Seattle Now & Then: Mark Tobey in the Market

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Mark Tobey, almost certainly Seattle’s historically most celebrated artist, poses in the early 1960s with some Red Delicious apples beside the Sanitary Market in the Pike Place Market. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: Mark Tobey, almost certainly Seattle’s historically most celebrated artist, poses in the early 1960s with some Red Delicious apples beside the Sanitary Market in the Pike Place Market. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW:
NOW: The public market enthusiasts posing for Jean Sherrard on a Pike Place sidewalk are, left to right, Sara Patton, Ernie Dornfeld, Paul Dorpat, Jack Mathers, Heather McAuliffe, Paul Dunn, Kate Krafft and John Turnbull.

The posers in Jean Sherrard’s “repeat” are members of a new creation: the Pike Place Market Historical Society. By studied accord the members have concluded that Mark Tobey, the celebrated artist posing beside the artfully stacked Red Delicious apples in our “then,” prefigured their position.  Both are standing at the cusp of the ground floor of the Public Market’s Sanitary Market Building and the sidewalk on the east side of Pike Place.  At the top of their circle, Market merchant Jack Mathers, holding a crab, joins the historians. This fishmonger-musician has been stocking and selling at his steaming Jack’s Fish Spot since 1982. 

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Nellie Cornish
Nellie Cornish
Cornish at Harvard and Roy under construction. Like the later record of the completed school, this on also looks west on Roy.
Cornish at Harvard and Roy under construction. Like the later record of the completed school, this on also looks west on Roy.

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Mark Tobey first arrived in Seattle in the early 1920s, hired by Nellie Cornish, a respected piano teacher, to build a new visual arts department for her namesake school that was then primarily admired for its music and dance programs.  In his early thirties, Tobey brought with him from New York City some success working as a magazine illustrator.  It was long before he was often honored world-wide with solo shows and awards, including the Grand International Prize at the Venice Biennale of 1958.

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Tobey was largely self-taught and quick to revelations.  Most important of these inspirations was his “white writing,” an at once flat and floating atmosphere made from squiggles and brush strokes influenced by Oriental calligraphy and much else.  By the testimony of his students, Tobey was also a volatile mass of pedagogic pizzazz, at once attracting and repelling.  An early student, Viola Hansen Patterson, confessed, “He was full of tremendous energy, such energy he’d bowl you over — Almost blow you out of the room. I did take three lessons with him, and then I caved in. It was too much for me.”  

Another of Tobey at the Pike Place Public Market, perhaps on the same day and perhaps not.
Another of Tobey at the Pike Place Public Market, perhaps on the same day –  perhaps not.

A Post-Intelligencer photographer snapped the Tobey in the Market portrait  featured at the top, which is held at the Museum of History and Industry.  MOHAI photographer Howard Giske assigns it a deliberated date.  “That photograph of Mark Tobey was dated July 1961 by the PI staffers, but he seems overdressed for July…the dates recorded for the PI photos are often the file date and not creation date, so maybe just say 1961.”

Mark Tobey at 66.
Mark Tobey at 66.

Kate Krafft, second from the right in Jean Sherrard’s circle of Market historians, has written about Mark Tobey’s fondness for the Pike Place Market and the importance of his activism in its preservation.  “In 1939 and 1940 he spent many of his days in the Pike Place Public Market sketching produce, architecture and particularly the people of the Market. Between 1941 and 1945, he completed a distinctive series of pictures in tempera paint that were based on the prior market sketches, combining figurative work within the abstract-like maze of daily market activity. . . In 1964 the University of Washington Press published Mark Tobey: The World of the Market, a volume that included many of his Pike Place Market sketches and studio paintings with an introduction expressing his deep affection for the Market.” 

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Krafft continues, “Late in the hard-fought seven-year long campaign to ‘Keep the Market,’ Friends of the Market mounted a public initiative campaign. The campaign needed to finance television spots but lacked the necessary funds.” Here the by then famous artist donated 29 lithographs to the Friends.  This gift served, Krafft concludes, as collateral for “a bank loan that funded the subsequent television ad campaign. The November 1971 public initiative was approved by the citizens of Seattle, thus creating what is known today as the Pike Place Market Historic District.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?  Certainly Jean, and again (and again) all are probably repeats in whole and in their parts.  We have put up a few features circulating about the Pike Market over the last few  months and so we again follow our common pedagogy that “repetition is the mother of all  learning.”  Sounds like Horace, but certainly I first learned it from my own mother, Eda Garena, Christiansen-Dorpat.

Ron Edge has again plucked forward  a few neighborhood features from the past, and following those we will use this week’s artsy temper as an opportunity to update our readers on the condition now of MOFA, our Museum Of Forsaken Art.   It is time now to join the membership.  As you will discover near the bottom all it takes is colored printer to produce an impressively official looking membership certificate and a witness for forge your name as your forge theirs.

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THEN: In this April morning record of the 1975 “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in,” above the artists, restoration work has begun with the gutting of the Corner Market Building. (Photo by Frank Shaw)

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THEN: Seattle Architect Paul Henderson Ryan designed the Liberty Theatre around the first of many subsequent Wurlitzer organs used for accompanying silent films in theatres “across the land”. The Spanish-clad actor-dancers posed on the stage apron are most likely involved in a promotion for a film – perhaps Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925) or Douglas Fairbanks’ The Gaucho (1929) that also played at the Liberty. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

Montana-Horse-Meat-MR-THEN

THEN: Looking south from the Schwabacher Wharf to the Baker Dock and along the Seattle waterfront rebuilt following the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Hotel York at the northwest corner of Pike Street and First Avenue supplied beds on the American Plan for travelers and rooms for traveling hucksters. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: The 1974 fire at the Municipal Market Building on the west side of Western Avenue did not hasten the demise of the by then half-century old addition of the Pike Place Market. It had already been scheduled for demolition. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

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THEN: Friends of the Market president, architect Victor Steinbrueck, leads a cadre of Friends marching for Market preservation in front of the Seattle City Hall most likely on March 18, 1971. (Photo by Tom Brownell from the Post-Intelligencer collection at MOHAI)

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One of a few thousand portraits I took from our apartment above Peters on Broadway (southeast corner of Broadway and Republican) in the mid-60s.
One of a few thousand portraits I took from our apartment above Peters on Broadway (southeast corner of Broadway and Republican) in the mid-60s.   We like the subject and her appointments, and the wear of the posters on the bus stop shelter wall behind her.  Notice that we have flipped this image from the posture the subject takes below in MOFA’s CERTIFICATE OF MEMBERSHIP.    Please join.   It costs nothing and promises nothing.  MOFA was first “announced” in late  October 2013 at an Ivar’s Salmon House Banguet at which the about 75 dinners attending were obliged to pay for their own salmon (Jean tells me that some skipped out leaving Jean to pay the charge.) and bring for donation a object of forsaken art to add to the Museum’s collection.  And all those attending were made members  – even the freeloaders.  You cannot discriminate.  While we mean to catalogue this growing collection and show it both on line and off, with descriptions and criticisms author by the members, we are, like you too busy to get at it.  However, we have continued to receove (and pursue) a lot of new works for the Museum, and we will sample a few o;f these below. 

mofa-web

Find a colored printer and print the above. Instructions follow.
Now please find  a colored printer and print the above, and then  file it under, we suggest, MOFA. .  Other Instructions may follow.

FOLLOWS NOW A FEW NEW* ADDITIONS TO MOFA  (*While new to the collection, they may be otherwise old.)  Details regarding their sources (the artists), medium and size will be included in the work that we are having a difficult time getting to.   This, we assure you, is not because  we dread it.  We do not dread it.  Rather, we will be thrilled to do it . . . later.  (Might you be a interested in helping . . . please?)  If we know a title we will use it, but rarely do we know the artist.  A reminder –  these are, or rather were, forsaken and for reasons not explained.  Most of them were formerly objectionable objects de art, and some surely remain so.

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APEX COOP in Belltown, "before."
APEX COOP in Belltown, “before.”

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[Somewhere in Florida, we think]
[Somewhere in Florida, we think]
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46_burk-bark-patch-5-web

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[Something it seems created with the help of an early copy machine.]
[Something it seems created with the help of an early copy machine.]
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Artist's Sunday Softball at the Cascade Playfield in the late 1970s.
Artist’s Sunday Softball at the Cascade Playfield in the late 1970s.

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Blue-Boy-COPY

Above: The Blue Boy – Below:   The Blue Boy Copy

Blue-Boy-No.-2-WEB

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Art glass made from broken pieces given to an impoverished glass class student by students endowed with glass. The result resembles a jig saw puzzle.]
Art glass made from broken pieces given to an impoverished glass class student by students endowed with broken bits of glass for which they  had no use. The result, if I understand it,  resembles a jig saw puzzle.]

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Utah Rock Art - variations
Utah Rock Art – variations on prehistoric tags

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Seattle Public Library front steps on Fourth Avenue, ca. 1940s - unless someone knows better..
Intentional Art Photography – Seattle Public Library front steps on Fourth Avenue, ca. 1940s – unless someone knows better..

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Collage---early---WEB

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Dr. Fulller with his mother in front of their new SAM in the early 1930.
Dr. Fulller with his mother in front of their new SAM in the early 1930.

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A REMINDER – TWO HAPPY MEMBERS

DSC_1699-Edit

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[Protest on Eastlake Avemie. ca. 1978.]
[Protest on Eastlake Avemie. ca. 1978.]
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A popular prof and subject, Edmund Meany - of the hall, hotel and publication of Washington place names.]
A popular prof and subject, Edmund Meany – of the hall, hotel and the publication of Washington place names.]

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GNOSIS
LAUGHING GNOSIS

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"COLD ROCK FORMAL WEAR"
“COLD ROCK FORMAL WEAR”

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"Guardian Angle"
“Guardian Angel”

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[A classic velvet]
[A classic velvet]
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Guatemalan Observer
Guatemalan Observer

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Herman's-Verdure-WEB-

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"Bouquet on Corless"
“Bouquet on Corless”

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Maltby Halloween, ca. 1977
Maltby Halloween, ca. 1977

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Kent Halloween, The Neely mansion, ca. 1968.
Kent Halloween, The Neely mansion, ca. 1968.

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Patriot Nebulae
Patriot Nebulae

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CONTINUING – and concluding for now – MONDAY 8/15/16

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Leave&Light-on-Trunk-WEB

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Paved Figure Study
Paved Figure Study

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War & Peace Mandala
War & Peace Mandala

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PUPPY-LOVE-by-numbers-No.1-web

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detail: Pregnancy Timelapse ca. 1972
detail: “Word Made Flesh” – Pregnancy Timelapse ca. 1972

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Oval Office
Oval Office

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Seawall-No-1-web

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Tacoma Window ca. 1982
Tacoma Window ca. 1982

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Wallingford Flora - 4/19/10
Wallingford Flora – 4/19/10

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Second Ammendment on the Beach with Child
Second Amendment on the Beach with Child

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SAM - East Facade ca.1977
SAM – East Facade ca.1977

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WALL-WALKS-montage-9-examples-GRAB-web

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REST IN PEACE - A painting by Paul Heald in Freelard storage, 2015

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STREET-Light-manhole-WEB copy

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TWEEDY & POP - VACANT INTERIOR, 6/8/09
TWEEDY & POP – VACANT INTERIOR, 6/8/09

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Lenin at The Finland Station
Lenin at The Finland Station

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BELOW – ART EDUCATION

SC-Performing-Art-School-WEB

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Victoria and Eric in Occidental Park - Art Night 1970s
Victoria and Eric in Occidental Park – Art Night 1970s

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Jean Sherrard (with camera, far left) and Friends at the Louvre, 2005
Jean Sherrard (with camera, far left) and Friends at the Louvre, 2005

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Art Sketching at Eagle Falls, 1927 (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
 Sketching Class (in heels)  at Eagle Falls, 1927 (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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Johanna Went performance, Pioneer Square ca. 1977
Johanna Went performance, Pioneer Square ca. 1977

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Art Criticism, Halloween 2012
Art Criticism, Halloween 2012

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Undecided Concerning Medium
Undecided Concerning Medium

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Frye Art Museum, 1952
Frye Art Museum, 1952

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Mrs. William D. Lovell dreamed she went to the Seattle Art Museum in her at-home wear ... and by golly she will at noon Thursday, when the Seattle Art Museum Guild has its annual spring luncheon and a lingerie fashion show. Mrs. Lovell, a member of the guild boards, and other guild members, will model fashions from the Pink Garter in Bellevue... The background art is by Morris Graves - three panels that are on long-time loan to the museum from the collection of Mr. And Mrs. Allen Vance Salsbury.
Mrs. William D. Lovell dreamed she went to the Seattle Art Museum in her at-home wear … and by golly she will at noon Thursday, when the Seattle Art Museum Guild has its annual spring luncheon and a lingerie fashion show. Mrs. Lovell, a member of the guild board, and other guild members, will model fashions from the Pink Garter in Bellevue… The background art is by Morris Graves – three panels that are on long-time loan to the museum from the collection of Mr. And Mrs. Allen Vance Salsbury. (ca. 1952, clipping from The Seattle Times)

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Zoe-Horiuchi-THEN-now

Zoe-Horiuchi-NOW-web

Zoe-Dusanne-Gallery-on-Lakeview-WEB

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1962
1962

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