Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


A Magnificent Mask of Linen

A mask good enough to wear on the wall.  Linen with stitched ears and printed highlights, circa 1940.  Thanks and a tip "o" the hat to LL.   Collection Jim Linderman  Books and $5.99 Ebooks by Jim Linderman are available for preview and purchase HERE

Pipe Smoking Picasso Paints Portraits for Tips Flash Impressions of Atlantic City

A pipe smoking Picasso prepares to pastel a beachcomber in this 1934 snapshot taken in Atlantic City.

Still common, especially in Manhattan where dozens of Asian chalk artists clog the streets, the instant portrait is ten dollars well spent.  Simply pick the one showing off the best drawing of Beyonce or Prince, sit down and you will have a cardboard tube to carry the rest of the day (and to fit in the overhead on the way home)  

Note our painter here has set up next to one of the remarkable sand sculptures covered on the blog earlier.  Atlantic City, Disneyland of the East!

Snapshot of a Portrait Painter 1934 Collection Jim Linderman 

BOOKS AND $5.99 Ebooks by Jim Linderman available HERE.

A Bright Young Artist who Learned Early! Pair of Primitive Portraits Rendered with Deceit

Anatomy lessons are necessary for a realistic artist, but all artists cheat.  Now that the documentary Tim's Vermeer is streaming, you can see one example.  In this pair of 19th Century drawings, an enterprising young artist has come upon a brilliant shortcut.  Anatomy lessons traced for the outline of his figures on the other side of the paper. 

One thing art scholars (and I suspect, the curators at the Met) don't really like to discuss is how the images of our great masters appeared on the canvas.  Maybe we should only look at the surface.  Who wants to wander through a "projection" wing, a "tracing" wing and a "painted over a shallow emulsion of a photograph" wing.  All common. 

This kid just figured it out sooner than most.

Pair of untitled portraits (Soldier and Indian) traced from anatomy lessons.  Circa 1880? Collection Jim Linderman


Antique 19th Century Whirligig Figure Folk Art

Antique 19th Century Whirligig Figure.  16 inches tall, 23 inches with good paddle upright.  Original paint.  Collection Jim Linderman

In Your FACE Graham Nash (A Tribute)

With the imminent release of the CSNY 1974 box set so carefully assembled by Graham Nash, it is time to acknowledge a Brit we have been lucky to have over here for over 45 years.  And why would we do this on a primarily visual arts blog? 

First of all, because Nash is a consummate photographer himself who helped promote a revolutionary technique for producing high quality prints.  Secondly, he is a consummate collector of vintage photographs, and while I won't tell you what, when or why…he is a collector who I once OUTBID on an image on eBay.   IN your FACE Graham!  It was a decade ago, and I felt rich for a day!

Since Graham Nash had the loving respect for David Crosby (a personal hero of mine) to stick with him during the dope days is not only laudable, it is a model on how to provide loving respect to troubled friends.    He more than anyone has kept the band (or brand) CSNY alive for decades.   His autobiography Wild Tales is funny, honest and essential reading.  He has compiled box sets of Stephen Stills, David Crosby, his own and now the band which are beautiful reminders of what astounding talents they are…maybe if another hero, the cantankerous Neil Young, were to turn him loose in the vault, he could do it for him too. 

For his political activities and beliefs alone, I have admired the man my entire adult life.  Remember the Occupy movement on Wall Street?  Crosby and Nash were there.  Anti-nuke, pro-environment, anti-war, right on immigration…those of you who did not live through the Vietnam War or Richard Nixon's reign can not appreciate how important Nash and his partners were to us back then.  I was marching when OHIO came out.  Dylan and the Beatles helped create the revolution but it was CSNY who really provided the movement soundtrack, and the 1974 tour was as much celebration and vindication as it was a stadium tour.  After ten murderous years, American troops left Vietnam the year before…and when I  see the photo above, the cover on the new box set, that is what comes to my mind.  Not the greatest assemblage of popular musicians of my generation, but the end of the war.  CSNY helped bring that war to an end in ways we have never fully acknowledged, and they have all kept that positive force alive since, whether together or apart.

Mr. Nash sold a large portion of his antique photography collection at Sotheby's in 1990 and it broke records for vintage pictures.  Today, even the catalog is prized.  The lot of 400 pictures raised $2.4 million dollars, and some of the funds went to a museum.  Among the works were a portrait by Diane Arbus, who Nash helped push into world recognition with the sale, the Paul Outerbridge Self-Portrait which was published on the cover, and an iconic Ansel Adams photo.

He has published his own work as well, some in Eye to Eye which is available here.

Nash editions, which once utilized the IRIS Graphic Printer he first purchased (which now resides in the Smithsonian) is HERE.  The company produces high quality photograph prints.  An affiliate Nash project Manuscript Originals produces prints as well, including this original John Lee Hooker drawing…seldom will you see an artist so perfectly capture his own sound visually.

I have never had the opportunity to thank Mr. Nash in person for allowing me to enjoy his work virtually my entire life, from the magical night I enjoyed a pin-drop perfect concert in Central Michigan performed by Mr. Crosby and Mr. Nash in 1971 to the box set I have ordered and await.  There was a time when the quartet was the greatest band in the country.  Some of the photos here were cribbed from the promotional clip on Youtube.

Art and Photography Books and Ebooks by Jim Linderman are available HERE.

Lost Art of the Hand Painted Trade Sign Antique Photograph

Lost Art of the Hand Painted Trade Sign Antique Photograph

A nice occupational photograph (it looks like a Real Photo Post Card but is in fact a larger print, on cardstock) of Brown's Sign Shop circa 1900.  Note Scaffold rigging rope in back and the giant sign being created at left.)  

If you are interested in the folk art of hand painted signs,  I can recommend the documentary SIGN PAINTERS which you can find HERE.

Untitled Photograph (Sign Painters) 10 x 12 cardstock, image 6 x 8 Collection Jim Linderman

Antique Man in a Coffin Erotic Folk Art Carved Novelty Handmade Sculpture with Penis and Moving Tongue

Antique Man in a Coffin Erotic Folk Art Carved Novelty Handmade Sculpture with Penis and Moving Tongue.

Well, the title says a lot, but not all.  I'm going to add a value judgement.  Bad taste is evident from every era man has been here, and it's not going away.  If a whittler making a statement on mortality and the way we procreate is a problem for you, turn away.

Second, as strange as it may seem, I have collected these little contraptions for years.  I have had some with the coffin as large as a shoebox (sold at auction and lost) and as small as a matchbook.  I have had them painted and not, manufactured as tourist trap do-dads and whittled on the porch from when radio was the only mass-media other than the local newspaper.  I have had them working and broken, in pieces and not.  Rubber band operated and with other mechanisms.

But I have never had one with a tongue.  It is also unusual to see one with arms which extend, and nearly as far as the wanger.  Interestingly, as I write, my spell-checker fails to recognize the  word wanger, repeatedly replacing the word danger... while it has been in our vocabulary for decades.

Whether the artist who created this morbid miracle of post-death erection was thinking of "arms to hold you" and a tongue to kiss you is unknown.  Still, it is a pretty powerful little object combining life, death and what goes on in-between. 

Note also "Rest in Peace" painted on end of the coffin, wire carrying straps, actual linen lining and pencil highlights.  Not to mention red color applied in particular places. 

Little erotic effigies began in caves.  Where they will end is questionable, but they will always be here. 

Circa 1930 Handmade Erotic Novelty Man in Coffin Collection Jim Linderman

If you are interested in similar examples or hand-crafted dirty little (and big) objects created as an homage to sexual silliness, the book FOLK EROTICA by my gentleman friend and esthetic miracle man Milton Simpson HERE is a good place to start.

Hand Painted Antique Glass Reflector End of the Road Sign

A grumpy man at the end of the street has embellished his "Go either way, but Go" glass reflector road sign with personalized instruction.

Antique Road Sign circa 1930 Collection Jim Linderman

The Contents of a Ladies Dressing Case circa 1870 Drawn by Hand Paper Lesson Reminder Novelty Collection Jim Linderman

A lovely little trick calligraphic game for the ladies.  Each titled object in a women's purse lifts up to reveal a sentiment, a thought, a reminder.  For example, lifting up "A Mirror" reveals the answer "Reflection" underneath.  "A Relief for Deafness" lifts up to reveal "Attention" and "A General Beautifier" lifts up to reveal "Good Humor" which is, as are all, just as true today as they were when this little folk art piece was made.  Likely by a mother as lessons for her child.  

Folk Art "Reminder" Paper Game circa 1870.  Collection Jim Linderman 

Tintype Studio with Twig Chair and Posing Clamp

Tintype Studio with Twig Chair and Posing Clamp.  Circa 1860 or so, a folk art twig chair for posing, a painted backdrop and a nice clamp to hold the model's head.  Please note the book PAINTED BACKDROP : Behind the Sitter in American Tintype Photography is now available for $5.99 as an ebook download.  

Tintype collection Jim Linderman

In the Doghouse (Misanthropic Misogyny Version) Early 20th Century Sexism and the Idiom Vernacular Photograph

In the Doghouse (Misanthropic Version)  Early 20th Century Sexism and the Idiom Vernacular Photograph

In the Doghouse is an idiom.  In the case above, a particularly misanthropic mysogynistic representation of dominant male culture of the 1930s or so.  I presume it was all in good fun…but we'll never know.  An astounding snapshot.  You can see the real dog being entertained in the background, the filthy cur.  Well, it wasn't his fault.  Only a human can treat a human like a dog.  As I write a companion blog called Vintage Sleaze, that a woman from the early 20th century would be posed like this comes as no surprise at all.  Still, it seems to me an iconic snapshot depicting sexist mores, and believe me, they persist.  The BBC has been running a series on Sexual Violence worldwide, and it has been gruesome.  The planet certainly has a long, long way to go.     One source traces the phrase origin to the book Peter Pan (!) in 1911,  when author J. M. Barrie put the father Mr. Darling in the doghouse for not protecting his kids.  At least he was a guy.

Anonymous Snapshot circa 1930 Collection Jim Linderman (Thanks and a tip "o" the hat to LL)
BOOKS AND $5.99 Ebooks by the author available HERE.

Guest Post by Natalie M. Curley Antique Dealer

Natalie Curley is one of the rare breed doing the heavy lifting for collectors.   All these objects have to come from somewhere, and the folks who find, save, protect, share and sell them to others are how I connect with the past.  Natalie is a little like me…she has to own an object to understand it, and that unending search to learn is what keeps her going.  Anyone can sell an object, that's what Craig's list is for.  But it takes a special person to find it, figure it out, treat it with respect and pass it along at a very small mark up to other collectors.  I own things with Natalie M. Curley provenance and so do many others.  It's time to share a favorite source.  I asked Ms. Curley to discuss a few of her finds with us and to explain what gets her up in the morning.  Ms. Curley has a splendid website, sells on eBay, restores and frames objects and hits the road early to find great stuff.  See what Natalie has available at CURLEY'S ANTIQUES and on her eBay listings.  Stay up to date with Natalie's travels on her Facebook page.

Because Ms. Curley's interests are wide, we are posting two versions of this piece.  One here, the other on Vintage Sleaze the Blog

"Prior to the hipster “heritage,” and crafty “repurposing” revolutions born of reality television so many years ago, the only context the public really had for the artifacts of their collective history not stored in struggling museums seen only on childhood school trips were the legions of condescending retirees smelling vaguely of lilac and rambling about “book values” running prissy but dusty antique shops in vacation towns. I rightly cannot fault y’all for not finding those very accessible or worthy of your precious free weekend hours. But for folks like me, weirdos ooking for points of connection in an uncomfortable world, the very idea of “forgotten” makes our hearts race and we think you’re crazy to resist! An abandoned parking lot or the field of an underutilized historic landmark in need of the funding, completely uncatalogued piles of every single thing ever possibly made by man or machine before this very day with no answers and not many hints, likely beginning an hour before dawn and potentially slogging through mud or 90 degrees, sounds better than sex! Its a never ending number of too crazy to be imagined stories, lives lived, lost achievements, personalities and insights all silenced by the years and the graves just waiting to wake up and chat. The age and construction of a thing, the society that produced it, the intent (folk art is ALL intent) of the maker, the make-do necessity of the materials used, how its aged and how its been damaged all tell the story. I can become aware of things I never imagined and with the context I piece together, so can the new owner. In the process, we all learn something about ourselves. Theres nothing better than that discovery and I’ve made ALL my professional choices in this life so that I can afford to run away to this circus every-day."

Art Deco Figural Electric Holy Religious Crown Antique Prop Remnant
Handmade and electrified by the same tiny hobby light bulbs any early train set would use, but a mystery past that. The imagination runs wild, part of some odd religious revival or stage play? Carnival prop or weird advertising? No idea, but its all patina and sculpture now!


1920s Post Toasties General Grocery Store Advertising Work Apron
The early 20thc American economy was not only moving rural to city, self reliant to national, but was unknowingly writing the rules of a modern global economy at the time. Like so many of our most insightful antiques, who would expect this apron to survive nearly 100 years? It dates to pretty much the moment when BRANDS made family owned General Stores into competitive groceries, first launching invasive campaigns into our collective conscious. The lucky laborer to wear this one got to wear a sign on his chest and advertise the day’s specials!

1919 Ruth Law Aviatrix Vintage Pilot Plane Barnstormer Antique Photo Pitch Card
Real historically relevancy is a rare treat, here is Ruth Law (Oliver) identified “Apollo Fair Mrs Oliver (married) on her frame stunt flier, August 8 1919” on reverse. Law bought her first Curtiss plane from Orville Wright in 1912 and in the next decade worked as a commercial pilot, dropped “baseballs” (grapefruits) from planes to Dodger catchers, set many flight records before being denied entry into WWI combat when we entered the War in 1917. Her passionate article “Let Women Fly” became canon for even decades later aviatrix.

Disturbing Wonderful 19thc Victorian Nursery Rhyme Playing Cards 
Antique paper should not be. It was only ever advertising, marketing or toys made cheaply and treated poorly. The quality of construction and carefully crafted graphics make so much of it timeless, when its lucky enough to survive the trash bin for a century. Much of it becomes unique by default and theres no research to be done, and such is the case here. These might have been made by a popular Victorian printing company McLoughlin Brothers, responsible for so many of our classic fairytale and nursery rhyme images, or maybe not.

Depression Era Make Do Feed Sack Window Screen Folk Art Bee Keepers Hat
Handmade things are usually born of necessity, but the art is in the spirit of survival and joy.  There is nothing new in the reuse of feed sacks during the Depression and Dust Bowl years, it was so common that Feed companies started to print patterns on the fabric for their customers. What shows spunk is taking a bit of window screen (itself a commodity at the time) and having sewn it loosely to two pieces of old feed sack charge into a beehive to get the family a little treat or sell the honey. That’s something, and that makes me smile.

Cracker Jacks, Chicago, Marx, Frito-Lay and Junk Food. A Century of PROGRESS ????

When I was a child and received a BOOK inside my Cracker Jacks box, it was a disappointment.  You can't blame the company for this one though…when the Century of Progress exhibition was in Chicago, it was in the hometown of Cracker Jacks and they were appropriately proud.  I'm surprised they didn't "jack" up the size of the surprise toy, but this little fella is only around two inches long.

One of the powers of the internet (and the reason both that my blogs are successful and I have space left to live in) is that what was physical small can be huge on the web.  I'm blowing the little booklet up to epic proportions, the way the artist and the fair were intended…and if Cracker Jacks wants to sue me, good luck,  I'm broke.

Cracker Jacks was born in Chicago and not long after, Take Me Out to the Ballgame came along and gave them all the advertising they needed.  "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks" is running through your head now, and you don't even hear it.  THAT is good advertising.

Cracker Jacks is still one of my favorite foods.  Even though it is now owned by the evil despot known as Frito-Lay.  I don't need to find the latest data…as this statistic from several years ago will suffice.  Frito-Lay has 40% of the world's snack food market.  FORTY PERCENT!

Do you have ANY IDEA how many effing bags of chips that is?  Forty percent of the snack market in the ENTIRE WORLD?  Borden wanted to buy Cracker Jacks, but Frito-Lay had the bucks to big higher, and they did.  Frito-Lay can not stand to have anyone else in the business making crunchy things.  I'll go on record here and say that's just wrong. 

Marx did not realize large companies would gobble up smaller companies like snacks.  Or in this case, like junk food, which is what Frito-Lay sells.  Some sources claim Cracker Jacks was the world's first junk food, but neither Marx or anyone else could have predicted the development of junk food.  Like "cool ranch" crap, which as nothing to do with a ranch.  Or why snack food advertisements almost never have obese actors playing the part.  Snack food ads always have young, healthy, involved and frequently horny kids crunching away, seemingly ready to bring the girl home from the laundry as soon as the chips are gone.


When Marx was calculating the brutal effect capitalism would have on the masses, he got his crackers out of a barrel that was shipped from down the street.  What HAS been calculated, though by food scientists rather than political thinkers, is that human beings have a affinity for crunch and salt which borders on obsessive.  Frito-Lay simply feeds that need, right?  Well…maybe so…but I would like to think there is more than one snack food company in the world.  Somehow it just tastes unhealthy.

Tiny Cracker Jacks Miniature Book Prize No Date (1933 - 1934) Collection Jim Linderman

Antique Full-size Folk Art Telephone Toy Collection Jim Linderman

Among the first telephones were the wall-mounted units with a "face" as a bonus.  This full-size handmade toy has a bell mechanism (a cowbell inside which rings when the crank is wound) a hook, a receiver and traces of paint.  Made from scrap wood for a child when toys were made at home.  Circa 1910.  Comparable model shown.  All phones were smart phones, but some were lesser so.


Honky Tonk Vintage Folk Art Sculpture and the Perils of Packing Collection Jim Linderman

Honky Tonk Vintage Folk Art Sculpture and the Perils of Packing

A piano player pounds the keys…and the carving is in pristine condition because it lived in a bottle for half a century.  The professor was whittled and built inside a one gallon bottle, shown last, which unfortunately, didn't.  Broken in the mail. 

One of the perils of purchasing objects through the mail is that both the collector and the seller have to accept responsibility for transporting or mailing the piece.  In this case, I recommended packing which was not followed by the seller.  I still ended up with a fantastic wood carving in wonderful condition (as nice as the day it was made) but I also ended up with a giant pile of broken glass.

I hate to be responsible for breaking something old.  The seller?  He obviously didn't care as much as I did, but to some things like this are mere product.  Maybe the little fellow here is happy to be out in the fresh air.

Folk Art Sculptural Whimsey (originally constructed in a glass bottle) No Date Collection Jim Linderman