Glenway Wescott

When We Were Three: Travel Albums of George Platt Lynes, Monroe Wheeler and Glenway Wescot 1925-1935
by Anatole Pohorilenko
Publisher's Description
Early in life George Platt Lynes developed a close friendship with the publisher Monroe Wheeler and with Wheeler's lover Glenway Wescott. This collection presents the photographs the three took travelling together over seventy years ago. Review
Glenway Wescott and Monroe Wheeler were an extraordinary couple, to be sure. The two met for the first time in 1919, and it was, it seems, a classic case of love at first sight. At the time, Wescott was still in his teens and Wheeler just 20. Seemingly inured to the social mores of the time and inconstancies of youth, the two embarked on a relationship that can be called nothing short of a marriage, for the next 68 years, until Wescott's death in 1987. The young couple traveled the world, stopping in on Gertrude Stein's Paris Salon and crossing paths with Jean Cocteau on the Riviera, while Wescott developed his poetry and later fiction (he authored The Grandmothers and Pilgrim Hawk, among other bestsellers of his day) and Wheeler found his path. Eventually he would become the director of publications at the Museum of Modern Art.

The two moved with equal ease through the literary and artistic circles of London and the continent as well as their families' Midwestern homes. That their relationship thrived is notable enough. But 1927 brought a new challenge to their pairing. High-school student George Platt Lynes fell passionately in love with the strikingly good-looking Wheeler. And Wheeler, for his part, was entranced by Lynes's "full, luscious mouth and his wasplike waist." Instead of driving a wedge between Wescott and Wheeler, as might be expected, Lynes soon became part of their shared life. When, after some casting about, he hit upon photography, the two nurtured his career and used their considerable connections to get him both work and gallery shows.

When We Were Three presents photographs the trio took as they traveled the world together during the late '20s and '30s. They are the subjects of many of the images, but the Great Wall of China, an Egyptian sphinx, and their numerous friends--including Stein, Cocteau, Thornton Wilder, and Katherine Anne Porter--are captured, too. Oddly, the subject, date, and location of each photograph are carefully documented, but the photographer is not. Some of the earliest-known Lyne images are here, but it is the biographical essay by Anatole Pohorilenko in the front of the book that calls this out. Still, with its high production value and informative essays by Pohorilenko and James Crump, the book is an enjoyable choice for those interested in early-20th-century photography and the lifestyle of the legendary 1930s American expatriate in Europe. --Jordana Moskowitz

ISBN: 0965728048
Publisher: Arena Editions
Hardcover : 299 pages
Language: English
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