Banned! The Matisse interviews...

So what did Matisse think of his loyal American art collectors? A book of 9 conversations with Matisse in Lyon published next month (my copy is already on pre-order) tell us. "Americans are like children who do the first thing that comes into their head."
In 1941 Matisse gave a long series of exceptionally open interviews with Swiss art critic Pierre Courthion . He then banned the 260 page book from publication. Drawing and painting, colour (Matisse saw his colours like a musical symphony), American collectors (like Rockefeller and Albert C Barnes), art dealers, other artists, his depressive outlook (whistling and singing was his preferred cure) and his general views on his life - all were recorded.
So why did Matisse ban it? Well, he read it pre-publication and didn't like what he read. He certainly didn't like reading what he had actually said. And the artist perhaps saw an excuse as it had been fiercely edited by 50 pages due to wartime paper shortages. He was certainly genuinely annoyed by that. Then he pleaded that he had been recovering from a serious illness. Out came the red pen, out went 20 pages including his nasty comments about art collectors whom he said he "finished up detesting."
Art dealers didn't escape either - he believed they were just "salesmen". There was re-writing too but still Matisse still didn't like what he read. He showed it to friends who shook their heads and told him not to publish. He agreed - and it never saw the light of day.
Today, it would have been blogged on the same day and that would be that. But Matisse simply banned its publication and whipped out a medical letter that said he was not "in his normal state of mind" following a serious operation. The banned book languished in a Swiss archive until it was bought over 30 years ago by the Getty Research Institute. Now it is scheduled for publication this september.

Chatting with Henri Matisse: The Lost 1941 Interview