Helene Gaillet de Neergaard
Hélène Gaillet de Neergaard, Author/Artist/Photographer, was born December 1, 1935 in the north of France and emigrated to Larchmont, NY with her parents and family in June 1946. Living in Manhattan since 1953 defines her as a New York City woman. Married in 1955, she has two daughters (one grandson now 24).who attended the Lycée Français, and are now married and professional executives
Her business background in Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations gives her a great advantage and savoir-faire in her multiple & varied endeavors. In 1970 she went freelance and became a professional photographer. Rapidly successful, she had several exhibits in New York and Paris. Her 1975 one-woman, eight-week show on Rue Christine, Paris, was advertised with posters of her now famous 2’x3’ nude self-portrait taped in windows of restaurants and cafés. All 500 copies were stolen overnight turning her into a Parisian celebrity for the duration of her ‘charismatic, versatile and titillating perspective of undercover worlds’ (Le Figaro, Le Point); over 400 people attended the opening, forcing the police to close down the neighborhood of tiny streets clogged with traffic. The poster is now in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) NY & Musée Pompidou Paris.
Her work was widely published in books and magazines including TIME, New York, OUI, Playboy, Popular Photography, Car & Driver etc. As a stringer for the New York Times, her photos of Governor Carey and Félix Rohatyn were on the front page four times. For People, among others she covered David Frost and Muhammad Ali, whose photo by HG was on the cover of his first book. She also photographed jazz musicians Miles Davis, Cab Calloway, Lena Horne and Artie Shaw as well as many others playing all night in Haarlem.
Her photographic archives were acquired in 2005 by the HILLWOOD ART MUSEUM LIU, where a 30-year retrospective of her work titled People, Politics & Perversion was on display September to December 2008. She is now working on her ninth book, a B & W retrospective of her ©Fabulous Famous Faces series of over 100 well-known personalities.
In 1975, Hélène’s photographs were published in the fashion best seller CHEAP CHIC: Hundreds of Money Saving Hints to Create Your Own Great Look (Harmony Books Paperback). Written by Caterine Milinaire and Carol Troy, it has just been re-published (2015) with a new foreword by Tim Gunn. In 1976, Hélène sold a book to Prentice-Hall Publishers called Invitation to a Slow Death: the Life of Lifers in Prison, but it was not published.
A blue water sailor and admirable chef on board, she is a member of the New York Yacht Club, has often sailed with the Little Ship Club of London, UK, and is Naples Port Officer for the east coast sailing club The Corinthians. Hélène has two current books in print, The BOAT BOOK: A Guide and Reference Book for ALL Boaters and Nautical Terms & Abbreviations, both available on the Internet, combined these have sold over 4000 copies. The New York Times published a half page review headlined: “A Guide to Boating from Aft to Stern” by Barbara Delatiner. The book was also reviewed in Bill Bleyer’s column On The Water in Newsday, the LI paper.
Residing in Naples, FL since 1998, she is a full-time writer, artist, photographer, and is an active member (volunteer) for the hospital, her church, art societies, clubs and associations. Her current book, “I Was a War Child - World War II Memoir of a little French Catholic Girl”, was published to great acclaim in October 2014. It is the fascinating story of the Gaillet family’s enduring hardships from 1940 to 1946 fleeing the Nazi Occupation in France, a MUST read.
She lectures to organizations of all types (book clubs, seminars, private groups, schools & more). As a result her sales have been phenomenal and receive positive five-star reviews on Amazon.com
Some of Hélène’s past years are mentioned in the following:
PASSAGES: Predictable Crises of Adult Life
Gail Sheehy, E. P. Dutton & Co. Inc. 1974; pp. 80-81
ARI: The Life and Times of Aristotle Onassis
Peter Evans, Simon & Schuster, Summit 1986; p. 278; pp. 293-295
A WOMAN NAMED JACKIE: An Intimate Biography of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, C. David Heymann, Lyle Stuart Books, Carol Comm. 1989; pp. 479 - 480; pp. 487- 488; pp. 547- 548.
NEMESIS: The True Story of Aristotle Onassis, Jackie O, & … Peter Evans. Regan Books 2004; pp. 262-283.
The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. William D. Cohan, Doubleday 2007; pp. 157-165.
A Fortunate Life
Robert Vaughn, T.Dunne/St. Martin’s Press, Illustr 2008; pp. 261-265.
New York Times – Book Review “The BOAT BOOK - A Guide to Boating from Aft to Stern”, Barbara Delatiner, Sunday, Jan. 23, 1994.
Sunday Newsday, LI NY – Book Review “The BOAT BOOK – Sailor’s Sea Chest of Hints”, Bill Bleyer, Sunday, October 31, 1993.
Naples Florida Weekly – Book Review “I Was a War Child: Family history brings wartime France up close and personal” Phil Jason – Week of November 6-12, 2014
Member(Volunteer): Alliance Francaise de Bonita Springs/Art League at the von Liebig (Vol)
Conservancy of SW Florida/Corinthians Sailing Club Port Officer Naples (NYC)/Friends of Collier County Museums FOCCM (Vol)/Friends of Fakahatchee/Friends of the Library Collier County/Holocaust Museum & Education Center/Italian Cultural Society (ICS)/Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC)/Metropolitan Opera Guild (NYC)/Museum of Modern Art MOMA (NYC) Naples Community Hospital White Elephant NCH (Vol) Naples Historical Society/Naples Intl Film Festival NIFF (Vol)/Naples Music Club(photog)/Naples Press Club (Former Board Member)/Naples Sr Center JFSC (Vol)New York Yacht Club NYYC (NYC)/Opera Naples Guild/Women’s Cultural Alliance (Vol)Wilderness Country Club (Vol FORUM) Rev HG 9/16
Author/Artist Memoir of War Painter Photographer
Awards and Recognition
- Nominated for Pushcart Press Award
Press and Media Mentions
- Life in Naples Magazine January 2017 Lecturer Profile by Arlene Yedid - Naples Florida Weekly Book Review WAR CHILD by Phil Jason Nov 6-12, 2014 - The New York Times Book Review BOAT BOOK by Barbara Delatiner Sun Jan 23,1994 - Newsday LI Newspaper Book Review BOAT BOOK by Bill Bleyer Sunday Oct 31, 1993 - Island Sun Tortola BVIs BOAT BOOK by Giorgio Migliavacca Sat Jan 7, 1995