Love, Marriage, and Art: Elaine and Willem de Kooning
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He left Holland and arrived in the United States as a penniless stow-away, with no papers and speaking no English. Nevertheless, de Kooning became a leading artist of the abstract expressionist movement. He was 34 and his young student, Elaine Fried, was 20 when they first met. They had an open marriage and affairs fueled by alcohol. But after 20 years of separation they were still married, and she returned to spend their final years together.