Anita de Caro "Chuchulu" later Vieillard
Born : 1909, New York, USA
Died : 18th February 1998, Paris, France
Married : Roger Vieillard ( French )
Parents : Frank & Jacqueline de Caro
AMERICAN - FRENCH
The following letter was written by Anita de Caro in November 1931 whilst Meher Baba went to Harmon-on-Hudson north of New York City.
Click here : Norina Matchabelli
NEW YORK was unlike any other city Baba had been to and it intrigued him. On Sunday, November 15th, Baba was driven to Manhattan concerning travel documents for his return to Europe and India. Afterward, he met with several new people at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Frederick B. Robinson. He then went to stay at the Phelps Stokes' residence at 88 Grove Street for two days. Among those he saw in New York were Milo Shattuck and Julian Lamar again, and Anita and her mother Jacqueline de Caro, a strict Catholic who nonetheless felt something special when she saw Baba in person.
Click here : 88 Grove Street, West Village, New York
Click here : SS Bremen
After staying in America for one month, Baba sailed on the German ship S. S. Bremen for Paris at the stroke of midnight on Saturday, December 5th, accompanied by Chanji, Agha Ali and Meredith Starr. Anita de Caro drove with them to the dock where a small group bid farewell.
Click here : Albert Hotel
Norina Matchabelli, Jean and Malcolm Schloss, Graham Phelps Stokes, Anita de Caro, Nadine Tolstoy, Elizabeth and her husband, Kenneth Askew Patterson, and a few other lovers were at the pier to receive Baba. Mr. Patterson drove Baba to Greenwich Village to the home of Graham and Lettice Stokes, and the others followed in taxis. Staying with the Master at the Stokes were Adi Jr., Quentin Tod, Meredith and Margaret Starr. The other mandali, Kaka, Ghani, Chanji and Beheram, stayed at the Albert Hotel.
One afternoon, Baba went to Anita de Caro's house to see her ailing mother, who had cancer. Anita recollected, "It was a meeting of silent understanding." Baba assured Mrs. de Caro that there was no need to worry about her illness, because she would soon be free. He held her in his arms and she cried. Baba comforted her, "Birds that are free do not realize their freedom. Only birds who are caged can appreciate it. You will soon be free." The woman showed no fear of death.
Anita was now solely dedicated to Baba, and he instructed her to stay with her mother until he called for her. Norina was thinking of opening a school of modern art, and Anita wondered if she should enroll in college, Norina's new school or another art school. Baba informed her that he would instruct her what to do after some time.
Tuesday morning, May 24th, Elizabeth Patterson, Norina Matchabelli and Anita de Caro arrived in Harmon to spend the day. After lunch, Baba led his lovers outside to the stone terrace and along a path to a field full of wildflowers. Some went off to pick flowers, but Elizabeth stayed close to Baba. Baba quietly bent down and picked a small pink flower, which he handed to her. Kaka Baria was near Baba, ready with the board, and Baba motioned to him for it. Spelling the words out, he had Kaka tell Elizabeth, "Always keep this flower and write down today's date. Someday you will know the meaning of it."
A week later on June 23rd, Baba reached Genoa and was met by Kitty and Minta. After staying for two days in the Hotel Astoria Belgrano, they were joined by Norina, Elizabeth and Anita de Caro, who arrived to drive them to Santa Margherita. Elizabeth rented the Villa Altachiara overlooking the Mediterranean Sea from atop a cliff off Portofino's main piazza. Baba, the mandali and westerners moved in on June 28th; however, the villa was not large enough to accommodate all of them and another house in Santa Margherita was also leased.
This time in Italy, Baba kept everyone busy, especially with writing, typing and other such work. Kitty and Minta had come to Portofino ahead of the group to prepare the house. Kitty was to supervise everything. Herbert Davy arrived on July 4th; Otto Haas-Heije, Hedi Mertens and her daughter Anna Katarina (Roelni) came from Zurich; Enid Corfe arrived from Milan; Victor and Alice Trau-Fisher came from Vienna. Alice had met Norina at a tea in New York some years before and they had corresponded regularly; Norina told Baba about her and Baba had them called.
The group was large. Adi Jr., Chanji, Elizabeth and Enid were usually typing for Baba and Otto; Elizabeth was also driving the car and doing the accounting; Norina did translation work and correspondence; Quentin Tod handled some correspondence; Kitty, Anita, Delia, Mabel, Margaret, Minta and Vivienne shared in the household management; Herbert was writing an account of his adventures in Russia and helping Baba arrange the booklet entitled Questions & Answers; and Kaka and Pendu were helping cook the meals.
SEE IMAGES BELOW THAT RELATE TO THIS SEGMENT
Letter from Anita, Elizabeth Patterson & Norina Matchabelli in Genoa, Italy to Meher Baba.
On one occasion, Baba harshly scolded Adi Jr. for giving away a Parsi cap which Anita de Caro had requested. This was quite contrary to Baba's order to not give anything to anyone. Anita pleaded guilty for her participation and Baba forgave her, but Adi was on the verge of tears from the embarrassing thrashing in the presence of others.
The portrait of Baba shown above was painted by Anita de Caro, now Mme. Vieillard, when she first met Baba at Harmon-on-Hudson, N.Y. in 1931.
Anita de Caro, Norina, Minta, Herbert and Tod were accompanying Baba and the mandali, along with Tom Sharpley who went as far as Dover to see them off at the ferry. Although Kitty had made all the arrangements, she remained in London to look after her father and continue her work of teaching piano.
Anita de Caro, living in Zurich, was also there. Baba had instructed Rano, Nonny and Ruano to come from Paris, Margaret and Mabel from London, and Enid Corfe also came from Italy. They stayed at the nearby Hotel Raben, since there was no room for them in the Mertens home.
They were welcomed by a few of Baba's followers who were still there, namely Josephine Grabau, Mary Antin, Milo Shattuck, Anita de Caro, Howard Inches and Grace Mann. Josephine asked Darwin if he would like to write to Baba. He did, pouring out his heart in a letter, offering his life in Baba's service. Darwin immediately mailed it and returned to the retreat for dinner. Halfway through the meal, he began to feel Baba replying to the letter.
Accompanied on this trip by Norina, Elizabeth, Margaret and Kitty, Baba, Kaka and Chanji arrived in Zurich, the following day where he met with Hedi and Walter Mertens and their children. Anita de Caro was living with the Mertens and studying art at Otto Haas-Heije's school. During this occasion, Baba instructed her to go to Paris to continue her studies for three months and await his call to come to India. Baba visited Hedi's brother-in-law's house and met the Swiss people gathered there. After a while, Baba remarked, "Someone I was expecting has not come. Now, I'll have to come back again." He was referring to a young Swiss lady, Irene Billo, whose rendezvous with him was soon approaching.
On December 8th, 1936, Norina Matchabelli, Elizabeth Patterson, Jean and Malcolm Schloss, along with Rano and Nonny Gayley arrived in Bombay on the steamer Elysia. They also brought two dogs with them – Elizabeth's black Boston terrier named Kippy, and Anita de Caro's white Siberian husky, Canute, which she had given to Baba while in Switzerland.
Other close Europeans such as Quentin Tod, Christine McNaughton, Anita de Caro, Mabel Ryan, Alfredo and Consuella de Sides and Gana Walska, a friend of Norina's, were also to come and join the group at Meher Retreat in Nasik, and it was for them that Baba had proposed building additional quarters.
The arrangements were quite pleasant, but Baba for some reason was dissatisfied with the women's villa and Norina was ordered to rent another. The new villa was where Baba and the women mandali, Norina, Elizabeth, Rano and Kitty would stay. For the men mandali a second villa was rented, and a third for the Western men and women who had come: Delia, Ruano, Gita, Jean, Malcolm, Nonny, Sam Cohen, Christine McNaughton, Anita de Caro and Andreé Aron. Andreé, a French lady, had previously met Baba in Zurich in 1934 at Otto Heije's art school and was a friend of Anita's. Ruano Bogislav was appointed head of the household to manage the living arrangements in this villa.
The next day, a young Parisian named Roger Vieillard came to see Baba. Vieillard was a tennis champion, and on August 22nd, Baba remarked to him, "Whether you win or lose, it is immaterial, because you are winning my love!" He wished to marry Anita de Caro and Baba approved of their engagement. Roger Vieillard became devoted to the Master, and he and Anita were married a year and a half later.
Anita de Caro was an artist of some talent; she did a drawing in Cannes and showed it to Baba, who commented that it was remarkably good and assured her that she was indeed an artist. Baba then asked Rano's opinion and she said she honestly did not care for it. Baba reproached her, "How can you say you don't like it? It is so beautiful! You will never be able to draw as well as her!" It was a feint. Baba praised Anita's talents just to annoy Rano.
For some months, Rano had been working in secret under Baba's direction on a large painting. It was later called The Ten Circles. Baba had instructed Rano to bring all her painting materials to Cannes to continue with the work on the painting which had been taken off its stretcher, rolled and packed, and brought from India. One day, when she was painting a section of it, Baba came and made some criticism of her work. Rano in a huff said, "If you like Anita's drawing so much, why don't you ask her to do this work?"
Baba did not like her remark, reprimanding her, "You are useless! You have no sense! Your duty is to fulfill my orders!" Baba was teaching Rano to accept what he wished with a buttoned lip. At times, Baba would tease her, saying, "Why aren't you as good as your mother? Nonny is so good, why can't you be like her?" All this teasing was for the purpose of loosening the ego.
( L-R ) Unknowns, Anita De Caro ( white coat ),?, Fred Marks, Meher Baba, Eruch Jessawala ( behind Baba ), Ann Powell, Adi K. Irani, William Backett, Mary Backett, Molly Eve ( dark glasses ), ?, Delia De Leon ( front ), Huma "Homa" Dadachanji ( holding bag ).
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. 1956
Anita holding an umbrella for Baba in 1956 at the Myrtle Beach Centre, S.C.
Before I met Baba, I was closely connected with Norina Matchabelli. I had passed some months in Europe to visit museums as I was strongly interested in art. However, because my mother was seriously ill, I had to return to New York. Back home, I immediately phoned Norina and she urged me to come to her house to tell her all about my stay in Europe. She then told me that an extraordinary man, a great master, Shri Meher Baba was expected to come to New York and she was very eager to meet him. Norina had been invited by her friends Malcolm Schloss and his wife Jean Adriel, who had owned a shop for metaphysical books in New York and thus had contact with the spiritual retreat of Meredith Starr in Devonshire, England. Mr. Starr had been in India with Meher Baba and was expecting his first visit to the West in autumn 1931. Malcolm and Jean had prepared everything to go to England but then Baba had informed them of his intention to come to New York and asked them to prepare everything for his stay there. From a friend the Schloss’s got a house in Harmon on the Hudson outside New York and arranged everything for Baba's stay there. So they informed all their friends of this unique event.
When I saw that Norina was so excited, I thought I would like to meet this extraordinary man too. Though I had no idea what a master was and India for me was a far away unknown country. I never had read spiritual books and was totally ignorant of metaphysics, philosophy etc., I was only interested in art.
On November 6th, 1931 Baba arrived in New York and a few days later Norina phoned me that she had met Baba. To my great amazement she was crying; I never had seen her crying and was quite embarrassed. She told me that the next day I too could meet Baba in Harmon. She advised me to make myself look pretty, not to be covered like an onion; I should not feel shy but be totally free. All this made me feel uncertain, timid. When I arrived in Harmon I saw all these strange people, Meredith Starr and his friends barefooted, with beards, strange dresses, having vegetarian, raw food ( they offered me a kind of raw cabbage which I had never eaten before ) and it made me feel uncomfortable, nervous, suspicious. When I was going up the dark staircase to Baba’s room, I wondered how I should greet such a holy person, and having been brought up a Catholic I decided to fall on my knees, make the sign of the cross and kiss his hand. My heart was pumping with excitement. Then the door was opened, all was in bright light, I saw Baba sitting on the couch and to my utter amazement I ran, actually I ran and threw myself on Baba — like a child who after a long, painful separation saw his father/mother again. Imagine, I threw myself on Baba, I was so happy, an immense joy filled all my being as if I were on fire, all burning; no interfering thoughts, no problems, only pure love and joy. Baba looked at me, all love and smiling. I sat at his feet as if I had never done anything else but sit at his feet. Only the mandali ( Chanji and Adi jr. ) were in the room, none of these curious people.
After a while Baba asked me "Do you know who I am?" I felt rather stupid, but I don’t know how and why I answered "You are the source of all goodness." Baba was very pleased, he took my face and pressed it. I don't know what he "said" to me. There was an inner relationship as if he were talking to me, there was no separation that needed words. It was incredible, I was just I, something that had no beginning, no end, that had always been and would always be, living continually; I just was full of joy, totally happy.
Then Baba asked me "What do you want to do?” I said "I have just come back from Europe. I want to become an artist." Baba responded: "You will be a painter; you will do my portrait, I will pose for you. Come here in 2 or 3 days." All of a sudden I was seized with such a fear, but knew I was not to say ''No, I can't." I had to do it, it was my first act of obedience, whether I liked it or not. Then Baba asked me about my mother. I told him that she was extremely ill and that I had to come back because of her. He said: " Tell your mother that if she cannot come here, I will come to see her, she must not worry." I was quite stupefied that someone whom I hardly knew would take the trouble to visit my mother.
Two days later I came to Baba with my little paint box. I again had to eat that vegetarian raw food but I was less afraid of those curious Westerners. Norina was so happy that I was going to paint Baba's portrait. Then I came to Baba and there were only Adi Jr. and Chanji who called me Chu-chu-lu, the nickname Baba had given me. So I started painting. I looked at Baba and Baba looked at me. I shall never be able to tell if the session was long or short. It was very difficult to paint Baba, his eyes were so different. Normal eyes are like buttons, they see nothing. Baba's eyes were looking, alert and shining, then they sank back, his skin took another colour, everything was of a tremendous sensitivity and always changing. Then Baba made a sign: stop! I put my little canvas in the paint box. I only said to Baba: "You know, you are very difficult to paint." "Why?" "Because you are ever changing." He admitted: "That's right. I am ever changing. I too am an artist. I have painted — the whole universe." After a while I left and gave the portrait to Norina. I never thought of giving it to Baba; I never looked at it either. I didn't see whether it was good or bad. I never saw it until some years before Elizabeth died and she sent me the portrait which now is in my private room in Paris.
Then Baba came to see my mother. She was seriously ill. But I never had realized that she had to suffer, that she ever could have been unhappy. I was a late child and I was young and I did not see any reason why my mother should be unhappy. When Baba came she cried, and in front of Baba, for the first time, I saw the suffering that came put of her. Baba took her in his arms and said "A bird that has been always free, does not realize its freedom like a bird that has been caged and is freed." I said "Mummy, don't cry!" But Baba made me be silent and let her weep out all she had suffered in her life. And I thought she will be healthy again, a great miracle will happen, Baba has taken all from her.
Baba stayed one month in Harmon and I went out to see him as often as I could. Once he went to Sing-Sing, and we drove around the prison. I was totally innocent and didn't worry who was in Sing-Sing or what problems were in the world, I was like in heaven, only aware of Baba's presence. All of a sudden Baba put a foulard scarf over his head. It was the first time I saw this and thought it very funny and couldn't imagine what and why he was doing so. When Baba took the foulard off he looked at me and said "Anita, make me laugh!" In Baba's presence I could invent all sorts of incredible stories, make fun and invent fantastic things. It just flew out of me, out of my overflowing joy. We were so intimate, so extremely near to Baba; he never said that he was God, he only used the expression "the Ancient One". Norina would cry all the time, Elizabeth was of tremendous earnestness, Jean was a kind of ethereal figure passing through space, Malcolm was the poet, seizing all kinds of inspiration, Meredith was lecturing, he "knew". I myself was just happy. I never took all those things seriously, the only thing I took seriously was my love for Baba, his extreme beauty, his sensitivity and his tremendous sense of humor.
Once he asked us "Do any of you know who you were in the times of Christ?" He called one after the other, but not me, I was terrified, what should I say? I felt that I hardly could remember what was yesterday, how could I remember anything so far away. Baba said quietly "No use my telling it to you. You must experience it for yourself."
After a month in Harmon with excursions to New York and Boston, Baba left for Paris. He had asked me where he should stay and I suggested the Hotel Powers, a very nice place near the Champs Elysees. I stayed back in New York to look after my mother.
The Awakener - Volume 21 Number 1 ; 1984
Born in 1909 in New York, died in 1998 in Paris.
She began studying painting with Hans Hoffman in New York. She then comes to Europe, first in Zurich, where she met Paul Klee. She moved to Paris in 1934 and follows the teachings of Hayter at Atelier 17. She married Roger in 1939 the Old French, engraver. She exhibited at the Galerie L'Esquisse, then at Adrien Maeght. From 1955 to 1962 : is the era of "cosmogony" and epiphanies solar stoking the struggle between light and shadow, both forms of the game than in color. Disdaining any school or any formula, it exposes both as an artist in France, U.S., as a representative of the School of Paris or abstract art, any label does not suit him. His work oscillates between abstraction and figuration, thereby achieving a synthesis between what speaks his mind and what pleases her vision. ( Jean Tardieu Exhibition Catalogue, 1977, gallery Coard, Paris ). From 1967, without divorcing the table, it goes into subjects of colorful wooden pieces that become low-reliefs and statues. At its last exhibition in 1996 at The Museum School Laval Perry, it presents a collage of paper gouache on black or mottled watercolor of a great cosmic poetry and inspiration. We can relate a bit to artificially Anita Caro Impressionist painters of abstraction in which the artist translates his emotions by the intersection of chromatic keys. She relates well to the family Bissière, Manessier, Viera Da Silva, Le Moal, Jean Elvire.
Courtesy of WIKIPEDIA
Anita Caro was born in New
York to a family of Neapolitan
origin. She showed an early taste
for drawing, after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She enrolled at
the Art Student's League, a school run
by Hans Weber. She studied painting with Hans Hofmann,
who said of her work: "This young girl has an inner vision. " She discovered French art, Cezanne and Matisse:
become for me a master who awakened me. "
After the death of her mother in 1932, Anita de Caro accompanies a friend, Norina Marchabelli , for a trip to Europe. In Zurich, she attends classes by Otto Haas-Heije in a modernist academy headed by Paul Klee.
In 1936, she moved to Paris and came to work at the Atelier 17 created by Stanley Hayter. She made her first etchings and illustrated a short story by Henry Miller, Black Spring.
She meets writer Roger Vieillard at a party held at Atelier 17, and he married her in 1939.
Anita Caro remained in Paris during the war
years, while Roger Vieillard is
mobilized. His etchings, gouache and ink, show a Surrealist, she also realizes low reliefs in precious
metals. By the early 1940s, the couple are in contact with artists
and poets associated with the
Second School of Paris such as Bazaine Manessier, Jean Tardieu, André Frénaud. In
this trend, we
can also quote Jean Le Moal, Roger Bissiere,
and Vieira da Silva, who
also attended the Workshop 17.
In 1941, the gallery "The Sketch" organizes the first solo exhibition of Anita de Caro. Her work is oriented towards abstraction, playing on the modulations of color and light. "The reality is transmuted into a poetic field of interior landscapes of legendary line, her paintings are built by juxtaposing key color transparency or bunk" .
From 1947 to 1957 the following exhibitions in 1948 in New York at Silver Galleries, and in 1950 the gallery Bordenicht Grace. She realizes from 1956 solo exhibitions in galleries in Paris Jeanne Bucher, Claude Bernard and Maeght (1958). She participated in the exhibition of the School of Paris in 1956 at the Galerie Charpentier. Her works were shown in Japan, Brussels and London.
The style of Anita
Caro is evolving into a "abstract impressionism"  in tune with the Parisian
art world of that period. She did research on
the pictorial theme of Mallarme, "A gamble /
never abolish chance. " It mixes with other materials for his painting, fabric collage. It uses other techniques,
plywood, sandpaper, folded paper, "the game of painting becomes the locus of a free and lyrical
question on the cosmic play"(Mark Fumaroli). Around 1961, the human figure appears in her works first
as a shadow, they become more and more
present. She creates sculptures of
wood assembled and painted (chess pieces, king, queen). She exhibited regularly at the gallery
Coard Paris. In 1985, she created collages of brightly colored gouache paper.
The death of Roger Vieillard in 1989 leaving her alone and helpless, in 1991 she went back to work and making collages from her husband's engravings, sculptures and stained wood. Under the leadership of Bernard Legendre, is the subject of a retrospective and an exhibition of his planets Museum School of Perrine in Laval.
The poet Jean Tardieu characterizes the work of Anita de Caro as "a synthesis between what speaks his mind and what pleases her vision. "
Anita Caro was decorated in 1946 of "The American National Red Cross for its commitment as a volunteer at the Red Cross, to welcome and support the soldiers of the U.S. Army.
* Anita de Caro, preface by Jean Tardieu, Galerie Coard, Paris, 1977
* Roger Vieillard, Catalogue raisonné, graphic work, 1934-1989, two volumes (volume edited by Anne Guerin with the collaboration of Virginie Rault, test-Tonneau Dominique Ryckelynck, foreword by Marc Fumaroli), Editions Somogy, Paris, 2003, 217 p. (ISBN 2850564818).
* Roger Vieillard Anita Caro on line and color, by Anne Guerin, exhibition catalog property Yerres Caillebotte, September 20 to November 30, 2008, editions and Gourcuff Gradenigo, City Yerres, 2008, 127 p. (ISBN 9782353400454)
* Anita de Caro, Bernard legendre preface, text by Marc Fumaroli, Jacqueline de Romilly, Jean Tardieu, Lydia Harambourg, catalog of the retrospective exhibition of the Museum School of Perry, City of Laval.
NEW YORK HOME IN THE 1930S
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