Art: The Enigmas of the Exile

A forgotten American painter is rediscovered in New York

In November 1936, an American artist in New York scrawled a note to a friend in Paris. "This evening," it announced with bitter formality, "I leave for the great beyond." He posted it, went to his room and swallowed an overdose of veronal. Thus, at the age of 55, died Patrick Henry Bruce, aesthete, Virginia dandy, misfit and expatriate, a direct descendant of Patrick Henry and one of the most interesting minor painters of early modernism. In Paris, where he lived for 30 years, Bruce...

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