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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Yuri Gusev [1928–2012]

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

GUSEV, Yuri [1928–2012]

Kremlin / Кремль

oil on board / 13 inches by 17 inches

1961

Art from behind the former Iron Curtain is troublesome to document, as is the case with this study for a painting of the Kremlin at the heart of Moscow, a place which represents Mediæval Russia as St Petersburg does the rule of the Romanovs. In the Stalinist era, art was called into the service of the State. But following his death in 1953, a somewhat more romantic, even nostalgic, means of expression was increasingly tolerated. Gusev was born into the repressive regime and grew to artistic maturity in its aftermath.

This study was used in exactly that way, as a teaching tool, in the Art Department at Northwest Iowa Normal College and comes to us from that source. Compare this work with that of Anatoly Sedov.

A lower-case kremlin in Russian means a citadel; capitalized, it refers specifically to Moscow.

James Albert Holden (1881–1956) / Richard A. Loederer (1893–1980)

[From the Community Collection, a public trust in Agincourt, Iowa]

HOLDEN, James Albert [1881–1956]

Tall Ship

color woodcut / 12 inches by 10 inches / open edition?

no date

Painter, muralist. Born in Stockport, England on June 26, 1881. Holden was taught to paint early in life by his father who was a fresco painter. In 1904 he immigrated to Oakland, CA where he was a pupil of Richard and J. H. E. Partington. Later he served for many years as art director of Pacific Railway Advertising Company. He painted landscapes of northern California and many murals in homes and public buildings of the San Francisco Bay area before his death in Oakland on Jan. 13, 1956. Member: SFAA; Bohemian Club; Bay Region AA; Society for Sanity in Art. Exh: Oakland Art Fund, 1905; Calif. State Fair, 1910 (gold medal); San Francisco Art Association, 1912-13; Sequoia Club (SF), 1914; Oakland Art Gallery, 1932-44 (prizes); Santa Cruz Art. [from an on-line biography]

LOEDERER, Richard A. [1893–1980]

Pirate Ship

color woodcut / 14 inches by 10 inches / 191 of 300

1919

Richard A. Loederer was born in Austria. He studied at the Reinmann Schule in Berlin, and at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. In the USA, he worked in advertising in the 1920s, and as a book writer in the 1930s (‘Ozark Mountain Folk’, ‘Vood Fire in Haiti’). Loederer worked as an animation art director for the Amedee J. Van Beuren studios and at RKO. He was also present in the National/DC comic books of the mid-1930s, illustrating features like ‘Brad Hardy’, ‘Bubby and Beezil’, ‘Caveman Capers’, ‘Jumpy and Bunny’, ‘Midshipman Dewey’ and ‘Weird Asia’. He additionally worked as an editor. [from an on-line biography]

Coincidence has been a common occurrence in the Community Collection, such as the arrival recently of two works in the same medium and of the same general subject. Though they each merit individual treatment, we post them here together to make the point.

 

Humuhumunukunukuapua`a

Don’t ask me why I know this. But I do. The state fish of Hawai’i is the humuhumunukunukuapua`a.

I think it comes from a Reader’s Digest in my dentists office when I was about twelve. One of the sure signs of aging is the phenomenon of events, even exceptionally small, even minor ones from sixty years ago, being recollected far better than what I came to the pharmacy to pick up this afternoon. And so, the humuhumunukunukuapua`a popped into my head this morning and made me wonder about what all those this states and municipalities claim as representative of themselves.

Since northwest Iowa is deprived of triggerfish, the Bowmen of Agincourt is still our best bet.

Note to Self

STUFF

There’s one hell of a lot of stuff remaining to get done in Agincourt before all the sand runs out of my hourglass. More people than I ever expected have come to play in the sandbox of history with me and may even have had more fun that I’m having: making stained glass windows or wrought iron wreathes, writing sesqui-centennial fanfares and setting Shakespeare to song; crafting the sesqui-centennial quilt; imagining an Orthodox religious icon of Saint Ahab, patron of obsessive-compulsives; writing the corporate history of the Northwest Iowa Traction Co.; or a dollhouse for what might have been a little girl’s last Christmas. Well, you get the picture.

Just as a reminder — and a temptation to anyone paying attention — here is what will be a growing list of “wants”, in no particular order.

  • “Agincourt, the Board Game”.
  • A play for the local theatre company.
  • The Agincourt Archers double-A baseball team (uniforms, roster and stats, season poster, etc.)
  • Infrastructure: the story of the city’s water, sewer, and telecommunication — lines in chronological order, no less.
  • The Pandemic. Enough said.
  • A National Register Nomination for one of Agincourt’s buildings, possible Christ the King or St Joseph-the-Carpenter.
  • A model of Asbury Methodist Church, but just the front elevation.
  • The FitzGerald Flynn mausoleum at The Shades.
  • The Square and all its testosterone-laden war memorials.
  • A whole bunch of other graphic designs for posters, certificates, membership cards, etc.

Others will be appended here as they come to mind. Oh, and if none of this gets done, that’s O.K., too. I just won’t die with a smirk of satisfaction on my face.

Thanks for watching this space.

كُوفِيَّة‎

kefiyyeh or  كُوفِيَّة

A few years ago I picked up a cheap book (at B&N, of all places) to learn Arabic script — not that I got terribly far. The problem was how many characters took a different form at the end of a word. Then, of course, there’s always that problem, as with Hebrew, of no vowels. But who am I to criticize.

Anyway, in the spirit of the pandemic and international good will and even brotherhood, I went on-line this afternoon and bought a keffiyeh or Arabic head scarf “commonly found in arid regions, as it provides protection from sunburn, dust and sand”, so as to protect others from my sputum, rather than me from theirs. Of course, the next thought to enter my imagination is what this might mean in Agincourt: Can you get one cheap at the H.E.B. or the TG&Y or its counterpart locally? I’ll ask around. Sounds like a special order.

Oh, BTW, look for me in one in a few days, as soon as it’s arrived from god-knows-where.