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WINTER 1987 Vol. 12, No.


Announcing an exhibit of this classic Lancaster County Pennsylvania pattern.

KELTER-MALCE A•N•T•I•Q-U•E•S 361 Bleecker Street / New York City 10014 212-989-6760 IN•GREENWICH•VILLAGE


'Dancing Negro" Cigar Store Figure by an unknown American Artist. Ca, 1850. Height 54:' Provenance: Elie Nadleman Collection N.Y. Historical Society Literature: "American Folk Sculpture" Bishop,figure 634(illust.) "Folk Art in Wood, Metal and Stone" Jean Lipman,figure 70(illust.) "Cigar Store Figures" Prendergast,(illust.)

17 East 96th Street, New York, New York 10128.(212)348-5219 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

"Miss Palmer ofGloversville,New York" Portrait ofMiss Palmer ofGloversville, New York, in Panelled Room, painted by Sheldon Peck, circa 1825, will be included in an auction of Americana on January 31. For catalogues and information, please contact Nancy Druckman at (212)606-7225. Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10021.




Henry Darger, Mt. Hendro Danno Lava Flow, side A,24" x 107", ca. 1960 watercolor, carbon transfer, and collage on paper.

Mt. Hendro Danno Lava Flow, side B

Janet Fleisher GALLERY 211 South 17th Street PHILADELPHIA PA 1 9 1 0 3


1 2inches. 1 2x 49/ Portrait of a Young Girl. Circa 1840. Anonymous. Oil on canvas, 29/

We are always interested in purchasing exceptional quilts and Americana, collections or individual pieces. Photographs returned promptly. Exhibiting at the Winter Antiques Show, New York City

THE CLARION Eria. A AMERICA'S FOLK ART MAGAZINE The Museum of American Folk Art New York City WINTER 1987 Vol. 12, No. I $4.50

Volume 12, No. 1


Arthur B. and Sybil B. Kern


Winter 1987


William Murray and his School Patti M. Marxsen



Steven B. Leder



A Murderous Saga Unfolds on a Piece of Stoneware Mary Black



Eugene W. Metcalf, Jr.



The Meaning of Folk Art Collecting in America


















Cover: From the exhibition "Museum of American Folk Art's Catch a Brass Ring: Carousel Art from the Charlotte Dinger Collection' Detail of Indian Pony, Outside Row Stander; Daniel Muller; Circa 1910; Painted wood. Photo: Bryan Allen

The Clarion is published three times a year by the Museum of American Folk Art,444 Park Avenue South,NY,NY 10016;212/481-3080. Annual subscription rate for MAFA members is included in membership dues. Copies are mailed to all members. Single copy $4.50. Published and copyright 1986 by the Museum of American Folk Art, 444 Park Avenue South, NY, NY 10016. The cover and contents of The Clarion are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Museum of American Folk Art. Unsolicited manuscripts or photographs should be accompanied by return postage. The Clarion assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage ofsuch materials. Change of Address: Please send both old and new addresses and allow five weeks for change. Advertising: The Clarion accepts advertisements only from advertisers whose reputation is recognized in the trade, but despite the care with which the advertising department screens photographs and texts submitted by its advertisers, it cannot guarantee the unquestionable authenticity of objects of quality or services advertised in its pages or offered for sale by its advertisers, nor can it accept responsibility for misunderstandings that may arise from the purchase or sale of objects or services advertised in its pages. The Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of folk art and feels it is a violation of its principles to be involved in or to appear to be involved in the sale of works of art. For this reason, the Museum will not knowingly accept advertisements for The Clarion which illustrate or describe objects that have been exhibited at the Museum within one year of the placing of the advertisement. 5






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Didi Barrett, Editor Faye Eng, Anthony Yee, Art Directors Marilyn Brechner, Advertising Manager Craftsmen Litho,Printers Nassau Typographers, Typesetters


LATIN AMERICAN & HAITIAN FOLK ART Administration Dr. Robert Bishop, Director Gerard C. Werticin, Assistant Director Cheryl Hoenemeyer, Accountant Lillian Grossman,Assistant to the Director Jeanne Bomstein, Administrative Assistant Robert Cheek, Accounting Clerk Barry Gallo, Reception Richard Griffin, Clerk Jerry Ton-ens, Assistant Clerk

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Collections & Exhibitions

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Elizabeth Warren, Curator Michael McManus,Director ofExhibitions Anne-Marie Reilly, Registrar Joyce Hill, Consulting Research Curator Mary Black, Consulting Curator

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Didi Barrett, Director ofPublications Carolyn Cohen, Director ofSpecial Events Marie S. DiManno,Director ofMuseum Shops Susan Flamm, Public Relations Director Barbara W. Kaufman-Cate, Director ofEducation Edith Wise, Librarian Johleen Nester, Director ofDevelopment Charlotte Sonnenblick, Membership Director Nancy Dorer, Consulting Curator ofEducation Janey Fire, Karla Friedlich, Photographic Services


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Barbara W. Kaufman-Cate, Director, Folk Art Institute Dr. Marilynn Karp, Director, New York University Master's and Ph.D. Program in Folk Art Studies Dr. Judith Reiter Weissman, New York University Program Coordinator Cecilia K. Toth, Jane Walentas, Co-Chairs Friends Committee Kennetha Stewart, Exhibitions Previews Coordinator Susan Moore,Junior League Liaison


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Embroidered and appliqued Mantle honoring a political hero. Worn at the festival of Corpus Cristi, Peru.

Museum Shop Staff Caroline Hohenrath, Sally O'Day, Rita Pollitt, Managers Joseph Minus, Security Manager Sheila Carlisle, Elizabeth Cassidy, Lucy Fagot, Dorothy Garguilo, Elli Gordon, Lisa Haber, Eleanor Katz, Annette Levande, Katie McAuliffe, Nancy Mayer, Pat Pancer, Marie Poluso, Eleanor Seymour, Myra Shaskan, Caroline Smith, Claire Spiezio, Doris Stack, Mary Wansley, Florence Walsh, Maura Walsh. Monica Wellington, Gina Westpy, Doris Wolfson.

Exhibit: January 7—February 22 African Art in Brazil

131 SPRING STREET • NEW YORK NEW YORK 10012 •(212)431-0144 ••

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PHYLLIS HADERS ANTIQUE QUILTS & ACCESSORIES 158 Water Street, Stonington, Connecticut 06378 By Appointment (203)535-4403â&#x20AC;˘(203)535-2585

Cradle Quilt cotton, pieced circa 1880 38 x 42

I am interested in acquiring cradle quilts of this quality.



Specializing in 18th,19th,and 20th Century Primitive American Art and objects of uncommonly fine design. By Appointment 212.645.2755,212.673-1078

Tramp Art Shrine. Western Pennsylvania, wood with polychrome, 43"h x26" w x 18" d.





766 MADISON AVENUE • NEW YORK, N.Y. 10021 • 212-535-1930

We wish to purchase rare and unusual quilts

Applique bible quilt, 3rd quarter 19th century, 71 x 76 inches. 9

Exhibiting at The Winter Antiques Show

Outsider Art Cavin-Morris Inc. 100 hudson Street, New York 10013 212.226.3768

S.L. Jones "Family"; Ht. from 31"to 17/ 1 2"; Carved polychrome wood, 1979

Over Mantle Painting; Oil on linen; signed Eva Meeker(circa 1860);"Susquehanna River" at West Troy, Penn.; 60" Lx 24" h. Painter's home is large Federal house on far left.

Ruth Be Antiques

743 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10021 Telephone 212/734-3262

Specializing in Canton Porcelain


Good Country Furniture, Weathervanes and Quilts.

Eta engine lets you power through traffic without endlessly shifting through the gears. Whose orthopedically-designed seats and ergonomically-designed climate controls ensure you not only negotiate the highway nimbly, but navigate it in total comfort. Whose ingenious ABS anti-lock braking system can actually mean the difference between emerging victorious from hazardous roads, and not emerging at all. And whose parts and pieces mesh together so well that one automotive critic was moved to charactehze the 528e as "sumptuous in a no-nonsense way and immaculately crafted"(Motor Trend). Your local BMW dealer would be happy to arrange a thorough test drive of For those forced to cope with such a de- the BMW 528e. A triumph of moralizing situation, BMW has engineered a technology in which every day you share in the victory. most vivifying solution. The 528e. A car whose high-torque, high-efficiency* THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE.

EMERGE FROM THE FREEWAY VICTOMOKNOT VICTIMIZED. Highways extract a bitter toll from modem drivers. Not at the coin booths, but in the continual onslaught of noise, traffic jams and pollution.

.EPA-estimated El mpg,24 highway. Fuel efficiency figures are for comparison only. Your actual mileage may vary, depending on speed, weather and trip length. Š1985 BMW of North America, Inc. The BMW trademark and logo are registered.


American Folk Art Sidney Gecker 226 West 21st Street New York, N. Y 10011

(212)929-8769 Appointment suggested

THREE CHILDREN FROM A BALTIMORE FAMILY. ca. 1830; 32 x 26 inches fine condition

photo: Frank W Ockenfels 3rd

Subject To Prior Sale

The Old & The New 1262 Madison Avenue(90th St.) New York,N.Y. 10128 212-876-5775 Monday-Saturday 10-6

Sawtooth Diamond with Baskets quilt, c.1880; Lloyd Loom chair; kilim pillows; gameboard by Robin Lankford; paisley frames by Beaux Arts; painted snake by Jimbo Davilla; horse vase by Anthony Bowman.




We don't just sell history, we make it. For over 220 years, Christie's has sold fine and decorative art at auction, establishing the firm as the oldest of its kind in the world. After 10 years in America, we continue to set standards of excellence and leadership. Our auctions of American Paintings, Sculpture, Decorative Art and Folk Art have consistently brought the best of our traditions to the international public. From the collectible areas of toys, miniatures, firearms and textiles to the recordsetting categories of paintings, furniture, sculpture, silver and folk art, Christie's leads the way for American art at auction. For a recorded announcement of our current auction schedule, call 212/371-5438. For further information about buying and selling American art at auction, please contact: American Paintings at 212/546-1179, Sculpture at 212/546-1148, American Decorative Arts at 212/546-1181 or Collectibles at 212/606-0543.




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You could say it was strictly by accident that the Bicycle Trade Sign's true colors were re-

vealed. A gift of David L. Davies, and a favorite piece in the collection of the Museum of American Folk Art, the carved figure astride an enormous Co-

lumbia bicycle was a monochromatic black when it came to the Museum in 1983. But a break during a recent move,and the need to repair a burned left arm, led the conservator to discover that underneath numerous layers of paint were yellow socks and hat, a hunter green body, a skin-toned face and traces of white on what would have been the shirt. It is presumed that this is the original paint dating from 1895 when the trade sign sat atop Amidee T. Thibault's bicycle repair shop in St. Alban's, VT. One hundred hours of stripping later, the bicycle man is now on the road traveling in the Museum's exhibition "Young America: A Folk Art History." See it at the Tucson Museum of Art, 'Meson, AZ, from January 24 to March 15, 1987, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI, from April 6 to September 13, 1987; The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC, October 5, 1987 to January 3, 1988; and Terra Museum of American Art, Chicago, IL, February 15 to April 25, 1988.

ltustic 4eti.e4t Rustic furniture from Adirondack to Amish is all the rage these days. At every antique show, twig tables, Old Hickory settees, and fanciful armchairs seem to have come out of the proverbial woodwork. One of the most sybaritic places to sample the rustic style is at a former Adirondack great camp turned luxury resort called The Point. Nestling Upper Saranac Lake, The Point was built as the private getaway of William Rockefeller, a nephew of John D., and it maintains the atmosphere of those bygone days when "camps" were where the very rich went to play in the lakes and mountains. The Point's eleven, one-of-a-kind rooms are filled with Adirondack antiques;

44ty ot4tItems 1144tai4t Uwe tubieb The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in WinstonSalem, NC, together with the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, will sponsor the

Vte ldiquitotso Ilow40 fiKsto The Rev. Howard Finster, probably the most celebrated ofcontemporary folk artists, with a record album cover, Venice Biennale, and countless exhibitions to his credit, is among the featured artists in the exhibition "Contemporary Cutouts," at the Whitney Museum at Philip Morris, 120 Park Avenue, New York, NY, until February 17, 1987. The exhibition focuses on the use of the cut-out form in con14

meals are lavishly prepared and served in the most romantic of settings; and service is discreet, but doting. New owner David Garrett is now scouting for a vintage sleigh for winter rides along mountain trails. The whole experience is guaranteed to hook you on Adirondack style. For information contact The Point, Saranac Lake,NY 12983.

temporary sculpture and includes the work of Red Grooms, Alex Katz, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann, Karl Wirsum and Jonathan Borofsky, among others.

twelfth annual graduate Summer Institute on the subject of Early Southern History and Decorative Arts from June 21 through July 17, 1987. Emphasis will be on the material culture of the southern Back Country which includes western Maryland, the Valley of Virginia, Piedmont North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, and eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. Students, teachers and museum professionals are encouraged to apply; partial fellowships are available. Application deadline is April 20, 1987. For information contact Sally Gant, Education Coordinator, Summer Institute, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Post Office Box 10310, Winston-Salem, NC 27108, telephone 919/722-6148.


A wonderfully naive memorial dated 1801, in "memory of Miss Hannah Lincoln who died September the 22 1792 in the 34 year of her age." Silk and watercolor on paper, 6" x 71 / 2 " sight, possibly Hingham, Ma.

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12Summer Street, Wiscasset, Maine 04578 (207)-882-6420

(Wit lieto tliONI Alt Ove4 "The New York Quilt Project: Preserving New York State's Quilt Heritage," under the auspices of the Museum of American Folk Art, has begun to locate, research and document historic quilts of the Empire State. Anyone with information about New York State quilts should send photographs, as well as descriptions of available documentation,to project directors Irma Shore and Phyllis A. Tepper, Folk Art Institute, Museum of American Folk Art, 444 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016... The Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution is the occasion for a quilt competition mounted by the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild with a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Competitions will be held in the thirteen states that fall within the Appalachian region, including Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Car-

olina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. The winners ofthe state contests will tour in a traveling show that will open on Constitution Day, September 17, 1987 at the Folk Art Center, Asheville, NC. Interested individuals or groups should write"Wethe Quilters. ." Folk Art Center, P.O. Box 9545, Asheville, NC 28815... Prize winning quilts from The

Great American Quilt Contest, a Museum of American Folk Art Event, sponsored by Scotchgard brand products in celebration of the Statue of Liberty Centennial, continues its national tour. Stops this Winter include Davenport Art Gallery, Davenport,IO, until January 18, 1987; Paradise Valley Mall, Phoenix, AZ, February 1 to 28, 1987; Sacramento Conununity Convention Center, Sacramento, CA, March 14 to April 28, 1987...

A juried selection of 30 contemporary quilts from Quilt National '85, a biennial project of Dairy Barn, Inc. Southeastern Ohio Cultural Arts Center of Athens, OH, along with five nineteenth century presidential quilts, including Western Reserve Historical Society's famous McKinley quilt, will be exhibited from March 1 through May 31, 1987 at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, OH.

particular use for the folk art specialist are names of federal and state funding sources; related societies, organizations and other groups; and academic and cultural institutions with folk art programs. Also noteworthy is a thorough list of the

newsletters, magazines, journals and other serial publications related to folk art and folklife. The Folklife Sourcebook is available by mail for $10 from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC,20540.

Totktite ottlicetiook The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress has just published the first Folklife Sourcebook, a useful resource that brings together information on the widespread folklife activities and programs in the United States and Canada. Of


Queen Anne painted cherrywood oval-top tea table. Connecticut, Westport area, Circa 1730-1760, Retaining its original greenish-blue paint. 27Y, x 34% x 23% inches.

Illustrated: John T. Kirk, Connecticut Furniture, Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Catalog of Exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, 1967, number 160, [incorrectly listed as maple.] Dean A. Fales, Jr., American Painted Furniture, 1660-1880, colorplate figure 123.


1037 North Street

Greenwich, Conn. 06830 203-869-8797

Consultants and Brokers of Fine American Antiques

By Appointment Only



Over the past few months, Charlotte Sonnenblick, Membership Director for the Museum of American Folk Art, has been developing new special benefits for members of our Museum family. She has a program which I think merits your attention. From time to time fraudulent folk paintings have appeared in the marketplace. Collectors, connoisseurs, and restoration consultants have raised questions about these works and about the authenticity of the painted surfaces. In an effort to provide important educational services, the Museum is pleased to announce the inauguration of a new membership benefit for Sustaining, Benefactor and Director's Circle Patrons. Joel Zakow, the much respected New York conservator, has generously offered to consult with members in these Patron categories about the age and authenticity of their American folk paintings. Through this valuable service, we hope to enhance your understanding of folk painting. For more information about this special benefit telephone Charlotte Sonnenblick at 212/481-3080. The Fall Antiques Show produced by Sanford L. Smith this year was enhanced by the exhibition, "A Penny Saved: Mechanical Banks & Children," curated by Claude and Alvan Bisnoff and sponsored by American Express Company. Next year we contemplate an exhibition that will once again focus upon the issue of identifying authentic works of American folk art. It is our plan to search out well executed fakes and hang them next to authentic works of art. By carefully comparing and studying the original and the spurious example one will be able to develop a sensitivity to authenticity which will provide the collector with increased knowledge. The Museum of American Folk Art has been awarded a $75,000 grant from the highly competitive Advancement Program of the National Endowment

/IAN WCIN :01011d


Joel Zakow, restoration and appraisal specialist, examines American folk art painting with Lucy C. Danziger, Museum Trustee.

for the Arts. The announcement of the award launches a fund-raising campaign by the Museum to match each federal dollar with $3 in non-federal funds before December 1988 for a total of $300,000. The match can be fulfilled by a combination ofindividual,foundation and corporate gifts. The funds will be used to maintain the Museum's wellestablished tradition of presenting exhibitions, educational programs, and publications of the highest quality during the construction of its new facility on West 53rd Street. The Museum is one of 35 arts organizations to be recognized and one of eleven in New York state. Interest in Mexican folk art has increased substantially in recent years, in part because of the permanent installation of Nelson A. Rockefeller's Collection at the San Antonio Museum of Art in Texas, and The Mexican Museum in San Francisco. To explore the critical issues and themes in Mexican-American folk art and folklife, The Mexican Museum is planning a two-day symposium "From the Inside Out: Mexican Folk Art in a Contemporary Context," from February 4 to 6,

1987. Among the speakers are such key figures in the field as Amalia Mesa Bains, Carlos Espejel, Annie O'Neill and Marion Oettinger. For more information contact The Mexican Museum, Fort Mason Center, Building D, Laguna at Marina Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94123, telephone, 415/441-0404. Another institution actively involved in this field is the new Folk Art Center of the Americas which recently mounted, in association with the Miami-Dade Public Library System, an exhibition called "Mexican Folk Art." The Folk Art Center of the Americas has ambitious plans and we look forward to hearing about its activities. To keep Members and friends better informed about activities in all areas of folk art The Clarion editor Didi Barrett has introduced a new section called "Miniatures" with this issue. It will be a lively potpourri of news and events from all over the country covering this fast-growing and diverse field of ours. Please be sure to keep Didi Barrett informed of activities in your community or institution. This is our way of increasing communication in the folk art world. 17

The Art of Raymond Coins Carved River Rock figure ht. is" Frog 13" long

Adam and Eve Relief ht. 14"

AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GALLERY Mon.-Fri. 10a.M.-5:30 p.m.or by appt. Aarne Anton (212)239-1345 242 West 30th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10001



THE FICTION OF FOLK ART Young America, both the exhibition and the handsomely prepared book co-authored by Jean Lipman, Robert Bishop and Elizabeth Warren offers an unfortunately misleading presentation of the role of black folk artists in the period that it covers. American historiography is replete with chronicles that manage to miss the critical contributions of blacks. In doing this, they significantly alter our understanding of the period they are attempting to chronicle. To illustrate the point, we pose the most naive of questions: "What were blacks doing during the period of Young America?" The answer is, simply, "everything:' Blacks were the artisans on rural plantations, as well as in the exquisite mansions of emerging urban areas such as New Orleans, Atlanta, New York, and the trading post that became Chicago. The pernicious fiction perpetrated in discussions and lectures by folk art historians is two-fold: Not only did blacks make no contributions, but neither is there a black esthetic or a legitimate black folk art. These two false claims readily dismiss such recurring symbols as the axe of Shango and the broken chains so evident in quilts done by slaves and their descendants, and deny the sensibility behind them, leading established art historians to claim, for example, that the crazy quilt pattern is derived from a Japanese source. One is reminded of the peculiar explanations offered for major artifacts of black creativity, such as the Olmec statuary of Mexico and the Stepped Pyramids of Yucatan, which have been attributed to travelers from outer space. Why is there this

propensity to prove that blacks have no authentic culture, other than the bizarre. One answer is provided by black social critic and novelist Albert Murray, who said: "It seems altogether likely that white people in the United States will continue to reassure themselves with black images derived from the folklore of white supremacy and the fakelore of black pathology so long as segregation enables them to ignore the actualities. They can afford such self-indulgence only because they carefuly avoid circumstances that would require a confrontation with their own contradictions. Not having to suffer the normal consequences of sloppy thinking, they can blithely obscure any number of omissions and misinterpretations with no trouble at all. They can explain them away with terminology and statistical razzle-dazzle. They can treat the most ridiculous self-refutation as if it were a moot question; and of course they can simply shut off discussion by changing the subject:' A more profound point, however, is that blacks not only produced artifacts of folk art informed by their particular social location and esthetic insights, but they also informed the entire field of folk art, especially those aspects that depart from the boring tendency to attempt to be photographic. When the "immigrants" looked out their windows they very likely saw black people doing the work of the world, but managed, as did most others, to create landscapes largely devoid of not only blacks, but everybody. Instead they created an idealized image of an imaginary America.

Ralph Ellison's definition of "the Blues" might well apply to the sensibilities of black folk artists."The Blues is an impulse to keep the painful details and episodes of a brutal experience alive in one's aching consciousness, to finger its jagged grain and to transcend it, not by the consolation of philosophy, but by squeezing from it a neartragic near-comic lyricism:' If black artists are viewed only as exotic primitives their profound commentary on the nature of American existence is being obscured. We urge a deeper exploration, for example, about the recurring theme in the work of a William Hawkins of black beasts devouring white maidens. On the other hand, it is insufficient to dismiss aspects of artistic renderings by black artists as universal. It's fair to say that all great art has universal aspects, but the roots are always firmly grounded in specific insights and social location. A serious revision regarding blacks is long overdue if the folk art field is not to become a preserve of white privilege and prejudice repeating the myths that have lead us to our present dilemmas. John David Cato H. Hilary Shabazz New York, NY

FOLK PHOTOGRAPHY As a longtime student of photography of the nineteenth century and author of some books and articles on the subject, I was delighted to find the article by Julian Wolff (Daguerreotypes as Folk Art, Fall 1986). Your publication has given some fresh approaches to the relationship of early photography and folk art of its time.

Daguerreotypy was one of the first casualties of the Civil War. My own particular collecting area in this field has been limited to the ferrotype, colloquially the "tintype:: a process of the period from just before that war and up into the twentieth century. Unlike the daguerreotype with its highly polished and non-absorbent surface of silver, the tintype would and could be brutally attacked with any paintlike material. I have numerous 5x7, 6.5x8.5 and 8x10 tins which have been so worked over by oils that the original photograph below has been totally obscured. One might say that "paint-by-numbers" had its origins with the universally available, low-cost tintype of the post Civil War period. Evidently clients paid more for painted portraits than for the more truthful lensed image concealed beneath skin-toned flat paints. My own definition would not support any claim that the professional itinerant photographist of 100 years ago was a folk artist. He called himself an artist; he delivered a portrait on metal with many of the qualities which make folk art collecting so exciting a field today; and in many cases, it was a "While-UWait" creation because the horse-drawn photography "saloon" was gone the next day. George Gilbert, Founding President â&#x20AC;&#x201D; American Photographic Historical Society

THE CLARION welcomes letters on all issues related to American folk art. Correspondence should be addressed to The Clarion, Museum of American Folk Art, 444 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10016. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. 19

CARVED POWDER HORNS Indigenous to North America and one of our earliest art forms LAKE GEORGE 1758 A beautiful carved powder horn inscribed: ORRANGH: STODER: HIS: HORN/MADE:AT* LAKE:GEORGE:1758/BRIANT STODER HIS HORN/(the last line in a different hand). Decorated with flowers, birds,trees, geometric designs and borders. Orrangh Stoder served in the Connecticut forces during the French-Indian War from 1758-1762. Briant Stoder served in Orrangh's company in 1758. O.L. 14"

GUTHMAN AMERICANA Mail:P.O.Box 392 Westport, Conn. 06881 By appointment only (203)259-9763

Fine Arts of Ancient Lands Inc. 12 EAST 86 STREET NEW YORK, N.Y. 10028 SUITE 1431 (212)249-7442

lop(el mora*E1 u401 9861 g

By Appointment


A Guerrero Stone Carving with Deep Relief; Creation Deity; Measurements: 22 H. by 14 W:'; Middle Pre Classic 1200 to 50 BC


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Sewing Desk, Enfield, N.H. Circa 1880-1890. Woods are Birds-eye Maple, Cherry, Walnut and Poplar. Essentially Victorian in feeling, a companion piece is part ol the Philadelphia Museum of Art collection.


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Dealers in ja Rare Shaker wir for Museums InIr 1=1 and Collectors. • 41 1111 III Appraisals authenticators.,"



CHATHAM, NEW YORK 12037 518 392-9654 21

Andrew Block Bruce Brice David Butler Henry Darger Rev. Howard Finster Clementine Hunter O.W. "Poppy" Kitchens Popeye Reed Nellie Mae Rowe James "Son Ford" Thomas Mose Tolliver Bill Traylor Fred Webster Chief Willey Luster Willis Estate of Charles Hutson and others LEE GO DIE "Big-Eyed Lady", Oil on canvas, 1982 181 / 2" x18½'

GASPERI FOLK ART GALLERY 831 St Peter Street • New Orleans, LA 70116 •(504)524-9373

Prince Art Consultants presents paintings by

David T Langrock (1881-1969)

(Pictured left to right)




For further details call Dan l'rince at 203-357-7723.

219 King Avenue

Columbus, Ohio

Elijah Pierce Popeye Reed Stoney St. Clair Birdie Lusch Cher Schaffer Howard Finster

Mose Tolliver David Butler Justin McCarthy James "Son Ford" Thomas William Dawson Luster Willis


614 • 294 • 7380

Twentieth Century Outsider and Folk Art


Ames Gallery features American folk art & artifacts. Concurrent with the changing exhibits, our extensive collection of tramp art, cookware, quilts, contemporary folk painting, and sculpture are always on view. For current exhibit information, hours, or for an appointment, phone us or write to:


Ames Gallery 2661 Cedar Street Berkeley, CA 94708 415 845-4949

EPSTEIN/POWELL 22 Wooster St., New York, N.Y. 10013 By Appointment(212)226-7316

Jesse Aaron Steve Ashby William Dawson Antonio Esteves Howard Finster Victor Joseph Gatto Clementine Hunter S.L. Jones Justin McCarthy Inez Nathaniel Old Ironsides Pry Nellie Mae Rowe Jack Savitsky Mose Tolliver Luster Willis and others

"Female Medical" 1931


Rifka Angel 1899(oil on canvas, 34x38")

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Photo: Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

COMMON PLACES: READINGS IN AMERICAN VERNACULAR ARCHITECTURE Edited by Dell Upton and John Michael Vlach Published by The University of Georgia Press, Athens, Georgia, 1986 $50.00 cloth, $24.95 paper In Common Places, the editors aim to make "an important statement about the interdisciplinary nature of the study of vernacular architecture and landscapes." The book is a collection of twenty-three previously published essays on the subjects of landscape and folk or vernacular architecture. The authors' brief statement of purpose identifies the collection's strengths as well as its shortcomings. Common Places is an ambitious attempt on the part of the editors, Dell Upton and John Michael Vlach, to select material from a field of study that is extraordinarily broad and to integrate this material into one useable volume intended primarily for teachers and students. The study of material culture, whether folk art or folk building, vernacular architecture or landscape, seeks to find meaning in artifact that reveals our past and illuminates our present. The gentle tug, as Henry Glassie puts it, between thought and gesture, idea and object, offers us an opportunity to see the uncommon meaning in common objects. The rules for behavior that govern the flow from thought and plan to gesture and object tell us much about their communities. Inescapably embedded in objects like houses, town plans, or quilts, the inscribed message of history can be deciphered through material culture study. The editors of Common Places divide the volume into five broadly defined parts ofthe study of vernacular architecture and landscape: definition and demonstration; construction; function; history; and design and intention. The organization of the essays is intended to help answer questions fundamental to the study of the field. What is vernacular architecture? How is it conceived? How is it made? How does it work? And, how does it change? While some essays overlap in their concerns, the selection and arrangement of the articles demonstrate the editors' clear command of the literature. The volume is a superb and richly interpretive history.

Upton and Vlach thematically approach the study of vernacular architecture and landscape as a humanistic study. The book is well illustrated with many detailed drawings and photographs of architectural pieces, but, the primary concern of the editors is ultimately to focus on the human element. The authors represented in this collection share this concern. "Knowing that there may be over a dozen legitimate ways to understand a house, a barn, or a town plan;' the editors note, "prevents the student from making the facile assumption that simple forms represent simple realities!' Upton and Vlach conclude by stating flatly, "It is our view that to study common places in a multi-disciplinary manner is to be rewarded with uncommon insights": The uncommon insights of the study of vernacular architecture and landscape yield answers to the material culture scholar's questions concerning change over time, the function of an object in context, and the idea

A tamale foodstand from Los Angeles, circa 1930s,from Common Places: Readings in American Vernacular Architecture.

and plan for the object when it was conceived. Students of material culture will appreciate finding this set of essays collected in one place. Of the twenty-three articles, many are among the most frequently used in courses on folklore and material culture. Both of the editors have included pieces of their own. John Vlach's seminal work on "The Shotgun House: An African Architectural Legacy" is a welcome addition as is Dell Upton's important essay on "Vernacular Domestic Architecture in EigtheenthCentury Virginia:' Of the most important early articles in the field of folk architec-

ture, Fred Kniffen 's"Folk,Housing: Key to Diffusion7 first published in 1965, is generally considered by scholars to be among the most innovative and thought provoking. On the subject of construction and vernacular architecture, Kniffen has an article written with Henry Glassie in 1966 on "Building in Wood in the Eastern United States!' This section of the collection also contains Warren Roberts' fine essay on "The Tools Used in Building Log Houses in Indiana': The Roberts' article is but one example among many in this volume of research that later became part of a monograph on the subject, in his case, Log Buildings of Southern Indiana (1984). The essays in this volume will be exciting and provocative to readers interested in the design and meaning of their landscape. Robert St. George's consideration of architecture and space in the Puritan world of the seventeenth-century is as pertinent to an understanding ofthe American landscape as James Borchert's important study of nineteenth-century "Alley Landscapes of Washington:' The study of material culture and the meaning ofthe landscape is not confined to exterior architecture. Students of American material culture have only recently paid serious attention to the study of interior furnishings. Increasingly, scholars investigate the history of American and AngloAmerican furniture as a means to interpret the American culture and landscape. To this end, Kenneth Ames' study of "Meaning in Artifacts: Hall Furnishings in Victorian America" is an important addition to this collection. Though clearly the Victorian hall furnishing was not a "common place:' by the end of the nineteenth century, furniture as well as architecture had evolved complicated statements of meaning for interpreting the American landscape. Two more authors stand out for their importance in the field of material culture: Alan Gowans and Henry Glassie. Gowans' study of southern New Jersey patternedbrick houses, "Mansions of Alloways Creek': was literally rescued from obscurity since it had been originally published in a little-known Canadianjournal."EighteenthCentury Cultural Process in Delaware Valley Folk Building" by Henry Glassie, to whom this volume is dedicated, was first published in 1972. It was among the early contemporary academic attempts to ascribe 25



meaning to artifacts, to read the building as a message out of the past, relating the dreams, hopes and aspirations. Its inclusion makes us realize the bibliography and the body of knowledge that have developed during the intervening years in the study of material culture, vernacular architecture and landscape. Upton and Vlach's book provides a wealth of information and illustration. It deserves much attention and will be a standard in material culture classes for years to come.In sum,Common Places presents a valuable collection of materials that will be exciting to the new student of folk building, vernacular architecture and landscape and will be a satisfying and reminding experience to the veteran of material culture teaching. — John F. Moe John E Moe is Associate Director of Continuing Education and Adjunct Associate Professor of Art Education at The Ohio State University.

CAT AND BALL ON A WATERFALL: 200 YEARS OF CALIFORNIA FOLK PAINTING AND SCULPTURE 112 pages, color and black and white illustrations Exhibition catalogue published by The Oakland Museum, Oakland, California, 1986 $16.95 softcover In the field of Twentieth Century Folk and Outsider Art any book or catalogue that appears immediately has a weight and an importance. CATAND BALL ON A WATERFALL is a beautifully presented amply illustrated book with essays by Harvey Jones, the curator, Donna Reid, Susan C. Larsen and Seymour Rosen with Louise Jackson. Keeping in mind that this is a review of a catalogue and not a review ofthe exhibition, and wishing to avoid a chicken-or-the-egg type controverp, this reviewer has kept away from commenting on the curatorial choices or rating the quality of the pieces used in the exhibition. The major flaw in this otherwise laudable catalogue is its strange vein of California jingoism. At times it can be petty. Referring to artists who repeat subjects for the marketplace Seymour Rosen comments "this has, in fact, happened on the East Coast to 26

artists like Edmund Carpenter:' This repetition of images, according to Rosen, never seems to happen with the West Coast environment builders. It seems inappropriate to compare the work of sculptors and painters — of either coast — with the creations of environmentalists. We presume that Edmund Carpenter is still an anthropologist, and that the late Miles Carpenter, who was a masterly sculptor, would have forgiven the mistaken identity and the incorrect facts. The importance of these infrequent shows and catalogues is in showing the inimitable universality of self-taught art. Susan C. Larsen's article is one of the better essays on the controversial nature of folk and outsider art if one could just skip over the gratuitous California references. The fact is, that with the National Endowment for the Humanities refusing "folk art" status to Howard Finster's work — as it recently did — all self-taught artists in all regions of the U.S. are in equal dire straits. The lack of recognition of self-taught art as a fine art is a universal prejudice. It seems that, at worst, some of the writers are trapped by trying to define a field before all the facts are in on it. The most common error is made in trying to measure an artist's degree of sophistication. The word "naive;' like the word "primitive" is pejorative. Also false is the idea that there is a form of self-taught art called "California Folk Art" rather than folk art made by Californians. There is also a bit too much on the theoretical melding of traditional forms and contemporary forms. While the traditional is usually craft in nature and often represents the values of a traditional community, the contemporary folk and outsider artist acts purely as an individual, often behaving in some way against the flow of community standards. Of the essayists, Larsen seems most aware of this. She warns against intellectual and economic condescension to the self-taught artists' work. The essay on environments is valuable both for the photographs and for raising issues on environmental preservation. However, the overly simplistic reasons for using the words "folk art environment" beg for much more intricate development. To choose a name by default because it offers the least offense is an easy way out of a problem needing genuine input.

Despite these problems, the catalogue is absolutely a must for the complete folk art — Randall Seth Morris library. Randall Seth Morris is a writer, collector and coowner of Cavin-Morris, Inc.

WHITE TRASH COOKING by Ernest Matthew Mickler 134 pages, illustrations included Published by The Jargon Society, Winston Salem, North Carolina, 1986 $11.95 softcover Although it's not always easy to come up with a new twist in the cookbook field, Ernest Matthew Mickler has done it! Representing itself as the last bastion of Southern down home cooking, this book captures the humor inherent in the Southern persona. Traveling through places such as Burnt Corn and Flea Hop, Alabama; Frostproof, Florida; Dime Box, Texas; and Improve, Mississippi, Mickler came up with vittles including Uncle Willie's Swamp Cabbage Stew, Mammy's Colored Mashed Potatoes, Aunt Donnah's Roast Possum (along with the dictum that you only eat possum in the winter), Kiss Me Not Sandwich (guess the main ingredient!), Aunt Rosie Deaton's AllAmerican Slum-Gullion (basically American chop suey), Corn Beef and Hash ("so good it'll make your tongue slap your jaw teeth out") and Punch Pie (made by Stella Lee who called herself"the whitest trash in all of Alabama" let alone Lick Skillet). The centerfold photos capture the spirit. Scenes of the rural South, they encompass canned goods piled high in the kitchen, food frying in the cast iron skillet, aluminum tools dented from use, roadside signage, and evocative portraits reminiscent of WPA views. According to Nahum Waxman, owner of a Manhattan cookbook store, Kitchen Arts and Letters, Southerners just love the book and are buying it in force. As for regional foodways, you can't beat it. To quote Ida Dillard, "You got to be kind of wild to try this one. It weeds 'em out:' Hallelujah! — Cynthia Elyse Rubin Cynthia Elyse Rubin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Museum of American Folk Art/New York University Graduate Program in Folk Art Studies.



REMEMBRANCES:RECENT MEMORY ART BY KENTUCKY FOLK ARTISTS 16 pages, color and black and white illustrations Exhibition catalogue made possible by a grant from Citizens Fidelity Corporation Published by Kentucky Art and Craft Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky, 1986 $3.00 softcover This is a catalogue accompanying a show mounted this Fall which presents current pieces from twenty Kentucky artists working more or less within traditional modes. All the work is called "memory art" although curator Larry Hackley duly notes in his remarkably clear and interesting essay that it could be said that "all art is made of memory. ... on various levels!' The "memory art" here "is also about the same way that images in a

family album help us validate and celebrate our lives:' With obvious sincerity of interest and appreciation, Hackley describes and discusses all art and artists in both sociobiographical and art terms, dealing with personal and/or social motivations. There is a short, neat section on peer pressure and wider community sentiment vis a vis the delimitation of the artist's conceptual vocabulary, for example. The art is simply and clearly discussed, as in the case of Donny Tolson (son of Edgar) — recognized as "a child of the video age" — in whose work "elements of both folk and popular cultures:' as well as "many traditional folk sculptor conventions, frigid frontality and simplification of forms for instance, are present:' The show itself appears to be awfully thin — only Donny Tolson, Carl McKenzie and perhaps Earnest Patton are ofinterest among

the many carvers, with nothing at all beckoning from the painters' corner, except Charley Kinney's"HAINIT if the reproduction conveys the work properly. The description makes the William I. Nelson environmental piece sound interesting though. The wonderful essay, however, gives real substance to Remembrances. It is praiseworthy for its straightforward approach, its sincere appreciation of the subject matter and the neat, concise and assured manner in which such eternal blah-blah bugaboos as the differences in affect between children's art and folk art are taken in hand. Hackley has done a very fine job here of convincing us that folk art and folk art commentary are both alive and well in 1986. — Ben Apfelbaum Ben Apfelbaum is a graduate student in the Museum of American Folk Art/New York University Graduate Program in Folk Art Studies.

MAIN STREET ANTIQUES AND ART Colleen and Louis Picek Folk Art and Country Americana (319)643-2065 110 West Main,Box 340 West Branch,Iowa 52358 91ktir

On Interstate 80

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Hand-painted carnival broadside circa 1920s-30s 8ft.10 in.x 7ft.10 in.


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Although considerable difference of opinion exists among experts in the field concerning exactly what American folk art encompasses, there seems to be unanimity in including certain regional forms of expression, such as the Pennsylvania German fraktur. Less well known, but comparable, is another regional folk art form. These are family records produced between the years 1783 and 1844, by a group of New York state painters led by William Murray. Murray and the men he apparently influenced created birth, death, nuptial and other family records with enough stylistic similarity to constitute a school. While this article represents considerable research into the lives of the artists and the identities of their subjects, further exploration is necessary to discover the nature of this school, the interaction between the practitioners, and the societal or regional influences that caused this group offamily record painters to flourish and then fade away. William Murray was born November 17, 1756, in Saint James Parish, Bristol, England, the son of George and Ann Murray Baptised "Will Murray" on August 30, 17593,he attended school in Bristol, but at age eighteen, enlisted in King George's army which was about to be sent to America under the command of General Burgoyne! He served in the British army until 1776, when Murray, concerned by England's unjust treatment of its American colonies, reportedly deserted'' By February 1, 1777, Murray had enlisted as a private in Captain Robert McKean's company, 1st Battalion of New York Forces commanded by Colonel Goose Van Schaicle. He was soon promoted to sergeant, though records of April 1781 list him again as a private. During his military service, which

Top: Detail from circa 1818 birth record for Margaret Pattengill attributed to Murray. The pineapple was an often-used symbol of hospitality. Left: Murray's Family record for John A. and Elizabeth LambertLipe:November 29, 1806; Watercolor and ink on paper; 165/8 x 123/o"; Collection of the authors. Lipe, of German extraction, was a merchant in Minden. It is thought that his children married into both the Walrath and Diffendorffamilies,for whom Murray also paintedfamily records.

ended in 1783, he was stationed at Fort Schuyler, Schenectady, Chester County, White Plains, Peekskill, Albany and West Point. According to several unverified sources', he was for a time attached to the secretarial staff of Gen. George Washington. Facts about Murray's life following his discharge are sketchy, and are further complicated by the numerous men with the name William Murray who lived in New York during this period. Nonetheless, a probable course for our artist has him visiting the Palatine area of Montgomery County shortly after leaving the army. His first known drawing, a birth record for John ID. Nellis of Palatine or Fort Plain9'0 was done in the latter part of 1783. In 1785, Murray was living in Albany, for his name is among those who signed a resolution as members of the First Presbyterian Church of that city' But he soon returned to Montgomery County where on February 12, 1786, Murray was married by the Rev. Thomas Romayne to Keziah Hilton in Caughnawaga (now Fonda). Keziah, the daughter of William and Elizabeth Brooks Hilton was born October 1, 1760. She had a twin sister Catherine and a brother Daniell' Her father had served in the same regiment as William Murray? though it's not known whether the two men were acquainted. Murray's second known work was probably done about 1786. It is a decorative drawing which served as the cover for an account book. It might have been given as a present to his new brother-in-law. Soon after their marriage, Murray and his bride moved to Schenectady. His name is listed in a registry of settlers in the city that covers the period from 1662 to 18001'Also recorded is the birth of their first child Ann? on February 22, 1787. None of their other children — there were eventually eight — were mentioned, which suggests the family left Schenectady in or before 1789 when their second child, James, was born. About 1793, Murray painted a family record for John and Catherine Suthard, about whom little is yet known. His next identified work is the May 1799 Thompson family record which he followed, four months later, with a record


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JONAS I I()LLANO /i 64A LEI t,1"s Decorative drawing for Jonas Holland; Attributed to William Murray; Circa 1818; Water2"; Collection of 1 2x 7/ 1 color and ink on paper;12/ Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute, Museum of Art, Utica, NY. Though this piece commemorates Holland's birth, it was likely done many years later since it mentions no parents — which other birth records do — and reflects a more mature drawing style. Holland, the son ofCapt.Ivory H and Martha Rogers Holland, lived in Schenectady where he was registrar and treasurer of Union College as well as a captain in the 2nd Regiment, U.S. Light Dragoons.

for the family of Frederic and Elizabeth Weller. John Thompson probably lived in Schenectady? while Frederic Weller is listed in the 1790 New York census in Ulster County, so it's likely Murray moved south to Ulster County when he left Schenectady, returning briefly to complete the Thompson commission. Murray's migrations may have next taken him to Chautauqua County. The first school there was opened in a log house one mile west of the center of Westfield in 1802, and one year later a William Murray is said to have "given instruction here in his leisure hours717 which implies that he had anotherjob as well. Another source, however, brings into question whether this was William Murray, the artist, at all? Murray's next five records were

probably done in Montgomery County. His sixth and seventh, in 1803, were painted for Jacob Wright (an atypical record, with all the information included in one large central circle) and Solomon Diffendorf, in Minden. They were followed by records for William Potter, probably of Canojoharie, in 1804, and one for John A. Lipe, of Minden, in 1806, as well as a death record in 1808 for four-month-old George Taylor, son of David and Zilpha. There is an interval of about seven years in which Murray was apparently inactive in painting. He may have remained in Montgomery County, for his eleventh work, done between April 1815 and April 1816, was the family record for Peter I. Nellis of Oppenheim, Montgomery County? The years between 1818 and 1822 were Murray's most active. An 1818 New Year's greeting for Peter Fedderly to his wife Elizabeth was followed by another decorative drawing for Jonas Holland of Schenectady, and a unique rendering of masonic symbols for Joseph Fish, Sr. in March of 1818. In the latter part of 1818 Murray painted the birth record for Margaret Pattengill who was born in nearby Hartwick, Otsego County2,° and in 1819 he did the family record for Harman Fonda of Albany. In 1822, Murray painted the family record of Moses Walrath of Danube'(originally part of Montgomery County, but later Herkimer County) and eight months later one for Frederick Sexton of Shelburne, Chenango County (This is the only Murray work where the place of execution is indicated.)22 The Fonda, Walrath and Sexton records are almost identical except there are no clover-like forms in the Walrath piece. Despite this flurry of commissions, Murray found it necessary during this period to apply in Montgomery County for a pension as a former Revolutionary War soldier, claiming he was in reduced circumstances23 His first request, April 24, 1818, when he was 61 years old, was approved and Murray was granted a stipend of eight dollars a month. June 21, 1820, he applied for an extension, this time in Otsego County, claiming, "I have until a few years last been a teacher at an English School, but am 29

unable to attend to that business at present owing to my sight failing — I depend upon my pension from Government for support!'" The loss of his teaching position may explain Murray's increased painting activity during this period. His impaired vision apparently didn't interfere with his calligraphic skills which show no decrease in quality. There are no known paintings, however, between the record for Frederick Sexton in 1822 and Murray's death on May 19, 1828 William Murray produced a total of eighteen known watercolor and ink paintings. Fourteen of them are signed "Drawn BY/WILLIAM MURRAY" or some variation. Generally the date of execution is inscribed just below or after his name. As distinctive as his signature, however, was William Murray's drawing style. Present in every watercolor is a leafy green vine which, in most instances, creates a border. Generally a red flower with yellow center sprouts from the vine at regular intervals. The parents' names and dates are generally included within a central heart, often with a large flower-like form rising from the top. On either side of this central form — and in some instances above as well — are circles, rectangles, or small hearts inscribed with the names and birthdates of the children. Other symbols present in Murray's work are clover, seal and snowflake forms, black coffins, pineapples (an early symbol of hospitality), Masonic emblems and uniformed military men. Many of these characteristic Murray motifs are found, as well, in three works attributed to the painter Samuel Morton. Morton's 1804 family record for John and Martha Stanton Holmes has the large central heart, circles for the children, and leafy vines that Murray employed in the Suthard, Thompson, Weller and Diffendorf paintings. Morton, however, became more ambitious, adding two handsome spread-winged eagles perched on pedestals on either side of the central heart as well as bust-length portraits of a man and a woman — presumably John and Martha Stanton Holmesi6 The eagle was a popular emblem of the new republic and was seen frequently in the decorative arts. 30

Birth record for Jerusha C. Denison;SamuelMorton;September 20, 1809; Ink and gouache on paper; 93/4 x 7/ 3 4"; Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Schwartz. Denison's family lived in Cherry Plain Hill, near Stephentown, which is thought to be the hometown ofSamuel Morton and ofJeremiah and Roby Salsbury foils, for whom Morton had made afamily record.

Amin)91ccottO ant)Arattur The study of these family records by New York artists suggests interesting parallels to the fraktur of the Pennsylvania and New York Germans. In both cases the product was utilitarian; the fraktur, among other things, served as birth or baptismal certificate, book mark, music book or religious text, while the family register served as a permanent record of the name and relationships of members of a given family. In both instances the addition of various adornments or designs converted an otherwise strictly functional object into one which could properly be called an art form. The creators were usually not trained artists but more frequently were school teachers or clergymen and,in each case the rendering was a watercolor and/or ink on paper. Both were based upon an antecedent, the fraktur on the fraktur-schriften (fraktur writing) which the German immigrants had brought from Europe and the New York family records are probably based upon English and Continental engravinge Similarly, there are parallels in the imagery as well. The circle, within which was inscribed the name and other data concerning the family members, was a device frequently employed by makers of Pennsylvania and New York German fraktur' as well as by painters offamily records in eighteenth and nineteenth century America and Europe. So was the heart, whose historic significance as a symbol goes as far back as the caves of Cro-Magnon man,as has been well reviewed by Schaffner and Klein. They point out,"hearts were a symbolic motif often associated with the folk art surrounding the major events of life: birth, marriage and death'" Little wonder, then, that they should be used so frequently. Other shapes were utilized by both family record and fraktur painters, as well, including flowers, vines and snowflake forms. Since Murray and his group lived in an area heavily populated by New York Germans, it is quite likely that their work was influenced, at least in part, by their neighbors who had brought the art of fraktur-making from Germany. Perhaps in German families, like that of Henry Moyer, there were fraktur painters, as well. The work of these New York record painters may well represent an art form that combines the European tradition for family records with the specifically German fraktur style. A.K. and S.K.

Photo: Courtesy of The Henry Franc

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G71 Right: Family record for Jeremiah and Roby Salsbury foils; Samuel Morton; Circa 1806; Watercolor and ink on paper; 131 / 4 x 111 / 2"; Collection of Winterthur Museum. Below: Death record for George Taylor; William Murray; Circa 1808; Watercolor and ink on paper; 9 x 7"; Collection ofPhilip and Deborah Isaacson. Both artists employ the circle and vine in these drawings. Murray's scalloped, lozenge shapes are somewhat reminiscent of Morton's triangular border, as well.

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While not signed, the Holmes record bears a striking similarity to the birth record for Jerusha C. Denison which is inscribed "Drawn by Samuel Morton Sept 20th 18097 It is significant to note that Martha Stanton was a collateral descendant of George Denison, ancestor of Jerusha C. Denison. Like the Holmes family record, 13onison's birth record has a spread-winged eagle,leafy vines and bust-length profile of the subject who was actually twelve years old in 1809. Distinctive features include a basket of flowers in the upper portion and trees in the bottom section. The heart has the scalloped border seen in early Murray records, as well as a large circle above the heart, a motif Murray used in three of his late records. The dates of these works raise the possibility that Murray may have copied this latter design from Morton. In the third painting by Samuel Morton, the 1806 family record for Jeremiah and Roby Salisbury Jolls, the Murray format is also recognizable. Present are the lateral circles, leafy vines and central heart. Instead of one heart, however, there are two, intertwined point to point. The usual peripheral flowering vine is replaced by a border of small triangular shapes. Morton's eagle is centered below the bottom heart and above a lion and kid, with a peacock perched on each side. The lion and kid suggest that Morton was familiar with either The Peaceable Kingdoms of Edward Hicks, or, more probably, the model used by Hicks, an engraving of The Peaceable Kingdom of the Branch after the painting by the English artist Richard Westall, which was widely reproduced in Bibles and Common Prayer books of the time The peacock may have been a misunderstanding by Morton of the word "cockatrice" in the famous passage from Isaiah on which this image is based. In Biblical usage it was a deadly serpent, not a peacock. Another member of the Murray "school" was Henry Moyer who, in 1823, painted a family record for Jacob S. and Betsey Moyer. Similar to the 1819 Murray record for Harman Fonda, this has the same three central forms, a heart with a circle above and an oval below. Other similarities include the vine, clover-like forms and other de31


the Museum of Our National Heritage

tails. Instead of the pineapple within the central circle in the Fonda record, Moyer has grouped Masonic symbols which are almost identical to those in Murray's Diffendorf record of 1803. The lateral circles Moyer uses here are similar, as well, to those used by Murray for the Diffendorf piece. Two years later, Henry Moyer painted a family record for Abraham and Mary Zuller which is almost identical to the Jacob S. Moyer piece. Differences include a circle, rather than an oval below the central heart, and a row of small hearts instead of circles on the sides. A snowflake-like form found in some of Murray's paintings replaces the clover shapes of the Jacob S. Moyer record. Although this is signed Henry Moyer rather than Henry S. Moyer,the striking similarity in style leaves no doubt that they were done by the same hand. Of interest is the use of Masonic symbols in both of the family records by Moyer. William Murray used similar symbols in a number of his works and one, the 1818 decorative drawing for Joseph Fish Sr., is essentially little more than a depiction of many Masonic symbols. It is possible that Murray and

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Decorative drawing of Masonic symbols for Joseph Fish, Sr.; William Murray; March 5, 1818; Watercolor and ink on paper; 9 x 7"; Collection of the authors. The only painting where the artist'sfirst name is abbreviated, this workfeatures Masonic symbols which are used in almost an identical manner by Henry S. Moyer in hisfamily recordfor Jacob S. and Betsey Moyer. Fish was a member of a Masonic lodge in Hoosick, NY.

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Left: Family record for Jacob S. and Betsey Moyer: Henry S. Moyer; November 20, 1823; Watercolor and ink on paper; 16/ 1 4 x 123/8"; Collection of Edward Stvan. Below: Family recordfor Solomon and Christina Devendorf Diffendolf; William Murray; December 16, 1803,' Watercolor and ink on paper; 16/ 1 2" x 12/ 1 2"; Collection ofthe Museum ofOur National Heritage, Lexington, MA. Solomon and Christina's son Solomon married Elizabeth. daughter of Abraham Zoller (Zuller), who married Mary Moyer. Abraham and Mary Moyer Zuller's record was done by Henry Moyer in 1825.

Photo: Courtesy of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection

Right:Family recordfor Peter D. and Hannah Adams Putman; John T. Putman; 1844; Watercolor and ink on paper; 201/4" x 147/8"; Collection of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center. Below: Family record for Harman and Rachel Lansing Fonda; William Murray; August 31, 1819; Watercolor and ink on paper; 14 x 10"; Present whereabouts unknown. The heart shapes, pineapple motifandflowering vines in the Putman piece suggest the artist was familiar with works such as Murray's for the Fondafamily.



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Moyer were Masons and this was how the relationship between them — and perhaps their subjects — were established. The Masonic movement was certainly growing rapidly in the first quarter of the nineteenth century and "the use of Masonic symbols in America reached the height of its popularity in the decade between 1820 and 1830.'8 Undoubtedly many of the men who were Masons requested inclusion of the symbols in their painted family records. Yet another practitioner of family records was John T. Adams who, in 1844, sixteen years after the death of William Murray, painted the family record for Peter D. and Hannah Adams Putman. Very much like the 1819 Fonda and 1822 Walrath records by Murray, this has a large central heart and circle containing a pineapple above, a row of small hearts on each side, peripheral flowering vine and scalloping within the central heart. It differs mainly in that the oval of Murray's paintings is replaced by four small hearts which are joined at their points. The fact that the artist and Hannah Adams have the same surname, suggests they may have been related. The will of John L. Putman of Johnstown, Montgomery County, dated September 22, 1811, and probated December 23, 1811, mentions a son, Peter, who may have been the subject of this family record. Recently discovered is the 1822 family record by Peter Fake, which includes many of the motifs seen in the records of William Murray. The major difference is the former's use of a different type of peripheral vine. Thus far, little has been discovered concerning the family, except for the fact that in 1820 Peter lived in Schenectady while Joseph Fake, for whom the record was done, lived in Otsego. A final example of this New York school of painters is the family record which Jacob I. Forbus painted for his own family in 1804. In a crude variation of Murray's 1793 Suthard and 1799 Thompson and Weller records, Forbus employs the central heart and rows of circles, but departs from the Murray model with a border of lozenge-like forms and with his own large initials "JIF:' Murray used a similar lozenge 33



Family record for Joseph and Barbara Willson Fake; Peter Fake; June 28, 1822; Watercolor and ink on paper; 15/ 3 4 x 12/ 1 2"; Private collection. Recently discovered, this record employs many of the motifs used by William Murray.


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examples of each others work in the homes of mutual acquaintances? Were these painters familiar with the fraktur tradition? Are there more works, and more practitioners, yet undiscovered? Clearly, many unanswered questions remain. Yet, it is evident that these family records of New York State deserve further research. Not only do they represent a distinctive folk art form with great aesthetic charm, but also one that can tell us a great deal about the

Arthur and Sybil Kern are collectors, researchers, lecturers, and writers in the field of early American folk art. Among their previous publications are articles in The Clarion on Jane Anthony Davis, Benjamin Greenleaf and Thomas Ware. Other studies include Almira Edson, Joseph Stone and Warren Nixon, Joseph Partridge and Royall Brewster Smith. The authors wish to thank Bryding Adams Henley for turning over to them the results of her preliminary investigation of William Murray.

NOTES I. Benjamin E Blye and Mrs. Raymond E Crist, "Ancestors of Major William Olendorf Wetmore:' Unpublished manuscript, p. 53. It is stated that this was recorded in a family Bible formerly in the possession of Vernon B. Wetmore, who was born April 6, 1824. 2. Search of records compiled by the Church of the Latter Day Saints could not confirm this since the records of Saint James Church in Bristol do not go back to 1756. 3. According to Blye and Crist, p. 53, this is recorded in the Book of Baptisms, Saint James Church. 4. Blye and Crist, pp. 53-57. 5. Blye and Crist give two sources for their information conceming Murray's enlistment and subsequent desertion,"Prominent Men and Pioneers in Western New York" by W.W. Clayton and "Histoty of Schoharie County" by Jeptha Simms. In neither, however, could we find any reference to William Murray. 6. William Murray's pension application for Revolutionary War service, Military Service Branch, National Archives. According to this application, however, Murry enlisted in 1775, not 1776. 7. Revolutionary War Company Muster Rolls, Military

Service Branch, National Archives. 8. Blye and Crist, pp. 55, 57. 9. Ruth V. Lupo, Waymarks in Nelliston, New York 1878-1978 (Fort Plain Printing Co. Inc. 1978), p. 22. This mentions a John D. Nellis(John ID. Nellis' father was John D.) who in February 1780 moved to the village of Fort Plain (about four miles from Palatine) and who, on February 15, married the widow of Solomon Keller. 10. Abstract of Wills, Montgomery County, N.Y., N.Y. Gen. & Bio. Rec. (October 1925) Vol. 56, p. 387. This records the will of Johannis Nellis of Palatine who died in 1813 and two of whose sons were John and Peter 11. Janet W. Foley, Early Settlers of New York State: Their Ancestors and Descendants (July 1937), pp. 275, 276. 12. Blye and Crist, p. 57. 13. James A. Roberts, New York in the Revolution as Colony and State (Albany 1897), pp. 6, 8. 14. Jonathan Pearson, Contributions for the Genealogies of the Descendants of the First Settlers of the Patent and City of Schenectady, from 1662 to 1800(Albany 1873), p. 125. 15. Blye and Crist, p. 52. In the list of Murray's

people and the times for which they were made.

Photo: Courtesy of Sotheby's Inc., New York

form in the Taylor death record four years later. This is the only known work by Forbus about whom little specific information has been found, except, according to his family record, that he was born in 1772 and married in 1793. The 1790 New York Census Index does list a Jacob Forbus Junior and a Hannah Forbus, each as head of a family in Canajoharie Town, Montgomery County and a James Forbus and a Mabus Forbus, each as the head of a family in Duanesburg Town, Albany County. The 1800 New York Census Index lists no Jacob I. Forbus, but does include a Jacob P. Forbush and a Jacob Forbes, both of Montgomery County. Because of spelling variations either of these may have been related to Jacob I. Forbus. William Murray, as previously noted, spent a considerable amount of time in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century in Montgomery and Albany counties. It is certainly possible that he knew Forbus, perhaps even taught Forbus' eldest son Nicholas, who was born, according to the family record, in 1780. Murray may also have crossed paths with Henry Moyer who was brought up in Minden, Montgomery County, home of several of Murray's clients. If they did not meet it is possible that Moyer had seen Murray's work since there were numerous marriages between members of the large Moyer family" and the Diffendorf, Lipe, Lambert and Walrath clans for whom Murray had done family records prior to 1822. William Murray's ties to the other three artists remain even more vague. It is possible that John T. Adams and Peter Fake were students of Murray's, or may simply have been familiar with his work. As for Samuel Morton, too little has been discovered about him to do much more than speculate that he may have lived in the vicinity of Stephentown and may have known Murray during the latter's residence in the Schenectady-Albany area. Further study, hopefully, will clarify the nature of the relationships between William Murray, Samuel Morton, Henry Moyer, John T. Adams, Peter Fake and Jacob I. Forbus. Did their lives overlap? Or did they simply see

G71 Right: Family record for Jacob I. and Catherine Forbus; Attributed to Jacob I. Forbus; Circa 1804; Watercolor and ink on paper; 15 x 127 /8"; Collection of the National Archives. Below: Family record for Frederic and Elizabeth Sebastian Weller; William Murray; September 22, 1799; Watercolor and ink on paper; 17 x 14"; Collection of the New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown. The Weller record, which is almost identical to Murray's recordfor the Thompson family, could possibly have been a modelfor Jacob I. Forbus. Both employ the central heart, circles for family members, and a similar vine around each circle.





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children, the name of the first is here given as Nancy rather than Ann, but the birth date is the same. 16. Willis T. Hanson, Jr., A History of Schenectady During the Revolution (Privately printed 1916), p. 226 17. Unsigned manuscript entitled "Chautauqua County — Development of Education and Schools" in the New York State Library, Albany. 18. Andrew W. Young, History of Chautauqua County, New York (Buffalo 1875), p. 585. This notes the purchase of land in 1802 by W. and A. Murray. If this W. was the same William who was the teacher, and the A., presumably his wife, it would mean that this William Murray was not the artist. 19. Abstract of Wills, Montgomery County, N.Y., N.Y. Gen.& Bio. Rec.(New York 1925), Vol. 56,p. 397. 20. Charles I. Pettingell, A. Pettingell Genealogy (Boston 1906), p. 518. 21. George A. Hardin and Frank H. Willard, History of Herkimer County, New York (Syracuse 1893), p. 236. 22. James H. Smith, History ofChenango and Madison Counties, New York (Syracuse 1880), p. 405. 23. Murray's pension application. National Archives. 24. William Murray's wife, Keziah, died in 1813. Judging from this statement, his living children (four of the eight had died by 1820) were no longer with him. 25. Murray's death was reported in the May 19, 1828 issue of the Cooperstown Watch Tower, "DIED — In the town of Hartwick, on Saturday morning the 10th instant, Mr. William Murray, an old patriot of the revolution:'It was also carried in the May 12 issue of the Freeman's Journal of Cooperstown,"DIED — In Hartwick, Mr. William Murray,aged 73,a soldier of the Revolution!' 26. Contrary to what is inscribed in the family record, Martha Stanton was not born in 1754, but on November 19, 1753, in Stonington, CT,the ninth of eleven children of Lt. Joseph and Anna Wheeler Stanton. Richard A. Wheeler, History of the Town of Stonington. County of New London, CT (New London 1900), pp. 437, 583; Albert G. Wheeler, History of the Wheeler Family in America (Boston 1914), pp. 305, 306; William A. Stanton, A Record Genealogical, Biographical Statistical of Thomas Stanton of Connecticut, and His Descendants (Albany 1891), p. 147. 27. Alice Ford,Edward Hicks:Painter ofthe Peaceable Kingdom (University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, 1952), p. 42. 28. Barbara Franco, Masonic Symbols in American Decorative Arts (Scottish Rite Masonic Museum of Our National Heritage: Lexington, Mass. 1976), p. 38. 29. Washington Frothingham, History of Montgomery County(Syracuse 1892), Part II, p. 233. 30. Philip Isaacson in "Records of Passage: New England and Illuminated Manuscripts in the Fraktur Tradition!' The Clarion, Winter 1981, p. 31 states in regard to New England family records that,"Most of the work conforms to certain established prescriptions and the precedents can be both English and Continental:' We believe that the same can be said for the records produced by the New York group. 31. Mary A. DeJulio, German Folk Arts of New York State (Albany Institute of History and Art: 1985), pp. 19-21. The author points out that early in the eighteenth century there was a significant migration of Germans, known as "Palatines:' to the Mohawk and Schoharie Valleys of New York State. After 1725 most Germans coming to America settled in Pennsylvania. The decorative and utilitarian arts produced by the New York Germans were frequently identical to those of the better known Pennsylvania Germans. This was particularly true of the fraktur. 32. Cynthia V.A. Schaffner and Susan Klein, Folk Hearts: A Celebration of the Heart Motif in American Folk Art (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984), p. 735

Themes in the Work of

e. a4,4T-7 Q

by Patti M. Marxsen

Thejourney toward an understanding of the work of Carlos Cortez Coyle begins in Berea, Kentucky, that peculiar and picturesque place that serves as a main gate to eastern Kentucky and, indeed, all of the Appalachia. C.C. Coyle was born near Berea in 1871 in a place called Bear Wallow and entered the Berea Foundation School, the forerunner of Berea College, in 1889. Although he never graduated from the foundation school, the brief months that he spent there are documented in a collection of "school days" sketches that are now preserved in the artist's personal diary. These ink sketches include skillful renderings of realistic subjects such as shoes, money, animals, and books as well as decorative, calligraphic drawings of birds, scrolls, and ribbons. However, the significance of these early sketches lies not in their

Carlos Cortez Coyle, circa 1929, when he began to paint actively.

skill but in their revelation of Coyle's youthful inclination toward the artistic expression of ideas. Typically, these sketches focus on a singular image which becomes a visual shorthand for expressing a larger, and often complex, idea. Many of these ideas surface again and again and eventually develop into major paintings later in Coyle's life. Coyle's sketch (circa 1890) of two rumpled boots taking a broad step across the page and leaving a trail of dark footprints was, for example followed by a more elaborate "ink painting" in 1921 which he called The Passing of Weary Souls. This "ink painting" was competant and illustrative but in 1933 Coyle returned to this subject and made of it one of his most ambitious paintings entitled And Departing Leave Behind Us Footprints on the Sands of Time. This grand-scale

urtesy of Berea College. Berea. KY.


And Departing Leave Behind Us Foot Prints on the Sands of Time;California;1933; Oil on canvas; 5'2" x 3'8";Berea College Art Collection.

painting addresses the question of the influence of humanity across centuries of time within the context of a dreamlike landscape of history encompassing Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids, the Great Sphinx, and the ancient Indian dwellings of Arizona and Colorado. In spite ofthe early evidence of talent that we sense in the "school days" sketches, the 47 paintings and 37 drawings in the Berea College Collection were not products of a consistent and progressive artistic development, but the result of a single-minded, often inspired, decade of painting which began around 1929. By then Coyle, whose career was in carpentry and building,

School Days Sketch; Kentucky; Circa 1895; Pencil and ink on notebook paper;Berea College Library Special Collection.

had been living in San Francisco for some time. It's uncertain why or when he left Kentucky for the West Coast. Coyle's own words from that period talk about his interest in art: "My drawings have always been excellent and my friends have long advised me to take up oil paintings. I did some oil paintings when I was a boy but my father objected as he wanted me to take up his legal profession which I did not care much about. Now,at the age of591 have started to paint with oil paints. Most artist [sic] are beginning to slow down at this age. After laying down my oil painting experiences aside [sic] for 40 years it is just like starting all over again:' But if Coyle felt any uncertainty about "starting all over again" at such a late

date, the results of his labors do not betray it. In 1930, Coyle's first complete year as an active, producing artist, he made 59 paintings. The most important paintings in Coyle's oeuvre, all of which were preceded by carefully-planned cartoons, were painted between 1931 and 1938. This group included nine key paintings that represent the core of Coyle's work and the peak of his artistic powers. Within this group of nine key paintings we find the whole of Coyle's visual vocabulary and the full extent of his thematic repetoire, both of which are dominated by nature, progress and time, and the idealization of women. It is noteworthy that these three ideas, which were so important to C.C. Coyle, can be found, as well, in mainstream American academic art and thought of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But due to his naive sensibility, Coyle's presentation of these ideas is greatly simplified. Nonetheless, because of their skill, scale, and symbolic power, it is this group of nine key paintings that must form the core of any serious study of C.C. Coyle: 1931 Our Phantom Chiefs 1933 And Departing Leave Behind Us Footprints on the Sands ofTime 1934 Blazing the Trail 1934 The Transformation 1935 The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World 1935 Peaches and Stone 1936 Who is Who When the Light Goes Out 1936 Self-Portrait. 65 and 22 1937 Calling All Gods Attempting to group these paintings into the three thematic categories mentioned above, it becomes clear that one painting may fit into more than one 37

category. Similarly, the themes themselves often overlap within the same painting. Nevertheless, this particular thematic organization of Coyle's work does facilitate the discussion of complex and interrelated material and is, therefore, preferable to a chronological approach to these works. It is difficult to over-emphasize the importance of nature in nineteenth century America. Painting, poetry, and philosophy elevated the undiscovered American landscape to a spiritual and patriotic experience. Thus, what Joshua Taylor has referred to as "the virtue of American nature" was an integral part of the American mind-set? For C.C. Coyle, growing up in a rural, mountain community which is still well-known for its natural beauty, a love of nature was instilled early in life and, significantly for his art, closely associated with maternal love. A poem that Coyle wrote in 1936, seven years after his mother's death, recalls a stroll with his mother "through fields and brooks" and includes the following stanza that seems to be inspired by the artist's own work as much as by his memory: "When we reached the top of the last long hill, And we both sat down for a needed rest; You pointed out the silver, pink, and gold, Ofthe sunset clouds low in the west:'s Although Coyle painted many landscapes and sunsets that relate to this nostalgic passage, perhaps his purest nature painting is Peaches and Stone. This group of mothers and children arranged in a classical bathing scene on "the stony beach along the Pacific" represents the artist's first attempt at painting the nude figure? The choppy sea and the ominous sky create an agitated air of expectancy which is balanced by the relaxed and abundant peach-colored women. Nature is presented here as something unpredictable 38

WHAT IS HE? Given the mystical/spiritual nature of much of C.C. Coyle's work, it is tempting to view paintings such as And Departing Leave Behind Us Footprints on the Sands of Time as "visionary:'on the same plane,for example, as Elihu Vedder's The Questioner of the Sphinx or Thomas Cole's Voyage of Life series. But Coyle's sources are not mysterious enough to justify the "visionary" label. To the contrary, he was influenced by the imagery of popular culture to a remarkable degree and often turned to that nostalgic and sentimental imagery as he searched for responses to the cosmic questions that genuinely dominated his thoughts. Thus, although "dream-like:' the painting in question has as its primary visual sources not dreams or other unconscious "visions:' but the very tangible and conscious material of everyday life in the 1930's. This included well-known postcards of Stonehenge and Sunday magazine photographs of identical Indian dwellings! Even the Great Sphinx had become an exotic but nonetheless common "household image"from the nineteenth century onward. And the title of the painting can be related to the conscious childhood memory of Coyle's mother reading Longfellow to him at bedtime Thus the term "visionary;' which implies the inexplicable movement ofsome subconscious or unconscious source,is not applicable to this painting. But if C.C. Coyle is not a "visionary" painter, what is he? Indeed, one must be particularly cautious about categorizing Coyle. He had a passing knowledge offine art, which was based on a book of"100 reproductions" that he had checked out of the San Francisco Public Library, and is known to have exhibited his work in the Golden Gate Exposition of 1940? However, one can hardly view his simplified, symbolic, and grandiose style as characteristic of other fine art of the time. Significantly, Coyle was notformally educated in the traditions offine art and,consequently, did not turn to fine art for the sources of his imagery but instead, as we have seen above, to the imagery of popular culture. It is equally difficult to label C.C. Coyle as a "Folk" artist with a capital "F:' The strictest definition of that well-worn term applies more appropriately to threedimensional, utilitarian craft-objects which have been passed down through the generations of a particular culture. Needless to say, Coyle's often-bizarre paintings resist this category almost as insistently as they resist the term "primitive" which often suggests African and Oceanic artifacts. Holger Cahill's famous remark echoes over the peculiar landscapes of C.C. Coyle:"The material will define itselfifone will allow it to do so:' And Roger L. Welsch's insightful distinction "between definition and meaning" reminds us that even if we could agree on terminology we would still be confronted with the problem of understanding works of art that do not, for some reason, conform to preconceived notions and expectations For the purposes of discussion, and largely as a result ofthis process ofelimination, I have settled on "naive" as the most useful and accurate term in describing the art of C.C. Coyle. Not only does this term suggest a naive sensibility which "pulls off" the paradox of revealing complex and fundamental truths by simplifying them, but it also relates Coyle to a long line of artists, American and European, whose view of the world has been, essentially, unsophisticated. Thus,the use of this particular term provides us with a viable art-historical context in which to study Coyle. P.M.

and yet comforting; as something violent and yet, somehow, the fundamental source of all humanity. The Coyle color sense, which was undoubtedly influenced by the harsh and often bizarre color postcards of the 1930's,

lifts this scene out of the realm of reality. And the close association that is drawn here between nature, motherhood, and creation adds a characteristic edge of mystery to this otherwise ordinary seascape. Thus, Coyle uses

Cartoonfor Peaches and Stone;California;1935;Ink on blueprintpaper;Berea College Art Collection.

Peaches and Stone; California;1935 Oil on canvas 5'x 4';Berea College Art Collection.

the landscape to enhance the meaning of the work. In Coyle's best work, landscape is rarely an end in itself. In Our Phantom Chiefs, for example, landscape motifs organize and unify the political history of our country. A correct reading of this painting begins with the three Indian chiefs posed majestically on horseback on the highest point in the upper left quadrant of the picture "because the Indians were the rule before the white man came to his country:"째 Letting our eye travel downward to the lower left quadrant of the picture, we find George Washington elevated on a slab of stone and surrounded by "presidents in their military uniforms because their military records was [sic] a stepping stone that lead [sic] them to the presidency:' Also in the foreground we find Abraham Lincoln, who was greatly admired by Coyle, clasping the hand of General U.S. Grant. The oblique log in the left foreground seems to frame this corner of American history inhabited by the two most idolized presidents, Washington and Lincoln, and point the way to more modern times, past a threesome in which John Adams chats amicably with Woodrow Wilson and Howard Taft. The circle of presidents surrounding Thomas Jefferson dominates the right foreground of the painting which recedes back into space and develops into a serpentine path. Standing on the path, waving their hats, we meet Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hoover, and Coolidge. The white, horse-drawn carriage is George Washington's and is echoed, in form and color, by the Capitol Building which seems to rise on the horizon like a morning sun. Thus, while the placement of the figures and groups of figures in this painting is not strictly chronological,the general movement from the upper left quadrant, downward across the foreground, and then back up along the path does develop a relationship between the landscape and an historically accurate 39

record of the sequence of the 31 American presidents portrayed here. The hills, roads, and ravines that Coyle has created in this picture serve to lead our eye along a fluid line of vision that integrates the numerous elements of the painting. Nature is not painted here for its own sake, but as a means of unifying the specific theme of American presidents and the underlying theme of patriotism which is so brilliantly transferred from Washington's white head, to his white carriage and, finally, to the white dome of the Capitol. Indeed, it is the merging of formal and thematic elements within such a carefully constructed landscape that elevates this picture to what the artist considered to be "my greatest piece of work:' The idea of progress and time seems to permeate almost all of C.C. Coyle's significant work. Perhaps this is because of Coyle's state of mind during his decade of artistic activity. His diary includes several pages of transcribed poetry, including Thomas Gray's "Elegy in a Country Churchyard!' as well as long commentaries on the meaning of life and death. Also, as we shall see, it was his mother's death which seemed to precipitate much of his artistic activity. In short, Coyle was often preoccupied with the passage of time and felt increasingly confronted with his own mortality during his years as an active artist. Thus, in a sense, it is not surprising to find this theme recurring again and again in his work. In addition to this personal inclination we must recognize the importance of progress as an idea, particularly, in America in the 1930's. The notion that all things and all people are working together toward a better day is, in fact, rooted in Western philosophy. It was taken up later by the Christians and came to be expressed as the spiritual belief that God's good shepherd, Jesus Christ, was leading his flock to truth and goodness. We see the idea of progress reinforced by the vast changes 40

that took place during the Industrial Revolution and, later, by Darwin's theory of evolution. In 1933 the Chicago World's Fair called itself"A Century of Progress" and took a long look back on the myriad changes that had occurred in the previous one hundred years. It was in 1933 that C.C. Coyle completed And Departing Leave Behind Us Footprints on the Sands of Time which also took a long look back at some of the most remarkable technological accomplishments of mankind. Our Phantom Chiefs too, as we have seen, is far more than a documen-

tary picture. The upward sweep of the pictorial elements of the painting implies the progress of our nation which is embodied in this parade of presidents. In Blazing the Trail Coyle sets out"to show the advancement of civilization from the dark ages until now" by focusing on scientific progress!' There are six allegorical figures in the picture, the most important of which is the woman standing on top of the world holding a torch "which gives light to reason as we advance onward through darkness yet unexplored:' A small girl in the picture is "sweeping away many

Our Phantom Chiefs; California; 1931; Oil on canvas; 8'3" x 6'1", Berea College Art Collection.

Blazing the Trail; California; 1934; Oil on canvas; 4'8" x 7'1"; Berea College Art Collection.

of the old foggy idea [sic] that cursed the people for thousands of years" which are represented by bats, horseshoes, and other symbols of witchcraft and superstition. A man and a woman holding the earth represent science that prevents us from rolling backward. Another woman with a telescope, the key symbol of scientific knowledge in the painting, symbolizes young eyes that see far into the future while an old scientist records what these young eyes see. This picture is typical of Coyle in that it takes a cosmic view of the universe and attempts to present that

cosmic view within a highly structured symbolic language. It addresses the theme of progress and time more directly and systematically, but no less enthusiastically, than many of the artist's works. Perhaps C.C. Coyle's most memorable paintings fall under the category of the idealization of women. As with the worship of nature, the idea of sacred motherhood blossomed in nineteenth century America and grew into a tangled briar of religious beliefs, moral attitudes, and social customs that came to define a woman's ultimate purpose as

a devoted life of self-sacrifice to home and family. Coyle was profoundly influenced by this "cult of domesticity" in both his personal and artistic life. Indeed, the one event that we can clearly identify as pivotal in the life of C.C. Coyle is his mother's death in August of 1929. Not only did he begin his diary as a result of this profound loss, but it was then that he began to paint in earnest as well. Until now, the importance of Mary E. Coyle, and especially of her death, to the artistic life of Carlos Cortez Coyle has not been fully recognized. Although,in his initial article on Coyle, William Mootz identified "a Victorian idealization of womanhood [and] a complete devotion to the institution of motherhood" as major themes, he did not elaborate on Coyle's intense preoccupation with his own mother, particularly after her death. For example, Coyle's diary includes a large, studio photograph of his mother directly opposite a similar photographic portrait of himself. Preceding these pages are two large pages filled to the rim with verses and inspired thoughts recorded faithfully on every Mother's Day from 1931 to 1936. For example, on May 10, 1931 he wrote a short, memorial essay about his mother that included the following passage: "Mother mine: if you could just take me in your arms once more,just like you did of old, press a kiss upon my head, where the curls have long been gone, and rock me to sleep, Mother, rock me to sleep, for I am so tired and alone since you went to rest:" Elsewhere in the diary we find the long romantic poem, mentioned earlier, which was written by Coyle in 1936 in remembrance of his mother. It is significant in the understanding of his art to note that Coyle associates his mother's presence, in this poem, with the beauty and wonder of nature: 41

"We gathered flowers as we strolled along, Through the meadows and fields of soft green sod; Our clothes became yellow with golden dust, From the pollen of the golden rod:" In short, C.C. Coyle's attachment to his mother, at least after her death, amounted to nothing less than a fixation and in many ways this intense and unresolved emotional relationship energized his painting and often exerted a direct influence on his subject matter. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World is, for example, a partially autobiographical painting that includes a domestic vignette of a mother surrounded by her young children set in a typical eastern Kentucky landscape of pine forest and log cabin. The nineteenth century poetry that lends itself as a title to the painting is clearly illustrated here in cosmic proportions!' The man-made objects and constructions that sweep upward in the painting toward the capitol building in Washington, D.C.,recall OurPhantom Chiefs and are intended to symbolize progress — another example of that theme — and "the achievements of man with a wealth of talent and training combine [sicr Nonetheless, the true source of all creation, motivation, and accomplishment in the ostensibly maledominated world is clearly the mother. Even the most audacious of these paintings, The Transformation, seems to relate to Coyle's attitude toward his mother and, by association, toward women in general. Surprisingly, this painting depicts the extreme opposite of the nurturing, devoted woman that he portrays in The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World. In The Transformation, womanhood is an evil and seductive force that began with Eve. This painting suggests that Coyle, who had married a woman he met at the Berea school, Hattie Mae Bratcher — 42

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World;California;1935;Oil on canvas;6'2"x4'1";Berea College Art Collection.

they had three children — may have suffered from a divorce or other such trauma. It was, unfortunately, almost inevitable that he would suffer so bitterly sooner or later given the idealized and unrealistic notions of womanhood that he expresses elsewhere. In spite of C.C. Coyle's late development, it is clear that he possessed a firm sense of himself as an important artist, at least in his later years. In addition to the paintings and drawings, the Berea College Collection includes a signature panel in Coyle's fluid hand-writing such as one might use at a major oneman exhibition. And, not insignificantly, the gift of Coyle's paintings was followed by the personal diary. This diary is, perhaps, the most important source of information about C.C. Coyle's artistic life. It covers the period of time during which the artist painted most actively (1929-1940) and includes the sketches, poetry, essays, and com-

mentaries that have been referred to above. The story of how this diary and these remarkable paintings came to be at Berea College is interesting in itself. In November of 1942, the Berea College Art Department received a hand-written letter from C.C. Coyle in which the writer announced that he had just shipped "4 crates of oil paintings as a gift to your gallery!' Coyle was 71 years old at the time and suffering from a heart ailment. Because he did not expect to live much longer, his generous gift "to the land of my birth" might be viewed as a final bid for immortality. Ironically, Coyle was still alive seventeen-and-a-half years later when, in 1960, Thomas Fern of the Berea College Art Faculty creaked open the four crates of paintings and promptly contacted William Mootz, then Art Editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Mootz's article and two-page color

spread in the Courier-Journal Sunday Magazine in August of 1961 was the first item of public recognition that Coyle received for his "beloved paintings:' The artist died eight months later in Leesburg, Florida at the age of ninety, almost twenty years after writing his poignant letter to Berea College, but satisfied, at last, that his paintings were recognized and valued as art. Through these powerful paintings, C.C. Coyle continues to make his "foot prints on the sands of time:' and we, the spectators of his art, are just beginning to understand and appreciate his contribution to American painting.

Patti M. Marxsen lives in Lexington, KY, where she teaches junior high school and writes frequently about art. The Berea College Collection of C.C. Coyle's work was the subject of her M.A.

Thesis at the University of Kentucky in 1985. Marxsen is currrently working on a novel. NOTES 1. Carlos Cortez Coyle, Diary, B:20. Unpublished document in the Special Collections Department of the Berea College Library, Berea Collections. (Read forward, Direction A, then turn the book over and begin again in the opposite direction, Direction B.) 2. See Coyle, Diary, B:34/ 1 2 for the poem written by the artist in which this memory is recorded. 3. The paintings that we know Coyle to have exhibited at The Golden Gate Exposition are Wyoming Round-Up and Mark Twain's Cabin. Neither ofthese is included here in the discussion of Coyle's most significant work. 4. Holger Cahill,"Whatis American Folk Art?:' The Magazine Antiques, May 1950, 356f. 5. Roger L. Welsch,"Beating a Live Horse: Yet Another Note on Definitions and Defining:' Perspectives on American Folk Art, ed., M.G. Quimby and Scott T. Swank, (The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum

1980)218f. 6. Coyle, Diary, A:L 7. Cat. Joshua C. Taylor,"The Virtue of American Nature:' America as Art, National Collection of Fine Arts (Washington), 1976, 108f. 8. Coyle, Diary, B:34/ 1 2. 9. Coyle, Diary, Entry #128. 10. All quotations in this discussion of Our Phantom Chiefs are from Coyle,Diary, Entry #100. 11. All quotations in this discussion of Blazing the Trail are from Coyle, Diary, Entry #114. 12. Coyle, Diary, B:34. 13. Coyle, Diary, B:341 / 2. 14. "They say that man is mighty, He governs land and sea, He wields a mighty sceptre O'er lesser powers that be; But a mightier power and stronger Man from his throne has hurled, And the hand that rocks the cradle Is the hand that rules the world': â&#x20AC;&#x201D; William Ross Wallace (1819-1881) 15. Coyle's letter is on file in the Berea College Art Department.

Self-Portrait: Age 65 and 22; California; Oil on canvas; 3' by 3'!"; Berea College Art Collection.

The Transformation; California; 1934; Oil on canvas; 3' x 4'6"; Berea College Art Collection. 43

THE RULLOFF"GALLOWS"JUG or A Murderous Saga Unfolds on a Piece of Stoneware

by Steven B. Leder The cobalt blue decoration, obviously done by an unskilled hand, is child-like in its stick figure style. What it depicts, however, suggests an event somewhat more serious in nature. There is a gallows, a hangman, a rope and a hanging criminal. Under the gallows is the name "Rulloff." Between the dangling man and the gallows post is written the date "Friday/March 3." The one gallonjug — eleven inches in height — impressed "W. Roberts. Binghamton, NY" is one of the few known pieces of decorated stoneware depicting a documented historical event. Why the jug was decorated with such a macabre scene is still a mystery, but it may be conjectured that the decorator planned to attend the hanging and filled the jug with whiskey to help pass the time. In any event, much has been uncovered about the notorious character named Rulloff and his criminal behavior, and that information will be presented here in its entirety. Edward Howard Rulloffson was born on July 9, 1819, in Hammond River, near the city of St. John, in New Brunswick, Canada. His family was a good one. One brother became a successful farmer in Pennsylvania, another was the noted California photographer William Herman Rulloffson. Edward attended St. John's Academy, New Brunswick, and was a very able student. He became well read in botany, zoology, physics, mineralogy, and literature. Rulloff was, at varying times in his life, a pharmacist, doctor, lawyer, teacher and expert philologist. He even published a work, entitled "The 44

The Rulloff "Gallows" Jug, impressed "W. Roberts. Binghamton, NY" Cover of original book depicting Rulloffs life.

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Method of Formation of Language," in which he claimed to have discovered a key to the origin of all languages. After secondary school, Rulloff, having dropped the "son" from his name, was, for a short time, a store clerk in St. John. During his employment, there were two fires of suspicious origin. It was later discovered that Rulloff had removed large quantities of merchandise from the store before each blaze. It is noteworthy, when taken in connection with what seemed in later years a fatal tendency toward blundering, that he should defy detection by appearing in a suit of clothes made from the stolen goods. Evidence at the same time points to his having been arrested in New Brunswick for petty theft. In 1839 he served two years in the St. John's penitentiary. When released from the penitentiary, Rulloff went to New York City, but was unable to find work. As a result, he traveled to upstate New York. His first employment was as a canal laborer, but the physical work was not to his liking. Then,in 1842, Rulloff obtained ajob as a pharmacist in Ithaca. Here he acquired a thorough knowledge of drugs and their effects, as pharmacists often substituted for doctors in country towns during this time. However, Rulloff decided not to pursue a pharmaceutical career, and became a teacher in a select school in the town of Dryden. Here he met Harriet Schutt, a good-looking seventeen yearold pupil. They were married on December 31, 1843, against the wishes of her parents and the rest of her large family. Soon after, he and his bride moved to Lansing to escape his in-laws.

Rulloff especially wanted to avoid a cousin of Harriet's named Dr. Bull. The history on Dr. Bull is unclear. He seems to have been known as quite a letch, but whether he and Harriet "engaged in certain improprieties" or Rulloff exaggerated this is uncertain. Regardless, Rulloff became jealous and began treating Harriet badly; rumors of beatings occurred. Nevertheless, they had a daughter, Priscilla, born in April 1845. During this time Rulloff began practice as a botanical physician. A business card printed, "Doct. Edward H. Rulloff:' is in the Dewitt Historical Society, Ithaca, NY. He treated a nephew of Harriet's, a child of her brother, William. The baby was sick with a simple childhood disease but rapidly grew worse and died of convulsions. The child's mother died ten days later with symptoms of poisoning. Her body was exhumed in 1858 and traces of copper poison were found in her stomach. The next episode in the Rulloff story has many versions. The controversy grew as more and more people brought forward theories and evidence which were incorporated into the general folklore of information on the case. However, the recounting of events by Frank Robertson, in 1940, is generally accepted to be accurate. In 1845, ancestors of Frank Robertson had lived in the Lansing area,"on the middle road, five miles north of Ithaca on the east side:' Their nearest neighbors had been a family of three who lived at the corner on the west side of the highway (now Cherry Rd.). They were Edward Rulloff, his wife Harriet, and their infant daughter, Priscilla. According to Frank Robertson's account, Rulloff had visited his neighbor's home on the evening of June 23, 1845, and asked Olive Robertson, a daughter, to spend the evening with his wife. He said that he would be away from home for several hours and did not want Harriet to become uneasy staying in the house alone, especially since she had heard that Indians had been seen in the neighborhood. Olive agreed to stay

with Mrs. Rulloff, and later went across the highway to spend the evening. The two women were with the baby when, around nine o'clock in the evening, Rulloff returned with two Indian

women. He showed Olive and Harriet beads and Indian moccasins, and Olive saw that he gave the squaws money during the visit. The Indians left shortly thereafter, and Olive returned home

W. ROBERTS OF BINGHAMTON,NY William Roberts was born in 1818 in Llanfachreth, Merionethshire, North Wales, and came to the United States in 1827. His family settled in Utica, and he learned the potting trade from Noah White, already a well established stoneware manufacturer. William married Noah's daughter, Charlotte, in 1843, and is listed in the Utica directories as a potter until 1847. William moved to Binghamton in 1848, and established his pottery at Evans Basin on Susquehanna Street. By 1850 he employed five men, and the business expanded from $9,500 in 1855 to $13,200 in 1865. The Roberts pottery supplied northern Pennsylvania and southern New York with the bulk of its stoneware. He ran the pottery at this site until his death in 1888. Stoneware is a high-fired ware, much denser and harder than redware or earthenware. It's noted for its impermeability to moisture, resistance to odors, and easily cleaned glazed surfaces. Manufacturing salt-glazed stoneware was a major industry in the United States, and particularly in New York state, during the nineteenth century. There was an endless demand for stoneware until the twentieth century, when inexpensive glass and tin storage containers, and refrigeration, put an end to utilitarian stoneware production. Stoneware manufacturing was very similar throughout the country. After the clay had reached the pottery site, it was screened of impurities and mixed in a pug mill until the proper consistency for turning on the potter's wheel was obtained. It was then cut into proper weights for different capacity vessels and put on the wheel. The wheel was rotated rapidly and the potter threw the desired form. Productivity was usually measured by gallons thrown per day, with 100 gallons considered a typical day's work. The stoneware was allowed to dry for several days, until a leather-hard consistency was achieved. The potter's name and gallon capacity were stamped on the piece and decorations, usually flowers and birds, were applied. Incising with a sharp tool was used on early pieces (before 1850), but the cobalt blue slip-trailed or brushed decorations are more familiar today. Cobalt oxide mixed with clay withstood the heat of firing and produced a brilliant blue in combination with the salt-glaze of the firing process. Once ready for firing, the stoneware was stacked in the kiln and the temperature slowly raised, over several days, to about 2300째 F. At that temperature, common rock salt was added through a hole in the roof or special salt ports in the kiln. The salt vaporized immediately and covered every exposed surface with a hard orange-peel-like coating. The interiors ofthe ware, not being exposed to te salt-glaze, were coated with a brown glaze(Albany strip) prior to firing. Binghamton, New York, became a major stoneware manufacturing center after the Chenango Canal, linking Utica with Binghamton, was completed in 1837, continuing after 1848, when the first trains of the New York and Erie Railroad began to roll through the city. It was then possible to ship stoneware clay from New Jersey to Binghamton by water, and to deliver manufactured goods both by boat and rail to every S.L. possible market.


about nine o'clock. After this visit, Harriet Rulloff and her daughter were never seen again, alive or dead. The next morning Rulloff returned to the Robertson farm to ask another favor. He needed the loan of a horse and wagon, and after obtaining them, accepted an invitation to stay for dinner with the family. That afternoon, Rulloff and Newton, the Robertson's son, drove the horse and wagon to Rulloff's house. The two men loaded a heavy chest into the wagon; Rulloff told Newton that he was delivering it to a relative in Mottsville (now Brooktondale). He then left Newton and drove off in the direction of Lake Cayuga,one and onehalf miles away. Rulloff returned home the following morning. When he passed the Robertson's home they observed that the chest now appeared empty, as Rulloff carried it into his house unassisted. Shortly after this event, Rulloff disappeared from the region. His disappearance began a chain of events that stirred the residents of Tompkins County for the next 26 years, until 1871 when Edward Howard Rulloff was "hanged by the neck until dead" for a murder he committed in Binghamton. That Rulloff killed his wife and child, transported them to Lake Cayuga in a large box, and disposed of them in the lake is almost a certainty. However, a great deal of money, one report claimed the amount to be $10,000, was spent on dragging the lake after Rulloff was arrested and the bodies have never been discovered. Some reports claimed that Rulloff stayed in the Ithaca area for a while, telling people that his family was touring the lake area, while other reports have him leaving for Ohio right away. The Schutts became suspicious after not seeing their daughter elf granddaughter for a few days. But Rulloff told them he had taken a position in Ohio, and put them off by claiming that Harriet and the child were in Cleveland. He then left for Ohio, but Ephriam, one of Harriet's brothers, followed him. Since Ephriam could find no trace of his sister or niece, he had Rulloff arrested 46

Did he or didn't he? Woodcut ofRulloff beating his wife and child.

and returned to Ithaca. One story had it that Ephriam hired a Pinkerton man to help him. The citizens of Ithaca were certain of Rulloff's guilt, but without the bodies he could only be charged with abducting his wife. In January 1846 he was convicted on this charge and sent to Auburn State Prison for ten years. In prison he began studying again, eventually mastering a reported 28 languages and dialects. He also began his work on the origin and formation of languages, and resumed studying law. When he was released, in 1856, Ithaca officials wanted to try Rulloff for his wife's murder, but he was protected by the double-jeopardy law. Instead, they charged him with his daughter's death. The trial was switched to Tioga County because anti-Rulloff feelings were still so high in Tompkins County that it was thought he could not get a fair trial there. Rulloff defended himself with the help of Joshua Spencer. They lost the case, but immediately appealed it.

Spencer died suddenly and Rulloff hired F. M. Finch, a young lawyer and poet. During the appeal a very important precedent was set. The defense did not argue that Rulloff was innocent, only that due to the absence of a body the corpus delecti could only be inferred from circumstantial evidence, and therefore the State had not proven that a crime had been committed. Finch was so taken by the case that he would later write a long poem about Rulloff entitled,"His Side of the Story;' a copy of which is in the Dewitt Historical Society. Although some accounts have Rulloff confessing to both murders before his death, there is a letter from a cousin of Harriet's, Amelia Krum, which claimed that the daughter was taken to Pennsylvania and raised by relatives of Edward Rulloff. Her claim is so far unsubstantiated and Rulloff's last interview did not contain any such confession. On May 5,1857, before the decision was handed down by the Appeals Court, Rulloff escaped from jail with the aid of Albert Jarvis, the Jailer's son, who was being tutored by Rulloff. There was a rumor that Rulloff had intimate relations with Mrs. Jarvis, but this was never proved. Between May 1857 and the winter of 1858, Rulloff appeared as various characters in northwestern PA, namely a professor of languages at Allegheny College, a shareholder in a patent machine, and a burglar. In Jamestown, NY he wrote a prescription, which he had compounded for a frozen foot, and had it filled at a drugstore. The remedy was for his own use, but proved to be unsuccessful, as he lost the great toe on the left foot. Confident of his official release, Rulloff surrendered to the Sheriff of Tompkins County. The Appeals Court reversed the lower court's decision in December 1858, under the old English law, "The Rule of Lord Hale, forbidding a conviction of murder or manslaughter, unless the fact is proved to be done, or at least the body found dead, affirmed." However, the citizens of Ithaca were incensed by the new ver-


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1.10pp. l, 13l 1,1 1134 le o...Io•r,•.1 I.A thai lconti.11,01, rot, he hati,11111 on the coniraly it is the ini.0160040 Sri-reify Souuyik 111I• Arne11111,M.:. • of the ttttt11r). where lie a ill lie set at liberty, to add fresh viettins to 1111. 111110 1•' 01111i Sinee his confinement lw has repeal • •‘:",11_0 already sent unannonna .1 lief:re their et the ,natisfitetion In the taltuvateneil that if lie in in ,or,'o free man, la will se. Murdered fr. Shall these things to! Shall this Mon.ree. hr ✓elatives of illw • to glut his tiger appetite for lie. rage auit Blood! Shall 'lie Ends of.11!STIl'E , cu! We trust .1011 We hope not! We im plore ),,o, ritirepii of row In fli.• ',vow of 11111I•11 OnrOl. in :our he no S 11011 the world, that there con 10 old not go relatives oi the onierf.v.ed nil, a hone . of Ow ilUMANITY, in the num child, been lacerated by this Fiend in human shape, in the nano, of tin' Morderod o the silent tomb to in yoor duly, vre. :IAA A oho!, lode ghost roll% to loaf hdon wear,' GO UNPUNISHED? Shall we let tins Will you alto. Ed II NIA II It 011141 11/0,011e Ihe same pure air of freelloni i• ervio)! Ai ill mob in this you allows this man, who bears the marl; ill loin spa. lii.. iron, to go tiny mid alit fresh vietims to the grave' NO, you will not! You cannot ! to meet at Lbw 'WC call cra those who wish JUSTICE done to the Itard,urr .4.1ork. 500 CLL7, 130N TrusE ill Ithaca on Saturday. March 11111,1.•,0 at .. itollootT oraltim firth 0I, will depend °Mho artiot. pot Ink thal dla, whether Edo Awl MANY EITIZENS. rtrhly woo, or whether he die. On &rah hr



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dict. A rally, which in reality was a lynch mob, was organized and met at the Clinton House, in Ithaca, at 12 o'clock on March 12,1859. The accompanying broadside, "SHALL THE MURDERER GO UNPUNISHED", clearly shows the fever pitch offeelings against the "fiend in human shape," Edward H. Rulloff. However, the Sheriff heard about the proposed lynching and took Rulloff to Auburn where he would be safe. After he was released, Rulloff moved to Poughkeepsie, New York, but by 1861, was serving 2/ 1 2 years in Sing Sing Penitentiary for burglary. He was a prison bookkeeper and continued to study. At this time he was using the name "James V. Kenan". While in prison he made the acquaintance of William T. Dexter, who was also serving a short term. When Rulloff was released from Sing Sing he moved to Delaney Street in New York City, and lived with Albert Jarvis. There he continued his studying, as well as his life of crime, and possibly committed another murder. In 1866, in Connecticut, he was arrested as a fence, convicted and sentenced to a year in prison, but the governor pardoned him apparently because he was such a learned man. Rulloff then traveled to New Hampshire, claiming to be a graduate of Oxford University, and an Episcopalian minister. He was well liked and people were shocked when he was arrested for arranging a bank robbery. He was supposed to serve ten years, but escaped after three months and returned to New York City. In 1869 Rulloff was living under the name "Prof. Edword Leurio", a language professor, charging substantial fees for lecturing at various universities, and continued to work on his book of philology. He lectured at the


Top: Ithaca broadside signed "Many Citizens" imploring those who wish to see justice done to gather to take action. Bottom: First page of the local Binghamton newspaper featuring the story of Rulloffs execution. 47

American Philological Convention in Poughkeepsie, though his theory did not find ready acceptance. Jarvis lived with him under the name "Charles Curtis," supposedly a traveling salesman. William Dexter, his friend from Sing Sing, was often around. When Dexter, using the name "Davenport," was arrested for robbery in Cortland, New York, Rulloff, under the alias "James Dalton", defended him and won an acquittal. On the morning of August 17, 1870, between one and two o'clock, Rulloff, Jarvis, and Dexter traveled to Binghamton and robbed the dry goods store of D.M. & E.G. Halbert Bros. Unknown to the three robbers, Fred Merrick and Gilbert Burrows, who were clerks, slept at the store. When Jarvis and Dexter broke into the store, the clerks woke up and a fight ensued. Rulloff ran inside and shot Merrick in the head, killing him instantly. He shot at Burrows also, but missed. Burrows ran out into the street and began calling for help. The robbers fled down the street which emptied into the Chenango River. The next day, Jarvis and Dexter were found drowned and it appeared that they had been severely beaten as well. Meanwhile, Rulloff had managed to lose himselfin all the commotion,and was now using the alias "Matthews." Rulloff was arrested a few days later, but Burrows was unable to identify him because it had been too dark. "Matthews:' a.k.a. Rulloff, had the authorities convinced that he had nothing to do with the robbery and murder, when Judge Bascom, visiting from Ithaca, recognized him as Runoff. Even then he managed to escape detection by convincing the police that he had only used an alias because he was afraid that, due to his past, he would have been immediately and wrongfully suspect. Further investigation of the area where Jarvis and Dexter were found drowned turned up some physical evidence. It seems that Rulloff and the others removed their shoes prior to attempting to swim the Chenango River. Someone remembered that Rulloff was missing his big toe. One of 48


OURNAL OF INSANITY, FOR APRIL, 1872. • EDW.A.RD IL RULLOFF. . vard II. Rulloff was executed at Binghamton, Y., on the 1811 of May, 1871, for the murder of crick A. Mirriek. It was dearly established upon trial that the dry, goods store of Halbert Bros. ' tinted in Binghamton, was,on the morning of August 7th, between one and two o'clock, broken into by three urglars. They bad done up two or three packages of silks, and had two or three others ready to remove when they were detected by Burroughs and Micrick, two clerks sleeping in the store, who were awakened 'd confronted them. A tight ensued upon the clerks ptiug to overcome the burglars, which resulted in shooting of Mirrick by Rulloff The other burglars Albert T. Jarvis and Williams T. Dexter, whose es were taken from the Chenaugo River the day the burglary and murder, hinting been drowned; bile fording or wading along the river in as attempt to escape. 11 his charge to the jury who found Runoff 'Ity, Judge llogebouut speaks of the circumstances m es . minding the case as follows:


irlie character of the prisoner, his 'previous history, the stealthy ranee Iota the store, the noiseless step, the gathered plunder, , sudden apinstranco of the Mous apt the liedside of the clerks, r arousal front sleep, the grappie for life, tire retreat of the two ',;; Vol. XXVIII.-14.IV.—A

First page ofa 50-page article on the Rulloffcase in the "American Journal ofInsanity:'

the boots had a peculiar indentation where a big toe should have been. The police arrested Rulloff again and tried the boot on him. It fit perfectly. Rulloff's trial began on January 5, 1871, lasted a week, and ended with his conviction for the murder of Fred Merrick. He was sentenced to hang on March 3, 1871. During his stay in jail, Rulloff exchanged letters with a number of important people, some of whom he had been corresponding with for years. Among these people were Albert Treman and Horace Greeley. The DeWitt Historical Society has much of this correspondence. Greeley advocated a commutation of his death sentence and one stay of execution was arranged. Newspapers in Binghamton and New York City published excerpts from his philological writings, and urged that so learned a man, a philological prodigy, be preserved and allowed to live. In addition, Governor Hoffman appointed a Commission of Lunacy, consisting of respected doctors, to examine Rulloff. Their report stated that, "Edward H. Rulloff was in

sound physical health and entirely sane." The end was now fast approaching and on May 18, 1871, Edward Howard Rulloff was hanged at a public hanging in Binghamton. "March 3" was the original date set by the court and must have been widely publicized, leading the decorator of the jug to write it in cobalt blue between the gallow's post and Rulloff prior to firing. When the stay of execution was granted, it was too late to change the date. Even after his death, controversy swirled around Rulloff. A 50- page article on his case appeared in the American Journal ofInsanity. Another lengthy article appeared in the Journal of Psychological Medicine. Cornell University took his body and removed his brain. It is kept preserved to this day at the Medical College, and it is reported to be one of the largest brains known. A death mask was also made immediately after his death, and is reported to be in the Ithaca Public Library. Rulloff could not have known and probably would not have cared that a decorator working at the M. Roberts pottery works would immortalize him on a stoneware jug. Paradoxically, Rulloff's crimes and philological endeavors would be less well known today if not for the efforts of an anonymous decorator passing an idle moment during the winter of 1871. Steven B. Leder is editor and publisher of the Stoneware Collectors' Journal and a collector of antique American stoneware. SELECTED READING Binghamton Democratic Leader — Supplement. May 18, 1871. Life, trial, and execution of Edward H. Rulloff. Barclay & Co., Phil., PA. 1871. Burr G. Medico — legal notes on the case of Edward H. Rulloff. Journal ofPsychological Medicine. 5:724-751, 1871. Freeman E.H. The veil of secrecy removed. Carl & Freeman, Binghamton, NY. 1871. Gray J.P., Vanderpool S.O. Report of the commission to determine the mental condition of Edward H. Rulloff. Journal ofPsychological Medicine. 5:612-620, 1871. Sawyer G.C. Edward H. Rulloff. American Journal ofInsanity. 28:463-514, 1871.



by Mary Black

In honor of the tricentennial of the Albany, New York, city charter last year, the venerable Albany Institute of History and Art mounted an ambitious exhibition of more than 250 examples of decorative and fine arts, each tied in some way to the settlement by the Dutch of the Provinces of New York and New Jersey. Organized by Roderic H. Blackburn, the Institute's former assistant director, Remembrance ofPatria represents a major reassessment of the significant Dutch influence during the Colonial period from 1609 to 1776. From bricks molded in the Hudson Valley to the portrait of Peter Schuyler, legendary first mayor of the city to whom the Albany charter was given, the works told the story of an innovative people who restructured an old world life to suit their new world environ-

Heart and Crown Knocker Latchfrom thefront door of the Martin Van Bergen House; Unidentified blacksmith; Village ofLeeds, Albany(now 1 2x Greene)County; Circa 1729; Wrought iron;8/ 55/8 x 3"; Collection of the Bronck House Museum, Greene County Historical Society, gift of Burgett and Aubrey Wolcott.

ment. Opening the door on this unprecedented assemblage of Dutch-oriented objects was an American-made, but distinctively Dutch-style door knocker and latch of 1729 that once announced visitors to the house of Martin Van Bergen in Leeds, Greene County, New York. The hand needed to complete the proverb that inspired the large heart-and-crown crested iron plate was the real one supplied by each visitor to the Van Bergen door. Only a few objects created before the

English took over New York in 1664 endure, so that it was the fine and decorative arts of the first half of the eighteenth century that dominated the show. An odd dichotomy was often illustrated, for the richest and most upto-date New Yorkers began, in about 1750, to seek English patterns for the articles that they made and purchased. But even in these later works, traces of Dutch design and custom were apparent. While the Dutch of New York were acclaimed for their tolerance, the Dutch Reformed Church, the state religion in the Dutch period, was an influence that molded not only their religious beliefs, but their political, business, and social lives as well. The church presence was illustrated in an engraving of the second Dutch Church in Albany, erected in 49

Weathercock; The Netherlands or Beverwyck(Albany); Circa 1656;Copper, iron rod; Collection ofThe First Church ofAlbany (Reformed). The oldest surviving American weathervane, it is believed to have been broughtfrom the Netherlands in 1656for the blockhouse church (see below)built in 1715. When the church was demolished in 1806, the weathervane came into the possession of the Van Rensselaerfamily and was returned to the church a century ago. Noticeable are traces ofearly gilding, as well as damage done by a musket ball.

A View of the Late Protestant Dutch Church in the City of Albany; Engraved by Henry W. Snyder after a drawing by Philip Hooker, published by John Low, Bookseller; Albany, NY;1806;Ink on paper; 141 / 2 x 1.57/8"; Collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art. Examples similar to the style of this stone structure, the second church built in Albany, can be seen in the Netherlands province ofZeeland. Wooden versions are evident in Northern Holland, where the sameform was also used in seventeenth century town halls.

iehael Fredericks ir

The Birth of the Virgin; Gerardus Duyckinck; New York City; 1713: Oil on tulip poplar panel; Collection of D. Harold Byrd, Jr. While this subject is not included in Dutch Bibles, it may have its source in prints after Italian paintings. It is also possible that the subject is the naming of John the Baptist. The discovery ofthis signed and dated work, painted when Duyckinck was eighteen years old, has resulted in the attribution to the artist ofseveral unsigned works.

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1715 around the old 1656 log church which was then dismantled. The primitive copper weathercock, elaborately carved pulpit, and stained glass windows with coats of arms from the blockhouse church were relocated in the new stone structure. The elegant wood pulpit had been brought from the Netherlands in the mid-seventeenth century. While it is traditional lore that the weathercock was also from a Netherlandish source, its crude design and form argue for American origin. In 1806, when the second church was torn down, the weathervane was given into the care of the Van Rensselaer family, but late in the nineteenth century the much-battered vane was restored and

Ut3 Photos; Michael Fredericks hi

Right: Mary Van Dyck Van Bergen; Attributed to John Heaten; Village of Leeds, Albany (now Greene) County; Circa 1742; Oil on canvas; Collection ofthe Museum ofthe City ofNew York. Far right: Martin Van Bergen III; Attributed to John Heaten; Village of Leeds, Albany (now Greene) County; Circa 1742; Oil on canvas; Collection ofthe Museum ofthe City ofNew York. The marriage of Van Bergen and his cousin Mary Van Dyck, was one of many between closely related families of the Catskill area. These portraits were probably painted by Heaten (active 1730-1745)soon after their wedding in 1742.

Left: The Van Bergen Farm painting (Detail); Attributed to John Heaten; Village of Leeds, Albany (now Greene) County; Circa 1733; New York State Historical Association. The Van Bergen overmantel is the only contemporary representation ofDutch rural life in America. The central focus is the home of Martin and Catarina de Meyer Van Bergen, probably the two figures standing before the house. Built in 1729, the house is in most respects a rural Dutchfarmhouse of superior quality. To the left are hay barracks and a typical Dutch barn probably erected by Martin Van Bergen, Sr., circa 1685. The otherfigures are the Van Bergen's sons and daughters,,servants, and local Indians engaged in various characteristic activities.

returned to church custody. Indicating the close ties that existed between church and state, Evert Duyckinck (the first member of this longactive family of glaziers and limners to come to America), in 1656, supplied glass for the church windows within the fort at the Battery in Manhattan at the request of the city fathers. Court minutes of Rensselaerswyck indicate that he also provided stained glass coats of arms — some of which survive — for the Dutch church in Albany that same year. Almost fifty religious paintings dating to the first half of the eighteenth century still exist. Made not for church use, but for display in the chief rooms of Dutch houses, these Biblical works

often provide parables which serve as commentary on Dutch values. An important example of this genre, Birth of the Virgin, was painted by Gerardus Duyckinck (a member of the third American generation of this family of painters) in 1713. This is the only signed painting among all those attributed on stylistic and genealogical grounds to Duyckink family members. It is ironic, however, that this subject was neither mentioned nor illustrated in the Dutch Bibles that supplied inspiration for most of the other scriptural works. Examples of Dutch-influenced architecture are the most enduring and complex of the surviving artifacts. Pieces of

houses were brought to the exhibition — a painted door, an ancient window, roof tiles, date markers and other hardware. Long surviving structures were seen in photographs and in James Eights' watercolors of early nineteenth-century Albany. One remarkable landscape, by John Heaten, an outsider who "married Dutch," was represented by a full-scale color photograph. The long narrow wood panel(now permanently installed over the fireplace in the New York State Historical Association's Bump Tavern) was once used as an overmantel in one of the two Van Bergen farms depicted in the painting. The chief focus of the scene is the house of Martin Van 51

Left: Stag Weathervane; Unidentified maker; Coeymans Patent(now the village ofCoeymans), Albany County;Circa 1717-1720; Wrought and sheet iron;64/ 1 2x 24/ 1 2"; Collection ofthe Holland Society ofNew York. This beautifully designed weathervane sat atop thefront gable of the Ariaantje Coeymans house (see below), the largest Dutch house in the upper Hudson Valley. While such vanes were once common, few are known today. The body is sheet iron and the antlers are attached wrought iron. The legs are replacements. Below: Reconstruction of the Samuel and Ariaantje Coeymans House Facade; Drawn by Tom Nelson, based on Historic American Building Survey, the existing structure and photographs ofa contemporary painting (now lost). In late 1716, Samuel and Ariaantje Coeymans, children of Barent Coeymans, received an undivided share oftheirfather's lands including saw mills, grist mills and houses located in the present-day town ofCoeymans. The Coeymans built the existing house adjacent to their mills between 1717and 1720. Although its appearance was altered in the 1790s, this reconstruction depicts the original frontfacade whichfaced the river. The distinguishingfeatures are a large central gable, and three types of Dutch medieval windows: Kruiskozyn on thefirstfloor withfixed leaded glass above and shutters below; bolkozyn, with fixed leaded glass on one side and a hinged shutter on the other; and kloosterkozyn, casement windows with a leaded glass upper and a hinged lower shutter, which were on an earlier house attached by passageway to the north side ofthe house.

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Bergen, where the door with the heartshaped iron knocker and latch once hung. Martin and his wife are shown at middle ground. The appearance of one of the two boys, Van Bergen's namesake, is preserved in a later portrait by the same artist; in this scene he and his brother and their two sisters are illustrated, along with Indians, slaves, and white hired hands. Characteristically Dutch elements of the house are visible in the gable-end chimneys, casement windows with brightly painted shutters, and dormers with roll gable pediments. The adjoining hay barrack, blacksmith shop, and barn with gableend entrances for animals and wagons are also in typical Dutch style. The initial and date stone from this house and a casement sash with leaded glazing from the adjacent Gerrit Van Bergen house, were among the architectural elements on view in Remembrance ofPatria. These reminders of one Dutch family in the middle Hudson were augmented by portraits of Martin Van Bergen, Junior, and his wife painted about the time of their marriage in 1742. North from Leeds is the village of Coeymans, named for the Dutch family 52


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whose house still stands there. An aspect close to its original facade is preserved in an architectural reconstruction based on a lost painting. The elegant sheet metal weathervane of a leaping stag that once topped the fourstory structure was displayed in the same gallery as the portrait of Ariaantje Coeymans. She, with her brother Samuel, inherited an undivided share of their father's lands in 1716 including several houses and his saw and grist mills. The two Coeyman heirs built this house facing the river between 1717 and 1720. Ariaantje was portrayed in about 1723, the year of her marriage to a relative of the Schuylers, David Ver Planck, some twenty years her junior.

South Facade

Ascribed earlier in this century to an unidentified "Schuyler Limner," the canvas is now attributed to Nehemiah Partridge, a New England artist who found among upper Hudson merchants, shipowners, and Indian traders his most eager patrons. This full-length icon has long been associated with another, the heroic likeness of Peter Schuyler. The Schuyler painting was a mid-twentieth century gift from that family to the city of Albany; its usual place is in a wood panel in the mayor's office. It, too, is attributed to Nehemiah Partridge, painted either in Albany in about 1718 (the year of Partridge's first appearance along the upper Hudson)or in Boston in the winter of 1709-1710. Schuyler and

Ariaantje Coeymans Ver Planck; Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge; Albany County; Circa 1722: Oil on canvas; Collection of the Albany Institute ofHistory and Art, bequest ofGertrude Watson. The right of Dutch women to inherit and own property, unusual for the time, was transfered to the provinces, allowing Ariaantje Coeymans (1672-1743) to make a powerful marital alliance with David Ver Planck. She was 51 and he was 28 at the time. The portrait, completed around the time of her marriage in 1723, probably hung in the entrance hall of the Coeymans house.

his entourage spent more than two months in that area before sailing for England on a diplomatic journey to introduce four Mohawk sachems of the Iroquois to Queen Anne. Among the several goals of the longsustained effort to present Remembrance of Patria was the prospect of illustrating the use and placement of objects within the rooms of the typical Anglo-Dutch household. In this pursuit, innumerable estate inventories of the seventeenth and eighteenth century were consulted. Occasionally, pieces could be traced through several generations, sometimes first seen in the Groote Kamer, or best room, but very rarely sighted since as they were moved

Spoon Rack; New York or New Jersey Province; Eighteenth century; Tulip poplar; Collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum. This spoon rack has a representation ofa kas as its centralfeature. The similarity in materialand construction of many spoon racks, and their association with New Jersey families, suggests that a New Jersey "school" of spoon rack carving existed throughout the eighteenth century.

Peter Schuyler; Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge; Boston, Circa 1710; or City ofAlbany, Circa 1718; 4x 51"; Collection ofthe City ofAlbany, Office ofthe Mayor. This portrait, attributed 3 Oil on canvas;87/ to Nehemiah Partridge(1683-Circa 1737). celebrates the leadingfigure in the upper Hudson during this period. Peter Schuyler(1657-1724) to whom the Albany charter was given in 1686, was a member ofthe New York Royal Governor's Council and briefly Acting Governor ofthe province. He was superintendent for Indian Affairs, and in this role was largely responsiblefor the long, peaceful coexistence between the Dutch, English and Iroquois. It was Schuyler who tookfour Iroquois "kings" to England to meet Queen Anne.

by descendants to a storage room. Remembrance of Patria opened doors to colonial New York's best rooms, kitchens, pantries, and bed rooms to show how interiors were ordered in Dutch fashion. Dutch use of the kas as the chief ornament of the best room and the repository for fine textiles and precious metal objects carries over to the new world. A painted version echoes kassen found in the Netherlands, although the use of garlands of fruit rather than figures within the trompe l'oeil architectural forms is a colonial innovation. Inventories mention textile covers for the tops of these large cupboards, and one of several spoon racks of American man-

ufacture shows a garniture of three vases as a decoration for the top of one of these household altars. One of the very few subjects known to have been painted by two of the eight artists responsible for about two hundred Hudson Valley portraits and scriptural paintings, was Abraham Wendell, whose family, originally English, had come to America after a sojourn in the Netherlands. In 1719 he posed for Nehemiah Partridge. The painter inscribed the canvas with an exact date, the fourth anniversary of the boy's baptism. An entry in Evert Wendell's daybook the previous year (discovered by this writer in 1980) established the identity of the painter of this 53

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Left: Abraham Wendell; Attributed to John Heaten; City of Albany; Circa 1737; Oil on ticking; 35/ 1 2 x 29/s"; Collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art, gift of Governor and Mrs. Averill Harriman and three anonymous donors. This painting of Abraham Wendell (1715-1753) as an adult shows his grist mill on the Beaver Kill in Albany(see detail, above). It is one of the earliest land possessions, and the only mill to befound in early colonial painting. Such mills were typical for several centuries along the Hudson. Made of wood, it is one aisle deep and two stories high. Its proportions and construction appear to resemble those of a two-room Dutch farmhouse. The exterior doorsfrom the secondfloor and garretprovidedfor the passage ofbags ofgrain. Attribution to John Heaten for this painting came about when the author discovered an entry by Abraham Wendell, in the same Day Book hisfather had kept,for portraits to be painted by Heaten in 1737.

Abraham Wendell;Attributed to Nehemiah Partridge; City of Albany; 1719; Oil on canvas; Collection of the Albany Institute ofHistory and Art, gift of Governor and Mrs. Averill Harriman and three anonymous donors. This portrait of young Abraham Wendell, on hisfourth baptismal day, was completed almost a year after the initial agreement between his father and Nehemiah Partridgeforfour portraits ofthe Wendellfamily. Discovery of this agreement in the senior Wendell's Day Book led the author to identify Partridge as the painter ofthis and more than seventy other colonial portraits.

and three other Wendell family portraits as Partridge, the New Hampshire-born japanner and limner known through advertisements and family papers, but whose work was then unidentified. More than seventy portraits of New Yorkers painted between 1718 and 1725 formerly attributed to an otherwise anonymous Schuyler or Aetatis Suae Limner are now attributed to him. In 1737, the daybook originally kept by Evert Wendell (with occasional entries by his wife Engeltje) was continued by Abraham Wendell as a record of his many ventures as a land and mill owner. On August 17, the younger Wendell noted that he had sent John Heaten seven "frams" and an unspecified number of ells of "speckeld Linne" for eight pictures he had ordered from Heaten. Portraits of Abraham's brothers, Johannes, dated 1737, and another of his much younger brother Philip, are believed to be three of the 1737 Heaten portraits mentioned in the Wendell daybook. Like the Van Bergen farm â&#x20AC;&#x201D; attributed to Heaten on stylistic evidence â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the portrait of Abraham Wendell at twenty-two has a background showing an early upper Hudson land possession. 54

The mill on Beaver Kill in Albany belonged to Wendell's father in this period and was later inherited by Abraham. Curtains at the window, a beehive oven on the exterior wall, and smoke rising from the chimney show dual use of the structure as a mill and as a residence. About seven years earlier, Pieter Vanderlyn, the single Dutch born artist whose work has been identified among the New York painters of this period, executed two canvases, each approximately 45 by 35 inches. The two are as fascinating for their differences as for similarities of palette and style. The unidentified Girl ofthe Van Rensselaer Family looks back to the common artist

practice of using velvety English mezzotints as sources for costume, pose, and background. Her flyaway draperies recall passages in earlier portraits of Virginia subjects by Nehemiah Partridge. The style, however, is clearly that of Pieter Vanderlyn. Pau de Wandelaer, on the other hand, a young subject related to both the Gansevoort and Van Rensselaer families looks ahead to realistic portrayals of subjects and their possessions. He is dressed in a soft white shirt, long buttoned waistcoat, and brown jacket, a costume based on the Anglo-Dutch garb commonly worn in Albany in this period. The background of this painting shows the first real landscape to appear in a

Photo: Michael Fredericks Jr.

Girl of the Van Rensselaer Family; Attributed to Pieter Vanderlyn; City ofAlbany; Circa 1730; Oil on canvas; Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Rodman C. Rockefeller. Unlike the portrait above, the pose and costume for this young girl are modeled after a mezzotint source. This portrait was unlocated until it was consigned to auction by a descendant in 1982. The Van Rensselaer family connection has accompanied it throughout its history, although the exact identification ofthe girl is unknown.

New York portrait; the Hudson and its highlands are illustrated and a typical Dutch ketch rides at anchor. Instead of an exotic bird from a mezzotint, an American goldfinch perches on the boy's finger. A hundred years ago, a group of leading figures on the upper Hudson banded together to organize an extraordinary exhibition of 4000 objects for display in the old Boys Academy building in celebration of the city's bicentennial. Men and women from the Schuyler, Van Rensselaer, and Livingston clans borrowed objects from their own and from their neighbors' collections and placed them within the rooms of the Boys Academy

for the month of July. When the show was over, this group formed an historical society that eventually joined with other, older Albany institutions to become today's Albany Institute of History and Art. Some of the manuscripts, objects, and paintings in the tricentennial show were on display then. The "Dutch Kitchen" set up at the Boys Academy in 1886 was one of the first room settings ever attempted in a public presentation. Remembrance of Patria stands as the latest and most comprehensive effort to recapture the essence of Dutch culture in America. It is based on many recent discoveries and reinterpretations of An-

Photo: Courtesy of the Albany Institute of History & Art

Pau De Wandelaer; Attributed to Pieter Vanderlyn; Circa 1730; Oil on canvas; 443/4 x 35W': Albany Institute ofHistory and Art, Gift of Catherine Gansevoort Lansing. This painting by Pieter Vanderlyn(1687-1778)shows thefirst reallandscape â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Hudson and surrounding bluffs, with a Dutch ketch at anchor â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to appear in a New York portrait. Stylistically, it looks ahead to a more realistic type ofportrait which becamefashionable.

An illustrated catalogue of the exhibition, with full descriptive documentation for each object, will be published this Spring by the Publishing Center for Cultural Resources for the Albany Institute of History and Art. The text, by Roderic H. Blackburn and Ruth Piwonka, is supplemented by essays by Charlotte Wilcoxen and Mary Black. It will be available from the Museum of American Folk Art's Book and Gift Shop, 62 West 50 Street, New York, N.Y. 10112. The cost will be $39.95 ($29.95 if ordered before March 1), less 10% for Museum members, plus $4.00 postage and handling. All orders must be prepaid. New York State residents please add sales tax.

glo-Dutch architecture, art, and rural and urban traditions and represents a significant period in America's cultural past. Mary Black was curator of the painting section of Remembrance ofPatria. She is Consulting Curator of the Museum of American Folk Art, former director ofthe Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and of the Museum of American Folk Art, and former curator of the New-York Historical Society. 55


Mundane TO THE

Mtracidous The Meaning of Folk Art Collecting in America

by Eugene W. Metcalf, Jr.

In every society there are certain kinds of activities which are central to that society's existence, activities which sum up the beliefs and values of the society, and use those values to confront the problems of everyday life. Such activities are called rituals because by incorporating and containing the flux of human experience into established conventions, they give form and meaning to a people's existence. Performed on a regular basis, rituals express what is known about the world and what needs to be done to live in it. In American society ritual behavior often establishes the meaning of our everyday activities. For example, by gathering around the dinner table for evening supper we participate in a commonly shared ceremony which dramatizes, and brings to life, our belief in the value of the family. This belief is supported by other everyday family rituals as well, such as family reunions and the celebration of Mother's Day. On a more public level, we also participate in a ritual when we vote, thereby collectively asserting our belief in American freedoms through participation in the democratic process. In all of these kinds of activities we use 56

symbols (ballots and Mother's Day cards) which not only facilitate the ritual process, but represent in a visible and public way the beliefs and values to which we subscribe. Recognizing the nature and purpose of ritual activity is an important first step in considering the full meaning of American folk art. Although as collectors we have long understood that folk art is a special American symbol, we have limited what we could know about this symbol by viewing it only in terms of its presumed aesthetic significance, and separating it from collecting, the ritual activity which creates its symbolic value. For folk art is not only a product of the artists who make it and the surroundings in which they live, it also draws its meaning from our activity as collectors and the modern world in which we buy, sell, and appreciate the objects we call folk art. Because we generally operate in a different social and historical context than did the makers of the objects we collect, the meanings we attached to folk objects, as well as the uses to which we put them, often differ from their original meanings and uses. Responding to the flux of events in our

own surrounding, we appropriate objects made in another place or time, give these objects new meanings, and then use them in ritual ways to help us understand and come to grips with our world. Yet, unlike the setting in which folk art was originally created, our world is an urban,industrial one. It is to comprehend, and live in, this world, that we "use" folk art. Viewed in this way, American folk art may be even more important than we have assumed it to be. More than an emblem of a bygone, better time, or the representation of an aesthetic vision unspoiled by academic traditions, folk art is the central symbol in a significant, modern American ritual. It is a device used by contemporary people to attempt to define and confront some of the most important issues of modern life, issues which are economic, historical, and even religious. Let us consider these meanings individually, beginning with the economic. It is difficult to study patterns of collecting very long and not come to the conclusion that American folk art is, on the most basic level, an economic commodity. For, as art historian Kenneth Ames has suggested, although we

may feel uncomfortable admitting it, our behavior as Americans indicates that the ownership of goods is a major goal in American life. Once we accept this, we must realize that the commercial matrix in which we live is by no means incidental. It forms, in a real way, the structure of our lives, the fundamental network that holds our society together! As a commodity in the artistic marketplace, folk art represents the goods of an economic system. These goods acquire meaning as a form of investment and exchange, and their aesthetic value is often tied to their market value. Yet, the consumption of folk art as an artistic commodity represents much more than mere greedy consumerism or simple conspicuous consumption. According to the anthropologist Mary Douglas, consumption is an integral part of our social system and itself part of the social need to relate to other people. When understood as a form of social activity, consumption can be seen as a system of communication by which people negotiate to establish, accept or reject the meanings and values of their society. They accomplish this, of course, through the judgments they exercise in the marketplace â&#x20AC;&#x201D; what to consume or not to consume, or what price they are willing to pay for a particular object. In doing this, consumers agree or disagree with the ideas that particular commodities represent and help establish how much these ideas are worth. Consumption choices in this way evidence our beliefs about what we think people need, how it is appropriate to spend our time and resources, and how we should relate to other people and nature. Such choices result in patterns of ownership which make physical statements about the values to which we subscribe. Thus, says Douglas, consumption can be seen as an important arena in which culture is negotiated, and established. In the ever present human attempt to select and determine the common meanings of society, consumption is a ritual process

RITUAL ACTIVITY: Collectors examining a coverlet at the booth ofConnie and William Hayes at the Fall Antiques Show at the Pier.

which publicly establishes the commonly agreed on categories of culture in visible, tangible form In this process goods are ritual paraphernalia. Physical symbols of human and social value, they are bartered and exchanged in the market place, creating hierarchies of meaning which are ranked according to cost. Such rankings fluctuate, of course, as they are negotiated, but, generally the more costly the commodity, the more important its ritual meaning. This brings us to folk art, which is an increasingly expensive commodity. In the last decades the prices of folk art have escalated to dizzying heights. New auction records are set each season as the cost of folk objects has, at times, come close to rivaling that paid for high art. Clearly such folk objects carry important ritual meaning. But what meaning is it? What values are being established, and what is really being communicated? To understand this we

must examine folk art's historical significance. No society can manage without symbols or rituals. To do so is to live without clear, publicly agreed on meanings, or the conventions for establishing and maintaining them. So great is our need to understand and contain our experience, to create meaning, that any breakdown in our explanatory apparatus results in considerable anxiety. It is a threat to our ability to understand the world, and raises profound questions about how â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and even whether â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we belong in it. Yet such a breakdown occurred as a result of urbanization and industrialization in the early years of the twentieth century, when American folk art was first defined and popularized. To comprehend folk art's ritual meaning we must understand its relationship to these events Folk art was discovered and popularized in America during the first decades of the twentieth century, during a time of rapid, and disquieting, social change. One of the most important of these changes was the growth of the city. In the early years of the century, America completed the transition from a rural nation to an urban one. By 1920, 57

Photo: Helga Photo Studio

for the first time in our history, over half the population lived in large cities. Nevertheless, as much as Americans seemed to welcome the glamour and vitality of the city, they feared other aspects of urbanization. To a nation raised on Jeffersonian ideals, the city also represented sin and decay. It was viewed as a place of debauchery and crowding, a haven for crime and unassimilated foreigners. Conflicting responses to the city were not new to America, but in these years they were deeply felt. In addition to demographic changes, America was also feeling the full impact of mechanization and industrialization. Revolutionary technological innovations such as the moving assembly line and the widespread use of the electrical motor created new, or radically altered, industries like those producing automobiles, light metals, chemicals,and synthetics. Yet, as fervently as Americans welcomed the new consumer goods produced by these industries, they also feared the dehumanization and standardization that was part of the machine's effect on modern life. In the opening decades of the new century 58

CELEBRATING INDIVIDUALITY:St. Tammany Weathervane; Artist unknown; East Branch, New York; Mid-19th century; Molded and painted copper, 102/ 1 2x 103 x 12"; Museum of American Folk Art.

Americans often voiced the concern that man was becoming little more than a machine, a "robot" to use the word coined in the 1920s by Karel Capek's play R.U.R. Demographic and technological changes exacerbated other trends in American life such as alterations in religious practices, the reordering of family structure, and new patterns of immigration. These combined to create a culture in which people felt deeply threatened. Battered by the forces of change, and unable to make sense of contemporary events through the use of traditional systems of belief and feeling, Americans struggled to develop new rituals to accommodate modern experience, and new symbols to mark and contain new categories of meaning. In a world that was now suddenly inundated with, and dazzled by, new consumer goods,it is not surprising that one of the most powerful symbolic

devices that developed for explaining and integrating American experience was itself, as we have seen, new as a commodity â&#x20AC;&#x201D; American folk art. The power of these symbolic artifacts sprang from their ability to preserve and make available to modern society a residue of bygone, yet treasured, cultural meanings which Americans had feared they had lost. In the face of the complicated dilemmas of modern life, folk art was enshrined by collectors as the representation of the simple and elemental truths of life as Americans wanted to believe (and remember) them. Understood in terms of preindustrial and pastoral meanings,folk art was said to celebrate individuality, democracy, and the virtues and values of handcraftsmanship and agrarian society. Collecting folk art allowed (and still allows) Americans the reassurance that by coming together to exchange and venerate the symbols of traditional American values, those values were still somehow available to them, in forms that were concrete and could be guarded and cherished. Yet as ritual, the ultimate significance of the consumption of folk art goes beyond even its historical meaning. It acquires almost a religious significance. Religion has both spiritual and social meaning,and the ritual ofcollecting folk art relates to both of these. Religion connects what is and what ought to be. Synthesizing a peoples' sense of the transcendent meaning of life with its view of the way things actually are, religion is that aspect of cultural experience which reconciles what we believe with what we experience. In religious practice the world as we know it is made meaningful because it is shown to evidence some larger truth, and, at the same time, that truth is objectified by being recognized as implicit in everyday life. As anthropologist Clifford Geertz has pointed out, this fusing of the mundane and the metaphysical sustains each with the borrowed authority of the other. It is accomplished through the ritual use of symbols, like the cross or the menorah,

which tune human actions to cosmic order and project images of that order onto the plane of human experience This miracle is accomplished regularly in every culture, and it is not confined only to those activities which are institutionalized as religious. Many activities perform this function, none more effectively than the collecting of folk art. For the consumption offolk art operates to connect mundane things and activities (such as weathervanes and craftsmanship)notonly to social and historical meanings (individuality and democracy), but to transcendent meanings as well. Representing conceptions of ultimate truth, these meanings affirm the American vision of God's holy plan. It has often been argued by students of American religion that there are in America certain elements of religious orientation which the great majority of Americans share. These elements operate outside of established church structures. They were a motivating spirit of those who founded America, and they continue to provide a religious dimension to the whole fabric of American life, especially the political sphere. According to Robert Bellah, who first popularized the idea, this public religious dimension, which he calls "civil religion;' emphasizes the obligation of Americans to do God's will. Linking the development of America to what is thought to be God's holy plan, it suggests that as a promised land, free from the sins of Europe, America is a place where God's kingdom on earth can be realized. Beginning with the early Puritan settlements which were established to create God's perfect society, this religious orientation has helped mold American nationalism. In every generation, says Bellah, Americans have voiced the belief that by supporting American principles and expanding American influence they were doing God's work and spreading His system throughout the world Codified as a national ideology at the time of the American Revolution, and operating as a mainstay of American

Photo: Helga Photo Studio

PROMOTING AMERICAN VISION: Architectural Ornament: Eagle; Artist unknown; Pennsylvania; C. 1905; Carved wood, iron, 697/8 x 44 x 50"; Museum ofAmerican Folk Art; Gift of William Engvick.

political dogma ever since, American civil religion provides a transcendent dimension to the understanding of American history, and a spiritual justification for American action. In this quasi-religious view, the American Revolution can be interpreted as a kind of exodus from Egypt, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution as the holy scriptures ofliberty, and American nationalism as a divinely sanctioned obligation. Interpreting history and national destiny in terms of such religious imperatives has historically resulted in the justification of many questionable and ethnocentric American activities such as the imperialist adventures linked to manifest destiny and, more recently America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Yet it has also been influential in establishing a national identity and sense of purpose. While this identity and transcendent

purpose is embodied and contained in civic symbols like the flag, George Washington, and Arlington National Cemetery, it is also expressed in a particularly meaningful way through objects of American folk art. Not only do objects defined as folk art often assume and utilize traditional civic images, they turn them into art. The flag and statues of George Washington come to carry aesthetic as well as political significance. Yet it isn't only folk art objects in the form of civic symbols that embody the values of American civil religion, it is all folk art objects. Thought to be representative of the people, the process, and the values that originally made America a special nation, folk art embodies the qualities that made America God's chosen land. Collecting folk art is thus a crucial ritual in modem American society. Developing at the time when urbanism, industrialism, and other modem forces were disrupting American culture and threatening America's self-image as a chosen land, folk art collecting represents an attempt to reintegrate American experience and reaffirm, if only subconsciously, America's holy mission. In the face of a modem world 59

transcendent religious authority which transforms folk art meaning from the mundane to the miraculous. In other words,to truly know American folk art, one must first believe. American folk art is a paradoxical art form. Cherished as naive or simple, it has complex meanings. Often thought to reflect the values and activities of the past, it is a potent and useful symbol used to create and sustain modern culture.For the meanings of folk art are as complicated and various as the needs which it serves and the uses to which it is put, needs and uses which are central to the identity of America.

Photo: Helga Photo Studio

which often threatens to alienate and overwhelm us, the ritual of collecting folk art allows Americans to reclaim, and renew, a vision of the past which gives meaning and value to the present. Yet the social and personal cost of this renewal is considerable. Whether it is the romantically remembered life of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries or the quaint, bucolic images produced by artists like Grandma Moses in the twentieth century, the vision of America presented in American folk art is largely irrelevant to the experience and needs of most contemporary Americans. Folk art owes much of its popularity to the fact that it affords an escape from the pressures of our modern world. Rather than encouraging us to confront and understand the meaning of contemporary society, folk art collecting helps us avoid it by presenting us with an imaginary time,or place,where (we would like to believe) life was simpler, less complicated, and more genuine. In this way the art that we collect as folk actually performs the function of popular art which, as Arnold Hauser has written, "soothes and distracts us from the painful problems of existence, and instead of inspiring us 60

VALUES AFFIRMED: Flag Gate; Artist unknown; Jefferson County, New York; C. 1876; Polychromed wood, iron, brass;39/ 1 2x 57x 3/ 3 4"; Museum of American Folk Art; Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.

to activity and exertion, criticism and self examination, moves us on the contrary to passivity and self satisfaction76 This is one of the reasons why the study of folk art has for so long emphasized description instead of analysis, and why it has been more interested in venerating "old-timey" objects than in self-critically examining the activity of folk art collecting. Yet there is another reason as well. As a form of religiously motivated behavior, folk art collecting is ultimately concerned not with analyzing the realities of everyday life, but with moving beyond these realities to affirm, through them, some ultimate meaning. This meaning is nothing less than the God appointed mission of America. And, like all religious truths, it is finally comprehended not through rational or analytical methods, but through faith â&#x20AC;&#x201D; through an apriori acceptance of the

Eugene W. Metcalf, Jr. is Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University in Ohio. He is co-curator of the exhibition "The Ties that Bind: Folk Art in Contemporary Society' sponsored by the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center. His essay "The Politics of the Past in American Folk Art History;' is included in the recent book Folk Art and Art Worlds (UMI Research Press). NOTES 1. Kenneth Ames,Introduction to a forthcoming, and as yet untitled, book which will contain a collection of articles on material culture and the museum. These articles were first presented at a conference on American museums, held in New Brunswick, N.J., in 1985. 2. Mary Douglas and Baron Isherwood, The World of Goods: Toward an Anthropology of Consumption (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1979). 3. For a detailed analysis and history of the development of folk art collecting, see my article "The Politics of the Past in American Folk Art History;' in Simon Bronner & John Vlach, ed., Folk Art and Art Worlds (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1986). 4. Clifford Geertz, "Religion as a Cultural System;' in The Interpretation of Culture (New York: Basic Books, 1973), pp. 87-126. 5. Robert N.Bellah,"Civil Religion in America;' Daedalus 96 (Winter, 1967):1-21. Bellah's article defines civil religion and traces its influence in American history from the time of Franklin to John Kennedy. He points out that though much in this religious orientation is selectively derived from Christianity, the beliefs and rituals associated with this view are not exclusively Christian. They represent, instead, a combination of religious, historical and political values revealed in American experience. 6. Arnold Hauser, The Sociology of Art, trans. Kenneth J. Northcott (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983), p. 582.

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221' /2 x161 / 4" Circa 1840-1860

80 Thompson Street, New York, N.Y. 10012 (212) 966-7116

Epaulet worn by George Washington's Pall Bearer see: Shelbourne Museum

•Baltimore Album QuilL c 1850 in tine condition

tallKes amencansi fikart sommelmS owmadliml


bettie mintz do. box 5943

bethesda, maryland 20814

near Washington. D.C.


1187 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY 10028 (Between 80th & 81st Streets) (212) 628-5454


Robert Cargo

FOLK ART GALLERY Southern, Folk, and Afro-American Quilts Antiques• Folk Art

Contemporary Alabama Folk Artists Sybil Gibson, paintings Lonnie Holley, sculpture Charlie Lucas, paintings and sculpture Sam Martin, carved walking canes Tim Martin, carved Indians Brother Perkins, painted gourds Sandra Rice, fired painted clay sculpture Juanita Rogers, paintings Jimmie Lee Sudduth, paintings Muse Tolliver, paintings Fred Webster, carvings Yvonne Wells and Dennis James, quilts Museum quality works available.

Please send $2.for the third in our series of "Ironfor the Hearth" brochures.



TEL • 203-259-5743 Tuesday—Saturday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. or by appointment

Robert Cargo FOLK ART GALLERY 2314 Sixth Street, downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 Open weekends only and by appointment Saturday 10:00-5:00, Sunday 1:00-5:00

205/758-8884 Home phone



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Experienced Restoration of 18th, 19th and 20th century textiles, quilts, American floor coverings and vintage clothing


By appointment only, Tracy Jamar, 250 Riverside Drive New York, N.Y. 10025(212)866-6426




Photos: Mara Kurtz



Left to right: Bob and Cynthia Schaffner. Lucy C. Danziger, Museum Trustees with Myra Shaskan and Carolyn Cohen Zelikovic

BENEFIT AUCTION Save the date! On May 27, 1987, Christie's New York will host the Museum of American Folk Art's 1987 Benefit Auction, with a cocktail reception at their renowned auction headquarters on Park Avenue. Join Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary and the many friends and members of the Museum, in this great event. Fine examples of American Folk art, antiques, and a variety of unusual trips, objects and services will highlight the event, which will be co-chaired by Museum Trustees Barbara Johnson and Maureen Taylor. Acquisitions co-chairmen are Trustee Lucy C. Danziger, Suzanne Feldman and Herbert W. Hemphill, Jr. The live auction will consist of some 60 lots offine eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century art pieces, as well as

sumptuous dinners and extraordinary vacations. Hildegard Vetter Jones and Sandra Nowlin are co-chairmen of the Silent Auction which will be filled with a great variety of objects, goods and services in all price ranges. There will be something for everyone. The Museum continues to look for donations from Members and friends for the 1987 Benefit Auction. This is the time to give up that rare bottle of wine or to ask your favorite inn to contribute a country weekend. Your donation and attendance will help build our new Museum. To make a donation, serve on a committee or for more information about the Benefit Auction, please contact Carolyn Cohen, at the Museum, 212/481-3080.

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY New York University's Graduate Program in Folk Art Studies is offering three courses in the Spring semester; all of them are open by special arrangement to qualified students who are not currently enrolled in the program. Please contact

Dr. Judith Weissman at(212)598-2410 for details. The courses will include: The Woman Folk Artist (Tuesday, 6:10-7:50 pm); The Folk Art Market (Thursday, 6:10-7:50 pm); and American Folk Architecture (Tuesday, 4:20-6:00 pm).

Spring semester of the Folk Art Institute begins on January 20, 1987. Three new courses will be offered â&#x20AC;&#x201D; "American Needlework: Plain and Fancy," "American Folk Pottery," and "The Life and the Arts of the Shakers" â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and the popular "Collectors, Dealers and the Market" will again be on the schedule. In addition, for matriculated students who have completed the prerequisite American Folk Painting 1, or have permission of the instructor, Joyce Hill will be offering American Folk Painting 2, which will focus on eighteenth and nineteenth century profilists and crayon (pastel) artists. Museum curator Elizabeth Warren has coordinated "American Needlework: Plain and Fancy" to be held on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. This is an indepth analysis of specific aspects of needlework including samplers, hooked rugs, table rugs, grenfel rugs, quilts, coverlets, sectarian dress, folk dolls, and conservation. William C. Ketchum, Jr., author ofEarly Potters and Potteries ofNew York State, will teach "American Folk Pottery" on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Methods, materials, styles and regional differences will be studied. Gerard C. Wertkin, Assistant Director of the Museum, will present five sessions on "The Life and the Arts of the Shakers," Tuesdays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Focusing on history, religion and aesthetics, Wertkin will emphasize the material culture as well as collecting and connoisseurship. "Collectors, Dealers and the Market," coordinated by Henry Niemann, will be held Mondays from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Topics for discussion include appraising folk art, auction sales and the effects of restoration. Courses are open to matriculated students, as well as visitors on a spaceavailable basis. Some courses are available on a single lecture basis. Please call the Folk Art Institute for further information at 212/481-3080.


Folk Art Chandeliers Handcrafted, signed and dated by James Glynn


WELLFLEET COLLECTION reflecting am:5N and artisans old and new saking.forpurchase or consignment

Pineapple Light 12"Hx23"W $265.00 Features a center down light andfour 60-Watt arms. Catalog $2.00.

The Connecticut Tinsmith Cannon Crossing • Wilton, CT 06897 (203)834-0603

El graphics0country antiques El contemporaryfolk art El handmade quilts0baskets El americana pottery Baker Avenue, Box #527 Wellfleet, MA 02667(617)349-9687

fo€4/11,164,1e4 since March, 1980


THE HIGH TOUCH NEWSLETTER of contemporary folk art


a Personal vignettes of folk artists, topical news, calendar, commentary, new finds and new directions in 20th century folk art. Amply illustrated. Four issues per year.

Standing Mustached Man, John Vivolo, 1976. Painted wood, height 291 / 4".


Send $9 to Folk Art Finder, 117 North Main, Essex, CT. 06426, Phone 203-767-0313


/ahem& known skowlocftOerisaone 9'the mast erienthe collections lithe uew&gZaL%okancilame /8 &wasani!leShcy-con lain 25 room inlvkiCh so eminent dealers cli:s emu/ -94Gsnialy cannily, yJrn1niture. Otudtslalk art, cenzmics, basket yainizng's, tree* metals, Ike rare and the fieauitif‘l are farige srer.6 variety aydiques or the serzbus dealer and collector gt counby and Americay




FALL ANTIQUES SHOW The eighth annual Fall Antiques Show opened at Pier 92 on October 22, 1986 with a gala first night preview to benefit the Museum. A special Museum exhibition A PENNY SAVED: CHILDREN AND MECHANICAL BANKS, made possible by a grant from American Express Company, was enthusiastically received and added considerably to the enjoyment of the Show for the serious collectors and casual browsers alike. The Museum wishes to thank those who helped make the evening such a success: American Express Company and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Cohen; Benefit Committee Co-Chairmen Cynthia V.A. Schaffner and Karen S. Schuster; Exhibition Curators Alvan and Claude Bisnoff; and Walking Tour Chairmen Davida Deutsch and Helaine Fendelman. Jill Bokor, Publisher of Art and Auction Magazine, donated the gift bags which were coordinated by Sandra Nowlin and Daryl Ferber of the Friends Committee. Lucy Fagot deserves special thanks for her invaluable help at the bookshop, as does Myra Top row: Director Robert Bishop with Mrs. Frank Deutsch and Museum Trustee Karen Cohen; Cynthia V.A. Schaffner and Karen S. Schuster, Museum Trustees with Sanford L. Smith, producer of the Fall Antiques Show at the Pier.

Museum ofLnerican Folk Art



Shaskan for her many hours spent ticketing. Howard Lanser, Joe D'Agostino, Ann DeMarco, Peter Dajevskis and Doug Martin were particularly helpful with the design and installation of the exhibition and show. We offer our appreciation to Howard's Gourmet Catering Company Inc. and Beekman Liquors Inc. and Sanford L. Smith, producer of the Fall Antiques Show. Many thanks, also, to the following volunteers: Jerri Ann Berg, Nancy Brown, Sheila Brummel, Dianne Butt, Jeanne Carley, Tom Cuff, Marcelle Cushman, Judith Cormier, Daryl Ferber, Florence Fertig, Howard Fertig, Helaine Fendelman, Hermine Gladstone, Hugh Harrison, Alision Haynie, Ruth Herrman, Alice Hoffman, Hildegard Vetter-Jones, Sherry Kahn, Lee Kogan, Mary Lalli, Brian Magel, Andrea Naitove, Sandra Nowlin, Catherine Perebinosoff, Jill Rigby, Jeanne Riger, Ann Rothman, Betty Carol Sellen, Mimi Sherman, Irma Shore, Alice Sinkoff, Margaret Smeal, Pearl Somner, Sheila Steinberg, Kennetha Stewart, Zee Super, Irving Tepper, Phyllis Tepper, Judith Tishman, Maryann Warakomski, Julia Weissman, and Mary Linda Zonana. Middle:Claude and Alvan Bisnoff Exhibition Curators. Left: Gerard C. Wertkin, Assistant Director of the Museum with Barbara W. KaufmanCate, Director ofthe Folk Art Institute.




Executive Committee Ralph Esmerian President Frances Sirota Martinson Esq. Executive Vice President Lucy C. Danziger Vice President Karen S. Schuster Secretary George F. Shaskan, Jr. Treasurer Judith A. Jedlicka Margery G. Kahn Theodore L. Kesselman Susan Klein

Members Mabel H. Brandon Florence Brody Catherine G. Cahill Karen D. Cohen Daniel Cowin Barbara Johnson, Esq. Alice M. Kaplan William I. Leffler Cyril I. Nelson Cynthia V.A. Schaffner Kathryn Steinberg

Bonnie Strauss Maureen Taylor Helene von Damm-Guertler Robert N. Wilson Trustees Emeritus Mary Allis Adele Earnest Cordelia Hamilton Herbert W. Hemphill, Jr. Louis C. Jones Jean Lipman


Frances S. Martinson Chairman Mary Black Gray Boone David Davies

Howard M. Graff Lewis I. Haber Phyllis Haders Barbara Kaufman Robert Meltzer

George Meyer Paul Oppenheimer Alfred R. Shands, III Hume R. Steyer


Jeanne R. Kerr, Vice President Corporate Contributions, Time Inc.

Robert M. Meltzer, Chairman ofthe Board, Miami-Carey Corporation

Dee Topol, Manager, Shearson/Lehman American Express Inc. Contributions Program

Marian Z. Stern, Assistant Vice President, Community Programming, Chemical Bank


The Museum of American Folk Art thanks its current major donors for their generous support: Over $20,000 Judi Boisson Mr. & Mrs. Frederick M. Danziger Mrs. Eva Feld Estate of Morris Feld 66

Margery G. Kahn Foundation Krikor Foundation Tarex *IBM Corporation Japan-United States Friendship Commission Mary Kettaneh Laura Ashley, Inc. Jean & Howard Lipman Joseph Martinson Memorial Fund

National Endowment for the Arts *PaineWebber Group Inc. *JC Penney *Philip Morris Incorporated *Scotchguard Brand Products *Shearson/Lehman American Express Inc. *United Technologies Corporation Estate of Jeannette B. Virgin Mrs. Dixon Wecter


*The Xerox Foundation $10,000-$19,999 Mr. & Mrs. Peter Cohen Adele Earnest Margery & Harry Kahn Philanthropic Fund Ira Howard Levy Frances Sirota Martinson, Esq. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New York State Council on the Arts Mr. & Mrs. George Shaskan Mr. & Mrs. Robert Steinberg Barbara & Thomas W. Strauss Fund $4,000-$9,999 Amicus Foundation *Bankers Trust Company The Bernhill Fund *Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. *The Clokeys Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Edgar W. Cullman Colonel Alexander W. Gentleman *International Paper Company Foundation Barbara Johnson, Esq. Mrs. Ruth Kapnek Mr. & Mrs. Robert Klein Larsen Fund, Inc. *Lever Brothers Company *Mobil Corporation New York City Department of Cultural Affairs *Seligman & Latz, Inc. Herbert and Nell Singer Foundation, Inc. Swedish Council of America *Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co., Inc. *Time Inc. The H.W. Wilson Foundation Norman & Rosita Winston Foundation $2,000-$3,999 American Standard Graphics George & Frances Armour Foundation *Bristol-Myers Fund Catherine G. Cahill *Celanese Corporation *Chemical Bank *The Coach Farm Joseph E Cullman 3rd *Exxon Corporation *Grumman Corporation *Institutional Investor *Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies *Manufacturers Hanover Trust *Marsh & McLennan Companies Christopher & Linda Mayer Helen R. & Harold C. Mayer Foundation *McGraw-Hill, Inc. *Metropolitan Life Foundation *Morgan Guaranty Trust Company of New York *Morgan Stanley & Co., Incorporated *New York Telephone Company *Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation

*The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Marguerite Riordan *The Rockefeller Group, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Safra Robert T. & Cynthia V. Schaffner *Schlumberger Foundation, Inc. Mrs. Richard T. Taylor Vista International William Wiltshire III Robert N. Wilson $1,000-$1,999 *American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. Anonymous *The Bank of New York *Bill Blass, Ltd. *Chesebrough-Pond's Inc. *Citibank, N.A. *Con Edison The Joyce & Daniel Cowin Foundation Inc. *Culbro Corporation *Daily News John L. Ernst Mr. & Mrs. Walter B. Ford II Emanuel Gerard Justus Heijmans Foundation *Hilton International Judith A. Jedlicka Theodore L. Kesselman Susan Kudlow Wendy & Mel Lavitt *Macy's New York Robert & Betty Marcus Foundation, Inc. Marstrand Foundation Estate of Myron L. Mayer Meryl & Robert Meltzer *The NL Industries Foundation, Inc. *Nestle Foods Corporation The New York Council for the Humanities *The New York Times Company Foundation, Inc. Geraldine M. Parker *Polo/Ralph Lauren Leo & Dorothy Rabkin *R C A *Restaurant Associates Industries, Inc. Mrs. Dorothy H. Roberts Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III Jon & Sue Rotenstreich Foundation Rev. & Mrs. Alfred R. Shands III Mrs. Joel Simon Arman & Louise Simone Foundation Mrs. Vera W. Simmons Philip & Mildred Simon Robert & Kathryn Steinberg H. van Ameringen Foundation Anne Vanderwarker Helene von Damm-Guertler David & Jane Walentas Robert N.& Anne Wright Wilson $5004999 *American Stock Exchange

The Bachmann Foundation, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Frank Barsalona David C. Batten Edward J. Brown Colgate-Palmolive Company The Dammann Fund, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Richard Danziger Mr. & Mrs. James DeSilva, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Deutsch Marion & Ben Duffy Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Lewis M. Eisenberg Richard C. & Susan B. Ernst Foundation Jacqueline Fowler The Charles U. Harris Living Trust Joyce & Stephen Hill Cathy M. Kaplan Jana K. Klauer Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Lauder William I. Leffler Helen E.R. Luchars Mainzer Minton Co., Inc. Manhattan Life Insurance Robin & William Mayer Louis Newman â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in Memory of Paul Roberts Smith Gallery Sotheby's Robert C. & Patricia A. Stempel Robert W.& Marillyn B. Wilson

The Museum is grateful to the CoChairwomen of its Special Events Committee for the significant support received through the Museum's major fund raising events chaired by them. Cynthia V.A. Schaffner Karen S. Schuster

The Museum also thanks the following donors for their recent gifts to the Permanent Collection and Library: Robert Bishop Reginald Case Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Deutsch Gertrude Schweitzer John Peer Karen Homey Clinic Mr. & Mrs. Harris Glodstein The Estate of Samuel Meulendyke

*Corporate Member 67



We wish to thank the following members for their increased membership contributions and for their expressions of confidence in the Museum:

Hermine Mariaux, New York, NY Harriet B. Marple, Washington, DC Mr. & Mrs. Robert Menschel, New York, NY Steven Michaen, Pound Ridge, NY Mrs. Edwin H. Miller, Riverdale, NY Adelia Moore, Cincinnati, OH

Sheila Brog, New York, NY

Mr. & Mrs. Ronald D. Niven, Paradise Valley, AZ

Edward & Nancy CopIon, New York, NY Aaron Daniels, New York, NY Mr. & Mrs. Daniel DeWitt, Los Angeles, CA Charlotte Dinger, Morristown, NJ Edward B. Effrein, Oak Brook, IL Kathleen Follette, Santa Monica, CA Frederick M. Gallagher, Hackettstown, NJ Rose Ellen Greene, Coral Gables, FL Patricia Ann Hammel, New York, NY Lucy D. Hansen, Tenafly, NJ Mrs. Philip Howlett, Greenwich, CT Roger Isaacs, Glencoe, IL

Mr. & Mrs. Milton Prigoff, Alpine, NJ Frank W. Jacobson, Dearborn Hts., MI Karen & Clay Johnson, Lakewood, NJ Donald Johnson, Newark, NJ Robert Kahn, Philadelphia, PA Cathy M. Kaplan, New York, NY Harriet Kelly, New York, NY Chris Haugh & Ron La Bow, Katonah, NY Wendy & Mel Lavitt, New York, NY Leslie and Gary W. Lawing, Ogden, UT Mimi S. & Richard M. Livingston, Larchmont, NY Lee Lorenz, Easton, CT

Mr. & Mrs. Henry H. Rice, New York, NY Carol K.& Howard B. Schulman, Pepper Pike, OH Steven Shapiro, New Market, MD Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Tarnoff, New York, NY Robin Tost, New York, NY Phyllis'Hurler, Hinsdale,IL Mr. & Mrs. Frank P. Wendt, Southport, CT Elizabeth K. Yaffa, Armonk, NY


The Museum Trustees and Staff extend a special welcome to these new members:

Joan Agran, Wyncote, PA Judy Alender, Cayucos, CA Wallis E Allen, Alberta, Canada B. Anderson, S. Pasadena, CA Patricia Angus, New York, NY Mary Archondes, New York, NY Dan Armstrong, San Francisco, CA Mrs. Lee Aronow, Old Bethpage, NY Sheila Aronson, Pound Ridge, NY

Arthur L. Barrett, Middletown, NY Carol Basa, New York, NY Salli Bauerschmidt, Crestline, CA Mary E. Bednarowski, Minneapolis, MN 68

-1Vocik. # 21, oar 2",p: c VtIvq`c. Q . . â&#x20AC;&#x201D;)

Jaqueline A. Bengston, Warwick, RI Barbara E. Bernstein, Los Angeles, CA Michel Bernstein, Los Angeles, CA William Bertsche, Woodmere, NY Peter Betuel, New York, NY George A. Boeck, Appleton, WI Scott Bogatz, Boulder, CO

Marcene Bonny, Sandy, UT M.T. Molly Boyd, Manunoth Lakes, CA Robert Brachear, Brooklyn, NY Sally Braun, Flint, MI Nadya Brenner, Geneve, Switzerland Mary Lu Brooke, Naples, FL Joan M. Brown, Scarsdale, NY S.J. Brown, Houston, TX Cynthia Brummond, Eau Claire, WI Marilyn Burday, Penfield, NY Theresa A. Burke-Liquie, Mountain Lakes, NJ

Cape Technikon Library, Cape Town,S Africa Roger A. Caras, East Hampton, NY Jeanne M. Carley, Rye, NY Alan Claycomb, Roaring Spring, PA Dr. Felicia R. Cochran, Montclair, NJ Rachel B. Cochran, Montclair, NJ


"Late One Night"• © 1986

ONE DOZEN CARDS, SIX IMAGES, $12.00 + $1.50 P/H For information about original paintings: W. T. Ley,(512)444-6048

Dreams, Inc. 801 Avondale Rd. Austin, Tx 78704


F,X MANUFACTURERS 5/S HANOVER THE GREAT NECK COMMERCIAL LOAN GROUP George P Knott Vice President Officer-In-Charge Commercial Lending 60 Cutter Mill Road Great Neck, New York 516-482-6030



Annick Cohen, New York, NY Joanne Conti, Ont, Canada Norman Cooper, Rye, NY Suzan Courtney, New York, NY Heidi G. Crane, New York, NY

Dorothy A. D'Alessandro, Lenexa, KS Cindy Davis, Pagosa Springs, CO Elizabeth A. Dear, Santa Fe, NM Linda DiMarco, Los Angeles, CA D.E. Donahue, New York, NY Marilyn Donoghue, Ont, Canada H. Donovan, Medfield, MA Katherine Y. Downes, Englewood, NJ

Francoise El-Gindi, New York, NY Rachelle Epstein, New York, NY

Joy Fahrenkopf, Montclair, NJ Tema Feder, Belleville, NJ Pat Ferrero, San Francisco, CA Timothy C. Forbes, New York, NY Mildred Carroll Frazier, Marshall, IL Rev. Chester D. Freeman, Jr., Geneva, NY Claire Freeman, Bethesda, MD

John R. Geishen, Chesterfield, MA Alex Gibson, Ont., Canada Rita & Boyze Gluck, Huntington, NY Cheryl Gobeille, Pawtucket, RI Roberta Gratz, New York, NY Roger A. Grayson, Washington, DC Kimberlie Gumz, Oberlin, OH Emily Gwathmey, New York, NY

Wendy Hafdahl, Springfield, OR Mr. & Mrs. Edward Hageman, Cincinnati, OH Pat Hamilton, St. Augustine, FL Robert W. Harrison, Falls Church, VA Patricia Ann Heath, APO, NY Jonni Hegenderfer, Chicago, IL Beverly R. Hilts, Alcaoe, NY Lynne S. Holtgrewe, Aurora, CO Robley M. Hood, Birmingham, AL Elaine Horwitch, Scottsdale, AZ Geraldine Hudson, Battle Ground,IN Paul M. Hughes, New Canaan, CT

Donald S. Infeld, Washington, DC

Colin Jean-Christophe, Marnay, France Lynn A. Johnson, Durham, CT

Dr. Sharon Kahin, Dubois, WY 70

Jesse L. Kahn, Modesto, CA Mrs. Hideko Kimura, White Plains, NY Wendy Kirby, Chevy Chase, MD Hisae Kobayashi, Manhasset, NY Robert Koo, New York, NY George Korn, Washington Crossing, PA Bessie B. Kritzer, Orchard Park, NY

Margaret S. Lander, New York, NY Jane L. Lando, Cleveland, OH Dean Leith, Jr., Troy, NY Susan K. Letson, Shelby, MT Anna Levin, New York, NY Alma Libby, Melrose, MA Yvonne S. Lifshutz, San Antonio, TX Deborah R. Linfield, Swan Lake, NY Dudley Bird Littlehales, Rochelle, VA Lesley M. Litzenberger, Haverford, PA Marcia Lynch, S Nyack, NY Selena Lyons, Valley Stream, NY

Evelyn Mack, Glen Head, NY Anne Mai, Port Washington, NY Dr. & Mrs. Martin M. Mandel, Rydal, PA Martin L. Marlatt, Gig Harbor, WA Aletta J. Martz, Lyme Center, NH William H. Mathews, Locust Valley, NY Lindsey N. McAuliffe, Washington, DC Sonie Meit, New York, NY Gael Mendelsohn, Tarrytown, NY Elizabeth A. Miller, New York, NY Gary L. Miller, Suttons Bay, MI Amy Mills, Studio City, CA Jacqueline Molloy, Palo Alto, CA Joan 0. Monroe, San Francisco, CA M.E. Monti-Kewley, New York, NY Barbara Moran, Englewood, NJ Jeane Morris, Charlotte, NC Kathleen C. Mortimer, Staten Island, NY

Renee Nanneman, Liberty, MO Patricia M. Neely, Chagrin Falls, OH Ede Nelin, Vancouver, WA Susan E. North, Alexandria, VA Bowen Northrup, New York, NY

Dr. Mark A. Oliver, Morristown, NJ Karen S. Owens, Summit, NJ

Karen Parles, New York, NY Susan E. Peabody, Tulsa, OK Cheryl K. Philpot, Lakeland, FL Karin Pillion, New York, NY Wilma Plotner, Syracuse, IN Vincent L. Pomeranz, New York, NY B.V. Pond, Convent Station, NJ Susan L. Post, Champaign, IL

Mrs. Noland M. Pounders, Dallas, TX

Cathy Ravdin, Los Angeles, CA Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC Jill M. Rigby, New York, NY Harriet A. Robbins, New York, NY Rocky Marsh Pottery Inc., Shepherdstown, WV Ann P. Rogers, Stamford, CT Dr. Roger Rose, New York, NY Mr. & Mrs. David Russell, Jr., Oyster Bay, NY

Claire Sarvis, Nantucket, MA Mrs. Stuart Schwartz, Deerfield, IL Virginia M. Seifried, Easton, PA Betty-Carol Sellen, New York, NY Mrs. H.L. Shepard, New Canaan, CT Joan M. Shively, Greenbush, MI Marilyn Slass, New York, NY Sandra A. Small, Ont., Canada Mrs. Bobby Cain Smith, Hartselle, AL Ann H. Soult, Clearfield, PA Cynthia A. Spence, Peekskill, NY Walter Squyres, Bethlehem, PA Doris Stack, New York, NY Shirley Stenberg, Gates Mills, OH Sandy Stephenson, Orange, CA Lynn Stokely, Zionsville, IN Mrs. Robert C. Sullivan, Ft. Washington, MD

Katherine M. Tanner, Pleasantville, NY Lauri Taylor, Farmington Mills, MI Frances Tillery, Odessa, TX Mary G. Trainor, New Rochelle, NY

University of California, Santa Barbara, CA

Anne Vanderwarker, Bronxville, NY Yutta Von Seht, Ibiza Baleares, Spain Cadie Vos, Stamford, CT

Diana L. Walker, Shaker Hts., OH Connie Welling, Mt. Vernon, NY Darlene Wesson-Haugh, Marietta, GA Beatrix West, Brooklyn, NY Betty Wilder, W. Orange, NJ Donna Wilson, Ocean City, NJ Sandra Winquist, Seattle, WA Ellin Witt, New York, NY

Donna Yackey, La Mesa, CA Susan Yecies, New York, NY Mrs. John D. Young, Marion, MA

Dorothy B. Zimmerman, Portland, OR

Custom Made Stretchers for displaying Quilts & Hooked Rugs Rag Carpets sewn together for Area Rugs

Pie Galinat 230 w.10th St., n.y ,n.y. 10014 (212) 741- 3259

The art ofAmerican cooking. MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLKART BOOK AND GIFT SHOP 62 West 50th Street 247-5611 Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Across from Radio City Music Hall

rom the folk art that surrounds you, to the culinary art that's before you, the American Festival Cafe is an ever-changing celebration of the best of Americana.

144 4440 American Festival Cafe at Rockefeller Plaza In the center ofthe center of New York. 20 West 50th Street, Reservations:(212) 246-6699. Breakfast, Lunch,Dinner & Supper Mon. thru Sat. Weekend Brunch and Sunday Dinner. 71

"CAT ON A RUG"by Stephen Huneek Carved and painted wood 38"x 30"

JAY JOHNSON America's Folk Heritage Gallery JAY JOHNSON


1044 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10021 Daily, ll a.m.-6 p.m. (212)628-7280



America Hurrah American Festival Cafe American Primitive Gallery Ames Gallery All of Us Americans Marna Anderson Antique Center at Hartland Ruth Bigel Antiques Bertha Black Antiques BMW of North America Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery Cavin-Morris, Inc. Christie's Connecticut Tinsmith Dreams, Inc. Leslie Eisenberg Folk Art Gallery


9 71 18 24 61 23 64 10 61 11 62 10 13 64 69 61

24 Epstein/Powell 20 Fine Arts of Ancient Lands, Inc. 3 Janet Fleisher Gallery 64 Folk Art Finder 71 Pie Galinat 22 Gasperi Folk Art Gallery 12 Sidney Gecker American Folk Art 6 The Grass Roots Gallery 21 Greenwillow Farm Ltd. 20 Guthman Americana 62 Pat Guthman Antiques 7 Phyllis Haders 62 Tracy Jamar 72 Jay Johnson Inside Front Cover Kelter-Malce 27 Main Street Antiques & Art Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company 69

8 Frank Maresca/Roger Ricco 1 Steve Miller Museum of American Folk Art 71 Book and Gift Shop 23 Ohio Gallery Inside Back Cover The Point 22 Prince Art Consultants 15 Sheila & Edwin Rideout John Keith Russell Back Cover Antiques, Inc. 62 The Scarlet Letter 16 David A. Schorsch 2 Sotheby's 12 Sweet Nellie 64 The Wellfleet Collection 4 Thos. K. Woodard


he call of a loon, massive stone i fireplaces, vast bedchambers, the essence of rustic splendor. The Point personifies the romantic mystery of the Adirondack wilderness, the cadence and magnificence of days past, the last of the "Great Camps". Our private inn is one of only six Relais & Chateaux in America. You are most welcome to join us. "A private estate that sweeps all honors as the most enchanting lakefront sanctuary of its kind in America." Hideaway Report

THE POINT Saranac Lake, New York 12983 518/891-5674


- )t-AAT. . '-',',N,'Y'..1,039() Iti.t.-4;.4 . . (2.A Air 1 i)..7.6...4..t.....),

The Clarion (Winter 1986/1987)  
The Clarion (Winter 1986/1987)  

Painters of Record: William Murray and His School • Themes in the Work of Carlos C. Coyle • The Rulloff “Gallows” Jug: Or, a Murderous Saga...