Happy Birthday to Artist Carl Holty

"Carl Holty painting entitled Bather, 1935"

Carl Holty “Bather” 1935

Carl Holty (1900-1973) is a favorite artist of mine. He had his finger, well actually paintbrushes, in many interesting art world “pies” during his distinguished career. Continue reading

Urban Bees Then and Now

NPR recently ran a piece on urban gardening that covered growing and gathering foods in cities from Philadelphia to Paris, including harvesting honey from rooftop apiaries. Listening to this piece piqued our interest because not only do we have a wonderful painting in our collection entitled The Beekeeper’s Daughter by Henry Bacon (1839-1912), but our Marketing and Research Associate Cynthia Caldwell Allen is also a beekeeper. Here is a guest blog from her on beekeeping then and now.

"Henry Bacon, The Beekeeper's Daughter"

Henry Bacon The Beekeeper’s Daughter 1881

The Beekeeper’s Daughter is a charming genre piece done in or around Paris in 1881 which captures a romanticized version of old world beekeeping. Bacon’s painting depicts several woven straw skeps snugly lined up along what is most likely the south-facing wall of a house. Ideally positioned for the beekeeper to keep an eye on and with plenty of sunshine to keep the bees active, the hives proximity to the door probably meant that most visitors would have used an alternative path when dropping by to visit either the beekeeper or his daughter.

As a modern-day beekeeper what I find intriguing about this piece is Continue reading

Mother’s Day Advice to Sons and Daughters Worldwide

I was always a pretty good planner and liked to have all my ducks in a row when I was growing up. School homework, family trips, camping in the nearby woods with neighborhood friends, sports, you name it – if it involved planning I was likely to be on top of it. Even better, if it involved packing I was in seventh heaven. You should see some of my present day pre-trip layouts for art fairs, a skiing trip, or a fishing sojourn. I classify them as epic meets obsessive! But I digress, and my packing tips are for another blog on another day. What I’m trying to say here and now is this –  plan early and often for Mother’s Day all you sons and daughters out there. The margin for error on this epic Hallmark day is ZERO. Father’s Day has a much larger margin for error, mostly because of all the Father’s who mess up on Mother’s Day, which comes first in the calendar year for a reason. It’s a women’s world, men!



Think you can just wake up a few minutes early on Sunday and whip up those blueberry pancakes for good old Ma when you…oops…don’t have blueberries, or pancake mix, or maple syrup? Nothing says “I don’t love you even though you were in labor for 55 hours straight giving birth to me” more than delivering freezer burnt frozen toaster waffles with an old Aunt Jemima’s bottle sporting a few final drops which you found in the back of your cupboard to Mother Dear who spent 364 days anticipating the wonders you would bestow upon her on this, her special day. Ditto for those things you thought were flowers (which are actually classified as weeds) that you picked on the way up the walkway and stuffed into a plastic water bottle you peeled the label off of while not breaking your stride. Continue reading

Julio De Diego

As many Mexican Americans and Latinos celebrate Cinco de Mayo today I’ve been thinking about the rich artistic legacy Mexico has produced including the artists Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jan Soriano, and Rufino Tamayo.

"Julio de Diego, Altitude 2000"

Altitude 2000, Departure (1946) by Julio De Diego

Many non-Mexican artists have also been deeply inspired by their visits to Mexico with its rich and varied landscapes that offer a wealth of source material. Spanish-American artist Julio de Diego (1900-1979) is one of my favorite examples. In the summer of 1945 de Diego visited Mexico, taking his first flight in an airplane. Today flying is something most of us have experienced and take for granted. In 1945 airplane travel was something the majority of the world could only dream about, and most had never experienced. De Diego was so inspired by his first flight that he produced a series of paintings which were later reproduced in the 1946 May issue of Life Magazine. These works were known as the Altitude Series. De Diego mentions how air travel allowed him to discover a new form of landscape, and to put these inspired fantasies on canvas.

Continue reading

Inaugurations, Pop-Tarts and Miniatures


"William Birch miniature of George Washington"

George Washington by William Birch, after Gilbert Stuart

Today is the inaugural day of our first President. On April 30, 1789 George Washington woke up, I’m assuming put in his legendary false teeth, kissed his wife Martha who handed him his briefcase and a couple of Pop-Tarts (my favorite are the brown sugar cinnamon) on the way out the door, and then headed to Federal Hall in New York City to be sworn in as the first President of the United States of America. Continue reading

Sweeping Panoramas

"Otis Bullard Horse Trade Scene, Cornish Maine 1853"There has been quite a bit of press lately regarding the St. Louis Art Museum’s Mississippi Valley Panorama (circa 1850) by artist John J. Egan. Many years ago, we purchased an interesting work by Egan’s contemporary American artist Otis A. Bullard. The work depicts a horse trading scene, where a sharp trader has just unloaded an unruly horse onto an unsuspecting man. The novice buyer is about to learn his new horse’s temperament as the horse embarks on some impromptu tailoring of the new owner’s pants.  The scene depicts the small town of Cornish, Maine and was executed in 1853. Of significant interest is what we discovered after we had the work cleaned. Continue reading

Holiday Cheer

"Paul Riba, Marionettes Perform"

Marionettes Perform by Paul Riba

We’re busy getting ready for the holidays here at The Caldwell Galley. The eggnog and cider are chilling and the logs are stacked for the fire. To really get us in the mood we’ve also been hanging some of our favorite holiday art. Enjoy, and we wish you a healthy and prosperous 2012.