Poppy, in our interviews we’ve come up to the moment where you leave for Mexico. Now, didn’t you go there twice, and what were the circumstances of the first visit?
Well, I told you that, of course, I had to stay in Europe while I was in the army. And at the time my sister, Odette, married, and then my mother and I were free. We had really no attach…that is, no business or no jobs in France, and she was—mother was—very fond of the Mexican branch of the family and very close to what would be, I suppose, her cousins in a kind of a loose arrangement of our Franco-Mexican family, so we went to Mexico. There was—that first going—must have been through the year 1920 or part of the year 1920. At the end of ’20, perhaps in ’21. I’m not sure; we’ll have to check on that. And we stayed then the whole stay with my uncle Louis Labadie. You know the next generation; that is, Doly Labadie, with whom I stayed when we had the retrospective, is a daughter of Louis. And the next generation is the one that is active now. So there was nothing going on very much. At least I had not too many contacts with Mexican art and artists because I wouldn’t have been very interested in what was going on. It’s before the mural movement had had anything. I went, of course, to the San Carlos Academy. I made very good use of the art library there that had incredible things in it—things like the original edition of Pacheco, the father-in-law of Velázquez, which is of the utmost rarity. They just treated it like any other book and let me go through it. It was a great experience. Now the one contact I had was somehow indirect with the very young painters that I was to meet on my next trip; that was men like Revueltas,1 Fernando Leal, and so on, because I left at the San Carlos Academy my Way of the Cross in woodcuts, and in a way, they discovered the woodcuts without knowing me. And when I came the next time, my best recommendation, so to speak, had been those woodcuts that had made quite a splash with the younger artists, because there was nothing very much in Mexico at the time going on. The one thing, of course, they could have tied my work with would have been the folk woodcuts and metal cuts of Posada,2 but at the time he was not thought of or considered as part of the art, of the picture of art, in Mexico.
So I passed actually, as far as art is concerned, that first trip to Mexico in looking through the books of my Uncle Louis. He had some rather rare things. One of the books that I communed with was the Metamorphoses of Ovide. It was in French, 1730, if I remember, and it had been illustrated very lavishly by François Boucher and men of his generation. And I made, I still have, I think you’ve seen that sketchbook which is entirely full of what we could call, roughly speaking, Cubist translations of those rococo engravings. And of course, another one of my uncles, Aristide Martel, had a magnificent private collection of Prehispanic things, and that was something of a tremendous impact on me. At the time the museum proper was not at all what it is now. It was the Museum of Ethnology. It was in the old building of the seventeenth century, eighteenth century of La Moneda, where they had had the mint in the olden times, in colonial times. And of course, the collections were very beautiful, but they were presented in absolute disorder, which of course, didn’t faze me. I enjoyed very much having a contact with Prehispanic things in Mexico. It wasn’t the first time, of course; I had had contact with the collections of my uncle Eugène Goupil and with the manuscripts of the Bibliothèque Nationale.
But as far as meeting painters, there was no such contact. My uncles were, I would say, very conservative. They had been, all the family had been, in the train of Porfirio Díaz,3 really, and with the exile of Porfirio Díaz, I wouldn’t say they had gone on to evil days, because they had enough money, but they were completely dislocated, we could say, by the Revolution that had hit them rather harshly as far as being in good odor with any government that came after the Revolution.
Did you have any contact with folk arts while you were in Mexico the first time?
I don’t think directly. I think the main thing was really Prehispanic and, of course, just seeing Mexico itself and the people themselves and dipping again in what I consider some of my racial roots. But there was no organized thing. I had a feeling, I didn’t analyze it, but that nothing very much was going on in Mexico at the time. It wasn’t quite true. Some of the very young men, again Revueltas, I would say, or Fernando Leal, were probably doing some things that were relatively interesting, but the thing that would not have made it interesting for me is that they were learning in a way the language of Impressionism, not even of Post-Impressionism, and of course, coming from Paris where I had already sort of dipped into Cubism, it was a little hard to get interested in that. There was nothing suggesting even that there would be a mural movement that would come very quickly—in fact, one year after my first arrival in Mexico.
Did you visit Martínez’s open-air school in Cuernavaca the first year?
Well, I know what you mean, but it wasn’t there at the time. It’s something that came a little before and a little after that first trip of mine, because in between Martínez got into bad odor politically, if I remember. And the school in the open air in Coyoacán was worked out a little after my first trip into Mexico. And again, even if I had done that, what I would have found were people who were all excited about Impressionism, and it was too difficult for me to consider that as, shall we say, even contemporary art because of my rather stiff training in what I considered the modern language of Cubism.
What were your first impressions of Mexico? Do you feel you got very valid impressions in that year or did you change your mind a lot later?
Well, I think some of the writings that you have are from that first trip. It was a trip in which we stopped in Puerto Mexico because the France, the ship on which we were traveling—something went wrong with it and we had to stop in Puerto Mexico. And that is in Oaxaca and very close to Tehuantepec, and the women dress in the Tehuantepec manner, and of course, the race—and you could say the picturesque—was supreme. I wrote two or three things on that first trip, and it’s probably in words rather than in pictures that I gave my impression. One of them is that Indian priest celebrating Mass in Vera Cruz, I think you have. The other one is the first landing at Puerto Mexico, which preceded that to Vera Cruz, and I think those things are important as first impressions, of course. But I don’t think there is anything in painting or drawing at the time that connects with Mexico. I’m rather slow at getting the hang of things, perhaps slower with the forms and colors than I am with words.
In your “Mexico of the Poor,”4 you speak of going out one morning before any of your in-laws were up and seeing the Mexico of the poor, of the people coming in with bare feet. Did that happen on this trip and could you tell me a little about it?
No, I think that’s the second trip. I was very protected, so to speak, in my first trip because we lived with a conservative family, and what I had, which was of great import for me to understand Mexico, was really a hangover of the pre-Revolution days among people who had been protected economically. I wouldn’t say racially because there’s no racial, really, way of unmixing Spanish and Indian blood in Mexico. That doesn’t exist. But economically and politically, in the days when the government was a conservative capitalistic government, of course, that was my family. And so it helped me a lot. It was sort of a trampoline later on, when I was thrown into the post-Revolution world, by which I could compare the two worlds. I would not have had the same clarity of mind, I would say, if I had not first experienced what we could call pre-Revolution life among what we could call the good families of Mexico or conservative families of Mexico—and later on, of course, in the post-Revolution, the rather mixed up Revolutionary people who were my colleagues.
What were your relationships—what was your relation to your relatives then, and then afterwards, when you came back and began to mix in those odd circles?
Well, I had known them before; that is, my Uncle Louis Labadie, with whom I lived, had come to France when I was quite young, and I remembered him very well. My uncle Martel, Aristide Martel, also; and they had been more than images, they had been people I had known when I was very young. And Louis had brought in the children when they were young, that is, my cousins, both boys and girls, and so we knew each other very well indeed. And I took it for granted that that is the way of living. It was rather interesting. It was, well, I don’t know exactly, some people would call colonialism perhaps in the sense that there were many servants and it was unheard of for the woman of the house to do any housework, of course; it would have been impossible. I had dipped even further, of course, into that through my grandfather and my grandmother who had been in Mexico. They had married, probably, in the fifties, 1850s, and grandmother would tell me, for example, that a lady—that corresponded, I would say, to a woman of virtue—I suppose virtue would have been considered something of the better classes—it was impossible for her to make a single step in the street. Of course, she explained it very practically: that the streets were either unpaved and absolutely impossible with water and dust and whatnot, or else they were paved with round stones and with the very small shoes and high heels that the women had at the time, they would have fallen down. So that you took a carriage even to go from one block to another. It was the only thing to do. So what I saw was not a surprise. In fact, it was a sort of a tail-end of something that I had known, even more conservative and exclusive in the stories, at least, of my grandfather and my grandmother.
And when I came on my second trip and found myself in the middle of that circle of, well, shall we say, post-Revolutionary people or people who had taken part actually in the Revolution and who were the group of artists, my family wasn’t too surprised. I would say I wasn’t even a black sheep. I was just a young man who was doing things that were to pertain to what they would call my salad days. There was a very nice attitude towards me, and they certainly never reproached me about anything that would look like being pro-Revolution. It was taken for granted that as a young man and an artist especially, I had a certain amount of freedom. I don’t think they were terribly interested in the things I was doing as art. I remember taking my uncle Aristide Martel to see my first fresco, the one in the staircase of the Preparatoria, as soon as it was finished. I must say the day we came, the house painters were painting the ceiling, and he couldn’t see very much because they had put something over the fresco to protect it, but he was very polite and nice about it. He had a little smile, I would say, about my reconstruction of ancient Prehispanic costumes and types, because he was one of the men who knew the most about it, and, as I knew anyhow, they were not historically possible. They were just a sort of a fantasy as far as archeology is concerned, but there was a certain pleasure in knowing that the young Jean Charlot was an artist. It was something to be appreciated, somehow, in having an artist in the family.
Did they ever mix at all with the artists, for instance, at the opening of your fresco, at the little party you had. You must have had relatives and artists. Did any of them get together, or was there always quite a bit of distance between them?
No, I don’t think, I don’t remember exactly. I think that Louis Labadie may have been dead by then, and I wouldn’t think of inviting specially the cousins. They were not very interested in art. Later on, I mean even in my last trip to Mexico when we lived with Doly and we received some people who certainly were less conservative than they were—Pablo O’Higgins5 came, and other people—they were always extremely nice to them. And they were—they are—terribly well-bred people, and they can take in what we would call “situations” with a wonderful sense of etiquette.
In your writings, you set up a big contrast, if you want, between the Mexico that you liked, which is, if you want, the natural Mexico, and the Europeanized Mexico that really seems to be the milieu of your relatives. And I know that you did a number of drawings and prints, some of which were printed, showing the bourgeois all badly dressed up as opposed to the peasant, who is very beautifully and classically dressed. Now did you have a kind of revolt against your in-laws and did they at all resent the fact that, if you want, you portrayed them a little bit in this way?
No, I don’t think there was anything like that. What I was working at, without knowing it, I mean subconsciously, was a sort of, you could call it a puppet theater, so as to orient myself in my work as a painter. That is, I had to reject certain images, and I had to accept other images. And I have been quite faithful all my life, actually, to the image of the Indian as a sort of a model for my pictures. After all, for fifty years or so, I have been really grinding the same ax, so to say, doing the same thing. There was a tremendous experience in the way the women wrapped their rebozos and so on. In my case, it was certainly not political. I’m sorry to say it wasn’t even social. That is, I wasn’t interested in social inequities or equalities or such things. I was just interested in form and color because my own expression is through form and color. Then, you mustn’t forget that my family, my cousins and so on, conservative as they were, had a sort of a double edge to themselves. That is, Aristide Martel who had been one of the great men about town in the Paris of the 1890s and so on, he was known as the “Monsieur aux Camélias” as against the Dame aux Camélias of Alexandre Dumas, was at the same time a tremendous connoisseur of Prehispanic things and a tremendous lover of Indian things. His private collection was supreme. So things are not as simple as all that. I had to simplify them in my head so that I could start, I think in retrospect, what we could call my life work.
Did you go into the villages during that first stay, or did you stick pretty much to Mexico City? And if you were in Mexico, did you go around and see the pulquería paintings and things like that that you later talk about a lot?
I was very strongly—we were just speaking about Cubism—I was still very strongly in what I would call a Cubist mood in which there was a sort of alchemy of picture making that didn’t need any excitement from the outside. And I think that little notebook, which is really the most that I have to bring as plastic fruits or plastic results of that first Mexican stay, is very definitely a digging into the rules, the abstract rules or the mechanical rules of picture making. Before getting into things that were either picturesque or social or human, I had to find a way of putting together the machinery that would make a picture. And that was my stage at the time. I think I would have done exactly the same thing if I had been in Paris that I did in Mexico, that is, just finding out first what the rules of game were for a man who was going to do pictures. There was no other tie with the Indians than, well, the servants in the house, but again the servants in the house were something a little different from what people in the United States would think of; that is, it was a family that had had servants for generations, and even though they had gone, I wouldn’t say “seedy,” but gone down at least in the general social picture, they were what is called “old retainers” and very obviously a relationship of servant and master that had a sort of a feudal beauty, and that, of course, I had to feel. The contact or the direct contact with Indians came later on, and much of it really was funneled through the one person of Luciana, or Luz, which started, of course, just as a pictorial thing, because she was one of the Indian models at the Academy, but later on, going to her village, meeting her mother especially, and her family, it became something more important and more human.
I want to talk about Luz later. So you didn’t go into the villages at all; you stayed in Mexico City that first trip?
Right. Now, you said that you went to Mexico the first time to scout out the place, to see if you could make a living there, and apparently you felt you could, because you went to France and then came back again. What did you see as your prospects at the end of your first stay in Mexico?
Well, not at the end but at the beginning of the first stay, what happened to us, I mean economically, is very simple. We divided what money we had—I don’t know if it was little money, maybe not little money, actually in retrospect—but what money we had in two parts. One went to my sister as a dowry, which was the proper thing to do at the time, and with the other half we paid, of course, the trip to Mexico. And my mother brought in some fashions—hats and things—that she sold in Mexico, and so that we got a little cash out of those sales. She was the person actually who had the job there. I think there was no…any possibility as far as I knew of having a job. I mean, I never thought of it in a money sense, looking for a job. All my life I have been somewhat impervious to those things, but I knew that I would paint and so on. And I felt more at ease in Mexico than in France because in France we really had let go both of the situation we had when my father was alive and perhaps of some friends that had depended a lot on that situation. There was a certain social standing that existed when father was alive, and I think mother, especially, suffered from having that shot from under us, so to speak, after the war and the death of my Father. So it was easier, really, to be in Mexico than to be in France.
She brought the fashions over the first trip or the second trip?
No, that’s all the first trip. There was nothing like that on the second trip.
Why did you go back to France? Was it to liquidate everything in France? And then could you tell me what you did during your stay, how long it lasted, and what you did in France?
Well, I think we would have to check that on, perhaps, letters and things. I am a little vague about it, but I think it is between the two trips to Mexico or between coming back from Mexico and going back to Mexico that I showed my—I painted and showed my large picture—L’Amitié, that sort of a gouache at the salons and so on, and got my first, actually, reports on myself as an artist. And that’s about it.
Then you did liquidate all your affairs in France at that point? In other words, I was just wondering why you didn’t just stay in Mexico; why you did go back to France.
We had left without knowing what decision to take, and we had that house in St. Mandé, where we had all our belongings. I had already there whatever I had done in art before, and my books and whatnot. So we packed between the two trips, and when we went to Mexico, we had nothing that would force us to go back to France.
Now it was at this point that you broke up with your friend Legrand, wasn’t it? You told me that you had brought back that hat for him from Mexico.
There was no breaking of anything. It wasn’t Legrand; it was Legendre. And I know that you would like to inject a little drama, but there was no drama in the thing. Legendre had very interesting—it must have been his grandfather who had been a close friend of Degas. In fact, he is in some of the pictures of Degas. And the family had some very nice, I could say intimate mementos of that friendship with Degas, and so on, and it was an extremely cultured family. I think you’ll find probably it in some of the footnotes about the letters of Degas, and so on. What we did was getting together from time to time with a model to draw and paint. He had a little more freedom, somehow, to work from the model in my studio in St. Mandé, and that is one of the ways we got together. He is, of course, the fellow who is represented in that big painting, the Amitié, the first one that I showed, I think, at the Salon d’Automne. And there may have been a sort of tapering off between the first trip and the second trip. There was no “break” at all.
Now, so you go back to Mexico then with what you have pretty much in your hand, and what happened then? In other words, what I don’t know is what happened at the…your earliest time in Mexico before you started beginning to meet the painters?
Well, I was living at the time with my other uncle, Aristide Martel. And he had all his Prehispanic collection at home, and so I was literally living in the middle of some of the most beautiful Prehispanic items. Some of them were monumental things, great stones from ball-game rings and some things like a sort of a monkey head that was part of the Nezahualcoyotzin baths, and so on—so that for me it was, of course, something more intimate and profound than going to a museum, that living you could say, day and night, in a small place—because he was at the time in a small place—that was literally packed with Prehispanic masterpieces.
Well, I’ve always done something. I mean I walked around and so on, and I have from that time, I think, a few watercolors and such things. And more or less, not at the same time but a little after, then, Rivera came back, and Vasconcelos started giving walls to artists. And passing through Fernando Leal who—he’s the fellow that I was a friend with the earliest of the group—I got, well, that first job of helping Rivera on his encaustic mural in the Preparatoria and then very soon a wall of my own. Now I don’t know the time element very well, but the whole thing happened very quickly. Asúnsolo, Ignacio Asúnsolo,6 the sculptor, spoke to me about Rivera and said I should meet him and enticed me, so to speak, in saying that Rivera liked to speak French and we could speak French together, which was true. And also both Rivera and I had the same more or less current jokes and loves and dislikes about art in Paris, so that I was the only person with whom he could really pretend he was still an artist in Paris. And we both enjoyed that very much. And then I did help him. I was one of the helpers on his encaustic, and soon after I started my wall in the Preparatoria.
Now, tell me how you got to know Fernando Leal. I understand that you went out to the open-air school, where he was, and you were received there well and started working there. But how did you hear about that, and how did you go out? I am trying to get all the earliest stuff possible. That’s what I don’t know about yet.
Well, I’m sorry to say that where I don’t have my diary, I can’t help you very much, because I’m even fuzzier than you are about it. Perhaps looking through letters of my mother’s and such things—maybe Odette has some papers on the subject. Leal lived more or less in the same part of Mexico City that my uncle did at the time, and it was easy to walk and meet together. And then we—he liked very much to speak French. He had, I think, written some little poems in French and would recite them to me, and so on and so forth. It wasn’t on the basis of painting, it was really on that basis of friendship. And I don’t remember exactly when I met Ramos Martínez, but he was the director of the San Carlos School in the city, in the town, and he, too, was so interested in French art, maybe in a slightly antiquated way—his most modern master was Cézanne—but he was in very good faith. He loved to use French terms in criticizing his students or speaking about art, and again that was a chance to use a little French with me and on me. And then, very nicely really, he invited me to go to Coyoacán to the open-air school, where I shared a studio of Leal. So both certainly were very nice hosts to what seemed to be a visitor at the time, only, of course, the visit lasted a long time.
Now, Leal had already seen your woodblock series? Wasn’t that the way you started working there—with woodblocks?
Well, the woodblock series was in the library of the San Carlos Academy in town, and that young group had all of them seen it, and that impressed them very much. And so one of the first things that we did when we were with Leal in Coyoacán at the studio was to get some pieces of wood and start cutting them. And Leal himself has explained that rather nicely in a thing which I think I have here that he wrote in which there was a sort of a scandal among the students, who were still really feeding on Impressionism because—well, it doesn’t say it in those terms, but obviously the woodcuts are more connected with what we could call Expressionism than Impressionism. That was an entirely new thing for the students of the open-air schools, who were working with the idea of blue shadows and golden sunlight and so on. So there was there a sort of a minute revolution which was actually a very good preface to what happened next. All those things happened immediately, the one after the other, and that was, of course, Rivera coming back as an ex-Cubist already but who liked to talk to people about Cubism.
Leal says that he was very, if you want, ripe for a Post-Impressionist influence. He said he liked the color black, and in The Mexican Mural Renaissance,7 you say that a lot of the revolution centered around the use of black in painting.
It’s a very simple and silly way to say it, but Ramos Martínez had made it a point to fight against the nineteenth-century masters who had been at the Academy and had made a very lavish use of black. I mean that is quite true. Their pictures are beautifully modeled in a sort of Spanish-style way with lots of black, so that his revolution was to replace black by blue. And perhaps as I say, as a sort of a minute revolution, the woodcuts that we did at Coyoacán replaced blue, which by then was the admitted formula, by black.
Now, Leal was with you on this? Were any of the other students with you on that? Did any of those become important in the movement later?
Well, I mean, there are more than the murals that—everybody became important one way or another. Very close and as part of the Coyoacán movement, there was, for example, Díaz de León,8 who did a wonderful job perhaps as a historian, or perhaps rather as a historian, but also as a graphic artist and wrote books about the history of the graphic arts in Mexico. And I don’t think that at the time he especially appreciated those woodcuts, but you never know. I mean, those things are regurgitated and may have helped. Certainly the woodcuts were a nice preface to the acceptation of the folk art: Guadalupe Posada and so on. That—there would have been no bridge between Impressionism and Guadalupe Posada. There was a bridge between what I have called Expressionism, roughly speaking, and Guadalupe Posada.
Now, were those heads you did, the Indian heads, were they the first art works you did with Mexican themes? Were those your first attempts to deal with Mexican subject matter?
They were not attempts, sir; they were realizations. But they are parallel with some oil paintings that I was doing at the time. You certainly know the big heads—the one that Bob Browne has of the man with the cigarette are from that same period.9 And I still have some others that I am going to retouch one of those days, also of the same period, which are based on the studies I made of Luz dressed up in her costume of Milpa Alta, perhaps more picturesque than I used to paint her later on, but it’s a first step. So that painting and graphic arts came together at the same time.
And Leal at this time was working on the big portrait of Zapata?
Leal had done that before I came, and that is…I think he is perfectly right when he says he was the first to do a picture of any importance based directly on the Revolution. I think that’s quite true. And when I saw that picture, which he had nearly finished in the studio at the time that I entered his studio—I saw it in ’67,10 was it? in my retrospective there at the Museum of Modern Art—I realized that he had been quite right. That was the first thing that was with an affinity and a certain sympathy for the Revolution. He was not, of course, as theatrical as either Rivera or Orozco—but the first steps are always a little hesitant—but there it was.
Were you at all influenced by Leal at this point? There’s a real similarity between both your woodcuts, and was this interaction or influence from you to him or from him to you?
Well, I wouldn’t put it that way. We had bought our blocks of the same size and the same sort of wood together, and I think we shared together the same knife, and that knife wasn’t very sharp, and the wood was a little hard, and there was no choice but to do the things in the primitive style that we adopted because there was no way of doing it finer.
Did you work on each other’s blocks at all?
No, sir. There was no need because they looked so much the same.
Now, what interests me is that you had already quite a bit of experience in woodcutting, yet there is a real jump, if you want, in your style between what you’d last done, the Via Crucis, and the Mexican heads. I don’t know the previous works of Leal, but you know, you had the prior experience, but you also were making a stylistic jump, and I was just wondering how that came about.
Well, it may very well have been my first conscious realization of what people have been harping on, what they call the primitiveness of my style. Nobody’s a prophet. I mean, I didn’t know what would happen in the future, but as you say, those woodcuts done in Mexico are certainly more primitive than the woodcuts I had done in France. And in a way, of course, in France I lived in what you could call very sophisticated circles. And our little Gilde Notre-Dame was based, as I said, on models that perhaps were more Maurice Denis than Rouault and so on, and the Nabis had something to do with it. Maurice Denis has been a Nabi. And of course, in Mexico I had to let go of those things because they would have been dissonant. So those woodcuts may be really a first, I wouldn’t say simplification, but a first attempt at being in harmony with the new sights and the new ethnical ideals, call it what you want, and also a certain roughness that, of course, had come with the Revolution. The Revolution was still all around us then.
Thank you, Papa.
Fermín Revueltas (1902–1935) was a painter and muralist active in Mexican art circles of his time, including the Estridentistas.
José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913) is known for his broadsides, popular illustrations, and prints chronicling Mexico’s social and political life. Jean Charlot is credited with bringing this artist’s work to a larger audience, beginning in 1925 with a Spanish-language article on Posada titled “Un Precursor del Movimiento de Arte Mexicano” in Revista de Revistas. See also Jean Charlot, “Notes on Posada,” Print Review 7 (1977): 5–27; “José Guadalupe Posada and His Successors,” in Posada’s Mexico, ed. Ron Tyler (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1979), 29–57.
Porfirio Díaz (1830–1915) was president of Mexico in 1876–1880 and again in 1884–1911.
“Mexico of the Poor” (1922) was written in French and translated into Spanish by Diego Rivera. For the French version, see “Mexico”; for the Spanish, see “México de los Humildes.” An English translation made by Charlot appeared with some changes as “Art Interpretations,” in Mexican Life 2 (March 1926): 16–17.
Born Paul Higgins Stevenson, Pablo O’Higgins (1904–1983) was an American-born painter and printmaker who is grouped prominently with the Mexican muralists.
Ignacio Asúnsolo (1890–1965) created monumental sculptures in Mexico.
The Mexican Mural Renaissance, 1920–1925 (New Haven: Yale UP, 1963).
Francisco Díaz de Leon (1897–1975) was an artist and master engraver. Today he is considered one of the most important Mexican printmakers of the twentieth century.
Man with Cigarette (Trinidad), 1922, oil on canvas, 32.5 × 23.75 in., checklist number 5.
Robert McCormick (Bob) Browne, M.D. (1926–1991) and his wife Mieko “Miki” Browne (1928-2005) were active in Honolulu’s community life and were early Charlot collectors and supporters in Hawai‘i.
Charlot is referring to his 1968 retrospective in Mexico City.