Tag Archives: Artist

An Incredibly Frightening And Ugly Painting

The Picture Of Dorian Clown

There are many children who are afraid of clowns. Not me. I just don’t like clowns. My bodyguard Klaatu, has even had to punch out a few when they have come too close to me.

But there are few adults that suffer a severe fear of clowns. The name for this rare condition is Coulrophobia, the excessive fear of clowns.

Paintings of clowns may not bring about fear so much as repulsion. How anyone could appreciate unfunny comedian Red Skelton or his art, often involving self portraits of him dressed as a clown has always been a mystery to me.

What is worse than a painting of one clown?

A bad painting of four clowns.

While recently in Maine, I stumbled across this monstrosity. If you wish to possibly induce a case of Coulrophobia in someone here is a prime candidate.

Bad Painting of Four Clowns

The artist’s name Continue reading

Doomed New Yorker Cartoonist Ralph Barton On Living In New York – 1929

Ralph Barton Talks About New York After Living In Paris In The 1920s

Ralph Barton & Germaine Tallieferre

Ralph Barton & his 4th wife Germaine Talleferre photo: Daily News

“New York has ceased to be a city in which people live. It is necessary if one has to have quiet and peace to work to live in the suburbs. Steamships have made Europe a suburb of New York. I like to eat well, drink well and read grown up books, and these are not to be had in America.”

“New York is a crazy city and America is a madhouse. That is why I came back. I feel I belong here. Americans are crazy and I find I am crazy too. Americans are too rich. We have too much money. I have too much money. That is why I’m crazy. An artist ought to be prohibited from earning as much money as I do. Yet if someone suggested cutting my earnings, I’d scream so that you could hear me for three blocks.” – Ralph Barton upon returning to New York in 1929 after being in Paris for two years.

Barton committed suicide, Continue reading

New York City Celebrates New Year’s Eve – 1908

New Year’s Eve In New York City 1908

New York City New Years Eve Times Square 1907 Leslies Magazine Dec 26 drawn by Sigurd SchauThis December 26, 1907 cover of Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly magazine shows what the scene would be like on New Year’s Eve 1908.

How “the merry crowds in New York welcome the new year” has not changed all that much in 114 years.

Continue reading

How A Poor Mailman Built A Palace – The Postman’s Palace

It Took Over 33 Years, But Postman Ferdinand Cheval Built Himself A Palace

Ferdinand Cheval photo via Bonkersclutterbucks.com

As a postal carrier in southern France, Joseph Ferdinand Cheval could only dream of owning a mansion. Cheval would spend his free time looking at pictures and reading books about palaces and castles.

In his postal duties Cheval would pass by a magnificent castle-like home, admiring it every day. But what sparked his imagination and lead to taking action was an accident. Continue reading

Paul Cornoyer, Painter of New York- Washington Square Park, Winter 1908

Winter Snow Scene At Washington Square Painted By Paul Cornoyer

& A Brief History Of The Life Of The Artist

Impressionist and tonalist, Paul Cornoyer (August 15, 1864 – June 17, 1923) depicts Washington Square Park after a snowstorm circa 1908. Cornoyer’s strength lies in his ability to celebrate wet days. Many of his paintings feature rain or snow and its aftereffects. Cornoyer was a master at evoking a gloomy mood with interesting lighting effects bringing about an emotional response from the viewer. Continue reading

New York Illustrated – As It Was 150 Years Ago – Part III

New York Illustrated 1870

Part III – 150 Years Later And (Mostly) Still Here

Our third installment of illustrations taken from Reverend J.F. Richmond’s New York and Its Institutions 1609-1871 (E.B. Treat; 1871) looks at what remains today. Continue reading

New York Illustrated – As It Was 150 Years Ago – Part II

More New York Illustrations From Around 1870

Part II – Familiar Names – Vanished Sites

New York And Its Institutions book cover 1871We continue our look at New York of 150 years ago from Reverend J.F. Richmond’s New York and Its Institutions 1609-1871 (E.B. Treat; 1871).

The names may be familiar, but possibly not the building or site.

While Central Park has remained a constant presence in New York City for over 160 years, it has constantly changed.

There were always developers looking to infringe upon the park with buildings and schemes. A fair portion of Central Park has managed to keep its original spirit, but many of its early additions have changed or no longer exist.

 Central Park

Children's playground Central Park 1870 playing baseballThe Children’s Playground in Central Park. There was no “Great Lawn” when Central Park was built. The Great Lawn opened in 1937, the result of filling in one of the two receiving reservoirs located within the park. The Central Park Playground seen above is an open field where children can play within its great expanse. This section was located in the southern end of the park, now site of the Heckscher playground and ballfields. Continue reading

New York Illustrated – As It Was 150 Years Ago – Part I

Illustrations Of New York As Seen By Artists Around 1870

Part I – Demolished & Mostly Forgotten

Intersection Fifth Ave and Broadway at 23rd St looking north 1870

Intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue looking north towards the Worth Monument with The Fifth Avenue Hotel on the left (c. 1870)

Demolition of anything old  goes on every day without regard for New York’s history. I believe a day will come when all the pre-20th century buildings not given landmark protection will be gone. Demolished in the name of progress. Real estate values rule, not history values. That’s always been the way of New York.

When a historic structure like The St. Denis Hotel is obliterated instead of renovated it is a shame.

I see more and more ordinary tenement and commercial buildings falling at an astonishing rate. So I look around trying to see vestiges of things my great-grandparents might have known and been familiar with.

What did they see?

Recently I took out my copy of Reverend J.F. Richmond’s New York and Its Institutions 1609-1871 (E.B. Treat; 1871) and started to re-read it. I had forgotten how many excellent illustrations were in the book. Belying the name, New York and Its Institutions is not solely focused only upon hospitals, asylum, charity and worship facilities. The book thoroughly covers other important sites and buildings with their respective histories. Though it was not written as a guide book, it essentially is one.

What my ancestors saw were these historic buildings which are now not even memories to most New Yorkers, most having been taken down over a hundred years ago,

Let’s take a look at what New York City looked like around 1871 and take in what the visitor and native New Yorker would have seen.

Part I – Buildings No Longer In Existence

Very few lamented the loss of the old Post Office at the corner of Nassau and Liberty Street – — until they saw what replaced it in 1875.

The modest Police Department headquarters at 300 Mulberry Street was replaced in 1909 by a grand structure on Broome and Centre Streets.

Wilson's industrial school for girls 1870 new york Wilson’s Mission House or Industrial School For Girls at 27-29 Avenue A corner of St. Mark’s Place across from Tompkins Square Park.

Broadway Grand Central Hotel 1870The Grand Central Hotel stood on the west side of Broadway opposite Bond Street between Amity and Bleecker Street. Illegal alterations caused a major collapse of the Broadway facade  on August 3, 1973. Incredibly only four people were killed. The remaining section of the hotel was soon demolished. Continue reading

Birds-Eye View Of New York 1870

A Panoramic View of Lower Manhattan Including The Unbuilt Brooklyn Bridge

Lower Manhattan Harper's Weekly 1870 Brooklyn BridgeOur view is from the November 19, 1870 Harper’s Weekly.  Entitled, “Bird’s-eye view of the southern end of New York and Brooklyn showing the projected suspension bridge and East River from the western terminus in printing house square, New York.”

That long title reflects a fairly accurate view of New York, Brooklyn and surrounding area drawn by Theodore R Davis. Marine traffic crowds the river and piers with ferries, paddle-wheelers, steamships, schooners and sloops of all descriptions. The building of the bridge would slightly alleviate this nautical congestion.

Construction on the bridge began on January 2, 1870.  Continue reading

How Men And Women Think Differently As Seen In A 100-Year-Old Illustration

100+ Years Later-  What is the “Difference”?

A while ago, browsing through old news sources for verification of a story, I came across an illustration from Harper’s Weekly from the early 1900s.

If there is an artist’s signature, unfortunately I could not find it.

Harper's Weekly man and Woman illustration How each sex think's differently.The Illustration taking the entire page is titled “The Difference.” It might be construed by some people today as politically incorrect, totally sexist or completely accurate. Continue reading