Unknown photographer, The class at work in Madrid; Miss Klauber, seated and in smock,
second from right, front row, courtesy of the Klauber family

. . . Alice Klauber was 41 years old when she became acquainted with Henri in 1912, joining a group of art students who were to study with him in Spain in 1912. 28 The class that included Henri’s assistants Randall Davey, 1887-1964, and Wayman Adams, 1883-1959, left for Spain June 4 abroad the Carpathia, a ship that had gained a certain degree of fame on its Spring trip as the first ship to arrive at the site of the Titanic disaster to rescue survivors. Routine on shipboard for Miss Klauber consisted of language lessons, exercising and inspecting steerage. Conversations with Henri, the Captain, the stewardesses and the cabin boy relieved the day’s monotony. On June 13 the ship neared Gibraltar where they landed the next day, June 14. She set out exploring at once and particularly enjoyed the wonderfully varied filigree-like grill work on the houses there. Several pages in her sketch book attest to their appeal. Three days later they landed at Rhonda about noon. Henri found the Station Hotel a bit ‘buggy’ and new accommodations had to be found for dining and sleeping arrangements. They enjoyed the beach despite the hot weather. 29 On the 18th after a morning of exploring, the group left for Granada and the famous Alhambra. The Daveys, Henris and Miss Klauber registered at the Pension Alhambra. The class remained in Granada through the 21st. Miss Klauber engaged in typical tourist activity during her time alone, sight seeing, shopping, and recording some of western man’s finest architectural and cultural expressions in that old and romantic city in her journal and sketch book. One of the high lights was the Cathedral. On the 22nd, she shared a train compartment with the Daveys, Henris and Miss Clara Perry for the few hour trip to Seville. Here the party settled in at the Hotel de la Paix. The class assembled on the 24th at the museum about which Miss Klauber expressed her disappointment, “All went to see the museum, which is poor, but Mr. Henri talked before the Zurbaran’s, and one fine El Greco portrait of a man.” She, also, “climbed the Gisalda” in addition to doing the usual shopping. After a day in Cordova seeing its famous Mosque and dining with Gertrude Stein and her companion, Alice Toklas, Miss Klauber left with the class for Madrid on Saturday the 26th. They settled at the Hotel de Londres for the next few weeks. Daily systematic routines were established for the class.

Unknown photographer, Henri mixes a palette for students - Alice is seated with her back to the viewer;
Marjoire, the artist’ wife is recognized in the background wearing her ever present light headband.

. . . Mornings from 9:30 to 12:30 were spent working in the studio from models. Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons replaced morning work soon after the schedule was planned, however, to allow more out door work and for studying the Prado collections, the real studio by all indications.

Graphite profile sketch of Henri by Alice Klauber from her notebook, photograph by Roy Robinson, courtesy of the Klauber family.

. . . On the day of their arrival, Miss Klauber went to the Prado Museum where she spent most of her time among the works of Velazquez. The impressions of the Prado and, especially, the seventeenth century Spanish master left a lasting imprint on Miss Klauber. In 1913 at her home in San Diego she noted: “When you have seen Memling and Van Dyck at home in Brugges and Ghent; Giotto in Padua and in Florence, Fra Angelico and Lippi, Too, at home there in and near San Marco; Frans Hals at Harlaam, Jordaens at Brussels; Rubens at Antwerp; Rembrandt at Amsterdam and The Hague; then one great delight still awaits you. Among the most hospitable masters none is so charmingly housed as is Velasquez in the Prado. It might have been his own studio cleared and cleaned for a royal visit with full court accompaniment. So well hung, so beautifully lighted, so dignified and yet so modest, insisting nowhere or anything but that the only miracle is the light that bathes the world be admitted here, demonstrating everywhere the absolute power of the brush speak his mind.” 30 She speaks not only of Velasquez but also of his accepted masterpiece, Las Meninas. Frequent trips to the outstanding holdings subsequently allowed her to “have the Prado pretty well catalogued in her mind.” Of her early class work she lamented; “Criticism of my work was never encouraged at first perhaps deliberately so - but it must get worse before I can get better.”


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