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Life Size Folk Art Horse Mask with Shag Carpet Mane




Folk Art Horse Mask. The title here pretty much says it all.  Over 20 inches tall with nearly enough shag carpet to line the van.

Horse Mask circa 1970 Collection Jim Linderman

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A Coupla Wrecks

 Anonymous junkyard snapshots No Date Collection Jim Linderman

True Story of The Monkees starring Stephen Stills, Neil Young, Neil Diamond and Boyce and Hart


First of all, let's dispel the myth Stephen Stills tried out to be one of the Monkees.  He now claims he was only trying to sell them songs.  I believe him.  He has integrity.  The producers went with songs written by Neil Diamond instead.   Oh…and songs written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who had also written the theme some for the soap Days of Our Lives.  Boyce and Hart even recorded the Monkee's songs with their band the Candy Store Prophets. 

Later when the Monkees  (rather the Monkees with lesser talent and less integrity than Mike Nesmith) toured amusement parks in 1975, Boyce and Hart filled in.  It was years after, and who cared.

Testimony to the good taste of the music consuming public, the Monkees have sold 65 million "copies" worldwide, but I'm not sure what a copy is.  Vinyl?  Compact Disc?  Vaporized digital apple u-tune? 

Lovable Mop-top Peter Tork was the first to quit…and he had to BUY his way out of the contract.  He had to PAY to leave.  Bad move Pete. 

Stephen Stills and Neil Young DID later provide backing tracks for the Simians.  I'm not sure if any of the tracks have been released on Neil's super huge box sets, but I hope so.


There is NO TRUTH to the rumor that Astronaut John Glenn tried out for the band...but he did replace a monkey in the Mercury Spacecraft Friendship Seven. 

For the record, in full disclosure, the author performed "Last Train to Clarksville" in a band in the 8th Grade.  We sucked like a Dyson, only worse.


Representative Monkey Postcard 1940 McKee Jungle Gardens Orchestra 
Collection Jim Linderman

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David Aschkenas Photographer

 
Copyright David Aschkenas


Copyright David Aschkenas

Copyright David Aschkenas

Copyright David Aschkenas


Master photographer and all around great guy David Aschkenas has been an acquaintance for some 15 or 20 years now, I'm guessing…but it took these extraordinary photographs he took on a recent trip to goose me into this post.  Talk about your folk art environments!  Some serious wood!

The photographs were taken near the border of the Czech Republic and Austria.  


The above photographs are not on the artist's website, but they should be.  I'm very pleased indeed David has given me permission to post them here.

Mr. Aschkenas is no one trick pony.  One look at his work will convince you.  I've known David as a consummate collector, but his eye obviously works on each side of the lens, and you'll enjoy browsing his site considerably.  Any artist who favors the work of Weegee and James Van Der Zee is a treasure to me.  His work has appeared in Time, Men's Digest, Stern..you name it. 

To get you started, HERE is a link to his remarkable series titled "Ice Painting" but they are all lovely. 


The artist David Aschkenas has a website with a considerable portfolio HERE

Shallow Grave Snapshot? True Crime in the Garage

Shallow Grave?  Unless these cops are digging for taters, I believe we have here the staple of murder and true crime, the shallow grave.  I am going to HOPE they are after some less gruesome  contraband.  The cops are taking a break to pose, while the grunt does the heavy work.

Click to enlarge...something looks fishy in the background.  Is that a backdrop?  A curious photograph.

Anonymous Snapshot, no date.  (Said to be Marshall, Michigan)  Collection Jim Linderman

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1939 World's Fair Snapshot Photograph Album High Quality Unusual Subjects Vernacular Photography New York City






Unusually good snaphots of the 1939 World's Fair.  Also some lesser seen installations.  The Tree of Life  and the Town of Tomorrow Bungalow!  Monkey Mountain!  

1939 Photograph Album of the World's Fair Collection Jim Linderman
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Astounding Prison Polaroid Collection arouses Considerable Controversy



An unusual and remarkable archive of prison photographs have generated controversy.  Read the story HERE on the Prison Photography Website

MARVILA ! La Mujer Maravilla Si! Wonder Woman Publicaciones!



Herramienta Dull Bulbo oscuro presenta a la mujer más caliente de superhéroes de la historia ... La Mujer Maravilla Marvila!
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First Nation Huddle Tribal Event of Significance on the Great Plains Photograph


It is said the huddle was invented by a deaf football player, but I have lived long enough to know just about anything I have learned isn't really true.  I suspect it was the Native American, but I suppose we will not learn anything about this photo.  


Based on the beadwork, I would have guessed this was a Woodlands tribe, but immediately realized they are on the plains.  Whatever is going on is special, as the interlopers are keeping their distance. 

I really would like tribal identification, and while there isn't too much to go in, there is a feather headdress involved.  

Anonymous cabinet photograph, circa 1890 Collection Jim Linderman

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Handcarved Miniature Folk Art Toy Plow collection Jim Linderman

Minature Folk Art Plow Handcarved circa 1950  Collection Jim Linderman

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Schicklgruber on the Run Carnival Novelty Backdrop Photograph circa 1944 collection Jim Linderman

Anyone can join in the war effort with this painted novelty photographer backdrop (actually a foreground.)  Anonymous photograph Circa 1944 collection Jim Linderman
You may wish to preview two related books I have published, linked below.  Ebook versions are only $5.99.  Thanks!  Jim.

Comic Foreground Novelty Photographs from Argentina ARGENTINA TINTAMARRESQUE EBOOK $5.99
FREE PREVIEW AND ORDERS HERE

Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography 1860 - 1920 THE PAINTED BACKDROP
EBOOK $5.99
FREE PREVIEW AND ORDERS HERE

Essential Design



Anything John Hubbard does is great, so this site will be well worth watching.  I have no idea what he has up his designing sleeves, but it will be interesting.

Teeny Tiny Articulated Folk Art Figure

Wooden carved articulated folk art figure, less then 3 inches tall.  Circa 1935 or so.
Collection Jim Linderman

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Continental Hula Hips be GONE and the Hippy Hippy Shake America Discovers the Hula and Hips









There are two types of Hula dance. just like there is two types of American Indian art.  That would be Pre-Western world  and Post-Western world.

The Pre-Western world Hula was an integral tradition of a great cultural, spiritual and social significance.  (Again…just like Pre-Western Native American Indian art.) 

The Post-Western Hula is a way for American women to discover their hips. Or to look coy.  Or to ham it up for their hubby.  Or, now that I think of it…a way to be slightly offensive to a culture which spread from Tahiti to New Zealand, with hula hotspots in Hawaii, Somoa, Tonga and other locales.

The Post-Western world American Indian art was produced for sale, at slave wages, by people transitioned to reservations in need of a survival  income.

Okay…factual but unfortunate history lesson out of the way.  No, wait.   It gets worse.

When Protestant missionaries arrived in the Hawaiian islands, they immediately found the traditional dance obscene.  First step of learning the Hula?  BAN it.  By the time of our Civil War, the missionaries had managed to nearly stamp out the Hula on the islands, and believe it or not, LICENSED it so when it occurred in public, it was closely monitored.  


The missionaries didn't know about, or didn't believe in, or didn't enjoy women's hips.  Especially women's hips which were apparently enjoying themselves.  It is pretty hard not to smile when either watching or dancing the hula.  The hula was hot.  The hula was Shakira on a good day.

(According to Wiki, the missionaries allowed the dance to continue in their OWN little Christian hovels, but denied it to the natives.  That too is an old story. )

Am I being too harsh?  Nope.  The church has a history of banning hip-dances.  You want a little "Hippy, Hippy Shake?"  Well…okay.  But by those cute mop-top Beatles, not Chan Romero, the "ethnically outside" Spanish and Apache man who wrote it.  

The real, original, deeply rooted cultural dance known as the hula signifies nature, an ocean wave, a yearning, and a whole spectrum of deep, complex meanings… but the interlopers only saw the hips.  I am not sure if the cocoanut breast covering now seen at vacation resorts was part of the original dance, but I don't have to look it up.  I don't think so.      

Is there ANYTHING good to say about the history of the Hula?  Yes.  Hula Hoops.  The recent fitness craze.  The sound of the grass skirts  and the brief glimpses hinting at what is within.  And again…the smiles.

I collected these vintage photographs of American women doing the hula "ham it up" just to tell this story.  See how an image can be worth a thousand words?  So can a video.  Here is Chan rocking it.  Chan wasn't afraid of hips, but Ed Sulllivan was.  Look up Elvis.  He liked Hawaii too.




Maybe one day I'll tell the story of the slide guitar and what it meant in Hawaii.


Group of Vintage Snapshots of Hula, American Style.  All circa 1930 - 1945 Collection Jim Linderman

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Bathing Beauty in Cap with Decay, Abandonment and Rust. Guest Post

A lovely guest photograph by Anne Riepma, who is not only a follower of Dull Tool Dim Bulb...she is a friend.

"Say what you will about Instagram, but it has gotten me looking at things in a new way and I'm having lots of fun with it. I guess I'm making my own little digital footprint! I'm into decay, abandonment and rust."

Sent from my iPhone


Untitled (Reed's Motel) courtesy Anne Riepma

Lurid Magnificence of the Big Little Books and the Forgotten Drawings of Henry E. Vallely














For a "Big Little Book" this tiny volume amassed a pretty big body count.  If one wants to understand gun violence today, peer back to what Gramps was reading in 1937.  Maybe the Kefauver Commission who wanted to tone down comic books in the 1950s avoided the Big Little Books because no senator wanted his picture taken of him reading one.  They were for kids, and they were as violent as the most of violent, well… fairy tales.  And then some.

Big Little Books are cool, but I am interested here in one particular artist, Henry E. Vallely.  Before I go any further, check out THIS little gem in which scholar "DSK" seemingly proves Batman comic artist Bob Kane swiped from Vallely.  Holy smokes, Batman…our inventor is a CROOK! 


I swear.  No honor among thieves or comic cook Illustrators.

There are literally hundreds of fantastic illustrations by Mr. Vellely in books for children  There are nearly that many in one book alone, and all shown here came from just one.

The problem with Big Little Books is that they are brittle with acid pulp and literally disappearing while we twiddle our thumbs on smart phones.  They can be frozen or treated in other ways to preserve them, but like capitalism, I guess, they held within them the seeds of their own destruction.  (Marxist theory from my college days!)

The other problem is that no one can SEE the work of the artist anymore, as if you even touch the spine to read one, the entire little book cracks into a puff of brown paper dust.  Wear a mask.  Those collectors might as well be wrapping dead fish in their mylar bags…they're not going to last much longer and you can't stop it.

In order to illustrate my profile here of Henry Vallely,  I have solved the problem of opening a book to scan it by shelling out four dollars for a completely beat copy of "In The Name of the Law" copyright 1937 by Stephen Slesinger published by Whitman Publishing Co. of Racine, Wisconsin.  If they feel I have violated their copyright, I will gladly remove the images here (and ask vigorously what THEY are doing to preserve the work) but my initial check reveals they never renewed it.  I'll proceed to tear and scan.  Whitman gave up on Little Big Books and concentrated on those blue folders for coin collecting.

I am RIPPING IT APART and RUINING IT Comic book guy!  Physics, chemistry and time are going to do it anyway.  Someone better scan this work before it goes, and I don't think Google is including the little buggers in their massive book scanning program, deciding instead to concentrate on things no one is interested in while running rampant over copyright laws of their own. 

Vallely's work is simple, effective and astounding.  Vallely did more with a few black shadows than most artists do with full color.  Endlessly creative, not a thing repeated.   He did clothing ads, book covers and children's books mostly, but Vallely did Bible stories too.  Why doesn't that surprise me?  Big Little Books seem to have paid most of his bills.

Now for the biography!   THERE ISN'T ONE. Not only unfamiliar and unrecognized today, the ASK ART website indicates there are NO biographical sketches to speak of.  According to The Vallely Archives blog, he passed away in 1950…but even that source stopped seven years ago.  No Wiki entry.  Nothing.  It pisses me off, and here I am doing it for free.  What the hell ARE Phd. candidates in the arts writing about for their dissertations anyway?  Effing BANKSY? 


All illustrations by Henry E. Vallely from In The Name Of The Law 1937
 
Above Text by  Jim Linderman


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