Performance

Toasting a New Show and Rimbaud, Patti Smith Plays the Wadsworth Atheneum

3 Photos

Patti Smith and her band.

“Happy Rimbaud’s Birthday,” Patti Smith said to a scrum of journalists, as she walked into her exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, in Hartford, Connecticut, yesterday. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud would have been 157. Ms. Smith has been celebrating the day for 47 years.

She was wearing black glasses, black shoes and a long black jacket, which was designed by a friend, the Belgian fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester, she said, pointing to her in two of the tiny black-and-white photographs that lined the galleries.

Nearby was a long replica of the wooden litter that once carried Rimbaud, stricken with gangrene in one of his legs, down a mountain in Ethiopia and hundreds of miles to a boat bound for Marseilles, France, where he sought a doctor.

“Ann’s such an angel,” the singer said, “and it’s nice for Arthur to have a guardian angel.” Read More