Jeanne Chisholm’s Correspondences

Concerning Bridget Bate Tichenor and Hugh Chisholm

Mark Siegmund aka Zachary Selig

On Sep 6, 2008

Dear Mark,

I am Bridget’s daughter-in-law. I would like to know about your projects
re: the Chisholm Family and Bridget!

Kind regards,
Jeanne Chisholm

On Sep 6, 2008

Dear Jeanne,

What a pleasant surprise to hear from a member of Bridget’s family. I really knew/know very little about her son…she mentioned briefly on one occasion that she had a son, and that he had a ranch in Arizona…or something like that. I knew Bridget in a close way…in the period 1979-80…after which I returned to the US…and we lost contact. It would seem that anyone who knew her as a friend was deeply impressed by her beauty, grace and brilliance…it certainly was the case for me. When I learned of her death a few years ago I felt a loss…considering all the years that had passed, a big loss…so I decided to create a webpage to honor her. I began collecting items written about her to place on the page…led me to Dr. Gloria Orenstein.  Gloria and I exchanged a number of emails regarding Bridget and she graciously presented me with the article she’d written about Bridget, which is now on the website.  Go to: http://tetworld.tripod.com/go.html

Bridget spoke of Pedro Friedeberg. She introduced me to him at his studio shop in San Miguel de Allende (I was there with Bridget and Bachoo)…and she had some of his pieces at Rancho Contembo in Ario de Rosales, Michoacan…which I saw while staying at Rancho Contembo as Bridget’s guest…so I wrote to Pedro, requesting photos and memories.  He replied that he would be honored to provide photos of paintings by Bridget that he had in his private collection, and, would write some memories of Bridget.  For some unknown reason the photos and/or memories never materialized. Bridget had a coffee table book at her apt. on Monterrey in Mexcio City…I think it was called, “The World’s Most Beautiful Women”, in which she appeared.  It was by a famous Italian photographer (his name escapes me at the moment…oh, Scavullo.) I  contacted him asking for any photos he might have of Bridget, that I might put on the website.  He never replied and unfortunately has since died.

I was surfing the internet a few weeks ago and came upon the photo of Bridget which now appears on the website…as I remember, it may be the photo that appeared in the Scavullo book.  Finally I had a photo of Bridget to put on the site.  So in a way, there is a bit of completion.  To have a website dedicated to her, without a photo of her, seemed sad and even ludicrous…so I was especially relieved to finally have a photo. I would like to add further materials, but this does depend on the generosity of her friends in sharing with me. I have written once again to Pedro. F. reminding him of his earlier letter.  I’ve not received a reply from Pedro.Pedro had sent me the contact addresses/phones for Bachoo, Alan Glass and Leonora Carrington in his earlier letter…but I have not tried to contact them as yet.

As for any plans for further development of Bridget’s webpage(s), I will at some point write something of/about the Bridget I knew. Now that I have the photo of Bridget on the website…developments there could be called sufficient to my original purpose…to honor her in a public way. If other memories or materials should come to me, I would be pleased to post them…otherwise, things will remain as they are. I would be very interested to know more about you and any other members of her immediate family.

Regards,

Mark

ps If you have written to me, wondering if I have any designs or plans to in any way exploit anything about Bridget…be assured I have no such interest or plans.

 

Gloria Orenstein

On Sept. 8, 2008

Dear Jeanne,

Also,  I know Pedro Fredeberg (I guess you do too), and I know and am in
touch with Ilene Fort at LACMA.  But this Mark/Zachary is one name I have
never heard before.

I am  also a friend of Leonora Carrington, and she had spoken to me of her
friend Bridget a few times.  For the research I did when I wrote the piece
that appeared in FEMSPEC, I read many many many letters written by Bridget
to friends of hers like Pedro.  You must know Carlos de laBorde, another
friend of mine and the Bridget community in general.  He has many of her
works in his apartment.   I am also a friend of Alan Glass, who was a
devoted friend of Bridget.  What an extraordinary spirit!!!

I had a great time looking closely at the art and writing my piece.  I want
to say that I wrote a much much longer piece that Carlos had called a
‘book”.  When many years passed and nothing was ever published from all
that, I asked Carlos for permission to extract some parts and write an
article for this journal I am involved with. He gave me permission, and I
wrote that article.

We also used some of Bridget’s paintings on the covers of FEMSPEC.  I truly
wish that the book Carlos has prepared would come out in the near future.
It has been so long.  He has gathered many texts—so mine is not the only
one anymore–but the others are like personal memories ….whereas since I
did not know her, mine is  probably the only one about her art.  I am
looking forward to the book–and Carlos usually says that it’s the next
project he will work on…..he has so many!.

As I mentioned before, this Mark/ Zachary seems to be into many occult
practices, and having had my own shamanic episode (with the good and the bad
aspects), I am super wary  of all this, and he does sound like he has gone
off the deep end.   By the way, I gave a slide lecture on Bridget years ago
at Barnard College for a feminist art conference, and a man appeared ,
Bridget’s friend the jewelry maker (I can’t recall his name right now).  It
was a coup de theatre.  At the end of my talk when I asked for questions or
discussion, he got up and showed a painting by Bridget, and told us how much
he adored her, and had found this talk menioned on a website and just had to
come and show us his painting by Bridget.  It was quite a dramatic moment.
He was a lovely man who makes some of the gorgeous jewelry Bridge would
wear, and I heard from him once or twice after that, but have lost touch
with him completely.

Everyone seems to have been enchanted by Bridget, and from reading her
letters, I think she was a most fascinating woman and artist.   Very
charismatic and very loving.

What a great blessing to have had her for your mother-in-law and to have
known her so well.

All best, Gloria Orenstein, very forewarned. We’ll talk soon.  G.

Gloria F Orenstein
Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature and Gender Studies
USC


Ilene Susan Fort

On 24 June, 2008

Dear Mrs. Jeanne Chisholm:

I read about your gallery and your late husband Hugh Jeremy Chisholm in the process of researching the artist Bridget Tichenor.  As I understand from my research, Bridget Tichenor, before she became a surrealist painter in Mexico was married to a Hugh Chisholm and the mother of Jeremy Chisholm.

I am presently involved in researching Bridget Tichenor’s career, especially her early American years, for an exhibition I am co-curating with Teresa Arcq, a scholar in Mexico City, titled, “In Wonderland: The Surrealist Pursuits of Women Artist in Mexico and the United States.” The exhibition is being organized jointly by the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and will be the first large-scale examination of women Surrealists active in North America.  Bridget will be represented by several works.

At present we are trying to discover more about her life.  I understand that she lived in Los Angeles briefly when first married to Jeremy’s father (and I think Jeremy was born here) and seems to have been in some way connected to Surrealists in Los Angeles and New York in the years prior to her move to Mexico.  Also, that she worked as a fashion editor for Vogue for years. Since her art is so enigmatic—lots of masked figures—we a trying to “unmask” her life to better understand her imagery.

I realize that during their lifetimes, Bridget was not involved in raising her son Jeremy, and only became part of his life when he was an adult. But I was wondering whether you have any memorabilia, archives, art, etc, from Bridget or Jeremy that might shed light on her activities and interests and whether you eve met her and could tell me about her.  I come to the East Coast regularly and will be there in the autumn for further research on the exhibition.  I would be glad to drive to Pine Plains at that time to meet and chat with you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely yours,

Ilene

Ilene Susan Fort
The Gail and John Liebes Curator of American Art
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

On 27 June 27, 2008

Dear Mrs. Chisholm:

How kind of you to answer my initial inquiry so quickly, especially when you were on your way out of town!  And then to send me such a wealth of material!

I enjoyed reading the material and seeing the photographs.  You have already helped me learn some new facts about Bridget Tichenor’s fascinating life, even before she became an artist.  Thank you.

Now, I really look forward to meeting you and discussing her life.  I will be coming to the East coast definitely in October and possibly in September, so please let me know when it would be a good time to stop by and see you.

I have many questions.  Just sorting out the Hugh Chisholms will be useful!

I look forward to hearing from you at your convenience.  And I do hope your Newport stay goes well.

Sincerely yours,

Ilene Susan Fort
The Gail and John Liebes Curator of American Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

On July 15, 2008

Dear Jeanne (if I may),

I want to again thank you for sending me jpgs of  the various clippings, announcements, and photographs with respect to Bridget Tichenor.

I am in the process of now organizing a visit East, namely to Connecticut and nearby sites in New York State in conjunction with the Surrealist exhibition I am co-organizing, and the one in which Tichenor’s work will appear.  I would like to have the opportunity of meeting with you at that time to chat about Tichenor, since she was your mother-in-law.  And, if you have other archival things relating to her to show me, or art works by her, I would appreciate the opportunity to examine these items.  At present I am considering visiting in mid-October.  Would you be available some time during the weekend of October 11-12, or 13 (the 13th is a Monday, but a holiday, Columbus Day), or sometime the following weekend, October 18 or 19?  If so, I would like to set up an appointment for a visit.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you are enjoying your summer.

Sincerely yours,

Ilene Susan Fort
The Gail and John Liebes Curator of American Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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