1947, Simone de Beauvoir in America at Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, December 13 , 2018 – February 9, 2019

Sous Les Etoiles Gallery is pleased to present 1947, Simone de Beauvoir in America a photographic journey inspired by her diary America Day by Day published in France in 1948. This book was released in the United States in 1999 after its first translation to English in Great Britain in 1952. This exhibition curated by Corinne Tapia, director of Sous Les Etoiles Gallery, aims to illustrate the depiction of De Beauvoir’s encounter with America at the time. It is the first time that this book becomes the subject of an exhibition. 

In January of 1947, the French writer and intellectual, Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986) landed in New York’s La Guardia Airport, beginning a four-month journey across America. She traveled from East to the West coast by trains, cars and even Greyhound buses. She has recounted her travels in her personal diary and recorded every experience with minute detail. She stayed 116 days, traveling through 19 states and 56 cities.” — Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

“Usually, traveling is an attempt to annex a new object to my universe; this in itself is an undertaking: but today it’s different. I feel I’m leaving my life behind. I don’t know if it will be through anger or hope, but something is going to be revealed – a world so full, so rich and so unexpected that I have the extraordinary adventure of becoming a different of me.” — Simone de Beauvoir, 1947, on her first trip to the United States, a trip that would have changed her life

Esher Bubley, Coast to Coast, SONJ, 1947, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery/ Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

Fred Lyon, Post & Powell, Union Square, San Francisco, 1947, courtesy Peter Fetterman Gallery/ Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

Wayne Miller, From ”The Way of Life of the Northern Negro,” Chicago (Afternoon Game at Table 2), 1946-1948 courtesy Stephen Daiter Gallery/ Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

Louis Faurer, New York, NY, 1947 (profile head in El window), Courtesy Deborah Bell Gallery/ Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

Ida Wyman, Looking East on 41st Street, New York , 1947, courtesy Stephen Cohen Gallery/ Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

Vassar Girl, Alumnae Pub Mural , Vassar College 1947, courtesy Archives/ Collection of Vassar College and Sous Les Etoiles Gallery

It is also most certainly a very photographic book. As you read it, you can easily imagine the footsteps of Simone de Beauvoir in places she discovers for the first time, the atmosphere of the night, of the cabarets and their music of this period, impressed by the American way of life that begins to take effect. “I wanted the viewer to be as close to her reality at that time, so most of the photographs exhibited are in the year of 1947”, said Corinne Tapia. 

Images courtesy Sous Les Etoiles Gallery.