“LA VIE DE ROSAMOND!”


(Performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art at a reception to celebrate the publication of “Matisse, Picasso and Miro As I Knew Them” by Rosamond Bernier, the famous Met lecturer; reprised 17 years later at a dinner in Rosamond’s honor at the Century Association, New York.)


Click to listen (with spoken intro):


Was it Matisse, Picasso, or Miro?

Who was Rosamond's great hero?

She is too polite to say;

At the Met, as a very vital fixture,

She has helped us get the picture

In her inimitable way:


(to the tune of La Vie En Rose)

Rosamond!  How rare you are!

The lecturer as a star!

La vie de Rosamond!

Miro, Miro, on the wall,

Who's fairest of them all?

Of course it's Rosamond!

Without a doubt it's she who knows:

In their studios

It was never "Ca suffit"

Clearly her prose

Is of someone who knows

Pablo, and Joan, and Henri!


In early years she plucked the harp,

Until she met Jean Arp,

Dear Rosamond;

In Mexico her style was hot:

She owned an ocelot,

Dear Rosamond;

At home, secluded from the bustle,

She treasures her Jack Russell,

The critic, not the terrier,

She edited L'OEIL,

With great gusto and joy,

And her Vogue-ing years

Couldn't be merrier;


While other artists were much duller

With a mundane use of color

Matisse's palette caused a riot,

He brought a challenge to the norm

Of color, line, and light and form,

Not even Pablo could deny it!


When Matisse was living down in Nice,

She arrived with her valise,

That clever Rosamond;

With all those naked odalisques,

She was taking risques,

That clever Rosamond;

Henri worked on his decoupage

While she did reportage,

With great pizzazz;

While he held a scissor,

She would deliver -

Matisse and all that Jazz!


In Spanish Rosamond would hablo,

She got on with Joan and Pablo,

She became their great amigo;

With Pablo, wild and dark-complected,

She'd expect the unexpected

And the most enormous ego!


Picasso's love life was bizarre,

He tortured Dora Maar,

Not Rosamond;

He'd paint a violin or vase,

While chewing a Gauloise,

Says Rosamond;

John Richardson in his review

Was stuck on Volume Two,

While Rosamond showed the way;

Many have written,

But we remain smitten,

As Rosamond's videos play, and play...


Miro quickly got the gist

Of being Surrealist,

Says Rosamond;

In Paris he would often phone her,

He showed off Barcelona

To Rosamond;

His father urged him "Be a clerk"

He nearly went berserk,

Thank God be stuck to art;

"Calder", said Miro,

"Is my Yankie hero:

A man with a soul and a heart"


Art history can be so prosaic,

Rather flat, and formulaic,

But with Bernier, it's a blast!

How did she make them all confess?

Perhaps because her Bouillabaisse

Is said to be quite unsurpassed!


Rosamond!  How rare you are,

The lecturer as star,

La Vie de Rosamond!