Thursday, November 28, 2013

DIY Thanksgiving

These paper targets for turkey and other critters were sold at Sears. I don't know the dates of when the store sold J.C. Higgins branded targets and when they sold their own brand, but I was struck by the difference in the bird renderings.

Before you run out and shoot a turkey, you might want to note the instructions. For a decorative, happy-looking turkey, like the one above, be aware that "For Best Results Always Use SEARS Ammunition." If it's a more organic, introspective turkey you are after, like the one below, then you must keep in mind that "For Best Results Always Use J.C. Higgins Ammunition."

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 22, 2013


Curious as to what the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination had inspired in the way of person-to-person commerce, I decided to peruse the “sold” listings on eBay.
Which is how I found myself looking down the barrel of a roll of teletype.
This original United Press International transmission of November 22, 1963, was from the newsroom of KPIX in San Francisco. An anchorman at the station had kept the roll since that day. Recorded on it, are the events as they unfolded, background information, updates, and responses to the news from around the world.
So, along with learning that the New York Stock Exchange had ceased trading as of 2:07 p.m., and that that the Mexican government announced it would close its border with Texas for 72 hours, we get a first hand account of Lyndon Johnson being sworn in as President on Air Force One. There is a dispatch from Ireland that “men and women dropped to their knees in the crowded streets of Dublin to begin reciting the rosary” and a message from West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, “I feel as if a light has gone out, gone out for all men who hoped for peace and freedom and a better life …”
UPI White House Reporter Merriman Smith received the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the assassination. His personal account of the day, which you can read here, needless to say, is fascinating. He describes what it was like being four cars back from the president’s bubble-top limousine when the shots rang t.
Our car stood still for probably only a few seconds, but it seemed like a lifetime. One sees history explode before one's eyes and for even the most trained observer, there is a limit to what one can comprehend.
Smith takes you through the rest of his day—to Parkland Hospital and then onto Air Force One, where he and Charles Roberts of Newsweek are the only two reporters on the flight back to D.C.

UPI probably reached some 6,000 subscriber news organizations at that time, so the one pictured above is hardly the only ancient scroll to have survived.

Below are snippets from this and another teletype that sold recently.

Obviously, an early report, which no one ran to immediately blurt out on the air before getting more information.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ads Imitate Art: American Apparel and Balthus

Thérèse Dreaming, 1938 (right)

American Apparel advertising and the paintings of Balthus. Need I say more?
"Balthus: Cats and Girls: Paintings and Provocations" is at the Metropolitan Museum through January 12, 2014. The painter of pubescent girls and self-proclaimed "King of Cats" once remarked that "The idea I am trying to get across has to do with religion, not at all with eroticism."
American Apparel ads, many of which have been banned in Britain, can be seen on bus shelters, billboards, magazines and in the archive on their website.

Which do you find more disturbing?

Thérèse on a Bench Seat, 1939 (top)

The Room, 1952-54 (top)

Getting Up, 1955 (bottom)

The Golden Fruit,  ca. 1959 (left)

Girl on a Bed, c. 1950 (bottom)

Nude in Front of a Mantel, 1955 (left)

The White Skirt, 1937 (top)

Nude With a Cat, 1949 (top)

Alice, 1933 (left)

The Toilet, 1957 (top)

Detail of The Living Room, 1941-43 (right)

Guitar Lesson, 1934 (top)

11/27/13 NOTE: One photo that was not an actual American Apparel ad has been removed.

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Paper Source opened in the neighborhood about a year and a half ago. I stopped in shortly after it opened, but I can't say that I've been back again more than once or twice. I think it has something to do with the lighting. It's not Staples-flourescent, but somehow, the brightness is oppressive.

They use the paper stock from their custom stationery for trying out pens. They didn't mind my taking photos, but I have a feeling that they thought it was odd.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Calder for Body and Soul

It was a night of dazzling jewels, with nary a precious stone in sight. Salon 94 is exhibiting 40 pieces of Alexander Calder’s crimped, coiled, hammered, and highly coveted creations of body adornment in “Show and Tell: Calder Jewelry and Mobiles.”

While the sculptor’s work is famously kinetic, the opening celebration had these masterpieces of craftsmanship and engineering bouncing around the room. It took quite a few dedicated pairs of watchful eyes to keep track, as pieces made their way around assorted necks, heads, ears, and wrists. When they were not being tried on and photographed, the pieces were displayed on the original faces and heads made by Calder for a 1940 show of the work. Additional “display” sculptures were created for the occasion by a number of contemporary artists invited by the gallery.

The exhibit, which is presented in collaboration with the Calder Foundation, remains on view through December 20th.

Family members, of course, were wearing amazing pieces of their own.

Andre J. looked fabulous next to one of the unwearable mobiles.

Dangling earrings taken to a a new level. You cannot truly understand a Calder mobile until you wear one. What a total thrill!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

402, and Counting ...

I seem to have blown right past my 400th post without noticing!

Here’s a reminder that Daylight Savings Time is over. If you have any non-automatically resetting clocks, be sure to set them back an hour.

I found this series of vintage “Clock Brand” matchbox labels on eBay (of course) a while ago. I only just now realized, that the labels, which depict quarter-hour intervals, only span from 12:00 to 11:00. So technically, this would be more appropriate for spring, when we lose and hour. Feel free to save it for then. I like this image way too much to wait six whole months to run it.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gwen Murphy's "Foot Fetish" Faces

The Governess

I recently encountered Gwen Murphy’s “Foot Fetish” sculptures in Brattleboro, Vermont at Gallery in the Woods. Definitely a cut above the usual craft-gallery fare. I wonder if she gets to deduct shoes as a business expense?

Toe Shoes

Indru and Jojo

Red Devils

Big Mouth Twins

She's Not There

Blue Elders

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