NEEDLE • KNIFE • TORCH [&] BRUSH

stevenspowers

Steven S. Powers presents, NEEDLE • KNIFE • TORCH [&] BRUSH, a collection of Outsider, Folk Art and good ol' Americana assembled for exhibition and sale at The Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show April 15-17 2016 with a gala preview party April 14. The Navy Yard, Marine Parade Grounds, Philadelphia, PA 19112. StevenSPowers.com for more information.

THE PHILADELPHIA ANTIQUES & ART SHOW 2016


S T E V E N S . P O W E R S

N E E D L E

K N I F E

T O R C H

[ & ]

B R U S H

Assembled for exhibition and sale at The Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show

April 15-17 2016 with a gala preview party April 14.

The Navy Yard, Marine Parade Grounds, Philadelphia, PA 19112

show website: philadelphiaantiquesandartshow.com

W O R K S O F

A R T

& a m e r i c a n a

360 Court Street #28, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | 718.625.1715 or 917.518.0809 | stevenspowers.com | member: ADA


Following are three remarkable

embroideries by Joseph Roth, a

schizophrenic patient at the

Central Islip Psychiatric Center,

NY 1905.

At least eleven works by Roth

have been identified, ranging in

date from 1905-1921. The

earlier ones while he was in

Central Islip and then later

when he was a patient at the

Binghamton State Hospital.

Roth and these works are an

important addition to the canon

and study of American Outsider

Art.

They are written in broken

English and German, without

punctuation and only in capital

letters. Some are highly

illustrative, while others, like

the examples herein are more

focused on the written word.

Joseph Roth

Kalane.Sunday.August.27.1905..Report

Embroidered thread on linen

Dated: August 27, 1905

Size: 10 3/8" (w) x 16 1/16" (h)

As of now, I have not been able

to identify Roth, however it can

be inferred that he was likely a

German immigrant and that he

was institutionalized for

schizophrenia and having a

“messiah complex.” On four

embroideries Roth declares that

he is the, “World Erloser”

which translates from German

as “savior or redeemer.”

In trying to find Joseph Roth, I

found that the New York Times

and other papers reported in

May of 1902 that a “Joseph

Roth” a butler, was wanted for

check fraud. It may be a


coincidence, but on several occasions Roth mentions money

and the Homer Lee Banknote Company. Given these interests,

artistic talent and his unstable mind, the fraud may be tied to

this Joseph Roth.

At the turn of the 19thC and into the 20thC, institutions began

using arts and crafts as occupational therapies—embroidery

was one such craft. In thinking of the patience required for

such involved and ambitious works, one can see how

embroidery would slow down ones racing thoughts. One

cannot frenetically scribble their mad rambling words—the

deliberate action of threading the needle, pushing it through

the obverse and reverse, step and repeat, forces one to

consider their thoughts at a more manageable pace.

It is during this time that we see embroideries and other

artistic creations documented in Europe—most famously by

Dr. Hans Prinzhorn, a German psychiatrist and art scholar.

Because of the materials used, Roth’s work draws comparison

to the work of Lorina Bulwer (1838–1912) who was a British

needleworker and a patient at the Great Yarmouth Workhouse.

Bulwer created embroideries with illustrations and copy also

written all in capital letters and without punctuation to

express her anger at her situation. Agnes Richter (1844-1918)

a patient in a German insane asylum obsessively embroidered

her straight jacket. Roth’s work also conjures up the colorful

and obsessive drawings of Adolf Wölfli (1864-1930) of the

Waldau Clinic in Bern, Switzerland, as well as James Edward

Deeds, Jr. (1908-1987) who was in State House #3 in Missouri.

The textile on the previous page is the earliest recorded and

dates from August 27, 1905. It is entitled, the “REPORT.” It

begins with name of Dr. West (who Roth refers to several

times) and lists a number of vocations; Brikleker (bricklayers),

Stonemeson (stonemason), Sourbuilthers (sewer builders), etc.

Roth then declares that he wants to go into NYC with Dr. West

to the Homer Lee Banknote Company. It ends by Roth stating

that he wants to see President Roosevelt in Washington

[about] “the gold and silver money mashinry [sic].” And signs

the textile, “Joseph Roth = World Erloser (world savior).” Note

that not only does he refer to himself as the redeemer; he

decidedly uses the equals (=) sign!


“THE GOLD AND SILVER

MONEY MACHINERY.”

—JOSEPH ROTH

Joseph Roth

Central Islip.Kalane.Den.10.September=1905

Embroidered thread on linen

Dated: September 10, 1905

Size: 14 5/8" (h) x 25" (w)


As mentioned above Roth appears obsessed with money—note

the composition of the following two large textiles—they are

composed as bills, banknotes or bonds with a central

illustrative devise flanked by copy.

The embroidery above is quite rich and complex. Dated

September 10, 1905 (less than two weeks after the “Report.”)

it begins, as one would start a letter, “Dear Father, first of all,

heart felt greetings to you. I am longingly waiting for my

freedom.” Was he committed against his will? Was there an

incident? Roth continues recalling an event of May 18 and his

“heathen” doctor and how he saw his bride, whom he did not

recognize. Roth again mentions President Roosevelt and “the

State House wherein lies millions of dollars of tax money from

the War of 1866 [the Austro-Prussian War].”

Roth continues that he wishes to celebrate his wedding and

hold his “first big sermon” on a trip around the world.

The center is headed with two American flags and a seal of

New York along with eight portraits, four of which are

identical (his bride). Others are the superintendent, Dr.

Marcus B. Heyman (Heiman [sic]), his Mother, the ship’s

captain and possibly a self-portrait.

The textile to the right is dated, November 6, 1905 and as the

above was a letter to his father, this one is a letter to his

brother. “Dear brother, it is hard to be suffering for such a long

time under the weeds, but as soon as I am free, I will be Lord

and Master of the earth.”

Roth’s work is an important addition to American Outsider Art

and his story is fascinating—and with more study and as more

works are discovered or identified, the more fascinating his

story will become.


“...AS SOON AS I AM

FREE, I WILL BE LORD

AND MASTER OF THE

EARTH.” —JOSEPH ROTH

Joseph Roth

Central Islip.Den.6.November=1905

Embroidered thread on linen

Dated: November 6, 1905

Size: 12 7/8" (h) x 24 1/2" (w)


A Record 1300 Words by John F. Ritter

micro-writing, pen and ink on a penny postcard

Circa: October 22, 1902

Size: 3 1/4" (w) x 5 1/2" (h)

Mysterious Four Armed Girl Folk Art Doll

Carved wood & polychrome

Circa: 1880

Size: 9" (h) x 4" (w) x 2 3/4" (d)

Provenance: Marvill Collection

Illustrated and discussed in American

Vernacular, page 126.


John David Wissler

“My passion has always been the landscape. I feel a sense of

history when painting… the painters I admire and study, Corot,

Constable, Turner, Inness, Bonnard, Resika…the history of the land

itself and my own familiar connection to it. Painting comes through

the study of nature…transformed, not merely copied. Seeing the

immediacy of the place…what strikes me first. The way trees react

to fields, colour to colour, shape to shape…pushing and pulling the

plastic nature of the picture plane, creating believable space.

I find the challenge of using what I have observed, taking it to my

studio, and creating a new painting invigorating. Drawing upon the

memory of place and experience…using the language, I have

learned from nature, trying to keep the painting fresh…space,

clarity, surprise…that’s painting!”

—John David Wissler


John David Wissler (1963 -)

Recovering Cold

Oil on board

2012

Size: 12 1/2" (h) x 12 7/8" (w)

Exhibited: Julio Fine Arts Gallery, Loyola University


John David Wissler (1963 -)

Frozen Project

Oil on board

2015

Size: 11 3/4" (w) x 13 7/8" (h)


John David Wissler (1963 -)

Thicket

Oil on board

2013

Size: 9" (h) x 12" (w)


New England Small Red Painted

Wall Box with Symmetrically

Scalloped Back

Circa: 1780

Size: 7" (w) 7 1/4" (h) x 4 3/4" (d)


Exceptional Paint Decorated New

England Traveler’s Mirror with

Carved Shell

Circa: 1730-1750

Size: 6 1/2" (h) x 3 11/16" (w)

German Wrought Iron

Lever - Serpent with

Crown and Apple

Circa: 16thC - 17thC

Size: 60" oal


Turned Ash Burl Covered Bowl

Circa: 1780

Size: 5 1/2" (d) x 5 3/4" (h)

Literature: Pictured in North American Burl Treen: Colonial & Native

American, page 73, plate 3/13


Acorn Shaped Turned Ash Burl Bowl

Circa: 1800

Size: 5 1/2" (d) x 2 3/4" (h)

Northeast Woodlands Ash Burl Bowl

Circa: 1780

Size: 6 1/8" (d) x 2 5/8" (h)

Literature: Pictured in North American

Burl Treen: Colonial & Native

American, page 46, plate 1/38


William Kocher

I use memory, direct observation, and imagination (past, present,

and future) to make paintings that are a correspondence with

nature and sensation.

My first recollections of drawing and painting began while watching

my father (a graduate of MICA) working in his studio, or drawing

sketches for us at the kitchen table. For me, my father’s agile

renderings encompassed all of the power that mark-making could

reach. Those impressions have never left me.

—William Kocher


William Kocher (1962 -)

Solo

Oil on board

2015

Size: 12" (w) x 6" (h)


William Kocher (1962 -)

Pink Moon, Racing Green

Oil on board

2015

Size: 12" (w) x 6" (h)

Exhibited: Julio Fine Arts Gallery, Loyola University


William Kocher (1962 -)

Down East

Oil on board

2014

Size: 12" (w) x 6" (h)

Exhibited: Julio Fine Arts Gallery, Loyola University


Eve

Walter Tinna (Oswego, NY)

Carved wood and polychrome

Circa: 1940-50

Size: 21 1/2" (h)


Scrimshaw Toothpick Holder of a Woman and Child

Whalebone

Circa: mid 19thC

Size: 2 3/4" (h)

Provenance: Brams Collection; Marvill Collection


Still Life with Fruits & Flowers

Reverse painting on glass

Circa: 1860

Size: 18 1/8" (h) x 24 1/8" (w)

Provenance: Phyllis Rosner & Judy Lenett;

Marvill Collection


(opposite upper) The Three Mystics

Carved mahogany, nickel plated bronze

Circa: 1960’s

Size: 4" (d)

(opposite below) Asleep Reading

Carved cedar

Circa: 1930’s

Size: 10" (l) x 6" (h)

Provenance: Marvill Collection

(above) Limber & Nothing to Hide

Carved mahogany, nickel plated bronze

Circa: 1960’s

Size: 5" (d)


A Collection of Early Eye Glasses; Syphilis Green, Motorcycle, Lodge, Sharp Shooter, and Turquoise

Circa: range from 1800-1920

New England Bat House

Carved pine with dovetailed joints, paint

Circa: 1880

Size: 16 5/8" (h) x 12 1/2" (w) x 4 3/8" (d)


Howard Rackliffe (American, 1917–1987)

Acadian Cliffs

Mixed media on board

Circa: 1968

Size: 21 1/2" (h) x 27 1/2" (w)

Rackliffe’s work was the focus of a retrospective

exhibition in 1990 at the New Britain Museum of

American Art, CT. which traveled to the

Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, ME.

Rackliffe’s works are represented in the

collections of the Barnes Foundation; New

Britain Museum of American Art; Portland

Museum of Art; and The Farnsworth Museum.


Steven Powers (1968 -)

Birch Bark

Oil on panel

2015

Size: 9" (h) x 12" (w)


Steven Powers (1968 -)

Woodlands (Acadia)

Oil on panel

2015

Size: 11" (h) x 14" (w)


Life Sized Folk Art Redware Head of a Man

Midwest

Circa: 1860-1880

Size: 10 1/2" (h) x 7" (w)

Provenance: Frank Maresca; Marvill Collection


The Pipefitters

Forged and welded iron

Ohio

Circa: 1930

Size: (left) 9 1/2" (h) | (right) 10" (h)

Provenance: America Hurrah; Marvill Collection

Illustrated and discussed in American Vernacular, page 132.


Steven Powers (1968 -)

Untitled Tree: Maple

Oil on panel

2015

Size: 9" (h) x 12" (w)


Joshua Shaw (1776 - 1860)

Wild Tree with Waterfall

Circa: 1825

Size: 16" (w) x 20" (h) (sight)


(left) Loincloth Larry

Wood, leather

Circa: 1920

Size: 10 3/8" (h)

Provenance: Marvill Collection

(right) Half-Headed Henrietta

Concrete, plaster, newspaper, paint

Circa: 1930

Size: 9 1/2" (w) x 11" (h)


George E. Morgan (1870-1969)

Hallowell: View of Lower Water Street

Dated: June 1963

Oil on canvas board

Size: 12" (h) x 16" (w)

Provenance: Anne K. Wardwell; Mr. & Mrs. Sumner and Helen Johnston; Joe Wetherell;

Raymond Saroff and Howard Rose; Peter Brams

Exhibitions: The Playhouse, Boothbay, ME 1963; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME,

1998; The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, IL, 1999.

Literature: Unexpected Eloquence, by Howard Rose; “George E. Morgan: Self Taught Maine

Artist,” Folk Art Magazine, Summer 1998, p.33.


George E. Morgan (1870-1969)

Freshet 1923

Dated: June 1963

Oil on canvas board

Size: 16" (h) x 12" (w)

Provenance: Anne K. Wardwell; Mr. & Mrs. Sumner

and Helen Johnston; Joe Wetherell; Raymond Saroff

and Howard Rose; Peter Brams

Exhibitions: The Playhouse, Boothbay, ME 1963;

Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME, 1998; The

Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Chicago, IL,

1999.

Literature: Unexpected Eloquence, by Howard

Rose; “George E. Morgan: Self Taught Maine

Artist,” Folk Art Magazine, Summer 1998, p.31;

“Art,” Chicago Reader, Chicago, IL, March 12,

1999.


Obsessive Proposal

Circa: Fort Dix 1944

Size: 11 5/8" (h) x 13 1/4" (w)

A unique marriage proposal in the style of a

ransom note from Eric to Heidi (Pastor)

done as an acrostic (read down from the

first letter of each line..."jeg elsker dig" is

Danish for "I love you.") In the second

paragraph he asks, "Gee wouldn't it be

grand if you were my wife?" Eric was a

linguist in WWII and did this from Fort Dix

1944.

Fascinating American Folk Art

Embroidered Textile

Circa: 1897-1904

Size: 24" (h) x 24" (w)

Wrought by Edith Owen-Bruyere

(1878-1958) of Glen Ridge NJ.

The center with vines, each leaf

with initials of a sibling, then

scattered autographs and

illustrations of a devil, skull,

playing cards, a neat illustration

of a woman at an easel with an

ink pot (possibly Violet Oakley),

a trumpet, snail, boat, golf clubs

a Bissell carpet sweeper(!) and

many more.


Folk Art Fantasy of a Woodlands Pipe

Steatite

Circa: 1880

Size: 5 5/8" (h)

Provenance: Frank Maresca; Marvill Collection


S T E V E N S . P O W E R S

Assembled for exhibition and sale at

The Philadelphia Antiques & Art Show

April 15-17 2016

O Gala Preview O April 14, 5-9 pm

The Navy Yard, Marine Parade

Grounds, Philadelphia, PA 19112

show website:

philadelphiaantiquesandartshow.com

W O R K S O F

A R T

& a m e r i c a n a

360 Court Street #28, Brooklyn, NY 11231 | 718.625.1715 or 917.518.0809 | stevenspowers.com | member: ADA

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