Thursday, September 2, 2021

More Inspiring Women

When I was completing Michael Morris', Beyond Valentino, I learned a great deal about the Bollingen Foundation and the work this great foundation funded; including Natacha Rambova's Egyptian expeditions and subsequent work on Cosmic Circuitry. She worked with other Bollingen fellows and some I consider people who should be known today for their outstanding and ground-breaking scholarship. I doubt many people know who Maud Oakes is and I found her heroic.

She was inspiring in many ways. She once left her entire thesis in a briefcase in a taxi cab and lost the only copy. And her artwork was mostly destroyed in a house fire in her Big Sur home. She suffered many set backs and still continued in her work unfazed. She and Natacha were lifelong friends and this is a letter Maud wrote to Vaun Gilmore at the Bollingen Foundation with an update about Natacha.

This letter was written one month before Natacha died and at the time she was in a nursing home in Pasadena. It is interesting she mentions how Natacha has a "guilt complex over her past life".

From the Michael Morris archive (read transcript below): 

Dear Vaun:

Thanks so much for the list and your nice letter.

No! I Don't think I want the European list of people who are interested in Jungian publications, but maybe it would be a good idea to have the New York list. The N.Y. Club might not have a full list.

Now about poor Natacha – She is in an institute in Pasadena right near her three cousins. She never reads letters, she has no interest in T.V., radio or the outside world. She is not interested in clothes, having her hair washed or cut, etc. The cousin writes me regularly and she says that N. now weighs 70 pounds. Mentally she has her ups and downs.

She remembers everything in the past and has a guilt complex in relation to her past life. She does not want to see me or anyone except these three cousins.

Physically she is in bad shape and the doctors have no hope of improvement physically or mentally.

Their address -La Encinas, 2900 East Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena, California.

I send her a postal every week and she loves these. The step-sister age 93 is in San F. and I see her every time I go up there. Please read the post about N.R. To Mr. B.

Love, Maud