Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Untitled (Young Woman) Drawing by "D. M. C." 1935

Untitled (Young Woman) Drawing by "D. M. C." 1935 Collection Jim Linderman
See Also the new 200 page BOOK and EBOOK Eccentric Folk Art Drawings of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Training a High School Horse Vintage snapshot photographs

Training a High School Horse Vintage snapshot photographs.  The phrase refers to the training and teaching of tricks to a horse.  An ancient sport involving an animal which has serves us well for centuries.  

Group of anonymous  photographs show a horse being trained.  Circa 1950.  Collection Jim Linderman

Opal Stackhouse Antiques and Design for the 21st Century

Opal Stackhouse is an odd name for a business, but it turns out to be an antique shop. The store in Columbus, OH is run by Ashley Puckett and is named after her grandmother. Ashley has an uncanny sense for vintage design…and store is more than a store!  I believe it also represents the perfect model for a successful antiques business today.

Opal collaborates with Scott Williams to create exactly what Columbus and the surrounding area needs. Creative, sound design rooted in honest surface and form. An antique business with an artist's statement:  

"Our creative process involves collecting, curating, designing and making." 

"Under the creative vision of Ashley Puckett, Opal Stackhouse yields from a formally-trained fine artist and creative entrepreneur, with hearty roots in Columbus, Ohio. Teamed with Scott Williams, a graphic designer and fabricator by trade, Opal Stackhouse nurtures collaboration using shared resources, knowledge, and ideas to cultivate interesting and cohesive environments. Opal Stackhouse creates intimate interiors that evoke the feeling of a place that has just been discovered. By bringing together the right elements and materials, Opal Stackhouse personifies each space with a sense of character and soul by subtly reflecting the client, the neighborhood, the mood, and the business itself. Opal Stackhouse is idea-driven with creative minds." 
Ms. Puckett is a formally trained artist and long-time participant in the art and gallery circle of Columbus. She has found her place. It appears every project takes color, shape and function into account. Good stuff, good design and good presentation!


Take a moment to enjoy some of the Opal Stackhouse WORK and of course some of the INVENTORY for sale. This appears to be the model for a successful antiques business in the 21st century and I expect the well-branded operation will prosper. Four vintage stars!  A nice piece on the operation is HERE.  For more information write ashley@opalstackhouse.com
(Photograph of Ashley Puckett by Meghan Shamblen)

THE American Painter Justin McCarthy Annual I am not at the Outsider Art Fair Paris 2016 post

Justin McCarthy untitled Collection Jim Linderman

Justin McCarthy "The Last Supper" private collection Slotin Folk Art Auction

Justin McCarthy "Yankees Stadium" Private Collection

Justin McCarthy "Goodyear Blimp" Private Collection

"He didn't know he was painting quirky.  He thought he was painting straight."  So said Justin McCarthy's major benefactor the painter Sterling Strauser.  "People often found it difficult to believe that he was a self-taught naïve, because…some of his things look like Emil Nolde, some look like Milton Avery – people that he was not aware of at all. They look like Ernst Kirchner. Some of his watercolors look like Demuth. This is all purely accidental.”  Nancy Green Karlins (who wrote her PHD dissertation on McCarthy) writes: “McCarthy’s intense line, non-naturalistic color and exaggerated drawing are more characteristic of German Expressionism than of most eighteenth-and nineteenth-century American folk art…"

Art scholars have to explain the work of Justin McCarthy by placing him in context with other better known (and better trained) artists.  How else to discuss him?  There IS no appropriate context.  A little of this, a little of that, but really all one of a kind.  Once you have seen a few of his works, you will recognize them but you might not understand them.  Sterling Strauser (actually his wife Dorothy) saw them first sprawled on the grass in a Pennsylvania Town Square.  He recalled thinking how much he would like to see one of them in a frame.  They were priced high, as McCarthy knew he wasn't going to sell any, so why not?   He was a completely self-taught naive recluse who lived most of his long life in a depreciating mansion in Weatherly, PA. 

That is, when he wasn't in a mental institution. Sterling Strauser once told me "McCarthy cured himself through painting." Certainly he had the persistence and gumption to do it.  Evidence of his earliest work here shows it.

The earliest dates to 1915, while he was confined.  A primitive form only, in crayon, from a rudimentary sketchbook he created by gluing individual pages of drawings onto those already in a printed book.  "A Gibson Girl" is a purple shadow showing little or none of his promise.  It wasn't long until he progressed to the formal "Miss Moran" shown following from Galerie Bonheur.

Justin McCarthy "A Gibson Girl from the Follies" circa 1915 - 1920 Collection Jim Linderman

Justin McCarthy "Miss Moran" circa 1920 Galerie Bonheur
Justin McCarthy Private Collection

McCarthy came a wealthy family, but one with tragedy.  His father and brother died early and the young man's breakdown followed.  He tried to follow in his father's footsteps.  He tried law school but failed. There was some work over the years, including some time in the Pennsylvania Steel yards which resulted in a spectacular painting full of heat and smoke. 
Justin McCarthy Bethlehem Still Private Collection
His brother was favored growing up and young Justin was shy. One pleasant and persistent memory had to have been the visit he had to the Louvre in Paris.  Only the wealthy could afford a trip to Paris at that time, and they went.  He was apparently left alone in the museum, and it stuck.

As his early, primitive institutionalized drawings developed he signed them with pseudonyms but often didn't sign them at all.  

After some five years, he was allowed back home to the mansion his father had owned and remained there most of his life.  During this time(though no one but his mother had seen the work) he filled the house with astounding vibrant quick explosions of color. He was a prolific and fearless artist. The Great American artist. Nothing escaped his eye and he would paint anything. Eventually even the unused stove and the bathtub were filled with paintings.  Strauser describes piles of work in every room.

Justin McCarthy Private Collection

Justin McCarthy Private Collection

Justin McCarthy Private Collection

Justin McCarthy Private Collection

They are both absurd and beautiful. Sports figures drawn while watching television and filled with color later. Some from life but imbued with his own.The pages of National Geographic Magazine. Some remembered from the early motion picture projector his wealthy father had at the mansion.  Gallerist and curator Randall Morris once described McCarthy as having a "cinematic style" which may have developed as he was a young boy watching flickering images.  His quick "wet on wet" working technique may have been an attempt to capture them. It was a practice he continued his entire artistic life. I believe he succeeded. 

A range of works drawn from the web give some indication to his unusual style and complete mastery of color.  The artist created work from 1915 up to his death in 1977.

See Also:   
Gene Epstein "What Kind of Art is This?" Folk Art Magazine Winter 1992 Pages 51

American Folk Art Museum McCarthy collection

Nancy Green Karlins "Justin McCarthy" 1891-1977 The Making of a 20th Century Self Taught Painter Dissertation Ph. D. New York University 1986

Randall Morris "The Cinematic "I" : Justin McCarthy 1984 Noyes Museum

Early sketchbooks and memories of Sterling Strauser are in the collection of the Archives of American Art Smithsonian Museum of Art 

See also two books on Folk art Outsider art by the writer Jim Linderman HERE and HERE.
A few other posts in my unstructured and informal Outsider Art series are shown HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE   More or less.  Additional works by Basil Merrett are HERE.

Downspout Doughnut Galvanized Steel Vintage Folk Art

Several drain portions of a downspout have been combined to create a circle.
Downspout Doughnut  Galvanized Steel Vintage Folk Art  No Date 

The Living Statue of Liberty by Florence Brugger, Reading, PA 1918 Real Photo Postcard

Florence Brugger was a singer and obviously a performer with body control.  A newspaper from Reading, PA in 1917 reports on a concert.  She apparently also posed for a real photo postcard riding in one of those "crescent moon" novelty real photo postcards, as I find a brief record.  That is about all I can find, but this RPPC remains…"Statue of Liberty posed by Florence Brugger in Theatre December 11, 1918."

Antique Folk Art Wood Carvings of Jacob Light Millersburg, PA

Antique Folk Art Wood Carvings of Jacob Light Millersburg, PA from a Real Photo Postcard circa 1925? Collection Jim Linderman.  See Also the book and affordable download 
IN SITU: AMERICAN FOLK ART IN PLACE now available from Blurb.com

Folk Art Drawing by Elizabeth Stohn Newburgh, NY 1918

Any information on the young artist Elizabeth Stohn of Newburgh, New York who was producing art from at least 1917 to 1922 or so would be much appreciated.  Anyone?  Leave comment for follow-up.  Thank you!

Glazed Ceramic / Clay Bust of a Woman

Glazed Ceramic / Clay Bust of a Woman No Date Found in Tennessee.  
Collection Jim Linderman

Convict made Bricks from Ohio Brick Collecting

Apparently Ohio established a convict brick plant in 1914 or so.  A light, chatty article from that date claims the brick makers worked 6 days a week, had their own baseball diamond and a band which performed concerts.  70 prisoners maintained the plant, and apparently there were no guards.  Other convicts supervised the work. 

I find it brick hard to believe things were that lovely.  Certainly there is better ways to reform a prisoner than having one work a kiln six days a week, but then I wasn't there.  Thankfully.  A few folks who ran brick factories commercially were a bit peeved, but the convict bricks were determined to constitute such a small percentage of the market, they were allowed to compete.

Georgia had convicts make bricks as well, but I don't see any indication they had a baseball team…

The Ohio convict bricks are dated here in 1928.  They were used to line tunnels and municipal projects.

Two Handmade Bricks made by Convicts  Ohio  Collection Jim Linderman

There is a Brick Collectors association.  The ICBA website even has an interactive brick database!  Check out the screen grab below.  You can sort by state…this happens to be Ohio. 

Hit the Baby! Carnival Sideshow Knock down Tents Ball Toss and Shooting Gallery

Hit the Baby!  Illustrations of Carnival Ball Toss Knockdown and Shooting Gallery tents once available from the Anchor Supply Company.  No Date. 

Non GPS Vintage Paperbacks The Dell Series of Mapbacks

Long before GPS in our phones provided direction and Google Maps provided illustrations, the Dell Mapback series of paperback books ruled the racks.  If you would like an affordable hobby (especially if you aren't too fussy about condition) these colorful and downright cool paperback books with "scene of the crime" on the reverse are perfect.  Graphic and lovely.  I've put together groups of them all my life, then parted with them and started over.  Many antique malls have a few.  I will generally go 5 bucks each.  There are, I believe, some 500 of them.  Westerns, Romance, Murder and more, all with cute little "X marks the spot" maps. 

Mid-Century Modern Paintings 1952 by Adele Manson Art Exercises in Color

Mid-Century Modern Paintings 1952 by Adele Manson Art Exercises in Color.  Poster paint on board Collection Jim Linderman.  Thanks to Box Lot on Facebook.