals, and Ottoman treasure and jewelry.

Page 231. " writers for Mademoiselle "

Mademoiselle Magazine Cover 1936
Public DomainMademoiselle Magazine Cover 1936 - Credit: Mademoiselle Magazine
Mademoiselle was an influential women's magazine first published in 1935, and later acquired by Conde Nast Publications.  It was known for publishing short stories by well known authors such as Truman Capote, Joyce Carol Oates, William Faulkner, Tennessee Willian and Paul Theroux.  Sylvia Plath was guest editor of the magazine during the summer of 1953. The experience provided the basis for her novel, The Bell Jar.  The final issue of Mademoiselle was published in November 2001.  Some employees and features moved over to Glamour

Page 241. " Salvador Dali lay on his back in the middle of the ballroom floor, smacking ineffectually at the helmet of his diving suit with his gloved hands. "

Salvador Dali 1939
Public DomainSalvador Dali 1939 - Credit: Carl Van Vechten
 Salvador Dalí was a leading Spanish Surrealist painter.  He was born on 11 May 1904 in Figueras, near Barcelona.  Between 1921 and 1926 he studied intermittently at the Madrid Academy.  He was expelled in 1926, shortly before his final exams, when he stated that no one on the faculty was competent to examine him.  In 1929, he moved to Paris and officially became a Surrealist.  In that year, he met his muse and future wife Gala, a Russian immigrant ten years his senior, married at the time to surrealist poet Paul Eluard. 

Dali described his paintings as “hand-made photographs” executed according to the “paranoiac critical method.”  This he defined as a “spontaneous method of irrational knowledge based upon the interpretive critical association of delirious phenomena.” He specialised in depicting familiar objects in illogical settings and combinations. 

Dali Museum
GNU Free Documentation LicenseDali Museum - Credit: Erin Silversmith

Dalí was introduced to America by art dealer Julian Levy in 1934. An exhibition of his works in New York created an immediate sensation.  In 1934, Dalí was formally expelled from the Surrealist group. His response was to announce "I myself am surrealism.” 

In 1936, Dalí took part in the London International Surrealist Exhibition. He delivered his lecture wearing a deep-sea diving suit and helmet.  The helmet had to be unscrewed as he gasped for breath. He commented that "I just wanted to show that I was 'plunging deeply' into the human mind.”

Dali and Gala moved to the United States in 1940, where they lived for eight years.  His autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali, was published in 1942.  In addition to his autobiography, he wrote several other books, as well as ballets and movie scripts.  In 1949, Dali and Gala returned to Spain.  Dali died in 1989, at the age of 84.   

 

   

Page 245. " The man was Max Ernst "

Max Ernst commemerative stamp
Public DomainMax Ernst commemerative stamp - Credit: Deutsche Bundespost
Max Ernst (1891-1976) was a German painter, sculptor, graphic artist and poet.  He was a pioneer of the Dada movement and Surrealism.  He began painting while at University in Bonn, where he also developed a fascination with the art of mentally ill patients, viewed on visits to asylums.  In 1911 he joined the Die Rheinischen Expressionisten group of artists.  His work was exhibited in 1912 together with others of the Das Junge Rheinland group.  In 1914 he was drafted into the army, where he served on both on the Western and the Eastern front.  He was demobilised in 1918 and returned to his home town Cologne.  In his autobiography he states that "On the first of August 1914 Max Ernst died. He was resurrected on the eleventh of November 1918."

He was married four times, and bore a son, Ulrich, from his first marriage.  He lived illegally in Paris for several years during the 1920s and 30s. He was a founder member of the Cologne Dada group.  He was highly experimental in his artworks, and pioneered a number of techniques, including frottage, which uses pencil rubbings of objects as a source of images, and grattage, in which paint is scraped across canvas to reveal the imprints of the objects placed beneath. Collages, which he first produced in 1919, came to dominate his artistic pursuits in later years.

In 1938 Ernst was interned in France, but discharged a few weeks later. During the Nazi occupation of France, he was arrested by the Gestapo, but escaped and fled to America with the help of Peggy Guggenheim, a patron of his art.  Ernst and Guggenheim arrived in the United States in 1941, were married in 1942, and divorced in 1946.  In the same year he married Dorothea Tanning. In 1948 he wrote the treatise Beyond Painting, which earned him financial success. In 1953 he and Tanning moved to France. He died in Paris in 1976.