L: René Robert Bouché, “La Parisienne,” from The Morning After, Paris, 1945. Pen, ink, and color wash. Gift of Denise B. Fitch in memory of my late husband, René Robert Bouché (1905–1963). 2010.61.2.13. R: René Robert Bouché, "5 o'clock beer—cherchez la femme, never mind where and how" from The Morning After, Paris, 1945. Pen, ink and color wash on paper Gift of Denise B. Fitch in memory of my late husband, René Robert Bouché (1905–1963). 2010.61.2.15
René Bouché: Letters from Post-War Paris
In 1940, art director and fashion illustrator René Bouché (1905-1963) left war-torn Paris for New York and became a regular contributor to Vogue magazine. In 1945, Vogue commissioned Bouché, who was an art director and fashion illustrator in Paris before World War II, to cover the first post-war couture shows in Paris. The trip to Europe was traumatic for the artist, who discovered a people struggling to regain normalcy after the war. This exhibition contains his “letters”—some of which were published in Vogue—illustrated with sketches of Parisians: poignant observations of young girls on bicycles, women waiting for their bread rations, black marketeers, American GIs amid crowded theaters and cafés.
This exhibition celebrates the 2010 gifts of these works by Denise Fitch, a trustee of the Fine Arts Museums who met Bouché while she was a Vogue editor and became his second wife. Through Vogue, Bouché is also associated with Lee Miller, whom he knew in pre-war Paris and who contributed photographs to the magazine before and after the war.