November Mailbag No 2: Art in Many Forms

Before we get into our second mailbag for November we have another new subscriber in E in Melbourne. It really is so pleasing to have received so many new subscribers this year from so many different countries.

Art is a wonderful way to share our thoughts across the globe.

And now let's see what is in our mailbag.

Mail art stamp and envelope with official Colt Anniversary postmark – Chuck Welch, aka Cracker Jack Kid, 1984 (1)

The first item in our second mailbag for November is about Mail Art - also known as Postal Art and Correspondence Art. It is a populist artistic movement centered on sending small-scale works through the postal service. It initially developed out of what eventually became Ray Johnson's New York Correspondence School and the Fluxus movements of the 1960s , though it has since developed into a global movement that continues to the present.1

This form of art is new to me. I have never heard of Mail Art and I discovered it accidentally. Therefore I am flagging this as an art movement which we need to know more about. Coming up soon.

Next in our mailbag we find Jane reminiscing on her trips to Venice .

Julie’s photos of Murano and the glass reminded me of the time I spent in Venice in 2004. I’d booked a Mediterranean cruise leaving from Rome with a girlfriend - we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit some of Italy.

In Venice we boarded a vaporetto, cruising the Grand Canal, past St Mark’s Sq to the next stop – Arsenale – the closest to our B&B which was called Gli Angeli – The Angels. The apartment was tiny but we loved having our own front door onto the street and the sweet touches inside – angels on the ceiling, flowers on the dining table next to a pretty cabinet – our hostess Sonia made it very comfortable. She gave us some vouchers including a ferry trip to Murano – like Julie’s photos – the glass was mesmerising.

We often ate our evening meals at the same café –La Nuova Perla - the location was perfect and not too pricey. We skipped dessert and became regulars at Il Pinguino – the local gelateria - entertained by some English girls busking to earn some holiday euros.

I’ve been fortunate to visit Venice 3 times, the first on a 4 week Insight tour through Europe, in about 1985. Then again in 1999 on another Insight tour with my Mother - that tour was called Playgrounds of Europe which also included Monaco, Florence and Milan. In Venice we stayed on Lido island – it rained a lot and St Mark’s flooded – but we still enjoyed coffee at Florians – one of the famous cafes on St Marks Sq – cost about 6 Euros – each - eek!.

Café La Nuova Perla, B&B with our own front door and angels on the ceiling; Il Pinguino; a tiny Murano purchase; Coffee at Florian's; A display ofMurano glass; My Mother and I on the canals in a gondola.

And from Caroline

Our friend of the blog, photographer and blogger Nilmini De Silva, has written a beautiful post on the Van Gogh Alive exhibition in Sydney. Sadly for Melburnians we missed the chance to host this exhibition but we can all share the experience via Nil’s post Where is Your Yellow? as given below.

Where is Your Yellow?
Yesterday I stood surrounded by art and music in the immersive, multi-sensory Van Gogh exhibition at Moore Park in Sydney, and reflected on a man who left an amazing legacy that continues to…

Jane has also recommended that fans of the Wyeth Dynasty of painters who we featured over many posts should watch the BBC production of Michael Palin in Wyeth's World.

Michael Palin heads for rural Pennsylvania and Maine to explore the extraordinary life and work of one of America's most popular and controversial painters, Andrew Wyeth. Fascinated by his iconic painting Christina's World, Palin goes in search of the real life stories that inspired this and Wyeth's other depictions of the American landscape and its hard grafting inhabitants.

Tracking down the farmers, friends and family featured in Wyeth's magically real work, Palin builds a picture of an eccentric, enigmatic and driven painter. He also gets a rare interview with Helga, the woman who put Wyeth back in the headlines when the press discovered he had been painting her nude, compulsively but secretly for 15 years.2

And finally, a dedicated Facebook follower G.N. enjoyed Caroline's post on Know My Name & 5 Women Artists and commented on just how magnificent Marian Anderson's voice was.

This Youtube video, produced by the Carnegie Hall's Archives not only illustrates the musical gift possessed by Marian Anderson but also contains some wonderful images of old black and white photographs.

Before her death in 1993, legendary contralto Marian Anderson had a more than 70-year association with Carnegie Hall. Following her debut at the Hall in 1920, she appeared more than 50 times until the mid-1970s. In 1960, she became one of the original board members of The Carnegie Hall Corporation when the Hall was saved from demolition in a campaign led by Issac Stern. She remained on the board until her death.

Here, Carnegie Hall's Archives and Museum Director Gino Francesconi recounts some of the traits and events that made Marian Anderson such a trailblazer and shares some of the Marian Anderson-related items that we preserve in the Archives and Rose Museum.