"A Salon Recital of Modern Music..."

"A Salon Recital of Modern Music: One of Those Awesomely Elegant Evenings Which Society Has to Suffer—Seen by Covarrubias," Vanity Fair, February 1929, 54.

The caption (Covarrubias's own?) continues with a snide explication du texte: "In the forefront of mondaine [sic ] musical circles is M. Pierre Paravent, the most recently imported Parisian pianist. Not to have heard Paravent is to be completely out of the present season. He has therefore been rented for the evening by Mrs. Bartow Blodgett, the monumental matron at left-center, for the entertainment of a number of tremendously important people.

This he is endeavouring to do by rendering a program of his own compositions, in which he specializes. This is no stuff for weaklings and the auditors are taking it according to their several capabilities. The hostess is flanked by her daughter who is entranced by both the piece and the performer, and by her mother, Mrs. Holzderber, who is resting easily on her pearl dog-collar.

In the center row, from left to right, are Horace Bankhead, critic, Lady Cragsmoor and lorgnette, Mrs. Dapper, wearing her famous Mona Lisa smile, and the young Camberwells who are plotting an escape. In the background two low-browed husbands are talking about the stock market while the host, at right, ponders grimly on the cost of all this noise Paravent produces."