The Story Of Lady Shalimar, A Self-Taught Artist Who Started Drawing At 70
Huffington Post - 6 months
Self-taught artist Lady Shalimar, born Frances Montague in 1906, adopted the name in the middle of her life, inspired by a brand of fancy perfume. The remainder of Shalimar’s life would similarly be dominated by an interest in fantasy and adornment, with every element of her being exaggerated, embellished and dripping in sparkles.
For the last 20 years of her life, Montague made autobiographical artworks of her life at New York’s Healing Arts Initiative (HAI), decadent line drawings depicting what she believed to be her many accomplishments, punctuated with swells of watercolor and squiggles of glitter.
In Montague’s drawings, she switches chameleon-like between roles as an opera singer, belly dancer, lion tamer and ballerina. Notes scribbled alongside the drawings designate particular locations, including the Moscow State Circus, the Canton China Peoples Theatre, and New York’s Diamond Horseshoe nightclub. And yet, according to HAI, Montague suffered from agoraphobia, a fear o
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