Loft Life
Nancy’s loft on the top floor of her building was a place of contrasts: at times, a hub of social activity and at times a place of loneliness. Nancy saved the cartoon above which seems to encapsulate both her humor and her solitude. She asserted that "being alone ain’t for wimps.”
Mom and Pop in the Kitchen
The kitchen was decorated in one of Nancy’s favorite palettes: pink and black. Here are Ray and Mary in 1993 surrounded by cookie jars, salt and pepper shakers, magnets, and who knows what chotzkies in the drawers.
Nancy Shopping
Nancy loved to shop – from the gold-lined shopping districts of Venice or London to the grittier and more unconventional on the back streets of Chicago or Belfast. She had an unerring eye for high end; she loved her Mephisto shoes and an exorbitantly expensive Italian “rooster feather coat,” silk blouses
and elegant jackets, often in tobacco themed colors a well as the tacky and tasteless. Here she is delighting in buying cigs in bulk while saving.
Nancy's 50th Birthday
There were some wonderful parties in her loft. Above is her birthday invitation for her 50th birthday. Her French bulldog, Zöe, rides on her shoulders.
E.O. as Prop
All of her deeply loved animals were as much a photo topic of the ridiculous as well as the substance of her paintings. Above is her dog, E.O.
River Cruise with E.O.
Dressing up and treating her dogs to all sorts of activities was part of the good life. Here she is on a Chicago River cruise with E.O. She took Zöe, to the national “Beautiful Bulldog” contest in Iowa at least twice. One costume was as a bumble bee. Unfortunately, Zöe, didn’t win.
Cha’ca in Oaxaca, around 2010.
Nancy's Humor
Dogs were a constant source of delight for Nancy. Here is a “Far Side” card that she kept in her extensive files.
Zoe's Cake
And they were also a source of deep sadness and loss. Above is a cake for Zoe’s funeral party that Nancy held in her loft. Nancy kept the ashes of all of her dogs in beautiful urns. Those ashes are now buried with her.
Nancy and Julius
Nancy had many lovers over her life time from ages eighteen to eighty. The older she became, the younger her lovers. She was a sexual libertine, believing that human relationships were more honest and meaningful "once sex was out of the way."

Here she is with Julius Tobias, an artist from New York City. Nancy and Julius had an on-again, off-again affair for a number of years. In the early 1990s, Nancy organized a one-man exhibition for him at Artemisia Gallery.
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© 2019 Linda R. James