Sunday, June 13, 2010

Around the World with Carl Werntz

Just as Stephan Giannini would do 80 years later,
Carl Werntz packed up his brushes and paints
and traveled around the world.

The following images
come from a tribute
that the Chicago Academy of the Arts
published soon after his death.
(Werntz founded the academy in 1902
and sold it in 1937)

And they were accompanied by
the following poem
written on December 6, 1941
by Emily Winthrop Miles
(a rather wild, blue-blood aesthete):


O to have had the eyes to see
Such treasures in far distant lands!
And then, so to translate such clarity of vision
Into unfaltering lines, that duplicate sweet fragments
Of that shy beauty which speaks its poetry
Only to those whose ear is so attuned...

(though I fear Mrs. Miles' ear was not quite
so well attuned to English poesy)

"Joseph Conrad could have made an enthralling tale of Carl Werntz who has been wandering in strange islands and mainlands along the equator, visiting peoples to whom his pale skin is a curiosity even in the 1930's, hobnobbing with their chiefs, persuading cannibals there is something better in human relations than the stew pot, intent, all the time, in studying the arts and fine crafts of strangers to civilization. There is a flavor of Gauguin in it all, except that Werntz didn't run away from his wife, Millicent"

"When modern art began chasing its own tail", Mr. Werntz picturesqely expresses the decadence of the movement, and "long dead artists, unheralded schools and movements
were called upon to aid in furnishing new ideas", the Werntzes started their six-year jaunt along the equator,mostly to the south of the line"

..... C.J. Bulliet, Chicago Daily News

And here's some information
relevant to his career:


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