“The Pursuit of Happiness”

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Lou Bernstein (1911-2005), Petunia C, Pony Foundation, 1970 (65.1992)

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Louis Faurer (1916-2001), Silent Salesman, Philadelphia, ca. 1937 (2013.99.53)

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Ralph Eugene Meatyard (1925-1972), Untitled, 1959 (30.2005)

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed… with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

(This is the fourth of four, for the fourth…)

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Flags and fireworks

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Faith Ringgold, Judson 3, 1970, (877.2002)

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Jasper Johns, Moratorium, 1969, (837.2002)

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George Maciunas (1931-1978), U.S.A. Surpasses All the Genocide Records!, 1968, (817.2002)

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Artists’ Poster Committee of Art Workers Coalition, Peoples Flag Show, 1970 (883.2002)

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Artists’ Poster Committee of Art Workers Coalition, Flags; An Open Exhibition, 1970, (811.2002)

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ACT UP New York (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), American Flag, 1989, (1107.2000)

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Silence = Death Project, Silence = Death: Vote, 1988 (1251.2000)

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Martin Munkacsi, [Fireworks], 1933

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed… with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“

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Photos of (mostly) unidentified people with flags, made by (mostly) unidentified photographers

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Unidentified Photographer, [Two Unidentified Men with Sleeping Puppies in Wheelbarrow and an American Flag], ca. 1860s (2009.55.1)

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Unidentified Photographer, [Unidentified Girl with American Flag], ca. 1885 (2007.54.16)

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Jacob Riis (1849-1914), Saluting the Flag, ca. 1892 (185.1982)

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Unidentified Photographer, [Unidentified Woman, with American Flag in the background], ca. 1910 (1034.1990)

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Unidentified Photographer, [Unidentified Soldier with American Flag], ca. 1940s (711.1990)

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Unidentified Photographer, [Astronaut David Randolph Saluting Beside the American Flag on the Moon], August 1, 1971 (2012.99.1)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed… with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“

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Think

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William Copley, Think, 1967 (793.2002)

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Bruce Davidson, [Woman in window with American Flag; East 100th Street, New York City, USA], 1962 (2006.15.6)

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Unidentified Photographer, [American flag and sign, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington D.C.], August 28, 1963 (2010.81.137)

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Flip Schulke (1930-2008), [Martin Luther King Jr. leading second march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama], March 1965, (2012.97.3)

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Charles Moore (1931-2010), Medgar Evers, field secretary for NAACP in Mississippi, was shot and killed in his home state. This photograph shows some of the people who attended his funeral, June 1963 (222.2003.8)

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Eli Reed, [Central ward, Newark, New Jersey], 1992 (2013.102.10)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all [people] are created equal, that they are endowed… with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“

(This is the first of four for the fourth…)

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Studio Visit: “Little” and “Big” Joan Mitchell

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Joan Mitchell lived and worked in a suburb about an hour from Paris called Vétheuil. The house was a rambling stone structure, not grand but very comfortable. In the back was her studio, a separate traditional, skylit artist’s atelier, down a corridor of paving stones set amid beautiful gardens created by Mitchell herself.

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From Mitchell’s house one was afforded views of the green-grey Seine, and square and rectangular patches of wheat colored fields in the dusty June light. She talked a great deal about the “beautiful, grey, Ile de France light,” how it brought colors to life. We were introduced by our mutual friend John Cheim. When these photographs were taken, she had not recovered from hip surgery and had top work on crutches – quite unlike the younger Mitchell, who was always scrambling up and down ladders.

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Mitchell painted very much alone and needed to isolate herself to do so. She never worked with an assistant. She identified her self as an American painted and hated when critics called her the continuation of French painting. Yet, she stated in an interview in the New York Times, “French artists have a sense of beauty – a sense of color – that isn’t allowed in New York City. To me, painting is French.”

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She loved to recite poetry, especially poems about nature, and one could easily see in her the archetypal old-school artist: she swore and smoked and drank; she was ornery, cantankerous, and impossible. I adored her and we became instant friends. She described herself to me as being two people: “little Joan” and “big Joan.” “Little Joan” was the creative child that toiled alone in her studio and “big Joan” went out into the world to protect “little Joan.”

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She was simple in appearance yet complex in demeanor, a little girl with a mature exterior. She was a great friend of Beckett’s and a staunch defender of abstraction and the nonlinear. But she had an enormously sentimental side to her and at heart was an old-fashioned romantic. In addition to the time we spent together in her painting studio in Vétheuil, she once took me to a small pastel studio she kept in the city. It was in a traditional 1930s artists’ studio building on the La rue Campagne-Première, a street made famous by Jean-Paul Belmondo in Breathless but also home to many famous artists, including Rilke, Man Ray, and Atget.

David Seidner

Photographs of Joan Mitchell (1925–1992) and her studio by David Seidner (1957-1999).
Words from David Seidner: Artists at Work: Inside the Studios of Today’s Most Celebrated Artists, Rizzoli, New York, 1999, pp 90-103.
David Seidner Joan Mitchell Foundation

Studio Visit is an occasional series exploring a diverse array of working artists’ studios.

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Happy Canada Day!

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Jeff Wall, The Outburst, 1989 (2.1998.i)

Fair labor (labour) standards are issues in both the United States and Canada; Fair Labor Standard Act in the United States and Human Rights and Employment Practices and Labour Codes in Canada were established to prevent the exploitation of workers and commit to a safe workplace for all.

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Weegee Wednesdays: “Happy 4th of July to you… Wish I was with you…”

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Weegee, [Letter from Weegee in Los Angeles to Wilma Wilcox in New York City], July 1, 1959 (2009.70.29)

56 years ago today:

Hi Dear…

Wed.-
Everything arrived safe… There is going to be another meeting at CBS Television later this week, about my program.
Will be back soon in New York.

Happy 4th of July to you… Wish I was with you…

Love
Weegee.

P.S. did you check with Con. Edison, about the big bill-
W.

Weegee Wednesdays is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.

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