Spent last week in Chicago where I went to see a show at the Art Institute regarding the WPA employees who during the Great Depression fanned out across the country photographing, drawing, buying and recording rapidly vanishing American Folkways. They collected pots, photographed farmers and recorded folk and field songs. As a result a few galleries began to sell what they called “folk art” and a few museums began to collect weather vanes and the weird paintings of self-taught artists. Today these items are more popular than ever and I am an avid collector so you will see some of these objects in the Barber Shop. Folk art and folkways are all around us. On the Amtrak train, coming back from my trip, I found myself sitting with a bunch of Amish kids in the lounge car who broke out a hymnal and began singing songs in three and four part harmony. Hearing them sing “Rock of Ages,” marveling at their homespun clothes, I found myself transported back to a time when people made their own entertainments and relied upon their own talents be they ever so humble.
Lots of artists keep finding their way over here. A group of tap dancers came in before their show at the Cowles Center and I continue to see people from the Opera, the Guthrie and just about anyone interested in the arts. I am always surprised by print and painting collectors who like to talk about their latest finds. The Ed Sheeran tour called and had me over to US Bank Stadium so that I d give Ed and the crew a tune up. I have cordless tools and make house calls like this whenever necessary. It is fun to get out of the shop!
Thank you Billy Bragg and crew. I had a great time at the Fine Line. A packed house and everyone singing along to most of the songs. Thanks for putting my wife and I on the guest list. I was able to brag (!) about it to all my local musician friends one of whom said “Yeah, I’ve seen him like 16 times.” Billy Bragg and Minneapolis–a good fit.
Have a couple of new pin-ups in the shop–old calendars actually–and a Howard Baer for those of you who love obscure WPA stuff, “First Day of School.”
New addition! Found a German Expressionist etching/aquatint at an Estate Sale by Max Klinger “The Philosopher,” circa 1890. A man clinging to the top of an iceberg or mountaintop in the wilderness has reached the end of his quest but lost his glasses (!) and gropes blindly, unable to reach them as they slide away. Written in the snow is the cryptic message Sciens Nescieris. Anyone speak Latin? I need some help on this one.
This website was created by Dave Skarjune (Word and Image). Thanks Dave! A true friend to small business.