Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hatchet-wielders, Wood-carvers, & Penny-etchers...


- The professor, his wife, and the secret, savage book reviews on Amazon : An extraordinary literary "whodunnit" over the identity of a mystery reviewer who savaged works by some of Britain's leading academics on the Amazon website has culminated in a top historian admitting that the culprit was, in fact, his wife... read the whole story

Hingham's master decoy maker : "Mallards, mergansers, sandpipers, and plovers are just a few of the types of decoys lining the shelves along one wall, decorating the mantel, window frames, and nearly every other nook and cranny of Bob Mosher’s Hingham home. It’s not just the number but the variety, detail, and beauty of the birds that catch the eye. ‘‘Hingham is on the path of nearly every migrating bird,’’ said Mosher, ‘‘so it’s a great spot for watching or hunting all kinds of species.’’ A Hingham native, Mosher turned his love of birds to an art form early on. ‘‘I hunted as a kid, and my uncle was a carpenter, so I learned to carve decoys when I was a teenager,’’ he said..." read the whole story


April 21, 1555: Lodovico Carracci, Italian painter and printmaker, was born. "Along with his cousins Annibale and Agostino Carracci, Ludovico in 1585 was a founder and director of the so-called Eclectic Academy of painting (also called the Accademia degli Incamminati), which in reality was a studio with apprenticed assistants. This studio however propelled a number of Emilian artists to pre-eminence in Rome and elsewhere, and singularly helped encourage the so-called Bolognese School of the late 16th century, which included Albani, Guercino, Sacchi, Reni, Lanfranco and Domenichino. The Carracci had their apprentice draw studies focused on observation of nature and natural poses, and use a bold scale in drawing figures. LThe Carracci are credited with reinvigorating Italian art, especially fresco art. Carracci's own works are characterized by a strong mood invoked by broad gestures and flickering light that create spiritual emotion."

April 21, 1775: Alexander Anderson, American illustrator, was born. Born in New York City to Scottish parents, Anderson was one of the earliest American wood-engravers, creating illustrations for books, periodicals, and newspapers."At the age of twelve years he made his first attempts at engraving on copper, frequently using pennies rolled out, and on type-metal plates. He received no instruction, and his knowledge was acquired by watching jewelers and other workmen."

April 21, 1899: Randall Thompson, American composer of choral music, was born. "Thompson composed three symphonies and numerous vocal works including The Testament of Freedom, Frostiana, and The Peaceable Kingdom, inspired by Edward Hicks's painting. His most popular and recognizable choral work is his anthem, Alleluia, commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky for the opening of the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood. He also wrote the operas Solomon and Balkis and The Nativity According to St. Luke. Leonard Bernstein was one of Thompson's students at Harvard."


“Connecticut Decoys –Carvers and Gunners”

By Henry C. Chitwood.
Published by Schiffer Publishing in 1987.

“Unquestionably, this is the most comprehensive study ever written on the subject of Connecticut working decoys. The author has documented and shown examples of decoys from eighty-odd carvers throughout the state. Henry C. Chitwood begins his book with a table of carvers listing them by name, date, location, carving period, number of decoys made, and a description of the types of decoys they carved. This is followed by a detailed text covering the various geographic areas in Connecticut and the decoys produced there, along with biographical notes on the gunners as well as the carvers. Finally on factory decoys, shore birds and descriptive decoy features. The hunting as well as decoy enthusiast could not ask for a more informative source on Connecticut working decoys.”


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