A great quote from Rocco Landesman,  the new head of the National Endowment for the Arts. :

"But actors and artists are part of the real economy. They have real jobs, like working in a steel mill or an auto plant, and they have medical bills and rent to pay and kids to send to college. The arts are tough work. But it's real work, and it counts."

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm still waiting for my, personal, stimulus funds. The check is in the mail?

This is one of my favorite images of this monument, completely off-topic, but I really like this image; gonna start using it more.



I enjoy TOP, as well as Kirk Tuck's "A Visual Science Lab". Kirk has written a book on the business aspect of photography, but it probably has a much wider audience; anybody in a small, artisanal business, unless, the current economy is just fine for you.

Personally, I'm not ready to hang up the carving and gilding tools just yet, but I am thinking about it. This is the worst downturn I've seen; several clients have closed their doors, and there is a seismic shift in the whole business, so ...

That's the idea of promoting a book like Kirk's; I haven't gotten my copy yet, but from the interview on TOP, and reading his weblog, I think it will be a good one. Think different, keep moving forward.

Interested, go to TOP, order the book through his link, so Mike Johnston gets a few pennies, at no additional cost to you.

Moonrise, Warren Dunes, Michigan.
As a side note, some of my posts are going to have pictures of no relevance to the topic at hand. They are there, just because. I like them.


Work, broken hearts, fashion.

Listening to NPR, National Public Radio, catching only part of it, but a conversation about a movie about Vogue magazine. One of the "high", Grace Coddington, willing to continue to have her heart broken, to fall in love with something that won't make it into the magazine, fall in love, fight for it, and move on to the next, when this one falls.

I guess the part I like, is feeling strongly about "art", willing to fight for it. Having some ... conviction, or just having ... ahh, hell, brass balls, put your money where your mouth is, conviction, belief in your own taste; and the willingness to look, and SEE.

More looking and seeing.

Over on TOP, there is a link to an article by Richard B. Woodward, Too Much of a Good Thing. From the article...

"Another factor casting doubt on the authenticity of all these "vintage" Hines is that many look eerily like Rosenblum's own photographs. The Chicago dealer Alan Koppel first pointed out the likeness, to the Santa Fe dealer Andrew Smith at an Association of International Photography Art Dealers show at the New York Hilton in February of 1999. Smith had a gorgeous print of Hine's Three Riveters hanging in his booth. Koppel stopped by and observed that the Rosenblum photographs he had seen and the Hine prints that dealers had bought from the Rosenblums had a "similar tonality—the same clean, hard surface and cold grays.""

Were it not for seeing, not just looking, this may have gone undiscovered. The science and research are very interesting; the timeline of photo papers is significant, but with out a little connoisseurship, this "fraud" may have gone undiscovered.

I'm ambivalent about sympathy for the investors; mostly that they were led by "experts" who were "wrong". Invest some time in seeing, in connoisseurship.  Sour grapes on my part, I admit. Bad me.


True Art History

Tyler Green's "Modern Art Notes" has a very interesting 4 part essay on "Portrait of a Venetian Gentleman".

Combining science and history, an essential element is added, connoisseurship. Seeing, as well.

Very good story.


Albert Milch frame

New to the studio, needing some ornaments and gilding replaced and restored, an Albert Milch frame. I note it due to its extraordinary size. For a 28 x 36 canvas, the frame is 8 inches wide and 4 inches high, karet gold gilt, composition ornaments, early 20th. century.

The verso with labels. The Milch family were dealers and framers in NYC, with some of the family running the galleries and some the framing businesses.

A lovely example of the framers art. Extensively burnished, with the outside coves and ornaments completely burnished.


Art Matters

At Bloomberg.com: Culture Czar Must Say Art Means More Than Money: Jeremy Gerard

I love the line: "to revivify an agency whose greatest achievement in nearly two decades has been merely to survive."


More on Seeing

"Cans, Indianapolis Art Center"

In the New York Times:


I agree completely with this: "Artists fortunately remind us that there’s in fact no single, correct way to look at any work of art, save for with an open mind and patience. If you have ever gone to a museum with a good artist you probably discovered that they don’t worry so much about what art history books or wall labels tell them is right or wrong, because they’re selfish consumers, freed to look by their own interests."