The funeral for my dear friend and longtime author Ruth Gruber will be this morning, Nov 20, 11am at B’nai Jeshurun on W 88th St in Manhattan. She died on Thursday at age 105. One of her mentors was Edward Steichen, who urged her, “Take pictures with your heart,” which she always did. Here’s an album with two pictures of her, and a few of her images. Among her hundreds of great photographs, these three are some of her most moving. Links below offer more info on Ruth’s long life and career.
Paying affectionate homage to Mark Twain, who died on this date in 1910, in Redding, CT, one day after Halley’s Comet’s close approach to Earth, a celestial visitor that also neared Earth around his birth in 1835. Here’s a photo I took of his grave a few summers ago at the lovely cemetery where he’s buried in Elmira, NY.
With March advancing toward mid-month, Iit keeps getting dark later everyday, and on a fine day such as this one was, it was light until past 6:30. I’ve been under the weather, and so not riding my bike this week, but I got down to the Hudson River for the first time in several days late this afternoon, leaving my home office after 5:00. I left work on my desk, lest I lose the chance to see how today’s sunset would turn out, and I wondered if I’d catch much of the light. As many who know me and this blog may attest, I have an appetite for late afternoon light. The amazing thing about living on the west side of Manhattan? We happen to have great sunsets, especially right at the river edge, or standing on the bluff above in Riverside Park, peering across to the river, with New Jersey on the far shore, and the rest of the continent beyond. I live near the park, and appreciate this practically every day. My appreciation of the neighborhood—the enchanted landscape and majestic bridge amid all the urban-ness, with people running, biking, walking dogs, plus the noise, aircraft overhead, traffic rushing by on the West Side Highway, and the light—began in 1990. I moved to the upper west side that year and had a Senior Editor job with Prentice Hall Press, then a division of Simon & Schuster. PHP staff were located—not in Rockefeller Center as S&S was, and is still—but in the office tower just north of Columbus Circle known then as the Gulf & Western Building. I had a small office with a window that invited me to peer westward across the Hudson, out toward America. We were on a pretty high floor, above the thirtieth, and it used to really sway in heavy weather. They do that, one hears, but it felt a bit like being on a ship. The building overlooked Central Park on the side away from my office, a great nabe to work in from July 1990-July 1991.
Quick as I could, I scrambled down there on foot and found the light this evening was extraordinary, and still evolving as a long drawn out event. These picture were taken near the Oscar Hijuelos Tennis Courts, the handsome clay ones, located along Manhattan’s west side river at around 96th St. It was one of the finest sunsets in all the years I’ve been photographing the Great Gray Bridge, the shore, upper Manhattan, the New Jersey side, always reveling in the light and atmosphere, and it lasted longer than most. You may click here to see more from tonight. And, if you want to see more photos like these, you can visit my flickr album labeled “GGB/sunsets/Hudson.”
Happy to share word of IT’S A GIFT!, a line of new handmade greeting cards made by my wife, artist Kyle Gallup, including a batch of pretty valentines for the holiday next month. Here’s a link to the new Etsy page for her line—the name was inspired by the title of one our favorite movies, W.C. Fields’ 1934 comedy classic, “It’s a Gift.”
On the Etsy page, Kyle wrote this about herself and her work:
I’m a painter and I love making cards. For many years I have collected paper ephemera from Victorian scrap, bookend papers, maps, paper lace, and gold and silver embellishments, to name a few pieces in my collection. I’ve also collected cards from other artists and vintage ones, too. I find inspiration in what other artists make, present & past. Making cards is a way for me to share my enthusiasm with other people who enjoy giving and receiving cards as a way to show one’s affection in a personal and intimate way. My cards are made with love and are a gift from the sender to the receiver. Most of my handmade cards are 5″ x 6 1/2″ and all are collaged, painted, drawn and assembled by me. Each blank card is individual and one-of-a-kind. Tiny imperfections are the cards’ distinguishing mark, indicating they are handcrafted, and show the recipient that they are receiving a very special gift, something to be treasured. I’ve been a freelance decorative painter in the visual art department for the NYC home design company ABC Carpet & Home since 1988, and studied decorative finishes with Leonard Pardon in NYC.
Kyle also works in collage, so these are one-of-a-kind ‘artist’s cards,’ made using papers from her vintage collection of ephemera, plus paint, colored pencil, and ink. Each card is signed on the back and stamped with a logo she designed. Here are three of Kyle’s cards; each is $10 plus shipping, for sale at the Etsy page.
On my first trip to Scotland, in 1986, I visited the sublime Hill House near Glasgow, in Helensburgh, Scotland, designed by the visionary architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928). Glad I was able to snap this picture of myself enjoying the furnishings and surroundings. In a second picture here, you can see what Hill House looks like from the outside.
Photos of Installation Day at Firecat Proects. Opening night for “Money, Wheels and Random Legs”—with work by artists Oriane Stender, Kyle Gallup and Melissa Stern—Friday Sept 25, 7-10pm, Firecat Projects, 2124 N Damen Street.