David Douglas Duncan appeared for several hours on my show in Kansas City...mainly for two reasons:
l. He’s from Kansas City
2. To plug his new picture book all about Picasso...who adopted Duncan as his favorite photographer when the Life Magazine reporter-photo guy knocked on his door on the French Rivera one day....asking if he could take some pictures.
Duncan spoke fervently about the man who became his mentor and friend and told one story which I will attempt to retell here. It may be in one of his books so you can check me on this.
Picasso had been working on charcoal sketches...a bunch of them and one night he left a half done sketch on an easel.
Duncan awoke the next morning and with camera at the ready went into the work area and he inadvertently knocked that half-done sketch off the easel and onto the floor...basically destroying the work.
Duncan was mortified. What would the master say...how could he ever make it up to him...such a silly thing to happen. Will he still allow me access here.
Then Picasso came walking in and David told him what happened...and waited for the reaction from this legend.
Picasso waved his hand all around at the sketches and paintings and said...”don’t worry about it...I’ve got a lot of these things!”
And that’s the only thing he ever said about the ruined sketch.