Monday, December 31, 2012

Antiques at the Armory

Candler Arts will travel 885 miles north to New York in January to exhibit at Antiques at the Armory in Gramercy Park. The show, with 100 dealers, takes place Jan. 25-27 during New York's Americana Week. "A Sound on the Stairs" (detail), 1949, by Robert E. Fraser of Georgetown, S.C., will be making the trip as well. If you're in the city then, please stop by. We'll be in booth 102.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Loving cup

A 16-pound, end-of-day, mother's milk iron vessel. The raised signature is backwards and appears to say Rocky. The cup is crudely rendered and masculine except for the small, delicately done breasts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Send the money or I'll use the pliers

A cabinet card photo that offers tantalizing clues but still is a puzzle to me. What do the pliers represent? Why is the standing woman's hand resting atop the seated woman's head? What happened to the seated woman's other foot? But, judging from the inscription on the back, nothing's amiss: "With love from Marge & Nora. This is a snap shot taken in Nora's parlor."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

From Campton to East Hampton

Many of you will recognize who made this heavily oxidized carving: Edgar Tolson of Campton, Ky. Tolson (d. 1984) tried to be a righteous Christian but his bad boy impulses often got the best of him. When he was a Baptist preacher in the 1930s he burned down a church. Tolson's artwork was discovered in the 1960s by workers documenting crafts made by the Appalachian poor. A picker bought this carving out a house in East Hampton, N.Y. Surprisingly, the picker had no idea who the maker was, which leads me to think the wealthy collectors may not have known either. A brief video of Tolson talking can be viewed here.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Just trying to protect himself

"Who's at the door!" "It's mommy, honey." Too many guns out there, even toy ones. A timely snapshot turntablebooks is selling on eBay.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bessie Harvey figurines

Bessie Harvey (d. 1994) was a self-taught artist from Alcoa, Tenn., who usually worked with found wood. These sculptures are different in that they are clay. The year after her death, Harvey's work was included in the Whitney Biennial, and the Whitney Museum of American Art purchased one of her pieces. At her best Harvey is scary. Note the snake around the neck of the brown figure.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Real togetherness

For those managers trying to break down walls and foster team spirit, this old workplace photo offers an idea.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Leg show

In this business along Wenceslas Square in historic Prague, the pedicurists number in the dozens and are excellent swimmers. Wenceslas, really a boulevard, was a center of horse trading in the Middle Ages and political demonstrations in 1989 during the Velvet Revolution protesting Communist rule. Today, peaceful parliamentary rule has brought spas with skin-eating fish.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Painted jointed figure

Antique articulated man with beautiful, sort of sloppy paint decoration, about 12 inches tall.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

The light coming through the towering stained-glass windows creates a spectacular show inside St. Stephen's. The cathedral suffered from a major fire in the 13th century and again at the end of World War II. Despite all that, the Romanesque and Gothic building is a knockout.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Actor's arrival at tourist site stirs excitement

Tourists visiting the Buda Castle in Budapest turned their back on the historic site when a crow that's appeared in numerous films, including a spine-chilling turn in this year's "The Raven," landed on a railing. One of the shutterbugs told me she recognized the bird from an early sky shot in 2010's "True Grit." When the giggling crowd had their fill, the crow flew off, in the direction of Cannes.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Artbanka Museum of Young Art

Artbanka Museum of Young Art (AMoYA) is housed in a shabby Baroque palace building in Prague, near the very old and beautiful Charles Bridge over the Danube. The staff are all bohemian 20-somethings and the art they champion is all anti-pretty. The last photo is of a David Cerny installation in the museum's courtyard. Cerny is well known in the Czech Republic for his large, politically charged work. The Lord of the Rings personifies the sacrifice required of gymnasts, I guess. Above that, a video shows a woman screaming, setting in motion a whirligig. Another video at the museum shows a woman singing; the description says the woman cannot afford beauty enhancements such as breast implants, so she sings in order not to be beaten.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Crying child tableau

A man who looks like a cop and a woman talk as the child cries. The women's clothing, with those hats, is unusual, to say the least. There's some kind of story going on here about a kid who perhaps did something wrong and got caught.