Category Archives: art

Mostly Cut Paper, with Tailleferre

Scraps of colored paper, a Greek stamp, a Portuguese sticker, and a background of magazine cuttings accompany Henry Sibley’s Keyed Bugle in e-Flat (1840).

This keyed bugle by the Boston maker Henry Sibley is associated with Edward Kendall, the most celebrated US performer of the instrument. Kendall played with a number of bands including the celebrated Boston Brass Band and toured throughout the country. He is remembered for his encounter with the band leader Patrick Gilmore, with whom he entered into a musical duel. The contest pitted Kendall, performing on keyed bugle, against Gilmore on cornet. While the keyed bugle was prized for its warm sound and subtle tonal inflections, the more technically agile cornet eventually became the undisputed leader of the band. [cite]

The above is the only collage using torn paper this time around.

Joshua Johnson’s Emma Van Name (ca. 1805) eats a strawberry, accompanied by pieces of a Janet Fish artwork.

Son of a white man and an unidentified enslaved mother, Johnson apprenticed to a blacksmith before achieving his freedom in 1782, becoming part of Baltimore’s large free black population. “Emma Van Name” is arguably his most ambitious and engaging portrait of an individual child. [cite]

A water-damaged paperback of Eastman House photography yielded Nicholas Muray’s Woman in a Cell Playing Solitaire (ca. 1950) and Alfred Steiglitz’s Paula, Berlin (1889). Paper scraps, magazine cut-outs, and stickers from clementines make up the rest.

Max Beckmann’s The Old Actress (1926) and Lewis Hine’s Spinner Girl (1908) anchor this collage, with pieces from a Cardiff Castle postcard and scraps from magazines filling in here and there.

Listening List

Germaine Tailleferre’s Arabesque (1973)

Tailleferre dedicated Arabesque to Désiré Dondeyne, the wind band conductor and composer who inspired Tailleferre to write for wind instruments. Dondeyne was a clarinetist who earned first prize in clarinet from the Paris Conservatoire, and later served as solo clarinet of the French Air Force Band. Tailleferre and Dondeyne first met in 1970 while he was working on a concert to honor Les Six, and later became good friends. [cite]

Credits: The sources for the quotations are cited in the text. The photographs (and underlying collages) are mine.

Torn and Cut Paper

At the Outsider Art Fair, we came across a booth from Main Street Gallery in Milwaukee, Wiscobnsin, featuring collage work by Della Wells. Among many other attributes, her use of torn and cut paper was a marvel, putting together all manner of shades of greens, blues, yellows, reds as the backbone of her collages, like this one, “if they peer in my house, Matisse”:

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Trolling the Heilbrunn Timeline: A Goldsmith in His Shop

Petrus Christus, A Goldsmith in His Shop (1449)

On returning from Italy, I decided it was high time I supplemented my scant knowledge of medieval and Renaissance art, so I gathered up a few books* on the subject. After reading said books, it occurred to me that a Renaissance art vacation extender might be available at the Metropolitan Museum, so I looked up the Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. I’d forgotten, if I really ever knew, what a rich resource this is, and trolling around the Medieval/Renaissance sections proved a time sink of the best sort. I picked out a few artworks to visit in person next time I could. Here’s one of those I visited yesterday. Continue reading

When in Rome: Final Days, Part 2 of 2

Giovanni da Udine, festoon detail, Loggia di Amore e Psiche

I can only say, about our last days in Rome, that we certainly did not go out with a whimper. The opposite of anything we planned, it seems, in retrospect, that we’d been building up to this apotheosis from the moment we arrived. Continue reading