Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Vicki and Peter (circa 1948)
My dad, Vic L., was an excellent photographer. In the early 2000’s my brother Peter transformed many of Vic’s family photos into postcards. Peter’s multi-year project is the source of most of the images below. Each week I post a new selection of “Vic’s Photos” on this blog’s righthand column. Because these individual photos don’t get saved, I’ve been reproducing batches of them in a series of archives. This is No. 10. An interested reader can locate earlier archives by clicking on “Archives” in the “Labels” section of the right-hand column and scrolling down. There are lots of rich memories of our childhood and family and friends in Menominee.
My maternal grandfather Guy Cramer, a retired insurance executive, moved to Menominee from Omaha several years after his wife Nora died. He lived up the street from us at 914 Ogden Avenue, and he also built a large summer cottage on a prime location on the Menominee River about a mile out of town. The house was set in a grove of Norway pines. This is an early photo, and the willow tree, evergreens, and birches that later graced the front lawn aren’t there yet. Guy died in 1942. Our family moved into the house in 1946 when my dad returned from the war, and we siblings spent our childhood and teenage years there. While I sometimes felt separated from friends in town, our river house was, in many respects, an idyllic location in which to grow up.
Here are my mom and dad, Doris and Vic, decked out in their winter finery outside our dining room window. Because my dad was the family photographer, we have few pictures of Vic and Doris together. This is a particularly pleasing one.
Here’s my brother Steve, maybe a year old, with our mom. Steve grew up to have an affectionate, joking connection with Doris. As the firstborn, I was a lot more uptight as a young person, but Steve, the second born child, developed much more of our mother’s propensity for fun and good times. His cheery nature served us all well.
Xmas was a big occasion in our household. Here I’m about six which would mean we lived in town at our house on Sheridan Road. While they weren’t extravagant, my parents always made sure that Santa delivered presents we would enjoy.
Here’s my sister Vicki and myself in front of the family Xmas tree in December, 1947. Vicki was born on February 24th of that year, so she’s about 10 months old. I can’t remember very much about any of my siblings as infants, except that Vicki’s birth was a huge event in our family. Given three older boys in a row, our parents were thrilled to have a baby girl.
This is Vicki’s first birthday. I was ten years older than Vicki, so I probably thought she was cute, but not yet the sort of sibling with whom you could play Chinese checkers or have an acorn fight. My most vivid memory of Vicki’s infancy has to do with a day that my mother decided I should help more with child care and gave me a diaper-changing task. I was mortified, and when my mother turned her head, I ran out the dining room door and disappeared into the back yard. I wandered around the property across the road for the rest of the day, and a large horse chased me across the field. I thought it was better to be trampled to death by a horse than to change a baby’s diapers.
Here are kids playing softball in our front yard in the winter. I’m not certain, but my best guess is that Terry O’Hara is at bat, I’m pitching, and my brother Steve is waiting for his turn to hit. Some favorite family trees are in the photo -- Norway pines at the left, birches on the riverbank, the large spruce in the center of the yard, and the willow tree,at the right, by far the best tree for climbing. Our front yard was our sports stadium: baseball, football, golf, archery, rifle shooting, track and field, etc. We played basketball in back of the house at the garage.
Terry O’Hara is a regular reader of this blog, so she may be surprised to run across her portrait as a teenager. The O’Hara’s were our closest family friends, and we’d get together regularly at their house on the Green Bay shore or at our house on the river. Terry, the oldest kid in their family, was two years younger than me; Michael Dennis, a year younger than my brother Steve; Kiera, the same age as my sister Vicki; and Patrick Sean, the youngest of all the kids in the two families. Terry was always full of energy and enthusiasm. We did lots of swimming, boating, sports, hiking in the forest, fireplace fires, movie-going, trick-or-treating on Halloween, and childhood pranks.
Dooley (left) and Ann were the daughters of Jean and Margaret Worth, close friends of my parents, and we all grew up together. The Worths had a hunting camp at Cedar River which was a gathering place for adults and kids in this friendship group, and we had many enjoyable times at the camp and in the surrounding primeval forest.
Vicki (left) and Kiera O’Hara were age-mates and grew up together as BFF’s. Kiera was born on the Fourth of July and was nicknamed Firecracker. Vicki got most of her religious exposure from going to church with Kiera and her family. The girls went to the University of Michigan and were freshmen together during my last year of graduate school there.
Here’s my teenage sister Vicki with the Popkey’s St. Bernard from across the road. The Popkey family, which included four boys and a girl (Ross, Bill, John, Dan, and Dolly), moved to Riverside Boulevard in the early 1950s, and the younger boys would frequently bring their St. Bernard pet over to visit our house. The dog's name was Manfred, after the dog in the Tom Terrific cartoon show. He was the largest dog we’d ever seen.
Here are my three siblings -- Vicki, Peter, and Steve -- somewhere in Menominee County in midwinter. This is about as hilly as it gets near Menominee, and Vicki’s holding an aluminum disc for sledding. Peter has the family BB gun, and Steve has a pistol for target shooting. I'm going to guess that Steve is about 16, which would make it 1957. I was away at college.
This is my friend Bob A. and myself in the late 1950’s. We’d bee high school classmates. Bob was in college at one of Michigan’s state universities while Katja and I were students at Antioch. Bob arranged for my dad to purchase a 1952 Buick from his uncle which I drove back and forth between Yellow Springs and Menominee, Philadelphia, New York, and even San Francisco. We’re still good friends with Bob and his wife Lois, though we only get together every few years in Menominee.
I’m opening a Christmas present in our living room, probably about my junior or senior year of high school. Our family’s Hammond Chord Organ is in the background. Vicki and I were the most interested in playing the chord organ, and Katja and I still have it in our second floor elevator room. One of my dad’s oil paintings is on the wall.
Here's our mom, Doris, with her four kids in front of the living room fireplace at our home. From the left: myself (approx. 18 years old), Peter (10), Steve (14), and Vicki (8). I think that's our new family television set. I first saw television in Menominee at my friend Sally H's house as a ninth-grader. Our family was just about the last in our entire circle of acquaintances to get this new-fangled gadget. I remember sitting on the living room couch and watching Minneapolis Laker basketball games, starring George Mikan.
Here are Marty and Jackie Burke, along with my dad and mom (at the right). I’d guess they are off on a trip together. The Burke’s oldest son Skipper was my best childhood chum, and we were all sad when their family moved from Menominee to Minneapolis when Skipper and I were in fifth or sixth grade.
My father and his friends were members of the World War II generation. He’s pictured here with Mike and Jean O’Hara and Pat Steffke. Vic was in the Navy, Mike in the Marines, and Pat in the Army. There was lots of joking by the veterans about which branch of the military was the most vital, but in truth they all had great respect for one another.
This is my dad’s friend and law partner, Dick Sawyer, with one of his kids (Peter guessed it was their son Chip). The Sawyer’s lived in a house on State Street, and we lived two blocks away on Sheridan Road. Dick had a hunting camp in Menominee County, and I was invited to come along for a pre-dawn duck hunting expedition as a teenager.
My sister Vicki looks pretty young to be smoking a cigarette, especially given that her anti-smoking dad is taking the picture. I'm going to guess that she's a college student in her first year at the University of Michigan in 1965. We all took up smoking as college students, if not before. It was a destructive habit, but it seemed like everybody smoked in those days. It took me twenty years to quit, my siblings even more.
Uncle Kent was my dad’s younger brother (and a twin brother of Karl). He was in the Army in World War II and participated in the invasion of France where he was awarded a Silver Medal. Kent came back from the war and owned and operated my grandfather’s drugstore on Electric Square in Menominee, as well as serving as State Commander of the American Legion and an elected member of the Michigan House of Representatives. Because I was a habitué of the drugstore’s comic book department, I had more frequent contact with Uncle Kent during my childhood than with any other member of our extended family.
-Gayle C-L (1-28): David, Very Cool! Great Photos and great emories.. Love all the photos and especially Love the photo of your mom and dad..
Thx for sharing.!!! Hope your New Year is going well... And your family is well too.. Pl keep the letters to George coming.. Lots of love to all. G :)
Friday, January 23, 2015
I don’t know why, but technology makes me anxious. Maybe it’s because the cutting edge devices in my youth were ballpoint pens and 45 R.P.M. record players. I feel unconfident about mastering unfamiliar stuff, but, beyond that, I usually get a sense of impending doom. Whatever the case, Katja is much more bold and adventuresome. She and our friend Donna have been talking for a long time about buying mini-computer tablets to replace their bulky desktop computers. Last Monday they set out to look at options at the computer store at the mall, and I came along out of curiosity. Though it felt like an alien land, I have to admit to being very impressed. The store was busy, and there were probably sixty employees in brightly colored shirts out on the floor. The wizardry of the devices was amazing. The only gray-haired salesman in the store, Dennis, spent nearly four hours with us, and he was patient, low-pressure, articulate, and helpful. Both Katja and Donna settled on high-end tablets plus keyboards, and at the end of the day we returned home with new expensive toys in hand.
Katja’s purchase sat in its unopened box on the counter for the next 48 hours. Neither of us ever acknowledged its existence. She had also purchased a Wi-Fi box to hook up to our cable system. I didn’t want to open that either. Fortunately our friend Alice (pseudonym) and her teenage son came over to help us. Doing stuff we would never figured out ourselves, they got our Wi-Fi up and running. Then Alice gave us a short demo of some of the wondrous things Katja’s new tablet could do.
Katja left for her French literature class about 7 p.m. that evening, and I started trying out her tablet, doing e-mail, Siri, and Google. Wouldn’t you know, after ten minutes the screen froze up and then it went totally black. I pushed every button I could find, but nothing happened. I apparently had succeeded in destroying the new foolproof machine. I called Alice in a panic. Luckily she lives nearby, and I walked over with the broken tablet. It took her a while, but eventually Alice got it turned on again. She said that that shouldn’t have happened, and, if it were to happen again, we should take the tablet back to the store. I swore eternal gratitude and privately told myself that I would never again go near a device that clearly had been sent by Satan.
Walking home on Ludlow Avenue in the dark, I called Donna on my cell phone to let her know about the tablet’s problems. As I was chatting, my foot hit a raised pavement on the sidewalk. With my cell phone in one hand and Katja’s tablet in the other, I didn’t break my fall and landed smack on my rib cage. The devices spurted off into the dark. Lying flat on the ground I reached around and recovered the phone and the tablet, then gradually picked myself up. I was banged up and in a state of shock. I explained to Donna what had happened, then hung up and slowly made my way home. Once in the house I turned the tablet back on and was relieved that it still seemed to be working. However, its brand new cover had gotten scratched in my fall. Katja came home. After fussing about my mishap, she discovered the knicks on her tablet cover. She was sad but philosophical, observing mournfully that new things possessions get some bruises.
I didn’t feel that I was seriously injured, but, at Katja’s urging, I made an appointment at my doctor’s office the next morning. They did some X-rays and other tests and gave me a prescription for a painkiller. I said I was doing o.k. and wasn’t worried. Then they called back today. Much to my surprise, the X-rays showed two broken ribs and impaired breathing. The caller said I can expect to be in pain for the next four to eight weeks and need to guard against pneumonia. That’s a depressing development. I can’t help our aging dogs get up from the hardwood floor, can’t lift them into the bed or the car, and should avoid strenuous walking with them. Nor can I drive for a while, work out at the gym, or go to my line dancing class. I can do some more sedentary things, but the list of restrictions covers most of the enjoyable parts of my life. I guess, instead of sheepdogs and line dancing, I’ll spend my new spare time learning to use Katja’s tablet. That would be useful so long as I don’t break any more bones in the process.
-Donna D (1-24): David, I feel so bad for you, but I love the way you ended on a positive note by noting that you can use your time learning how to use the new tablet. Maybe you can teach me what you learn! Keep healing so we can go hiking in the spring, okay?
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Captain Dan Seavey
Thanks to the lumber and mining industries, the U.P. in the late 1800’s experienced a major boom in population growth and economic activity. It was still, however, a frontier region, rough and unregulated. One of the more notorious rogues of the day was Captain Dan Seavey, also known as “Roaring Dan” and “Dan the Pirate.” Seavey was a famous, feared troublemaker in many ports on Green Bay and Lake Michigan including Escanaba, Charlevoix, Frankfort, and Menominee. (1) Here is some of Roaring Dan’s story which I’ve drawn from various sources. [Note: numbers in parentheses refer to citations listed at the end.]
Seavey was born in Portland, Maine, in 1867. His father was a schooner captain, and Dan quickly took to the sea in his youth. At age 13, he left home to work on tramp steamers, and he joined the Navy for a three-year term at age 18. When his navy hitch ended in the late 1880s, Seavey moved to the village of Middle Inlet in Wisconsin’s Marinette County. He married a 14-year-old local girl, Mary Plumley, and the couple had two daughters. The family moved to Milwaukee where Dan bought a small farm, operated a commercial fishing business, and owned a saloon near the waterfront. Captain Frederick Pabst, the Milwaukee beer magnate, encouraged Seavey to invest in an Alaska mining company. Seavey deserted his family in 1898 and spent a couple of years in the Klondike Gold Rush. His Alaskan excursion proved unsuccessful, and he returned empty-handed to Milwaukee about 1900. Seavey then relocated to Escanaba in Michigan’s U.P. where he operated a freight service. He acquired a fourteen-ton topsail schooner, built in 1900 and originally owned by the Pabst family, which he named The Wanderer. (5)
In Escanaba Seavey married 22-year-old Zilda Bisner. This was another disastrous marriage, and she filed for divorce four years later, revealing how Seavey beat her and threatened her life. Seavey disappeared on the lake. Several years later he married Annie Bradley from the Garden Peninsula in the U.P., a marriage that was to last for many years. (2)
Seavey employed the Wanderer and other boats in legitimate business to transport agricultural and other commodities. However, he used the same boats to transport poached venison, bootleg liquor, and stolen black market items. Much of his merchandise was pilfered. Historian Tom Powers reports: "Seavey and a small crew would silently slip the Wanderer, with no running lights, into ports in the dead of night and make off with anything on wharves, in unlocked warehouses, or on nearby streets that was of value and could be carried on the schooner." (4) Seavey was also notorious for what was then known as “moon cussing”. He and his crew altered sea lights on the lake, either turning them off or placing false lights at rocks or on sandbars where ships would be grounded. When their sailors abandoned ship, Seavey moved in to loot the wreck.
Seavey's most lucrative business was poaching venison. One of his hideouts was on St. Martin's Island, off the Garden Peninsula near Escanaba. Seavey slaughtered deer there with his rifle and hauled it to meat markets in Chicago. The Booth Fish Company, a Chicago business with underworld ties, sent a gang of thugs on one of their boats to take over Seavey's territory. After a vicious fight, Seavey caught up with the Booth boat in the Wanderer and blew them out of the water with a cannon that he'd mounted on his ship’s bow. All of the Booth Company crew died in the attack. (7)
Seavey also used the Wanderer to bring prostitutes, some of whom he kidnapped from the Iron Range, to U.P. ports along Green Bay like Fayette, Nahma, Garden, and Escanaba. Though local lawmen were trying to close brothels in their communities, their authority ended at the water's edge, and Seavey took advantage of this loophole in the law by traveling from port to port with prostitutes and liquor. (4)
Seavey was a large man, 6-4 and 250 pounds, with a barrel chest and a powerful physique. He loved to fight and was known through the Lake Michigan communities for his willingness to take on any comer. His most famous fight occurred in the winter of 1904 at Frankfort, Michigan, where he battled a professional fighter named Mitch Love on a large circle drawn in the snow on the ice of Frankfort harbor. 200 lumberjacks placed bets on the battle. The fight went on for over two hours until a battered and bleeding Love was finally hauled off by his supporters. Seavey not only collected the main purse from the fight, but also a percentage of the many side bets that his followers had made. (3)
Seavey’s most infamous act involved the theft of a forty-ton lake schooner named the Nellie Johnson in Grand Haven, Michigan, on June 11, 1908. Serving on the Nellie Johnson as a crewman, Seavey got the schooner captain, R. J. McCormick, and members of his crew to drink themselves into a stupor, then stole their vessel and set off across Lake Michigan for Chicago. Because of suspicions by the harbormaster, Seavey failed to sell the stolen cargo of cedar posts in Chicago. When a federal revenue service cutter, the 178-foot steel-hulled Tuscarora with Captain Preston Uberroth in command, was sent to capture them, Seavey and his comrades hid the Nellie Johnson on a river near Frankfort. The Tuscarora, the fastest ship on the Great Lakes, searched the east shore of Lake Michigan for the Wanderer -- St. Joseph, South Haven, Saugatuck. Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegom, Whitehall, Pentwater, and Ludington -- but not a trace of the stolen ship. When federal agents eventually closed in, Seavey escaped in the Wanderer. The Tuscarora took chase at full speed, allegedly burning the paint off her smokestack and boilers. When the gunboat overtook the Wanderer, Captain Ueberroth is said to have ordered a cannon shot across the Wanderer's bow which ended the chase, and Seavey was arrested by Federal Marshal Tom Currier for piracy, then a death-penalty crime. Despite the government's best efforts, a Chicago grand jury failed to indict Seavey, and, released on bond, he was soon back on the water, claiming that he had won the Nellie Johson in a poker game. For reasons that are now obscure, all charges were dropped later that summer. (8)
Perhaps because it takes a crook to catch a crook, Seavey was appointed as a U.S. Marshall toward the end of his career, and he was charged with shutting down illegal whiskey, venison poaching, and smuggling on Lake Michigan. He was a crack shot with the firearms that he always carried. In one incident he tracked down a bootleg liquor smuggler to a tavern in Naubinway in the U.P. The smuggler boasted that no lawman would ever take him in hand-to-hand combat. Seavey and the smuggler battled for hours, wrecking the saloon and stopping every now and then to drink whisky. Finally, Seavey won the brawl by tipping over a piano on his opponent's head. The man received medical attention, but died of his injuries during the night. Seavey wired the authorities: "Outlaw expired while resisting arrest." (9)
The Wanderer was destroyed by fire under suspicious circumstances in 1918, and Seavey switched to a 40-foot motor launch which he named the Mary Alice. It's unclear whether he continued as a marshall in his new ship, though he did operate as a rumrunner during prohibition, transporting bootleg liquor from Canada. (1)
Seavey was known to love kids, and he would talk with them about his seafaring adventures. When he lived in Escanaba, local boys would wait on the docks for his return, and he would tell them stories for hours. One boy's disapproving father, a prominent Escanaba businessman, came by, grabbed his son as he left Seavey's ship, and spanked him right on the docks. As the father started to leave with his son, Seavey grabbed the man, knocked him down, and gave the father a spanking, ordering him to "leave my shipmates alone." (6)
Because of various injuries, Seavey retired from sailing in the late 1930’s. He reconciled with his daughters from his first marriage, and moved to Martha Champ Weed's boarding house in Escanaba. He had made over a million dollars from criminal activities during his career, but, with a reputation as a self-styled Robin Hood, he gave away most of his profits to benefit children and the poor. (6) Later Seavey lived with his daughter Josephine in Peshtigo. He became very religious in his older years and could be seen around town carrying a Bible. Roaring Dan died, reportedly penniless, at the Eklund Nursing Home in Peshtigo on Feb. 14, 1949, at age 84. He was buried next to Josephine in Forest Home Cemetery in Marinette. And that’s the story of the only Great Lakes sailor who was ever formally arrested on charges of piracy.
SOURCES: (1) www.archives.chicagotribune.com, "Yo Ho Ho, How the Swabs Made Way for Roaring Dan, the Lone Pirate of Lake Michigan" (4/22/62, pp. 34-35); (2) www.baillod.com, “The Giant and the Pirate”; (3) www.beyondthetensionline.blogspot.com, “The Many Tales of Pirate Dan Seavey”; (4) www.classicwisconsin.com, "The Life & Crimes of Dan Seavey"; (5) www.hsmichigan.org, “Roaring Dan Seavey: The Pirate of Lake Michigan”; (6) www.mikelclassen.com, "Lake Michigan Buccaneer"; (7) www.wikipedia.org, "Dan Seavey"; (8) www.wikipedia.org, “Great Lakes Patrol”; (9) www.zbguide.com, “Do you know…pirate problems abounded on Lake Michigan?”
-Phyllis S (1-18): That's an amazing story, Dave. It would seem almost mythical. What a character he must have been.
-JML (1-18): Wild
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
The Cincy Art Museum
One perk of being retired is that I get to go more often to local art shows. In particular, I go to all the new exhibitions at the Art Museum. With over 60,000 works, this is one of the most comprehensive museums in the Midwest. It’s best known for its collections of European old masters (e.g., Botticelli, Rubens, Hals), ancient Middle Eastern art, and its 15-gallery Cincinnati art history wing (e.g., Frank Duveneck, Robert Scott Duncanson, Elizabeth Nourse, Henry Farny). Though not many people know it, we also have an excellent collection of artworks featuring dogs. These are currently scattered throughout the museum. If all of these dog works were assembled in a single wing, it would undoubtedly draw visitors from far and wide. I’ve taken photos of a number of the museum’s dog paintings and sculptures. They are arranged chronologically below, and I’ve added some poetic commentary. Here’s how our dog collection is looking these days.
Mithras Slaying the Sacred Bull, c. 150-200, Roman, limestone.
Mithras gets credit for slaying the bull
Though his dog did much of the work
You or I could poke a bull with a knife
But biting the bull is berserk
Relief depicting a boar hunt. Northwestern Iran, Daghestan. 13th or 14th century.
When you set out to slay the wild boar
Bring two or three dogs to the hunt
A boar can gore you from stem to stern
That's why the dogs are in front
That's why the dogs are in front
Millefleurs Tapestry. Flemish, 1520-25
There were many strange beasts in the Middle Ages
Unicorns and minotaurs and deer
Dogs were the best behaved of the lot
They kept all the serfs in good cheer
Jan Verkolje. Lute Player with Boy and Dog. (ca. 1670s)
The lute makes the prettiest sound there is
It leads the all the young folks to dance
This boy is impressed by his hip-hopping dog
Who knew how well he could prance?
Benjamin West. Anne Allen, later Mrs. John Penn. (1763)
Anne Allen is looking pretty but sad
Her thoughts are many miles away
It turns out Anne is in love with a cad
Let’s pray her dog keeps him at bay
Sir Joshua Reynolds. Richard Pelers Symons, M.P. (1770-71)
M.P. Symons is surely a handsome fellow
Affluent, poised, and genteel
His greyhound is chiseled and masculine
He helps the M.P. look more real
Martin Quadal. Self-portrait. (1788)
Martin Quadal wears his finest green robe
His dog’s quite attuned to his master
Some think that the canine’s admiring Quadal
Not true, he just wants dinner faster
English School. Young Boy With a Dog. (ca. 1800)
Here is a boy who is baffled by life
He’s lucky he’s got a wise dog
The dog protects his young master from strife
And they’re both thrilled to be on a blog
Cardinal Alessandro Lante Della Rovere’s Dog, Italian School. (ca. 1816-1818)
The Cardinal’s dog isn’t much of a hunter
Nor a guard dog nor a herder of sheep
He spends his time on his bright red pillow
His singular talent is sleep.
Alvan Fisher. Little Bo-Peep. (1835)
Bo Peep is a famous shepherdess
But I think she’s forgotten her job
Her dog better hurry and round up her sheep
Or soon they’ll be lamb shish kebab
Powell, William Henry. Portrait of a Boy and Dog. (1836)
This dog has become very worried
His master lost both of his shoes
The dog knows the boy is in danger
No shoes and his feet he will bruise
Daniel Saint. Lady With a Greyhound. (ca. 1839-42)
Here is a damsel with a most manly pet
He adds grace and style to her fame
We no longer know who the lady is
But Boris is the greyhound’s name
Theodore Robinson. A Canine Patient. (ca. 1883)
This little pup is most content
He rests on his sweet human’s lap
She says that she is ready to play
But he’s busy taking his nap
Lilly Martin Spenser. The Dogged Class. 1885.
Betty Sue has gathered all of her dogs
She’s hosting a New Year’s Eve party
The dogs aren’t into parties that much
They’re content to sit back and look arty
Joseph Henry Sharp. Fountain Square Pantomime. (1892). (Segment of larger painting)
Here are some kiddies on Fountain Square
The crowd is awaiting the parade
The little bull terrier has the best seat of all
He’s impressed by the copper’s tirade
Charles T. Webber. Fugitives Arriving at Levi Coffin’s Indiana Farm, A Busy Station of the Underground Railroad. (1893)
It’s a cold winter night on the Coffin farm
The dog is greeting freed slaves
He’s there to keep the visitors from harm
And help them escape from the knaves
George Bellows. Hungry Dogs. (1916)
These are many wild dogs in the city
They scavenge the alleys for bread
It’s important for dogs to be gritty
Their option is winding up dead
Edward H. Potthast. Playmates. (ca. 1918)
Now we’ve arrived at the Jersey shore
The beach, the kids, and the sea
The children are looking for sharks in the waves
While the dog’s getting ready to pee
John Stuart Curry. The Old Folks (Mother and Father). (1929)
It’s Sunday morning down on the farm
The dog has her eye on the cows
Ma is knitting her blue cotton scarf
But Pa would prefer to carouse
There are many other dog pics at the museum that I haven’t had space to include here. All in all, these images lead me to several conclusions. (1) Aside from human beings, there are more artistic depictions of dogs than of any other living creature. The latter would include cats, squirrels, tigers, horses, cows, elephants, turtles, birds, whales, butterflies, and giraffes. (2) Human beings look much more interesting when they have a dog at their side. (3) Dog pictures elicit more pleasant feelings than do still lifes, landscapes, or abstract expressionism. It’s no wonder artists are drawn to dogs.