Sunday, July 31, 2011

ARCHITECTS OF FATE

OR, STEPS TO SUCCESS AND POWER
Part II


How often we see a young man develop astounding ability and energy after the death of a parent, or the loss of a fortune, or after some other calamity have knocked the props and crutches from under him. The prison has roused the slumbering fire in many a noble mind. "Robinson Crusoe" was written in prison. The "Pilgrim's Progress" appeared in Bedford Jail. The "Life and Times" of Baxter, Eliot's "Monarchia of Man," and Penn's "No Cross, No Crown," were written by prisoners. Sir Walter Raleigh wrote "The History of the World" during his imprisonment of thirteen years.
Drop a stone down a precipice. By the law of gravitation it sinks with rapidly increasing momentum. If it falls sixteen feet the first second, it will fall forty-eight feet the next second, and eighty feet the third second, and one hundred and forty-four feet the fifth second, and if it falls for ten seconds it will in the last second rush through three hundred and four feet till earth stops it. Habit is cumulative. After each act of our lives we are not the same person as before, but quite another, better or worse, but not the same. There has been something added to, or deducted from, our weight of character.
When a woman was dying from the effects of her husband's cruelty and debauchery from drink she asked him to come to her bedside, and pleaded with him again for the sake of their children to drink no more. Grasping his hand with her thin, long fingers, she made him promise her: "Mary, I will drink no more till I take it out of this hand which I hold in mine." That very night he poured out a tumbler of brandy, stole into the room where she lay cold in her coffin, put the tumbler into her withered hand, and then took it out and drained it to the bottom. John B. Gough told this as a true story. How powerless a man is in the presence of a mighty habit, which has robbed him of will-power, of self-respect, of everything manly, until he becomes its slave!
Walpole tells of a gambler who fell at the table in a fit of apoplexy, and his companions began to bet upon his chances of recovery. When the physician came they refused to let him bleed the man because they said it would affect the bet. When President Garfield was hanging between life and death men bet heavily upon the issue, and even sold pools.
No disease causes greater horror or dread than cholera; yet when it is once fastened upon a victim he is perfectly indifferent, and wonders at the solicitude of his friends. His tears are dried; he cannot weep if he would. His body is cold and clammy and feels like dead flesh, yet he tells you he is warm, and calls for ice water. Have you never seen similar insensibility to danger in those whose habits are already dragging them to everlasting death?
The leper is often the last to suspect his danger, for the disease is painless in its early stages. A leading lawyer and public official in the Sandwich Islands once overturned a lighted lamp on his hand, and were surprised to find that it caused no pain. At last it dawned upon his mind that he was a leper. He resigned his offices and went to the leper's island, where he died. So sin in its early stages is not only painless but often even pleasant.
Rectitude is only the confirmed habit of doing what is right. Some men cannot tell a lie: the habit of truth telling is fixed; it has become incorporated with their nature. Their characters bear the indelible stamp of veracity. You and I know men whose slightest word is unimpeachable; nothing could shake our confidence in them. There are other men who cannot speak the truth: their habitual insincerity has made a twist in their characters, and this twist appears in their speech.
How many men would like to go to sleep beggars and wake up Rothschilds or Astors? How many would fain go to bed dunces and wake up Solomons? You reap what you have sown. Those who have sown dunce-seed, vice-seed, laziness-seed, always get a crop. They that sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind.
Habit, like a child, repeats whatever is done before it. Oh, the power of a repeated act to get itself repeated again and again! But, like the wind, it is a power which we can use to force our way in its very teeth as does the ship, and thus multiply our strength, or we can drift with it without exertion upon the rocks and shoals of destruction.
What a great thing it is to "start right" in life. Every young man can see that the first steps lead to the last, with all except his own. No, his little prevarications and dodging will not make him a liar, but he can see that they surely will in John Smith's case. He can see that others are idle and on the road to ruin, but cannot see it in his own case.
There is a wonderful relation between bad habits. They all belong to the same family. If you take in one, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, you will soon have the whole. A man who has formed the habit of laziness or idleness will soon be late at his engagements; a man who does not meet his engagements will dodge, apologize, prevaricate, and lie.
You have seen a ship out in the bay swinging with the tide and the waves; the sails are all up, and you wonder why it does not move, but it cannot, for down beneath the water it is anchored. So we often see a young man apparently well equipped, well educated, and we wonder that he does not advance toward manhood and character. But, alas! We find that he is anchored to some secret vice, and he can never advance until he cuts loose.
The devil does not apply his match to the hard coal; but he first lights the shavings of innocent sins and the shavings the wood, and the wood the coal. Sin is gradual. It does not break out on a man until it has long circulated through his system. Murder, adultery, theft, is not committed in deed until they have been committed in thought again and again.
"Don't write there," said a man to a boy who was writing with a diamond pin on a pane of glass in the window of a hotel. "Why not?" inquired the boy. "You can't rub it out." Yet the glass might have been broken and all trace of the writing lost, but things written upon the human soul can never be removed, for the tablet is immortal.
A young man stood listlessly watching some anglers on a bridge. He was poor and dejected. At length, approaching a basket filled with fish, he sighed, and “If now I had these I would be happy. I could sell them and buy food and lodgings." "I will give you just as many and just as good," said the owner, who chanced to overhear his words, "if you will do me a trifling favor." "And what is that?" asked the other. "Only to tend this line till I come back; I wish to go on a short errand." The proposal was gladly accepted. The old man was gone so long that the young man began to get impatient. Meanwhile the fish snapped greedily at the hook, and he lost all his depression in the excitement of pulling them in. When the owner returned he had caught a large number. Counting out from them as many as were in the basket, and presenting them to the youth, the old fisherman said, "I fulfill my promise from the fish you have caught, to teach you whenever you see others earning what you need to waste no time in foolish wishing, but cast a line for yourself."
Every bit of education or culture is of great advantage in the struggle for existence. The microscope does not create anything new, but it reveals marvels. To educate the eye adds to its magnifying power until it sees beauty where before it saw only ugliness. It reveals a world we never suspected, and finds the greatest beauty even in the commonest things. The eye of an Agassiz could see worlds which the uneducated eye never dreamed of. The cultured hand can do a thousand things the uneducated hand cannot do. It becomes graceful, steady of nerve, strong, skillful, indeed it almost seems to think, so animated is it with intelligence. The cultured will can seize, grasp, and hold the possessor, with irresistible power and nerve, to almost superhuman effort. The educated touch can almost perform miracles. The educated taste can achieve wonders almost past belief. What a contrast this, between the cultured, logical, profound, masterly reason of a Gladstone and that of the hod-carrier who has never developed or educated his reason beyond what is necessary to enable him to mix mortar and carry brick.
(Adapted from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Architects of Fate, by Orison Swett Marden)


Saturday, July 30, 2011

WORLD'S GREATEST ATHLETE




Jim Thorpe
From toptenz.net


Jacobus Franciscus "Jim" Thorpe [Sac and Fox (Sauk): Wa-Tho-Huk, translated to Bright Path], (May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953), was an American athlete of mixed ancestry (mixed Caucasian and American Indian). Considered one of the most versatile athletes of modern sports, he won Olympic gold medals for the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football (collegiate and professional), and also played professional baseball and basketball.
(en.wikipedia.org)
Thorpe was the NFL's first star and played major league baseball, too. The breadth of his athletic achievements astonishes us today.
That he was also a descendant of Chief Black Hawk, born just as the U.S.' war of conquest over native peoples was concluding, made Thorpe a symbol, too, for fundamental cultural shifts. The fact that he was stripped of his gold medals for having played professional baseball before the Olympics, in contravention of the then-prevailing rules of "amateurism," adds poignancy to Thorpe's story. Thorpe's career as a "Hollywood Indian" adds yet another layer of perverse complexity to an already opaque tale.
(media.oregonlive.com)


Star athlete on the team
Carlisle Indian Industrial School Team
From americancountryside.com


Thorpe began his athletic career at Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School in 1907 where he played baseball, football, and was a member of the track team. He excelled in football and under the tutelage of Glen Scobey “Pop” Warner, Thorpe became a star on the Carlisle team. Before long the small school was winning against the likes of Harvard and Yale.
(bl-libg-weblab.ads.iu.edu)


Carlisle Indian Industrial School Team
Cumberland County Historical Society
From explorepahistory.com


In the early 1900s, games between the Carlisle Indian School and the nation's top collegiate football teams usually ended in a Carlisle victory. Indeed, between 1894 and the school's closure in 1918, the Carlisle Indians compiled are better winning percentage (.647) than any college team. Guided by Coach Glenn Scobey "pop" Warner and star halfback Jim Thorpe (seated third from the right), Carlisle went 11-1 in 1911, and on November 11 scored one of the most stunning upsets in football history when they beat powerhouse Harvard 18-15.
(explorepahistory.com)
In 1912, Thorpe went to Stockholm as a member of the American Olympic track team. There he smashed previously held records, winning gold medals for the pentathlon and decathlon. He came home with $50,000 in trophies, including a chalice in the shape of a Viking ship presented to him by the Czar of Russia. Sadly, within a month, the Olympic Committee stripped him of his hard won medals, as it was learned that he had been paid a small sum for playing summer baseball - Jim Thorpe, they decided, was no amateur athlete.
This hardly meant an end to his sports career - quite the opposite, in fact. In 1913, he signed a contract to play baseball with the New York Giants, and went on to also play for the Chicago Cardinals and Canton (Ohio) Bulldogs. In 1920, he was elected president of the American Professional Football Association, the forerunner of today’s NFL.
Clearly, this guy was a big deal.
(bl-libg-weblab.ads.iu.edu)


NFL's first star
From media.oregonlive.com


Jim Thorpe with Indiana punters
From bl-libg-weblab.ads.iu.edu


In 1913, Thorpe married Iva Miller, whom he had met at Carlisle. They had four children: Jim Jr. (who died at age 2), Gale, Charlotte and Grace. Miller filed for divorce from Thorpe in 1925, claiming desertion.
In 1926, Thorpe married Freeda V. Kirkpatrick (b.September 19, 1905, d. March 2, 2007). She was working for the manager of the baseball team for which he was playing at the time. They had four sons: Carl, William, Richard and John "Jack". William, Richard and Jack survived their mother, who divorced their father in 1941 after 15 years of marriage. Lastly, Thorpe married Patricia Askew, who was with him when he died.
Thorpe never played for an NFL championship team. He retired from professional football at age 41, having played 52 NFL games for six teams from 1920 to 1928.
After his athletic career, Thorpe struggled to provide for his family. He found it difficult to work a non-sports job and never held a job for an extended period of time. During the Great Depression in particular, Thorpe had various jobs, among others as an extra for several movies, usually playing an American Indian chief in Westerns. He also worked as a construction worker, a doorman (bouncer), a security guard, and a ditch digger, and he briefly joined the United States Merchant Marine in 1945. Thorpe was a chronic alcoholic during his later life.
By the 1950s, Thorpe had no money left. When he was hospitalized for lip cancer in 1950, he was admitted as a charity case. At a press conference announcing the procedure, Thorpe's wife Patricia wept and pleaded for help, saying, "We're broke.... Jim has nothing but his name and his memories. He has spent money on his own people and has given it away. He has often been exploited."
Until 2005, most of Thorpe's biographers were unaware of his basketball career. A ticket discovered in an old book that year revealed his career in basketball. By 1926, he was the main feature of the "World Famous Indians" of LaRue, which sponsored traveling football, baseball, and basketball teams. "Jim Thorpe and His World-Famous Indians" barnstormed for at least two years (1927–28) in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and Marion, Ohio. Although pictures of Thorpe in his WFI basketball uniform were printed on postcards and published in newspapers, this period of his life was not well documented.
(en.wikipedia.org)



Thursday, July 28, 2011

ARCHITECTS OF FATE

OR, STEPS TO SUCCESS AND POWER
Part I


It is a sad sight to see thousands of students graduated every year from grand institutions, whose object is to make stalwart, independent, self-supporting men, turned out into the world saplings instead of stalwart oaks, "memory-glands" instead of brainy men, helpless instead of self-supporting, sickly instead of robust, weak instead of strong, leaning instead of erect. "There are so many promising youths and never a finished man!"
It takes courage for a young man to stand firmly erect while others are bowing and fawning for praise and power. It takes courage to wear threadbare clothes while your comrades dress in broadcloth. It takes courage to remain in honest poverty when others grow rich by fraud. It takes courage to say "No" squarely when those around you say "Yes." It takes courage to do your duty in silence and obscurity while others prosper and grow famous although neglecting sacred obligations. It takes courage to unmask your true self, to show your blemishes to a condemning world, and to pass for what you really are.
We live ridiculously for fear of being thought ridiculous. The youth who starts out by being afraid to speak what he thinks will usually end by being afraid to think what he wishes. How we shrink from an act of our own. We live as others live. Custom or fashion dictates, or your doctor, and they in turn dare not depart from their schools. Dress, living, servants, carriages, everything must conform, or be ostracized.
It takes courage for a public man not to bend the knee to popular prejudice. It takes courage to refuse to follow custom when it is injurious to his health and morals. To espouse an unpopular cause in Congress requires more courage than to lead a charge in battle. How much easier is for a politician to prevaricate and dodge an issue than to stand squarely on his feet like a man.
Don't be like Uriah Heep, begging everybody's pardon for taking the liberty of being in the world. There is nothing attractive in timidity, nothing lovable in fear. Both are deformities and are repulsive. Manly courage is dignified and graceful. The worst manners in the world are those of person’s conscious "of being beneath their position, and trying to conceal it or make up for it by style."
"The hero," says Emerson "is the man who is immovably centered." A mouse that dwelt near the abode of a great magician was kept in such constant distress by its fear of a cat, that the magician, taking pity on it, turned it into a cat itself. Immediately it began to suffer from its fear of a dog, so the magician turned it into a dog. Then it began to suffer from fear of a tiger. The magician therefore turned it into a tiger. Then it began to suffer from fear of hunters, and the magician said in disgust: "Be a mouse again. As you have only the heart of a mouse, it is impossible to help you by giving you the body of a nobler animal."
Everyone knows that there is not always a way where there is a will, that labor does not always conquer all things; that there are things impossible even to him that wills, however strongly; that one cannot always make anything of himself he chooses; that there are limitations in our very natures which no amount of will-power or industry can overcome; that no amount of sun-staring can ever make an eagle out of a crow.
Opportunity is coy. The careless, the slow, the unobservant and the lazy fail to see it, or clutch at it when it has gone. The sharp fellows detect it instantly, and catch it when on the wing. Show me a man who is, according to popular prejudice, a victim of bad luck, and we will show you one who has some unfortunate crooked twist of temperament that invites disaster. He is ill-tempered, or conceited, or trifling; lacks character, enthusiasm, or some other requisite for success. Disraeli says that man is not the creature of circumstances, but that circumstances are the creatures of men.
What has chance ever done in the world? Has it built any cities? Has it invented any telephones, any telegraphs? Has it built any steamships, established any universities, any asylums, any hospitals? Was there any chance in Caesar's crossing the Rubicon? What had chance to do with Napoleon's career, with Wellington's, or Grant's, or Von Moltke's? Every battle was won before it was begun. What had luck to do with Thermopylae, Trafalgar, Gettysburg? Our successes we ascribe to ourselves; our failures to destiny.
The mathematician tells you that if you throw the dice, there are thirty chances to one against your turning up a particular number, and a hundred to one against your repeating the same throw three times in succession: and so on in an augmenting ratio. What is luck? Is it, as has been suggested, a blind man's bluff among the laws? Is it a ruse among the elements or a trick of Dame Nature? Has any scholar defined luck? Any philosopher explained its nature? Any chemist showed its composition? Is luck that strange, nondescript fairy that does all things among men that they cannot account for? If so, why does not luck make a fool speak words of wisdom; an ignoramus utter lectures on philosophy?
There is something in circumstances; that there is such a thing as a poor pedestrian happening to find no obstruction in his way, and reaching the goal when a better walker finds the drawbridge up, the street blockaded, and so fails to win the race; that wealth often does place unworthy sons in high positions, that family influence does gain a lawyer clients, a physician patients, an ordinary scholar a good professorship; but that, on the other hand, position, clients, patients, professorships, manager's and superintendent's positions do not necessarily constitute success.
How many might have been giants who are only dwarfs. How many a one has died "with all his music in him." It is astonishing what men who have come to their senses late in life have accomplished by a sudden resolution. Arkwright was fifty years of age when he began to learn English grammar and improve his writing and spelling. Benjamin Franklin was past fifty before he began the study of science and philosophy. Milton, in his blindness, was past the age of fifty when he sat down to complete his world-known epic, and Scott at fifty-five took up his pen to redeem an enormous liability. "Yet I am learning," said Michael Angelo, when threescore years and ten were past, and he had long attained the highest triumphs of his art.
"Eloquence must have been born with you," said a friend to J. P. Curran. "Indeed, my dear sir, it was not," replied the orator, "it was born some three and twenty years and some months after me." Speaking of his first attempt at a debating club, he said: "I stood up, trembling through every fiber, but remembering that in this I was but imitating Tully, I took courage and had actually proceeded almost as far as 'Mr. Chairman,' when, to my astonishment and terror, I perceived that every eye was turned on me. There were only six or seven present, and the room could not have contained as many more; yet was it, to my panic-stricken imagination, as if I were the central object in nature, and assembled millions were gazing upon me in breathless expectation. I became dismayed and dumb. My friends cried, 'Hear him!' but there was nothing to hear." He was nicknamed "Orator Mum," and well did he deserve the title until he ventured to stare in astonishment at a speaker who was "culminating chronology by the most preposterous anachronisms." "I doubt not," said the annoyed speaker, "that 'Orator Mum' possesses wonderful talents for eloquence, but I would recommend him to show it in future by some more popular method than his silence." Stung by the taunt, Curran rose and gave the man a "piece of his mind," speaking quite fluently in his anger. Encouraged by this success, he took great pains to become a good speaker. He corrected his habit of stuttering by reading favorite passages aloud every day slowly and distinctly, and spoke at every opportunity.
A poor Irish lad, so pitted by smallpox that boys made sport of him, earned his living by writing little ballads for street musicians. Eight cents a day was often all he could earn. He traveled through France and Italy, begging his way by singing and playing the flute at the cottages of the peasantry. At twenty-eight he was penniless in London, and lived in the beggars' quarters in Axe Lane. In his poverty, he set up as a doctor in the suburbs of London. He wore a second-hand coat of rusty velvet, with a patch on the left breast which he adroitly covered with his three-cornered hat during his visits; and we have an amusing anecdote of his contest of courtesy with a patient who persisted in endeavoring to relieve him of his hat, which only made him press it more devoutly to his heart. He often had to pawn his clothes to keep from starving. He sold his "Life of Voltaire" for twenty dollars. After great hardship he managed to publish his "Polite Learning in Europe," and this brought him to public notice. Next came "The Traveler," and the wretched man in a Fleet Street garret found himself famous. His landlady once arrested him for rent, but Dr. Johnson came to his relief, took from his desk the manuscript of the "Vicar of Wakefield," and sold it for three hundred dollars. He spent two years revising "The Deserted Village" after it was first written. Generous to a fault, vain and improvident, imposed on by others, he was continually in debt; although for his "History of the Earth and Animated Nature" he received four thousand dollars, and some of his works, as, for instance, "She Stoops to Conquer," had a large sale. But in spite of fortune's frown and his own weakness, he won success and fame. The world, which so often comes too late with its assistance and laurels, gave to the weak, gentle, loving author of "The Vicar of Wakefield" a monument in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.
A kite would not fly unless it had a string tying it down. It is just so in life. The man who is tied down by half a dozen blooming responsibilities and their mother will make a higher and stronger flight than the bachelor who, having nothing to keep him steady is always floundering in the mud. If you want to ascend in the world tie yourself to somebody.
Take two acorns from the same tree, as nearly alike as possible; plant one on a hill by itself, and the other in the dense forest, and watch them grow. The oak standing alone is exposed to every storm. Its roots reach out in every direction, clutching the rocks and piercing deep into the earth. Every rootlet lends itself to steady the growing giant, as if in anticipation of fierce conflict with the elements. Sometimes its upward growth seems checked for years, but all the while it has been expanding its energy in pushing a root across a large rock to gain a firmer anchorage. Then it shoots proudly aloft again, prepared to defy the hurricane. The gales which sport so rudely with its wide branches find more than their match, and only serve still further to toughen every minutest fiber from pith to bark. The acorn planted in the deep forest shoots up a weak, slender sapling. Shielded by its neighbors, it feels no need of spreading its roots far and wide for support.
To fix a wandering life and give it direction is not an easy task, but a life which has no definite aim is sure to be frittered away in empty and purposeless dreams. "Listless triflers," "busy idlers," "purposeless busybodies," are seen everywhere. A healthy, definite purpose is a remedy for a thousand ills which attend aimless lives. Discontent, dissatisfaction, flees before a definite purpose. An aim takes the drudgery out of life, scatters doubts to the winds, and clears up the gloomiest creeds. What we do without a purpose begrudgingly, with a purpose becomes a delight, and no work is well done nor healthily done which is not enthusiastically done.
(Adapted from The Project Gutenberg EBook of Architects of Fate, by Orison Swett Marden)


Monday, July 25, 2011

DOCUMENTARY EXPRESSIONALISM




Vale Helen Levitt, 1963
From newartlook.com


Vale Helen Levitt, 1918-Born in New York City, is a documentary photographer known for her images of urban street life. She began her career in the mid-1930s, inspired by the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans. In 1936 she purchased a 35mm Leica (the same type of camera used by Cartier-Bresson) and by the following year was photographing people on the streets of New York, particularly children in the city's poor and working-class neighborhoods.
(Vangobot at popartmachine.com)


New York
Laurence Miller Gallery
From parfum de bohème at blogg.org


Boy Drawing on a Sidewalk, 1937
From britannica.com


Räume der Stadt, 1939
From raeume-der-stadt.de


New York, 1942
Gelatin silver print on paper
Smithsonian American Art Museum
From americanart.si.edu


In Ms. Levitt’s best-known picture, above, three properly dressed children prepare to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Standing on the stoop outside their house, they are in almost metaphorical stages of readiness. The girl on the top step is putting on her mask; a boy near her, his mask in place, takes a graceful step down, whiles another boy, also masked, lounges on a lower step, coolly surveying the world.
(MARGARETT LOKE at nytimes.com)
From 1938-41 Levitt worked with Evans on a series made in New York's subways, and in July 1939 her first published image appeared in Fortune magazine. By the early 1940s her photographs were also being reproduced in U.S. Camera, PM's Weekly, Minicam, and Harper's Bazaar. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, featured her images of children in a one-person show in 1943 and three years later awarded her a photography fellowship.
In the 1940s Levitt also became involved with film, assisting director Luis Buñuel in editing documentary footageand working as an assistant editor in the Film Division of the Office of War Information (1944-45). Encouraged by writer James Agee, Levitt began directing films in the late 1940s. She worked with Janice Loeb and Sidney Meyers in 1949 on The Quiet One, a feature-length documentary about a home for delinquent boys, and in 1951 made In the Street with Agee and Loeb.
During the 1950s she concentrated primarily on film, producing very little still photography. In 1959-60 Levitt was awarded fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation to explore color photography and began shooting 35mm color slides of street scenes and children. Her color slides were included in a three-person exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1963, and in 1974 her color images were featured in a solo exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Levitt''s work was included in numerous one-person exhibitions throughout the 1970s-80s, and in 1992 was the subject of a major retrospective organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Levitt lives in New York. M.M.
(Vangobot at popartmachine.com)
She realised from conversations with Cartier-Bresson that photography could be an art form in itself and did not always have to be about social justice. Levitt was soon recognised for capturing what the French photographer called "the decisive moment" and her first major solo exhibition followed, at MoMA, in 1943. The show, Helen Levitt: Photographs Of Children, curated by Edward Steichen, reflected a city of children playing outside in the streets. This was a time before the advent of television and air conditioning in New York, a world where people lived and worked on the pavements, which became their living rooms.
(newartlook.com)
Levitt was born in Brooklyn, New York, where her Russian-Jewish father ran a wholesale knitwear business. Rather than complete high school, she learned developing and printing in the studio of a commercial portrait photographer. From the beginning of her career, Levitt's work attracted considerable critical attention. She started studying with Evans in 1938, aged 19, and was early on compared with Dorothea Lange and other documentary photographers employed by the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression.
Yet she was keen to develop her own style and techniques. As soon as she saw an exhibition of Henri Cartier-Bresson's work at the Julien Levy gallery in New York, she decided to move on from the large-view cameras then in favour to Cartier-Bresson's 35mm Leica, with its right-angle sights. (At times, she even resorted to using a prism lens to disguise her focus to her subjects.)
She also favoured working in the midst of city life. Levitt greatly preferred using available light and loved movement; she would harness water, windows, even - memorably, in a group shot of girls blowing soap - bubbles, to serve as prisms refracting both. And she developed the particular skill of using a friendly and unobtrusive manner to persuade children to ignore her or show off. Images of them beating the heat under a spouting street-corner water hydrant, or lined up in outsized masks to go trick-or-treating for Halloween are black-and-white period classics of apparently natural and playful pleasures.
(hoohoohouse.com)


New York, 1945
sale of Phillips de Pury & Company New York
From artnet.com


Helen Levitt''s long and distinguished career reflects her ability to create lyrical compositions from the commonplace events of New York street life. Her black-and-white work from the 1940s depicts life in working-class and slum neighborhoods, revealingmoments of joy, sadness, reverie, tenderness, work, and play. Her casual, non-intrusive style is evident in this example. With remarkable intuition and technical skill, she created an evocative image that is neither idealizing nor cynical, but simply reveals the love between mother and child.
(Vangobot at popartmachine.com)
In 1959 Levitt began to work in colour, her eye informed both by natural contrasts and unexpected affinities. Given the variability of colour-film processing, she was brave to persist and establish herself as - in the words of Peter Galassi, senior photography curator at Moma - "a pioneer".
From the start, she contributed regularly to Harper's Bazaar, Time and Fortune, the major colour magazines of their day, as well as the New York Post. She had gone beyond the iconography of street photography and no longer focused predominantly on people as her subjects.
Images that spring to mind include two speckled hens marching past two red-and-white speckled chairs on the pavement outside a furnishing store; or the brilliant pinks and greens of a street chariot selling "snowballs" - ice shavings topped with vividly highlighted syrups - surreally situated in front of a tilting phone box and with a disembodied hand extending a luminous ice-cone into the frame of the picture. Unexpected angles, when objects move in and out of the field of vision, are far more characteristic of her work than an enclosed view.
(hoohoohouse.com)


Boy with Bubble
From brooklynmuseum.org


Helen Levitt's photograph of two children on a New York street is a wonderful example of her prolific engagement with street life. The capacity to transform the documentary into poetry, to interpret a scene on the street from a humanistic perspective and give it a new meaning, is a key feature of Brooklyn-born Levitt's lifelong photographic practice, always more artistic than journalistic.
The seemingly simple structure of this image reveals a skillful sense of composition. The graffiti and the many layers of advertisements on the back wall echo the black scribbles on the face of the boy on the left, his vertically striped pants juxtaposed with the horizontal bands of the wall in the background. Quietly and full of concentration, he is gazing at the other boy, slightly out of focus, carefully handling a bubble.
(brooklynmuseum.org)


New York, 1972
New York Public Library
From alex-hedi...urnal.com


Ms. Levitt stopped making her own black and white prints in the 1990s, she said, because of sciatica, which prevented her from standing for long. The sciatica also made carrying the heavy Leica difficult, and in recent years she used a small automatic Contax. She had other health problems. Her lungs were scarred by a near-fatal bout of pneumonia in the 1940s or ’50s, she said. And she was born with Meniere’s syndrome, an inner-ear disorder. “I have felt wobbly all my life,” she said.
Changes in neighborhood life also affected her work. “I go where there’s a lot of activity,” she said. “Children used to be outside. Now the streets are empty. People are indoors looking at television or something.”
(MARGARETT LOKE at nytimes.com)


New York, 1988
From argusvlinder.web-log.nl


In later years, Levitt, always fiercely defensive of her private life, refrained from attending launches of her work or giving interviews about it - although she did emerge to speak to the New York Times in 2002, and seemed as curious as ever about the world outside. She believed in letting the work speak for itself, which seemed to inspire writers to poetic heights in describing it.
(hoohoohouse.com)
Despite her accomplishments, Helen remained the same Brooklyn girl all her life. She never moved out of New York City and remained active in photography for almost 70 years. She passed away in 2009 at the age of 95. Unfortunately, Helen didn’t get the fame she deserved during her lifetime, but she did get the respect due her for her grind.
(missomnimedia.com)

Note: I found these images (above) from all over the web. If you own a photo’s copyright and think this page violates Fair Use, please contact me.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

THE SINCERITY OF LYING BY POLITICIANS



A busload of politicians was driving down a country road when, all of a sudden, the bus ran off the road, and crashed into a tree in an old farmer's field. The old farmer, after seeing what had happened, went over to investigate. He then proceeded to dig a hole to bury the politicians. A few days later the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus, and asked the old farmer where all the politicians had gone. The old farmer said he had buried them. The sheriff asked the old farmer, "Were they all dead?"
The old farmer replied, "Well, some of them said they weren't, but you know how them politicians lie."
(ncbuy.com)
Are lying politicians trying to fool us, or are they just telling us the same lies we tell ourselves? It is the latter in most cases, and it is necessary for their political survival.
One side says that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." The other side says the gun control can save lives. On each side, the politicians play to their constituents. What do none of them say? None of them can say that maybe there would be lives saved if there was more gun control, but that we have a right to have guns, so we will accept the violence that comes with them.
People want to believe that they can have everything, don't they? Politicians who tell them otherwise are party-poopers who will be un-elected. If you believe in gun control, it is difficult for you to see that there might be some issue of rights that is important. If you believe in the right to bear arms, you want to also pretend that just as many people would die in drive-by punching. Lying politicians allow you to believe what you want, and even lie along with you. By the way, how can you tell when a politician is lying? When his lips are moving.
(Lying Politicians at 999ideas.com)
We, as a society, have hard choices to make. It would be nice if our politicians would tell us the truth, explain the tough issues, and give us some choices for how to solve the problems. But until there is a grassroots movement supporting discussion of difficult issues—until the supporting winds blow hard enough for politicians with their fingers in the wind to sense the need to do it—most politicians will continue to leave the tough issues in the Cone of Silence. Until we demonstrate that we can handle the truth, we can expect our politicians to keep lying to us.
There will always be some politicians who will lie more than others and some who come very close to telling us the truth. It's easy enough to identify these two types: The lying politicians will usually be saying things that feel comfortable and require no effort on our part; the truth-telling politicians will usually be saying things we'd rather not hear and prefer not to think about.
(grinningplanet.com)
We have yet to hear any politicians say how they will cure the ills of their country. They never say what they will do to correct the wrongs we are faces with; they never admit that they put the country in the mess that it is in. Politics is all about greed, power and control. The politicians go into politics broke and they don’t care what they have to do to get elected. They lie, they steal, they cheat and they are dishonorable people who go into the political field because they can’t get rich any other way.
We know that abortion exists; we know that homosexuals are human beings. But they are used as scapegoats. These are just distractions to get people’s minds off what the real problems are. They are playing to the religious communities to distract them from what is really happening in the political world. Many of the politicians are alcoholics, pedophiles, adulterers, homosexuals, as are the leaders of many of the religious organizations, yet they condemn others. They persecute illegal immigrants yet they will employ them secretly and lie that they didn’t know they were illegal. They want cheap labor.
(Letter to the Editor: Lying politicians By Loletha M. Prudom, Tulsa World article at tulsaworld.com)
If you've ever wondered why the public tolerates politicians who lie to them it's likely that they “don’t have a high expectation that they'll tell the truth" in the first place, a noted ethicist says. As a result, explains Michael Josephson (radio commentator), "when they lie we are generally less offended in principle. That doesn't make their lying acceptable; it just explains why there is a high tolerance level for it."
"If it is perfectly acceptable for politicians to lie, and they can do so without fear of recrimination, then why should they tell the truth?" he asks.
(Sherwood Rossis at opednews.com)
All people lie some of the time. They use words to convey their lies while their body language usually gives them away. This is curious. Why did evolution prefer this self defeating strategy? The answer lies in the causes of the phenomenon.
We lie for three main reasons and these give rise to three categories of lies:
1. The Empathic Lie – is a lie told with the intention of sparing someone's feelings. It is a face saving lie – but someone else's face. It is designed to prevent a loss of social status, the onslaught of social sanctions, the process of judgment involved in both. It is a derivative of our ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes – that is, to empathize. It is intended to spare OUR feelings, which are bound to turn more and more unpleasant the more we sympathize with the social-mental predicament of the person lied to. The reverse, brutal honesty, at all costs and in all circumstances – is a form of sadistic impulse. The lie achieves its goal only if the recipient cooperates, does not actively seek the truth out and acquiescently participates in the mini-drama unfolding in his honor.
2. The Egocentric Lie – is a lie intended to further the well being of the liar. This can be achieved in one of two ways. The lie can help the liar to achieve his goals (a Goal Seeking Lie) or to avoid embarrassment, humiliation, social sanctions, judgment, and criticism and, in general, unpleasant experiences related to social standing (a Face Saving Lie). The Goal Seeking Lie is useful only when considering the liar as an individual, independent unit. The Face saving type is instrumental only in social situations. We can use the terms: Individualistic Lie and Social Lie respectively.
3. The Narcissistic Lie – is separated from his brethren by its breadth and recursiveness. It is all-pervasive, ubiquitous, ever recurring, all encompassing, entangled and intertwined with all the elements of the liar's life and personality. Moreover, it is a lie of whose nature the liar is not aware and he is convinced of its truth. But the people surrounding the Narcissist liar notice the lie. The Narcissist-liar is rather like a hunchback without a mirror. He does not believe in the reality of his own hump. It seems that where the liar does not believe his own lies – he succeeds in convincing his victims rather effectively. When he does believe in his own inventions – he fails miserably at trapping his fellow men.
(Lies People Tell by Sam Vaknin, Ph.D. at globalpolitician.com)
Politicians usually are sincere when they talk obvious nonsense. It's the same like a child, who has just spilled the milk, saying with passion and sincerity: "It was not me!” His sincerity is genuine. He does not want to tell a "deliberate lie", he is just defending his position, trying to avoid unpleasant for him consequences. He is in no state to think about truthfulness of what he is saying; the words are just coming out of his mouth by themselves together with the tears from his eyes. And this precisely what happens to politicians.
Politicians do not think: "What lie or logical nonsense am I going to tell next?” The truth or falsehood or the logical validity of what they say are irrelevant to them. They are just instinctively defending themselves, just like the child that has spilt the milk. They are indeed sincere. But the sincerity of politicians does not turn their lies into truth, or their nonsense into logically valid reasoning. Nor does it make the consequences of acceptance of their lies and their nonsense less disastrous.
If the people do not want to suffer the consequences of sincere lies by politicians, they have to learn not to be carried away by their passions or sincerity, but to look dispassionately, skeptically and objectively at the facts and the evidence and the underlying assumptions.
Questioning the underlying assumptions is especially important. Any human idea or statement is based on some fundamental assumptions, which are often unquestioningly accepted as true. But, if, as is often the case, these assumptions are false, then no matter how logical all the arguments based on these assumption are, the conclusions based on these arguments will be false.
If to assume that the Earth is flat and not infinite, then it is correct to suppose that it has edges. People were searching for the Edges of the Earth and arguing about their shape for centuries - until they discovered that the Earth is round, and has no edges at all.
People need to learn to question the validity of the fundamental premises, and to understand what they are talking about before accepting nonsense from politicians. Politicians need to be told that they are paid for performing the dull, boring and necessary task of government, not for playing politics. And the task of government needs to be defined and strictly audited and controlled. This is the way to a peaceful, honest, secure and prosperous world. Not party politics.
(Truth, Honesty and Justice, The Alternative to Wars, Terrorism and Politics at shamsali.com)


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

THE MALCZEWSKI OEUVRE




Self Portrait
Oil on canvas, 1892
Source pinakoteka.zascianek.pl
National Museum, Warsaw
From en.wikipedia.org


Self Portrait
From malczewski.w8w.pl


Jacek Malczewski (Radom July 15, 1854 - Cracow October 8, 1929) is one of the most outstanding painters in the history of Polish art. His work forms the backbone of all presentations of Polish Modernist art. The art of the Mloda Polska (Young Poland) movement was a complex phenomenon. It drew on many sources: Romanticism, the historic and folklore traditions, and contemporary European art, especially from the sundry variants of Symbolism. Malczewski's oeuvre is estimated at well-nigh 2,000 oil paintings, 1,200 of which are now in museums and private collections. The largest of these collections may be admired in the National Museums of Poland (Poznan, Warsaw and Cracow).
(polartcenter.com)
Jacek Malczewski was born into a noble family (coat of arms Tarnawa). His father, Julian Malczewski, was secretary general of the Estates Credit Union for the Radom district; his mother, Maria Korwin Szymanowska, was a daughter of Aleksander, an officer in the Napoleon’s army and of “Broncia’, his parents’ maid. In 1867 his parents sent him to the estate of his uncle Karczewski in Wielgo. In 1871 he moved to Cracow where he went to “gimnazjum” (high school) and started nondegree studies in the School of Fine Arts (SSP). Later, at the request of the painter Jan Matejko, Malczewski abandoned the gimnazjum and studied only at the SSP. In 1876 he started two year studies in Parisian École des Beaux-Arts. In 1877 he returned to Matejko’s workshop and was under strong influence of both Matejko and Grottger. In 1880 he visited Italy then Lwow and Podolia. In 1884 he took part in an archeological expedition to Asia Minor organized by Karol Lanckoronski who became his close friend.
(Wikipedia and angelfire.com)
Jacek Malczewski began his artistic education at the Krakow School of Fine Arts. He was supervised by such artists as: Feliks Szynalewski, Władysław Łuszczkiewicz and Jan Matejko. In the years 1876-1877 he studied at Paris École des Beaux Arts (supervised by E.H. Lehmanna). In 1880 Malczewski traveled around Italy. In the years 1884-1885 he took part, as a drawer, in the Karol Lanckoroński Asian expedition. During that period he also visited Greece and Italy. In the years 1885-1886 the artist spent a few months in Munich. After his return he moved to Krakow and settled there. He still often visited Munich and Italy.
(agraart.p)


Smierc Ellenai
All images from torlin.wordpress.com


Ruslki
From commons.wikimedia.org


Rusalki
From oceansbridge.com


Rusalki
From bialczynski.files.wordpress.com


Under the influence of Slowacki’s poem “Anhelli” Malczewski painted in 1883 his famous “Smierc Ellenai” (Death of Ellenai). In 1885 he went to Munich; in 1887 he married Maria Gralewska. They had two children: Julia and Rafal. In 1887-1888 he painted a series “Rusalki” (The undines) based on folk tales.
(Wikipedia and angelfire.com)


Melancholia
Oil on canvas, 1890 - 1894
National Museum, Poznań
Source impresjeee.blox.pl
From en.wikipedia.org


Portret Stanisława Witkiewcza
Oil on canvas, 1897
Source pinakoteka.zascianek.pl
National Museum, Warsaw
From en.wikipedia.org


During 1894-1897 Malczewski introduced symbolism into his paintings. In 1897 Malczewski co founded Towarzystwo Artystow Polskich “Sztuka” (The Association of Polish Artists “The Art”). In 1900, after a conflict with Julian Falat he left ASP (Academy of Fine Arts) and remained outside it for next 10 years.
(Wikipedia and angelfire.com)


Portret Jana Kasprowicza, 1903
Muzeum Narodowe, Wrocław
From pinakoteka.zascianek.pl


Ojczyzna (Tryptyk Prawo, Ojczyzna, Sztuka), 1903
Muzeum Narodowe, Wrocław
From pinakoteka.zascianek.pl


Muzyka pól, 1907
Muzeum Narodowe, Gdańsk
From pinakoteka.zascianek.pl


Self Portrait, 1909
From historiasztuki.com.pl


Self Portrait, 1914
From malczewski.w8w.pl


Portret Piotra Hubala Dobrzańskiego,ok.1914
From muzeum.edu.pl


Portret Józefa Piłsudskiego 1916
National Museum, Warsaw, Poland
From wikimedia.org


Potret W. jesiennym Sloncu, 1916
From agraart.pl
Zatruta studnia (różowa)
From postergaleria.pl


In the years 1896-1900 he taught at the Krakow School of Fine Arts and in the years 1911-1922 he was professor of the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts (also the Academy’s Dean in the years 1912-14). Malczewski spent the years 1914-1915 in Vienna. In 1916 he returned to Krakow. He spent the years prior to his death mainly in Lusławice and Charczewice. Malczewski was cofounder of the Polish Artists’ Association “Sztuka” (1897), and member of the „Zero“group (1908). In his early work period, Malczewski produced mainly portraits and generic scenes. During his later art periods (beginning in the 90’s of the 19th century) he created paintings with symbolical content and biblical, legendary, patriotic, or allegoric-fantasy themes.
(agraart.p)
Jacek Malczewski made his only statement in painting; his immensely rich oeuvre remains ever intriguing and artistically uneven. The first stage was the so-called Siberian cycle, illustrating the torment of Polish deportees, portrayed naturalistically or filtered through the mystical poetry of Slowacki. During the Young Poland period, Malczewski created his own unique symbolic vocabulary in which corporeal and robust figures of chimeras, fauns, angels, and water sprites appear both in allegorical portraits, innumerable costume-clad self-portraits, landscapes, genre and religious scenes and, finally, in compositions which do not correspond to any thematic conventions. The art of Malczewski is dominated distinctly by two motifs, recurring and assorted painterly embodiments: the vocation of art and the artist, and death, under the antique form of Thanatos. The Malczewski oeuvre is the most vivid example of an intermingling of folk motifs and an anti-classical, Dionysian vision of antiquity, typical for Polish modernism; the artist achieved a peculiar polonisation of ancient mythology, not only by placing chimeras and fauns in a Polish landscape but also within an historical-national context, which ultimately proved to be regarded as the most important by this pupil of Matejko.
(artyzm.com)
Jacek Malczewski returned to Cracow in 1921 and resigned from the professorship at ASP. At that time he started a series of paintings “Moje Zycie” (My Life). He often painted self-portraits. During 1923-1926 Malczewski lived in a mansion in Luslawice where he founded a painting school for talented countryside children. A major collection of his works (68 paintings) can be found in Art Gallery in Lviv (Ukraine). At the later years he lost eyesight. Malczewski was buried, according to his wishes in a Franciscan tertiary habit, at the Crypt for the Meritorious (Krypta Zasluzonych) in the Skalka sanctuary in Cracow.
(Wikipedia and angelfire.com)

Note: I found these images (above) from all over the web. If you own a photo’s copyright and think this page violates Fair Use, please contact me.

Friday, July 15, 2011

THE PLEASURES OF LIFE

Part II

According to the old proverb, "the fool wanders, the wise man travels." So far is a thorough love and enjoyment of travel from interfering with the love of home, that perhaps no one can thoroughly enjoy his home who does not sometimes wander away. They are like exertion and rest, each the complement of the other; so that, though it may seem paradoxical, one of the greatest pleasures of travel is the return; and no one who has not roamed abroad, can realize the devotion which the wanderer feels for home.
In few respects has mankind made a greater advance than in the relations of men and women? It is terrible to think how women suffer in savage life; and even among the intellectual Greeks, with rare exceptions, they seem to have been treated rather as housekeepers or playthings than as the Angels who make a Heaven of home. The Hindu proverb that you should "never strike a wife, even with a flower," though a considerable advance, tells a melancholy tale of what must previously have been. What a life, and what a language, without love. Yet in marriage even the rough passion of a savage may contrast favorably with any cold calculation, which, like the enchanted hoard of the Nibelungs, is almost sure to bring misfortune. In the Kalevala, the Finnish epic, the divine smith, Ilmarinnen, forges a bride of gold and silver for Wainamoinen, who was pleased at first to have so rich a wife, but soon found her intolerably cold, for, in spite of fires and furs, whenever he touched her she froze him.
Moreover, apart from mere coldness, how much we suffer from foolish quarrels about trifles; from mere misunderstandings; from hasty words thoughtlessly repeated, sometimes without the context or tone which would have deprived them of any sting. How much would that charity which "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things," effect to smooth away the sorrows of life and add to the happiness of home. Home indeed may be a sure haven of repose from the storms and perils of the world. If our life be one of toil and of suffering, if the world outside be cold and dreary, what a pleasure to return to the sunshine of happy faces and the warmth of hearts we love.
We have in life many troubles, and troubles are of many kinds. Some sorrows, alas, are real enough, especially those we bring on ourselves, but others, and by no means the least numerous, are mere ghosts of troubles: if we face them boldly, we find that they have no substance or reality, but are mere creations of our own morbid imagination, and that it is as true now as in the time of David that "Man disquieteth himself in a vain shadow." Some, indeed, of our troubles are evils, but not real; while others are real, but not evils.
We often magnify troubles and difficulties, and look at them till they seem much greater than they really are. "Dangers are no more light, if they once seem light; and more dangers have deceived men than forced them: nay, it were better to meet some dangers half way, though they come nothing near, than to keep too long a watch upon their approaches; for if a man watch too long, it is odds he will fall asleep."
Marcus Aurelius observes that "a spider is proud when it has caught a fly, a man when he has caught a hare, another when he has taken a little fish in a net, another when he has taken wild boars, another when he has taken bears, and another when he has taken Sarmatians;" but this, if from one point of view it shows the vanity of fame, also encourages us with the evidence that every one may succeed if his objects are but reasonable. "A continual and restless search after fortune," says Bacon, "takes up too much of their time who have nobler things to observe."
As regards fame we must not confuse name and essence. To be remembered is not necessarily to be famous. There is infamy as well as fame; and unhappily almost as many are remembered for the one as for the other, and not a few for the mixture of both. In some cases where men have been called after places, the men are remembered, while the places are forgotten. When we speak of Palestrina or Perugino, of Nelson or Wellington, of Newton or Darwin, who remembers the towns? We think only of the men.
Ambition often takes the form of a love of money. There are many who have never attempted Art or Music, Poetry or Science; but most people do something for a livelihood, and consequently an increase of income is not only acceptable in itself, but gives a pleasant feeling of success. Unquestionably the possession of wealth is by no means unattended by drawbacks. Money and the love of money often go together. The poor man, as Emerson says, is the man who wishes to be rich; and the more a man has, the more he often longs to be richer. Just as drinking often does but increase thirst; so in many cases the craving for riches does grow with wealth. If life has been sacrificed to the rolling up of money for its own sake, the very means by which it was acquired will prevent its being enjoyed; the chill of poverty will have entered into the very bones. The term Miser was happily chosen for such persons; they are essentially miserable.
We are really richer than we think. We often hear of Earth hunger. People envy a great Landlord, and fancy how delightful it must be to possess a large estate. But, as Emerson says, "If you own land, the land owns you." Moreover, have we not all, in a better sense—have we not all thousands of acres of our own? The commons, and roads, and footpaths, and the seashore, our grand and varied coast—these are all ours. The sea-coast has, moreover, two great advantages. In the first place, it is for the most part but little interfered with by man, and in the second it exhibits most instructively the forces of Nature. We are all great landed proprietors, if we only knew it. What we lack is not land, but the power to enjoy it.
(Adapted from The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Pleasures of Life, by Sir John Lubbock)


Thursday, July 14, 2011

NATIVE AMERICAN PAINTER



Gilbert Gaul in his studio
From mfordcreech.com
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on March 31, 1855 to George W. and Cornelia A. (Gilbert) Gaul, William Gilbert Gaul attended school in Newark, and at the Claverack Military Academy. In New York, he began studying art under L. E. Wilmarth at the National Academy of Design school from 1872 until 1876. He also studied with John G. Brown and at the Art Students' League of New York when it opened in 1875.
(en.wikipedia.org)
He was a highly important late 19th and early 20th century American artist. He lived many years of his life in Tennessee and is one of the earliest and best-known painters of Tennessee genre scenes.
(williamsamericanart.com)


 News from the Front
Private collection
Painting - oil on canvas
From the-athenaeum.org


American Regular Army Infantry
Painting - oil on canvas
From Altermann Galleries &amp
Auctioneersaltermann at altermann.com


His early subjects emulated his teachers’ popular and sentimental genre works. This was revised by his commission from Century magazine to illustrate the historical “Battle and Leaders of the Civil War” published in 1887. He became known as a foremost American painter of battle scenes: “Uniforms and arms of many kinds were to be seen in his studio. The historic accuracy of each detail was studiously sought, and the models who posed as soldiers were fit types. All of these canvases were remarkable for energy of action and, above all, their spirit of belligerency.”
Gaul spent much time in the West at army posts and on Indian reservations in the 1880s. He was one of the five special agents who took the census of 1890 among the Indians, illustrating the “Report on Indians Taxed and Indians Not Taxed” with a strong portrait of Sitting Bull painted from life. Gaul visited the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock agencies then, with later trips to the northwest coast. Some years after, Gaul commented that Indians were “very picturesque” and that “they were a good deal like the white men—some were very good fellows and some were very bad.”
(Resource: SAMUELS’ Encyclopedia of ARTISTS of THE AMERICAN WEST, Peggy and Harold Samuels, 1985, Castle Publishing)
To supplement his income, he provided numerous illustrations to Century Magazine at a time when it was publishing Civil War memoirs; three of his paintings were used as frontispieces to Battles and Leaders of the Civil War (1887–88); he also did work for Harper's Weekly. His work attracted some interest and he was elected as an associate of the National Academy in 1879 for his painting The Stragglers, and in 1882, was elected a full academician for Charging the Battery, being the youngest to achieve that honor. The same year, his painting entitled Holding the Line at All Hazards was awarded the gold medal by the American Art Association, and in 1889, he received the bronze medal at the Paris Exposition for Charging the Battery. He won further medals at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, and at the Buffalo Exposition in 1902.
(en.wikipedia.org)


Leaving Home
Oil on canvas
Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, Alabama, US)
From ARC at artrenewal.org


Tidings from the Front
From allposters.com


Gilbert Gaul’s mother was a Tennessean. At her brother Hiram Gilbert’s death, Gilbert inherited about 5,000 acres in the area of what is now Fall Creek Falls State Park in Van Buren County, TN, in the rugged Cumberland Mountains. He was required to live there 5 years according to the will. He converted a barn into a studio, and later built a cabin on the land. During that period, he painted many locals in the surrounding area, using natives of the region as his models, both in indigenous clothing and in uniform. Some of those paintings included “Leaving Home”, chronicled in the Van Buren County Historical Journal, Volume 2, published in 1982; "Tidings from the Front"; and "The Pickett", said to be one of his finest Civil War paintings. Various families still report their relatives and homes, as depicted in detail in Gaul’s works.
(mfordcreech.com)


Southern Landscape
From mfordcreech.com


An Afternoon Stroll
Private collection
Painting - oil on canvas
From the-athenaeum.org



Homesteading in Tennessee
Private collection
Painting - oil on canvas
From the-athenaeum.org


After his 5-year resident requirement in Van Buren County, Gaul returned to New York City. The work he had done in Tennessee became highly sought after by the editors of "Century Magazine" and "Harper's Weekly", for whom he provided covers, frontispieces, and illustrations to articles. He was a contributor of illustrations to the Century Publishing Company's ambitious three-volume set "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War" (1887). In 1886, the Philadelphia publisher J.B. Lippincott invited artists whom they considered the United States' leading contemporary figure painters each to contribute an original work of art for reproduction in "Book of American Figure Painters". Gaul, being among those so honored, depicted "John Burns at Gettysburg" for the collection.
(mfordcreech.com)



Dakota Indians
Oil on canvas, 1890
By Piedmont Fossil at flickr.com


The Land of the Free
Oil on canvas, 1900
By Piedmont Fossil at flickr.com


Indian by the Campfire
Painting - oil on canvas
Private collection
From museuma.com


Peace Conference
Painting - oil on canvas
Private collection
From museuma.com



Gaul was at the pinnacle of success, but increasingly the American public lost interest in his work and turned toward European developments in art. Increasing public disfavor forced him into teaching and by 1904 he was teaching at Cumberland Female College in McMinnville, Tennessee. By 1905, he had a studio in Nashville, Tennessee where he worked on a series of paintings published in 1907 as a portfolio called "With the Confederate Colors." The limited success of the first portfolio resulted in the cancellation of the projected second one. Soon thereafter Gaul left Nashville to live with his step-daughter in Charleston, South Carolina. By 1910, he was in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey, where he did World War I battle paintings right up until his death. As has been the case with many great artists, recognition came many years after his death. Gaul is now recognized as one of America's great native-born artists. His paintings are illustrated in many important books on history and art, and his paintings are highly sought after.
(williamsamericanart.com)

MEMBERSHIPS:
National Academy of Design

Public Collections:
Toledo Museum, Ohio
Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama
Thomas Gilcrease of American History and Art, Tulsa, Ok.

Awards:
1882 American Art Association, prize
1886 Prize Fund, gold Medal
1889 Paris Exposition, medal
1893Columbian Exposition, Chicago medal
1901 Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, medal
1910 Appalachian Exposition, Knoxville, gold metal
(Roughton Galleries)

Note: I found these images (above) from all over the web. If you own a photo’s copyright and think this page violates Fair Use, please contact me.