Monday, March 29, 2010

Beyond Endpapers

At first Christopher's goal was to be able to make patterned papers with the intend of selling them as endpapers. For years we searched in Bookstores, Libraries, Art stores and the like to find patterns or the history of them.
We spent endless weekends browsing these places and then one day in the mid 1970's we came upon the first marbled miniature painting and from that moment on Chris was determined to find out anything he could about these, find as many as possible and the owners as well. Contact with the first one we had seen in a catalogue at LACMA took a year to finally meet Dr. Edwin Binney,3rd at the San Diego Museum of Art (with Chris above signing the catalogue)where Chris for the first time saw the original and others in his collection. He then knew that they were not collages but in fact marbled with stencil, resists or both. In time he proofed it to be correct by recreating them and later on by the generosity of Dr. Binney to loaned to the LA County Museam of Art and Chris had to conince them that it was worth to have them analyzed by X-ray flourescence. They were indeed made the way Chris had thought from the beginning and by lecturing with slide shows showing the steps and an article in the Stanford Imprint 1982, Fine Print 1983, to just mention a few, he shared what he learned.The above inscription by Dr.Binney,3rd with Chris in San Diego reads "For Chris with many thanks for what you are doing, 1978." And in 1980 Dr. Binney again thanks Christopher fondly for his help to understanding how they were made because he had written:"The elements in the scene, in addition to their marbling, are cut out and pasted on the background-a marbled, decoupe album page. Our lack of knowledge as to exact location in no way detracts from the aesthetic mastery of these leaves. But it would still be helpful to find a 'willing hand' to fill in still another gap in our knowledge of Deccani painting."**Indian Paintings From The Deccan. A lecture by Edwin Binney, 3rd, PhD for The Royal Society of Arts Journal, Nov. 1979.
The enthusiasm of these two people after they met and shared, one the Collector and Chris the marbler I shall never forget. Chris was the "willing hand" by his excitement for learning as much as possible.After Chris completed his first slide presentation of how he thought the miniatures were made he then took it to San Diego to show it to Dr. Binney and he gave him a gift of one creation of the three stenciled steps of the "Tiger Eating A Gazelle surrounded By Deer"(below). I don't believe Chris even signed the pieces, he was just simply happy to be able to share, that's how he was. It wasn't fame he was after, not even trying to leave a mark, simply to learn and do projects. At that point he wanted to create miniatures, trying various printing techniques to be able to do a limited editon of originals. However, sadly, time was cut short.

1 comment:

  1. Ingrid, thanks so much for sharing these images and stories. Your description of Chris' work and how it was accomplished with Binney's approval and blessing is very important and it should be remembered as such. I think it is unfortunate that the recent publication of Binney's collection entitled "Domains of Wonder" made no mention of Chris' research on the paintings of the Dervish and Praying Woman. All I can say is that I will do my best to ensure that he is remembered and CREDITED for his accomplishments!