Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Marvin Bell | On Bertrand Russell and Camus

Bertrand Russell with his children c1935 (public domain)
Marvin Bell in M. Bell and C. Merrill, After the Fact: Scripts and Postscripts. Buffalo NY: White Pine Press, 2016, pp. 100-101—

Bertrand Russell, May 18, 1872–February 2, 1970. An event of mind that lasted almost ninety-eight years. We shall not see his kind again, but are beset by ideologues pretending to be thinkers. I was hurrying along Broadway in the Capitol Hill District of Seattle. As I sped past two men deeply engaged in conversation as they walked, my hand bumped the wrist of one. I glanced back to say "excuse me" and kept going. But the bump must have "cleared the wax from my ears," as our teachers used to put it, and I realized that the older of the two was talking about Albert Camus. He was talking about Camus, Existentialism and meaninglessness. That was the word he used: "meaninglessness." I had overheard him say that meaninglessness was "a big idea." I couldn't just keep going. I went back and confirmed that they were indeed discussing Camus. I asked if they knew his essay on the myth of Sisyphus, who was sentenced to eternally push a boulder up to the top of a hill from where it would always roll down again. The older man (the other was much younger) said that in fact he had just been talking about Sisyphus. So I asked if he knew the very last sentence in the essay. "It's very important," I said, trying not to wag my finger. Well, he didn't, and he looked as if he wanted me to tell him, and I did. The last sentence in Camus' essay, the last of Camus' ideas about this man Sisyphus—who has been sentenced to an eternity of what seems to be meaningless suffering—is, "One must imagine Sisyphus happy." The older man was delighted at this information, and the younger one's eyes lit up as if he had been given permission to be cheerful. I felt like a Boy Scout of philosophy. I hadn't helped anyone across the street. I hadn't offered a way to escape the dark matter and sticky stuff. I had simply pointed out that one could live there. And I have lived there myself, largely as a fly on the wall, a bystander at the parties of the famous, a guest whose photo was taken in the movie star's bathtub, a tourist in international hot spots. We date watersheds, ages and eras, firsts and lasts, but nothing is over until no one remembers. Blessings on the lone scholar who looks again and recovers our words. Nonetheless, I have, like Bertrand Russell, no illusions. 

Albert Camus (1957), Library of Congress Prints & Photographs



Saturday, March 4, 2017

Louis MacNeice on English Dog Shows

Canine Portrait © Roy R. Behrens
Louis MacNeice, The Strings Are False: An Unfinished Autobiography. London: Faber and Faber, 1965, pp. 138-139—

An English dog show is very very English; you meet all the people you never would have thought of inventing. Dog-fanciers can be divided into two classes—those who look very like their dogs and those who look exactly unlike them. While there are old ladies showing Pekinese who look like Pekinese themselves, there are also gigolos with bulldogs or bruisers with Yorkshire terriers. The show is a wonderland of non-utilitarian growths. Through the smell and the noise and the clouds of chalk you can distinguish dogs that have been passed through the mangle and dogs with permanent waves, Bond Street ladies in veils and Amazons all boots. The human beings talk to each other roughly and curtly but twitter and coo to their dogs. There sportsmen and sportswomen who work their dogs in the field, and there are hermits from caves of melancholia who might have been artists or had lovers. You feel his nose to be sure that he is not ill, you chop up his meat so neatly, you put in his cod liver oil and a spoonful of lime for his bones, you brush him and comb him and pluck him and every so often you worm him—you are proud if he passes worms and proud if he doesn’t.

It’s not fair, that’s what it’s not, judge don’t know a dog from a carthorse, I tell you straight been showing for forty years and never in my life I mean when I say, see the dog he put up well would you believe it, no it’s not fair, that’s what it is, it’s not.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Mason City, Wright and Book Design

Poster © Roy R. Behrens 2017
Above Frank Lloyd Wright’s achievements in book design will be the subject of an evening talk during National Library Week at the Mason City Public Library, in Mason City IA. Titled Frank Lloyd Wright: Mason City and Book Design, the one-hour presentation will start at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The speaker is author and design historian Roy R. Behrens, who teaches graphic design at the University of Northern Iowa.

Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect, art collector and teacher. His Mason City landmarks are widely known, consisting of the Stockman House, and the City National Bank and Historic Park Inn Hotel. But he also designed furniture, fabrics, dinnerware and stained glass windows. It is not usually noted that he was also a book designer.

In a richly illustrated talk, Behrens will focus on Wright’s efforts at book design, beginning in 1898 with The House Beautiful, a hand-bound letterpress book about interior home design. In that and subsequent efforts, Wright was influenced by various trends in architecture and design, among them the Arts and Crafts Movement, Japonisme, Art Nouveau and Art Deco.

Among Wright’s friends were two prominent book designers, Elbert Hubbard and Merle Armitage. The latter grew up in Mason City, and went on to become the manager and promoter for ballerina Anna Pavlova, operatic soprano Amelita Galli-Curci, humorist Will Rogers, and other star performers. He wrote and designed books about some of the finest artists of the twentieth century, including Martha Graham, Igor Stravinsky, George Gershwin and Edward Weston.

Also featured will be the work of New York publisher Steven Clay, a Mason City native who graduated from Mason City High School in 1969. After moving to New York in the 1980s, Clay established Granary Books, which became a leading distributor of limited edition, experimental “artist books.” In 2013, the archive of Granary Books was acquired by the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University, calling it “one of the country’s most significant artist book publishers.”

In addition to slide examples of the books of Wright, Armitage and others, the talk will include a selection of the actual books from the speaker’s book collection. The event is free and open to the public.

•••

Roy R. Behrens, UNI Professor of Art and Distinguished Scholar, teaches graphic design and design history. He is internationally-known for his publications about art, design and the history of camouflage. The author of eight books and hundreds of published articles, he has appeared in films and interviews on NOVA, National Public Radio, 99% Invisible, Australian Public Television, BBC and IPTV. His most recent book is Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (2016).

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Buffalo Bill: Never Missed and He Never Will

Montage © Roy R. Behrens 2017
Above Title slide for Iowa's Buffalo Bill: Never Missed and He Never Will, a presentation sponsored by Humanities Iowa. For information on how to schedule this event for Iowa libraries, community centers and other public-accessible venues, as well as how to fund it through an HI grant (surprisingly easy), go to the Humanities Iowa website.

•••

William F. Cody (1846-1917), better known as “Buffalo Bill,” was born near Le Claire, Iowa, in Scott County, just north of Davenport. By the end of his life, he had become what some have called “the most famous American in the world.” 

He had been a Pony Express rider, an Army scout, a buffalo hunter for the railroad, and the founder and central attraction of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show, which traveled throughout the US and in Europe for thirty years. This talk is an overview of Cody’s life, both tragic and heroic. It was tragic because of the role he played in the near extinction of the American Bison (he himself is said to have killed nearly 3000 buffalo in eight months), and, more deplorable, in the subjugation of Native Americans. 

If his life was heroic, it was because of his later support of the rights of Native Americans, his friendship with many of them (most notably with Sitting Bull), and his link with such colorful characters as Annie Oakley and Wild Bill Hickok. As a Wild West performer, it is thought that Cody probably played to a collective audience of more than 50 million, including at various Iowa towns. This is a face-paced and entertaining 60-minute talk, illustrated by projected vintage photographs, film clips and animated graphics.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review | Frank Lloyd Wright & Mason City

Poster © Roy R. Behrens (2017)
Above Roy R. Behrens, digital montage regarding Frank Lloyd Wright (2017) in relation to Prairie School architectural landmarks. Sources images include art glass window diagram from Historic American Buildings Survey, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs (based on window in the Robie House in Chicago), and designer's photograph of the Spirit of Mercury by Richard Bock, commissioned by Wright as a recurrent motif in his City National Bank and Park Inn Hotel in Mason City (1910).

•••

Book review on GoodReads (four stars out of five) of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie. Charleston SC: The History Press, 2016—

I recently visited Wright's Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob houses in Pennsylvania and enjoyed seeing both of those homes. Having spent many summer vacations in Mason City as a youth, I was thrilled to stumble upon this book and excited to read about Wright's architectural impact on this small Iowa town. I think the author did a fine job of showcasing Wright's work in Mason City while incorporating some of Wright's personal (and scandalous!) history with the evolution of this north central Iowa town.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Duplicitous Serenity | Frank Lloyd Wright

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND MASON CITY (2016)
Above Roy R. Behrens, digital montage portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright (2017).

•••

What was it like to encounter for the first time the Midwestern prairie, not yet dominated by Euro-Americans at the time of the American Revolutionary War? Below is a description, based on eyewitness accounts from 1782, as invading American troops were in pursuit of Native Americans who had sided with the British.

Allan W. Eckert, That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley. New York: Bantam Books, 1996, p. 342—

For those of the army who had never before seen the Sandusky Plains [in Ohio], their first view of it yesterday was breathtaking. The heavily forested hills through which they had been riding for the better part of a week had abruptly leveled out into high plains, with vast fields of grass as far as the eye could see. Their guides told them this type of terrain would continue all the way to the Sandusky towns, still some 30 miles distant: deep, thick grasses that were emerald green in their lush new growth and so high that the early morning dew soaked their horses and bathed the riders themselves to their waists. There was a deceptive sense of peace to the vista and a strong illusion that they had entered upon an expansive green sea where the surface was calm and smooth except where breezes touched down and rippled the grass in pleasant swaths all the way to the western horizon. The illusion of a sea was further enhanced by, here and there in the distance, great isolated groves of trees projecting above the grasses, appearing to be a series of lovely islands. So strong was this sense, in fact, that almost immediately the men referred to these groves as islands and dubbed them colorful names based on their size or shape or color. Smaller groves, hazy and indistinct in the distance, loomed above the grasses like ships traversing the sea from one of the larger islands to another.

Some of the men, however, viewed the deep grass with a rise of fear; in this sort of cover, a whole great army of Indians could lie hidden beyond detection, abruptly to rise at any given moment and pour a devastating fire into the troops. Their fear became infectious, and soon the initial serenity of the scene was replaced in the men's minds with uneasy expectation.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Wright and Mason City's Architectural Gems

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND MASON CITY
Above Some of the great treasures of American architecture are located in Mason City IA, two hours south of Minneapolis (or two hours north of Des Moines). The downtown is the setting of the magnificently restored Historic Park Inn Hotel, a tandem two-part structure, that originally also housed the City National Bank, the sole surviving hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It is now both a hotel and an events center, with rooms restored to replicate the original Wright design. There is also a Wrightian restaurant, with an excellent menu. The hotel entrance is adjacent to the city park—it's the park that was famously featured in the Broadway musical and film The Music Man, a story that's based on the memories of Meredith Willson, who grew up in what is sometimes called "River City."  It's a great architectural treat to visit Mason City, as flocks of world-wide tourists have found since, fully restored, it reopened several years ago. The Condé Nast Traveler recently declared it "one of the 14 best cities for architectural lovers."

To experience Wright's City National Bank and Park Inn Hotel is itself sufficient reward. But that's only part of the story. Just five blocks east of the hotel is an historically significant cluster of Prairie School homes in a purposely designed neighborhood that borders both sides of Willow Creek. The precisely landscaped neighborhood was designed by Wright's associate, Walter Burley Griffin. Most of the planning drawings were made by another Wright associate, Marion Mahony (one of the first female architects, especially admired for her extraordinary drawings), who was also Griffin's spouse. Known as Rock Crest / Rock Glen, about nineteen houses were planned but only half of those were built. But the ones that were completed are both exquisite and well-maintained.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND MASON CITY


On the northern edge of this historic neighborhood is the relocated and exactly restored Stockman House, an early Wright prototype for a fireproof two-story Prairie School home. It is now a house museum, and is frequently open for guided tours. And on the property adjoining that is the recently constructed Robert E. McCoy Architectural Interpretive Center, which serves as an informational hub, a gift shop, and a gathering place for talks about Mason City architecture.

To my mind, among the highlights of Mason City's architectural gems is a residence called the Melson House. It was constructed on a limestone cliff on the Rock Crest side of the neighborhood, overlooking the creek and the houses that make up the opposite side, the level bank that called Rock Glen. The significance of the Melson House is discussed in Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (pp. 114-115)—

As H. Allen Brooks has said, it (the Melson House)  is "a master stroke" in which [Walter Burley] Griffin "turned the cliff to his advantage," with the result that the building is "partly hewn, [and] partly growing from the striated cliff." Amazingly, as [C.J.] Hurley notes, "although the almost fortress-like structure appears to be part of the cliff face, the interior is open and spacious, human in its scale, proportions and liveability."

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND MASON CITY


The owners of the Melson House are Roger and Peggy Bang, who have long been active in Mason City's efforts to restore its architectural gems. Peggy has recently published a book (The Melson House Revealed: An Owner's Perspective) [see cover below] about all the pleasures as well as frustrations involved in maintaining the verve of this astonishing landmark—while also living in it.

• All posters by Roy R. Behrens © 2017. Photo of Melson House © Peggy L. Bang. Other images courtesy Wikimedia.
THE MELSON HOUSE REVEALED

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright Swats Fellow Architects

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND MASON CITY
Maria Durell Stone (wife of architect Edward Durell Stone) in Edgar Tafel, Ed., About Wright: An Album of Recollections by Those Who Knew Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: John Wiley, 1993, p. 57—

A few hours after I arrived at Taliesin [in 1954] we dined with others outside under a large tree. Flies, for some reason, were prolific on this warm spring day. [Frank Lloyd] Wright remedied this annoyance by having a fly swatter next to his chair. As a fly landed, he would pick up the swatter and take precise aim. "That's [Walter] Gropius," he jovially exclaimed, and then he would take aim again at another unsuspecting fly. "And that's [Le] Corbusier," he would add, until dead flies littered the table and he had struck down the so-called hierarchy of modern architecture.

• Design by Roy R. Behrens, using public domain portrait photograph (colorized) of Wright (c1926), from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs, and his own photograph of the restored City National Bank and Park Inn in Mason City IA, now officially known as the Historic Park Inn Hotel.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Richard Neutra

The Stockman House | Mason City IA (1908) •
Roy R. Behrens, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT AND MASON CITY: Architectural Heart of the Prairie. Charleston SC: The History Press, 2016, pp. 15-16—

Soon after his arrival in the U.S., a young German architect named Richard Neutra was walking through the neighborhoods of the Hyde Park area of Chicago, looking for Prairie School houses.

Earlier, in a European library, he had seen the Wasmuth Portfolio, an album of early buildings by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Now, he had come to Chicago to search for one of Wright’s most admired designs, the famous Frederick C. Robie House on Woodlawn Avenue.


Standing at last in the presence of the Robie House, Neutra was infused with emotion. He rang the doorbell and asked in broken English, “Is Mr. Robie in?” The present owner, who answered the door, replied, “Mr. Robie? Never heard of him.” There had been a succession of owners, and she had bought the house, she explained, because it was “very cheap” and the previous owner “had to get out.” She didn’t particularly like its design, Neutra recalled, and “had all kinds of petty criticisms.” 


In his autobiography, Neutra recalled that this happened repeatedly as he visited famous American buildings, well-known and admired by European architects. Inevitably, he found that the current residents (and their neighbors) had little or no understanding of the importance of the buildings that surrounded them. He was overtaken by what he described as a “sad wonderment.”


“I had arrived in fairyland,” he said, “but the fairies had gone. And the occupants of the enchanted forest looked entirely inconsistent and contradictory to what their setting called for. I was downcast, broken, and puzzled.”


Later, when Neutra actually met Frank Lloyd Wright, he told him how surprised he was that Chicago’s Prairie School houses were not surrounded by prairie. When those homes were built, he asked, were they then in the prairie?


“No,” Wright answered, “there was no prairie…but it was the spirit of the prairie that was recaptured with it and in it.”

• Design by Roy R. Behrens, using public domain portrait photograph (colorized) of Wright (c1926), from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs, and a photograph of the Stockman House by Pamela V. White (2007), from Creative Commons, Wikipedia.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Continuity, Patterns & Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City (2016)
Jonathan Hale, The Old Way of Seeing. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994, pp. 67-68—

As for resembling life forms [in architecture], it is underlying pattern, not any literal representation that makes a building "come alive." Trees, which populate the landscape much as buildings do, are much more generally considered to be beautiful. But, as Frank Lloyd Wright said, a building should be like a tree, not look like a tree…Trees and people contain the same kinds of patterns. Harmonious buildings that embody life forms refer to us, they are about us. That is why we are so attracted to them.

Harmony can be defined as the resonating play of shapes. It can be gentle or strong, but it is not immobility. The old way of seeing is not repose, and it is not prettiness. It might be soft or rough. It might be cheap…or it might be the Great Pyramid, but the same design principles will guide it. Harmony in a building means relationships that work with other relationships.…

One of the purposes of ornament is to pull the eye toward the regulating lines of a building, to point out the key visual points of its geometry. Ornament strengthens the forms that are already there. The powerful governing patterns of the buildings are not decorative, they are the architecture. They are inherent in the building, just as what the building does is inherent in it: this building is a house, and it also embodies this pattern. To be a pattern if one of the building's functions. In this way a building is like music.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Frank Lloyd Wright and the Real River City

Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City (2016)
From an unpublished review by Paul D. Whitson of FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie. Charleston SC: History Press, 2016—

[This book is] A masterly detailed romp (staccato vivace) through the cultural and architectural history of the persons, structures, and interrelations emergent along the 1908-1911 timeline in Mason City, Iowa. Although the City National Bank, Park Inn, and Stockman residence by Frank Lloyd Wright are central, equal attention is given to the Rock Crest/Rock Glen residences actuated by the "Griffins," Byrne, Blythe, Broaten, Drummond, and Besinger. Instructive insights into the principles of design, essences of organic logic, and exposed peccadillos (good and not so) of the chief actors pleasantly compliment the illustrative architectural heart of the once prairie village. A five-star read (romp) indeed.

Friday, January 20, 2017

ANOTHER VOICE | Exhibition Opens Today

Political Illustration Exhibit Opens at MCAD
Above Good news, believe it or not, on a day of infamy. Opening today at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a powerful exhibition of satirical political art. Curated by legendary art director Patrick JB Flynn of the Madison-based THE FLYNSTITUTE, the exhibition is ANOTHER VOICE: Political Illustration of the Late 20th Century. Don't miss the opening this evening, with a curator's talk and a panel exchange in early February. Poster illustration above is by Henrik Drescher © 1985 from The Progressive. For more information see Another Voice.

•••

Frank Swinnerton, Swinnerton: An Autobiography. Garden City NY: Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1936, p. 24—

We had a maid named Betsy, a fat elderly woman who might have been made amusing by [Charles] Dickens; for it was she who, when the groceries came home one day, horrified the entire family by clapping a vinegar bottle to her lips, drinking with zest, and, as she set it down, exclaiming: "I do LOVE winnidar!"

•••

David Garnett, The Flowers of the Forest. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1956, p. 40—

[At a certain dinner during World War I] Vanessa [Bell, sister of Virginia Woolf] was put beside Mr. [H.H.] Asquith, then Prime Minister and a man with many burdens, including the conduct of the war. Vanessa rarely read a newspaper in those days, though she was always interested in picture papers…which might suggest subjects for picture. She had missed Mr. Asquith's name, but his face was almost intolerably familiar to her…Yet she could not place him. Giving him the smile of an innocent but daring child, she risked the remark:

"Are you interested in politics?"

Vanessa's best remarks were like that, experimental and haphazard shots in the dark. When she coined an epigram it was often because she had forgotten a cliché.

"In that house you meet a dark horse in every cupboard," she once exclaimed with some indignation. And of Maynard [Keynes]: "It runs off his back like duck's water." But of all her sayings the most withering was: "Ah, that will be canker to his worm."

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Man Who Mistook Someone's Hat For His

Frank Swinnerton, Swinnerton: An Autobiography. Garden City NY: Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1936, p. 28-29 [recalling an incident at a London publishing firm where he worked]—

He [a co-worker named Martin, who was the company cashier] had a very large round head, upon which he wore a great dusty bowler hat; and one Saturday, when everybody but myself had gone home, I was dismayed to find that he had taken my hat and left this monster [his hat] behind. Despair grew when it dawned upon me that the hat came down to my chin. But at last I recollected that Martin was most likely to be found in a local pub, and set out in search of him as Cockney wives sometimes go on Saturday nights in search of their husbands, opening swing doors and quickly scanning the faces in the bar.

My search was brief. He was sitting on a tall stool in the center of the saloon bar of the Essex Serpent, in King Street. In his outstretched arms was a newspaper; a pipe was held firmly in his front teeth; and high upon his big white head, looking in its inadequacy like a thimble, was perched my little hat. I removed it firmly; and Martin was very annoyed, first with me for entering a pub at all, second with himself for having taken my hat, and finally again with me for knowing where he was to be found. Poor man, his life was a misery.

•••

Note We will add this to our ever expanding collection of stories about those who have mistaken someone else's hat (or other item of clothing) for their own. Go here, for example, for another hat confusion tale by British philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, or here for Mircea Eliade's story about walking off with Claude Lévi-Strauss' raincoat.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Baby Hummingbirds Nesting in Mexico

Baby Hummingbird © Craig Ede
Above and below Baby hummingbirds in nest in Mexico a few weeks ago, as photographed by artist Craig Ede (sounds like tweed), long-time friend and schoolmate.

•••

After living elsewhere for almost two decades, in 1990 I moved back to Iowa, where I had been born and raised. Soon after, as I browsed in a second-hand bookstore, I was surprised and delighted to find a paperback volume of essays by American satirist H.L. Mencken. Even as a high school student, I had read nearly all his writings, and had purchased at the time a series of Vintage paperbacks, the covers of which had been designed by graphic designer Paul Rand. It was one of the books from that series that I suddenly found on the shelf in that store. I felt a surge of nostalgia as I reached for the book; it was not only a touchstone, it was the exact same edition as well. Imagine my greater astonishment when, seconds later, as I turned to the flyleaf—I found my own signature.

I recalled this recently while reading the memoirs of British writer Richard Aldington, titled Life for Life's Sake (New York: Viking, 1941). Although the circumstances were different, I thought of my own experience as he described what happened to him when he returned to London after serving in World War I (pp. 202-203)—

[In a London bookstore] A little further down was a display of French books. One shelf of about forty particularly held my attention. I thought: This is a remarkable coincidence; it's the first time in my life I've ever seen a row of second-hand books, every one of which I've read. Mechanically I pulled down one of them and opened it. On the flyleaf was written: Richard Aldington. I took down another, with the same result.

My first thought was that the house where I had stored my books had been burgled; and full of righteous indignation I plunged into the shop to try to trace the thief. Again the bookseller remembered me, and at once looked up his records. If I had suddenly and unexpectedly been hit between the eyes I could not have been more stunned than when I learned the books had been sold by a "friend," a Bloomsbury intellectual, who had rooms in the house and therefore access to the storeroom. Evidently he had come to the conclusion that I was unlikely to return from the front, and that since the books were no use to him he might as well change them into beer.

Baby Hummingbirds © Craig Ede

Richard Aldington (from the same book), p. 206—

My French colleague, Henry de Montherlant, making a pilgrimage of devotion to the sacred field of [the Battle of] Verdun, found skulls of our dead comrades on which tourists had scratched their names and the initials of their country.

•••

Rex Beach, Personal Exposures (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1940), p. 166 [his recollection of having been attacked by a huge crocodile while making a wildlife film]—

To this day it gives me a chill to see an alligator-hide suitcase with the lid open. I don't trust those creatures even when they have brass fittings and a monogram.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

David Suter Poster | Kaycee Miller 2016

David Suter Poster | Kaycee Miller 2016
Above Poster designed by Kaycee Miller, graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, commemorating the work of American artist David Suter, whose editorial-page illustrations were widely acclaimed during the Watergate Era. •

A two-day campus visit by the artist took place on October 24-25, 2016,at the University of Northern Iowa. Sponsored by the UNI Department of Art, the event was part of the Meryl Norton Hearst Lecture Series.

Suter's editorial illustrations have been described as "puzzles and mindbogglers, tricks of the subconscious, and foolers of the eye." Some people call them visual puns or metaphors, but the artist prefers "to think of them as equations…It's a little like algebra. I try to combine two images through a process of finding similarities and canceling out dissimilar aspects."

Concurrent with David Suter's campus visit, there were exhibits of his OpEd drawings and of a series of posters (including the one shown here) by UNI graphic design students that celebrated his drawings.

•••

Frank Swinnerton, Swinnerton: An Autobiography. Garden City NY: Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1936, p. 28-29 [recalling the bullying he observed in a school that he attended in London]—

All [six boy] pupils were taught in the same room [and were largely unsupervised]…two horrid little devils declared a vendetta against the only other boy of roughly their own size, the spectacle of which moved me to such helpless rage that in thinking of it now I still feel embarrassed distaste. While the master was there these wretches did no more than stick lighted matches into the boy's tweed coat. When the master was away, as he often was, they had greater liberty, of which they took instant advantage. They wrenched their enemy's arms, speared, pinched, and kicked him until his shins must have been black and his flesh purple; and at last forced his head  murderously back over desks and parallel bars until he became blue in the face. It was appalling. I was too weak to lend an effective aid; the boy was too plucky to tell tales and was not strong enough to resist such implacable foes; and these foes grew every day more and more reckless, more and more outrageously brutal. At last, when he was being tortured one morning to the limit of endurance, I (a sort of Sister Anne at the window) caught sight of the master without, frantically summoned him by means of a wild rapping on the pane, and so brought the horror to an end.

• The drawing in the poster is the copyright of David Suter. All rights reserved.

David Suter Poster | Eldina Siljkovic 2016

David Suter Poster | Eldina Siljikovic 2016
Above Poster designed by Eldina Siljikovic, graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa, commemorating the work of American artist David Suter, whose editorial-page illustrations were widely acclaimed during the Watergate Era. •

A two-day campus visit by the artist took place on October 24-25, 2016,at the University of Northern Iowa. Sponsored by the UNI Department of Art, the event was part of the Meryl Norton Hearst Lecture Series.

Suter's editorial illustrations have been described as "puzzles and mindbogglers, tricks of the subconscious, and foolers of the eye." Some people call them visual puns or metaphors, but the artist prefers "to think of them as equations…It's a little like algebra. I try to combine two images through a process of finding similarities and canceling out dissimilar aspects."

Concurrent with David Suter's campus visit, there were exhibits of his OpEd drawings and of a series of posters (including the one shown here) by UNI graphic design students that celebrated his drawings.

•••

Frank Swinnerton, Swinnerton: An Autobiography. Garden City NY: Doubleday, Doran and Company, 1936, p. 17 [remembering his father, an impoverished copperplate engraver in London]—

If, on Saturday, he was lucky enough to draw some larger money he would be induced to have two or three glasses of beer (which he could never stand), and would arrive home late in the evening a little stupid, with glassy eyes and a painfully courteous manner, carrying some bags of squashed tomatoes and other peace offerings, which he would put mutely upon the kitchen table. It is terrible to think that his marketing had always been bad, so that what he brought was largely useless and unvalued; but if he had silver in his pockets he always produced the whole of it, keeping nothing back, but setting it down with a truly distasteful gesture beside the tomatoes. On such occasions I fancy we were all rather brusque with him, my mother particularly so; and yet I do not recall that there were at any time outspoken quarrels between them. My mother frowned and marched about with her head in the air, dry-eyed, as if she were out of patience with anybody so fatuous; and he sat sighing, very quiet and polite, rather drowsy, at intervals saying humbly: "Can I help you, Ma?" and receiving the briefest courtesies in reply.

• The drawing in the poster is the copyright of David Suter. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Jordan Goldbeck

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Jordan Goldbeck •
Above Poster by Jordan Goldbeck, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••

John Aubrey, in Ruth Scurr (ed.), John Aubrey: My Own Life. London: Vintage, 2015, pp. 327-328—

 Sir Henry Blount, who is over eighty years of age, his mind still strong, has been taken very ill in London: his feet extremely swollen… He is fond of saying that he does not care to have his servants go to church lest they socialize with other servants and become corrupted into visiting the alehouse and debauchery. Instead he encourages them to go and see the [public] executions at Tyburn, which, he claims, have more influence over them than all the oratory in the sermons.

• Photograph used in poster copyright © Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Emily Brown 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Emily Brown •
Above Poster by Emily Brown, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••

John Aubrey, in Ruth Scurr (ed.), John Aubrey: My Own Life. London: Vintage, 2015, pp. 376-377 and 379—

July 1690
Mr. Wood [British antiquarian Anthony à Wood] sends me so many queries. I trouble myself to find the answers for him, despite the troubles that press upon me. I desire to give Mr. Wood my watch, which was a gift from the Earl of Pembroke, to remember me by. I will be my own executor and send it to him as soon as the watchmaker has finished mending it.

•••

April 1691
Mr. Wood has complained that the watch I gave him does not work well, but it kept time indifferently when I had it. The days of the month were always faulty but that isn't worth a chip. I have told him that if he has it mended he should do so in London rather than Oxford. I believe it cost at least 10 li. [pounds] when the Earl of Pembroke bought it for me.

• Photograph used in poster copyright ©Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Riley Green 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Riley Green *
Above Poster by Riley Green, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••

John Aubrey, in Ruth Scurr (ed.), John Aubrey: My Own Life. London: Vintage, 2015, p. 179—

Mr. [James] Harrington [British political theorist] suffers from the strangest sort of madness I have ever found in anyone. He imagines his perspiration turns to flies, or sometimes to bees. He has had a movable timber house built in Mr. Hart's garden (opposite to St. James Park), to try an experiment to prove this delusion. He turns the timber structure to face the sun, chases all the flies and bees out of it, or kills them, then shuts the windows right. But inevitably he misses some concealed in crannies of the cloth hangings and when they show themselves he cries out, "Do you not see that these come from me?" Aside from this, his discourse is rational.

• Photograph used in poster © Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Chris Hall 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Chris Hall •
Above Poster by Chris Hall, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••

John Aubrey, in Ruth Scurr (ed.), John Aubrey: My Own Life. London: Vintage, 2015, p. 256—

Mr. [Robert] Hooke [prominent British philosopher, scientist and architect] believes all vegetables are females. He told us about his principle of flying and we drank port. Mr. Hooke claims that when he was a schoolboy at Westminster School he devised thirty different ways of flying. He imagines flying by some mechanical means: a chariot pulled by horses; or powered by vanes; or bending springs by gunpowder. I consider Mr. Hooke the greatest mechanic alive in the world today.

• Photograph used in poster © Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Abi Watson 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Abi Watson (2016) •
Above Poster by Abi Watson, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••

Augusta, Lady Gregory, in Lennox Robinson, ed., Lady Gregory's Journals 1916-1930. New York: MacMillan, 1947, p. 205—

He [George Bernard Shaw] talked afterwards of what Wilfred Blunt had written of William Morris and of his being without love for anyone (except his invalid daughter), and said it is so often with men immersed in their work, they have no room for another strong affection. The first time he saw Mrs. Morris [Jane Burden Morris] it was a shock. She was lying full-length on a sofa, her long limbs covered, and looked death-like—like clay. He was trying the other day if he could remember anything she ever said and could not, except that one day when he had taken a second helping of some pudding, she said, "You seem to like that pudding," and when he answered "Yes," she said, "There is suet in it." That word, aimed at his vegetarianism, is all he can remember.

• Photograph used in poster copyright © Joseph Podlesnilk. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Taoism, Frank Lloyd Wright and Space Within

Frank Lloyd Wright photomontage (2016) •
Laozi [formerly Lao-Tze or Lao-Tse], Tao Te Ching (c. 4th century BC)—

Thirty spokes meet in the hub, but the empty space between them is the essence of the wheel. Pots are formed from clay, but the empty space within it is the essence of the pot. Walls with windows and doors form the house, but the empty space within it is the essence of the home.

•••

Jonathan Hale, The Old Way of Seeing (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994), pp. 176-177—

[Frank Lloyd] Wright played with such [surface] decoration, but he abandoned it around 1900. Wright's continuity meant that each element and aspect—shape, color, texture—participates, not as one thing on another but as one thing with another. This is why Wright came to understand that materials required expression for what they were. The purpose was not to be morally honest, but to let each element be seen and experienced individually. In the unity of a Wright building, every component is active.

The essence of each material stands out. Wood is not painted, because paint would conceal its "woodness"—its color, grain, odor. Paint would muddy the experience of continity, which accords value to everything. So the wood is unpainted. The blocky rectangularity of brick is revealed so that each brick reads as a clear element. Wright would never paint brick…because the idea is to emphasize "brickness." The Wright building does not use brick, it is brick. But geometry comes ahead of material in a Wright building…But even the pattern is not dominant. Wright uses pattern to bring out space. Space, the nothing, is dominant.

• Montage by Roy R. Behrens (© 2016). Public domain image sources: Carol M. Highsmith photograph of V.C. Morris building, and Al Ravenna, photograph of Frank Lloyd Wright (New York World-Telegram and the Sun Collection), both from Library of Congress Prints and Photographs.

See also: Roy R. Behrens, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (2016). 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Frank Lloyd Wright | His Favorite Jokes

Roy R. Behrens, Robie House Montage (2016) •
David Henken (Wright apprentice and engineer, in a letter to his wife), in Priscilla J. Henken, Taliesin Diary: A Year with Frank Lloyd Wright (New York: W.W. Norton, 2012), p. 92—

[After Christmas dinner in 1942] Frank [Lloyd Wright] read some jokes from a gift book he received, killed himself laughing at each joke so that we couldn't hear them at all. I managed to piece a few together as samples show.

Father: When George Washington was your age, he was working as a surveyor and making a success of himself. 
Son: When he was your age he was President of the United States.

Grandmother to granddaughter: Dear I want you to promise me never to use a certain two words—one is swell and the other lousy.
Granddaughter: Why, of course, I'll promise. What are the words?

•••

Frank Lloyd Wright

Television is chewing gum for the eyes. 

•  Image sources: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs, and NASA. See also Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (2016)

Friday, November 11, 2016

Frank Lloyd Wright Gold Medal | 1982

Frank Lloyd Wright gold medal (1982)
Above  Frank Lloyd Wright half ounce gold medal. American Arts Commemorative Series. US Treasury, 1982. Wikipedia Commons. Heritage Auctions. Public domain.

•••

Edgar Tafel, Years with Frank Lloyd Wright: Apprentice to Genius. New York: Dover Publications, 1985, pp. 85-86—

If we [Frank Lloyd Wright's apprentices] expected one thing, he did another. If we did something one way on one day, it was not necessary to do it the same way the next. Coming back from [an unexpected detour into] Canada, we went through Niagara Falls. When we got to the border, the customs man asked, "All of you born in the United States?" Before we could stop him, Manuel [an apprentice woodworker] yelled out, "Born in Nee-kah-RAAH-wah" and then admitted he hadn't brought his papers. None of us knew we were going through Canada, so it had never occurred to Manuel to bring his documents. "Follow me," said the official, and we watched him lead Manuel off to the customs detention office. That was it for Mr. Wright. He got furious, burst out of the car, and besieged the office. I waited in the car for a while, then got curious. I went to the office to see what was up. There was Mr. Wright stomping around and declaring to everyone that he was a great American, that he was a friend of Carl Sandburg and Clarence Darrow, that he was an internationally known architect, that he'd never do anything that wasn't thoroughly American. The customs officials were completely dismayed. They let Manuel go, and we returned to the car and drove on toward Buffalo. Within five minutes, Mr. Wright was snoozing. He could fall asleep anywhere, anytime.

Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City (2016)

Prairie School, Iowa and Frank Lloyd Wright

Prairie panoramas (c1910). Library of Congress Prints and Photographs.
W.O. Mitchell—

High above the prairie, platter-flat, the wind wings on, bereft and wild its lonely song.

•••

Loren Lown—

We have left less than one-tenth of one percent of our prairie. The rest of it died to make Iowa safe for soybeans.

•••

Bill Bryson (The Lost Continent)—

I had forgotten how empty and flat it [the American Midwest] is. Stand on two phone books almost anywhere in Iowa and you get a view.

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (2016)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Frank Lloyd Wright | Judge Not

Page spread from Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City (2016)
Edgar Tafel, Ed., About Wright: An Album of Recollections by Those Who Knew Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: John Wiley, 1993, p. 255—

In 1946 I sat, apprehensive, for the interview part of the New York license examination. The interview was held in a formal and imposing setting—I was at one end of a long table facing eight judging architects. They passed my application folder ceremoniously among themselves, each either grunting or sniggering—a few smiling—as their eyes fell on a certain folder notation. There seemed to be mystery afoot. When my folder reached the last reviewer and the closest to me, I took a look at it. I notice a familiar Wright red square on the letter at the top of the group of recommendations. Knowing immediately that it was from Wright and being unable to restrain my curiosity, I asked if I could hear what Wright had written about me. The judge replied in a dour tone, "He says we aren't qualified to judge you." I was allowed to take the examination and I passed.

Frank Lloyd Wright | Sleight of Hand

Cover | Frank Lloyd Wright and Mason City (2016)
Edgar Tafel, Ed., About Wright: An Album of Recollections by Those Who Knew Frank Lloyd Wright. New York: John Wiley, 1993, p. 69—

A building committee from a Lutheran church came to see [Frank Lloyd] Wright; they discussed a program and went away, being told to come back in two weeks. When the two weeks were about up, Gene [Masselink, his assistant] suggested to Wright they call off the visit to see the plans—they hadn't been started—at the last minute. Mr. Wright had the plans for an abandoned job, a small shopping center, brought out of the vault, and he change the titles of the areas; the bank became the sanctuary, the supermarket became the Fellowship Hall, the stores were entitled classrooms, and on and on. The Lutheran title was inscribed just as the Lutherans arrived, and Mr. Wright showed them the drawings, with accustomed gusto and aplomb. After he finished his talk, the pastor said: "Lord, we thank thee for leading us to a great architect, who has designed in your honor, an edifice we will use and enjoy. Amen." Heads were raised; the clients departed; end of story? The building never got built.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Nick Baumann 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Nicholas Baumann (2016) •
Above Poster by Nicholas Baumann, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••
 
Frank Luther Mott in "The SPCS" [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Speakers] in The Palimpest (State Historical Society of Iowa). Vol 43 No 3 (March 1962), pp. 114-115—

I think the best speech I ever made was one to a Rotary Club which had asked me to discuss "Freedom of the Press" during Newspaper Week. I shall favor my readers with the entire speech herewith: "Mr. President. Gentlemen of the Rotary Club: There is no such thing as freedom of the press. I thank you." Then I sat down, to the consternation of the program chairman. Of course, I spoiled it all later by yielding to the urging of the president to go on and say something about it anyway, and I talked for a while about the nature of freedom and the controls to which the press is subject. It would have served right and served me well for my smart aleck "hamming" if the Rotarians had all walked out immediately after I had sat down, but they were so intrigued by the spectacle of a man who actually appeared not to want to make a speech that they stayed it out.

• Photograph used in the poster copyright © Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Kaycee Miller 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Kaycee Miller (2016) •
Above Poster by Kaycee Miller, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••
Jack Pritchard, View From a Long Chair. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984, p. 124—

{Bauhaus designer Laszlo] Moholy-Nagy had a wonderful way of using words as if in error or through not understanding—sometimes, I suspect, on purpose. On one occasion John Betjeman had taken him to a party. As Moholy left he said to the hostess in his strange pronunciation, "Thank you for your hostilities." She was a little taken aback, and when Moholy told John Betjeman what had happened, Betjeman said: "Oh I don't worry—she is hostile to everyone."

• Photograph used in poster copyright © Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.

Joseph Podlesnik Poster | Megan Wellik 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Megan Wellik (2016) •
Above Poster by Megan Wellik, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••

Evelyn Waugh, A Little Learning (Boston: Little Brown, 1964), p. 29——

I remember a small sharp disappointment on the death of a pet rabbit. It developed a growth in the jaw and was sent to the vet to be killed. This was explained to me and I was reconciled to its loss. But the vet on his own initiative decided to operate. He sent the animal back a week later pronouncing it cured. I greeted it ecstatically and it died that night.

• Photograph used in poster copyright © Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Joseph Podesnik Poster | Lauren Garnes 2016

Joseph Podlesnik Poster © Lauren Garnes (2016) •
Above Poster by Lauren Garnes, graphic design student, Department of Art, University of Northern Iowa, in celebration of the photographs of Joseph Podlesnik. An artist, photographer, and filmmaker (BFA University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, MFA Cornell University), he is associate professor and lead faculty for foundations at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. In 2016, he received the Inez Hall Outstanding Faculty Award. He lives in Phoenix AZ.

Podlesnik's photographs (reproduced with his permission from Almost Seeing) are of particular interest because (despite appearances) they were not constructed in Adobe Photoshop by sandwiching multiple layers. Nor are they double exposures. They are simply single frame, through the lens camera shots, by which he makes astonishing use of light, shadow and reflections.

•••

Leonard Woolf [British writer, husband of Virginia Woolf] in Sowing: An Autobiography of the Years 1880 to 1904. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1960, p. 151—

And [British philosopher] Bertrand Russell has described the pleasure with which one used to watch philosopher [G.E.] Moore trying unsuccessfully to light his pipe when he was arguing an important point. He would light a match, hold it over the bowl of his pipe until it burnt his fingers and he had to throw it away, and go on doing this—talking the whole time or listening intently to the other man's argument—until the whole box of matches was exhausted.

• Photograph used in poster copyright © Joseph Podlesnik. All rights reserved.