Friday, September 13, 2013

Mac Harshberger illustrations from "Madrigal and Minstrelsy" (1927)

"Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead"
In her Author's Comment prefacing
"Madrigals and Minstrelsy" (published  in 1927)
Juliet Raphael states:
"In this book I have endeavored to translate the words of the poets into music...
"... The music has been done only as a setting for the words -- sung or chanted. To those who love poetry, and love to hear it read, chanted, or sung, this book is offered."

Illustrations accompanying the poems are by Frank Macoy "Mac" Harshberger

 (1900 – 1975).
Born in Tacoma, Washington, Harshberger studied art in Paris in 1921, settled in New York in the '20s where he taught for many years at the
Pratt Institute.

Though he worked in many styles and media in his career, some of his more striking images are his stylish black & white illustrations, sort of an American Art Deco equivalent to
Aubrey Beardsley

The cover image at right 
illustrates "Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Please click on images to enlarge, and click on any image caption titles to read that poem online.

frontispiece: "An Arab Love Song" by Francis Thompson
 "Laughing Song" by William Blake 
"Song" by Christina Rossetti
"The Fifteen Acres" by James Stephens
"A Woman's Last Word" by Robert Browning

"Music, When Soft Voices Die" by Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Matin Song" by Thomas Heywood
"Little Lamb" by William Blake
Sonnet XXIX by William Shakespeare
"The Song" by James Stephens
"The Fiddler of Dooney " by William Butler Yeats
"Night" by William Blake
"Give A Man A Horse" (a.k.a. "Gifts") by James Thomson
"Up-Hill" by Christina Rossetti
"Nurse's Song" by William Blake
"When You Are Old" by William Butler Yeats

◀At left, Mac Harshberger in 1926.
(image from Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie)

There's more to be found regarding
Mac Harshberger elsewhere around the net.
Here's a few places to start looking:

- a mini-biography at Victoria Chick.
- a portfolio and some background at Thomas Reynolds Gallery.
- some illustrations from Tristan and Isolde at Art Reference Blog.

If you have more information or images to share regarding Mac Harshberger, I'd love to hear from you!
Please feel free to leave comments.

Thanks to the following sites for the poetry links:

Poetry Foundation
- Poetry Archive
About.Com: Classic Lit

Friday, August 30, 2013

Images from Barbara G. Walker's "Knitting From The Top", 1st edition, 1972

The reference guide "Knitting From The Top" instructs knitters to do just that. Somewhat counter to the traditional Western method, constructing garments starting from the top down can allow you to check the fit and length as you go.
Werner P. Brodde's photographs of these stunning and colorful creations were a part of the first edition published in 1972, but are not included in editions still in print. So feast your eyes!

Barbara G. Walker has been an idol and guru to knitter's worldwide for decades, the first of her many comprehensive collections of knitting patterns appearing in 1968. But that's only part of her impressive list of achievements in a variety of fields.

Born in Philadelphia in 1930, she studied journalism at the University of Pennsylvania and later worked for the Washington Star in
Washington, D.C. It was there in the 1970s that she became interested in feminism, while working with a local hotline that helped battered women and pregnant teens.

After relocating to Morristown, New Jersey, she became a teacher of the Martha Graham dance technique.
The first of her many notable and respected books on feminism, spirituality and myth was published in the
mid-1980s, as was the Barbara Walker Tarot Deck, for which she supplied the illustrations.

Other books by Barbara G. Walker include:

-A Treasury of Knitting Patterns

-A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns

-A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns

-The Book of Sacred Stones: Fact and Fallacy in the Crystal World

-The Secrets of the Tarot: Origins, History, and Symbolism

-Feminist Fairy Tales

-Barbara Walker's Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book

-The Craft of Cable-Stitch Knitting

-The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols and Sacred Objects

-The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

-The Crone: Woman of Age, Wisdom, and Power

-Restoring the Goddess: Equal Rites for Modern Women

Some further information about Barbara G. Walker can be found online at Wikipedia,, and NOW-NJ.

See also:
- The Walker Treasury Project - - A knitter's collaborative photo-blog "...gathering high-quality, color photos of all the patterns in all the Treasury books and putting them on the internet as a visual aide to this wonderful collection".
- "Barbara G. Walker, The Skeptical Feminist" , an interview from 2009 posted at

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's time to raise the Maypole!

Tra-La, It's May! That Lusty Month of May!

May 1st has long signified many and diverse traditional celebrations all over the world.

The day has always put me in mind of Camelot's Julie Andrews, and in recent years Seattle's
Jason Webley
- - but this year I've been pointed in the direction of Brooklyn's
Jonathan Coulton and a brilliant song from his 2003 album,
Space Monkey.

Many thanks to
my dear friend Oon
for turning me on
to "JoCo", this song, and the video below.

This song contains some strong and
charming language that may be NSFW.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No More Maury Chaykin (1949 - 2010)

Character actor Maury Chaykin passes away on his birthday, in Toronto, at age 61.

- Read his obituary at CBC News.

Bye-Bye, 'That Guy'...

It was a pleasure to have drawn a bead on you over the course of many years and many memorable film and TV roles.

Your performances were so often beautifully larger-than-life,
even if the part was small.

- - Or perhaps, especially.

So sorry to see it cut short. Darn.

- Learn more about
Maury Chaykin at Wikipedia and IMDb.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

El Bandito Jalapeno con El Accesorio Prominente, and other Taqueria Folk Art in San Francisco

Walking along Mission Street in San Francisco on a recent afternoon, I did a serious double-take while passing by a colorful taqueria.
Visible through the open door of El Gran Taco Loco is this ▼ memorable image, painted on the wall...

Wow. So many questions.
Not just the jalapeno's 'stem', but the taco's eyeglasses, the gun - -
- - What exactly are we witness to in this scene?

Immediately I cursed myself for not having my camera with me.
Thinking about it this morning, I decided that others before me must have documented this fascinating piece of artwork.
- - And sure enough, that's just how amazing the internet is.

- Click here for another view of the above image. Larger, slightly different angle. (Source)

All of the images in this post come from the home page of, a site providing a valuable public service, having reviewed (and "mustache-rated") over 725 burritos (so far) all around the City and County of San Francisco, California.

I loves me a good burrito AND being transfixed by art, so clearly, there's much to explore...

(click on images to enlarge in a new window)

Freshly-stirred links