|Family Photo in Clark/Crislip Album|
Davida is the main character in my most recent novel, Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The reader will learn about America's premier sculptor in the late 1800's who fell in love with and had a twenty-five year affair with his model, Davida. It is based on true events, but there is very little information about her so I used my imagination in creating her life.
An Interview with Davida Johnson Clark
1. Davida you were born in Sweden. When did you come to the United States and what were the circumstances for such a big change?
My father had died in an accident while he and a friend were in the forest cutting down trees. My mother's sister lived in Hoboken and I invited us to come here. It was a big change but Mother was not sure how she could support us if we stayed in our small village.
2. When you arrived in the United States and settled in Hoboken with your aunt and uncle, what were the biggest challenges you had to face?
I came from a farm just outside of a small village in Sweden so I was shocked at how big and noisy New York City and Hoboken were. I learned to speak English fairly easily because I went to school which forced me to learn it and my aunt tutored me. I practiced constantly. I like the people here who are also immigrants and have their customs, accents, and foods.
3. Tell us about the first time you met Mr. Saint-Gaudens. What did you think of him?
He and his wife had invited my aunt who worked for him as a housekeeper as well as others for a Christmas party. When he introduced himself I immediately felt shy. When he touched my face and looked deeply at me, I felt a warm energy flow through me. At a very deep level I knew then that he was a very special person and I wanted to be with him. I don't know if it was love at first sight, but I could not stop thinking about him.
4. Finally, do you have any regrets about your relationship with Mr. Saint-Gaudens?
No, I have no regrets. I have been blessed to love and be loved unconditionally. I have also been blessed to have a child born out of such deep love. Would I have liked to have had more time with Gus? Of course, but I made the choice to remain his mistress after he chose not to divorce his wife. Our love for each other was very deep and strong which lasted for 25 years. How many people ever experience such love? I am only grateful and have no regrets.
5. Are there any final words you would like to say?
Augustus Saint-Gaudens is not a name that many people are familiar with in the 21st century and that is sad. He was the last sculptor to create the type of sculptures that were so popular in the 19th century and before. His friend and contemporary, Rodin opened the world of art to a new form which is still popular in 2018. Therefore, people are very familiar with his work and know his name.
|USA coin book|
Thank you for having me here today. I hope the story of Gus and me will bring attention to the reader about the power of unconditional love and his wonderful works of art.
MARCH 23-25 SPECIAL PRICE OF 0.99 U.S. & U.K.