Lucia was living with Ernst while we were at graduate planning school at Harvard. Around 51. We were coming back from an evening concert of Bartok at Memorial Hall. Ernst said: Bartok is my man. I first noticed Lucia in her red shoes.
In the Village in late 50s, Ernst & Lucia, Stanley Tankel & Clare and myself were friends. We had an occasional supper to gether. The three of us men were in a group (informal) on planning for Greenwich Village. Very advanced, idealistic. I remember being impressed by Ernsts somber discipline working for the N.Y.C. Planning Commission.
Grace and I had dinner one evening at Ernst & Lucias top- floor apartment on Fifth Avenue & 23rd (?) Street. Thats where I first appreciated her painting of a cat. Later we kept that cat in our kitchen.
Lucia--among many other talented women coralled by Grace because she loved me--did costumes/décor for a street play I had adapted: Everyman.
During antiwar years that group was very closely together- along with Carl--and draft counseling--& Lucia in basement of Washington Square Methodist Church. Around that time she and I talked books. I found out she was a reader. I was impressed when she lent me a 19th-century Sicilian novelist to read (study of early capitalism). By now I am a firm admirer of her paintings. But I know she produced not many.
We did Address to the Smaller Animals together. That was fun. She managed to unearth all her drawings and woodcuts. We would fit them into the book. She would put together a sequence and then undo it. I got to realize she would be always unable to decide.
A period of time. We helped her move from one apartment in Westbeth where there was too much street noise to another which was by an air duct vent. She didnt seem trivially or hypochon driacally oversensitive. Simply sensitive and superior cultiva tion to the bone.
Another period of time. I heard from friends she was not well in the head. I went to visit her in Westbeth. She took out all her paintings (at my urging). It was touching because they were mostly the same paintings. But she referred to them as being somehow tentative. A work in progress, dating from perhaps yesterday or ten years ago. This lack of possession was heartrending because I always considered her a major painter. Even if she had been a major (recognized) painter she would have been an even finer (? illeg.) person. A person rare.
I came across an article of hers in an old (Westbeth?) radical womens newspaper--on Modersohn-Becker (ck sp.). Paula was her painter. The article--in terms of intellectual analysis, politics, and aesthetic judgment -is superb. Casually thrown off and unmistakably Lucia.