Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Paul Citroen (2)

Once more, Dutch artist Paul Citroen. 
Marianne Breslauer: Paul Citroen, Berlin, 1928
Roelof Paul Citroen (1896 – 1983) was a German-born Dutch artist, art educator and co-founder of the New Art Academy in Amsterdam. Among his best-known works are the photo-montage Metropolis and 1949 Dutch postage stamps.
Selfportrait, ca. 1939
Citroen was born and grew up in a middle-class family in Berlin. Both his parents were Dutch Jews. His father owned a fur shop. At an early age, Citroen began drawing, provoking strong support from his parents. He soon started to experiment with photography with Erwin Blumenfeld and studied art in Berlin.
Working on portrait of wife Christi Frisch
In 1919 Citroen began studying at the Bauhaus, where he started taking lessons from Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky (part of Der Blaue Reiter) and Johannes Itten, who became one of his biggest influences. Around this time, he started Metropolis (1923), which became his best-known piece. Citroen's Metropolis influenced Fritz Lang to make his classic film Metropolis. Between 1929 and 1935, Citroen made many photographs, clearly influenced by his work with Blumenfeld.
Portrait by Yoke Matze
He soon started up the Nieuwe Kunstschool (New Art School) with Charles Roelofsz. It ran out of money and closed down in 1937. That year, Citroen became a scholar at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. Among his many students are Kees Bol, Madeleine Gans, Henk Hartog, and Jos Zeegers. He designed his monumental postage stamps in 1949. In 1960 he stopped teaching and started painting portraits as his main focus. He painted portraits of famous Dutch people, including a well-known portrait of Liesbeth List in 1979.

Portrait by Yoke Matze
Paul Citroen died in 1983 in Wassenaar.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Harm Henrick Kamerlingh Onnes

Harm Henrick Kamerlingh Onnes (1893 –1985) was a Dutch portrait painter and ceramist who also produced designs for stamps and stained-glass windows. He is best known for the small, humorous vignettes of everyday life.
Self Portrait
In his early years from 1915 to 1925 his work was influenced by modernism. In 1918 he designed a number of abstract stained-glass windows for the Spark House, which was designed by Jacobus Oud. From 1925, he started to take the everyday reality as his subject, and from that time he only made figurative works.
Farmer by the Fire 
It was after a visit to the studio of Mondrian, that he had realized that abstract art was not for him. Some of his designs for stained-glass windows have discoveries of physicists Pieter Zeeman and Hendrik Lorentz as a subject. One of these stained-glass windows contained a portrait of Hendrik Lorentz and formulas devised by him that describe the behavior of electrons. Other stained-glass windows show the instruments to measure the splitting of spectral lines of atoms under the influence of a magnetic field is measured, the so-called Zeeman effect. He also made portraits of the physicists Albert Einstein and Paul Ehrenfest.
The found object
Harm Kamerlingh Onnes characterized his artistic work with the phrase "just messing around".

The gardeners of Endegeest

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Militarized Basque Berets

Military berets not only have their distinctive badges on the outside, but sometimes also on the inside. Some berets worn by the French military were (the more comfortable) civilian Basque berets (with the cabillou removed). Headbands of these berets were far more comfortable and the label prettier than the standard name/size label in white cotton.
The Lebanese military did the same, it seems (see last photo). 
501° Regiment de Char de Combat
Gendarmerie, 1940s
Ecole militaire preparatoire (1945)
Lebanese militarized Basque beret

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Ron Mael (Sparks)

Ronald David "Ron" Mael (1945) is an American musician, songwriter, composer and record producer.
Mael's music career spans more than 50 years. With his younger brother Russell, he formed the pop band Halfnelson in 1971. After the release of their first album, the band name was changed to Sparks. 
Ron Mael plays the keyboards and synthesizers and writes most of the songs for Sparks. When the band hit the peak of its popularity in the 1970s, he was well known for his strange appearance, often remaining motionless over his keyboard in sharp contrast to Russell's animated and hyperactive frontman antics. 
Ron's conservative clothes and unfashionable, Charlie Chaplin-esque toothbrush moustache attracted much attention, as does his current pencil moustache. Onstage, Ron alternates between playing the keyboard and engaging in comic mime routines, often in connection with projections on backdrop.

Friday, October 19, 2018

International Brigader John Tisa

John Tisa was born in Philadelphia, 1914 and was an Italian American of mixed Cuban and Italian descent.
Tisa sailed on January 5, 1937 aboard the Champlain and arrived in Spain on January 13. There Tisa served as an ambulance driver with the XV Brigade, Lincoln Bn, Co. 2. 
He was selected for the Historical Commission and helped publish the Book of the XVth Brigade; Tisa returned to the US on April 15, 1939 aboard the George Washington and joined the US Armed forces during WWII.
John Tisa died December 12, 1991.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

This -Short- Week's SPECIAL!

After 5 days walking, climbing and cycling in Central Otago, back in Wellington and behind my PC, wondering what berets to put on SPECIAL for the remainder of the week...
Since the 'Alpin' was my beret-of-choice these last few days, protecting me from snow, sun and rain at various times (4 seasons in a day, as the saying goes), what better than the Grand Foulards Alpins.
Not a model that ever made it to the Specials-Page before, but for the last few days of this week... Grab your chance.
100% French merino wool felted 336mm model, now available in black and seven colours in the extra-luxury edition under the Aotearoa label. The last bulwark between the head and the clouds!
From $95.00 @ $72.50 (as long as stock lasts). 

Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox y KirkPatrick at La Rhune

Doña María Eugenia Ignacia Augustina de Palafox y KirkPatrick, 16th Countess of Teba, 15th Marchioness of Ardales (5 May 1826 – 11 July 1920), known as Eugénie de Montijo, was the last Empress Consort of the French (1853–71) as the wife of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French.
In 1854, the emperor Napoleon III and Eugénie bought several acres of dunes in Biarritz (Basque Country) and established a summer home surrounded by gardens, woods, meadows, a pond and outbuildings. Napoleon III chose the location near Spain, so his wife would not get homesick for her native country. It was during one of their stays here that the mistaken description ‘Basque Beret’ was uttered by the emperor, believing all these berets seen locally were Basque (they were Béarnais, of course, but who would argue with an emperor?).
After the visit of the Empress Eugenie to the summit of the Rhune on September 30, 1859, the town of Ascain raised an obelisk in white sandstone 5 meters high surmounted by a bronze eagle of 55cm. The obelisk survived with difficulty at the end of the empire of Napoleon III.
In 1881, a foreigner passing by, managed to unseal the engraved plaque, which was found at the beginning of the 20th century in Olhette. It was reinstated in 1928.
It was in the 40s that the eagle disappeared. In 1992, the monument was only two meters high and was in very bad condition. On September 30, 1993 the inauguration of the restoration of the obelisk took place on the anniversary of Empress Eugénie's first trip to the Rhune.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich

A rather controversial post today...
Maxim Sergeyevich Martsinkevich (1984), better known as Tesak (Hatchet or Hand Axe), is a Russian neo-Nazi activist, media personality, vlogger, the leader and one of the founders of the Restruct movement that has existed on the territory of post-Soviet countries.
Tesak has first caught public attention as a white power skinhead and the leader of the far-right youth group Format 18, which has been described as the "armed wing" of the National Socialist Society.
Martsinkevich has received three prison sentences for inciting racial or ethnic hatred. In 2007, Tesak was indicted for the first time, after disrupting political debates by performing the Nazi salute and yelling "Sieg Heil!" at the Bilingua club in Moscow. In 2009, he was sentenced to three years for making a video with racist content. Martsinkevich's memories from this time in prison have been expressed through his book Restruct. After getting out of prison, Tesak has been unemployed, made vlogs and made a living by charging others for joining his "hunts for paedophiles" and for attending his lectures about life in prison, ways of shoplifting, as well as other subjects. In the autumn of 2013, Tesak was indicted again for releasing new videos featuring racist remarks. As the result, on 15 August 2014, he was sentenced to five years in prison.
On 27 June 2017, the Babushkinsky district court of Moscow sentenced Martsinkevich to ten years in a strict regimen corrective labor colony for his involvement in attacks targeting synthetic cannabinoids dealers.
Pictured here is Maxim on Cuba, before his arrest by Cuban police and his extradition to Russia.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Larose Paris

Larose is a Paris based hat company with outlets in Paris, London and New York.
Isaac Larose and Marc Beaugé are the two creators of Larose Paris and all hats are designed in their Paris studio. Materials are sourced locally and the hats made in France.
In their large range of headgear, Larose has now added a beret; a navy model with headband, fitted with a stylized L or their signature zip.
Nice berets, but not cheap, starting at $135.00.

Monday, October 15, 2018

La Fille d’Hérode

Headwear label Larose Paris has released a NSFW short film titled “La Fille d’Hérode,” to showcase its latest French beret collection.
Inspired by La Belle Noiseuse, the 1991 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix prize winner, the film stars painter Adam Markovic in a scene with his muse, model Salome Zimmerlin. Marcovic is seen failing to get Zimmerlin in the correct position, before deciding to simply paint the beret on its own instead.
The film was directed by Charles Burroughs, and all the paintings featured are by Markovic and his wife, Sharon Okun. Larose Paris’s beret collection is available at its online store, with prices starting at $130.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Beret Is Back!

From Blog.size.co.uk, a nice article on berets and beret-wearing (and honoured to see myself mentioned in the article):

The Beret Is Back

Signifier of creativity, rebellion, and bohemianism — the beret is making an appearance once more on the streets of our cities. Tony Sylvester investigates.

“Some of us are wearing berets.” Cult style chronicler Mister Mort stands in front of a mirror filming his outfit for his Snapchat. Known for his appreciation for streetwear and classic preppy looks, he’s rocking a grey sweatsuit, Air Force 1s and a double breasted overcoat. But the iPhone pauses defiantly at his headgear; a black wool beret sits atop, a somewhat eccentric cap to the ensemble. But damn, it works.
New Yorker Mister Mort (aka Mordechai Rubinstein) has just been on a whirlwind month – long trip through the winter menswear shows of Europe, taking in London, Florence, Milan and Paris, shooting the great and good outside and inside the runway shows and exhibition halls. Like a lot of other observers, he has noticed the revival of possibly one of the last great pieces of historical menswear that has yet to be rediscovered: the humble beret. In an age where every sartorial stone has been turned over, every facet of the male wardrobe appropriated and reinvented, it’s all the more remarkable that it has managed to stay out of the limelight for so long.

Europeans have worn knitted woollen head coverings since time immemorial, but the term beret doesn’t appear in parlance until the early 19th Century. The shepherds in the Pyrenees on the French-Spanish border found it the perfect foil for sun, cold and rain. It dominated the surrounding Basque Country, spreading along the coast, to become the default head gear for the working classes. From the fishermen of Northern France to the factory workers in rural Italy, its presence commanded early photographs of proletarian life. As the century wore on its wearing took on a significance beyond its original practicality, becoming imbued with a sense of whimsical nostalgia for an older, more simple age. It was painters who first put in this potency; Claude Monet’s famous self portrait of 1886 sees the archetype of the bereted and bearded Bohemian staring back at us wistfully, indelibly inking the image of the beret as the artisan’s choice.
In the early part of the 20th Century, the beret climbed several rungs up the sartorial ladder thanks to some unlikely royal patronage. Rather taken with the headgear of a Jai Alai player (the now almost extinct Basque sport played with goatskin ball and wicker scoop), Edward Windsor, Prince of Wales, took to sporting a beret on the golf courses and promenades of Biarritz. Like so many of his innovations it became rather fashionable, lending an aristocratic loucheness to linen slacks, co-respondent shoes and polo shirts. By the summer of 1935, Esquire magazine were referring to this as “almost the resort uniform”. Post WW2, Dizzy Gillespie and a generation of musicians took cues from both this Jazz Age elegance and the earlier artistic chic, handing the beret over to the Beat Generation — spearheaded by writers and poets like Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg  — forever codifying it in American eyes as the choice of non-conformist rebellion.

The next chapter in the beret story is undoubtedly the most iconic and enduring. As the official photographer to Fidel Castro’s socialist revolution, Cuban Alberto Korda had been charting the rise of the movement both nationally and internationally. On March 5, 1960, Korda shot a portrait of little-known guerrilla leader Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara which would encapsulate the idealised image of the ‘revolutionary’ for the world to see. Proud, stern and handsome, Che stares into the future and the photograph, known as ‘Guerrillero Heroica’, would become a trademark; a logo emblazoned on the walls and chests of every radical left-wing would-be revolutionary, one of the most famous portraits of the 20th Century. The beret had a military pedigree at this point too, having been worn first by Basque soldiers and eventually by elite units the world over such as the Green Berets, the Parachute Regiment and the Foreign Legion. In the radicalised ‘70s, any beret wearer would be aligning themselves with the militant left in the public’s eyes, thanks to its ubiquitous presence on the heads of everyone from The Black Panther Party to the IRA.
This association lives on today. I asked writer and owner of the web shop South Pacific Berets, Daan Kolthoff for his thoughts; “I wear my berets to continue a long tradition in my family (father, grandfather and further), but also because of my positive associations with Basque berets,” he explained. “Often boineros (beret wearers) tend to be the more humanist, liberal, progressive people. I have worked for many years in medical emergency aid and I saw this confirmed in places like Bosnia and the Caucasus, where in the middle of war and atrocities, I would always meet a fellow boinero, someone who managed to keep his decency and humanity.”

Robert Spangle, the GQ street style photographer who blogs under the moniker 1000 Yard Style, agrees: “I think it’s safe to infer a guy wearing a beret is feeling a bit revolutionary, and probably like the French, is more inclined to write than he is to shoot. The beret is also distinctly French, so there is a nod of solidarity there, and with Paris so heavily embattled it’s no wonder people are attracted to a sign of militant, intellectual solidarity. France has always been a diplomatic state, and with borders closing and countries returning to isolationism, maybe the beret is a sort of international signal flare, a light in the night to keep things together.”

Saturday, October 13, 2018


Tusk is a 2014 American comedy horror film written and directed by Kevin Smith, based on a story from his SModcast podcast. 
The film stars Michael Parks, Justin Long, Haley Joel Osment, Genesis Rodriguez, and beret-wearing Johnny Depp as inspector Guy Lapointe.
Arrogant and brash U.S. podcaster (Justin Long) ventures into the Canadian wilderness to interview an old man (Michael Parks) who has an extraordinary past, and the American learns the man has a dark secret involving a walrus.
Guy Lapointe: [with a heavy accent] “I am Guy Lapointe. That is my name. Guy Lapointe. And I spend 20 years as the inspector of the Surete du Quebec. And but for the last 10 years of my life, I have been hunting an animal who is doing the masquerade as the man. I have been hunting this Howard Howe. Howard Howe, this elusive, uh... devil made of the flesh. This serial killer who makes the bringing of the blood and terror to the true north”.
Not very well reviewed by critics and the public, possibly having to do with some of the rather explicit gory details dealing with amputation and body modification... 

Friday, October 12, 2018


There was an old man at DePaul:
Made disturbances down at the mall.
His beret was so tight that it made him turn white,
And they said, "Why'dja buy it so small?"

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Royal Order of Jesters

The Royal Order of Jesters is a male fraternal organization, allowing only Shriners in good standing to join. Admission is by invitation only.
The original meeting resulting in the formation was held on February 20, 1911, by Shriners in the Captain’s office of the S.S. Wilhelmina on a pilgrimage to Aloha Temple, Hawaii. Noble A.M. Ellison of San Francisco, California, was responsible and the original cast included a Director and thirteen members. It was organized June 25, 1917, at an informal meeting.
"Whereas most Masonic bodies are dedicated to charity, The Royal Order of Jesters is a fun "degree," with absolutely no serious intent. The motto, "Mirth is King,” is sufficient to give voice to the purpose of the organization. The Royal Order of Jesters feel that there are times, after our hard work and dedication to family and mankind, when everyone should remember to laugh and appreciate the good work one has done." The icon of the Order is the Billiken.
The order is very anti-publicity. For example, a website made by one of its members was removed after intervention of the National Court of the Order. The primary reason behind this was the desire of the Board to minimize the public exposure or public access to Jester information.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair

The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair held over 140 pavilions, 110 restaurants, for 80 nations (hosted by 37), 24 US states, and over 45 corporations to build exhibits or attractions at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NY. 
The immense fair covered 646 acres (261 ha) on half the park, with numerous pools or fountains, and an amusement park with rides near the lake. However, the fair did not receive official sanctioning from the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE). Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding", dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe". American companies dominated the exposition as exhibitors. The theme was symbolized by a 12-story-high, stainless-steel model of the earth called the Unisphere, built on the foundation of the Perisphere from the 1939 NYC fair. 
The fair ran for two six-month seasons, April 22 – October 18, 1964, and April 21 – October 17, 1965. Admission price for adults (13 and older) was $2 in 1964 (equivalent to $15.78 in 2017) but $2.50 (equivalent to $19.41 in 2017) in 1965, and $1 for children (2–12) both years (equivalent to $7.89 in 2017).