Author Alexander Eliot is featured in a new book, Pieces of Glass: An Artoire, by award-winning Hollywood screenwriter & author, John Sacret Young. Mr. Young devotes an entire chapter, A Rainy Night, to a chance encounter with Alex. Their talk is mostly about artists Alex met over the years during his tenure as Art Editor of Time magazine and later, in particular, artist Charles Burchfield.
“I took delight in American painting.” Alexander Eliot told me. “And it amazed me nobody cared. Art was very low on the totem pole in America. When Harry Truman jeered at ‘ham-and-egg art’, millions cheered and senators looked under the bed and saw Communists in what these artists were doing. I felt I had a mission to put American art on the map.”
A mission certainly made more difficult due to the political leanings of Time owner, Henry Luce.
One thought on “Alexander Eliot Featured In New Art Reminiscence”
Dear Family of Alexander Eliot,
I ordered the book “Because it Was Beautiful ” when I read the author’s name and it reminded me of someone with that name that I had met in the island of Corfu, I believe in the summer of 1963.
Our family had rented a house and I saw this nice gentleman and his wife, sitting on the grass next to our yard. I heard them speaking English and I went over to say hello and thus practice my English. I was fifteen years old and I had just lived in Greece for three years having been born in Panama of Greek parents and I missed speaking English having attended American schools in Panama.
When he introduced himself and said his last name was Eliot, I remember asking him whether he was related to the poet,T.S.Eliot. I remember him saying they were perhaps related but they were not close relatives. He told me he had written a book about Greece and the Sea. I promptly went and bought it when we returned to Athens.
I thought I had read a lot about art, these past many years but for some reason I had never come across his name again till I saw it in a list of recommended books. I ordered it to find out whether the author by any chance, was that nice man I met so many years ago as a teenager in Corfu. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it and was so overwhelmed with his style of writing and poetry and the amount of artists and people in the art world, he knew so well.
Please know I will be telling everyone I know that they have to buy and read this amazing autobiography by this incredible writer and art connoisseur that I was so fortunate to meet those many years ago.
I always joke that I am an artist and writers’ groupie and indeed this has been one of the most delightful surprises I have experienced having read about this autobiography this past week and buying it because of the author’s name. I always have remembered his name because of the pleasant encounter and the gentle manner with which he welcomed me, taking time to speak to me, a precocious fifteen year old.
Please know that I hold that memory close and dear to my heart and I am even more touched to realize that the nice gentleman that was so kind to converse with a teenager that just walked up to him and started talking, was such an important and well respected writer in the art world. His kindness and generous responses to my inquiries, when he told me he was a writer, are now even more dear to me and I feel so humbled by his attention, after reading his life story .
A special thank you to your dad who made a young girl feel so special as he engaged with me in a nice conversation that beautiful afternoon in the unforgettable island of Corfu, that summer of 1963.