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Sonia Delaunay, Coat made for Gloria Swanson, 1923-24, in “Color Moves: The Art and Fashion of Sonia Delaunay,” 2011, at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum; photo by Wolfgang Woessner
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Sonia Delaunay:

by Emily Nathan

Sonia Delaunay was born to a poor Ukrainian family in 1885, survived two World Wars, and died wealthy in Paris in 1979. In between, she co-founded the French avant-garde movement Orphism with her husband, the painter Robert Delaunay, claimed the first retrospective for a living female artist at the Louvre, and conceived -- as a practical side venture -- a brand that helped define the style of sophisticated authors (Nancy Cunard), international performers (Diaghilev’s Madrid dancers) and, indeed, much of 20th-century cosmopolitan culture.


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