"Whoever you are, I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers." Blanche Dubois, A Streetcar Named Desire

A series of unfortunate events intervened and hampered my search for Hubert and my resultant blog postings so I’ve been out of touch for a while. They say when you fall off a horse the best thing to do is get right back in the saddle. Obviously the best thing is not to fall off in the first place but life is full of surprises both good and bad. When I received an email from another Hubert seeker, her ending note to me “I see you haven’t put out anything in a while – don’t give up!” was just the catalyst I needed to climb back on that proverbial horse (or le cheval as they say in Hubert’s world.) Oftentimes the kindness of strangers can be the impetus to help us through the day. Such was the case when I received L’s email which made me realize that it was time to cease wallowing in self-pity and time to resume my search for the oh, so elusive, Hubert.

To continue where I last left off, my discussion with the graphologist, although fascinating, did not bestow me with any valuable new clues. A person’s gender cannot be determined by their handwriting because we all have masculine and feminine traits that have nothing to do with physiology. Nor can we tell a person’s age by their handwriting. What we can tell is that the distinctive downstroke at the end of his signature suggests determination, that once he starts something he will follow through until it is finished (as evidenced by his prolific work.) That long vertical line with which he ends his signature also implies isolation: this person is very private and desires to be detached from relationships. No wonder no one knows of him.

Upon doing a little internet research I found an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in 1972 titled “Etchers of Paris: 1850-1900.” This was years before Hubert came into my life and I wasn’t sure the years between 1850 and 1900 would be applicable but it sounded so promising I contacted the museum and spoke to a curator who disappointingly was not all that interested in my quest and could not provide any new direction. While my interest lies purely with Hubert, here’s the link should anyone be interested in reading about other French etchers.

During a spur-of-the-moment visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art I found myself passing the MET’s Nolen Library and impulsively dropped in to make my usual inquiries about Hubert. I stopped at the front desk to pick the brains of the attending librarian who proceeded to enter Hubert’s name into their digital archive. After discounting the usual Alfred Hubert, Hubert Robert responses the archives did turn up the name Albert Hubert which sounded very exciting (Albert C. Hubert was the subject of a previous blog post and a definite possibility.) Unfortunately, the publication titled Les petitionnaires du Front populaire, Revue d’histoire moderne et contemporaine was written entirely in French and my best efforts to transcribe in English the single sentence that contained the name of Albert Hubert was “Special Mention must also be made of the Pyrtanee of the Arrow whose four soldiers-teachers: Jean Hugonnet, Albert Hubert, Henri Maugin and Emile Bottigelli sign in 1935 the answer to the intellectuals fascists.” Not exactly the information I was hoping for.

I might be back in the saddle but at the moment I don’t have a horse….

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