The fabulous folks, Jen and Gough from Wowie Zowie came over on Wednesday night to buy some West German Pottery for their wonderful shop. They had very kindly brought us a gift:
It’s actually signed by Tretchikoff himself and has a good little back story to it. Wowie Zowie bought it from an old woman who comes into their shop often. They described her as being a bit of a ‘scenester’ back in the day. She bought the print and had it signed by Tretchikoff when he visited Manchester in the 1970s to do a signing at, what we think, was Fenwick’s Department store. Very often with these pictures, we have no idea who or how many people owned it before we did, so it’s lovely to have the story of the original owner with this one.
Like all of the retro and vintage things we own, I did the usual quick internet search to see what I could find out about the ‘Melon Boy’ print before posting it. It seems that this particular picture is one of Tretchikoff’s more controversial. See here and here for two sides to the debate. In a nutshell, this painting, and others by Tretchikoff, has been criticised as a racist piece of work. The connotations of a young black boy with a watermelon are possibly lost on a white woman from England, but many people in America – where the associations are the strongest it seems – find this picture and its peers uncomfortable viewing. The curator of the Tretchikoff exhibition in South Africa, Andrew Lamprecht, argues that these associations are not apparent in South Africa (as in England), and if anything, Tretchikoff ‘was accused of critiquing the government’s policies’ (http://www.mahala.co.za/art/deadly-serious/, 5th July, 2011) through his paintings.
It’s an interesting debate.
I see a fantastically joyous child and the picture makes me happy; as I’m sure it does many other people. Part of me thinks if you see anything more than this in it, read into a racist undertone or something similar, what does that actually say about you? Or is a stereotypical image that has been perpetrated within fairly recent history to the detriment of some people, and therefore should rightfully be abhorred? Art is meant to provoke discussion and debate.
“I am interested in people thinking about that and, if they wish, taking pleasure or not in his work. I do want them to talk and discuss and argue, just as they did in his day.” Andrew Lamprecht, mahala.co.za
What do you think or feel about this? Let me know via the comments. Either way, I’m happy with our fantastic gift and it will take pride of place next to our other beautiful Tretchikoff prints.
I’ve been lucky enough to receive this Blogland award not once, but twice now in the last couple of months. The first time I received it was from the lovely Claire at Miss Simmonds Says during the internet blackout of February 2012 a.k.a When The World Stopped (we moved house…). This time I’ve been nominated by theblumenartgallery, a fabulous blog about a U.S. mum living in Germany. Many thanks to both ladies!
1. I won a computer from The Big Breakfast when I was about 14. I had to guess the answer to a musical hangman. My head teacher announced it in assembly that day. I still had year sevens asking me about it when I was in the Sixth Form…
2. I like dressing up for fancy dress. In recent years I have made an owl costume for a British Sea Power competition, went as Balinese Girl by Tretchikoff at Halloween, been a zombie 80s bridesmaid, been Atomic Betty, been a zombified Scully…
That picture on the right with the twig in my hand – I spent a good 11 hours dancing with that, fairly tiddled, at Leeds Festival a few years ago. I had a little nap once in the middle of the Foals set, then carried on. My arms wouldn’t work properly the next day.
3. I once came second in a world’s loudest voice competition. There were three rounds; I was winning all the way through until some
thunder-stealing man beat me on the final shout. I still maintain I was the real winner: he couldn’t speak the next day. I could. This was held at the Tan Hill Festival put on by British Sea Power a couple of years ago. We won tickets with my owl costume and an amazing flag Aidan made.
4. I still haven’t passed my driving test. My second one is coming up soon…
5. We once won tickets to Glastonbury festival through WaterAid. The competition was to ‘dress’ your toilet. This was our winning picture (Aidan will kill me for this):
6. I love Stephen King books. I think I’ve read virtually everything by him now apart from ‘Gerald’s Game‘ and ‘Dolores Claiborne’. Currently, I’m to the sixth book in the Dark Tower series, ‘Song of Susannah‘. Unfortunately, even though I’m almost 100% positive that I have it, I can’t find it anywhere in our house. My favourite book is ‘The Stand‘ and ‘Stand By Me’ is by far the best film adaption, in my opinion.
7. I have a tendency to dye my hair varying shades of red and – occasionally – orange. Once I made the error of dying it bright red. It went wrong and to fix it, Aidan bleached my hair and then re-dyed it blonde. Except it went orange. I started a new job a few weeks later and in the first class I observed, a student kept saying in front of me, “Help me! The sun has burnt my hair!” You can see the faded version of it in the World’s Loudest Voice picture above.
My Nominated Blogs:
You’re supposed to pick fifteen blogs that have never been nominated before. I’ve got ten, but I’ve no idea if they’ve ever been nominated before. These are sites that I enjoy reading regularly, either for inspiration or to lust after the contents!
On Life and Lava - West German pottery, mid century style and living in Germany.
Vintage Design Cologne - Beautiful shots of West German pottery from Cologne.
Tusen Vaser – More West German pottery – use Google translate! I can never leave comments for some reason, but I love looking at the pictures.
Amazing Glaze and lots of Yarn – Pottery again… still enjoy looking at pictures of other people’s pottery. This one is a more recent discovery.
Pots and Pots - This is, ahem, a REALLY good website. Smiley face inserted here…
Troedelhaus – A woman after my own heart…
Super Ninon – Super stylish.
Walnut Grey Design – Style inspiration, presented beautifully.
Fears and Kahn blog - Check out their shop section and drool over the mid-century posters.
Obsessionistas – Amazing site featuring people’s unusual collections. Yours truly is even on there!
There are many other blogs I read regularly, but they’re quite ‘famous’ ones such as Conversation Pieces, Kay Loves Vintage and Vintage Vixen, which undoubtedly have been nominated before. Still worth a visit though if by some miracle you’ve not seen them.
Many thanks again to the people who nominated me. Hopefully, I’ve managed to entertain you with my random facts and given you something new to read blog-wise. Happy Easter!
What kind of woman comes to be described as a goddess? Clearly not someone who walks amongst us mere mortals. J.H. Lynch captured the goddess-like features in many of his prints, and aptly named this picture ‘Woodland Goddess’:
Despite her luscious looks, I cannot begin to tell you how difficult it was to take a photograph of this… and not because I kept swooning at her loveliness. The flash! Turn it off, you can’t see the picture; leave it on, you get a massive glare. I have done my best.
She was a gift from Aidan’s dad at the weekend. He brought it over Sunday night and we were extremely pleased. It’s one of the biggest prints we own now; not entirely where she’s going to fit yet! We still have the giant ‘Chinese Girl’ print (a.k.a ’The Blue Lady) by Tretchikoff to hang as well. Perhaps we should wait until we’re in a much bigger house to put them up.
This print was also used as the cover art for the book ‘Fantasia’ by Alfred Birney (Information from jhlynch.org).
It is notoriously difficult to find information on J.H. Lynch but a good place to start is the website jhlynch.org. If you have any queries about work by, or even possibly by, Lynch, there’s a useful gallery and forum on there.
We’ve only got two more in the Tina/Lisa series to obtain now. We’ll have to do A Clockwork Orange style and display them all together… oh hang on, already there with a trio up in the living room:
- Mass Market Art: Female Prints (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
There are so many things I want at the moment, but with a house full of West German pottery and various other vintage treasures, we’ve really got nowhere to squeeze anything else. Doesn’t stop me looking though…
- Tretchikoff Style Heads
- Mid Century Print
- 1950s Silk Print Bag
- Maio Vintage Print
- Louis Shabner ‘Glamour Girl’ Print
- Tretchikoff Style Lamp Base
One of the trends of the 1960s and ’70s appears to be that of the gypsy lady. Gold hoop earrings, dark hair and eyes, busty and a bit saucy of eye… these ladies are exotic and enticing.
If ‘Carmen’ by Turino looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen ‘Ilonka’ by H. Walter:
Similar to the duplication of ‘Tina’ and ‘Nina’ by J.H. Lynch and Van der Syde, there appears to be some kind of plagiarism going on here as well. We’ve had a few copies of ‘Ilonka’ now, which makes me believe that could be the original ‘gypsy lady’. I must say, I prefer ‘Ilonka’ to ‘Carmen’. I like the background and her face more; bit daft as they’re so similar!
Possibly the most hideous picture we have is this:
This one’s an actual oil painting as opposed to a print. I can’t quite read the name: it looks something like ‘A. Rauch-akers’. It brings up zilch on t’internet though, so I’ll have to keep guessing and searching. Aidan brought this scary lady back on his last solo trip; she lived in the car for a few days as we couldn’t bear to bring her indoors. Having said that, things seem to have been going well in the J-H household since she arrived. Perhaps she’s the antithesis of the infamous crying children portraits…
Something a little bit different is this:
Our house is fit to bursting with women of different ethnicities in varying states of undress… this is a refreshing change, really. It took me a while to realise it was even a face! We do not have a sausage dog of an idea of who this is by, but it is so funky and simplishly stylish. I love it!
Last but not least… how could a Tretchikoff wait til last? Well, it’s probably the piece de resistance of Tretchikoff ‘s work – in most people’s eyes, anyway. (My favourite is either Zulu Warrior or Balinese Girl, but I digress…).
Every single trip without fail we’ve brought back a retro print. ‘Chinese Girl’ was found on the last trip and – for once – by me! Usually I walk past everything but I actually found this buried in a cellar room of pictures in a charity shop. The most we’ve ever paid for a Tretchikoff, but they’re always worth it.
Which is your favourite? Of these, it’s the Tretchikoff. It has to be. Although the blue face could sway me…
- Tretchikoff at the Iziko Gallery (minutesofmayhem.wordpress.com)
Last night we went to visit our friend John, who has finally moved into his house eighteen months after buying it! This meant that we were in Barnsley for today and, what with the glorious weather, we took the opportunity to visit the charity shops and Cawthorne Antiques Centre.
Unfortunately, the pickings were fairly slim in the charity shops. All I found were these vintage books:
The trip to Cawthorne Antiques Centre was much more successful. We always like going there; it’s got a good mixture of antiques, including a couple of rooms and stalls of the kind of ‘vintage and retro’ stuff I like. Prices are reasonable as well.
We’ve had a couple of these before and they always seem to be popular on Ebay. Never been able to find anything out about them though. Aidan spotted both the Italian vases and the Tretchikoff style head. I think I’ll keep the vases for a while.
Some of those are a bit rubbish but there are some lovely ones mixed in. Most seem to be for Christmas, so I’ll probably save them until then to blog about.
The Ridgway Homemaker design is one of my absolute favourite Mid Century prints. We actually bought two teacups and six saucers: one of the cups is chipped but I think we’ll be able to find cups to match the saucers.
Lovely day all in all. Let’s hope the gorgeous sunshine continues for tomorrow.
- Charity Shop Rummaging (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
Aha! The Eagle Eyes have been at it again. Look very closely…
We’re planning to put one of ours in the exact same spot! ‘Zulu Girl’ is waiting to be hung up – as soon as I’ve convinced Aidan to buy a new drill capable of getting through our stone walls.
This episode (Episode 6 of Series 3) of Father Ted is when he kicks Bishop Brennan up the arse. Apart from the Tretchikoff sighting, it also has my favourite ever bit from Father Ted in it: when Father Jack says, “I’m soooo, soooo sorrryyyyy!” Closely followed by, “I love my brick!” for best line, in my opinion.
I need to go to bed. Or get out more. One or the other…
- Presents: Pottery and Pictures (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
It’s been a lovely Christmas – and it’s still not really over for us. The weekend before Christmas, we had the early one with my family. Then we’ve spent Christmas Day in Glossop, had friends over on Boxing Day. This week, we’ll be seeing Aidan’s family as well; all before we have to start thinking about going back to work… Ah well, we knew it couldn’t last.
Anyway, how else to celebrate a wonderful Christmas than by sharing pictures of the retro and vintage goodies we gave and received?
To kick things off:
I absolutely love this. Another present from Aidan, and it’s probably one of my favourites. If you’ve not visited the site already, it’s worth another trip to the Tretchikoff website to have a look at all of his prints.
Luckily for me, I got lots and lots of presents! A green Casio watch, a Spirograph, a Tamagotchi… yes, I am a grown woman, if you can believe it?! I also received three new Scheurich 414 pots, but unfortunately the pictures have come out quite blurry. I’ll take some more another day; maybe even attempt to take some vaguely stylish ones… you know how that normally goes.
Here are two things I got Aidan:
A book all about retro and vintage prints by Tretchikoff, J.H. Lynch, Shabner, Maio and those 70s big-eyed children pictures. It’s fantastic, even if I do say so myself. Aidan seems to quite like it too. I bought his copy from Ebay (and America, no less) but you seem to be able to buy it on Amazon here. Review of the book as well. Even if you’re not a fan of these types of prints, it’s still a gorgeous book to look through.
I also got him one of these:
The teatowel, not the pots! It’s pretty good. I’m not sure if we’ll ever actually use it though; it’s a bit too swanky for wiping pots and pans. The seller, skinnylaminx, is on her holidays at the moment. When she returns you should definitely have a look at her shop on Etsy.
So, what’s the best retro or vintage thing you got this Christmas??
- Scheurich 414: Updating a Look (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
Somebody knows me very well…