Friday, May 27, 2016

The Hungary Archives #1

I discovered an archive of Hungarian  photography, which proved a real treasure trove for beret related material. Below the first of these great pictures:
FSO truck driver stopped by volunteer police, 1964
Elizabeth Bridge construction in Budapest, 1963
Elizabeth Bridge on the Pest side of Budapest, looking towards the bridge before the inauguration, 1964
Kossuth Lajos street corner, 1962
State Farm, Horticultural College students, 1958
Dance, 1961

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Victor Moscoso

Born in Spain, Victor Moscoso was the first of the rock poster artists of the 60’s era with formal academic training and experience. After studying art at Cooper Union in New York City and at Yale University, he moved to San Francisco in 1959. There, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute, where he eventually became an instructor.
Moscoso's use of vibrating colors was influenced by painter Josef Albers, one of his teachers at Yale. He was the first of the rock poster artists to use photographic collage in many of his posters.
Professional lightning struck in the form of the psychedelic rock and roll poster for the San Francisco "Hippy" dance halls and clubs. Victor Moscoso's posters for the Family Dog dance-concerts at the Avalon Ballroom and his Neon Rose posters for the Matrix were to bring his work international attention in the "Summer of Love", 1967.
Within a year, lightning would strike again in the form of the Underground Comix. As one of the Zap Comix Artists, Moscoso's work, once again received international attention. Moscoso's comix and poster work has continued up to the present and includes album covers for musicians such as Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Herbie Hancock, and David Grisman. He also created art for use on t-shirts, billboards and animated commercials for radio stations.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Walter Kohn

Walter Kohn (1923 –2016), the Austrian-born American, Nobel prize winning theoretical physicist and theoretical chemist died last week on 19 April.
Kohn arrived in England as part of the famous Kindertransport rescue operation, immediately after the annexation of Austria by Hitler. His parents, Gittel and Salomon Kohn, were killed at Auschwitz in 1944. Because Kohn  was a German national, he was sent to Canada by the English in July 1940. He succeeded in entering the University of Toronto, but as a German national, the future Nobel Laureate in Chemistry was not allowed to enter the chemistry building, and so he opted for physics and mathematics.
Beyond physics, he was a humanist, an artist, and a philosopher who shared time with such revered figures as the Pope and the Dalai Lama. In 2005, he and fellow Nobel Laureate and UC Santa Barbara Professor of Physics and of Materials Alan Heeger produced a documentary on solar power titled The Power of the Sun, narrated by actor and comedian John Cleese. It was distributed in several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, several European languages, and Tagalog in the Philippines, with screenings worldwide. This film inspires with the dream of empowering even the most isolated people of the developing world with electricity.
Beyond his research, Walter was deeply engaged in matters spiritual and societal. Many have been inspired by his incredible life story and his work to promote tolerance and world peace.
Thank you, Michel

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Janus with Beret - Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan Chermayeff is credited with producing the now-iconic American logos for companies such as NBC, PBS, Mobile Oil, PanAm, the Smithsonian Institution and The Museum of Modern Art.
Ivan Chermayeff studied at Harvard University, the Institute of Design in Chicago, and graduated from Yale University, School of Art and Architecture.
His most interesting work, in my personal opinion, is Janus with Beret (pictured above). 

Monday, May 23, 2016


Once you saw these in every French hatters shop window: décalcomanies for berets.
Decalcomania, from the French décalcomanie, is a decorative technique by which engravings and prints may be transferred to pottery or other materials. Today the shortened version is "Decal".
The time of all men wearing berets is long behind us, and so is the diminishment of these little arty window pieces.
And like everything that's become obsolete, rare and vintage, they actually fetch high prices on auction web sites and at antique markets. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

László Sólyom

László Sólyom (1942) is a Hungarian political figure, lawyer, and librarian who was President of Hungary from 2005 until 2010.
Previously he was president of the Constitutional Court of Hungary from 1990 to 1998. During this time, the Constitutional Court laid the groundwork for a strengthening democracy in Hungary. 
In his role, he significantly contributed to the removal of capital punishment, the protection of information rights, the freedom of opinion and of conscience, as well as the constitutional protection of domestic partnerships of homosexuals, which measures brought wide international acclaim for the Constitutional Court of Hungary.
As president-elect he promised not to visit the U.S. as long as it requires him to be fingerprinted at the border. László Sólyom is an avid beret wearer.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fernando González Ochoa "Otraparte"

Fernando González Ochoa (1895 –1964), was a Colombian writer and existentialist philosopher known as "el filósofo de Otraparte" (The Philosopher from somewhere else).
He wrote about sociology, history, art, moral, economy, epistemology and theology in a magisterial and creative way, using different genres of literature. González is considered one of the most original writers of Colombia during the 20th century.
His ideas were controversial and had a great influence in the Colombian society at his time and today. The González work was the inspiration of Nadaism, a literary movement founded by one of his disciples, Gonzalo Arango.
The Otraparte Villa, his house in Envigado, is today a museum and the headquarters of the cultural foundation to preserve and promote his legacy. The place was declared a National Patrimony of Colombia in 2006.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Niek de Boer

Dutch Professor ir. Niek de Boer was the inventor of the term ‘woonerf’. He introduced this urban planning concept during the development of residential areas in the city of Emmen where he was involved in at the end of the sixties.
Niek de Boer was best known for his concept 'Bloemkoolwijk' ("cauliflower neighborhood") 
Cauliflower neighborhoods that were built since 1970 are characterized by winding paths and courtyards. The residential areas are made up of neighborhoods, following the structure of a cauliflower, also called the "tree structure". The streets and residential areas form separate sub-neighbourhoods which, like cauliflower florets, are "planted" on the main roads and generally have only one point of access. These sub-neighbourhoods are not connected with each other by roads and therefore usually consist of dead-end streets. This concept ensures low-traffic residential areas.
De Boer passed away on 19 January 2016 at the age of 91. Until his retirement he was Professor Urban Planning at the Delft technical University where he inspired many generations of students.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Alphonse Juin, a fine and courteous gentleman

Alphonse Pierre Juin (1888 –1967) was a Marshal of France. His great skills were exhibited during the Italian campaign as commander of the French Expeditionary Corps. His expertise in mountain warfare was crucial in breaking the Gustav Line, which had held up the Allied advance for six months.
Juin declared to his Goumiers (Moroccan soldiers in French service) before the battle: “For 50 hours you will be the absolute masters of what you will find beyond the enemy. Nobody will punish you for what you do, nobody will ask what you will get up to.” 
After the fall of Monte Cassino on the night of May 19, 1944 the Free French forces turned loose the Goumiers upon the local population. Over 60,000 women were raped as the spoils of war. They were as old as 86 and as young as 11.
In his diary, Major General John P. Lucas, commander of the US VI Corps, noted that Juin "turned out to be not only a splendid soldier but a fine and courteous gentleman as well."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

John Berryman

John Allyn Berryman (1914 –1972) was an American poet and scholar, born in McAlester, Oklahoma. He was a major figure in American poetry in the second half of the 20th century and was considered a key figure in the Confessional school of poetry.
In 1926, in Florida, when the poet was eleven years old, his father shot and killed himself, Berryman was haunted by his father's death for the rest of his life and would later write about his struggle to come to terms with it in his book The Dream Songs.
Berryman was married three times and lived turbulently. During one of the many times he was hospitalized in order to detox from alcohol abuse, in 1970, he experienced what he termed "a sort of religious conversion",  "a sudden and radical shift from a belief in a transcendent God ... to a belief in a God who cared for the individual fates of human beings and who even interceded for them." Nevertheless, Berryman continued to abuse alcohol and to struggle with depression, as he had throughout much of his adult life, and on the morning of January 7, 1972, he killed himself by jumping from the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota, onto the west bank of the Mississippi River.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Randy Bowles

Seattle based Randy Bowles is, and has been for 51 years, a folk-rock singer/guitarist, who sings Beatles, classic rock & Great American Songbook tunes.
Bowles ended fifth in the United States and Canada in the Grand Ole Opry's 50th Anniversary Talent Search and was nominated for Folk Group Of The Year and Folk Album of the Year, twice: 1988 and 1991.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Kevin Courrier on Randy Newman

Ha, I was happily surprised to find that, when looking for a book on one of my favourite artists, Randy Newman, the author is a boinero too. 
Alas, I praise myself lucky to have read a few reviews on the book before actually clicking the 'Buy Now' button and, I am sorry to say, there are beret wearers who produce less than worthy work. Sad, but true... 
But, a boinero is a boinero and deserves a place here on The Beret Project (but maybe wait until a better book on Randy comes out...).

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Bachi, or Flat Sailors Cap

A close relation of the beret is the bachi (or flat sailors cap). 
A sailor cap is a round, flat visorless hat worn by sailors in many of the world's navies. A tally, an inscribed black silk ribbon, is tied around the base which usually bears the name of a ship or a navy.
In the French Navy, it is topped with a puff more commonly called red pompom. It is crossed from right to left with a white cotton lace chin strap which prevents it to fly when the wind blows.
The puff was originally fitted as a soft cushion for the head, in the confined spaces of navy ships.
Many navies (e.g. the German) tie the tally at the rear of the cap and let the two ends hang down to the shoulders as decorative streamers. In the Royal Navy the tally is tied off in a bow over the left ear and in the early 20th century it was customary when going on shore leave to tie a small coin in the bow to make it stand out. In wartime, as a security measure, many navies replace the name of the ship with a generic title (e.g. "HMS" = "His/Her Majesty's Ship" in the Royal Navy or "South African Navy"). The cap may be further embellished with a badge, cockade or other accessory. Visorless caps of this kind began to be worn in the mid 19th century.
The sailor cap was first introduced in 1811 as a part of the uniform in the Russian Navy. It was a development of the peaked cap in application to marine conditions.
United States Navy, Bolivian and Venezuelan sailors wear a unique white canvas hat with an upright brim, often referred to as a "Dixie cup" in reference to its similarity to the shape of a common disposable drinking cup, or a "gob hat" or cap. This hat was also worn by Polish Navy sailors before 1939—it was called "amerykanka" ("American hat") or "nejwihetka" (derived from the English phrase "Navy hat").

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Ni vu, ni connu

Ni vu, ni connu (Neither seen, nor known), is a French comedy film from 1958, directed by Yves Robert, starring Louis de Funès. 
The film is based on the novel L'Affaire Blaireau (The Badger Case) by Alphonse Allais.
In the wine-growing village of Montpaillard, the humorless gamekeeper Parju is determined to bring in the wily poacher Blaireau. One night, he is accidentally knocked out by Armand Fléchard, a young piano teacher, but is convinced the attacker was Blaireau and has him arrested. 
However, Blaireau knows how to take advantage of any situation, and what he makes of being arrested benefits the entire village, including Fléchard and his girlfriend, Arabella, the daughter of the local landowner.