Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Antique Folk Art Animal Carvings with Original Paint

Antique Folk Art Animal Carvings with Original Paint. "Make-do" mounted with wires. Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Lisa Z. Sigel The People's Porn: A History of Handmade Pornography in America Book Review

Lisa Sigel is an audacious scholar. Her field of study is old as the species, but still appears to scare the pants off academia. None of us would be here if it weren't for sexual activity and that makes it one of the most important areas for study, yet Sigel's afterword details a harrowing pattern of denied fellowships, grant rejections and any interest at all from cultural institutions. Their eyes are closed. 

 The author writes that "there are no big grants or prizes for the study of pornography. Foundations, ever since the year of the Mapplethorpe (1990) do not fund general scholarship on pornography or erotica and most institutions will be penalized with cuts in federal funding if they inadvertently discuss erotic objects." Meanwhile, Facebook continues to figure out how to eliminate errant female nipples from postings through artificial intelligence.

 It might be a stretch, but in some ways this compares to the reluctance of art institutions to accept the work of folk and outsider artists. Nearly one hundred are illustrated here. They will certainly open some eyes, although most of the wondrous objects shown in The People's Pornography have yet to find any acceptance at all. That is except for those owned by a handful of adventurous collectors and the Kinsey Institute. One characteristic of all the work shown is their scarcity. Think of the amount of material tossed by horrified surviving family members if they came across some of the art shown here.

 Sigel takes on all manner of handmade and homemade erotic objects. They may look pornographic but all reflect true human emotions the makers struggled with. Or simply enjoyed. They display humor (hilarious gag objects intended to surprise) or extreme violence, such as the work created in prison by imaginations which might be out of control. Still, all exist and all are worthy of appraisal.

 Sigel also takes on what those here will recognize as "term warfare" as we figure out how to categorize and understand art made by the creative impulses of the untrained. Maybe there are outsiders and WAY outsiders. Just flipping through the images here will shock some. Well…many. Others might remember familiar "dirty jokes" traded among classmates. Although this is a scholarly and historical approach, Sigel manages to provide a highly readable narrative. She writes like other recent authors who popularize science (think Mary Roach and Caitlin Doughty). This book isn't just for the pictures.

 There have been several other books on erotic folk art. Milt Simpson, who recently celebrated his 95th birthday, published the lovely Folk Erotica: Celebrating Centuries of Erotic Americana in 1994.. Thomas Waugh's book Out / Lines : Underground Graphics from Before Stonewall provides scores of homemade gay pornography in 1982. Lisa Sigel's own article "Flagrant Delights" in Antiques Magazine July/August 2014 is also recommended. 

 Purchase The People's Porn: A History of Handmade Pornography in America HERE 

Lisa Sigel bibliography of books and publications HERE

Meet the Press Leatrice Joy Original Press Photograph 1921

I don't get to use the word exhuberant very often, but this "edited" for publication press photograph certainly is. Nearly more paint than photo. From the flowers on the bonnet to the stripped tie, there isn't a whole lot of honesty left. Leatrice Joy was a glamor celebrity and silent film star. By the time this photo was taken in 1921 she was well on her way to fame with dozens of short films to her credit. Her first films were shot during world war one! She also lived to the age of 91,passing away in the Bronx New York. Leatrice among those credited with popularizing the Bob haircut. Joy came under a considerable amount of flak at the time for being kinda manly or something, but the cut allowed her to play both young men and women in the films. Gossip columnists were big liars then and now, but she does appear to have been one tough woman who didn't take much crap. During 1921 Her films included half a dozen lost features. The following year she divorced big star John Gilbert citing his alcoholism. Original edited by hand Press photograph 1921. Unknown Washington DC News? operation. Collection Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Antique American Folk Art Automobile Collection. Made by Hand Vintage Wood Carving Toys c. 1930 Original Paint

Antique American Folk Art Automobile Collection. Made by Hand Vintage Wood Carving Toys c. 1930 Original Paint. Each approx. 6" long. These from a large group which also includes several trucks, etc. Collection Jim Linderman

Antique Folk Art Paper Cut / Folded Paper Froebel "Kindergarten" Projects circa 1903 - 1904 by Kenneth Miles Litchfield, CT Collection Jim Linderman

Antique Folk Art Paper Cut / Folded Paper Froebel "Kindergarten" Projects circa 1903 - 1904 by Kenneth Miles, Litchfield, CT. The boy was around ten years old when these were created. Loose bound with a ribbon, each piece is 9" x 9". Collection Jim Linderman

Gorillas in Chains! Folk Art Real Photo Postcard

A handsome giant gorilla is shown in the Crescent City Totem Pole Park, and a rudimentary smaller version from my shelf. Real Photo Postcard Gorilla, c. 1940 and carved version of same. Collection Jim Linderman

How to Index and Catalog your Video Collection!

An amateur filmmaker (or video camera nut) indexes each one of his hundreds of films with a three-ring binder. Each one Hand drawn! No less then FIVE films on Cleveland, trips to the steel mill, Cape Canaveral, Amusement parks...and when WHOA! The final pages of the index look interesting! Set of homemade index cards, hand-drawn, with routine and risque file cards. Collection Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Outsider Art Journalism from Home! Douglas Levicki Amateur Homedrawn Newspaper from England

One of Douglas Levicki's handmade newspapers "The Enterprise Magazine" published (in his mind) in 1935. The reporter produced numerous issues in the 1930s, if only for an audience of his family. He covered British radio stars, reported on the latest neighborhood gossip and provided lots of puzzles and gags. It is unlikely any were printed for distribution, but the obsessive work stands today as a beacon of the free press...and no trash like Murdoch's tabloid junk! Select pages from The Enterprise homemade newspaper. C. 1935. Collection Jim Linderman

Antique carved folk art stone

An antique folk art stone handcarved with incised initials. Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Naive Outsider Art of Moses Baker

Naive Outsider Art of Moses Baker. 1974-1975. No further information on the artist. Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Tintograph Stencil Children's Art Kit c. 1915

Several of these lovely 19th century stencil kits for children have been refound and posted over the years, but this one appears to be missing in action. Turned up by Natalie Curley Antiques.

19th Century Folk Art Ledger with Drawings from Students in a One Room School

Drawings dated 1894 from a one room school in King's Corner, Ohio. Doesn't seem to be much of a town there anymore. Note one drawing was created using a "pin-prick" technique. Collection Jim Linderman / Dull Tool Dim Bulb

Untitled Cement Sculpture (Man looking Left) circa 1950 Collection Jim Linderman

Untitled Cement Sculpture (Man looking Left)  circa 1950 15" tall. Collection Jim Linderman

Giant Tin Sardine Can Submarine Explores Lake Michigan Waters Folk Art Fish Sculpture

Well, a giant homemade fish submarine!  "Lake Crossing in Sardine Can" reads the caption.  I'm not sure the date.  The fish is just over ten feet long.  The maker Barney Connett prepares for launch.

Original A.P. Wirephoto circa 1950?

Rasmus Petersen

Rasmus Petersen stands by his rock garden Statue of Liberty with an odd plaque reading "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think" for some reason. 

Antique Articulated Figure Folk Art Dancing Man

Antique Articulated Figure Folk Art Dancing Man c. 1920 Collection Jim Linderman

Folk Art Foot Ephemera

The small art of the mailed foot.  Two of these anyway.  The smallest is actually a Lady's Calling Card.  Late 19th / Early 20th Century.  Collection Jim Linderman

Apocalyptic Worship of the Antichrist Photograph of an Unknown Painting

Apocalyptic Worship of the Antichrist Photograph of an Unknown Painting.  This is an original photograph circa 1920 (?) of a work I haven't identified.  We'll have to rely on the frightening notes from the reverse.  Tribulation Worship of the Antichrist, Rider of the white horse also dark horse of the famine, gray horse of Death, the lambs book of life.  Is your name written there? 

Original photograph, no date collection Jim Linderman