18 August 2009

Zelda Fitzgerald's Paintings

It’s very difficult to be two simple people at once,
one who wants to have a law to itself and the other
who wants to keep all the nice old things
and be loved and safe and protected.

Zelda Fitzgerald

In her novel, Save Me The Waltz, the character, Alabama Beggs, utters the above. To me, it is the quintessential definition of Southern women. At a tag sale several years ago, a friend looked up to see me walking with my purchases -- a pair of motor cross boots and a sifter painted with roses. "You are too confusing," she said. She never read Zelda Fitzgerald! My explanation: I might need to bake a cake and rush it to someone on my motor bike.

Save Me the Waltz
is a flawed book, though we don't have the original manuscript of the novel.
Scott Fitzgerald believed that "their" life was "his" property and when he found out that Zelda's novel used the same material he was mining for Tender Is the Night, he forced numerous changes before he allowed it to be published. The original manuscript and well as the revisions have been lost.

Fortunately, we sill have Zelda's paintings. This weekend, Harry Lowe and I were talking about artists from Alabama and he mentioned Zelda. It had been a while since I had looked at them.

Times Square

A series of her images of New York City were turned into note cards several years ago. These are the images.

Grand Central

Fifth Avenue

Central Park

Brooklyn Bridge

In 1996, Eleanor Lanahan, Zelda Fitzgerald's granddaughter, collected her painting for publication in Zelda: An Illustrated Life.

It is well worth the price of admission. It is also very difficult to be two simple people, but it can be a lot of fun.


  1. Yet another perfect post! I'm soooo glad to have been introduced to you!

  2. Does anyone know where one could possibly get prints made of these watercolors? Or maybe are the postcards available somewhere?


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