A while ago I posted a theory of mine on a possible childhood influence on Andy Warhol with some striking implications for students, researchers and even the casual fan of our most famous Pop Artist. (Who I was fortunate to see several times and meet once in NYC) When he passed, unexpectedly, there was an empty chill of the parts of the city I loved most. Not just the glitz and glamor life he lived, for he managed to live a lower life at the same time. First, the 26th Street Flea Market, which was where I always began my Saturdays and Sundays at 6:00AM. Andy was often there...The only difference was that I was alone, he came with whoever he hadn't gone to sleep with the night before. Second, one of the most extraordinary things about Warhol, he could not STAND to have a club, or restaurant, or gallery open without him seeing it first. So there he was, at noon, on the opening day of the Tenth Avenue Jukebox Cafe which was on my block, at 45th and Tenth Avenue. There he was. He pulled up in a limo, got out, sniffed around and left.
A LONG intro to this post which is actually on Diana Korzenik. She contacted me immediately after my above theory was posted to support it and such. Turns out she had seen a few of my earlier posts on Childhood art objects and folk art, a interest of mine as well. For years Diana collected "Objects of American Art Education" as it relates to teaching and learning tools. She is Professor Emerita, Massachusetts College of Art, and author of Drawn to Art: A 19th Century American Dream. I was honored to hear from her, and we had a brief correspondence in which her charm was obvious.
The images here come from the splendid book published upon the donation of her collection (1000 items and 500 books) illustrating the types and techniques of childrens art tools to the Huntington Library. You will get the idea by the several illustrations here I am taking liberty to post. The catalog is Objects of American Art Education: Highlights from the Diana Korzenik Collection from the Huntington Library Press and I was fortunate enough to purchase my copy from Amazon. A brief search finds it available from other sources as well. The Huntington Library, which is simply splendid, is surrounded by the most beautiful botanical garden I have ever seen...a bonus! The day I was there, we arrived too late to tour the museum, but the succulent and cacti gardens are extraordinary, and my nephew was able to watch a Venus flytrap have an early dinner.