(click to enlarge photos)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below, Seattle’s OLDEST SIGN PAINTERS get pretty lavish treatment in the Times both in 1976 and in 1984.
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.
3 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: A Night in Old Alexandria”
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
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?
Yes he did Doug.
I would love to see your painting.