Chopin and Degas
NARRATOR: Among the people Kate Chopin met during her stay in New Orleans were relatives of the French painter, Edgar Degas. Kate's mother was a descendent of the close-knit Creole society of New Orleans. Degas' mother was also born there. For that reason, Degas called a lengthy stay in new Orleans "a homecoming of sorts." When her mother visited, she and Kate called on relatives along Esplanade Avenue. Degas' relatives also lived in that area. There are indications Chopin may have met Degas himself. He spent five months in New Orleans in the early 1870s.
SOUNDBITE: Jean Bardot/Amercan College in Paris
Kate must have met him because later on in several works she mentions that she met an impressionist, obviously not in France because they came in 1870. That was too early. So I'm sure she met Edgar Degas in New Orleans. She was very interested in everything French. This is an interesting connection.
NARRATOR: New Orleans provided the setting for several of Degas' paintings. One featured men doing business at a cotton brokerage house owned by his brothers. Degas has been quoted as saying there was nothing in New Orleans but cotton. People in New Orleans lived with and for cotton. Some historians believe New Orleans provided a kind of inspiration for Degas that he didn't find anywhere else.