‘Performance,’ a Remembrance Poem for Jacqueline Albert Simon

A sculpture titled “Time Womb/Jacqueline,” installed in the foyer of Jacqueline Albert Simon’s Fifth Avenue apartment. Photo courtesy of Barbara Chase-Riboud.

The following is a poem and dedication in remembrance of longtime OPC member and supporter Jacqueline Albert Simon, by Barbara Chase-Riboud.

Jacqueline Albert Simon and I enjoyed a 50-year friendship that began in ’69 when she commissioned a sculpture, Time Womb/Jacqueline for the foyer of her Fifth Avenue apartment from my gallery Betty Parsons. We remained friends even after her being a North Star for me in New York and I being a kind of French comfort for her in Paris. We had lost our close contact recently but I hope she was able to see “The Albino” installed in the new MoMA.



Let’s start from the End, not the Beginning,

From the final curtain, not the overture

The Brass and Cymbals reverberate

The roll of drums marks the chorus

And flutes and woodwinds accompany us


However the conductor directed, she had a good time,

Her laughter and joie de vivre stole the show

Her performance enchanted the dazzled audience

Which was surprised to learn the concert had to end

Since she had always been held up as an example


But all music arrives at the last beat,

Scores are settled, the orchestra packs up

And goes home, the public files out,

The lights dim, then are extinguished for good

The Beginning without so much as intermission.


For my friend and collector,

Jacqueline Albert Simon

—Barbara Chase-Riboud