Monday, November 30, 2020

Frédéric Back

Frédéric Back, OC CQ (1924 –2013) was a Canadian artist and film director of short animated films.

During a long career with Radio-Canada, the French-language service of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, he was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning two, for his 1981 film Crac and the 1987 film The Man Who Planted Trees.

Born in Saarbrücken, The Territory of the Saar Basin, and raised in Strasbourg, Back's family moved to Paris at the start of the Second World War. Back studied art, first at the École Estienne and then at École régionale des beaux-arts de Rennes. Back's first exhibition took place at the Salon de la Marine in 1946.

Back emigrated to Canada in 1948, at the invitation of a pen pal, Ghylaine Paquin, who would become Back's wife the following year. Prior to joining the CBC, he taught at the École des beaux-arts.

Back was a vegetarian and animal rights activist. He often said: "Animals are my friends and I do not eat my friends". He gave conferences on the subject and participated in demonstrations to support animal rights. Back founded "Société Québécoise pour la Défense des Animaux", a society to protect animals.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Postie #2

For 40 years, Daniel Baranowski ensured the distribution of mail in this district of Thionville. "I'm the Post Office mammoth, the office dinosaur," smiles the postman. He has just retired.

The 61-year-old entered the club in the 1970s, when he was 17. He saw the city evolve. The job too. “Today, the young postmen, they run like rabbits,” Daniel breathes. He has always favoured personal contact, without worrying about the stopwatch. "If it took an hour longer, we didn't care. When you have a good heart and a smile every day, it creates bonds! "

The postman will no longer ring. But he returned to the Côte des Roses where he has his bearings. This Thionvillois has put away the uniform and beret and now intends to devote himself to his garden and to his painting. “I even bought a fishing rod,” he says.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Postie #1

After forty years at La Poste, Philippe Longuet, returned his moped at the end of his shift in Gond-Pontouvre, but he kept his beret.

“The beret was how my clients me. When they saw me with my beret, singing, with my pen in my ear, they knew it was Philippe who was coming”, he says with his Parisian accent that never left him despite twenty-five years in living in Charente.

The beret which even cost him a fine of € 90 when he went from his bicycle to the Mobylette and was stopped by the gendarmes because he refused to put on his helmet.

Friday, November 27, 2020


The Art and Science of Watch Collection.

This YouTube channel, by boinero Bill Sanders, is for beginning watch collectors interested in high horology. 

It covers the general topics of luxury watches, watch movements, purchasing watches, judging the value of a watch and its movements and understanding the history of different watches and watch brands that collectors cherish.

Thanks Frans

Thursday, November 26, 2020


French chalk portrait of a gentleman in a beret smoking, inscribed 'Gitanes'. Sold on auction at £35.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Willie Nelson

I never imagined Willie Nelson to feature on The Beret Project, but there you go - strange things happen (and thank you Byrne for alerting me)!

Willie Hugh Nelson (1933) is an American musician, actor, and activist.

The critical success of the album Shotgun Willie (1973), combined with the critical and commercial success of Red Headed Stranger (1975) and Stardust (1978), made Nelson one of the most recognized artists in country music. He was one of the main figures of outlaw country, a subgenre of country music that developed in the late 1960s as a reaction to the conservative restrictions of the Nashville sound. 

Nelson has acted in over 30 films, co-authored several books, and has been involved in activism for the use of biofuels and the legalization of marijuana.


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Taylor LaShae

Taylor Lashae was born in 1988 in Houston, Texas USA, of Columbian and French ancestry. 

She is an actress, model and Instagram celebrity, regarded by the modelling industry as the ‘it-girl’ and famous for her unique and recognizable style.

That style typically includes berets!

Monday, November 23, 2020

The Clogs of Les Landes

Landais clogs are made of Alder (also called Vergne). This untreated wood, delivered in logs, comes from wetlands near the Adour.

Manufacturing is done in 2 stages:

- The Façonneuse, which is an automatic lathe, reproduces pairs in specific models and shapes.

- The Creuseuse is used to hollow out the inside of the shoes according to templates.

The manufacture of wooden clogs has been perpetuated in the family tradition for 7 generations: Dominique, Martin, Jean, Jules, Georges and Pierre, Francis and finally Claude.

Long manufactured entirely by hand, it was in 1930 that Georges and Pierre started mechanizing and increased production.

In the 1980s, Claude joined the family business and continues to practice this profession until today.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Morris Katz

Morris Katz (born Moshe Katz on March 5, 1932 – November 12, 2010) was a Polish-American painter. He holds two Guinness World Records as the world's fastest painter and the world's most prolific artist. He has also been called the "King of Schlock Art" and the "King of Toilet Paper Art" because of a novel means of painting he developed using a palette knife and toilet tissue instead of a paintbrush.

At age 13 he studied under Dr. Hans Fokler of the Munich Academy. After World War II, he lived for a while in a displaced persons camp, where he earned a diploma in carpentry, and he said later that toilet paper was his "diploma in art."

He moved to the United States in 1949, when he took a job in carpentry while maintaining a sideline with his art. While working on his unpublished Dictionary of Color in 1956, he decided to try painting with his palette knife instead of his brushes. After some time he also began experimenting with the use of rags; when he ran out of rags he turned to toilet tissue. He would use up almost 10000 toilet paper rolls each year for his paintings.

As of February 2007, over his career he had painted more than 280,000 paintings. Over his long career, he established himself as a painter, comedian and television personality.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Krishen Khanna

Krishen Khanna (1925) is an Indian artist born in Lyallpur (now Faislabad, Pakistan). He attended Imperial Service College in England and is a self-taught artist. He is recipient of the Rockefeller Fellowship in 1962, the Padma Shri in 1990, and the Padma Bhushan in 2011.

In the 1940s he managed to find the main directions for his works: the growing Indian city, work and the moral position of the artist. K. Hanna's paintings are distinguished by his sharp and deeply laconic narrative, which is expressed in the paintings.

Hannah's work oscillates between narrative genres - allegory and social realism, all within the expressionist style. In the artist, each image is a character associated with himself.

Krishna Hanna's greatest work is a huge mural in the lobby of the Maurya Sheraton Hotel. It combines several themes that he embodied earlier: the street scene and empty figures, dhabi and the city with its workers and animals.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Édition Limitée Marine Ouessant Wool Cap

Only just in time for Christmas deliveries, the new stock of Le Laboureur has arrived!

At the beginning of the new decennium Le Laboureur made a special limited edition of the famous 'burel wool cap', the "Édition Limitée Marine Ouessant Wool Cap".

These are made of the natural Ouessant Breton sheep's wool, dyed in the original raw-navy of the Chasseurs Alpins and only available at South Pacific Berets (as long as stock lasts).

Literally the only headgear I wear apart from berets!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Amrita Sher-Gil

Amrita Sher-Gil (1913 –1941) was a Hungarian-Indian painter. She has been called "one of the greatest avant-garde women artists of the early 20th century" and a "pioneer" in modern Indian art.

Amrita Sher-Gil self-portrait

Drawn to painting from an early age, Sher-Gil started getting formal lessons in the art, at the age of eight. She first gained recognition at the age of 19, for her oil painting titled Young Girls (1932).

Sher-Gil travelled throughout her life to various countries including Turkey, France, and India, deriving heavily from precolonial Indian art styles and its current culture. Sher-Gil is considered an important painter of 20th-century India, whose legacy stands on a level with that of the pioneers from the Bengal Renaissance. 

She was also an avid reader and a pianist. Sher-Gil's paintings are among the most expensive by Indian women painters today, although few acknowledged her work when she was alive.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Luigi Loir

Luigi Loir (1845 –1916) was a French painter, illustrator and lithographer.

Luigi Loir was born in Goritz, Austria. He was the son of Tancrède Loir François and Thérèse Leban, his wife, respectively valet and housekeeper of the French royal family in exile in Austria. Installed in the duchy of Parma in 1847, Luigi Loir studied at the school of Fine Arts of Parma in 1853. His first known painting is Paysage à Villiers-sur Seine (1865), painted two years after his return to Paris. He was primarily a landscape painter. He also became known for his ceiling paintings and worked with Jean Pastelot (1820–1870).

Boulevard Haussmann, Paris by Luigi Loir

He realized some drawings for the biscuits brand LU and participated in the battles of Le Bourget during the Franco-Prussian War.

Paris, Morning by Luigi Loir (1890)

Loir was made a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1898. He died in Paris in 1916.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

André Utter

André Utter (1886 - 1948) was a French painter.

André Utter's father was a plumber, and Utter was an electrician before he became a self-taught painter of Parisian bohemians. His friend Maurice Utrillo introduced the twenty-year-old to his mother Suzanne Valadon in 1906. He became her lover and was her first male model to pose naked for her from 1909 to 1914.

Valadon introduced him to artistic circles and felt inspired by the love for her boyfriend, who was 21 years her junior.  At the beginning of the twentieth century this sexual relationship between female painter and male model was an exception and represented a reversal of the traditional gender hierarchy.

Valadon also broke with conventions in her paintings by Utter. At a time when female artists who worked by nude were met with resentment, she and her lover painted herself as Adam and Eve, walking serenely through a summer landscape.

Valadon, 1926

Utter and Valadon married shortly before he was drafted into World War I. After he returned in 1918, Utter drew and painted landscapes, still lifes, portraits and self-portraits in the style of a moderate expressionism, which, like Valadon, tended towards naturalism.

Monday, November 16, 2020


Chantaco is a neigbourhood in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, at the French Basque coast. 

It is also a well known beret label by former manufacturer Blancq-Olibet from Nay, that has appeared in many shapes over the years.

The most beautiful of all is this label that I found via website Etsy, referring to the sea, the skies, sport, bull fighting and elegance.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

P&B Knitting Pattern ' The Basque Beret'

The things one finds on the web sometimes: Original P&B 1960s Ladies Knitting Pattern ' The Basque Beret' Four Styles.

This leaflet contains instructions for knitting four styles of ladies beret, which are all very stylish and iconic for the era.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Emily Remler

Emily Remler (1957 –1990) was an American jazz guitarist, active from the late 1970s until her death in 1990.

Remler settled in New Orleans, where she played in blues and jazz clubs, working with bands such as Four Play  and Little Queenie and the Percolators before beginning her recording career in 1981. In a 1982 interview with People magazine, she said: "I may look like a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey, but inside I'm a 50-year-old, heavy-set black man with a big thumb, like Wes Montgomery."

When asked how she wanted to be remembered she remarked, "Good compositions, memorable guitar playing and my contributions as a woman in music...but the music is everything, and it has nothing to do with politics or the women's liberation movement."

Remler bore the scars of her longstanding addictions, including dilaudid, and heroin (which is believed to have contributed to her death). She died of heart failure at the age of 32 at the Connells Point home of musician Ed Gaston, while on tour in Australia.

Thanks Michael

Friday, November 13, 2020

Baruch Nachshon

Baruch Nachshon was born in Haifa in 1939.

 He studied art at the studio of Shlomo Nernai and at the School of Visual Arts in New York, thanks to a scholarship from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. 

In 1989 Baruch Nachshon was recognized as an outstanding artist by Bar Illan. Bold colors and amazing detail leaves the viewer with a rich visual experience. 

The images and artistic design of his work offer a spiritual dimension that integrates a festival of light and color.

Nachshon’s works have been on exhibition around the world; in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Hong Kong. 

Mr. Nachshon creates his art in his studio in Kiryat-Arba, Near Hebron.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Female Palestinian Police Officers

In 2007 Palestinian pedestrians gawked at the unusual sight of female police officers directing traffic in Ramallah; the first batch of women to venture into a job traditionally reserved for men in the West Bank.

The women wore uniforms of navy pants, light blue shirts and berets or navy blue headscarves, a sign of Muslim modesty. Some male police officers sneered at the women as they directed traffic and kept pedestrians from jaywalking on their first day on the job. The new recruits are part of the first class of Palestinian policewomen who recently completed a European Union-sponsored training program, part of a broader EU effort to improve ill-equipped Palestinian law enforcement agencies.

In addition to directing traffic, their duties also include conducting traffic patrols, house searches and security checks on women in prisons and universities. Roles of authority for women are widely frowned upon in conservative Palestinian society, but several bystanders said they were impressed. "This is wonderful - watching Palestinian women enforcing law and order," said Fuad Murar, 59.

Ashjan Abu Srour, a 23-year-old policewoman, wore an Islamic headscarf as she coaxed an elderly couple to walk on the sidewalk, not on the road. "I was a little afraid in the beginning, because our society imposes a certain lifestyle for women," Abu Srour said. "But now, after spending some time in the street, I am not afraid."