Jim Linderman blog about surface, wear, form and authenticity in self-taught art, outsider art, antique american folk art, antiques and photography. Dull tool and dim bulb were the only swear words my father ever used. Items from the Jim Linderman collection of vernacular photography, folk art, ephemera and curiosities. (Note: if anyone believes an image contained violates their rights or insults their intelligence, simply point it out and I will remove)
When I received this drawn by hand tenspot from one of my favorite antique finders (as a gift) my thoughts went to one of the greatest contemporary performance artists ever. J.S.G Boggs drew money and spent it! He raised so many questions about the relationshop between money and art that it took New Yorker writer Lawrence Weschler a whole book to explain it. Basically, If Boggs wanted to purchase something for 100 dollars, he would draw a hundred dollar bill and spend it for the item. Arrested several times for counterfiting, I think he squeezed out of most charges. He didn't really sell his work...after "spending" a money drawing he would alert collectors where the transaction took place and it was up to them to track down the "Boggs Bucks" and purchase them back from the person who accepted his work of art in good faith. That is believing the drawing was so good it was equal in value to the object sold. His art was thus not valuable only for the drawn bill, the value was in the transaction. Back in the 1980s I was involved in one! A friend who was working on a profile of Boggs for television told me the artist had just spent five of his dollars for a drink at the Prince Street Bar in Soho, NY. I met the bartender, paid her for the bills (which she was happy to sell back) and received the signed receipt confirming the deal. i also subsequently met the artist himself,and he was crazy smart and interesting.
Boggs passed away a few years ago. In retrospect, his "carny" background might have contributed to his oeuvre but he sure could draw good money. During his heyday, I recall hearing he had even purchased a motorcycle for a drawn 5,000 dollar bill! Let's just say he took the concept of Trompe l'oeil to the maximum.
The bill here is unfinished and anonymous. I am guessing it dates to the great depression, when all most Americans had was a dream. I won't try to spend it. Read about the remarkable J.S.G Boggs in Weschler's book in Boggs: A Comedy of Values, or check his wikipedia page. A fantastic story by a magical artist and con man.
Hand drawn "ten dollor bill" by anonymous, circa 1935? Collection Dull Tool Dim Bulb.
Anonymous juvenile artist takes instructions literally...and traces the TITLE PAGE!
Original page and corresponding traced page from Trace and Color Merrill Publishing 1937 each 11" x 15"
Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb
I much prefer this lovely folk art drawing to the original. "Three Sober Horses at the Drinking Trough" 19th Century Folk Art Drawing based on 'Three members of the Temperance Society': Three Horses at a Drinking Trough (after J. F. Herring the elder) Original Folk Art Drawing collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb.
A group we might call a meticulous menagerie. Antique Original Pencil Drawings from a Stencil Set. Drawn by hand on cheap lined paper. Still crisp considering age and acid. They come from a group of over fifty. Finding an original boxed stencil set seems difficult, but I have never seen such a large group of originals. I've cribbed a photo of a similar set from the web.
Antique Original Pencil Drawings from a Stencil Set c. 1890 - 1910 Collection Jim Linderman