Someone brought real artisanal talent to blocking up these openings with mid-century-style stonework. It’s the AC units, I think, that might qualify these as actual Thomassons, especially if they came later.
I admit it. I love Nancy, and not ironically, at least not any longer. I grew up reading Nancy and Sluggo every day in the Chicago Sun-Times, which says something about my parent’s household (i.e., the Sun-Times, not the Republican Tribune). But it was in college that I became truly devoted to Nancy and her […]
Denver streets were lined with some real beauties when these pictures of roadside art were taken earlier in the decade. Also two nice places from Colorado Springs. Whether in muffler men or murals, vernacular creativity abounds.
The Mukwa Motel/Farmers Retirement Home is a vernacular art environment on Wisconsin Highway 54 west of New London. It’s on the northern edge of the Mukwa State Wildlife Area and was photographed before 1995. An artful bit of rural humor built by farmer John Kraske shortly before his retirement. According to the Post-Crescent newspaper, he […]
Father Paul Dobberstein’s Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa, is on the way to nowhere, but the right way to go: It’s one of the most spectacular places in the world. Dobberstein was a parish priest with a vision, and the decades he spent fulfilling that vision paid off. For that we should […]
Another Iowa vernacular masterpiece built by Father Paul Dobberstein, creator of the Grotto of the Redemption. Dobberstein was commissioned to built this memorial, officially called the Liberty Fountain, in honor of Fay Hessian, a young girl who died from tuberculosis in 1912. The fountain was dedicated in 1918 and restored in 2011. It sits in […]
If Paul Dobberstein’s Grotto of the Redemption is out of the way, his War Memorial is nearly inaccessible. You have to follow gravel roads to what used to be the site of a town called Rolfe to find this modest structure sitting in the middle of a small grassy field. Back to the Grotto of […]
In an out-of-the-way cemetery in Wesley, Iowa, you can find Father Paul Dobberstein’s Crucifixion Group, a mini-grotto unto itself. It’s another example of the decorative impulse filling every available space with something that looks cool. And like the big grotto a few towns away, it provides an effective setting for the underlying religious message. Back […]
Selling hundreds of LPs next Saturday, Sept. 9, at the big annual Lakewood-Balmoral neighborhood yard sale. 9-4 p.m. rain or shine. Prices shown, or best offer. Contact me early with offers for 10 or more. Or find me Saturday on the 5500 block of North Magnolia, Chicago. Also contact me if you are interested in […]
Here are some of the coolest stone carvings and paintings from Chicago’s Lake Michigan shoreline. The final date in each caption reflects the year the photograph was taken. All stone and concrete paintings photographed in 2016 and 2017 were still extant as of mid-2017. Pieces south of Montrose Harbor photographed before that time are gone […]