Saturday, December 22, 2007

Some Other Bohemian Art Clubs

Yes, believe it or not,

but the Palette and Chisel

was not the only

"Bohemian" arts club in early 20th C America

("Bohemian" in reference
not to the small country in central Europe,
but to the Romantic, playful, impoverished
artsy-ness of "La Boheme")

The Kit Kat Club (founded 1881 in NYC)

may have been the grand-daddy of them all.

I can't uncover much of its history on the internet,
since there have been quite few
"Kit Kat Clubs" over the centuries,
but obviously, they're no longer with us.

Notice the similarity to
the Palette and Chisel
publications from that period ?

(and to Roger Akers' rooftop parties?)

It's demise may have been hastened by the
departure of one of its most famous members,
(his signature is in the lower left corner)
who splintered off to
establish his own
Penguin Club in 1917.

(but I'm doubting that this
organization outlived its founder)

Meanwhile, Cleveland had it's own


Kokoon Arts Club
(founded 1911)

(and what a swingin' place it must have been !)

Can you imagine
a more provocative image
for America
in 1930 ?

They had some pretty good artists, didn't they ?

And, like the Palette and Chisel,
they were even able to purchase
their own building (in 1930)

But, alas,
they are no longer with us either.

(they folded in the 1950's - as
unlike the Palette and Chisel,
they were not able to transition
from avant garde to rear garde.

Avant garde artists don't need
an art club any more,
they just need a gallery -
and a faculty position
at a university)

So now,

(as if you needed to be reminded)

the Palette and Chisel stands alone


Post a Comment

<< Home