Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trying Wordpress

Moseyed over to Wordpress this evening because of quality issues with Blogger.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Clothespin bag, sewer tile head

Two items that sold Sunday at the Material Culture auction in Philadelphia, both for the same price -- $175 before auctioneer's fee. The small head, by an unknown artist, was formerly owned by the pioneering collector Herbert Hemphill. The clothespin bag, displayed in Plexiglass, was described as African-American made.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dust Bowl Dana Morgan

Dana Morgan slicked down his hair for this photo booth shot, but his glassy eyes reflect a hardscrabble life.

Friday, October 25, 2013


The man in the Champion shirt seems controlled by demons of consumption telling him to buy, buy, buy. 1980s.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Truly sorrowful?

Women apparently grieving carry a box. Or is their mourning all an act? The woman right appears to be pretending, and behind her another woman clearly is smiling. Perhaps they're college friends staging a mock funeral. Or it's a real funeral for a pet.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Circles and squares

On this old wood game board, an explosion of more than 300 squares pushes against four pockets of 15 circles.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bill Farma and Ed Hannula, and the shadow of the tree

On a chilly March day in Waukegan in 1948, someone who knew Bill and Ed photographed them as they passed the shadow of the tree.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Hole in his head

Recycled metal pot turned into a scarecrow-like head by George Kornegay, an artist who created two environments near Selma, Ala. The head was nailed atop a fence post covered by a man's shirt.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pretty pretty pretty

Someone pined for Frances Maniscalco. Pretty is written twice on the front and once on the back of this unmailed real photo postcard. Her lips are embellished with ink.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Is that smile a mask?

Child-size, aluminum with a riveted nose. Something different for Halloween.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Finger missing

A naive drawing on hospital paper by Emitte Hych (d. 2009), who lived in Illinois after moving from Mississippi. He was 100 or close to it when he died.

Monday, September 30, 2013

The wire

Daring aerialists perform their delicate balancing act in this old snapshot. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jointed figure, Holland, Michigan

Articulated jester with a black face and wooden clogs, an odd combination. The clogs can be explained by the jester's origin, probably Holland, Mich. Excellent paint.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cosmetics department money bag

A cloth bag used in the days when cash was carried to and from the store accounting department. An artistic employee painted lipstick and cold cream(?) on the bag so it wasn't just a dull container.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

L.A. pig

Photo booth image from 1973 of what appears to be a Los Angeles police officer wearing a pig mask. The photo is only 2 inches by 1.6 inches but drew 23 bids on eBay and sold for $113.50. One of the greatest photo booth photos ever?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Woman of color

Unusually large photo booth portrait that's been tinted. 4.25 inches by 3 inches.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

That old time religion shelf

A shelf from Virginia, 12. 6 inches by 8 inches, featuring a crudely carved cross and sawtooth decoration. The shelf juts out 5 inches.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Luther rose

The Luther seal or Luther rose, the symbol of Lutheranism, hand painted on Masonite. The design was created for Martin Luther in the 16th century and the colors all have meaning. The cross is black because of the horror of the crucifixion. The heart is its beating natural red color representing life. The rose is white (yellowish white in this case) symbolizing joy. And the background is blue for the sky. The back of this folky midcentury piece says in ink "the seal of Martin Luther."