The Exciting Lives and Times of 20th Century American Expatriates

Picture this environment:

In 1936, a Boston-accented, French-speaking, blue-eyed young man painted figures and landscapes effortlessly in the oil-soaked studios at Yale. His frame was lanky; his hair blond.He joked about any matter at hand to keep his comrades amused, but was dead serious about his work. He was on scholarship and had no time to waste. Yet he fell in love with a Midwestern woman: She was a tall, broad-shouldered, brown-eyed, black-haired beauty who sat across from him in drawing class. She too was serious about her work, but wasn’t as gifted. He would come over and encourage her after the teachers gave their daily damaging critiques.

He graduated at the top of his class with another full-year scholarship in hand to live on—and proposed to her. She came from a banker’s family; he from an undertaker’s. She was Christian Science, with German-Scotch heritage; he an atheist and former French-Catholic. They talked about art for hours. Every step they took together—from Yale to Tortola, Virgin Islands, to post-WWII, ravaged Germany, and finally to Mexico in 1970—was about his art and all art. He worked tirelessly creating compositions, breaking barriers, testing new ideas. She found the people, gallerists, collectors, museum directors, and other artists to appreciate him. Their bond was tight. Paul and Virginia Fontaine were a team for over fifty years, each secure in their own gifts and strengths.

Creating art is not an isolated act. Artists internalize environments and their genius gives rise to new ones, impacting even more artists.

Please immerse yourself in this experience »»»

Paul Fontaine Gallery
Paul Fontaine Gallery
Paul Fontaine, American and expatriate abstract expressionist 1913-1996. You will find biographical details, complete list of exhibitions, and works for sale. Learn about Paul Fontaine here.
Fontaine Archive
Fontaine Archive
The photographic and document archive of the life, works, and friends of Paul and Virginia Fontaine including a finding aid, sample letters, their guestbooks, two transcribed diaries and a 250 page photo album of artists and friends. Learn about other German post war artists, gallerists and dancers here.
Fontaine Community
Fontaine Community
Are you interested in any of the artists mentioned on this site? Do you want to know if there is new information in any of these documents that you haven’t found before? Are you related to any of the fabulous artists, writers, musicians, dancers, collectors, gallerists, or Stars & Stripes personnel found here? Post your questions and find connections here.