Cincinnati on my mind
Ok -- I have to admit it -- I've got Cincinnati on the mind tonight -- well -- not all of Cincinnati -- just a few of my father's friends -- who populate my memory as well
The designer of all these logos is Noel Martin who had have the coolest office in the world: right in the middle of that hilltop castle called the Cincinnati Art Museum
Maybe he's not still there -- but back in the 60's the museum gave him space (behind a secret door in the Mughal painting gallery) in exchange for designing the museum brochures -- and wow -- it was very cool -- filled with aromatic pipe smoke and the continuous sound of jazz guitar on the record player.
Mostly he works for clients in publishing and industry
-- but here's the painting he does for himself -- pretty lively aren't they ? He'd make a great folk artist ! wouldn't he?
And here's the only piece I could find online from "Wild Bill" Gebhardt -- the local portrait painter, who ran an art school in downtown Cincinnati above the Empress Chili Parlor. (home of the famous Cincinnati chili )
The artist, the school, and even the chili parlor are long gone -- but not my memories of that free-wheeling academy where my father taught drawing and I saw a nude woman for the first time in my life. (she was -- shall we say -- Rubenesque -- and about sixty years old -- with long red hair -- and fold-upon-fold of white flesh)
Here's a painting by one of the students he had back at Gebhardt's, Carin Hebenstreit, who has developed a beautiful, and very successful, portrait style for Cincinnati's aesthetic bourgeois.
Do you notice how it resembles the 18th C. English portraiture of say, Gainsborough or Reynolds ? The local museum has many fine examples -- and my father has always spoken of them with great admiration -- applying his favorite term of aesthetic appreciation: "it swings"
Maybe this one's a little too cute for me -- but my opinion might be different if I ever had children.
Carin, however, HAS had children -- and here's one of them (grown up by now) standing beside a statue that he's just made for the Biltmore estate -- and as one reporter has noted "The day I visited Hebenstreit's studio he was worried about one side of George looking more relaxed and natural than the other. He planned to bring in mentor and sculptor Dick Miller to look at it: "Dick will know.""
Kind of gives me goosebumps.
For an artist/teacher who has been -- shall we say -- rather marginal in the artworld of his lifetime -- he still seems to have left a legacy.