Summer is good. Three anonymous vernacular snapshots circa 1970 Collection Jim Linderman
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Pair of matching original photographs, each 8 x 10 Collection Jim Linderman
DULL TOOL DIM BULB BOOK CATALOG HERE
Whirligig Figure, circa 1930 Collection Jim Linderman
SEE ALSO HERE for the story of the Nantucket Sailor Whirligig
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What does it take for a woman to get arrested for just being ornery? Start with being "addicted to scolding" and to "instruct and teach her children to insult, abuse and injure children and persons in general." Mrs. Johnson also "makes a habit of using profane, vulgar and abusive language." Not only that, she keeps her store open on the Lord's day which disturbs the rest of the peaceable citizens.
Sounds like just another day at Wal-Mart to me, but to the good folks of Lycoming County in 1884, Mrs. Susan Johnson was a big pain in the Pennsylvania Dutch ass.
Your choice old lady Johnson...the can or the stocks.
Original Court Document, 1884 Collection Jim Linderman
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Everything a spy would need for a night out on the town...or I guess any customer or client of hi-shear rivet tool company!
Pair of Top Secret Folding Cards 1952 Collection Jim Linderman
As I have been a big fan of Ricky Jay since watching him throw a playing card through a watermelon upstairs in a small theater off Times Square, it would be unfair for me to review his new book Celebrations of Curious Characters. Suffice to say it is a deal at any price (though it costs far less than any price) and it is the genuine deal, not some slight of hand. I'm not going to say he has the power to save the book from extinction, but your Kindle And Nook don't have you looking for the mailman until it comes either.
Anticipation beats a wireless download any day. Consider waiting for a pizza to be delivered. While eating pizza is wonderful too, the 20 minute wait is usually splendid. Some chat, a few jokes, maybe if you are in college furtive tokes with a wet towel under the door...and it arrives!
That is not an opinion, it is a fact. You will look far to find anyone who says they do not like pizza.
The origins of Celebrations of Curious Characters are to be found in a series of brief profiles Mr. Jay did for public radio. That implies erudite already...so bring your brains and expect the prodigious. When you have read it (and you WILL begin reading it immediately after tearing the cardboard strip off your Amazon box) you will have a beautiful spine facing you from the bookshelf rather than some digital bits which do not exist. As such, do not "Tell the publisher I'd like to read this book on Kindle" as you don't.
HERE is Mr. Jay's Wonderful Website. McSweeny published the new book.
CLICK TO MAKE BIG HEAD EVEN BIGGER
Peter Fuoco of Revelstoke, British Columbia discovered a big head in a tree trunk and spent some time bringing out the features, then added an equally giant hat. Dubbed "Ol' Woodenhead." A sign was placed next to it which read: "Don't be Wooden Headed. Drive Carefully. You'll live to enjoy the scenery more and longer." So beloved, the giant fellow was moved to his own "Woodenhead Park" next to the Trans-Canada Highway bridge. The second photograph here belongs to the Revelstoke Museum.
Snapshot, circa 1940 Collection Jim Linderman
SEE ALSO IN SITU: AMERICAN FOLK ART IN PLACE the BOOK HERE
Joey Lin and I have been swapping pictures of finds for a few years...but he also shares them with a wider audience through his blog Anonymous Works. Mr. Lin has a skill for finding authenticity, an increasingly scarce and valuable trait. Now Joey has gone commercial! He has created a website to sell the objects which attract his authentic eye. I have relied on his recommendations, now so can you.
Above are only a few of the modestly-priced pieces in his cyber-store, and I intend to bookmark and make regular visits. Joey is one of those folks attracted to art of the people. An artist himself, he is drawn towards untrained artists who through skill, talent, luck or happenstance create beauty. He has generously shared with me as a friend from afar, I am excited that others can now take part! He tells me the community of folks interested in his finds is a benefit as important as the objects... who can argue with that? His following online attests.
Take some time to see Mr. Lin's shop HERE. You will see many things asking for a base and a spotlight...but often created in far more humble places.
No, the one in the middle isn't Osama in final repose.
A group of Demoulin Masks! Lodge ritual objects. Demoulin was an astounding mail order company in the 1930s. These masks, three from the many they sold, were intended to be used in fraternal organization ceremonies. They are wire mesh, painted, with horse hair on on the "odd fellows" when needed and all originally had cloth straps to hold them in place. So these would date to 1920 or 1930.
As you can see, the company also produced some remarkable paper-mache parade and carnival masks.
One could bend these fellows back into shape, but I have to mow the lawn.
Demoulin was astounding. I am usually full of hyperbole, but their catalog will seriously drop your jaw. Gary Groth recently edited what appears to be a reprint (and more) of the Demoulin catalog titled Catalog No. 439: Burlesque Paraphernalia and Side Degree Specialties and Costumes A generous preview of the book is available on Amazon...I do not know if these images are in the book...I found them on the web while trying to figure out what the hell I brought home. But I can assure you if the book is as good as it looks on Amazon, you'll love it. In fact, it too looks quite astounding.
Group of three Lodge Ritual Fraternal Masks, circa 1920-1930 Collection Jim Linderman
As always, Click to Enlarge
Nice painting? Folky, eh? But it is wallpaper. Circa 1850 and hand-printed with carved blocks. I removed it carefully from the frame to show the detail, and as you can see portions of the chalky original paint now cling to the glass, but fortunately the paper slides easily and nothing sticks or tears. It is in remarkable condition considering the age and scarcity. Framing it preserved it, had it not been protected it would be in fragments if it existed at all.
Wallpaper has an interesting history. Most historians (who are few and far between) agree the origins lie in attempts to reproduce hanging tapestries in a less expensive form. Hand blocks gave way to machine rolling prints later on.
In block printing, the carved wood was covered with paint and sections carefully applied. Repetitive patterns on this piece illustrate the technique and also indicate why it is not a painting...note highlights a bit out of place and the repeating motifs in the lower border.
Today, most 19th century (and earlier) wallpaper exists only in box form...carefully applied to hat boxes and bandboxes for decoration, they are highly collectible. In fact, wallpaper was made expressly for the containers around the middle of the century.
Figural and garden scenes, in particular those as folky as this are most unusual. It may be that as they were designed for children's rooms and decoration, fewer survive. I selected two examples of early boxes covered with 19th century wallpaper from the website of Antique Associates at West Townsend as illustrative examples. Good ones!
Wallpaper scene, circa 1840 9" x 15" Collection Jim Linderman
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