When she was 29 Winnaretta agreed to marry happily and platonicly the 59 year-old Prince Edmond de Polignac who shared her deepest love of music and, it seems, her homosexuality. Their famous salon in their mansion on what is today Avenue Georges-Mandel hosted first performances of new work by Debussy, Fauré, and Ravel with frequent guests Proust, Cocteau, Colette, Diaghilev, Monet, and Isadora Duncan, who had a baby by one of Winnaretta's brothers. Eight years into their marriage, the prince died and Winnaretta commissioned more than seven compositions in his honor including works by Stravinsky, Satie, and Weill. Winnaretta played the piano and organ, and she painted, but her greatest contributions to the arts were as patron to individuals, ballets, operas, and symphonies. In 1911 she built a public housing project and during WWI she and Marie Curie transformed private limousines into rolling radiology units to aid the injured at the front. Born in New York during the Civil War she died in London during WWII, in 1943 at 78 living with her lover Alvilde Chaplin, 34. Winnaretta is included in Diana Souhami's Wild Girls: Paris, Sappho, and Art and is the subject of Sylvia Kahan's biography Music's Modern Muse.
Light years ahead of the pack in his androgyny, bisexuality, theatricality, and his music, David Bowie today turns 66 and releases his first single in 10 years, Where Are We Now?, a midtempo lament, below. His legendary Carnegie Hall debut in 1972 was only his third show ever in the U.S. The critic Robert Christgau called Bowie "an English fairy" and complained that songs like "Andy Warhol" weren't manly enough for American rockers. Of course, Bowie had sunk to his knees in front of guitarist Mick Ronson and simulated oral sex. Bowie's son Duncan, 42 this year, directed the movies Moon and Source Code. Bowie's daughter Lexi is 12.