Illustrator of the Week: Alan Lee

Giants and Fairies!

Alan has illustrated dozens of fantasy books, including some nonfiction, and many more covers.[2] Several works by J.R.R. Tolkien are among his most notable interiors: the Tolkien centenary edition of The Lord of the Rings (1992), a 1999 edition of The Hobbit that has been boxed with it, and Narn i Chîn Húrin: The Children of Húrin(2007).[2][3] The latter, a first edition, is his work most widely held in WorldCat participating libraries.[4] Other books he has illustrated include Faeries (with Brian Froud), Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock (as well as the cover of an early print of this book), The Mabinogion (two versions), Castles and Tolkien’s Ring (both nonfiction by David Day), The Mirrorstone by Michael PalinThe Moon’s Revenge by Joan Aiken, and Merlin Dreams by Peter Dickinson.[2][3]

He has also illustrated retellings of classics for young people. Two were Rosemary Sutcliff‘s versions of the Iliadand the Odyssey—namely, Black Ships Before Troy (Oxford, 1993) and The Wanderings of Odysseus (Frances Lincoln, 1995). Another was Adrian Mitchell‘s version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses—namely, Shapeshifters (Frances Lincoln, 2009).[5]

Lee did cover paintings for the 1983 Penguin edition of Mervyn Peake‘s Gormenghast trilogy.[2][3] He also did the artwork for Alive!, a CD by the Dutch band Omnia, released on 3 August 2007 during the Castlefest festival.[3]

Watercolour painting and pencil sketches are two of Lee’s common media.[3]

Lee and John Howe were the lead concept artists of Peter Jackson‘s Lord of the Rings films[6] and were recruited by director Guillermo del Toro in 2008 for continuity of design in the subsequent The Hobbit films,[6][7] before joining Jackson when he took over the Hobbit films project. Jackson has explained[8]how he originally recruited the reclusive Lee. By courier to Lee’s home in the south of England, he sent two of his previous films, Forgotten Silver and Heavenly Creatures, with a note from himself and Fran Walsh that piqued Lee’s interest enough to become involved. Lee went on to illustrate and even to help construct many of the scenarios for the movies, including objects and weapons for the actors. He also made two cameo appearances, in the opening sequence of The Fellowship as one of the nine kings of men who became the Nazgûl, and in The Two Towers as a Rohan soldier in the armory (over the shoulder of Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn and Legolas talk in Elvish).[9]

Lee has also worked as a conceptual designer on the films LegendErik the VikingKing Kong and the television mini-series Merlin.[6] The art book Faeries, produced in collaboration with Brian Froud, was the basis of a 1981 animated feature of the same name.

Gallery

For more info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Lee_(illustrator)

~Cheers,
Chris

Tecumseh’s Curse, Clue, and Monopoly

I am the First to Suffer Tecumseh’s Curse

William Henry Harrison

My son died 2 weeks before my inauguration and I died a month after. You might believe I died from pneumonia a month after exposure to a snowstorm speech I had made. I was assassinated by Senators Henry Clay and Daniel Webster for my refusal for banking a third national bank. I was poisoned by typhoid; the same as Polk and Taylor! The first to suffer Tecumseh’s Curse…

All because the man who got away with the murder in Salem, MA that the Parker Brothers based their version of Cluedo, Clue, on. Steven White inherited large shares in the Second Bank of the United States when he killed his uncle Joseph White. Joseph White is Mr. Body in the game and Mrs White was his wife. Both Stephen and Joseph White received large bribes to buy their mansions in 1811 by Baring Brothers Bank who were working for the Bank of England.

In 1811 the First Bank of the United States lost its charter for giving 70% of our treasury to England after the Revolutionary War. Stephen White and his brother-in-law Associate Justice Joseph Story along with the father of Stephen’s daughter’s husband Senator Daniel Webster helped create the Second Bank of the United States in 1816 after the War of 1812; which lost its charter in 1836 for giving…70% of its shares to England. These banks were the original Federal Reserve. Story and Webster were directors in the bank which defended it against all comers in the Supreme Court.

After visiting Salem in 1833, President Jackson could of suffered a typhoid (salmonella) poisoning which forced him to curtail his New England tour during the Bank War which later extinguished the bank. His Speaker of the House, James Knox Polk, would suffer typhoid poisoning around the same time. He lived only to succumb to another attempt 3 months after leaving his presidency. Stephen White, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster had me elected to make the Federal Reserve, the Third National Bank, and I refused. So I lasted 1 month in office. Stephen White did not last much longer after Daniel Webster received larger bribes from Baring Brothers Bank during the Ashburton-Webster Treaty with Lord Baring.

Webster and Clay would go on and also kill Zachary Taylor of Typhoid for his refusal to make the bank. He lived 15 months longer than I did in office. A few months before him, they killed Polk as well. Both Webster and Clay would die in 1852 and never seen the Federal Reserve created. In fact they created the Whig Party, named after the party that created the Bank of England, to create the new bank.

JP Morgan, the son of George Peabody’s partner, did create the bank in 1913. Parker Brothers Monopoly has Rich Uncle Pennybags, its mascot, based on JP Morgan. Also the B&O Railroad was partially owned by George Peabody and the Boston & Maine had bought his Eastern Railroad which he created with Stephen White.

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

Horace Mann Laboratory School Closing and the Fate of their Tunnels

A School House Rocks now Closing

The Horace Mann Laboratory School is now closing. In the years past, this building had open access for children to walk from the school to the University to access their gym and cafeteria. Many fond memories, including first kisses, has been had in this tunnel of early love lined with asbestos.

I almost got this location to be filmed in the Flatliners remake when I gave a tour to movie scouts. It also almost made it into Robert Irvine’s new show on the Discovery Channel, but they did not grant permission in time… We did film the episode in Rockefeller’s tunnel instead.

So how will these tunnels be used by the new occupants of the building. Time will only tell? Maybe it will make it into a TV show or movie?

For more information on the tunnels read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and other great booksellers like Wicked Good Books, Jolie Tea, The Witch House, and Remember Salem in town. Support local businesses!!! Also if you are a TV or movie scout looking for tunnel locations to film contact Chris Dowgin at the Salem Smugglers’ Tour.

Illustrator of the Week: John French Sloan

No Red Motif #1

John French Sloan (August 2, 1871 – September 7, 1951) was a twentieth-century painter and etcher and one of the founders of the Ashcan school of American art. He was also a member of the group known as The Eight. He is best known for his urban genre scenes and ability to capture the essence of neighborhood life in New York City, often observed through his Chelsea studio window. Sloan has been called “the premier artist of the Ashcan School who painted the inexhaustible energy and life of New York City during the first decades of the twentieth century”[1] and an “early twentieth-century realist painter who embraced the principles of Socialism and placed his artistic talents at the service of those beliefs.”

In 1913, Sloan painted a two-hundred-foot backdrop for the Paterson Strike Pageant, a controversial work of performance art and radical politics organized by activist John Reed and philanthropist Mabel Dodge. The play, a benefit staged for the striking silk mill workers of Paterson, New Jersey, took place in Madison Square Garden and incorporated over 1,000 participants.

Also in 1913, Sloan participated in the legendary Armory Show. He served as a member of the organizing committee and also exhibited two paintings and five etchings.[18] In that same year, the important collector Albert C. Barnes purchased one of Sloan’s paintings; this was only the fourth sale of a painting for Sloan (although it has often erroneously been counted as his first).[19] For Sloan, exposure to the European modernist works on view in the Armory Show initiated a gradual move away from the realist urban themes he had been painting for the previous ten years.[20] In 1914–15, during summers spent in Gloucester, Massachusetts, he painted landscapes en plein air in a new, more fluid and colorful style influenced by Van Gogh and the Fauves.[21]

Beginning in 1914, Sloan taught at the Art Students League, where for the next eighteen years he became a charismatic if eccentric teacher. Sloan also taught briefly at the George Luks Art School. His students respected him for his practical knowledge and integrity, but feared his caustic tongue; as a well-known painter who had nonetheless sold very few paintings, he advised his students, “I have nothing to teach you that will help you to make a living.”[22] He disdained careerism among artists and urged his pupils to find joy in the creative process alone.

The summer of 1918 was the last he spent in Gloucester. For the next thirty years, he spent four months each summer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the desert landscape inspired a new concentration on the rendering of form. Still, the majority of his works were completed in New York.[23] As a result of his time in the Southwest, he and Dolly developed a strong interest in Native American arts and ceremonies and, back in New York, became advocates of Indian artists.[24] In 1922 he organized an exhibition of work by Native American artists at the Society of Independent Artists in New York.[25] He also championed the work of Diego Rivera, whom he called “the one artist on this continent who is in the class of the old masters.”[26] The Society of Independent Artists, which Sloan had co-founded in 1916, gave Rivera and José Clemente Orozco their first showing in the United States in 1920.

Gallery

For more info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_French_Sloan

~Cheers,
Chris

Banking Secrets from Salem MA

Peabody & Co., Peabody, Morgan & Co., JS Morgan & Co., JP Morgan; All the Same

George Peabody

 

George Peabody orchestrated several economic panics with Rothschild in England. His bank is now called JP Morgan which orchestrated the 2008 Financial Collapse.

I was awarded by Queen Victoria for helping the poor; by displacing over 10,000 people. I planned the 2008 economic collapse in 1837 which has been reoccurring every 20 years. My bank is now called JP Morgan Chase and they were fined for planning the collapse!

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

Downing Block Tunnel added to Peabody Essex Museum

One of the Country’ Oldest Museums and it Smuggling Tunnels

Here are some of the pictures of the tunnels being connected to the Peabody Essex Museum during their 20016- extension project.

Chris Dowgin sneaking into tunnel leaving Downing Block Tunnel
Back of Downing Block Tunnel facing Charter Street
A tunnel leaving the Downing Block to Essex Street
Yet another tunnel leaving the Downing Block
Heat from the tunnel entrances like this one in front of the old Bernard’s Jewelry Store melt the snow on the sidewalk from the heaters in the basement

For more information on the tunnels read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and other great booksellers like Wicked Good Books, Jolie Tea, The Witch House, and Remember Salem in town. Support local businesses!!!

Illustrator of the Week: Rockwell Kent

Be Careful by that Cliff…

Rockwell Kent was born in Tarrytown, New York, the same year as fellow American artists George Bellows and Edward Hopper. Kent was of English descent.[2][3] He lived much of his early life in and around New York City, where he attended the Horace Mann School. In his mid-40s he moved to an Adirondack farmstead that he called Asgaard where he lived and painted until his death. Kent studied with several influential painters and theorists of his day. He studied composition and design with Arthur Wesley Dow at the Art Students League in the fall of 1900, and he studied painting with William Merritt Chase each of the three summers between 1900 and 1902, after which he entered in the fall of 1902 Robert Henri‘s class at the New York School of Art, which Chase had founded. During the summer of 1903 in Dublin, New Hampshire, Kent was apprenticed to painter and naturalist Abbott Handerson Thayer. An undergraduate background in architecture at Columbia University prepared Kent for occasional work in the 1900s and 1910s as an architectural renderer and carpenter. At the Art Students League he would meet and befriend the artists Wilhelmina Weber Furlong and Thomas Furlong.[4][5]

Kent’s early paintings of Mount Monadnock and New Hampshire were first shown at the Society of American Artists in New York in 1904, when Dublin Pond was purchased by Smith College. In 1905 Kent ventured to Monhegan Island, Maine, and found its rugged and primordial beauty a source of inspiration for the next five years. His first series of paintings of Monhegan were shown to wide critical acclaim in 1907 at Clausen Galleries in New York. These works form the foundation of his lasting reputation as an early American modernist, and can be seen in museums across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of ArtSeattle Art MuseumNew Britain Museum of American Art, and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Among those critics lauding Kent was James Huneker of the Sun, who praised Kent’s athletic brushwork and daring color dissonances.[6] (It was Huneker who deemed the paintings of The Eight as “decidedly reactionary”.)[7] In 1910, Kent helped organize the Exhibition of Independent Artists, and in 1911 together with Arthur B. Davies he organized An Independent Exhibition of the Paintings and Drawings of Twelve Men, referred to as “The Twelve” and “Kent’s Tent”. Painters Marsden HartleyJohn Marin, and Max Weber (but not John Sloan, Robert Henri, or George Bellows) participated in the 1911 exhibition.

transcendentalist and mystic in the tradition of Thoreau and Emerson, whose works he read, Kent found inspiration in the austerity and stark beauty of wilderness. After Monhegan, he lived for extended periods of time in Winona, Minnesota (1912–1913), Newfoundland (1914–15), Alaska (1918–19), Vermont (1919–1925), Tierra del Fuego (1922–23), Ireland (1926), and Greenland (1929; 1931–32; 1934–35). His series of land and seascapes from these often forbidding locales convey the Symbolist spirit evoking the mysteries and cosmic wonders of the natural world. “I don’t want petty self-expression”, Kent wrote, “I want the elemental, infinite thing; I want to paint the rhythm of eternity.”

Gallery

For more info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockwell_Kent

~Cheers,
Chris

Salem Fagin and the First Boy’s Club in America

The First Boy’s Club and Tunnels…

The First Boy’s Club in the country was held in a building attached to this tunnel. In fact, the three locations that the club first resided in were all attached to the smuggling tunnels in Salem MA. The first was the Downing Block next to the Peabody Essex Museum. The second location was in the Salem Lyceum that previously housed a lecture series where Alexander Graham Bell introduced his phone publicly at. The third location was in the old Essex County Bank building built by Charles Bulfinch who became the Architect of D.C. who built all the tunnels under our capitol.

The Boy’s Club learned an important early lesson; keep the kids in a brick building. For the one time they were housed in a wooden building, the Lyceum, they burned it down.  The location where James Russell Lowell introduced the Dante Club’s translation of The Inferno was burned to the ground by these children.

So why was it so important to have these economically challenged children in the building attached to the tunnels? Were they helping the sailors and captains smuggle in town? Were they assisting in the runaway slaves’ attempts at gaining freedom? Or were they run by a Salem Fagin who had them act like the Artful Dodger and break into the homes that also were attached to the tunnels?

Who is to say, but it makes you think…

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

Tunnels Under the Old Almy’s and it’s Connection to the Salem Witch Hysteria and More!

Almy, Bigelow, & Washburn

The company was a town favorite in downtown Salem, operating on Essex Street in Salem from 1862 to 1985. Many fond memories are still recalled by locals who grew up shopping there with their parents. Could this famous store at its beginnings have received smuggled goods through the tunnels of Salem from Boston, Lowell, and Lawrence? Was this the first time this location was used for smuggling? First a little history of the famous store and the property’s history.

According to Helen Butler, who married a grandson of Almy’s founder recalls how the store began, “James Fergus Almy was a Quaker who came to Salem from North Adams and started a little store. Meanwhile, from Stowe, Vermont came Lurana Bigelow to Salem and she opened a millinery store. He fell in love with her and when he wanted money for the store, she had capital to give him. The union of Almy and Bigelow was forged when they married.”

Then Walter K. Bigelow became Almy’s business partner and the firm changed its name to James F. Almy & Co. Then around 1869, William G. Webber also became a partner and they renamed the store Almy, Bigelow & Webber, which it remained until Webber’s retirement in 1885. Then followed Calvin R. Annable and E. Augustus Washburn who worked their way up to become partners to make Almy, Bigelow & Washburn. The firm incorporated after the death of James F. Almy in April 1899, with Almy’s wife and daughter serving on the board.

The store was  sold it in 1951 to the Gorin family.

 

Almy’s opened with four employees in 1858 originally at 156 Essex St., then 2 years later moved to 188 Essex St. When they closed they had 75 employees. The Salem store was one of five Almy’s outlets that were closed following the sale of the Almy’s chain to the Stop and Shop Corporation on March 16th, 1985.

The business’ second location was within the West Block. Nathaniel West bought the John Turner III mansion that was built in 1748 next to the Peter Palfrey House, opposite Central Street in 1833. Turner was the one in the family who lost the House of 7 Gables to the Ingersolls in 1782. West bought the property from Judge Oliver. Judge Andrew Oliver (1731-1799) was a judge and scientist who corresponded with Benjamin Franklin and authored numerous scientific essays. His son Peter Oliver was a subscriber to the Salem Common Improvement Fund and one of the subscriber’s who went deranged before 1821. The Salem Common Improvement Fund was a ruse behind a public work project to extend tunnels throughout town and hide the dirt in the Common which had five ponds and a river running to the sea. In April 11, 1817 Peter Oliver went into his house on the corner of Liberty and Essex Street and set it on fire with himself inside, but he lived. I think only a hole remained called “Oliver’s Hole” remained for years in which children played in. It reminds me of the failed RCG Hotel on the corner of Washington and Dodge Streets. Nathaniel West opened the old Turner mansion as a tavern called “The Mansion house” in time for President Andrew Jackson’s visit.  West also bought the Gardener-Pingree House which is famous for the murder of Captain Joseph White in 1830 that inspired the game Clue and the story The Tell-Tale Heart. He had also owned the estate where the North Shore Mall resides now that he lost in a bloody divorce.

Jackson was in town in 1833 to meet with Stephen White on the Common in his home he bought in 1811. The house along with his uncle Joseph White’s home , the Gardner-Pingree House that Nathaniel West acquired, were bought from bribes from Baring Brothers Bank (working for the Bank of England) to create the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson was on a northern tour looking for support for his Bank War which would refuse an early renewal of the bank. The White’s held considerable shares in the bank and were going to suffer a loss; Jackson suffered from stomach ailments (Typhoid) and had to return to Washington early. James Knox Polk would suffer similar ailments as Speaker of the House under Jackson defending his stance on the future of the bank. Later Polk would die from Typhoid 3 months after leaving his tenure as president.

Later the Mansion House would be called the “West Block”. Jabez Baldwin, a Jeweler, who was also a Salem Common Improvement Subscriber had a business in the West Block.  In around 1850 the building burns down. Maybe in 1860 it was a new building ready for Almy’s to move in. In the picture above it looks like the building was made in 1859.

Further in the past we learn more information on this location that Almy’s occupied. Charles Wentworth Upham’s book “Salem Witchcraft,” published in 1867 states,“The ‘Ship Tavern’ was on the ground the front of which is occupied, at present, by ‘West’s Block,’ nearly opposite of the head of Central Street. It had long been owned and kept by John Gedney, Sr….John died in 1685. His widow moved into the family of her father-in-law; and, after his death in 1688, continued to keep house…The tavern, in 1692, was known as ‘Widow Gedney’s.’ The estate had an extensive orchard in the rear, contiguous, along its northern boundary, to the orchard of Bridget Bishop, which occupied ground now covered by the Lyceum building, and one or two others to the east of it.” The Ship Tavern was the defacto town hall. It was where the town already met, provided food and alcohol, and had more firewood in the winter than town hall. The Ship tavern led to the first death during the Witch Hysteria because the owner died leaving the property to his wife.

Born Sarah Warren, she married a prominent man by the name of Robert Prince. He was the brother of a woman who married into the prominent Putnam family who started the Witch Hysteria. Then Robert Prince died in 1674 leaving the tavern to her and the 150 acre farm next to the Putnam’s. His sister believed it should of gone to her and her father-in-law would of loved that acquisition and the influence it would of brought him in town. The widow then married Alexander Osborne, her Irish indentured manservant (who paid off his debt) causing a scandal. Sarah Osborne would be the first to die in jail in Boston from the Witch Hysteria.

Bridget Bishop would inherit a tavern from her second of three husbands, Thomas Oliver, which is on the site of the Salem Five Bank on the corner of Washington and Church Streets. Her orchard was behind that building and ran behind the Ship Tavern, who used to own the orchard under John Gedney Sr., on Essex Street. Now Turner’s Seafood sits in that old orchard on the site of the Lyceum that burned down when the Salem Boy’s Fraternity resided in it.

During the time of the Witch madness, a man had swore bewilderment had happened in his home and looked out of the window seeing Bridget Bishop running away through her orchard. The tale was probably a lie, but today real magic happens on this site for now it is the location of Coven’s Cottage and Angelica of the Angels. Both are psychic parlors and one is owned by real witches. Something that could only be found in Boxford, Ma in 1692.

Now back to tunnels; in the picture below you will see the foundations of these buildings after Almy’s was razed to build the Essex Condominiums and the retail stores below them. In the picture you can see the various bricks used to build the foundations of the Ship Tavern, John Turner III Mansion, and the West Block. In between these bricks you can see sections of bricks no wider than a hallway created with different building materials. These are the sealed tunnels that had led to this important seat of the town at various times.

Tunnels existed in Salem as far back as 1662 at least and around the time in 1655 that John Gedney (another Quaker) built the Ship Tavern on this location; could it have had tunnels connected to it at that time as well? John Turner I house, House of 7 Gables, was connected to tunnels; why would not his grandson keep up the tradition in 1742 when he built his mansion? Could this be a selling point for Nathaniel West who had previously owned the Gardner-Pingree house which famously depicts its secret passages on the board of the game Clue? He also owned his father-in-law’s wharf, Derby Wharf,  and warehouse that was connected to tunnels; it might seem a new home must be connected as a priority before he purchased it. West was also a Salem Common Improvement Fund subscriber. Could of President Jackson in 1833 walked from the Pickering, Mack, Stone House at 21-23 Chestnut Street (he visited Robert Stone who Jackson sent the USS Potomac to blow up Sumatra/Indonesia for, after natives raided one of his ships in 1832) to the Mansion House through the tunnel? Could of Jackson walked to Stephen White’s House also through the tunnel from the Mansion House? In 1860 the Salem Wharf’s were only being used for coal and lumber, but could Almy’s have received smuggled goods from Boston, Lowell, and Lawrence through the train tunnel built by George Peabody, of JP Morgan Bank fame, through the underground train station where Opus Underground is now from Boston? I believe so… What do you think? Tell me below in the comments.

So there is the various history of the store Salem locals loved and the history of the property that was connected to the smuggling tunnel of Salem, MA.

For more information on the tunnels read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and other great booksellers like Wicked Good Books, Jolie Tea, The Witch House, and Remember Salem in town. Support local businesses!!!