Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Windmills, Raphael, Lalique, Moreau & Celluloid...


- Junkyard Poet of Whirligigs and Windmills : LUCAMA, N.C. — "Just when you think you’ve traveled too far down Wiggins Mill Road, and you start to look for a spot to turn around, the rusting masterworks of Vollis Simpson loom into view. Thirty feet in the air, held aloft by sturdy steel pillars, are some of Mr. Simpson’s pieces: a team of horses pulling a wagon, a metal man strumming a guitar and an airplane cum rocket ship that might have escaped from an old comic book. They are painted in a dozen colors and festooned with propellers that spin in the breeze. With every gust they creak and whir like some phantasmagoric junkyard band..." Read the full story


April 6, 1483: Raphael, Italian painter and architect, was born. "Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, celebrated for the perfection and grace of his paintings and drawings. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period."

April 6, 1826: Gustave Moreau, French painter, was born. Moreau "was a French Symbolist painter whose main focus was the illustration of biblical and mythological figures. As a painter of literary ideas rather than visual images, Moreau appealed to the imaginations of some Symbolist writers and artists, who saw him as a precursor to their movement."

April 6, 1860: Rene Lalique, French jeweler and important figure in the Art Nouveau movement, was born. "Recognized as one of the world's greatest glass makers and jewelry designers of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, René Jules Lalique was an imaginative and creative artist, designer, and industrialist in all his work. It was said of him 'his work frankly bears the mark of our complicated civilisation, a thirst for elegance, novelty, comfort and luxury".

April 6, 1869: Celluloid is patented by John Wesley Hyatt. First used as an ivory substitute in billiard balls, it rapidly came to be used to manufacture all matter of jewelry and decorative household articles, and is considered the first plastic.

April 6, 1929: André Previn, German-born composer and conductor, was born. He is a winner of four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings.


"Lalique for Collectors"

By Katharine Morrison McClinton.
Published by Charles Scribner's Sons: 1975.

One of the first books about collecting Lalique, by a very popular antiques writer. McClinton provides a fairly comprehensive survey of Lalique and his work, from jewelry and glass vases to boxes and radiator caps. The book is heavily illustrated, with some catalog pages included. There are more recent, more comprehensive, books about Lalique, but Katherine McClinton was a widely recognized author on 19th and 20th century antiques, including landmark books on Art Deco and silver, and what you are really buying here is her insight into the subject.


“Lalique par Lalique”

By Marc & Marie-Claude Lalique.
Published in Lausanne by the Societe Lalique/Edipop in 1977.

A legendary volume on the art glass bookshelf, an explosive celebration of the glass and jewelry of that most graceful of French designers, Rene Lalique. English / French text.


“Pressed Glass, 1825-1925”

By Jane Shadel Spillman.
Published by the Corning Museum of Glass in 1983.

A delightful, colorful catalog to an exhibition featuring specimens from the Museum’s collection. The commercial process of pressing glass was perfected between the first decades of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth, and this exhibition catalog describes and illustrates this important progress and described its techniques, the innovators behind them, and the glass they produced.


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