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In a better world we would all be thronging the doors of the Newark Museum; in the best of worlds Ulysses Grant Dietz would be there to meet us, taking us through the galleries with fellow curators Christa Clarke and Katherine Anne Paul
Julia Margaret Cameron was almost twenty-four when Louis-Jacques-Mondé Daguerre announced the invention of photography at the Académie des Sciences in Paris in 1839. But it wasn’t until she was forty-eight—another lifetime later—that she would fully take up the medium herself. The catalyst was a Christmas gift from her daughter Julia and Julia’s husband in 1863.
Collecting and researching American art have been avocations of mine since my student days at the University of Pittsburgh in the 1950s, when I commuted to school through the neighborhoods of the Hill District and past the belching steel mills on both sides of the Monongahela River. Those are fond memories still—fifty years after leaving Pittsburgh for New England—so when a group of ten drawings of those neighborhoods and mills surfaced on eBay, with inscriptions dating to March 1945 by a student at the city's Schenley High School, I acquired them. My reasons were initially nostalgic, but I also wondered if research might show that the "Andy" on the first sketch could possibly be Andy Warhol, who graduated from Schenley High in 1945.
It is easy to succumb to the beauty of Budapest, Hungary's capital city, which straddles the legendary Danube River flowing down from Germany out to the Black Sea. High on a hill on the Buda side stands the Buda Castle, erected on the ruins of former royal palaces going back to the thirteenth century. It is answered across the river in Pest by the Hungarian Houses of Parliament, an immense Gothic pile of pinnacles modeled after London's Palace of Westminster (Fig. 2). Hungary's Parliament is just one of the grand architectural monuments built during Budapest's heyday at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries—a period of peace and economic prosperity after centuries of foreign rule.
One sign of an important exhibition may be its ability to move us into unfamiliar territory. By that measure, as by others, the recent show at the American Folk Art Museum, When the Curtain Never Comes Down, has claimed our attention. Its twenty-seven self-taught/outsider artists are represented by both permanent works— assemblages, garments, instruments, drawings, and the like—but more significantly by their actions in movement, song, and other forms of evanescent self-display. In the current art climate it is a relief to encounter art that for the most part cannot be bought or sold. But surely we are drawn to these evangelists of the self for other, deeper reasons
Among the contents of the Allen Ginsberg Papers in Stanford University’s Green Library is a pair of worn and dirty tennis shoes. In the thousand linear feet of correspondence, photographs, manuscripts and notes, reel-to-reel recordings, performance posters, and broadsides, the beat-up sneakers hold their own. Purchased during his 1965 visit to Czechoslovakia, it is reasonable to surmise that Ginsberg wore the nondescript white canvas shoes to march in Prague’s May Day parade, to address a throng of students in the city square, and to cross the tarmac to an outbound plane when he was expelled from the Communist country a few days later
No English country-house garden would be complete without the well-placed statue erminating a vista--Thomas Gray's "storied urn and animated bust"1 --giving a classical and literary reference to the landscape and subtly humanizing the wildness of nature. The origin of this, as of so many other aspects of British garden design, can be traced to sixteenth-century Italy
Like most nineteenth- and early twentieth-century jewelry manufacturers in Newark, New Jersey, Henry Blank and Company until recently had been long forgotten. However, it was one of the largest and most successful Newark firms from the 1890s until well after World War II
In his book Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers, F. J. Britten notes that "watches with enamel painting before 1640 are exceedingly rare, and there is a marked difference in the character of such decorative work executed at the beginning, compared with that done during the later years of the seventeenth century." This article was originally published in the December 1963 issue of ANTIQUES.