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Xilitla, San Luis Potosí, Mexico — The Northeast (and Central Highlands)
 

Edward Frank Willis James

 
 
Edward Frank Willis James Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, March 13, 2020
1. Edward Frank Willis James Marker
Inscription.  

Edward Frank Willis James
Edward James, poeta, mecenas, coleccionista y diseñador, nació el 16 de agosto de 1907 en Escocia. Fue el quinto hijo, y el único varón, de William James y Elizabeth Evelyn Forbes. Su padrino fue el Rey Eduardo VII, amigo de los padres de James y asiduo visitante a su hogar. Su infancia y parte de su adolescencia se desarrollaron en el Castillo de West Dean ubicado en West Sussex, Inglaterra.

Su padre murió cuando James tenía 5 años de edad y le heredó una gran fortuna, de la cual podría disponer hasta la mayoría de edad. En 1928 la recibió junto con la de su tío paterno Frank James, quien lo heredó ya que no tuvo descendencia. Más tarde James comenzaría a utilizar esta fortuna para patrocinar el arte en sus diferentes manifestaciones y formar, sin proponérselo, una de las colecciones más grandes de la corriente surrealista.

Estudió literatura en Oxford y comenzó a involucrarse en el mundo de las artes, empezando a relacionarse con algunos artistas, como el poeta inglés John Betjeman y Randolph Churchill. Durante estos años también creó su propia editorial, llamada James Press,
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en la cual publicó algunos trabajos de poesía de sus amigos y otros de su autoría.

A principios de los años 1930 conoció a la bailarina Austríaca Tilly Losch, con quien se casó en 1931 en Nueva York. Durante los 3 años que duró el matrimonio, en un intento por demostrar su amor por Tilly, James ordenó la producción de varias obras de ballet en las que ella aparecía como Prima Ballerina, siendo la más conocida Les Ballets.

En 1935 visitó al poeta José María Sert en Cataluña, donde conoció a Salvador Dalí y su esposa Gala, siendo este el principio de la relación entre el Pintor y el Mecenas. En la feria mundial de 1939, en Nueva York, el pabellón nombrado “El Sueño de Venus" fue creado por Dalí y patrocinado por Edward James, siendo esta la primera vez que el artista exhibía su obra fuera de Europa. Pero esta fue la última colaboración entre ellos, debido a la tormentosa relación que llevaban.

A lo largo de su vida mantuvo interesantes relaciones con personajes del arte y la moda como René Magritte, quien pintó para James algunos cuadros donde él sirvió de modelo. Se involucró también en la producción de la revista surrealista Minotauro, para la cual solventó algunas portadas diseñadas por Dalí y Picasso.

Algunos personajes con quienes mantuvo estrecha relación fueron: las diseñadoras Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel, Nikki de Saint Falle,
Edward Frank Willis James Marker English text image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, March 13, 2020
2. Edward Frank Willis James Marker English text
el fotógrafo Man Ray, el pintor Max Ernst, los escultores Isamu Noguchi, Henry Moore y más.

En 1940 se mudó a Tahos, Nuevo México, donde existía una pequeña comunidad artística y más tarde se mudó a California, cuando se enteró de que varios artistas europeos se estaban instalando en Los Ángeles y sus alrededores. Durante su estancia en Los Angeles inició su inquietud por encontrar un hogar idílico donde pudiera entregarse a la escritura y a la poesía.

En 1945 viajó a México para visitar a sus amigos instalados en Cuernavaca, Morelos y así comienza la historia de la obra cumbre de James, ubicada en la selva de la Huasteca Potosina. Edward James murió en diciembre de 1984 en San Remo, Italia a la edad de 77 años a consecuencia de una trombosis. Fue sepultado en el jardín botánico de West Dean, colegio de arte fundado gracias al mecenazgo de James en Inglaterra.

English translation:
Edward Frank Willis James
Edward James – poet, sponsor, collector and designer – was born on August 16, 1907 in Scotland. He was the fifth child, and only son of William James and Elizabeth Evelyn Forbes. His Godfather was King Edward VII, friend of his parents and constant visitor to their home. He spent his childhood and part of his adolescence in the Castle of West Dean located in West Sussex, England.

His father died when James
Edward Frank Willis James Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, March 13, 2020
3. Edward Frank Willis James Marker
The entrance to Edward James' garden can be seen on the right in the distance.
was 5 years old and left him a great fortune, to be turned over to him upon reaching his majority. In 1928 he received it together with that inherited to him by his paternal uncle Frank James, who had no descendants. Later, James began to use this fortune to sponsor art in its different manifestations and to form, without conscious decision to do so, one of the largest collections of surrealistic art.

He studied literature at Oxford and began to get involved in the world of art, meeting and befriending different people in the arts, such as the British poet, John Betjeman, and Randolph Churchill. During these years, he also created his own publishing house, called James Press, in which several works of poetry of his friends as well as others of his own were published.

At the beginning of the 1930's, he met Austrian dancer Tilly Losch, whom he married in 1931 in New York. For the 3 years his marriage lasted, Edward James, in trying to demonstrate his love for Tilly, ordered the production of various ballet plays in which she appeared as Prima Ballerina, the best-known of these being Les Ballets.

In 1935 he visited the poet José María Sert in Cataluña and met Salvador Dali and his wife Gala, this was the beginning of an interesting relationship between painter and sponsor. In the world fair of 1939, in New York, the “Dream of Venus” pavilion was
A fantastic fountain at James' garden ruins image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, March 13, 2020
4. A fantastic fountain at James' garden ruins
created by Dalí and sponsored by Edward James, this was the first time the artist exhibited his works outside Europe. But it was the last collaboration between the two, due to the mostly-bad relationship between them two. Throughout his life, he kept up interesting relationships with personalities in art and style, such as René Magritte, who did some paintings for James, in which he was the model. He was also involved in the production of the surrealistic magazine Minotauro, for which he payed for some covers designed by Dalí and Picasso.

Some of the personalities with whom he was closely related were: the designers Elsa Schiaparelli, Coco Chanel, Nikki de Saint Falle, the photographer Man Ray, the painter Max Ernst, sculptors Isamu Noguchi, Henry Moore and others.

In 1940 he moved to Taos, New Mexico, where there was a small artistic community, and later he moved to California, when he found out that various European artists were moving to Los Angeles and its outskirts. During his stay in Los Angeles he became restless to find the ideal home where he could dedicate himself to writing and poetry.

In 1945 he traveled to Mexico to visit his friends living in Cuernavaca, Morelos and thus began the history of James's peak work, located in the forests of the Potosí Huasteca.

Edward James died of a stroke in December, 1984 in San Remo, Italy at the age
An example of the fantastic concrete work in James' garden image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. Makali Bruton, March 13, 2020
5. An example of the fantastic concrete work in James' garden
of 77. He was buried in the botanical garden of West Dean, the school of art founded thanks to the sponsorship of James in England.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Arts, Letters, Music. A significant historical date for this entry is August 16, 1907.
 
Location. 21° 23.813′ N, 98° 59.783′ W. Marker is in Xilitla, San Luis Potosí. Marker is on 20 de Noviembre, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Xilitla SL 79900, Mexico. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within walking distance of this marker. Edward James' Sculptured Garden (within shouting distance of this marker).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 21, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana. This page has been viewed 215 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 21, 2020, by J. Makali Bruton of Accra, Ghana.

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Mar. 2, 2024