Mississippi Mound Trail

On one of the episodes of Theme Time Radio Hour Bob Dylan himself says that the actual highway 61 is boring now, nothing but ads for riverboat casinos.  That may be true south of Vicksburg but north of the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum and the Catfish Row Art Park, I found the road compelling.

Mississippi Fred McDowell was born of course in Rossville, Tennessee.

It was Dave [David L. Cohn] in God Shakes Creation who said, “The Delta begins in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel and ends on Catfish Row in Vicksburg.” He was always welcome at the Peabody; they were glad to see him – he stayed there whenever he was in Memphis – but they never even gave him a cup of coffee, and he thought it was rather amusing that they had so little appreciation of this publicity.

So says Uncle Shelby, of Greenville and Memphis:

Since we’d been to Memphis we steered towards Oxford Miss to visit Faulkner’s house:

On Highway 61 lots of blues type sites, Muddy Waters’ birthplace for instance:

marked by signs for the Mississippi Blues Trail.  But many signs tell you you are also on the Mississippi Mound Trail.

Mounds make a thousand or more years ago by some lost culture, perhaps connected to the people who built Cahokia:

And where in the beginning the predecessors crept with their simple artifacts, and built the mounds and vanished, bequeathing only the mounds in which the succeeding recordable Muskhogean stock would leave the skulls of their warriors and chiefs and babies and slain bears, and the shards of pots, and hammer- and arrow-heads and now and then a heavy silver Spanish spur.

So says Faulkner in his essay Mississippi.  In Sanctuary he says:

The sunny air was filled with competitive radios and phonographs in the doors of drug- and music- stores.  Before these doors a throng stood all day, listening.  The pieces which moved them were ballads simple in melody and theme, of bereavement and retribution and repentance metallically sung, blurred, emphasised by static or needle – disembodied voices blaring from imitation wood cabinets or pebble-grain horn-mouths above the rapt faces, the gnarled slow hands long shaped to the imperious earth, lugubrious, harsh, and sad.

You can only listen to so much of that though; when I pulled over for Dunn Mounds I was listening to Maron interview Jennifer Lawrence.

The Raven map tells the story of the Delta.  Another flooding bottomland is the Nile delta:

where they also kept slaves, and built mounds.

great tour of the Blues Trail sites here on Wiki by Chillin662.


The Painter of Light

The Times further reported that [Thomas Kinkade] openly groped a woman’s breasts at a South Bend, Indiana, sales event, and mentioned his proclivity for ritual territory marking through urination, once relieving himself on a Winnie the Pooh figure at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim while saying “This one’s for you, Walt.”[37][38]

In 2006, John Dandois, Media Arts Group executive, recounted a story that on one occasion six years previous, Kinkade became drunk at a Siegfried & Roy magic show in Las Vegas and began shouting “Codpiece! Codpiece!” at the performers. Eventually he was calmed by his mother.[37]


Doesn’t this look like Garry Shandling?

The Metropolitan Museum has five portraits that they’re pretty sure are by Hans Holbein The Younger.  Let’s have a look:

Here is Derick Berck of Cologne:

Here is Erasmus of Rotterdam:

Here is a member of the Wedigh family, probably Hermann von Wedigh:

“Truth breeds hatred,” is what that note in the book says, according to the Met, which “perhaps served as the sitter’s personal motto.”  Weird motto, bro.

And here is Man In A Red Cap:

Now.  Take a look at this one, of “Lady Lee”:

The Met says “The painting is close to the manner of Holbein, but the attention paid to decorative effects and linear details at the expense of life-like portrayal of the sitter is indicative of workshop production. The portrait was likely based on a Holbein drawing.”

(Are these guys for real?)


The Barbarians (Max Ernst, 1937)

A recent Artwork of the Day at the Met.


Airplane Travel

Mural painted by Allen Tupper True in 1937 for The Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.  Not sure if it’s still there, somebody in Denver have a look!


Lionel Pries

Reading up on some Disney animators and writers.

Ken Anderson, one of the credited screenwriters for The Rescuers, Aristocats, The Jungle Book, and Cinderella, was (wikipedia tells me) “particularly influenced” by his University of Washington architecture professor, Lionel Pries.

Lionel Pries designed the Andalucia building in Santa Barbara:

Here’s a house he designed for himself:

“He used affordable modern materials — concrete, concrete block and cement-asbestos board.”

Here’s another house Pries designed, in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle:

Wikipedia:

Pries was gay, but deeply closeted in the University of Washington community. He anticipated teaching at least until he reached retirement age, but was forced to resign his university position in 1958 after he was picked up in a vice sting in Los Angeles. The reason for Pries’s abrupt departure from the university was concealed at the time.

Pries worked as a drafter until he was able to retire in 1964, then lived quietly until his death in 1968.

Lionel Pries:

(Pries photo is credited to Dorothy Conway and the Pries Collection, Special Collection, UW Libraries, Pries house photo to Charles R. Pierson from the same collection, Laurelhurst house photo “courtesy Max and Helen Gurvitch, and I got them all from this Seattle Times article by Laurence Kriesman.)


Bob Ross

After enjoying this video:

I did a typically cursory investigation into his backstory:

Ross enlisted in the U.S. Air Force at age 18 after graduating from Elizabeth Forward High School in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania and was living in Florida early in his military career when the Air Force transferred him to Eielson AFB (in Alaska), where he first saw the snow and mountains that later became recurring themes in his artwork; he developed his quick-painting technique in order to be able to create art for sale in brief daily work breaks. Having held military positions that required him to be, in his own words, “mean” and “tough”, “the guy who makes you scrub the latrine, the guy who makes you make your bed, the guy who screams at you for being late to work”, Ross decided that if he ever moved on from the military, “it wasn’t going to be that way any more”, “vowing never to scream again.”