Category Archives: Art

The Phantom Tollbooth Turns 50

Officer Officer Short Shrift to Milo: “Not doing anything, eh? You’ll have to admit at your aOfficer Short Shrift to Milo: “Not doing anything, eh? You’ll have to admit at your age that’s a crime.”

Milo and Tock, Norton and Jules, Officer Short Shrift and the Spelling Bee–the gang is together again thanks to a new documentary film celebrating the 50th anniversary of Norton Juster’s classic book, The Phantom Tollbooth (also known as the Only Book I’ve Read More Than Once). Get the details on Kickstarter.

Also, be sure to check out these brain-bending infographics from Brooklyn artist Jan Avendano.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Books, Media, movies

Jasper Johns: Medal of Freedom Winner

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

Photographed in his studio by Rauschenberg, 1955.

Yesterday afternoon, South Carolina native Jasper Johns became the first studio artist since Alexander Calder in 1977 to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, that’s “34 years since a painter or sculptor received the nation’s highest civilian honor.” Johns (above, photographed in his studio in 1955 by his friend and fellow Southern artist, Robert Rauschenberg) was one of 15 MoH recipients; the illustrious group also includes former President George H.W. Bush, poet and Nobel Prize Winner, Maya Angelou, and billionaire investor Warren Buffet.

Other amazing artists I’ve been pleased to learn have Southern roots: Robert Rauschenberg (Texas) and Cy Twombly (Virginia).

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

The November 29, 1976 issue of TIME.

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly as a young artist.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Southern Folk

More Love for Grey Gardens

Image from A Maysles Scrapbook

The Edies would be so thrilled to know that their stars continue to shine 25+ years after they let the Maysles brothers film their lives, fabulousness, squalor, and all. The documentary was recently selected for inclusion in the 2010 National Film Registry, alongside classics like The Exorcist and The Empire Strikes Back. Whereas the Beales’ family and community shunned their eccentricities, any self-respecting Southern town would have embraced such ever-loving-craziness with open arms. As for Albert Maysles (the only surviving brother), anyone who can rock seersucker atop Mt. Ararat has my respect.

Inside Albert Maysles' library. Photo by Todd Selby for theselby.com.

Al at home. Photo by Todd Selby for theselby.com.

Another awesome look inside Albert's apartment. Photo by Todd Selby for theselby.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, movies

White House Buck Deer

Note the taxidermy in the background.

Jackie gave birth five-and-a-half weeks prior to this photo shoot.

There’s nothing Southern about the Kennedys, but both Jackie O. and JFK oozed frattiness, class, and a certain American wholesomeness that seems somehow consistent with the Southern way of life (at least sartorially). So, I thought it worth mentioning that the American Museum of Natural History in DC just opened a small exhibit featuring never-before-seen photos of the First Family of the Sixties, taken by Richard Avedon as the Kennedys entered the White House 50 years ago on January 3. The photo collection will remain on view through February.

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Culture, Events, Pictures, Style

Winter Images c/o Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

British artist Ronald Searle is one of the most brilliant illustrators and cartoonists I’ve encountered. Ever. Period. His work is insightful and intelligent and whimsical and lovely, and I can’t get enough of it. In honor of the upcoming holidays, I thought I’d share some of my favorite seasonal Searle images. Most of these are taken from the magazines he worked for over the years—Holiday, Lilliput, Punch, Travel+Leisure, among others—via the very amazing Ronald Searle Tribute Blog, and they represent decades of smart satire and social commentary. There’s nothing Southern or, come to think of it, particularly New York about this post (except that Searle worked for a number of magazines based in NYC), but we all get off message every now and again. Enjoy, and merry times to you all this holiday season.

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Punch magazine, Lilliput magazine

1 Comment

Filed under Art, Holidays

Morbid Anatomy of a Southern Belle

The Morbid Anatomy of a Southern Belle, Ronald Searle, Holiday magazine, Frances Gray Patton

I found this Ronald Searle illustration, which accompanies a tongue-in-cheek article on Southern mores and manners by North Carolina–born author Frances Gray Patton, in the November 1959 issue of Holiday magazine. All I could think of when I saw it was that if Tim Burton were to redesign Maryln Schwartz’s Southern Belle Primer, this is how it might look.

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Culture, Media, Writers

Mallory May Gets MAD

mallory may jewelry

A talented illustrator, May also designed her web site's artwork.

Mallory May‘s fabulous designs are going on display at the Museum of Art & Design this week as part of LOOT, a six-day long exhibition and sale featuring 61 contemporary artists from around the world. Read more here.

Who could choose?!

Leave a comment

Filed under Art, Culture, Style