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Lair of the Goatman



Free Thinking Christian Mission Headquarters of Chess McCartney the Goatman.  Your call...
Original Postcard dated on reverse 1957.  Jefferson County, Georgia.  
Collection Jim Linderman

GINGY and his Friends!




It's GINGY and his friends.   Thanks and a tip of a Gingy hat to Shannon Regan.

Folk Art Embroidery Pair Risque Man and Woman with Trapunto Butts



Trapunto is the technique of padding sections of a textile to create a puffy, stuffed decorative feature.  These "morning ritual" padded butts qualify!  Matching hand towels.  Man holds razor, woman a powder puff.  Circa 1950.  Collection Jim Linderman

Home Visit from a Burlesque Queen c. 1950 Original Photographs





Home Visit from a Burlesque Queen and her trunk of changes.  Group of original photographs, circa 1950.  Collection Jim Linderman

August Mack makes a Serpent! Giant Folk Art Snake



A giant devil rattlesnake acts up through the power of Satan (and electricity running through the conduit pipe) which brings him life!   It's Augie Mack's giant automaton!  The powerful creation of Mr. Mack weighed 300 pounds. The blog post HERE tells as much of the story as is known. 

April Fools Day Pair of Press Photographs 1937




April Fools Day Pair of Press Photographs 1937.  Embellished by Hand.
Collection Jim Linderman

Occupational Vintage Photo: Whiskey Still, Worker and Fiddle


Occupational Vintage Photo: Whiskey Still, Worker and Fiddle.  Circa 1900.  
Collection Jim Linderman

Best Film Opening Ever? Crime Without Passion























  
THIS is how to open a film.  Above is an original still photograph from the stunning opening of the film Crime Without Passion being produced.  Enjoy this clip...and marvel.  Film making at the highest level, and 85 years ago.  Still 8 x 10 promotional photograph collection Jim Linderman

Folk Art Morton Salt Girl. Early 20th Century Appropriation of Brand Images Outsider Art



Here, Dorothy Hudgens recreates the Morton Salt Girl (invented 1914) in her presumably school age manner. The piece comes from a folder dated 1926.  Dorothy Hudgens lived with two artistic sisters. All were pretty good!  Still I wonder about branding young children. 

Outsider art fans might be interested in this piece by the artist James Castle.  Same time period, same salt?  James Castle piece is taken from the web, I am afraid I don't know who owns the work.
 
Collage c. 1925 Dorothy Hudgens.  Collection Jim Linderman.  
Thanks to Natalie Curley Antiques.

Harry Bentz Cowboy Artist / Western Folk Artist









 Among outsider art enthusiasts, The phrase "real deal" comes up often. Those who have become familiar with the material know what it means.  It could be a certain look to the work. It can also be as much the artist's motivation as skill. Harry Bentz is what once would have been called the work of a Sunday painter or a folk artist.  An amateur. Maybe he was an American primitive.  Maybe not.    

Actually the most accurate label would be Cowboy Artist. Mr. Harry Bentz was the real deal when it came to roping, riding and even mining. A real cowboy who made art. Untrained, but highly motivated to learn and create. 

There are a few brief biographies. My guess is that Bentz found himself some time and started using it to make art. In the 1960s he painted what could be some 200 works. Along the way, he learned that through some primitive xerox (ayup) and a goofy photo stat process of some sort (ayup) he could make editions!  Of a sort. The cowboy took advantage of modern technology available to the common man.  Again speculating, I believe the artist wanted something to sell in a rack alongside his paintings at events.  How many of these could range into the hundreds.

As with many primitive painters, he used found material to paint on. Some were uneven, large boards.  Many of the sketches are on the reverse of used paper from the Bureau of Mines.   

Apparently Bentz was working on a book.  Among his papers are handwritten captions for "Sketches of the West" which would have been 60 pages.


The drawings would not have been shown art fairs, but at western events. In some ways, as far outside of the contemporary art world as one can be.  He fished, hunted, broke horses, played the guitar and took out pack teams as a hunting guide. In 1951 he became a member of the Rodeo Cowboys Association. He began serious painting while working on a ranch near Kennewick, Washington. Reflected in his work is the life he lived.
 
All paintings and drawings collection Jim Linderman.  





   





Love During Wartime Vietnam Edition. Pair of Snapshots


Love during wartime, Vietnam Edition.  Identified as "house girls" on reverse.  Anonymous photographs, circa 1970 Collection Jim Linderman  One of a continuing series on Dull Tool Dim Bulb.

Trench Art with a Twist Hammered copper sculpture made from old copper stills after World War One




Trench Art with a twist, but not all trench art was made in a trench. Generally, the term refers to art sculpture made from expended artillery shell casings. Nothing to do but stay down, cringe at the incoming and hammer copper. However this group of decorative items was made by a different group of soldiers.  As noted on the reverse of the image, These fine examples were made by disabled soldiers as they recuperated. The material is taken from the remnants of old copper stills.  Prohibition provided the material!  World war one ended in 1918.  Prohibition started in 1920.  Must have been a bitter pill to have fought for your country only to return without having even a beer. 
 
The Trench Art  of the Great War website refers to pieces like those above as convalescent soldier art.  The Wikipedia entry for Trench Art suggests "Outsider Art" as a related category.

Original undated, anonymous 8 x 10 press photograph circa 1920.  No credits on photograph. 

Collection Jim Linderman

Niuglo's Huge Camera! Mexican Pin up Photographer for Vea Magazine



It's Niuglo's huge camera!  Largely a mystery, the staff photographer of Pin up magazine VEA was an unrecognized master. In this cover photograph from 1954, he places a model next to a massive antique camera. He appear to have been staff photographer for VEA magazine from 1941 to 1954. He also sold work to Star Magazine. Niuglo is likely a palindrome of his surname Olguin. He also produced and sold postcards of beautiful Mexican Women, possibly at tourist shops and through the mail. 
VEA magazine (Mexico) 1954 collection Jim Linderman.


El fotógrafo personal de Pin up revista VEA era un maestro desconocido Niuglo. En esta fotografía de portada desde 1954, pone un modelo junto a una antigua cámara masiva. Parecía haber sido fotógrafo para VEA revista desde 1941 a 1954. También vendió la obra a la revista Star.
Niuglo es probablemente un palíndromo de su apellido Olguin. Curarmepara produce y vende postales de hermosas mujeres mexicanas, posiblemente en tiendas para turistas y a través del correo.


A Big Mess of Old Folk Art Fish Carvings


A hanging catch of the day!  Hand carved old folk art fish on the line.  
Pine with applied eyes.  Each 12" long.  Circa 1940.  Collection Jim Linderman

James J. P. Scott African-American Folk Art Totems, Lafitte Louisiana c. 1992 Photographs Jim Linderman


James J. P. Scott African-American Folk Art Totems, Lafitte Louisiana c. 1992 Photographs by Jim Linderman

Blind Artist and True Memory Painter Mary Drake Coles




You might have heard the term "memory painter" as a slightly disparaging reference to artists who recreate pleasant rural scenes from the past in a folky manner.  Grandma Moses comes to mind first, of course, but there are many more with varying degrees of skill. 

Mary Drake Coles was a true memory painter.  A successful artist who upon being diagnosed with glaucoma  began practicing to remember how to paint.  To this day there is no real cure for the disease.  Some progress quickly, others delay blindness with prescription eyedrops and surgery to relieve pressure in the eye.  Still, it is a diagnoses one wouldn't like to hear.  Blind Artist is not a common phrase.

"I began trying to paint from memory as early as I could, while I still had some of my vision and could see what I was creating" she said.  She established unchanging positions for her colors and her brushes.  The first attempts were dire, but she persisted.  After several years of practice her vision was taken away fully, but she had developed an abstract style based on remembered realism.  As of 1964, it is reported she had seven one-woman shows in NYC, three of which were held after she was sightless.

Work by the artist is hard to find.  My attention was drawn by seeing an eBay listing for a group of her works.  Several photos are cribbed from the auction.  A wonderful film profile was posted several years ago by Legacy Connections Films.
Mary Drake Coles from Legacy Connections Films on Vimeo.


See also Martha Vinyard Association HERE
and L. A. Brown Photography HERE
Photographs (top) from article by Mel Stein from the National Insider February 18, 1964
Listing on eBay HERE 

A curious photograph. Orphans? Wards of the State?



A real photo postcard from the turn of the century depicts three children with odd dresses.  The woman in charge is "Mrs. Davis" and all three youngsters have different last names.  Each has a small number written on them, the corresponding names are written on the back.  My first thought was they they could be orphans.  Early visitors to Japan? Any guesses welcome.

Real Photo Postcard c. 1900 - 1930.  Collection Jim Linderman

African-American Quilt Drawings by Sarah Mary Taylor of the Delta




A pair of interesting drawings by African-American Quilter Sarah Mary Taylor of Yazoo City, Mississippi.  Circa 1993.  Known widely for her quilts, I suspect she may have done several hundred drawings before passing on.  These are surprising for their unusual form.  Most of the drawings I have seen were designs based on her standard, repeated quilt figures.  Hands, human figures and animals.  I've always wondered if anyone has her original templates for quilting…and if she even used them!  Free-hand pieces here represent a house (with a figure inside tucked under a quilt?) and numerous irregular squares.  If Ms. Taylor made a "house" quilt, it would look more like this drawing than the traditional quilter's house form or pattern.  Lots of crosshatching.  The floating figure on the other piece?  A melon abstraction within four corners.  Cosmogram?


The house at the time I visited was not green.  Then, her tiny place was painted a bright orange, and I cribbed a photo from wikipedia commons (photo by Terry Nowell) I have no idea how many houses she lived in, but I do know she had five husbands over her long life.  It was hard to keep a family together in the Black south of the early 20th century.
Ms. Taylor was born near Betonia, Mississippi in 1916.  A cook, a nanny and a field hand.  Also from Betonia at the same time?  Skip James.  A blues musician of staggering talent who would have been performing around the area at the same time.  Sarah would have been 14 at the peak of his depression-era career.  Betonia had a population of less than 200 in 1900, and has only 500 now. Could she have missed him busking?  He recorded a dozen or so sides in 1931 then went missing until musician John Fahey and others located him in the 1960s.

This is deep Delta.  Betonia is  right down highway 49 from Yazoo.  I wish I had asked her if she remembered Skippy James.  Both come from the same place, after all.  The musician has the same root as the artist.  Same well.

The drawings are now, as far as I know, in private hands.  The one I gave my avid-quilting mother is lost.  


Two drawings by Sarah Mary Taylor circa 1993 Private collection

Bettie Page by Rudolph Rossi Original 8 x 10 photograph tinted by hand c. 1953



Bettie Page by Rudolph Rossi Original 8 x 10 photograph tinted by hand c. 1953
Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Antique Folk Art House Model of Medical Gauze and Plaster


Antique Folk Art House Model of medical gauze and plaster.  Constructed over medical supply boxes. 13" tall.  Circa 1930 - 1940.  Thanks to Box Lot

Precocious Prosthelytizers





Young actors of the stage (or pulpit?) pose in pitch cards by photographer Frank Wendt Circa 1900, collection Jim Linderman

Antique Dollhouse Built by Uncle Joe



Antique Dollhouse "Built by Uncle Joe" vernacular snapshot c. 1930 collection Dull Tool Dim Bulb