Saturday, December 29, 2012
Not exactly a postcard, but such signs have recently become a serious collecting sub-genre; rather like those crudely printed 'Money for Food, God Bless' cardboard signs held by homeless people standing on traffic medians or slumped on sidewalks. The Folk Art of Today.
This is an especially heart-wrenching example--15 lb. 'therapy dog' Shih Tzu (with umbilical hernia and missing tooth) has look of transcendental horror. As he must have looked one imagines when man ran off with him--chillingly--'under his arm.'
Posted by Terry Castle at 12:39 PM
Friday, December 21, 2012
Posted by Terry Castle at 8:22 PM
Monday, December 17, 2012
Several airplanes in my future in the next few weeks--I hope none exactly like this. However I think I might now be prepared. Taught two graphic memoirs this past quarter, Spiegelman's Maus and Bechdel's Fun Home, so I am now a terrible bore about semantic alternations between caps and handwritten script, space management of the individual frame, stylized temporal indicators (as in the first and third box here), deployment of traditional visual emblems--the big puffy Boreas-cheeks blowing out the winds here--and...---you get the picture.
Posted by Terry Castle at 8:10 PM
Friday, December 7, 2012
. . .who's ever been dissed for lookin' good. Some strange draftsmanship nonetheless. The mopey gal in back seems to have the forearm and hand of a stevedore--proportions all wrong, too; her arms must be about four feet long. Definitely a Hairy Ape type. And, gee, I wonder why the artist has, it seems, modeled the 'Stephen' character on Katherine Hepburn in profile?
Posted by Terry Castle at 1:39 PM
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Monday, December 3, 2012
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Well.... not sure if this actually was someone's escape route---no explanatory clipping on the back of this archival photo from the Baltimore Sun. All it says is 'Penitentiary--Maryland, 1956'; a quick skim in Google doesn't turn up anything obvious.
But what appeals to me most in this picture is the big black inset circle, which lends a graphic and abstract quality to the thing, especially with the dotted white lines and 'X.' I've got a small mini-collection of photos with such circles. They were intended, one surmises, to hold a cameo picture of somebody involved in the story.
Maybe I will post some of these 'black spots' tomorrow or the next day.
Posted by Terry Castle at 8:04 PM
Monday, November 26, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Oh, Odette, I need a shot of your tuxedo love. Or else the world's biggest carnation to sniff. Have been so busy with deadlines, and the dream of a common language, I've had to forego any blog appearances this week. Please forgive me, ladies and gents and lady-gents.
And La Myrtil?--actress, violinist, singer (1898-1978), born in France, ended up in vaudeville in London and New York, followed by a 20-year career in Hollywood films as a character actress. Married twice (can that be the whole story?) and lived in New Hope, Pennsylvania in later life, where she opened a restaurant, Chez Odette. The latter is supposedly still in existence--one must check.
Posted by Terry Castle at 4:49 PM
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Monday, November 5, 2012
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
The American actress and dancer Betta St. John (born 1929). She appeared at the age of ten in Destry Rides Again (1939)--later in several Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. The X crop-marks--like vaunting white cranes, thermaling in the deepest, darkest warm night.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
On the right: Princess Cecilie, wife of Frederick William, Crown Prince of Prussia. Cecilie--former Duchess of Mecklenburg-Schwerin--married the Prince in 1905 in a spectacular ceremony complete with 'artistically decorated procession through the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin.'
'Cecilie quickly adapted to the role of Crown Princess' (according to Wikipedia) 'and became popular both with the public and within the court. She is described as quiet but friendly, a natural beauty with an interest in fashion.' The Pickelhaube suggests as much.
Posted by Terry Castle at 3:10 PM
Sunday, October 14, 2012
One of several stamp collage cards I've acquired lately. Good, but also strange, the Euro-
pean-looking head on an otherwise 'chinoiserie'-style body.
Further pitfalls of mimesis: the ornamental vegetation on right might be 'read' as a waterfall, over which the little sampan here is about to plunge.
Posted by Terry Castle at 9:25 PM
Friday, October 12, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Yes, the collector had a tintype of herself made yesterday. (More fun and less narcissistic than getting one's DNA through the mail? Who can tell.) Given the brutal honesty of the tintype plate it's actually hard to be too vain. Through some strange alchemy of tin and chemical solution, the image shows freckles---everywhere--that were last seen when I was six years old.
As close as it gets to seeing oneself dead. Especially given 19th-century 'old weird America' look the process gives one. She died in an asylum in 1911.
Posted by Terry Castle at 12:12 PM
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
See Kruithof's website for some of her other works, including Becoming Blue, one of the strangest and most haunting photo-books I've come across lately.
Posted by Terry Castle at 10:12 PM
Saturday, September 29, 2012
On the left: Elsie Hitz, actress and radio personality of the 1930s, shown here with Thelma Marsh, a young Broadway actress hired to be Hitz's understudy in the popular CBS radio show of 1933, 'The Magic Voice.' Marsh, 'Radio's First Understudy'--according to the photo caption--was selected after many auditions because 'her voice most nearly duplicated that of Miss Hitz.' To judge by the sultry looks being exchanged here, she and Hitz seem to be duplicating in other ways too.
Elsie Hitz was said to have the 'most beautiful speaking voice on the air' in the early 1930s. She also starred in Dangerous Paradise, a radio adventure serial in which she and the actor Nick Dawson played two castaways shipwrecked on a desert island. What happened to Thelma is a mystery.
Posted by Terry Castle at 12:51 PM
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Monday, September 17, 2012
Likewise fascinating: "In the opinion of the press, she filtered with personalities as Tyrone Power, William Holden, Orson Welles, Omar Sharif, George DeWitt, Jimenez and Fidel Castro; despite of this she never married." You can see her filtering here, but also why she found the mens disappointing.
Posted by Terry Castle at 8:14 PM
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Thursday, September 13, 2012
The scene itself has a certain dramatic charm. Who's the old guy with the strange gray box? And what's the bigger kid--the one caught in jaunty contrapposto--telling him? Is that the mother leaning on the back of the passenger seat of the car? The little brother standing on the hose is nothing less than one's beau idéal-- then and now.
Posted by Terry Castle at 10:07 PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
'Mac Fric' turns out to be Martin Fric---Czech actor/director/writer involved in 132 movies (almost all released only in Czechoslovakia) between 1922 and 1969. Advokatka Vera ('Lawyer Vera') is apparently a comedy from 1937. No, I haven't seen it. Other Fric flicks sound oddly enticing: Tears the World Can't See, Condemned from Pinktown, The Star Called Wormwood, Dogs' Heads, Winter Sports Champions, and Meritorious Artist Terezie Brzková.
Posted by Terry Castle at 10:38 PM
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Somewhat aghast, though: despite all briefings to the contrary, the Bayreuth Parsifal audience did clap at the end of the first act. Whatever happened to absurd yet venerable Festspielhaus customs?
Posted by Terry Castle at 9:31 PM
Friday, August 31, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
(AP Wirephoto) 1938."
The Anschluss became official on March 13th. Anna Freud was arrested by the Gestapo the same day and interrogated, an event that persuaded her father, Sigmund Freud, that it was time to leave Austria. After torturous negotiations over exit visas etc. Freud and his immediate family were allowed to leave for London on June 4th. Four of Freud's elderly sisters perished in concentration camps.
Click image to enlarge.
Posted by Terry Castle at 10:12 AM