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Reminiscences > Forward

We used to talk endlessly, Ary and I. Mine was more often the role of listener — I was like an eager child, always begging for one more story, or for the same story over and over again. But it wasn't until the last years in Mexico that it occurred to me that I should put it on paper, so that there would be a record of the personal life of Ary Stillman, to supplement the paintings which in themselves speak so eloquently of his life.

By that time, however, Ary was in such fragile health that the few chapters I persuaded him to dictate told too heavily on his strength, and we discontinued the project.

After his death, I began bit by bit to fill in the missing chapters. It always bothers me that biographers so often are forced to eke out scanty information with suppositions and interpretations of their own, many of which must be far from accurate. So I wanted to leave "for posterity" as true a record as possible of Ary Stillman. I suppose my account is subjective, as is to be expected of a wife, but it is factually true, and my assessment of Ary's work is not my own, but that of critics and the press throughout the years.

Frances Stillman


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