Seattle Now & Then: A Night in Old Alexandria

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)
THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)
NOW: Built in 1914-16 to the designs of Seattle architect George Willis Lawton, the Masonic Temple was renovated as “The Egyptian” in the early 1980s.  It is home for the Seattle International Film Festival.  Here Jean has found some early birds waiting on a festival matinee.
NOW: Built in 1914-16 to the designs of Seattle architect George Willis Lawton, the Masonic Temple was renovated as “The Egyptian” in the early 1980s. It is home for the Seattle International Film Festival. Here Jean has found some early birds waiting on a festival matinee.

Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink, Seattle’s long-lived commercial artist and show card instructor, is almost certainly posing here on the stage of the Masonic Temple – although, as yet, I have not found him among the about 200 costumed Egyptians.

Arthur "Link" Lingenbrink figures
At the top, Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink lectures other artists on the “high aims” of the Seattle Art Club at the club’s first exhibit in the summer of 1921.
"Link" preparing to demonstrated and/or teach his show card talents.
“Link” preparing to demonstrated and/or teach his show card talents.

BELOW: Art offers a lecture on “show card writing” through The Seattle Art Club School in 1921.  Below that, he gives an illustrated lecture on his 1941 trip thru Mexico.  He has named it, “Our Allies to the South.”

teach ST-12-18-1921-Link-'show-card-writing'WEB

Link was one of the Seattle Fine Art Society’s more activist leaders in the 1920s.  He had the knack for delivering inspirational messages about art and culture at club meetings while also organizing club events, like their popular costume balls.  His illustrating hand was both fine and strong.  For instance, for this Nov. 24, 1921 revelry titled A Night in Old Alexandria, Link decorated the Temple with its Egyptian figures and symbols.  Arthur was also celebrated for his tableaus, a then popular art form that arranged actors and sets in recreations of famous paintings – with figures – on stage.

Arthur loaned me his cherished print of this ball during one of my many visits to the exotic environment of his Capitol Hill home in the mid 1980s.  I managed then to fill up a small suitcase with cassette recordings of Links reminiscences.  That the nonagenarian was an often ecstatic narrator was appreciated because Link repeated his best stories.

The Seattle Times splash on the Artist League's A Night in Old Alexandria for Feb. 2, 1922.
The Seattle Times splash on the Artist League’s A Night in Old Alexandria for Feb. 2, 1922.

1 Link's-Old-Alexander-poster-WEB

It was only weeks before his death in 1987 at the age of 94 that Arthur stopped taking the bus to join his brother Paul in their storefront sign shop on the border of both Capitol and First Hills.

Brothers Paul and Arthur (left and right, ca. 1984) in front of their sign shop on the 7th Avenue side of the old Eagles Auditorium, now part of ACT Theatre and the Convention Center.
Brothers Paul and Arthur (left and right, ca. 1984) in front of their sign shop on the 7th Avenue side of the old Eagles Auditorium, now part of ACT Theatre and the Convention Center, and an example of their early-century work at window dressing.

For readers so interested, Jean and I will be giving an illustrated lecture on First Hill History at Town Hall at 8th & Seneca St. on Tuesday, June 25th at 7:30 pm. (There’s a $5 fee.)  The Masonic Temple, aka The Egyptian, is nearby on Pine Street at Harvard Avenue and so is probably more often identified with Capitol Hill.  However, for the sake of both art and culture, during our presentation we will temporarily move the Egyptian over to First Hill or the hill to it.  Whatever, the lecture will still be at Town Hall and we plan to be there as well.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Yes Jean, and most of it holding on to Link, the record-setting sign painter (see the clips of his records far below) I met in the early 1980s and routinely visited until his passing in 1987.  Link, aka Arthur Lingenbring, past along most of the film he shot – both films and stills – of the local arts and the “charmed land” that surrounds us. I pull a few examples, and also print a few clippings on Link and/or by him.   Link wrote lots of rhyming poetry, but it was not his poems but his opinionated letters to editors that often enough got printed.   First however, we will  continue on with some more Alexandria and a “Miss Heywood” who judging by the attention he gave her – with his camera – was surely a good friend.

Copied from one of Art's many arty albums.
Copied from one of Art’s many arty albums.
Miss Haywood supported by the "two roses."  Like many of his time, age and means, arthur and his friends would rent beach side cabins on B Bainbridge Island most summers.  I recall Link describing this as an island scene.
Miss Heywood supported by the “two roses.” Like many of his time, age and means, Arthur and his friends would rent beach cabins on Bainbridge Island most summers. I recall Link describing this as an island scene.  Arthur is on the left in the cocky hat.
Most likely another Bainbridge beach scene and certainly with Miss
Most likely another Bainbridge beach scene and certainly with Miss Heywood, although she has shed her white belt.

 

Link, sitting on the sidewalk, and Miss Heywood sitting on the steps, with others suited up.
Link, sitting on the sidewalk, and Miss Heywood sitting on the steps, with others suited up.
On the evidence of his albums and loose negatives Link was well stocked with feminine friends.   This one - if it is one - he captions, at the top. as merely "almost."  Almost what?
On the evidence of his albums, loose prints and negatives Link was well appointed with feminine friends. This one – if it is one – he captions, at the top, as merely “almost.”  But almost what he does not let on.

Arthur Lingenbrink’s album readily reveal his interests not only in women but also in civic landmarks, visiting celebrities – he sometimes chased them with his movie camera – and examples of what was then advertised as the “charmed land” that surrounds Seattle.  Curiously, while he enjoyed our splendors he was not so ready to share them with tourists, as is revealed in his letter to the Seattle Times editor printed four looks down – below Mt Index.

The 1925 staging of the Knights Templar convention was bound to excite Arthur.   This view looks south to its grand arch
The 1925 staging of the Knights Templar convention was bound to excite Arthur. This view looks south to its grand arch spanning Second Avenue at Marion Street.
Arthur was an easily excited patriot, and the visit of a battleship got his attention.
Arthur was an easily excited patriot, and the visit of a battleship got his attention.
Another proud page from a Lingenbrink album.  How many blog readers remember that the "Emerald City" - if they are still calling it that - was once "thei Queen City."  I remember it as the Queen as late as in the 1970s.
Another proud page from a Lingenbrink album. How many blog readers remember that the “Emerald City” – if they are still calling it that – was once “the Queen City.” I remember it as the Queen as late as in the 1970s.
From Link's album but not apparently from his camera.  The caption explains.
From Link’s album but not apparently from his camera. The caption explains.
Art's peeved letter to the Times editor, printed on July 29, 1951.  In a sour way - without the ironies - it is a prelude to Emmett Watson's Lesser Seattle campaign.
Art’s peeved letter to the Times editor, printed on July 29, 1951. In a sour way – without the ironies or tongue-in-cheek – it is a prelude to Emmett Watson’s “Lesser Seattle” campaign.
Another of Link's more fertile subjects.  I do not remember him sharing any interest in fishing.
Another of Link’s more fertile subjects. I do not remember him sharing any interest in fishing.
Ye Old Curiosity Shop's Pop Stanley posing with Carine, surely one of Link's more intimate paramours.
Ye Old Curiosity Shop’s Pop Stanley posing with Carinne, surely one of Link’s more intimate and mature  paramours.
Carine's hand-colored portrait.
Carinne’s hand-colored portrait, on the flip-side of which, she perhaps exaggerates her love – below.

c  Link,-Carinne's-note-WEB

Link owned a stereo camera.   This is Carrine twice from behind and nicely frame with the forest's shadows.
Link owned a stereo camera. This is Carinne twice and nicely framed by the forest’s shadows, from behind.

LINK’s photography – both stills and film – features an abundance of arty figures, often with the subjects posing and acting in lavish sets.  Although most of this art was done in the 1920s and perhaps early 30s, still he kept his props on display in the top floor of the Capitol Hill he shared with “ma” his mother.  [He did marry  - 0nce - briefly, and had a boy.]   The Lingenbrink basement was outfitted both for making and showing films.  This too  was still in place a half-century after it was first regularly used.  I visited it.  Link led the tour.  The subject included here three times as an example of his figure work is posed “tastefully” in front of a hanging that compliments Link’s talent for design.  Some of his sets were considerably more lavish than this one.   And Arthur also made films in outdoor settings, working, for instance with Cornish School dancers in Volunteer Park.  Some day all will be revealed, but for now just this one fit but not named figure.

stu  Link-nude-A-1-WEB

stu Link-nude-A-4-WEB

Arthur, the director.
Arthur, the director.
Link depicted as an auctioneer.
Link depicted as an auctioneer.

During the 1980s when Genny McCoy and I together regularly visited Arthur, Mrs. Perry was often there too.  This witty widow was always “Mrs. Perry.”   Arthur had first met her in the 1920s when she began her own career as the founder-director of a local Ballet school and company.  Mrs. Perry is wrapped below in a Persian rug – on the right.  Below the rug she poses with Link and I near the back porch of Link’s Capitol Hill home, ca. 1983.

z  Link--Mrs-Perry-&-friend-wrap-in-rug-WEB

Ms. McCoy took this photograph.
Ms. McCoy took this photograph during one of our visits with Mrs. Perry, on the left, and Link at the latter’s Capitol Hill home, ca. 1985.

Below, Seattle’s OLDEST SIGN PAINTERS get pretty lavish treatment in the Times both in 1976 and in 1984.

A Seattle Times report from Jan. 18, 1976.
A Seattle Times report from Jan. 18, 1976.
December 1, 1984, The Seattle Times
December 1, 1984, The Seattle Times
In his 90's the urge to perform still often overtook him - here with three costume changes.
In his 90′s the urge to perform still often overtook Arthur – here with three costume changes.

Here – or below – thanks to RON EDGE’S snooping and engineering are links to two previous features that are relevant to this week’s Capitol Hill subject.

 

2 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: A Night in Old Alexandria”

  1. I sure miss Arthur and it was a privilege and FUN to know him. Had it not been for the article in the Seattle Times, 1978 or 9, I would not have found him. Newspapers rock. – Eleni Otto Corrales NM

  2. Very interesting reading about Arthur. I have a painting that is signed A. Lingenbrink that I am trying to learn more about. It came from my grandfather and grandmother’s estate. My grandfather was a sign painter and advertising manager for Bartells from the 20′s to the 60′s and probably knew “Link”. Did Arthur paint paintings in addition to his many other talents?

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