Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Accomplishments of 1915

1915 was quite year at the Palette and Chisel
(cartoon by J. Jeffrey Grant)

And here's the list accomplishments:

*21 new active members

*12 Painting exhibitions

*The Famous Abstract Show
*Cowbell (newsletter) had 12 issues
(and turned a profit)

*150 newspaper stories have been secured
(including 10 features, 3 magazine articles,
and 110 straight art stories)

*8 entertainment dinners
(including 2 Ladies' Nights)

*New Camp (at Fox Lake) has been established
(and paid for)

*Ad rates for the Cowbell have increased 900%

You can't top that!
(and we never would)

Do you notice the emphasis on publicity?
(many of these guys worked for newspapers)

And --- the emphasis on financial matters.

(which is why we still exist)

Here's a tribute to the Abstract Show,

painted by John H. Carlsen
(who, like those Medieval illuminators,
just couldn't leave human figures
out of his design)

Here's a story about the P&C's
notorious exhibit
of a collection of European book plates
which, as P&C President R.V. Brown notes,

"display a masterful disregard for draperies"

Equally provocative (and therefore newsworthy)
was this little jaunt to the Summer Camp
where the models posed nude in the forest.

(the model shown above was named as
"Miss Della Raymond",
presumably an honorably fictitious variation on
"Miss Della Rains")

And here's a provocative public display of Tableaux Vivants

"models were clad only in a spotlight
as it filtered through a gauze screen"

This year also featured a lecture-demonstration
by that cutting-edge artist from places East,
Ralph Helm Johonnot,
who proposed to paint words instead of models.
(way - way ahead of his time!)

So yes this was quite a year for the P&C.

But the "First Annual Abstract Show" would also be the last,
and the CowBell would soon cease publication for about 7 years.

It's difficult to avoid the conclusion that these guys
were mostly interested in having fun
by attracting attention
with either naughty nudes
or avant garde ideas.

And yet,
100 years later,
many of them are recognized
as collectible names in the auction world
(and a few have even made it into art museums)


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