Monday, May 17, 2010

A Group of Seven Fossil Collectors Sculpted in Wood by Annie Proulx for C.R. Ashbee-


- The wild wood of David Nash : "Annie Proulx is thrilled by the British sculptor's monumental work, recalling mushrooms, arms, legs, torsos, pine cones, pancakes – and a discarded pair of ogre's shoes..." read Annie Proulx's review


May 17, 1758: Sir John St Aubyn, pioneering fossil collector, was born. Sir John was the 5th Baronet, Member of Parliament, High Sheriff of Cornwall and Grand Master of the Freemasons. "He was also a well known fossil and mineral collector who in addition to his own collection purchased the large collection possessed by Richard Greene." "Sir John was also interested in the arts and collected a huge number of engravings and etchings that were sold at Phillips’s Auction Rooms in 1840 in a sale lasting 17 days. Sir John was also a patron of the painter John Opie, and was a pallbearer at the artist’s funeral."

May 17, 1863: Charles Robert Ashbee, Arts & Crafts silversmith and founder of the Guild of Handicraft, is born at Isleworth. "Ashbee was an English designer and entrepreneur who was a prime mover of the Arts and Crafts movement that took its craft ethic from the works of John Ruskin and its co-operative structure from the socialism of William Morris. Ashbee set up his Guild and School of Handicraft in 1888 in London, while a resident at Toynbee Hall, one of the original settlements set up to alleviate inner city poverty, in this case, in the slums of Whitechapel. The fledgling venture was first housed in temporary space but by 1890 had workshops at Essex House, Mile End Road, in the East End, with a retail outlet in the heart of the West End in fashionable Brook Street, Mayfair, more accessible to the Guild's patrons. In 1902 the works moved to Chipping Campden, in the picturesque Cotswolds of Gloucestershire, where a sympathetic community provided local patrons, but where the market for craftsman-designed furniture and metalwork was saturated by 1905. The London County Council's introduction of the polytechnic institutes, which took on craftworkers at a minimal charge, was inspired by Ashbee's Guild and School, which it out-competed and drove out of business.The Guild was liquidated in 1907."

"The Guild of Handicraft specialised in metalworking, producing jewellery and enamels as well as hand-wrought copper and wrought ironwork, and furniture. (A widely illustrated suite of furniture was made by the Guild to designs of M. H. Baillie Scott for Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse at Darmstadt). The School attached to the Guild taught crafts.The Guild operated as a co-operative, and its stated aim was to: seek not only to set a higher standard of craftsmanship, but at the same time, and in so doing, to protect the status of the craftsman. To this end it endeavours to steer a mean between the independence of the artist— which is individualistic and often parasitical— and the trade-shop, where the workman is bound to purely commercial and antiquated traditions, and has, as a rule, neither stake in the business nor any interest beyond his weekly wage".

May 17, 1898: Alfred Joseph Casson, Canadian artist, was born. "Casson was a member of the Canadian group of painters known as the Group of Seven. He joined the group in 1926 at the invitation of Franklin Carmichael. Casson is best known for his depictions of landscapes, forests and farms of southern Ontario, and for being the youngest member of the Group of Seven. After the ending of the Group of Seven, he co-founded the Canadian Group of Painters in 1933. Casson developed a painting style with clear colours and background designs. Alfred "retired" in 1957 at age 60 but continued to paint full time. A.J. Casson died in 1992 at age 94 and is buried on the grounds of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, along with six other Group of Seven members."


"The Art of Champa"
By Jean-Francois Hubert.
Published by Parkstone Press International in 2005.

“In the 5th century, the Champa kingdom held sway over a large area of modern Vietnam. Several magnificent structures still testify to their former presence in the Nha Trang region. Cham sculpture was created from a variety of materials— principally sandstone, but also gold, silver, and bronze— and mainly illustrated themes from Indian mythology. The kingdom eroded during the 15th century as its people descended to the south from their original base in the Red River region. This volume, illustrated with 200 color photographs, presents outstanding pieces from the Musée Guimet, the National Museums of France, and the national Vietnamese museums of Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh”.



Irish comedian Dara O'Briain reveals the embarrassing truth about how you sell things to men-

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