Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Garage Hangover

Now THIS is a fun website and quite an accomplishment. Pick your state. If you are near my age, chances are you'll find the fellows who played at your prom (or tried to). For the record, mine was "The Uncalled Four" and we only played one gig, a battle of the bands. But we beat that greaser band from Muskegon who dared to play Beatles covers. Allow an hour or two, this site is more addictive than u tube.


Robert Howell Virginia Environment

Robert Howell's rural Virginia environment circa 1992. I did not know his name at the time. A good friend of mine told me about it, but he didn't want to go. I knocked and yelled to see if anyone was home, the place certainly looked abandoned and the sculptures had a wonderful presence of abandon as well. As I was leaving, Mr. Howell appeared with with a double barrel shotgun aimed at my head. My first thought was what a scattering of buckshot would look like on a rental car. I do know it was the the first time, and hopefully the last time, I will say "put the gun down". Three times. My understanding is that since I visited, someone "bought" these sculptures, but this I am not sure of, and if they did, more power to them. If you would like to go visit and see if they are still available, be my guest. Four Kodak snapshots c. 1992 Collection Jim Linderman

Matching Tintype Photographs of a Young Girl The Painted Backdrop

Two remarkable matching tintype images of a little girl in an unusual profile pose. Circa 1865. The backdrop with tents and a flag was certainly used behind civil war soldiers off to war, many never returned. Perhaps this young girl accompanied her father to the studio the same day, and multiple copies were made so he could take one along on his journey. Tintype photos are unique images, but often copies were made at the same time through the use of a multiple image camera. For some sittings, the plate would be moved slightly and exposed again, creating a primitive version of a contact sheet. I believe these are identical...if not, our young poser moved not a muscle in between shots . Should a transparency be made, we might lay one atop the other to be sure, but my naked eye indicates duplication. The anonymous photographer not only skillfully posed her in the crux of the tree, the brim of her straw hat perfectly matches the angle of the longer limb. I like to think she was staring intently at her mother out of frame. She sits on a real log appearing positioned to mimic one which would have been sawn from the tree behind. She holds wilted flowers, perhaps a last gift from her father. This pair of photos is worth clicking to enlarge. My book The Painted Backdrop will be published in 2010.

Pair of matching tintypes c. 1865 Collection Jim Linderman

Holy Land USA in decay

High (REALLY high) above Waterbury, Connecticut one might still find the crumbling ruins of Holy Land created by the holy hand of curious visionary and lawyer John Baptist Greco. He commenced making the plaster and wire recreation of Jerusalem and Bethlehem in 1950, and like so many of those with unusual personal visions, he never finished. He willed the whole shebang to a reclusive order of nuns, the Religious Teachers Fillipini of Bristol. A mixed blessing for the nuns...over the years they have given up on tossing out rowdy teens and outsider art thrill seekers. After all, it is a MOUNTAIN and isn't fenced in. These pictures date to 1994. To find the ruins, drive to Waterbury and at every single opportunity, turn the wheel uphill and the road will lead you. Original 35mm photographs c 1994 collection Jim Linderman

Art Car Houston Texas Outsider Art Automobile

There is an "art car" in every city, even if only the junker you see parked downtown covered with "ouch" stickers and "I brake for (whatever)". However, this mega-tricked beauty seriously rules the road. A 1973 post card with the following caption on the reverse "'52 Pontiac custom features hand-painted seat covers, lots of chrome, years of work. The artist wishes to remain anonymous. Photographed in Houston, Texas 1973. Photo by Chip Lord" The charming dealer I purchased this card from adds "this outsider art automobile has a bumper sticker near the front grill which says "black." The gas station owner's last name was Wilson. Ads for Bardahl and STP seen in the service station. A classic Harris County, roadside America or black Americana collectible in near-mint condition. For black Americana and gas station collectors, it just doesn't get much better than this".

Finally, I would like to add even the doo-dads on the matching raised visors are symmetrical. The driver may be anonymous, but I suspect his name might be "Flash". This ride might struggle to reach cruising speed, but I would pay $500 just to drive it around the block and wave and I'd throw in a full tank right after. Automobile manufacturers would like you to think their cars make a "statement". This one clearly says aloud "Kiss My Ass".

Post Card c. 1973 Collection Jim Linderman

Old photo of an Old profession

A photo of a financial transaction. I tagged this blog with the word "sex" simply to generate traffic...surely 15 years of the internet has shown nothing works better at directing peepers to a website. Furtive consumers were often called "pop-eyes" by early "content" providers such as the sleaze merchant who produced this photo. Likely a still taken while a stag film was being made, the pictures were sold under the counter or in the back of magazines in sets of 6 or 8. Obviously, this would have been the first of the set. Photos were much easier to duplicate than the film itself, which would have been lugged around with a projector and shown in make-do venues. I personally remember attending two and I'm not that old, one was screened in a gas station several miles out of the small town I lived in (spread by word of mouth) the other in a dorm room just down the hall my freshman year. Both were shown on tacked up white sheets. This photo is actually much clearer than the films I saw. Fashion folks might date this better than me, maybe 1950. Neither of the participants here seem particularly exploited, but then I wasn't there. Photos of people engaged in illegal activities are interesting. These folks were certainly "acting" the role of hooker and hooked, but then since the act of filming same was probably against the law at the time, this would be a photo of a crime depicting a fake crime, though they did certainly carry on with the scene being negotiated for the sake of the camera. This is an "original" but there were certainly thousands of it made. In 1957, the New York Times reported on the arrest of two women with 50,000 copies of 3000 different negatives.

2.5 x 3.5 vintage photograph collection Jim Linderman.

African-American Yard Art

I am not sure I agree with everything written about the significance of Africanisms and the yard art of the American South (and elsewhere) but one can't deny SOMETHING is going on here beyond untidy.   Ruby (the only name she would give me) simply said "it is pretty" and I had to agree. I'll leave it up to the experts and dissertation writers as to the meaning. Their work is as easy to find as a bottle on a tree. Near Yazoo City, Mississippi 1992."Ruby's Yard" 5 original 35mm photographs c. 1992 Collection Jim Linderman

Jesus is the only fire escape

Who can argue with this? I would feel pretty safe in his hands too, Jesus appears to be quite capable of carrying anyone to safety. Richmond, Virginia "Jesus is the only fire escape"

Original 35mm photograph c. 1993 Collection Jim Linderman

Instant Photography for the ages Mandelette

The first photo is remarkable for several reasons, not the least of which is that it shows a blind double amputee Native American woman propped up against a board (!) As a person once said to me "yep, she got her legs shot off" to be blunt. I am posting it as a "rest in peace" for Polaroid, who recently filed bankruptcy for the second time and this time there will be no squirming out.

Believe it or not, these photographs were produced with instant film circa 1915.
These are Mandelette direct-positive photo postcards taken by a camera which had it's own developing tank. Mandelette camera users were able to take instant photographs and produce a unique image directly on a flimsy card stock suitable for mailing. (These were foolishly imprinted with the Mandel logo right where the stamp went, one reason these are hard to find today...who would encourage consumers to block out the logo on their own product?) A fairly large and clunky apparatus, the camera was used most frequently on a tripod by street photographers who would load it with pre-printed postcard backs (as shown) and sell them to passerby. They worked poorly. As the machine could only produce one unique direct-positive image, like a tintype, the images were usually dark and blurred as seen in the equally unusual early motocycle riders here. Consequently, the camera lasted only a few years. Polaroid, on the other hand, was able to hang on a bit longer.

Three unique Mandel Real Photo post cards, 2.5" x 3.5" and 3" x 4.5", circa 1915 Collection Jim Linderman

Reverend Eldert Simpkins House of Prair and Healing

The Rev. Elbert Simpkins Prair House and Healing Church, a sign which made me glad to be wearing a seatbelt. The technique of squeezing letters together for appearance or "to fit" is known as kerning. The practice of reversing letters is known as, well...writing backwards. Children who write like this often worry their parents, but the youngsters usually figure things out and dyslexia seldom results. Da Vinci wrote letters backwards in his notebooks to protect secrets. I could not find a software program which reverses letters at random for you (which would be known as digital illiteracy) but there are plenty of folks asking how to do it in forums. This two- sided sign graced a small church in Mississippi. I doubt the Reverend is still keeping hours, but you could try the number.

Original 35 mm photographs, c. 1992 Collection Jim Linderman

Prophet Royal Robertson

From time to time I intend to post my vacation photos. Don't expect to see anyone parasailing. This is the house of Royal Robertson in Baldwin, LA. He called himself "The Prophet" but the trash collector I stopped and asked for directions called him "that weird guy with all the signs". You can just make out Mr. Robertson in the doorway inviting me back anytime. If he knew portions of his environment were now in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art...I don't think it would register, actually. He lived until 1997, I took these photos long before that. He married Adell Brent in 1955, but it didn't work out.

Two original photographs 35mm c. 1990 collection Jim Linderman

Resolution for the New Year?

Half of us MAKE resolutions at this time of year, but I don't have to tell you how many keep them. Unlike Skinny Harry and Jolly Joe here, just remember all things in moderation and don't use your cellphone while driving. Cheers!!!

Two Cabinet Card Photograph images Frank Wendt c. 1890 Sideshow Performer Carnival Freak
Pitch Cards Collection Jim Linderman

Internet Music Sales

A recent study found 10 million of the 13 million tracks available online failed to sell last year, much to the chagrin of digital track providers. A surprise, not. Libraries have always known the depth of the collection rarely circulates. The top 2% of the holdings in ANY archive account for 99% of the use. It is not unusual for 95 percent of any library collection to remain un-circulated for decades. However, you can not measure the value of that rare tidbit which might reach the right person. It is a law "bean counters" who analyze libraries (and now, with the same lack of insight, internet music shills) have failed to understand for years. Be grateful for what you have, providers! You've already helped destroy the concept of a coherent artistic statement by dissecting "albums" into digital bits of noise to be purchased in tiny chunks instead of being savored as a work of art in whole. Don't be surprised if the consumers you seek turn out to be incapable of seeking on their own. Top 2% of "music" feeding 98% of the consumers? They would rather sell to Beyonce fans than obscure hunting eccentrics anyway, right?

"Antique" Plywood Stairway to Heaven Shelf Unit c. 1950

Most definitions of an "antique" rely on the passing of time. An antique is 100 years old, although some definitions include objects only 50 years old. By this definition, the Eames chair, introduced in 1956, will be a four year old antique this new year. Plywood went into general use in 1905, though the first patent was established in 1865. Purists thus take note. Plywood is an antique. Antique "stairway to heaven" plywood shelf unit, handmade, circa 1950 Collection Jim Linderman

Salesman sample 1950's flooring tile

Salesman samples are by definition small. Designed for traveling salesmen or as store giveaways, they allow the seller to point out exceptional features of the product. This "tested" floor tile sample not only allows a salesman to display three colors of the company flooring, it shows the strength. Note scuff mark on the yellow square. One can almost hear the salesman "Go ahead...STEP ON IT"

Michigan Tile Company Salesman Sample c. 1950 Collection Jim Linderman

Dead Orange Soda Brands

A study by Tufts University researchers found that the main source of calories in the American diet today is sweetened drinks and sodas. Previously, Americans consumed most of their calories from white bread. They didn't drink these.

Eleven extinct soft drink bottles with original contents, sealed Collection Jim Linderman

Sawtooth Decorated African-American Dresser Cabinet c. 1870

Sawtooth decorated Southern African-American handmade dresser cabinet. Pine with original paint and original mirror. Collection Jim Linderman
A blog about surface, wear, form and authenticity. Dull tool and dim bulb were the only swear words my father ever used.