NEW YORK -- Author Gertrude Stein and her longtime lover Alice B. Toklas were reunited in a Manhattan park for Valentine's Day through the efforts of an activist group, the Lesbian Avengers.
A 6-foot, plaster sculpture of Toklas atop a pedestal was placed leaning against a statue of a seated Stein for an afternoon celebration Sunday in Bryant Park behind the New York Public Library. Stein is one of the few women to have won a permanent place among New York's outdoor statues.
In life, the pair were devoted companions and part of a renowned literary circle in Paris during the early decades of the century. Stein, a poet and playwright, was playful in her use of language while Toklaswon later fame for the 'Alice B. Toklas Cookbook,' which had chapter titles like 'Murder in the Kitchen.'
The Toklas statue was sculpted by Lesbian Avengers members.
'We're celebrating the glorious herstory of conventional romantic love, politically incorrect domestic bliss...and especially the union of Gertrude and Alice,' said Jean Carlomusto, a spokeswoman for the group.
Organizer Sarah Schulman said the Avengers planned to remove the Toklas statue after their celebration because of fears it would be vandalized.NEWLN: At the gathering, under cold, sunny skies, cheers and whistles responded to a Stein poem, 'Miss Furr and Miss Skeene':
'They were regularly gay there, Helen Furr and Georgine Skeene, they were regularly gay there where they were gay. They were very regularly gay.
'To be regularly gay was to do every day the gay thing that they did every day. To be regularly gay was to end every day at the same time after they had been regularly gay. They were gay every day. They ended every day in the same way, at the same time, and they had been very day regularly gay.'
The group held a protest Saturday night outside the Queens home of Mary Cummins, the local school board member who played a key role in the ouster of Schools Chancellor Joseph Fernandez. Cummins opposed the 'Rainbow Curriculum,' which included information on homosexual lifestyles.