January 18, death of Ada Ongari, his girlfriend from his student days in Milan. He had kept in touch with her, directly and through Aldo Buzzi, regularly sent her money, and in the last years contributed to the cost of her nursing home in Erba, Italy. During the 1980s and 1990s, his letters to Buzzi are punctuated with concerns for her well-being.
Late February-early April, joins Prudence Crowther, who had rented a small house with a guest cabin in Key West. William Gaddis is also in Key West, and they dine together. On February 22, he writes to Buzzi, “I open my eyes in the morning: great light, and on the ceiling the enormous, silent fan….happy, because I’m staying in this paradise….its strangeness, more than anything else, helps me to forget almost everything. Tiny houses, miniature temples of unpainted wood, dwellings for castaways. Mornings, a 2-km round trip on foot to buy the NY Times with its list of deceased celebrities du jour.”
In Key West, makes a series of drawings of a gnarled and moribund tree. Back in Amagansett in May, he turns to a spruce tree on his property.
September 13-November 8, Galerie Bartsch & Chariau, Munich, “Saul Steinberg: Sammlung Sigrid Spaeth.” Spaeth’s collection of ST works, sold by her heirs. In December, the show opens at the Adam Baumgold Gallery, New York.