Sunday, February 04, 2007

Local Hero

While researching the history of my art club -- I came across this individual -- Albert H. Ullrich -- who became its President in 1918.

And as the details of his life were uncovered -- the terrible truth became apparent:

Everything I can do -- He could do better.
(music and words by Irving Berlin)

-- he was a better artist -- and 100 years later, his paintings are still appearing in auctions on the internet.

-- as already noted -- he was elected President of our art club
( while recently, I was trounced by landslide in election for secretary )

-- as this story reveals -- as a businessman, starting from nothing, he ended up with the largest department store in the northern suburbs -- while I opened a compact disc store that after 20 years still has one employee (myself)

-- in his personal life -- he had three wives -- while I've only had one.

Fifth -- he donated funds for the club's Gold Medal award - still being given every year.

and finally...-- look at this noble campaign speech published in the club's January 1915 newsletter:

The Administration that I will give the Club, if I am elected, will favor educational lines. It seems to me that the most vital things about the Club, the object for which it was organized is to give the members an opportunity to study and work from the living model, to give exhibitions and to talk over those given here and elsewhere -- to give the ambitious student the social surroundings that are necessary to make an artist out of a draughtsman.

In a club that's mostly been about exhibition and entertainment -- here's this serious German who wants to emphasize education (which it never got around to for another 80 years )

I should try to improve these conditions and bring about a better acquaintance with the materials we have to work with by asking the members to put their knowledge in a concrete form so that it may be referred to in the clubrooms. A committee might also be appointed advantageously , to whom members may go for advice or instruction during study hours.

not especially elegant prose (English was not his first language) -- but while all the other campaign speeches were firmly tongue-in-cheek --- I appreciate his seriousness. (which may be why he lost this particular election)

It's hard to imagine a person leading this kind of life today -- but I suppose -- in my under-achieving way - I'm giving it a shot.


Blogger marlyat2 said...

I will allow you to kick yourself as you see fit--since I do the same thing myself, and think that it is generally rather good for me. (However, I would say that the one wife is a letdown, for if any man was made for a plethora, a bevy, or a harem of naked ladies, it is Chris Miller.)

Let me point out tht Mr. Albert H. Ullrich, while a very accomplished gentleman, certainly did not accomplish anything at all in the realm of blogdom and never will, while you have this strange, diverse little world--of which you are sole lord and master.

February 05, 2007  

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