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TABLE OF CONTENTS


Biographical Sketch

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Sources:

Description of Series

Series I. Works, 1904-1965, most nd

Series II. Letters, 1905-1968

Series III. Recipient 1902-1968

Series IV. Other Papers, 1872-1968

University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Valentine Hugo:

An Inventory of Her Papers in the Carlton Lake Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center



Creator : Hugo, Valentine, 1887-1968
Title: Valentine Hugo Papers
Dates: 1872-1968
Abstract: The papers of this French Surrealist artist encompass her career as a costume designer, artist, and radio broadcaster, as well as documenting her relationships with prominent French artists of the early 20th century, especially her husband Jean Hugo.
RLIN Record #: TXRC06-A16
Extent: 21 boxes, 1 oversize folder (8.82 linear feet)
Languages: Material written in English and French.
Note: We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which provided funds for the processing and cataloging of this collection.
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Biographical Sketch

Born Valentine Marie Augustine Gross in 1887, French artist and author Valentine Hugo began her life in Capècure, a suburb of Boulogne-sur-mer. Daughter of musician Auguste Gross and Zèlie Dèmelin, Valentine developed a love for art, theatre, and music early in life.

While attending school in May of 1909, Valentine Hugo stood in the wings of the Thèâtre du Châtelet watching Serge Diaghilev's Russian ballet company Ballets Russes perform for the first time. She would spend portions of the next six years sketching Ballet Russes dancers Karsavina and Nijinsky. In 1913, the Galerie Montaigne sponsored an exposition of Hugo's sketches in the foyer of the Champs-Élysèes thèâtre on the tumultuous opening night of Stravinsky's famed ballet Le Sacre du Printemps.

In the same year as her first successful exhibition, Hugo became friends with a number of prominent French artists including Roger de la Fresnaye, Lèon-Paul Fargue, Erik Satie, and Jean Cocteau. The following year, Satie, Cocteau, and Hugo would collaborate on the ballet Parade; unfortunately, Hugo would not be part of its eventual production in 1917.

Valentine met her future husband Jean Hugo, grandson of the influential French author Victor Hugo, in 1917 at the home of Mimi and Cypa Godebski(a). In 1919 they were married with Cocteau and Satie as their only witnesses. Neither of Jean's parents consented to the marriage, perhaps contributing to its eventual demise.

In March of 1926, Valentine attended one of the first Surrealist expositions where she met Paul Éluard. Their meeting sparked a friendship that would continue until his death in 1952. In 1927, after working as costume designer on the set of La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, Valentine returned to Paris a full-fledged Surrealist; Jean Hugo, however, never embraced the Surrealist movement. In the years following their hurried nuptials, their tastes diverged leading to separation in 1929 and finally divorce in 1932. (Despite the end of their marital relations, Valentine and Jean remained friends until her death in 1968.)

Another Surrealist with whom Valentine had a brief romance was Andrè Breton. From August of 1930 to October of 1932, Valentine lived, traveled, and worked with the self-declared leader of the Surrealists. During this time, Valentine befriended the rest of the Surrealists, namely Gala and Salvador Dali, Nusch Éluard, Max Ernst, Georges Hugnet, Renè Char, and Tristan Tzara.

In January of 1940, the Director of Radio-Mondial Jean Fraysse asked Valentine Hugo to work for his station. Her work at Radio-Mondial was short lived; Valentine quit in June when the station fell under German control after the invasion of France. Yet her work was not in vain, working on the radio for these six months prepared her for future radio broadcasts in the 1950s and 1960s.

In her latter years, she would rarely emerge from her home and preferred the solitude of her house to the bustling streets of Paris. She alone survived most of her acquaintances from youth; Erik Satie, Raymond Radiguet, Paul Éluard, Jean Cocteau, and Andrè Breton all passed before Valentine's death in 1968.

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Scope and Contents

Correspondence, manuscripts, notes, journals, diaries, artwork, legal, financial and personal documents, photographs, printed material, and photocopies document the life of Valentine Hugo from 1872-1968. The material is organized into four series: I. Works, 1904-1965 (2.5 boxes), II. Letters, 1905-1968 (3.5 boxes), III. Recipient, 1902-1968 (9 boxes), and IV. Other Papers (6 boxes), 1872-1968.

Included in the Works series are a number of drafts of articles and notes relating to friends of Valentine Hugo such as Constantin Brancusi, Paul Éluard, Raymond Radiguet, and Erik Satie. Also present are a number of manuscripts for radio broadcasts written in the 1950s and 1960s about her early artistic career and acquaintances.

Correspondence with Valentine's mother Zèlie Gross comprises almost two thirds of the Letters series and a substantial portion of the Recipient series. Other notable correspondents in the Recipient series include Marie Laure, Romola Nijinsky, and Andrè de Badet. Most of the materials in the Other Papers series are Valentine's own personal papers, such as her passport and birth certificate, and works or correspondence by other authors. A large part of materials in this series involves Jean Hugo, Valentine's husband. His journals (1919-1924) and correspondence with his family compose a large portion of Series IV. Documents, legal and personal, and works by Valentine's mother, Zèlie Gross, or father, Auguste Gross form a portion of Series IV. as well. Handwritten and photostat copies of letters received by Valentine Hugo from Edgard Varèse and Erik Satie comprise a segment of the Other Papers series. Some originals of the copied letters to Valentine Hugo from Edgard Varèse are also located in Series III. Recipient. The originals of the correspondence between Hugo and Satie can be found in the Carlton Lake Collection of Georges Hugnet Papers Third-party correspondence.

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Restrictions

Access:

Open for research.

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Index Terms

Correspondents
Badet, Andrè de, 1891- .
Breton, Andrè, 1896-1966.
Chalupt, Renè.
Daudet, Charles.
Deharme, Lise.
Giraudoux, Jean, 1882-1944.
Gross, Zèlie.
Hugnet, Georges, 1906-1974.
Hugo, Jean, 1894- .
Laure, Marie, 1902- .
Man Ray, 1890-1976.
Nijinsky, Romola de Pulszky.
Picabia, Francis, 1879-1953.
Satie, Erik, 1866-1925.
Tzara, Tristan, 1896-1963.
Subjects
Art, French--20th century.
Surrealism--France.
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957.
Eluard, Paul, 1895-1952.
Radiguet, Raymond, 1903-1923.
Satie, Erik, 1866-1925.
Document Types
Diaries.
Journals.
Photographs.
Sketches.

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Related Material

Other materials relating to Valentine Hugo can be found elsewhere in the Ransom Center. The Carlton Lake Art collection contains a large amount of works by Valentine Hugo as well as a few pieces by her husband Jean Hugo. Additionally, the Georges Hugnet and the Jean Cocteau papers found in the Carlton Lake Manuscript collection contain substantial correspondence from Valentine Hugo. Photographic reproductions of artworks studied by Hugo are also available in Vertical Files.

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Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Gifts and purchases of Carlton Lake, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1981, 2002 (G846, R5881, R6840, R6841, G12083)

Processed by:

Monique Daviau, Richard Workman, and Catherine Stollar, 2004

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Sources:

Bernheim, Cathy. Valentine Hugo. Paris: Presses de la Renaissance, 1990.

Margerie, Anne de. Valentine Hugo, 1887-1968. Paris: J. Damase, 1983.

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Valentine Hugo Papers--Folder List

 

Series I. Works, 1904-1965, most nd

Box-Folder
113.1 A-Dq
Box-Folder
113.2 Agendas, (4th trimestre) 1944; 1952
Drafts and notes for works on
Box-Folder
113.3 Autobiography
Box-Folder
113.4 Ballet
Box-Folder
113.5 Brancusi, Constantin
Box-Folder
113.6 Eluard, Paul
Box-Folder
113.7-8 Radiguet, Raymond
Box-Folder
113.9 Satie, Erik
Box-Folder
113.10 Various topics
Box-Folder
114.1 E-H
Box-Folder
114.2 Histoire du rhinocèros, mangeur des roses
Box-Folder
114.3 Horoscopes
Box-Folder
114.4 I-M
Box-Folder
114.5 Il ya a trente ans, 1950
Box-Folder
114.6 Introductions to broadcasts beamed to North and South America, 1939-1940
Box-Folder
114.7-8 Miscellaneous draft fragments
Box-Folder
114.9 N-Q
Box-Folder
115.1 R-Z
Box-Folder
115.2 [Radio Broadcast]
Box-Folder
115.3 Le Sacre de printemps
Box-Folder
115.4 Trois souvenirs--Maurice Ravel
Box-Folder
115.5 Trois souvenirs de Ravel
Untitled
Box-Folder
115.6 A-Z
Box-Folder
115.7 Article on "Le ballet fantastique"
Box-Folder
115.8 Plays
Radio talks
Box-Folder
115.9 On first opening night of Les Ballets Russes
Box-Folder
115.10 On her early career
Box-Folder
115.11 Talk on the film La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc

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Series II. Letters, 1905-1968

Box-Folder
115.12 A-B
Box-Folder
115.13 Baüer, Gèrard, 1950
Breton, Andrè
Box-Folder
115.14 1930
Box-Folder
115.15 1931
Box-Folder
116.1 1932 Jan.-Aug.
Box-Folder
116.2 1932 Sept.-1934 Jan.
Box-Folder
116.3 Drafts
Box-Folder
116.4 C-Z
Gross, Zèlie
Box-Folder
116.5 1905-1908
Box-Folder
116.6 1909-1910
Box-Folder
116.7 1911
Box-Folder
116.8 1912
Box-Folder
116.9 1913
Box-Folder
117.1 1914
Box-Folder
117.2 1915
Box-Folder
117.3 1916
Box-Folder
117.4 1918
Box-Folder
117.5 1919
Box-Folder
117.6 1920-1921
Box-Folder
117.7 1922-1923
Box-Folder
118.1 1924-1925
Box-Folder
118.2 1926
Box-Folder
118.3 1927
Box-Folder
118.4 1928
Box-Folder
118.5 1929
Box-Folder
118.6 1930
Box-Folder
118.7 1931-1952
Box-Folder
118.8 Hugo, Jean, 1918-1943, nd
Box-Folder
118.9 Unidentified

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Series III. Recipient 1902-1968

Box-Folder
119.1 A
Box-Folder
119.2 Aurenche, Mme. B 1931-1933, nd
Box-Folder
119.3 B-Bh
Box-Folder
119.4 Badet, Andrè de, 1952-1968, nd
Box-Folder
119.5 Beaumont, Edith de, comtesse, 1940-1946, nd
Box-Folder
119.6 Beaumont, Etienne de, comte, 1925-1926, nd
Box-Folder
119.7 Bi-Bz
Bonnefon, Jean de
Box-Folder
119.8 1915-1916
Box-Folder
119.9 1917-1918
Box-Folder
119.10 Brunoff, Lise de, 1915-1925, nd
Box-Folder
119.11 Ca-Cg
Box-Folder
120.1 Ch-Ci
Box-Folder
120.2 Chantrell, Lydie
Box-Folder
120.3 Cl-Cz
Box-Folder
120.4 Combes, Claudette 1961-1966, nd
Box-Folder
120.5 Cuevas de Vera, Tota, 1932-1934, nd
Box-Folder
120.6 D-De
Daudet, Lucien
Box-Folder
120.7 1918-1922
Box-Folder
120.8 1923-1924, nd
Box-Folder
120.9 Deharme, Lise, 1928-1938, nd
Box-Folder
121.1 Despois, Henriette, 1928-1938, nd
Box-Folder
121.2 Df-Dz
Box-Folder
121.3 Durand, Fardel, Max, 1915-1916, nd
Box-Folder
121.4 E-F
Box-Folder
121.5 Ernst, Marie Berthe, 1930
Box-Folder
121.6 Ferry, Renè, 1913-1917
Box-Folder
121.7 Ga-Gi
Giraudoux, Jean
Box-Folder
121.8 1910-1915
Box-Folder
121.9 1916-1918, nd
Box-Folder
121.10 Go-Gy
Gross, Zèlie
Box-Folder
122.1 1909-1912
Box-Folder
122.2 1914
Box-Folder
122.3 1915
Box-Folder
122.4 1916
Box-Folder
122.5 1917-1920
Box-Folder
122.6 1922-1932
Box-Folder
122.7 1933
Box-Folder
122.8 1934
Box-Folder
123.1 H-I
Hugo, François
Box-Folder
123.2 1917
Box-Folder
123.3 1918
Box-Folder
123.4 1919-1946
Hugo, Jean
Box-Folder
123.5 1918-1919
Box-Folder
123.6 1920-1929
Box-Folder
123.7 1930-1938
Box-Folder
123.8 1940-1949
Box-Folder
124.1 1950-1958
Box-Folder
124.2 1964-1968
Box-Folder
124.3 Hugo, Pauline, 1920-1933, nd
Box-Folder
124.4 J-K
Box-Folder
124.5 La
Box-Folder
124.6 Lacretelle, Jacques de, 1922-1965, nd
Laure, Marie
Box-Folder
124.7 1929-1931
Box-Folder
124.8 1932-1933
Box-Folder
124.9 1934-1938
Box-Folder
124.10 1939-1959
Box-Folder
125.1 Lb-Lz
Box-Folder
125.2 M
Box-Folder
125.3 Mater, Andrè
Box-Folder
125.4 Mays, M
Menard-Dorian, Mme.
Box-Folder
125.5 1919
Box-Folder
125.6 1920-1921
Box-Folder
125.7 1922-1924
Box-Folder
126.1 N-O
Box-Folder
126.2 Nijinsky, Romola, 1923-1962
Box-Folder
126.3 P
Box-Folder
126.4 R-Sd
Reveillez, Jeanne
Box-Folder
126.5 1906
Box-Folder
126.6 1908-1912
Box-Folder
126.7 1913-1915
Box-Folder
126.8 1916-1917, nd
Box-Folder
127.1 Se-Th
Box-Folder
127.2 Sert, Misia, 1916-1927, nd
Box-Folder
127.3 Stern, Charles, 1915-1916, nd
Box-Folder
127.4 Tèzenas, Suzanne, 1934-1966, nd
Box-Folder
127.5 Ti-Z
Box-Folder
127.6 Varèse, Edgard, 1913-1933
Box-Folder
127.7 Visiting cards
Unidentified
Box-Folder
127.8 1906-1910
Box-Folder
127.9 1911-1966, nd

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Series IV. Other Papers, 1872-1968

Box-Folder
128.1 Gross, Auguste, legal documents, 1872-1873
Gross, Zèlie
Works
Box-Folder
128.2 Morale
Box-Folder
128.3 Notes
Box-Folder
128.4 Legal documents, 1920
Personal documents, 1949-1953
Hugo, Jean
Works
Journal, 1919-1924
Box-Folder
128.5-6 283 pp
Box-Folder
128.7-8 273 pp
Letters
Box-Folder
128.9 A-Z
Daudet, Charles
Box-Folder
129.1 1930-1937
Box-Folder
129.2 1939-1957
Recipient
Box-Folder
129.3 A-L
Box-Folder
129.4 Godebski, Jean, 1921-1925, nd
Box-Folder
129.5 Hugo, François, 1917-1925, nd
Box-Folder
129.6 Hugo, Marguerite, 1918-1926, nd
Hugo, Pauline
Box-Folder
130.1 1910-1918
Box-Folder
130.2 1919 Jan.-Apr.
Box-Folder
130.3 1919 May-June
Box-Folder
130.4 1919 July-Dec.
Box-Folder
130.5 1920
Box-Folder
130.6 1921
Box-Folder
130.7 1922
Box-Folder
130.8 1923-1931
Box-Folder
131.1 Lockroy, Mme. Edouard, 1920-1924, nd
Box-Folder
131.2 M-Z, unidentified
Box-Folder
131.3 Mater, Andrè, 1919-1925
Menard-Dorian, Mme.
Box-Folder
131.4 1918-1919
Box-Folder
131.5 1920
Box-Folder
131.6 1921
Box-Folder
131.7 1922
Box-Folder
132.1 1923 Jan.-July
Box-Folder
132.2 1923 Aug.-Dec.
Box-Folder
132.3 1924-1925
Hugo, Valentine
Box-Folder
132.4 Legal documents, lease
Box-Folder
132.5 Financial documents, 1912-1963
Box-Folder
132.6 Legal documents, 1914-1968
Box-Folder
132.7 Personal documents, 1901-1966
Box-Folder
os50 Certificate from Ministère de l'èducation nationale, 1906
Box-Folder
132.8 School examinations, 1905
Photocopies and transcribed letters
Box-Folder
132.9-133.1 Satie, Erik, 1918-1957, nd
Box-Folder
133.2 Varèse, Edgard, 1915, 1958
Box-Folder
133.3 Unidentified envelopes
Box-Folder
133.4 La Fresnaye, Roger de, Works
Various authors
Box-Folder
133.5 La Danse
copy of November / December 1924 issue in hand of Hugo, Valentine
Box-Folder
133.6 Third-Party correspondence
Unidentified
Box-Folder
133.7 Works
Box-Folder
133.8 Correspondence

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