Archive for ‘Art’

August 22, 2013

#Meme — Things I Find Whilst Looking Up Other Things — #Genealogy, #Art, #GettyMuseum

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

DukeLudiwg_I_01

The Getty Museum released on 14th-August-2013 over 4,000 images into public domain (i.e. free). According to the ArtObserved article on the museum’s  public release made public on their Getty Iris blog, this is part of their, “Open Content” commitment of their digital resources.

You can search these images using:  Getty Search Gateway .

Stanczyk, knows what you’re thinking, “I am too busy on my genealogy to search through museum images”. But I politely urge you to reconsider. While I was searching their images, I found a genealogical family tree, of Duke Ludwig I of Brzeg (amongst many other images he commissioned). A Polish noble of house Piast. So if your family tree intersects, get thee to the Getty Museum. For those curious, I have posted the images to this blog. The text is Fraktur looking, gothic, German script.

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Other Duke Ludwik I, Family Tree Images …

DukeLudiwg_I_02 DukeLudiwg_I_03

August 21, 2013

#Meme – Things I Find While Looking Up Other Things — #Declaration, #Independence, #History, #Picture

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

IMG_0341Wordless Wednesday — Enjoy this document, that  I found at the Smithsonian. I do not think it dates back to the 1776 era, but it looks like late 19th century or early 20th century ephemera. It is beautiful. One question, though, “Why does John Hancock get billing on par with Washington and Jefferson?” The 13 original colonies are also pictured … just a beautiful replica of the U.S.  Declaration of Independence !

February 8, 2012

Meme: Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, & Notations #3

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Last week Stanczyk was combing through the LDS Library in Salt Lake. I was perusing the Tumlin parish (LDS Microfilm # 939955). Whilst I was in 1763 covering the Death Records, I found my current Embellishment (or is it an Oddity).

Embellishment

Now in the older Latin records, the Latin paragraph and not the Latin Box Format, it is not uncommon to see the local priest embellish the new year. They usually write the number and perhaps adorn it with some dots around the digits or some small doo-dad or dingbat (in modern parlance).

But clearly in 1763 this priest had a lot of free time and the Creative Spirit overcame him.

Notice the two skull & crossbones. Each is surrounded by floral designs. This seems to this jester to be some kind of All Souls Day motivation whereby the cemeteries are adorned with flowers and the deceased are celebrated.

I have to wonder do other European countries have such Embellishments in their church books too or is this a uniquely Slavic predilection?

November 23, 2011

Stanislaw Lem – Google Doodle

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk has written about Stanislaw Lem before (http://mikeeliasz.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/thingsifind-when-looking-up-other-things-stanislaw-lem-1956-przekroj/). So in another bit of cognitive resonance, I find that Google has a Stanislaw Lem Doodle (a rather complex Google Doodle). Now before you scurry off to verify this factoid, be forewarned that here in the USA, we only see a Turkey Doodle. Here is the UK Google Doodle (http://www.google.co.uk/)  for Stanislaw Lem.

A Few Articles on the Lem Google Doodle:

The last two are European newspapers, as it is not readily apparent in the USA that Goggle has done this tribute. You need to visit a Google mirror in Europe to see the Stanislaw Lem Doodle (or click on the first link above). The doodle ends with the message that the art was inspired by the drawings of Daniel Mroz for Lem’s short story collection The Cyberiad, published in 1965. This Google Doodle is interactive, allowing users to participate in a series of games. This doodle marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of his Stanislaw Lem’s first book, The Astronauts in 1951.

Since he is Polish son, go Googling in the UK today.

October 20, 2011

Polish Heritage Month – Artists & Scupltors

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Copernicus' Deathbed by Walery Elijasz

We always salute the famous historical heroic figures like Pulaski or Kosciusko or possibly scientists like Madame Skladowska Curie and Mikolaj Copernicus or maybe a musician like Fryderyk Chopin. But I do not want this month to go by without a listing of the literary talents and the artistic talents. Yesterday I wrote about the writers and today I wanted to mention the painters and scupltors.

Piotr Michałowski, Jan Matejko (Stanczyk’s portrait painter — see below for self-portrait), Walery Elijasz (guess why he is in the list), Stanisław Wyspiański (also was on the list of writers yesterday too).

Here are an abbreviated list of painters & scupltors for you to explore:

Olga Boznańska, Konstanty Brandel, Xawery Dunikowski, Julian Fałat, Jacek Malczewski, Józef Mehoffer, Józef Pankiewicz, Ferdynand Ruszczyc, Jan Stanisławski, Władysław Ślewiński, Wojciech Weiss, Leon Wyczółkowski, Konstanty Laszczka

Walery Elijasz who may or may not be related to this author was famous for his  book illustrations and travels through Zakopane where he was a major part in the founding an artists colony there.

Jan Matejko - self portrait

If Stanczyk could get you to view one artist’s works it would be Jan Matejko (1838-1893). His home is a museum in old city Krakow and can be visited. He is the artist whose painting is at the top of this blog. You have probably seen his painting of Polish kings in books or on Polish stamps. This jester has a work of his on Copernicus (on a rooftop with his scientific tools, “Conversation with God“) that is much beloved. Jan Matejko also wrote a small book in Polish on the Polish kings using his artwork on them and provides a genealogical/historical sketch of each king. Besides his historical paintings of Battles and Kings, he is also renown for his portraiture. The Krakow Academy of Fine Arts where he served for many years was named for him in 1979. He was a true Master of the Fine Arts.

October 17, 2011

#Books, #Maps, #Documents – Home is Where the Hearth Is

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Stanczyk,  is feeling very home-centric these days and many familial events (genealogy progresses). As the weather now turns to autumn, thoughts of baking and fine cooking come to mind — who does not revel in the warm, fragrant baked goods of the season.

Polish Bakery Food is good for the soul … and so is food for thought, good for the soul too. Stanczyk combs through the dusty catacombs of the Internet seeking. Seeking what … I do not know. But here are a few pictures to warm your thoughts. I have mentioned before that this jester is a bibliophile. So when I found a website  (http://arcaion.cba.pl/) about Documents, Books & Lettersin a digital form, I was fascinated. It is written in Polish and other languages, but you can select ‘English’ at the top left and much of the text (including Tag Cloud) convert to English.I like this site enough that I am considering adding it to the blogroll. What do you think my faithful readers?I think I approve of this erudite author’s penchant for interesting and wide-ranging topics. I found that s/he chose. I was interested in the Ming Virtual Manuscript Room (University of Birmingham, England) and the collections of documents they have from the Middle East.If you go back to December 13th, 2010 you will find an article on “Ex Libris / Bookplates“. The link (URL) to that blog’s website, which was chock full of interesting articles — sadly none new since 2009. I loved it so much, I am considering “ripping the web pages from the defunct website??” to my hard drive so I do not lose that author’s research which was so rich and robust.Somewhere amongst the original website I was speaking of, is another link to a website of ancient French maps (rather ancient maps collected by National Library of France). I was intrigued (is there such a thing as cartophile — for map lovers) by a map purported to be from the 15th century that captured the Ptolemaic View of the World Map.

There was another fine article on the oldest documents in the Suwalki State Archive.

I will definitely have to check in on this blog and either add it to my blog roll here or at least add it to my iGoogle page for genealogy so I can keep tabs on the new articles of interest.

Oh, the artwork on the left side of today’s article — they are from You Tube videos on Poland or Yiddish Theater in Poland. But I felt they capture my mood for this autumnal Monday.

Enjoy with your morning coffee (how about some Sumatra) !

– Stanczyk

Russian Peddlers
Bagel Seller
September 21, 2011

Smithsonian Institution Libraries – Books, Images Online

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Brown Tree Duck

Being a jester brings with it a lot of name calling and chief among them is “bird-brain” — which Stanczyk has taken to heart.

A Number of times, I have written about the Smithsonian Libraries & Museums or the Library of Congress. These treasures of America should be enjoyed  and are provided for the diffusion of information. Every American should make a pilgrimage to Washington D.C. and see the statues and museums — taking care not to wander too close to politicians lest you contract a serious case of lunacy.

I have lived in the Village of Audubon, the hometown of the Franco-American Naturalist, John James Audubon. My connection to my genealogy is a fascinating one. Many of the persons from my grandparent’s ancestral villages have Bird Names! Names like: Czapla, Dudek, Kruk, łuszcz, Orzeł{owski}, Ptak, Siewki(Siwiec), Sroka, Skowronek, Sokol(owski),   Szczygieł,  Wrobel, Zięba, żuraw(ski), (and even Włecial=flew) etc. Now one thing had nothing to do with the other; It was just a weird juxtaposition of my life. To couple these two things with my obsession with ducks and yea verily all manner of water fowl — well you get today’s posting. Maybe birds really are in my DNA (in more ways than one).

Actually, today’s posting came from my iGoogle page (Genealogy & Libraries). I have hooked the Smithsonian Libraries blog into the iGoogle page. Today they blogged about their Gallery of Images. Now I thought this was going to be another mention of their flickr pages. But I was wrong. WARNING: do not go to the Gallery of Images if you suffer from ADD. You can easily become lost in the SIL efforts to bring these images and their information online.

The picture at the top is not from Audubon’s Birds of North America, but it is from “The Birds of North America” by Spencer Fullerton Baird, published in 1860 (Philadelphia).

[click on read more to Polish-English Bord List]                                  

August 21, 2011

#Art – 100 years ago today – The Mona Lisa Was Stolen !

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Since Stanczyk is in an art mood today, we might as well discuss the 100th anniversary of the Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) being stolen from the Louvre. The story is here: ( http://bit.ly/Yl5cr ).

The French blamed the Germans and the Germans counter blamed the French. After two years of being lost, people thought perhaps the Louvre had accidentally destroyed the painting. For two years it remained stolen until the thief answered an ad of an innocent art buyer in Italy in Fall 1913. A Letter from “Leonardo” arrived saying he had the stolen Mona Lisa. The art buyer working with police staged a sting. I won’t say who did it, but it was an Italian.

Italy went crazy that the Mona Lisa was found and it was exhibited throughout Italy before the Italians finally returned the painting to the French on December 30, 1913.

I’d laugh but thieves still steal from museums today (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/16/stealing-the-spotlight-ar_n_924991.html#s322725). Let’s not forget my posting of the thieves who steal historical items from US Archives. Come on Archivists and Museum Curators, get it together before some treasure is permanently lost or damaged.

August 21, 2011

A Post About My Previous Post

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

A Dutch Stamp 70 years later of Picasso’s 1938 Rooster.

August 21, 2011

#ThingsIFind Whilst Looking Up Other Things … Picasso in Przekroj

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

The year was 1938. The magazine was Przekroj. Stanczyk was looking for Wojtek (the heroic Polish Army bear from World War II — that I have written about before). In keeping with my meme: #ThingsIFind Whilst Looking Up Other Things, I thought I’d share this piece of art which caught my eye. Stanczyk likes Books and Art and Fowl — so this meme has two of those likes in it.

At any rate, to give you some context ,1938 is the year before World War II would break out. Things are tense in Europe as the continent is rife with Fascists and Totalitarians  popping up like little yellow dandelions arcoss an otherwise well tended lawn. The Spanish Civil War had broken out in 1937 and “Picasso expressed anger and condemnation of Francisco Franco and fascists through his art .”

[ source: wikipedia ]

I will leave it to the reader to interpret this cubist chicken and what it symbolizes.

A few years after the publishing of this Picasso etching,  Picasso joined the French Communist Party (1944) attended a peace conference in Poland — were there such things in World War II Poland in 1944? In 1950 Picasso wins Stalin Peace Prize(??) and in 1953 Picasso paints a portrait of Jozef Stalin [see below]. This was criticized by the  Stalinists as being “insufficiently realistic”. Hah! That is funny, you have a cubist artist paint a brutal dictator and you criticize the work as, “insufficiently realistic”. The Art World is Infused with Irony. This elicited Picasso  to make the following statement, “I have joined a family, and like all families, it’s full of shit”.

I suppose Poland embraced the 1938 Picasso etching because of its agrarian roots. After all when my grandmother was a young maiden, any woman of note had her chickens and the eggs they produced. I have fond memories of sneaking into my grandmother chicken coop and fretting her chickens — curiosity is a curious curse

Jozef Stalin

So this is what I found while looking up other things. Now I will post the Picasso portrait of Stalin for comparison or irony or satire.

–Stancyzk

July 28, 2011

#USA #Politics – Tolkien Literature and the Debt Ceiling

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

This jester has a fondness for literature and it is fair to call Stanczyk a Bibliophile. I adore the website LibraryThing . If you are studious and observe this site, you will divine that is biased towards English Literature. So it should not surprise the intelligentsia, that they claim J.R.R. Tolkien and his epic work, “The Lord of the Rings”, the greatest piece of literature of ALL time; even ahead of the Bard.

So I assume that the Brits now approve of the American Debate on the Debt Ceiling, for Lo .. And Behold, Gandalf has appeared in the Capital. This jester has been at enough royal courts to know when a wizard has appeared and is dispensing  wisdom …

Gandalf, aka John McCain, has called out his mad hatted men of mayhem, the Tea Party by their true names:  Hobbits! At the home of the Head Hobbit, Boehner Baggins, he has demanded they abandon their “Bizarro behavior” (mixing metaphors, and introducing Superman Literature). Decrying Hobbit wisdom of Nevada Angle or Delawarean Wiccan daughter of Bozo (who shall remain nameless), he has offered knowledge of the making of the one BILL to bind them all and rule them. So let us put our hopes in this renewed wizard, John McCain, the Grey Gandalf of Capitol Hill and pray he can break this spell of Hobbit lunacy.

Britons  and yea the rest of the world, should take solace in the words of that Great Honorary American Citizen, Winston Churchill, who observed, “You can always count on America to do the right thing … after they have exhausted every other possibility.” Now that was a great and astute leader — too bad that this age will have to make do with the rag-tag rabble we have assembled in D.C. to fight this evil menace — The Debt Ceiling. Very messy these hobbits.

In Gandalf We Trust, it is inscribed upon the coin of the realm.

July 25, 2011

Church Metrical Books … Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations #1

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Welcome to a new Monday and a new meme.

In the year 1647, some 364 years ago in some Polish parish somewhere,  was a priest with some free time at the end of the year  1646 or the beginning of 1647 and of course a good bit of artistic talent.

Stanczyk laughs at the priest’s macabre sense of whimsy. Forgive me that I forgot last year to capture the note of where I found this “artwork”. I am sure it was in a Digital Library or Archive and not from some microfilm I was viewing (see the red border).

Here in the USA, we have had a long tradition of viewing the New Year as a baby and the Old Year as an old man (usually with a long beard). But skeletons, one of which holds the Grim Reapers scythe??? Of course, I approve the use of an hourglass as a metaphor for the passage of time. Such embellishments and details. Perhaps he was reminiscing the old year’s (1646) significant passings :

At any rate, as I was reviewing my collection of digital pics from Church Books, it occurred to me that I have a new repeating meme: Embellishments, Oddities, and Notations found in Church Metrical Books.

I foresee discussing priestly entries (if I can find them,) such a notation about a meteorite that struck in the local parish. I also will include examples of marginalia or possibly end of year notations that a priest makes — one of which affects my family tree.

Meanwhile … it is time for some hot coffee.  Talk to you later (God Willing) …

Stanczyk

July 17, 2011

#ThingsIFind when looking up other things … Stanislaw Lem, 1956, Przekroj

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

I think I have a new repeating meme. Its called, #ThingsIFind looking up other things. I guess being a court jester, I  like to laugh. So this magazine/newspaper article tickled my fancy. It is from a magazine named, Przekroj in 1956. I am taking its name to mean “Cross-Section” (please can a native Pole or someone else  fluent in Polish correct me). I did not think this magazine would answer my research question, but I could not resist the cover’s picture of Polish Bison. Now Stanczyk has always had a penchant for fiction and who doesn’t cut their teeth on science fiction, so when I saw “Stanislaw Lem“, I knew him from when I used to buy Sci-Fi books. What intrigued me was the little illustration to his article. Such whimsy!

Here’s the link in case you are interested:  http://mbc.malopolska.pl/dlibra/doccontent?id=59127&dirids=1

June 22, 2011

#Polish #Genealogy – Shoemaker’s Guild (Leszczynski, Biechow)

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

Pretty nifty poster or book page huh? Stanczyk found this in a Polish Digital Library. This masonic-looking page, with the all-seeing eye in the clouds with cherubs, etc. is a notice of a Shoemaker’s Guild from the “Year of Our Lord 1842″ in the gubernia of Kielce.

Now this is of interest to me because my great-grandfather, Tomasz Leszczynski listed his occupation in the church birth records on the 1860′s, as shoemaker & innkeeper  — which I always thought was a rather clever combination as travelers would need shoe repairs and why not get those while you are staying at the inn. So this image is contemporaneous (roughly) with my great-grandfather and the thought occurred to me perhaps I can find records in a Guild Book about my great-grandfather.

So here is Stanczyk’s million dollar question:  “Has anyone done any research in Poland and located these guild books in any Archive or Library and been able to locate ancestors?” Question two, “Was the search worthwhile — what kind of info did you find?”

Come on genealogists, let’s crowd-source, collaborate, or social network a solution here. OK? Anyone near Biechow parish, Pinczow Archive or Kielce Ecclesiastical Archive or a Library in or around one of those three cities in Poland? Can you help a Polish-American jester out? Email me or even comment on this blog… I’ll be waiting.

April 23, 2011

1926 – Polish Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

In 1926, on the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the United States of America, the children and government of Poland had undertaken a massive effort of friendship with their Polish Declaration of Admiration & Friendship for the USA. Poland had only re-emerged 8 years earlier at the end of World War I, from nearly a 150 years of occupation! Imagine if you will, a nation occupied nearly the entire history of these United States of America who with the help of the Allied Powers in World War I (including the USA) and with the aid of Americans (USA and Canadians) who formed an expatriate army, known as Haller’s Army or the Polish Army in France.  These Allied Powers through 1918 and Haller’s Army through the early 1920 skirmishes, re-established the borders of Poland between the two World Wars and bottled up Communism for another two decades.

You will be forgiven gentle reader if you have never heard of this gift from the people and government of Poland to the people and government of the USA on their 150th Anniversary of our nation’s founding. President Calvin Coolidge received the gift and placed it into the Library of Congress  (LOC) where it was forgotten until 70 years later in 1996 when it was re-discovered. The LOC has digitized 13 of the 111 volumes which has the signatures of approximately 5.5 Million Polish school children. There is also an index to the location names of the schools in the other volumes that have not yet been digitized. The main LOC page (also reachable from the index page above is here):

http://memory.loc.gov/intldl/pldechtml/pldechome.html

The LOC has not produced a searchable index person names from the digitized volumes. Fortunately, there exists a web app with nearly 3,000 pages scanned to produce a person name index of nearly 250,000 people by the the PTG (Polish Genealogical Society) with a summary of the project so far here. The PTG searchable index is reachable from their main page:

http://genealodzy.pl/index.php?&newlang=eng

and clicking upon ‘Declarations‘ on the left side of the main page. The page is in Polish.  ‘Tom’ = Volume (type 1 – 13) and ‘Strona’ = Page. You can use the LOC website to locate the volume and page of  interest to you and reach the same page here at PTG. You enter the TOM and the STRONA and click on the ‘Pokaz’ button to go to the image of that volume and page to read the names. Remember that most schools have more than one page. PTG however, also has a way to search on the names. In the first field (no name) you can type a last name and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search on the name. The check box (‘dokladnie’) should be left unchecked (to avoid having to enter diacritics) for the name you are searching on. Many American Polish names are spelled differently from their original names in Poland. You  can overcome this somewhat by using a wildcard character at the end. For example, if Stanczyk wanted to search for ELIASZ or ELIJASZ or ELJASZ, he could enter ‘EL%’ and click on the ‘Wyszukaj’ button to search for those possible spellings.

The wildcard can also be used in the middle as shown in the picture below:

Stanczyk got all good matches except for number 2. In particular,  matches 3,4,5 are probably Stanczyk’s ancestors, since Tom/Volume 13, Strona/Page 419-420 is for the school in the village of Pacanow from whence Stanczyk’s direct lineage comes from. Now I could use those Tom’s and Strona’s to bring up the image of the page with those signatures and save the image in my family history.

There is also a nice web page in the LOC, called Emblem of Goodwill with many details of the friendship between Poland and the USA. It also includes pictures of the artwork in the volumes and even a few photos of two classes.

February 27, 2011

Genealogy and Antiques

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

German Fraktur - Birth & Baptism

Stanczyk wishes that the Poles would create artwork of this style for their births. How beautiful this German Fraktur artwork of a family Birth and Baptism. Now I would hasten to add that this is not my family, but none the less it drew my attention and I had to take a picture, so I asked the proprietor if I may take a picture of this lovely piece and obviously he said yes.

This baptism and birth record is yet another example of the places we genealogists can find our answers. This lovely record surrounded by two angels and topped by an American Eagle and covered with detailed ornate borders and ended with four birds that would make John James Audubon proud … Hmmm I wonder is he was  ever inspired by these contemporary PA Dutch treasures.

The picture on the left is a record of Joseph Carl Rupp’s birth/baptism. Birth 5/19/1848 and Baptism in July 23rd of the same year in Macungie Township, Lehigh County, PA. It is all in German.

This jester loves the beauty in such art. You,  my faithful readers, can find further information and enjoyment in  other examples online at our own local Philadelphia Free Library at the following link on Fraktur:

http://libwww.freelibrary.org/fraktur/frkLst.cfm?srch=4&subjectID=3948

Takle a look at this jester’s favorite Fraktur, of Michael Groff’s Birth/Baptism.

January 18, 2009

Chadds Ford and Beyond

by C. Michael Eliasz-Solomon

As mentioned in my previous post, this jester was traveling through Chester County and its idyllic rolling hills when Baldwin’s Book Barn was dicsovered amongst these pastoral lands. Stanczyk had forgotten that a local artist family, resided hereabouts. I speak of the Wyeths. Now I am moved to speak of Andrew Wyeth given his recent passing. I have found his artwork quite evocative — from the heartwarming Americana and rural pastiches to his more erotically charged Helga images. Helga’s mysterious qualities aside, I liked the warmth of the American spirit imbued into the local landscapes. His artwork warmed the soul in the same fashion as if some baritone gave voice to a Robert Frost poem.

wyeth_christinasworld1

Christina’s World is wonderfully illustrative of this pastoral land, I am wandering through.

In fact, the above painting was hung in a local B&B that Stanczyk and his żona warmed themselves at its hearth. So in some kind of cognitive resonance we stumbled upon Baldwins Book Barn who proudly displayed much wares about the local artist family. Then Andrew Wyeth, our subject, died this week in the very midst of our Wyeth cognitive resonance revelry and Stanczyk did not want his passing to be lost amid the imminent inauguration of America’s 44th President, Barack H. Obama.

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