Saturday, May 11, 2019

In the office--

The big news of the week really isn't, to be honest. Twenty years ago, I was gifted a Danish desk a la mid-century design by my cousin. Recently, he asked me if I were 'still using' the desk. I took that to mean that he wanted it back, so I gave it to him. As a result, the office is a pile of papers and other miscellany. 

Here's a small sampling of stuff now littering the office floor that I've been holding onto since even before acquiring the desk. I perhaps should just either toss this stuff out or put it in a manilla envelope (and leave it on the office floor). 


A zinger from Dad

I haven't looked at clippings of my father's letters to the editor since putting together a memory book dedicated to him back in 2003. Reading this snippet from him now, I think I'm seeing that my Dad, a life-long Democrat, may have been becoming a bit more conservative in mid-life. I have never thought of my father as either a hardcore patriot or a prude, but maybe he was becoming one or both?  




My friend's father, fondly known as Der Meister (to be read in a Schwäbisch accent), was an accomplished artist. He trained as a silver engraver, but was also an adept painter, a sculptor and he could carve a mean woodcut. The above image shows one of his many designs he and his wife had printed up for their annual holiday card. The inside of this particular card includes a poem by Hölderlin (noted Schwabe) & heartfelt season's greetings. I so loved receiving these cards.

Der Meister: Selbstportrait (culled from the internet)

Der Meister was in art school when he was conscripted into the German army in 1940. He was put to work as a stretcher bearer on the Western Front. He'd kept a diary during that time filled with sketches and poems. I was lucky enough to view it once two decades ago when der Meister was still living. One page particularly struck me as it contained both a rendering of and an ode to his worn combat boots. 

Ritter, Tod und Teufel

Showing a picture of this postcard depicting one of the most detailed engravings by Dürer I have ever seen is almost an affront to the piece. I can guess as to what the symbols of both skull and hourglass reference, but as someone who knows very little about Christianity, I can't say I understand the piece in any fundatmental way. Apparently, the subject/s of this piece have been hotly debated for centuries. Dürer postcards in American art museums usually consist of his rhino and hare images. I caught a Dürer retrospective in Frankfurt some years back, so there happened to be a fine selection Dürer postcards in the gift shop to choose from. I still marvel at this work.

17 comments:

  1. An interesting collection. Pity about the desk going back.

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    1. The drawers were a bit too small anyway. :)

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  2. What do you think your father's response to the current incumbent would be?
    Sigh on the desk front, but thank you for sharing some of the gems which have been living inside it. Der Meister's self portrait shows an interesting man and one who was definitely multi-skilled.

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    1. He really was an interesting man. His wife was a lovely person as well.

      Good question. I had thought a bit about that after reading his thoughts on Clinton. I would hope that he'd see clearly about what's happening currently. (His older brother, still alive, has 'gone to the dark side' in the last ten years, however.

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  3. If you have to get a new desk, consider an electrically adjustable standing desk - that's stand, sit, kneel, sit on floor, move up or down a little bit to adjust current position ... They're not cheap but I got mine over a year ago and think it wonderful.

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    1. I would consider that. Thanks for the tip!

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  4. Replies
    1. Death holds the hourglass, so I suppose it could be any knight...

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    2. I think it might be any old knight, but am not sure.

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  5. You may want to consider art storage drawers for this collection.

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    1. I wouldn't mind that either. Something to keep all the bits and bobs together makes a lot of sense.

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  6. Interesting variety of items. Expect a new desk will be welcome. Am reminded of a family member who as he aged from mid-life on, was knocked about a bit by life, seemed to gradually become more rigid in thinking, edging further toward the dark side. I, too, would have liked to know what he might have thought of the current situation, especially given some past chastisement I had received.

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    1. Your comment makes me think of how I didn't know at all about what my grandparents thought of politics. I suspect that they were working-class Democrats given where they were from and who they raised.

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  7. Stunning images.

    Sorry about the loss of the desk. Perhaps you should have told him you were still using it. Although, it's fun to find all sorts of things you didn't realize you still had.

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    1. I didn't LOVE the desk, tbh. It was a family piece (on his side), so I thought I'd suck it up & just have clutter for a while. :D

      True re: rediscovery of things kept.

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  8. How is it possible to ask for a present back? Once given it is surely the recipient’s piece now?

    As for Duerer, truly a Meister, we can only marvel at his genius.

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    1. You'll have to ask my cousin that question! Dürer was exceptional and beyond compare. My friend's father, der Meister, was a talented man as well.

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