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."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The last of Badger

The last known photo of the dog with one black eye. The back says it all: "The last of Badger."

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sport Arena

A grocery bag with drawings on both sides by Lewis Smith (d. 1998 age 91), an eccentric who lived in a rural area of Ohio. One side is titled "Sport Arena," the other "Physical Fitness of Athletics." The year after Smith's death, Roberta Smith of the New York Times wrote about the artist in her preview of the Outsider Art Fair, where American Primitive Gallery was showing the previously unknown work. "Smith, who spent most of his life working on his family's farm in Ohio or traveling around the country on a lifetime railway pass, filled entire books, some of them handmade, with records, lists, writings and drawings that documented his own life and the way of life around him," the Times article says. "Some [drawings], on grocery bags or large pieces of corrugated cardboard, depict the women's athletic teams (baseball, acrobats, wrestlers) whose tours Smith followed on his train travels. Others, on flattened cracker boxes, are imaginary pictures based on the names of diners, another subject of his lists."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Price on her head

Carved, laminated pine head, 19th century, that sold at the Garth's auction yesterday for $3,013. In 2004, the 14-inch tall lady sold at a Cowan's auction for $2,875. The following year it sold again, at a Garth's auction, for just $750.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Budweiser buds

After a few Buds, a pair of binoculars and a Montgomery Ward catalog can seem mighty interesting. The photographer's interest, however, is unwelcome.

Monday, September 2, 2013