Friday, February 19, 2016

Resurrect Dead Planet Jupiter

Fishtown Has Two

As it appeared a few years ago

As it appears on 2016-02-26

Toynbee tiles began to appear in the streets of Philadelphia by the late 1980's. Over fifty tiles have been documented that mostly appeared in city's downtown area. In the United States, tiles have officially been sighted as far west as Kansas City, as far north as Boston and as far south as Washington D.C. It is believed that since 2002, very few tiles considered to be the work of the original artist have appeared outside of the immediate Philadelphia area. 
This inspired presumed copycat artist and others to explore development of their own artistic expression with this art form. 
Fishtown has two such tiles that I know about. The above photograph was taken at the corner (river side) of Marlborough St Street and Girard Avenue. (I originally (incorrectly) posted that the tile was at Palmer St. There is some other reporting that one once appeared there) Remnants of another can be found only blocks away at the corner of Hewson Street and Girard Avenue.

We'll just have to live with murals over and over and over again until a new form of street art emerges.
photo by roman blazic_all rights reserved  

Monday, February 8, 2016

Who is this man in the photograph?

A Photograph by Frederick F. Gutekunst Jr. of Philadelphia (1831-1917)

The American Photographer Frederick F. Gutekunst Jr. of Philadelphia (1831-1917) was a favored photographer by the East Coast Elite and even celebreties. The Civil War generals came, Ulysses S. Grant, George Meade, Winfield Scott Hancock, James Longstreet, and William T. Sherman.  His sitters included Walt Whitman, Lucretia Mott, Thomas Eakins, A. J. Drexel, John D. Lankenau, William McKinley, Grover Cleveland, Carl Schurz, William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Woodrow Wilson. He photographed all the eminent soldiers of the Civil War and was on the field at Gettysburg ten days before Mathew Brady.

Fishtown Connection
Gutekunst was as much artist as businessman and on a visit to Germany in 1878 he purchased the rights for the Phototype process. One year later upon a visit to Philadelphia J.H. Fitzgibbons, the editor of the St. Louis Practical Photographer, noted that Gutekunst was manufacturing thousands of prints every day. Eventually, this new factory needed to move out of Arch Street and up to 813 Girard Ave (near Susquehanna Ave) where a staff of forty under the supervision of the engraver, Mr. James P. Harbeson, kept up with demand for reproduction for publications, etc. Girard Ave was a perfect location for this endeavor since this part of Philadelphia was more industrial and less retail than Arch Street.
(Source biography on Frederick Gutekunst and at Wikipedia.)

Just Remember is a story of photographs found at a flea market and a vendor named Lizzy. It was later during the last time I saw her that this photograph was discovered. Lizzy was too busy to talk. She told me I could look in some unopened storage containers. I remember Lizzy chasing away another guy because he didn't ask her permission to look. She said she let me look because I treat her like a lady. Lizzy opened a container and handed me this photo. She told me to take it. I made her an offer but she would not take it until I asked her to please accept it. She smiled and turned telling me she's too busy and will see me again. 
So who is this man in the photograph?

words and pictures by roman blazic_all rights reserved