Thursday, October 7, 2010

Frenchy Mrs. Hemingway: A chandelier lover too

Talking so much about chandeliers lately reminded me of a trip
 I took while in Key West to the Ernest Hemingway House
 which is now a museum.
Every room has a Parisian Chandelier,
 courtesy of Pauline Hemingway!
Ernest married Pauline, which was his second time to the altar.
Pauline stole him away from her best friend, his first wife Hadley (not a nice trait). 
Pauline's rich uncle bought this house for them in Key West. 
She was a Kansas City girl too and 
had all her children born back at the family home in KC.
What I find fascinating is the things Pauline did to the house.
She was formerly an assistant editor at Vogue Magazine in Paris. 
While in France she collected chandeliers! 
After they settled into this home and Ernie was away on a fishing trip
 Pauline had the workmen take out every ceiling fan 
and replaced them all with her gorgeous chandelier collection.
Ernie was furious because the Keys were hot and now there were no fans.
However, I completely understand Pauline's actions in this regard.
Now the only breezes to be had would be coming through these lovely shuttered doors.
This was the only image I could find of one of her chandeliers...
but I saw them all in person and they were quite exquisite. 
See her frenchy couch?
The house was also famous for Hemingway's six toed cats.
A pair of iron and crystal wall sconces amid the masculine Hemingway ephemera. 
What a mix of personalities, this husband and wife: the hunter/writer vs the Parisian wanna-be.
The other thing Pauline did to the house was 
to install a pool while Ernie was away on another jaunt. 
She sensed him drifting away in their relationship
 so she had this pool built as a gift.
 He was not happy and accused her of trying to spend every last cent he had!
 Sensing correctly, he did end up divorcing her shortly thereafter and  moved to Cuba.
 Pauline stayed in the Key West home with their two sons until her death.
This blurry image is the only other one 
I could find of one of the many lovely chandeliers
which hung in their living room. 
Pauline was known to have truly loved her husband. 
She was a woman of great style, 
who was also a home renovator and decorator,
 a chandelier collector, 
and a lover of all things French. 


Ernest and Pauline Hemingway at the Hemingway home in Key West.
This image is of the couple in happy times, courtesy of JFK museum.
Rumors are that she haunts her beloved home in the Keys.
 
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