La Garde Guerin
48800 Villefort, France
July 10, 1988
Dear Hans –
Thanks to you, we had a most interesting and enjoyable 24 hours in Arles. We were so glad to see the exhibition of your work, and also the Chinese, and despite all imperfections on the part of whomever organized things, it was a great delight to see all the projections of your work, and of you working, and the interview with you, and all. Thank you so much for putting the tickets aside for us, and congratulations for all honors the “powers-that-be” were wise enough to bestow upon you.
I’m sending this, and the enclosed postcards, because close friends of ours (French) who have this very beautiful medieval chateau of Castanet (he’s an architect for the monument historique and she is very active in “les Vieilles Maisons Francaises” (protecting great houses, etc.) and also in art (she has interesting exhibitions each summer in the Castle of Castanet, and sometimes concerts too) have never been to New York, and they would like to trade their castle for two, or for three weeks in June, 1989 for a nice, and especially well-located apartment in Manhattan. I don’t know your apartment, but I am sure it is nice, and the address is certainly good. We know these friends very well - they have come to visit us and have stayed with us in Switzerland and Madrid, and we have stayed with them often, both at Castanet (before our house here was finished – we are a small half hour’s drive from them) and where they live in the winter in the Laynedor (?). They are careful, conscientious and I would not hesitate house trading with them myself whereas I would be very reluctant to do so with most people!)
They would put personal things away and lock their own bedroom, which leaves 2 absolutely charming and comfortable double bedrooms (one with divan also), plus a small bedroom in a tower; 2 bathrooms; a small but well-equipped kitchen in another tower (with dishwasher). Beautiful salons and dining room – all in granite with heavenly views (one would have to rent a car).
I thought you might like to invite some of your family or friends for a 2 or 3 week adventure in the Cevennes!? We could try to be in La Garde for some of the time to show you around.
If you are interested, please let me know as soon as possible. I’m writing 3 other NY friends, and if none of you is interested, our Castanet friends will try through other friends to find something.
The castle is done with great simplicity and elegance – all authentic furniture from this region. We adore it.
If you are interested, please send details (and maybe a photo?) about your apartment. They only need one bedroom, plus all the rest.
“There are absolutely marvelous drives, hikes, walks and quite unknown, wild countryside to explore. Tuts regions is almost unique in its primitive state because most young people left all the villages (the climate being very rough in winter) before hideous additions and transformations could be made. So the villages are really an integral part of the landscape and the harmony is very rare in our day.
Les Cevenes Touristiques
“It is wonderful to be literally in tuts beautiful lake….with the light and water dancing on and inside the castle on the wonderful medieval stone.
We share the same cleaning lady (very nice and efficient) who lives within a 5 minutes walk from the castle. They would have her clean it thoroughly before you come and after you leave, and you could have her any time you like in between – even every day.”