Posts tagged ‘Art’

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

#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

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 425 other followers

%d bloggers like this: