Thursday, December 4, 2014


Helen van Dongen

I never had the pleasure to meet Helen van Dongen, though I used to see her making the rounds of Brattleboro, Vermont on foot, well into her 80s. She lived to be 97. Ever quiet. Humble. She couldn't hide the beauty nor that certain dignity. Over the years, as a book scout, I have come across many of the books from her private library, each one a corker. Dongen was married to leftist and John Reed friend, Kenneth Durant, who had been married to the poet Genvieve Taggard. Much of all their best work was done while in Vermont.


Luster said...


Very nice to see this and learn of the connection to Vermont. I saw Louisiana Story many times during the ten years I worked in Louisiana. Hope you and Susan are warm and well.

stay close,

Bob Arnold / Longhouse said...

Thanks Mike. Helen Van Dongen was one of the exemplary 'brains behind Pa' types — in this case working with Robert Flaherty, and later married to and writing with Kenneth Durant. Together they worked up a fascinating study on the Adirondack boats.

It's dipping down in the numbers tonight. I was cutting wood all day, still warm from that.

all's well, Bob