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Re: [aloha-donblanding] Re: DB wood block

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  • kenneth klein
    I can speak to the matter of how the drawings in Blanding s books were prepared, as I have the full set of original incidental (ie not full-page) drawings for
    Message 1 of 12 , Sep 29, 2004
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      I can speak to the matter of how the drawings in Blanding's books were prepared, as I have the full set of original incidental (ie not full-page) drawings for <A Grand Time Living>. These were ink drawings on stiff board, which were then photographed for preparation of metal printing plates. The original drawings were much bigger than the images that were printed in the book. The watermelon slice in the book, for instance, fits on one page, but the original drawing is about a foot-and-a-half across. When my father was the printer for <The American Bard>, he had a large collection of Don Blanding metal print plates in his shop, as they were routinely included in the magazine. He returned these to Grace Callahan, I believe, following Edythe Hope Genee's death.

      This doesn't mean, of course, that Don Blanding didn't carve wood blocks at some time. He had a lot of talents. But for book illustrations I think it is apparent that his medium was ink drawings.

      --Ken Klein

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Cadia Los <duchess@...>
      Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2004 10:54 am
      Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: DB wood block

      > <I>He bought them in a lot from someone he thinks was named Earl
      > Washington who was the grandson of the carver of the blocks.</I>
      >
      > I have to agree that I don't think this wood block can be attributed
      > to Don Blanding. Even those with DB's initials may have no direct
      > connection. Any woodcarver can copy an artist's work in another
      > medium. It's called plagiarism.
      >
      > In a 6th grade art class, I remember making linoleum blocks and soap
      > carvings based on existing artwork. The task was to transfer an
      > image from one medium to another while being faithful to the
      > original. It's much harder than creating one's own designs, believe
      > me.
      >
      > Now, if you can establish that DB or his publisher commissioned the
      > carver to produce wood blocks of his drawings, that's another story.
      > Or if DB were the carver ... now that would be a find!
      >
      > I have sometimes wondered if DB himself might have dabbled in this
      > medium; after all, as a youngster he worked in leather and the two
      > processes are not so different. I do know that many people seem to
      > think that the drawings in DB's books are made from wood blocks.
      > That's so absurd I have to laugh aloud whenever I see the claim!
      >
      > Are these wood blocks worth the asking price? I doubt it. Before
      > investing any cash, I would want to document the provenance of the
      > blocks in much greater detail.
      >
      > ~~C~~
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
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    • tjmarkle@earthlink.net
      The woodblock print appears in Today is Here, page 107. The book print doesn t have DB on it either. So, what you think folks?? tj ... From: Cadia Los
      Message 2 of 12 , Sep 30, 2004
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        The woodblock print appears in Today is Here, page 107. The book print doesn't have DB on it either. So, what you think folks?? tj

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Cadia Los <duchess@...>
        Sent: Sep 29, 2004 10:54 AM
        To: aloha-donblanding@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: DB wood block

        <html><body>


        <tt>
        <I>He bought them in a lot from someone he thinks was named Earl <BR>
        Washington who was the grandson of the carver of the blocks.</I><BR>
        <BR>
        I have to agree that I don't think this wood block can be attributed <BR>
        to Don Blanding.  Even those with DB's initials may have no direct <BR>
        connection.  Any woodcarver can copy an artist's work in another <BR>
        medium.  It's called plagiarism.<BR>
        <BR>
        In a 6th grade art class, I remember making linoleum blocks and soap <BR>
        carvings based on existing artwork.  The task was to transfer an <BR>
        image from one medium to another while being faithful to the <BR>
        original.  It's much harder than creating one's own designs, believe <BR>
        me.<BR>
        <BR>
        Now, if you can establish that DB or his publisher commissioned the <BR>
        carver to produce wood blocks of his drawings, that's another story. <BR>
        Or if DB were the carver ... now that would be a find!  <BR>
        <BR>
        I have sometimes wondered if DB himself might have dabbled in this <BR>
        medium; after all, as a youngster he worked in leather and the two <BR>
        processes are not so different.   I do know that many people seem to <BR>
        think that the drawings in DB's books are made from wood blocks. <BR>
        That's so absurd I have to laugh aloud whenever I see the claim!<BR>
        <BR>
        Are these wood blocks worth the asking price?  I doubt it.  Before <BR>
        investing any cash, I would want to document the provenance of the <BR>
        blocks in much greater detail.<BR>
        <BR>
        ~~C~~<BR>
        <BR>
        <BR>
        <BR>
        </tt>

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      • Cadia Los
        John ... I d forgotton I have not yet transcribed an article published in the S-B on Christmas Day, 1954, entitled Don Blanding Recalls -- Christmas 1916, His
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 2, 2004
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          John ...

          I'd forgotton I have not yet transcribed an article published in the
          S-B on Christmas Day, 1954, entitled "Don Blanding Recalls --
          Christmas 1916, His First Holiday in Hawaii."

          A brief excerpt:

          Memories start in 1916. I was on my way for a visit home in Oklahoma
          before returning for another year of study at the Art Institute of
          Chicago with money earned in the harvest fields around Moose Jaw,
          Canada.

          Between trains in Kansas City, Missouri, I saw the stage show Bird of
          Paradise starting Lenore Ulric with real Hawaiian singers and
          dancers. Lenore pitched some fast curves which I caught . . . right
          in my imagination which seethed like Kilauea in the act where
          beautiful Luana barbecued herself in the lava pit of love.

          I asked the ticket seller at the station, "Where's Honolulu and how
          do I get there?"

          "It's five days and $90, second cabin," he said. (How did he know
          the size of my funds?) "The Great Northern is making a trip which
          will get you there on December 22. Want it?"

          Want it? It was the one thing that I had to have . . . at the time.

          I wasn't much use to my folks during my brief visit. I was already
          on my way to Hawaii except for moving the body.

          The memories are coming fast and clear. The Great Northern put in at
          Hilo before Honolulu on that trip.

          I shall never forget the impact of the great green-blue cabachon of
          mauna Loa against the raw turquoise sky of Hawaii. Unbelievable
          blends of melted emeralds, sapphires and lapis lazuli were in the
          waters. The coco palms on the shore waved with the luring grace of a
          hula dancer's arms. Rich colors and fragrances were wafting
          shipward, a potpourri of jungle, sea-weed, lava, cane and mixed lei-
          perfume.

          I didn't go ashore. The shore-trip cost money and I was saving my
          limited funds for down payment on a little grass house in Honolulu.
          Anyhow, I was getting about as much voltage as my wires could carry.
          I had known the vast empty horizontals of the Western prairies, the
          stark savage verticals of the Rocky Mountains and the fantasy and
          strangeness of Yellowstone Park. But I had no preparation for the
          lush, lavish beauty and the new dimensions of Hawaii. I stared until
          my eyes must have gone out like telescopes from my face. Remember, I
          was just 21 and a young 21 at that."

          Blanding goes on:

          Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve came on Sunday that year, so the
          whoopee and hurraws were turned loose Saturday night. Quotes [from
          the Advertiser or Star-Bulletin]: "Honolulu had Saturday night
          preview of Sunday Night Christmas Eve. Because Saturday night would
          be the last shopping night, Honolulu's stores were jammed. The
          narrow sidewalks were crowded with last-minute shoppers and merry
          makers."

          With my conditioning of northern Christmases with holly, mistletoe,
          snow, headcolds, long underwear, mufflers and sniffles, I kept
          saying, as I wandered through that happy, good-natured throng, "This
          is Mardi Gras. This isn't Christmas."

          Two quibbles about this 1954 article. In 1916 DB was 22, not 21, and
          Lenore Ulric did not appear in Bird of Paradise in Kansas City. (The
          production had a different star that year.) At the very beginning of
          the article, DB responds to his editor's question -- "When was your
          first Christmas in Hawaii?" -- by saying, "In 1915 or 1916, I don't
          remember which year."

          In many other 1950s articles, DB accurately reflects on his age and
          the passing years. I cannot quite fathom DB forgetting exactly when
          he arrived in Hawaii!

          ~~Cadia
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