The images quilt

The last in a set of four; the linguistics quilt, from the 19th, is its predecessor. As before, a 12-panel composition (roughly 6 x 3 ft) made of old t-shirts of mine, assembled into a quilt by Janet Salsman, with the collaboration of Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky and Kim Darnell (and photos by Kim).  This time, t-shirts with images that have pleased or entertained me:


Now the 12 panels individually, by row (R) and column (C).

R1C1: David Sipress National Poetry Month cartoon.

(#2) From the New Yorker of April 17th, 2000

Sipress has appeared on this blog before — there’s a Page on Sipress postings– but this particular cartoon is new here.

On the event, from Wikipedia:

National Poetry Month, a celebration of poetry which takes place each April, was introduced in 1996 and is organized by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. The Academy of American Poets’ website serves as a hub for information about local poetry events during the month. The organization also provides free educational resources to teachers for classroom celebrations and activities, and commissions an annual festival poster.

And at least once that annual poster was a cartoon: the 2015 poster, by Roz Chast (who also has a Page on this blog):

(#3) Chast with Mark Strand’s “Eating Poetry”

The Strand poem (from the Poetry Foundation site):

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.

The librarian does not believe what she sees.
Her eyes are sad
and she walks with her hands in her dress.

The poems are gone.
The light is dim.
The dogs are on the basement stairs and coming up.

Their eyeballs roll,
their blond legs burn like brush.
The poor librarian begins to stamp her feet and weep.

She does not understand.
When I get on my knees and lick her hand,
she screams.

I am a new man.
I snarl at her and bark.
I romp with joy in the bookish dark.

R1C2: WHAT EVERY GREAT CITY NEEDS. The reference to “what every great city needs” seems to be sometimes to more residents, sometimes to great architecture, but here it’s from a poster on behalf of public ART. My recollection was that this poster was itself on public display, maybe in the NYC subways, but I can find no record of it.

But I’m solidly in support of public art, which I post about often on this blog, especially in follow-ups on public art (of all varieties, including the pop cultural) in Zippy the Pinhead cartoons.

R1C3: Sam Gross mammoth cartoon. (Sam Gross too has a Page on this blog.) Posted on here with affection in my 7/22/10 “Verbatim recall”:

Woolly (or more often, Wooly, to make a little woo-based joke) Mammoth has been one of my favorite pseudonyms for fifteen years [now, in 2019, 25 years]. It comes from a New Yorker cartoon by Sam Gross (March 7, 1994, p. 42), a cartoon that speaks to me deeply, because I identify so strongly with the mammoth in it.

(#4) Gross’s image jazzed up with thrilling blue effects that weren’t in the original

R2C1: KFJC 89.7. One of the annual t-shirts for the radio station. From Wikipedia:

KFJC (89.7 FM) is a non-commercial college radio station in Los Altos Hills, California at Foothill College, using a variety radio format that features a broad spectrum of music styles and public affairs programming. KFJC’s over-the-air broadcast is 24/7 and can be heard within the southern San Francisco Bay Area.

KFJC’s mission is to be a conduit for new and interesting audio art and information. KFJC’s music programming is largely oriented to recent material from many different genres. … KFJC, as a community radio station, is almost entirely funded by listener contributions. The cost of running the station, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, is approximately $100,000 per year.

Mostly, KFJC provides me with the Normal Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show (titular homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, with its memorable soundtrack). From the show’s Facebook page:

The Norman Bates Memorial Soundtrack Show [hosted by Robert Emmett, Saturday, 9am – 12pm] is a weekly radio program that plays music and songs from the movies, television, Broadway, Drury Lane, academic & industrial shorts, computer games, and all other media where you should Listen To What You Watch.

R2C2: Roy Lichtenstein painting: Grrrrrrrrrrr!! From Wikipedia on the painting:

Grrrrrrrrrrr!! is a 1965 oil and Magna on canvas painting by Roy Lichtenstein. Measuring 68 in × 56.125 in (172.7 cm × 142.6 cm), it was bequeathed to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum collection from Lichtenstein’s estate. It depicts a head-on representation of an angry dog growling with the onomatopoeic expression “Grrrrrrrrrrr!!”. The work was derived from Our Fighting Forces [Number 66 (February 1962)], which also served as the source for other military dog paintwork by Lichtenstein.

… Although Grrrrrrrrrrr!! is derived from what Guggenheim Senior Curator Susan Davidson calls a “low-grade comic strip” that is a typical Lichtenstein source, it is representative of Lichtenstein’s fascination with “the atomic language of Ben-Day dots, black outlines and the three primary colors as the elementary vocabulary of low-budget commercial imagery.”

And on the artist, again from Wikipedia:

Roy Fox Lichtenstein (October 27, 1923 – September 29, 1997) was an American pop artist. During the 1960s, along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and James Rosenquist among others, he became a leading figure in the new art movement. His work defined the premise of pop art through parody. Inspired by the comic strip, Lichtenstein produced precise compositions that documented while they parodied, often in a tongue-in-cheek manner. His work was influenced by popular advertising and the comic book style.

A graduate of Ohio State (with a BA and MFA), his celebrated works include: Whaam!;  Drowning Girl; Oh, Jeff…I Love You, Too…But…; Look Mickey;  Masterpiece; and Grrrrrrrrrrr!!

My man Jacques and I picked up the t-shirt above at a reception for a 1995 inaugural show at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State, the Guggenheim’s sweeping retrospective of Lichtenstein’s work. At which we spent some time chatting amiably with the artist, who was visibly pleased to be back at Ohio State and recognized there for his work.

R2C3: Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics. From Wikipedia:

The Parental Advisory label … is a warning label introduced by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in 1985 and adopted by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) in 2011. It is placed on audio recordings in recognition of profanity or inappropriate references, with the intention of alerting parents of material potentially unsuitable for children. The label was first affixed on physical 33 1/3 rpm records, compact discs and cassette tapes, and it has been included on digital listings offered by online music stores.

… Shortly after their formation in April 1985, the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) assembled a list of fifteen songs with deemed unsuitable content. Particular criticism was placed on “Darling Nikki” by Prince, after PMRC co-founder Mary “Tipper” Gore heard her 11-year-old daughter sing the lyrics, which included an explicit mention of masturbation [“I knew a girl named Nikki I guess you could say she was a sex fiend / I met her in a hotel lobby masturbating with a magazine”].

I was drawn to the t-shirt because of my inclination to wearing t-shirts with mansexual images, like this one:

(#5) The Tom of Finland heavily hung hitchhiker tee

and with sexual slogans, and also to posting quite explicit discussions of men’s bodies and mansex. I’m one of those people the PMRC warned you against.

R3C1: Pink Freud. A cute pun on the band name Pink Floyd. Covered at some length in my 9/11/10 posting “Pink Freud”.

R3C2: Double Rainbow. Bakery & Cafe, Albuquerque, New Mexico. (For some years, I passed through Albuquerque, often with Jacques, twice a year in a commute between Ohio State and Stanford.) From Wikipedia:

Double Rainbow is a brand of premium ice cream, sorbets, and frozen desserts based in San Francisco, California. Founded in 1976 by two childhood friends, the company has remained a family-owned and operated business for over 40 years. The company distributes locally and nationally at retail stores and grocery outlets nationwide. Dubbed as “The Official Ice Cream of San Francisco” by former Mayor Willie Brown

… Their Castro Street location was a neighborhood fixture during the heart of the 70s and 80s. Harvey Milk, who owned a camera store down the block, was a frequenter of the parlor.

And the Palo Alto location (on Ramona St., a couple blocks north of my house, closed some years ago) was a favorite of Jacques’s and mine.

R3C3: Wallace and Gromit. At the point of a gun wielded by a penguin. From the annals of delightful animation. See my 12/22/18 posting “For the season: from fish to moose, penguin intervention”, about Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit animated film The Wrong Trousers, with a sinister penguin.

R4C1: iPho. Vietnamese pho and iPhones, combined. See my 4/24/11 posting “Check your iPho”.

R4C2: California live oak sketch. Quercus agrifolia, dotted over the foothills around here (notably, on the ridge above Stanford where CASBS, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, is located) and grown as a common street tree.

(#5) A California live oak, at Carneros in Napa County, 6/25/96 (on the USDA site)

CASBS has long used images of California live oaks in its publicity. A huge symmetrical tree appeared in the CASBS seal in 1990-91 (see the next t-shirt), when I was a visitor at the Center, working with Geoff Pullum (I had earlier been a Fellow at the Center, in 1981-82); and more characteristic trees appear in its more recent literature, including these two images from the Center since it became officially affiliated with Stanford (a banner and a logo):



The tree sketch in the quilt  is from 1991, the work of Gaea Leinhardt, who was a 1990-91 Fellow. Seen up close:


(The signature in the lower right corner is a glyph combining all of the letters in CASBS, followed by an elaborate 91.)

That year, as in others, Fellows were given to walking on the trails along the ridge of the foothills. This tree was Gaea’s special favorite, so she turned it into a t-shirt.

Jacques and I regularly walked on the trails after lunch, with Gaea and with Jeanne Altmann, and often with others as well.

(Gaea is now senior scientist and professor emerita in the Learning Research & Development Center at the Univ. of Pittsburgh; and Jeanne is now professor emerita and Eugene Higgins Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton Univ.)

R4C3: CASBS 1990-91. The official t-shirt.

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