Ida Rubinstein's Paris in the 21st Century
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Rue Vanneau
Biographers Woolf, de Cossart, and Bentley state that Ida Rubinstein had a studio at 52 Rue Vanneau in Paris.
Journalist Alan Dale wrote that Ida's atlier was at 82 Rue Vanneau when he interviewed her there in 1913.
(His article also misspelled her name, so there may have been more than one typographical error involved.)
However, neither building standing on the street in 2006 existed before World War One.

Looking south to 52 Rue Vanneau

52 Rue Vanneau, above the shops

Looking south from 82 Rue Vanneau

Old and new at 82 Rue Vanneau

82 Rue Vanneau -- built after WWII

Looking north from 82 Rue Vanneau
Place Des Etats-Unis
In 1921, Ida Rubinstein moved into her own house on the south side of Place des Etats-Unis at Number 7 -- the location faces a public park devoted to American notables, and a sprawing mansion built by the Duke of Rochefoucauld. The Eifel Tower looms over the neighborhood to the west. Nothing is left of her home, which was designed and decorated by the great Leon Baskt. Accounts vary, but the Nazis certainly ransacked her treasures, and might have even destroyed the building during the German occupation of Paris in WWII.

Ultra-new 7 Place des Etats Unis

7 Place des Etats Unis, looking eastward

1 Place des Etats Unis, an embassy

7 Place des Etats Unis, north through the park to the Duke's mansion
Trianon Palace, Carlton & Ritz Hotels, Theatre Chatelet, and the Paris Opera
Ida Rubinstein became famous dancing in the premiere of the Ballet Russes at Theatre Chatelet in 1909.
She set up housekeeping at the Trianon Palace Hotel in Versailles with a menagerie of literally dozens of animals, including a leopard which reportedly frightened Serge Diaghilev enough to call the police on his star performer.
During WWI, Ida turned the Carlton Hotel in Paris into a hospital for wounded Allied soldiers.
During WWII, she braved German bombers in exile at London's Ritz Hotel, plus ran a Free French hospital in Kent.
Rubinstein eventually made the Paris Opera her theatrical base of operations, and left her extant archives there.

Theatre Chatelet -- up close

Theatre Chatelet from the Seine

Paris Opera -- circa 1900

Carlton Hotel -- Paris

The Ritz Hotel -- Piccadilly Circus, London

Trianon Palace -- Versailles
Personal thanks to: Village Voice Bookshop -- An American Bookstore in Paris

While pursuing Ida down the Seine --I saw this memorial to another Russian artist

Looking North to the neighboring cafe

Looking South to the bus stop
After a circuituitous walk from the Latin Quarter via Ile de France and the Louvre, I found the Village Voice Bookshop at 6 Rue de Princess, where Ida Rubinstein's biographer Toni Bentley held a book signing in May of 2006. Staff bookseller Michael Neal generously guided my further travels to Ida's homes in Paris. I also bought an autographed copy of The Surrender, Ms. Bentley's memoir (in paperback), and ate a wonderful meal at the friendly open-air cafe next door.
A ll color images by Michael R. Evans. Sepia graphics are digital re-interpretations of materials found on the World Wide Web.
The original color wash drawing of Village Voice Bookshop is by James Noel Smith.
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