Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Antique Art on Tin Tobacco Tags 19th Century Tobacco Brands

Tin Tobacco Tags of the late 19th century.  Today, everything is branded, even individual pieces of fruit!  These represent early branding of tobacco. With each no larger than a coin, and some smaller than a dime, one has to lean in and squint to appreciate them. I scanned some for you.  I don't collect them, but I found a huge pile of them.  An instant collection!  The tiny tags were stuck on plugs of chewing tobacco and also on bags of smoking tobacco.  Some were redeemable for gifts…but you had to just about acquire cancer to get enough to trade in. The ones shown are 1880 to 1920 for the most part.  Paper printed labels took over then.   Even a hundred years later, they turn up often.  There seems to be some valuable ones, but I'm not going to take the time to sort them out.

Tin Tobacco Tags late 19th Century collection Jim Linderman

Sister Gertrude Morgan God's Greatest Hits Rod McKuen and Me! Annual I am not at the Outsider Art Fair 2016 Post

God's Greatest Hits which featured a dozen or so splendid paintings by Sister Gertrude Morgan was quite popular 45 years ago when published.  Some 300,000 copies were sold.  Book sales like that are improbable now, I can assure you.  It didn't hurt that the works illustrated were from the private collection of "middle of the road" poet Rod McKuen, or that the book was written by God.  Well, whoever wrote the Bible, that is.  31 biblical quotes, the colorful "googly eyes" works by the Sister and wrapped up with a nice sleeve in a tiny format.  As some of the little books were inscribed and/or even had an original work by the preacher, I've opened used copies of the book numerous times. 

But what became of the McKuen collection?  Read on...

I collected Sister Morgan's work heavily decades ago.  At one time I had fifteen of them arranged around my New York City rent-controlled apartment.  I even painted the walls and floor just like she did…it was like living in her little house / chapel.  They were relatively affordable then, though I do remember spending three grand on a really big one. The ones I found most interesting were apparently among her first works.  Crayon and shoe polish (white, of course) which were painted on cardboard and I presume used as Bible "flash cards" for the Lord.  They were uncharacteristic, and less dense than the later work.  Each depicted an obscure Bible story with a passage about each written on the reverse.  They were designed to be read while aiming them towards an audience. Like all my works by the artist, they are now in a private collection.  I don't think anyone will mind me sharing them here.  I even owned a T-bone steak she had signed and used as her stylus to paint the eyes of her self-portraits.  That now has an unknown owner too, and I hope it will not eventually be lost.  The bone was once shown in a book on folk art, at least. The photos are a bit fuzzy and I don't even have pictures of most of them, but here you go.  As you will see, at the time I was the perfect candidate for the good sister to cure...I was drinking and my hands shook!  The ones I can't show are too blurred (or never photographed.)

As for the God's Greatest Hits paintings?  By coincidence, a number of them are being sold on Ebay currently!  Those shown below, which filled pages of the tiny book and warmed Rod McKuen's heart…and listed for sale.  I presume the originals were purchased  by Mr. Mckuen from New Orleans gallerist Larry Borenstein, who nurtured her talent.  But how they ended up on America's garage sale is a mystery.  I certainly can not afford them anymore, but maybe you can.  There will certainly be a few at the Outsider Art show. 

Some of the works I used to have are shown in photographs of the artist in the spectacular "Tools of her Ministry" book by William Fagaly.  One hangs directly over her head while she studies the Bible.  The book was edited by a much respected friend Tanya Heinrich and designed by equally much respected friend John Hubbard.  It remains one of the most thorough and beautiful catalogs of a self-taught artist.  It is the one to buy, though there are certainly plenty of God's Greatest Hits floating around.  I was immensely proud to be included in the acknowledgements but didn't loan anything to the traveling exhibition.  Mine were gone!   

I have seen God's Greatest Hits shoved in among religious tracts in used bookstores.  Again, one should always look for any inscriptions and drawings on the title page.  The good sister painted a few of her record sleeves too, but be careful if you buy the CD.  One version was "funked up" by some looser hipster overdubs. 

Tools Of Her Ministry oddly does not appear on the American Folk Art Museum Book ordering page, but it is available HERE and you should join the Museum too.  My apartment, on the edge of Times Square, has been split in half and is now two studios, each costing as much a month as I paid for an entire year.  The works shown here are all in private collections.  The bone / stylus I owned was shown in the long out of print book Contemporary American Folk Artists by Elinor Landor Horwitz.  It is recommended and as books are largely dead weight now, available on used book sites for pennies and postage.

OTHER EDITIONS of the "I'm not at the Outsider Art Fair" essays are HERE
Finally, I still have some stuff left!  The new book (and $9.99 ebook) ECCENTRIC FOLK ART DRAWINGS OF THE 19TH AND 20TH CENTURIES from the Jim Linderman collection is available HERE.   

Water Landing ! 19th Century Folk Art Drawing Balloon Disaster at Sea

Water Landing ! 19th Century Folk Art Drawing Balloon Disaster at Sea 
Collection Jim Linderman

You may also be interested in the new book and $9.99 Instant EBOOK Eccentric Folk Art Drawings: Obscure Drawings of the 19th and 20th Centuries from the Jim Linderman Collection Available HERE

Antique Folk Art Chair Pads for the Wall ? Anonymous, of course.

"Anonymous was a Woman: A Celebration in Words and Images of Traditional American Art and the Women Who Made It" is a wonderful book published in 1995 by Mira Bank.  It provides numerous examples of fine art produced by Anonymous.  Who was usually a woman who received little credit.  This set of handmade chair pads are an example.  Good Enough to mount.  All by the same hand...which was certainly a woman's hand. 

Antique rug Chair Seats no date.  Collection Jim Linderman

Seal and Pony Show

Seal and Pony Show!  For a Dog and Pony show, see HERE

The Greatest Photographer's Tent in the World

Anchor Supply Company made and sold all manner of tents, and while the business has morphed over the years, they are still doing it!  Tents, Awnings, for any purpose you need protection from the sky.  As shown here in a page from their undated catalog (circa 1920?) they were even able to create a tent with a darkroom!  The entire catalog is as fascinating as a tent catalog can be.  It includes Gospel Revival Tents, Shooting Gallery Tents, Palm Reader Tents, you name it.  One of my favorite books! Pitch a TENT.

Hold to Light Man's Best Friend Handmade Erotic Folk Art Gag c. 1930

Hold to Light Man's Best Friend Handmade Erotic Folk Art Gag c. 1930  (Two Sides)
Collection Jim Linderman

Tin Folk Art Candle Holder (Hurricane Lamp) Make-Do From a Can

Tin Folk Art Candle Holder (Hurricane Lamp) Make-Do From a Can.  "Medal Work Merit Badge" by Boy Scout V. L. Wood 1932. 

Old Erotic Folk Art Sculpture Nude on a Log

Old Erotic Folk Art Sculpture  Nude carved out of a log.   16" tall.  Collection Jim Linderman

1930s Folk Art Shoe Rack for High Heels

1930s Folk Art Shoe Rack for High Heels Collection Jim Linderman

The Beautiful Antique Maps drawn by Bertha Kidny

The Beautiful Antique Maps drawn by Bertha Kidny.  See also the book and instant ebook Eccentric Folk Art Drawings of the 19th and 20th Centuries by Jim Linderman