Thursday, September 27, 2012

10 years gone by

 10 years gone by

Cover photo for "The Young and Evil"
 Studio Piaz Paris, 1933

 On this day, September 27th, in 2002, Charles Henri Ford passed away in New York. By the time he died, he was ripe age of 94 years old, but even in the hospital and so near to the end of his life, Charles was still vital. He was still making collages, and life held interest for him up until his last moment. That a whole decade has passed since that day is hard to believe, but it has, making this the tenth anniversary of his passing. Charles used to say that ten was his lucky number. He was born on the tenth day of February in 1908, and the day that he died also happened to be the day on which his mother, Gertrude Cato, was born in 1886. 

Since his passing, interest in Charles and his work has only grown. The Young and Evil, the notorious novel he wrote with Parker Tyler (first published in Paris in 1933 and complimented by Gertrude Stein), reprinted a number of times in his lifetime, was re-published again by Metronome Press a few years after he died, giving the book a second life and a whole new audience. His poetry is written about and re-printed regularly, and people come from galleries and museums to look at photographs and collages made by Charles that I still have in his archives at the Dakota. Every so often I get a book or a dissertation in the mail, full of new perspectives about Charles. It’s a privilege to be the steward of his literary and artistic works, and as much as I miss his earthly being, the presence of Charles Henri Ford is always there.

In the ten years between his passing and now, quite a few people close to Charles have also passed, including his sister, Ruth, in 2009. Charles and Ruth were both tremendously influential during their lives, and their contributions are eternal. 

Keep resting, Charles. You’re remembered every day and the admirers just keep coming.

Charles Henri Ford.

 Pictures of young Charles with mother, Gertrude Cato, and sister, Ruth Ford        
"I am the sixth one from the left - Holding the penant" - Charles
photo by W B Jones (Jonnie


  1. Very lovely post, Indra. Beautiful photos. He would be very pleased. k.

  2. 10 years, 10 memorial candles for my dear Charles!I miss him and his brilliant mind,his brave heart and his ancient soul!May CHF Rest in Peace!
    Valery & Ruth

  3. HURRAH for Charles!!!! The last time I saw him in the hospital shortly before he died he said "Just sit there and be beautiful" and then he sang me a little song about how lucky he was....So wonderful to see the pictures Indra
    it doesn't seem like ten years...but then Charles spirit is eternal. Thank you for writing and posting..
    CHF resting in great equanimity

    Penny Arcade

  4. Thanks for remembering me Indra. Charles RIP!
    Love, Danny

  5. Truly you are Indra, keeper of the flames of charles and ruth . .
    blowing smoke into the bottle on the Duchamp cover of his
    beloved VieW magazine.

    thank you Indra.

  6. Thank you for sharing. As I learn about Harold, I learn about the world, including Charles Henri. Dian

  7. "...and as much as I miss his earthly being, the presence of Charles Henri Ford is always there."

    A powerful statement.