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Cherie Nutting photographs related to Paul Bowles


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

The American composer and author Paul Frederick Bowles was born in New York City on December 30, 1910. Bowles was published at age seventeen, abandoned college, and in 1929 began his life of travels with a trip to Paris, where he hoped to establish himself as a poet. Back in New York in 1930, he studied composition with Aaron Copland, whom he also accompanied to Yaddo, Paris, Berlin, and Tangier. With the support of Copland and Virgil Thomson, Bowles found work in New York writing incidental music and scores for ballet and theater. His successful career as a composer took off during the Depression with work for the Federal Theater Project (including music for Orson Welles's

Horse Eats Hat) and the Federal Music Project. Bowles became one of the preeminent composers of American theater music, producing works for William Saroyan, Tennessee Williams, and others. In the 1990s, a resurgence of interest in Bowles's music spawned a number of major concerts and performances in the United States and Europe. In addition, a new generation of musicians has released several well received recordings of Bowles's compositions. In 1938, Paul Bowles married the aspiring writer Jane Auer, who quickly achieved critical acclaim for her first novel, Two Serious Ladies (1943). Inspired by Jane Bowles's success and her dedication to writing, Bowles began his own career as an author, eventually surpassing his already successful reputation as a composer. Beginning in the 1940s, he produced numerous works of fiction, essays, travel writing, poems, autobiographical pieces, and other works. Among Bowles's best known fictional works are the novels The Sheltering Sky (1949), Let It Come Down (1952), The Spider's House (1955), and an early short story collection, The Delicate Prey and Other Stories (1950). A 1989 reprint of The Sheltering Sky and Bernardo Bertolucci's 1990 film version of the novel, starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich, revived international interest in Bowles, the writer. Bowles is equally known as a prolific translator. He bestowed the title "No Exit" upon Jean-Paul Sartre's Huis Clos and his 1946 translation of that play remains the standard version for English language productions. During the 1940s, Bowles translated the poems and stories of a wide variety of European and Latin American authors. Bowles taped and transcribed from the Moghrebi tales by Mohammed Mrabet and several other Moroccan story tellers; and his translations have broadened readership of Guatemalan author Rodrigo Rey Rosa. Bowles refers to both Mrabet and Rey Rosa in these letters. Bowles translated several works related to North African culture and geography, and generously introduced and prefaced photographic collections, travel writing, and stories by other authors who share those interests. Paul and Jane Bowles spent much of their married life traveling throughout the world and in 1947 made Tangier, Morocco, their permanent home. During this time, Paul Bowles was the so-called "dean of American expatriate writers," and many major figures in the world of letters and the arts frequently visited the Bowleses in Tangier. Jane Bowles died in 1973, and Paul Bowles continued to reside in Tangier until his death on November 18, 1999.

Sources: Miller, Jeffrey.Paul Bowles: A Descriptive Bibliography. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Black Sparrow Press, 1986.Sawyer-Lauçanno, Christopher.An Invisible Spectator: A Biography of Paul Bowles. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1989.Davis, Stephen. "Mercury at 80." The Boston Globe Magazine, March 4, 1990.Nutting, Cherie, with Paul Bowles. Yesterday's Perfume: An Intimate Memoir of Paul Bowles. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2000.Information derived from the collection.

Cherie Nutting is a photographer and musical artist manager known, among other activities, for her photographs of expatriate author and composer Paul Bowles. Born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on April 24, 1949, Nutting studied photography at the New England School of Photography and the New York School of Visual Arts. She first traveled to Morocco with her mother in 1960, and met her first husband in Marrakech when she returned ten years later. In February 1989, Nutting married the Moroccan musician Bachir Attar and became manager of his group, the Master Musicians of Jajouka Featuring Bachir Attar, an ensemble of Sufi trance musicians from northern Morocco. Nutting also helped to arrange logistics for the June 1989 recording sessions of the Master Musicians of Jajouka and the Rolling Stones for the song "Continental Drift" on the band's

Steel Wheels album. She continues to manage the Master Musicians of Jajouka. Nutting was a music coordinator for Bernardo Bertolucci's film adaptation of Paul Bowles's The Sheltering Sky (1990) and David Cronenberg's film adaptation of the William S. Burroughs novel Naked Lunch (1991). Nutting became an admirer of Paul Bowles after reading his book The Sheltering Sky and began a correspondence with the author in 1985. After writing Bowles about her interest in Morocco and his work, she began photographing him in Tangier at his invitation in 1986. Nutting remained close friends with Bowles until his death in 1999. Just before his death, Bowles and Nutting collaborated on the book Yesterday's Perfume: An Intimate Memoir of Paul Bowles (2000). The book is an impressionistic collage, including many of Nutting's photographs and reminiscences of her close friendship with Bowles, as well as some of Bowles's journal entries, new essays, and previously unpublished writings.

Nutting, Cherie, with Paul Bowles. Yesterday's Perfume: An Intimate Memoir of Paul Bowles. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2000. Blues GR website, "Photographer, manager and producer Cherie Nutting talks about Paul Bowles, and Master Musicians of Jajouka" (accessed November 10, 2017) Paul Bowles website, "Photographs of Paul Bowles by Cherie Nutting, Part One" (accessed November 10, 2017) Information derived from the collection.

The collection comprises Cherie Nutting's photographs of Paul Bowles in various settings as well as photos of his residence and several objects of significance to him. The photographs include Nutting's handwritten captions and contextual inscriptions. The photos are predominantly gelatin silver prints and are black-and-white, save one that was hand-tinted by the photographer. The works are arranged chronologically and further arranged alphabetically by title.

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC GRA oversize boxes (24 inches)

Box 2: Shelved in SPEC GRA manuscript boxes (1 inch)

Box 3: Shelved in SPEC GRA oversize boxes (18 inches)

Box 4: Shelved in SPEC GRA oversize boxes (24 inches)

Box 5: Shelved in SPEC GRA oversize boxes (32 inches)

Purchases, 2018-2019.

Processed and encoded by Dustin Frohlich, July, 2016. Cherie Nutting biographical note by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger. Paul Bowles biographical note by Timothy D. Murray and Anita A. Wellner. Former collection number was PPI 0115.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2018 July 6
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

"I saw myself reflected in his eyes", 1986.
Box 1 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Gelatin silver gelatin print. A close-up of Bowles's eyes reflecting the photographer's silhouette. Caption: "I saw myself reflected in his eyes." Verso inscription: "Paul Bowles 1986. Cherie Nutting. Silver Gelatin Print."

"Jerez de la Frontera. Paul Bowles with Claude Thomas", 1986.
Box 3 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Paul Bowles and Claude Thomas silhouetted against a landscape. Caption: "The day I was named "Jerez" (Paul with Claude Thomas)." Inscriptions: Front: "Crop out woman." Back: "Jerez de la Frontera, 1986. Paul Bowles with Claude Thomas."

"Keys to the Secret Closet of Smells", 1986.
Box 2 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Gelatin silver print. A close-up of four ornate keys on a ring. Caption: "Keys to the Secret Closet of Smells, 1986." Inscription: "Cherie Nutting, 1986."

"Objects in Paul Bowles' Flat", 1986.
Box 2 Folder F2
Scope and Contents

Two photographs, framed together, of a small bowl of céntimos (Spanish currency) and an ashtray containing a cigarette holder and ashes. Both photos were taken in Bowles's flat in Tangier. Caption: "Céntimos and ashes. CN." Inscription: "Objects in Paul Bowles' Flat. Text: Paul Bowles. Photo: Cherie Nutting, 1986."

"The Miracle" , 1986.
Box 3 Folder F2
Scope and Contents

Bowles, Abdelouahid Boulaich, and a boy, Mohomed, standing next to a Mustang car along the Moroccan coast. Caption: "August 21st, 1986. The Miracle. On the way back to Tangier we sat in silence as we sailed through the fog that had settled along the Coast. "Oh look," said Paul, "that mountain looks just like a knife." Then the Mustang made a turn round a bend and I saw a bright triangle of light in the sky that sat like a natural hologram of The Blessed Trinity over the bay. "Look a miracle" I shouted + pointed to the sky. "Do you see it too?" – "Oh, yes we do!" but the road dipped and by the time we had reached the top of the next hill the triangular halo had vanished. CN." No additional inscription.

"Trip to Abdelouahid's Country House" , 1986.
Box 3 Folder F3
Scope and Contents

Bowles, outdoors, walking and smoking. Bowles wears a striped collared shirt tucked into his trousers, sunglasses, and a ring. Caption: "Trip to Abdelouahid's Country House. We smoked kif and heard strange ringing sounds in our ears. CN" Inscription: "Trip to Abdelouahid's Country House, 1986. Photo: Cherie Nutting. Subject: Paul Bowles".

"Trip to the Pet Cemetery #1", 1986.
Box 2 Folder F3
Scope and Contents

Hand-tinted gelatin silver print of Bowles in an overcoat and sunglasses standing in a pet cemetery. Caption: "Paul always seemed to tapping his fingers and whistling a secret tune." Inscription: "Trip to the Pet Cemetery [sic] #1. From Sequence of 3 (2 in exhibition). Cherie Nutting 1986. Hand tinted + toned S.G.P."

"Walk to the Italian Club #2", 1986.
Box 4 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Gelatin silver gelatin print of Bowles, outdoors, wearing sunglasses and with a cigarette holder in his mouth. Caption: "…'describe yourself in 3 words': I am here." Inscription: "Walk to the Italian Club #2. Last day- Paul Bowles. 'describe yourself in 3 words' 'I am here 1986'."

"Donkey Ride to Charchumbo", 1987.
Box 5 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Gelatin silver print of Bowles riding a donkey up a hill, accompanied by Abdelouahid Boulaich and another unidentified man. "A long tedious donkey-ride to Charchumbo. Paul Bowles." Inscription: "Cherie Nutting, 1987. Paul Bowles text + signature. Signed by artist on back of print. S.G.P."

"Still Had the Opera Glasses in 1989", 1989.
Box 1 Folder F2
Scope and Contents

Close-up portrait of Bowles peering through opera glasses. Caption: "Still had the opera glasses in 1989." Inscription: "'Still had the opera glasses in 89'. Paul Bowles text. P.B. with his Mother's opera glasses. Photo: Cherie Nutting 1989".

"Paul Bowles on his Mustang", 1990.
Box 2 Folder F4
Scope and Contents

Bowles sits on the the hood of Ford Mustang. Caption: "On the hood of the Mustang before it died." Inscription: "P.B. text. Cherie Nutting 1990. Paul Bowles on his Mustang."

"How I got sciatica", 1994.
Box 3 Folder F5
Scope and Contents

Paul Bowles at the door of his study. Electric piano with sheet music in foreground. Books on shelves and in stacks. Caption: "How I got sciatica. Cherie Nutting '94." Inscription: "How I got sciatica. P.B. text! Paul Bowles in his study. Copyright Cherie Nutting. Subject Paul Bowles."

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