The antiques and vintage things in the shop come from Midwestern auctions and from people who inherit things and come into the shop to sell them. I always ask about the people who owned them. I record their names, where they lived and sometimes I am given a photograph of the person which I pass on to the new owner. There are many different types of art in the shop and this month I have the pieces included here. I show customers (and children) how to tell the difference between a lithograph, etchings, engravings, etc. with the help of a jeweler’s loupe. It opens up an entire new world to people.
Jean Romano, a graduate from the Art Institute of Chicago, watched her plans for a commercial design career dissolve when WWII began. Shown above are two of her design ideas from 1939. The first and second photographs show some of her 3D kits for making shadow pictures. (Just double-click the image if you would like to see them close up.) The photograph to the right is of an advertising idea that Jean wanted to pitch to Ivory Soap. The prototype shows a bathtub toy duck that rode a floating bar of Ivory Soap.
The accomplished artist, William Thompson, began his career sweeping the studio floors of William Henry Chandlers studio. One of the stellar moments in the shop was when I met his niece. I think he was America’s greatest pastel artist.
Paul Krause painted church murals in the late 1800s. I easily found his grandson, a Milwaukee realtor. Paintings like this one would be presented to a church board as a sample of his work. The tiny details are mind-boggling.
I recently won this oil painting at an auction. It is larger than the section I am showing. It has a lot of tobacco smoke on its surface. It is so yellow now that I can’t read the signature. Someone has already spent a sizable amount to have the painting relined. See the back? Do you see the age on the second lining? It will be interesting to see if the sky is blue. I love this painting. I think it dates to the time when people let their cattle run loose and then had to go find them.
Hand-painted post cards mailed to an art benefactor by the artist Karl Priebe, one of the Six Magic Realists School of Art centralized in Wisconsin between 1920-1945. He drew an image and then had the image printed on postcards. The glossy surface of the postcards were wonderful to float watercolors upon. Karl used these for travel correspondence. He was quite a traveler and spent many vacations painting and drawing animals and birds at local zoos.
Sometimes, someone comes in whose family is part of an American dynasty. One of the Goes family autographed the back of my old “Found” print, originally painted by Albert Schenck. The Goes family ancestors created many of famous original prints we see hanging in shops and homes today. Goes Lithography Company has been in business since 1879. They created chomo-lithograph posters for Buffalo Bill, the Columbian Exposition in 1893 and the 1933 Chicago Worlds Fair to name just a few of their many accomplishments. They sell prints of some of their famous posters and I am sure they are of the best quality.
So many lives, so many people, so much to do, so little time. Some roll through life in the comfort of routine and quiet dignity, some striving for but never reaching their dream, some reaching it but finding that it didn’t bring what they hoped, and always the love, the making do, the family, the fights, the love and always coming back to the love. All telling the story of the American people, your family, my family, there is no difference. We all belong in the family of man.
Last week, I had the most delightful surprise when three people found the shop through this blog. Melissa, from the Comfy Home blog came in the shop and I was so delighted to meet this warm and personable new friend and surprised to learn that her husband works in Northbrook. Northbrook is my hometown.
The next week, sisters Linda and Carol stopped in while they were on a day trip. They were having the kind of fun only sisters by blood or bond can have and we laughed a lot.
Later that day, I noticed this fabulous woman and her big chunky bracelets. She must be an artist.
All new friends united over shared interests and a love for this old stuff, the things that tell the stories of the American people, our great big family.
Thanks for stopping by today.