ELIOT, THOMAS STEARNES (1888-1965, American-born poet)
PORTRAIT OF T.S. ELIOT, W.H. AUDEN AND VALERIE ELIOT (d. 2012) BY MARK GERSON (b. 1921), vintage photograph, silver print, half length, showing Auden and Eliot in intense conversation, with Valerie Eliot next to her husband, all holding glasses, Auden also a cigarette, at the Faber party on 23 June 1960 in their offices at 24 Russell Square, signed by Mark Gerson on the mount and inscribed 'London', photographer's stamp on verso, framed and glazed, size of image 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25.5 cm), overall size 14 1/2 x 15 inches (37 x 39 cm), Faber's, 23 June 1960
THE GREATEST POETS OF THEIR GENERATIONS MEET: this important photograph records one of the very few times (perhaps only the second) that Auden and Eliot met and spoke to one another. Auden states that he and Eliot first met at the time he left Oxford, in about 1928. An example of this photograph is in the National Portrait Gallery and it was illustrated on the back cover of Mark Gerson's National Portrait Gallery Exhibition catalogue, Literati, 1996. See lot 332.
PROVENANCE: Mark Gerson.
REFERENCE: Michael Newman, 'The Art of Poetry No. 17', Paris Review, 1974.