…I didn’t have an accountant, and I made out my own tax, so they sent for me because it was a joint tax, and I had [husband] Sam down as a loss ‑‑ you know, studio rent … Against my salary I deducted his loss. I was called by the board, and in those days they had three men, august gentleman, all of them sitting there. I brought our checkbook because we always had a joint account and I kept the books. Everything checked off but perfectly … These three men looked me over and then they told me to wait outside … Then they called me in again, and they asked me whether I would like to go out for a drink … I said, ‘No, I have to go back to work.’ They said, ‘You know, everything on the books is right, but we can’t understand how an attractive, young woman like you could be married to a total loss.’ I got so mad. I said, ‘If I’m not complaining, I don’t know why in the hell Uncle Sam should.’ —
Edith Halpert deals with tax scrutiny due to being the principle wage earner in her household. Hope you don’t have to face any panels of august gentlemen passing judgement on your lifestyle today!
Read more about Halpert’s remarkable life as a businesswoman and gallery owner, and listen to a clip of the interview here: Oral history interview with Edith Gregor Halpert, 1962-1963
Check out the new post on our blog about German-born Monuments Man Walter Horn, who did some major investigative work in recovering the crown jewels of the Holy Roman Empire. And, after you finish that, tune in to the Monuments Men Tweetup that we’re co-hosting with the National Gallery today from 12:45-3:00pm EST. Follow along with the hashtag #MonMenTweetup.
Walter Horn’s certificate of naturalization, 1943 June 28. Walter Horn papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
As a public service announcement for Jazz Appreciation Month, we would like to remind you that roosters appreciate a hot trumpet solo just as much as the next guy.
Honoré Sharrer sketches of a trumpeter and a rooster, between 1927 and 2002. Honoré Sharrer papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Happy Birthday to abstract painter Kenneth Noland, who would have turned 90 today (born April 10th, 1924). In his honor, let’s start a dance craze called the “Noland” that involves leaning back and hunching your shoulders in time to the music.
Kenneth Noland in his studio, 1965 / Andre Emmerich, photographer. André Emmerich Gallery records and André Emmerich papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
If you like this photo of baby Thomas Eakins with his rolling hoop, you’ll love our Pinterest board “Little Artists.”
Thomas Eakins as a child, ca. 1850 / unidentified photographer. Lawrence and Barbara Fleischman papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
PAUL CUMMINGS: Where is the accent in your name?
SOL LeWITT: It’s the last syllable - LeWITT. [Emphasis on “Witt”]
MR. CUMMINGS: It is? People argue about that all the time.
MR. LeWITT: It’s not a very interesting argument
- Oral history interview with Sol LeWitt, 1974 July 15. LeWitt died on this day in 2007. Let’s hope by now this uninteresting argument has been put to rest.
This sketchbook of Harrison Cady’s is worth [virtually] flipping through - keep an eye out for the illustration of the “baby contest,” which, as best we can tell, appears to be a human version of the Puppy Bowl. Cady was a painter and children’s book illustrator in Massachusetts.
Harrison Cady sketchbook, ca. 1943. Harrison Cady papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Dr. Greg Bradsher tells the story of a retired optometrist who picked up two 16th century books as an American soldier from a mine in Germany. After contacting Dr. Bradsher at NARA, the optometrist had the chance to return the books to the German libraries where they originated. #truestory
The Monuments Men and the National Gallery of Art -
Maygene Daniels of the National Gallery tells the story of the Monuments Men as evidenced in the archives of the National Gallery.