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THE PHILADELPHIA JUNTO | 'A Charivari of the Lit'ry Life' | Dr Franklin's Diary | Celebrating Our 41st Year

Updated: 2018-04-19T17:11:33.002-04:00


The 'New' Penn Museum


The PJ depends on reader support. Please help us by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVIII. All Rights Reserved.

'Horrid' in Buenos Aires


  [Photos by WritersClearinghouse News Service]Won the War, Lost Their HeartsBy Richard CarreñoBuenos AiresArgentinians have had a love-hate relationship with the British as long as memory (history) can serve. From invasions in the 19th century (twice) to the awkwardness of a 1982 war over a constellation of rocks (islands) known as the Falklands to the Brits and the Malvinas to the Argies (they lost), tensions have often run high between the two countries. Conversely, nowhere -- aside from in Britain's kissin' cousin, the United States -- has the popular culture of the United Kingdom reigned with such alacrity as in this capital city. It came with the railroads, built by British engineers with funding from the City, London's Wall Street. In a horse-oriented culture, polo followed. English-styled clubs (the sporting Jockey included) soon appeared. As did English-styled fashion with a Savile Row cut, popularized by the city's male elite.Even a version of Big Ben (the British Tower) rose up, a favorite meeting site for Porteños, as citizens of this port city are known. Until 1982, that is.It was known as Torre Monumental afterward. Before 1982 Torre de los Ingleses (Tower of the English) is a clock tower located in the barrio (district) of Retiro, Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is situated in the Plaza Fuerza Aérea Argentina (formerly Plaza Británica) next to the Calle San Martín and Avenida del Libertador. It was a gift from the local British community to the city in commemoration of the centennial of the May Revolution of 1810. [1].After the Falklands War in 1982, the tower was renamed Torre Monumental, though some still call it Torre des Ingleses.Established in 1914 on 877 Florida Street as the only overseas branch of the renowned Harrods of London, the department store was expanded in 1920, and grew to occupy almost an entire Retiro-area city block. Following its expansion, the 47,000 m² (500,000 ft²) landmark was crowned by an eight-story cupola overlooking Córdoba Avenue, and featured marble steps and cedar flooring throughout, as well as wrought-iron elevators with a riding capacity for twenty, valet service, and a jazz orchestra. The store was purchased by competing local retailer Gath y Chaves in 1922, and the two Florida Street institutions were, in turn, acquired by the Italian-Argentine holding company, Almacenes Argentinos, in 1970. These latter owners closed Gath y Chaves in 1974, and in 1977, sold their interest in the remaining store (Harrods) to a consortium led by Pérez Companc, a prominent local conglomerate. By 1983, the store was controlled by Atilio Gilbertoni, its former general manager under Pérez Companc, and Swiss venture capital firm CBC Interconfianz.The purchase that year of the flagship Knightsbridge store by Mohammed Al-Fayed led to conflict after Gilbertoni refused an offer from the Egyptian shipping magnate for the local Harrods license. The ongoing legal struggles and faltering local economy led to the closure of the store's top floors after a 1989 currency crisis. Fayed's lawsuit was ultimately dismissed by the British House of Lords in 1998, and though it continued to receive 80,000 customers a day and average a million US dollars in daily sales, lingering debts then resulted in the historic retailer's closure, at the end of that year.[2] Gilbertoni narrowly avoided its auction, and rejected numerous offers for the ailing store, among them from Chilean retailer Falabella, Madrid's El Corte Inglés, and Paris' Printemps, among others.The interior was partially restored and reopened in 2003 to host periodic art festivals and other cultural events,[3] and among the more notable events hosted at the location were the 10th and 11th Buenos Aires Tango Festival, in 2008 and 2009.Representatives from CBC Interconfianz announced in March 2009 that permits [...]

A bit of Madrid, Paris, Rome ... and ...


Presto! Buenos Aires, Argentina
(January 2018)



 #yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ReadMsgBody, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ExternalClass {width:100%;}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ExternalClass, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ExternalClass p, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ExternalClass span, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ExternalClass font, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ExternalClass td, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708ExternalClass div {line-height:100%;}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 body, #yiv5012348708 table, #yiv5012348708 td, #yiv5012348708 p, #yiv5012348708 a, #yiv5012348708 li, #yiv5012348708 blockquote {}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 table, #yiv5012348708 td {}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 img {}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708footer a {text-decoration:none;}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708iOSfix a {text-decoration:none;}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708iOSfixaside a {text-decoration:none;}#yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708em-dragdrop-dummy {display:none!important;} #yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 body {min-width:100% !important;} #yiv5012348708 html {width:100%;} #yiv5012348708 img {border:0;min-height:auto;line-height:100%;outline:none;text-decoration:none;} #yiv5012348708 table {border-collapse:collapse;} #yiv5012348708 body, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708emWrapperTable, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708emWrapperCell {min-height:100% !important;margin:0;padding:0;} #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708mobileHeaderWidth .yiv5012348708em-dockitem-empty, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708mobileFooterWidth .yiv5012348708em-dockitem-empty, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708emWrapperTable, #yiv5012348708 .yiv5012348708emWrapperCell {width:100% !important;} #yiv5012348708 div {padding:0px !important;} #yiv5012348708 h1, #yiv5012348708 h2, #yiv5012348708 h3, #yiv5012348708 h4, #yiv5012348708 h5, #yiv5012348708 h6 {display:block;margin:0px;} #yiv5012348708 p {margin:0em 0em 1em;margin-bottom:1em;} #yiv5012348708 @media screen and ( _filtered_a ){ #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td[class="yiv5012348708mWidth"] {display:block;} #yiv5012348708 table .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 table .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 table .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td[class="yiv5012348708mobileFooterCell"] {width:480px!important;} #yiv5012348708 *[class="yiv5012348708mWidth"] {width:100%!important;} #yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 td {} #yiv5012348708 *[class="yiv5012348708mHide"] {display:none!important;} #yiv5012348708 *[class="yiv5012348708mBreak"] {display:block!important;} #yiv5012348708 *[class="yiv5012348708mTextCenter"] {text-align:center!important;} #yiv5012348708 *[class="yiv5012348708mCenter"] {margin:0px auto!important;} #yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 img[class="yiv5012348708mFullImage"] {width:100%!important;min-height:auto!important;} } @media screen and ( _filtered_a ){ #yiv5012348708 table .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 table .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 table .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td .filtered99999 , #yiv5012348708 td[class="yiv5012348708mobileFooterCell"] {width:320px!important;} #yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 #yiv5012348708 }  DEFRIENDED#yiv5012348708 table td{border:0px;} Dear Friends of the La Salle University Art Museum,Today La Salle University announced that its Board of Trustees has approved the deaccession of 46 artworks from the University’s Art Museum collection of over 5,000 pieces. Proceeds from the deaccession will help fund initiatives from the University’s five-year strategic plan—a blueprint for La Salle’s sustainable and vibrant future, and a pathway to enhanced student experience and outcomes.The Art Museum will [...]




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The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVIII. All Rights Reserved.





The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.



The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.



The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.

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The Philadelphia Junto


The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.



The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.

Phonphan Wichukilmonkol


The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via  THAI ARTIST CREATES FOR CHARITYBy Janine Yasovant[WCNews Service]Phonphan Wichukilmonkol is a newer generation of Thai artist who's constantly working. Most of his works are quickly reserved by art collectors. After Phonphan graduated from Princess Sirindhorn's College, he went to further his education in the faculty of Fine and Applied Arts Communication Design, Bangkok University. Artist and WorksPhonphan had participated in several projects in Thailand such as Art for Cancer project to help poor patients, as well as for the Rama Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. He also designed a leaflet and a T- shirt, and a bag for the Friends of the Asian Elephants Foundation, and he's constantly submitting  his works for auctions. Moreover, he participated in the 38th Bualuang Art Contest. His works are very eye-catching. In January-February 2016, he participated in a group art exhibition "The Four Elements" with other three other young artists in Bangkok, and then in March 2016 he joined the group exhibition "99 Arts for the King."  His works are a mix of oil-based colors with backgrounds in acrylic. Sizes begin from 100 cm by 100 cm  Prices range from around $USD880  to  $USD3600.© MMXVII WritersClearinghouse. All rights reserved WritersClearinghouse. Publication queries to[...]



 DUALITY OF CULTURESBy Don Merlot[WCNews Service]My first trip to the outside world started in New York in 1968 when working with our international advertising agency and the account people. I met them face to face and  worked with them to carry out my responsibilities. I had grown up in Mexico City. My parents were American; and we spoke English at home.I attended the American School which was a primary school and junior and senior high.  Classes would be half day in English and half day in Spanish. Most students had similar backgrounds; mostly Americans; or European or Mexican parents who wanted to have the children have a bilingual education.Many fathers worked for American companies or the U.S. Government. There were also Canadians, and Europeans. We were part of the Anglo-American community of Mexico City. When we visited friends, we would walk or ride our bikes to see each other. As we matured we could take busses if we went beyond our neighborhood. One day I was with a friend on city bus and we were talking in English when an older woman asked us,  Por que no hablan en Cristiano? ( “Why are you not speaking in Christian?”  She meant Spanish, of course.) I remember being startled by that. We knew other passengers we interested in our answer. I was instantly aware that we were in an awkward situation. We apologized and talked in Spanish. Mexico’s language is Spanish and “in Rome do what the Romans do.”Mexico is a Catholic country. I was and many of us were Protestant, and Christian too, but we did not want to go there in that conversation. The answer was not that we were both Christian, because traditionally in Mexico there is only one Christian Church; The Roman Catholic Church. After that whenever we were in public we only spoke in Spanish. Most of my friends were blond and blue eyed (so was my mother). The lesson for me was the old refrain When in Mexico do Mexican things. Do not stick out or be different.By the time I graduated from TBird, I married a New Orleans southern belle Denise Rufin, a Louisiana native and we went off to my new career. For my 25 years, my food tastes were Mexican, American (parents grew in Kansas) and New Orleans (Creole Cooking).  My thoughts and my perceptions were how people perceived us. Recently I saw a story: Advertising was a land of stories. And here I am a junior executive working in international environment’  I had to explain to the New York advertising people who I am and what I want to get accomplished. I was from two cultures when I arrived in the USA in 1968 my schooling at the American School in Mexico City developed my bilingual skills and gave me a primary education in English and Spanish. I was taught US culture and Mexican Culture, language, writing and reading. I was being prepared to go to go to college in the USA. When I went to prep school and College I went as a US citizen. Even though I was born in Mexico of American parents, the schools treated me as a foreign student. At college I was destined to go in the U.S. Army, but at my Army physical they found a kidney malady that kept me out of the Army and being drafted. I worked in New Orleans for an oil company until I found a graduate international business program at Thunderbird. I completed my graduate degree and found a job working at Whirlpool. So, now in my new job should be accepted as an American?A story I heard from a new business associate and applied here. The story that made me think how the Americans thought of the advertising concept. A newly married man was alone with his bride and was trying to be gentle to consummate their marriage. She said she was a novice at this, which caused him to reply how can [...]



OLD STORY GIVEN FRESH, FRANK APPROACHMuseum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia. ****/5. Building exterior, not much. Interior decor and design, excellent. Displays, educational, forthright, and bright.-- Hotspur for The PJ.More photos follow© MMXVII WritersClearinghouse. All rights reserved WritersClearinghouse. Publication queries to[...]



The Dream GardenTHEY RAZED MAXFIELD PARRISH'S STUDIO, AND I FILMED THE DESCONSTRUCTIONBy Robin Lee[Special to WC News Service]LewinOver twenty years ago, I filmed the sad demise of the magnificent and historic estate and art studio of American illustrator and artist and Philadelphia native Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966).Parrish  His estate and art studio sprawled upon the upper level of his historic estate with hundreds of miles of  views all the way over to the Vermont mountains, captured in many of his paintings. This estate was located in the Cornish area of New Hampshire, a place for artist, poets and writers to work.I lived close by his estate, and 1993 was the first time I was invited to his estate for tea. A long story and it would take all day and more to tell you of what I discovered. In short, I discovered nirvana, a world that few know of. And, now, it is gone.I was allowed to film and take photos there. I would wrote in my journal the details of all my precious visits there, and all that Parrish created I wrote about. I would always write in my journal about this force that was there, it was so demanding. Maybe it was inspiration calling.The big gardens that once flowered  are now overgrown, unloved, unwanted and his studio -- how magnificent; it just needed some restoring and T.L C . Parrish's fifteen-room studio was steeped in art history and was created by Parrish himself. This was where he painted the masterpieces, many of which featured his devoted servant, model, and friend, Sue Lewin. Parrish and Lewin lived in this beautiful studio, with sweeping grounds and architectural elements incorporated into his art. This valuable and precious art history is now gone with the exception of my extensive film footage, photography, artifacts, research and findings and of course, his masterpieces.That art studio was amazing, it had secret passageways, hidden stairways, a huge Juliet balcony up high in the main living room with this big round gold motif upon it.  I could clearly see all the masterpieces with in those walls and they embraced you. I was in his private world. I had heard about The Dream Garden mural by Parish and Tiffany, installed in the Curtis Building in Philadelphia, being restored. I have all the elements, views, back drops, columns, and more throughout my film footage and photos that reveal all the secrets of The Dream Garden.When you are at the Parrish estate you are inside the masterpieces, they surround you, and it is an experience when you can point out which painting was painted where.When the Parrish estate was destroyed, I keep filming through the my tears as I watched art history die.During one visit I viewed piles of his studio on the lawn waiting to be taken to the dump. I was allowed to salvage stunning items to save  ---  they are the survivors of what once was. The Parrish panel, deep green, handsome, is my favorite, it has that same round protruding  motif upon it, the same round motif that was all over the inside of his art studio. I salvaged other precious items, and they have taught me well.I hope to release my film research and story about Maxfield Parrish, his art studio, the paintings, his faithful Sue, and their day-to-day lives.Not long ago I read that filmmaker George Lucas said that it was the artwork of Maxfield Parrish that directly inspired the feel and look of his Star Wars films. A lost chapter in Star Wars history?.Robin Lee is a composer, flutist, an artist, a mother, an avid swimmer, an advocate for animals and the author of Sanctuary Dishonored, The Decline and Fall of the Maxfield Parrish Estate.&[...]



Chaisak Chaiboon was born in 7 May 1959 in Thailand. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from the faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University. After graduation, he worked at Amarin Printing and Publishing as an editor for art department of famous Thai magazines such as Baan Lae Suan (Home and Garden), Preaw and Preaw Sudsabd (Variety magazine for women). From 1994 to 2002, he set up his own publishing and advertising company, Contemplate Advertising. After that, he focused solely on printmaking.
-- Janine Yasovant



 I LIKE TO GO NASSAUBy Fred Winslow Rust I like to go to Nassau,I like to settle downAmong the palms, above the bay,In this quaint, half-ancient town. I like to walk in Nassau,On Bay Street's shady sideAnd stroll along and see the life,And shop, -- I need no guide.I like the Nassau quiet;No rush of motors throughFrom everywhere to everywhere,Through days and night times, too.Of course I hear the toot of cars.The carriage bell so sweet,But visitors come by boat or planeSo motors can't compete.I like her solid comfort, --Her latticed porches call, --Her lovely high walled gardens,Her people -- best of all.The smiling natives and the clerks,The gentry whom I see,All make me feel I'm Nassau's guest,And proud that I should be.And when I go to Nassau,However long my stay,I wish I could stay longer, but, --I'll come again some day![From A Song of Nassau and Other Verses, 1935]© MMXVII WritersClearinghouse. All rights reserved WritersClearinghouse. Publication queries to[...]



The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.

Fly on the Wall, A Memoir


THE BEGINNING OF MY CAREER Notes & thoughts on food and wine “Life is a heavy burden; take it one step at a time." – Eiyasu Tokugawa, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. (17the century).  By Don Merlot[WC News Service]Our daily office coffee break ritual started at 9 am. The department heads had two groups: sales and engineering. The directors would walk out of their offices into the office bays to collect us, and we would be joined by the rest of the departments and go to the company cafeteria where several dining tables would be full of office staff. We would take our morning coffee together. Our group consisted of the international division. Our directors would be in the center of the table and the staff would surround them.  On my first day I was thinking as I walked through my first business rite of passage to my first job that here I am with my new family. I recently graduated from Thunderbird (American Institute for Foreign Trade). I was newly married, and had just relocated to southwestern Michigan and my new job was in international advertising and sales promotion at Whirlpool Corporation. This day was also the first day for a fellow graduate from Thunderbird, who was recruited at the same time as I. Not, that I was overwhelmed, but there were so many people coming over from other tables to meet us too. I knew I would never remember all the names and the roles they had, but I felt welcome to my new life. For my first few years, this daily event would be a learning forum for me; the company history and culture and the role that I would play in the international business that was evolving. The environment was informal as we would talk about all current events, about everything really, but my role at first was to listen and learn to be part of the company culture. My new business family was made up of a very cosmopolitan group of experienced executives and we worked for a family company that was emerging as one of the top 100 companies in the USA. Two brothers (the Upton family) founded it and employees were treated as kings and queens.  My primary boss, (supervisor) and marketing manager was Ralph. He was the one who started me off, nurtured me, and sculpted my mind into an international executive. There was also another boss, but when I arrived he was based in Puerto Rico. His name was Curt. He, too, was a graduate of Thunderbird and had worked at Whirlpool for several years in college in a summer program. He had many overseas assignments before Puerto Rico.  It turned out Curt had been a classmate of my sister Susie at the American School of Mexico City. Both bosses had a tremendous influence on my development. Most important was with assimilating into the American culture. When I went to prep school in Virginia,  I had arrived from Mexico. I had an American passport because my mother was American. I had a Mexican passport because I was born in Mexico. To me, I was American, but to everybody I met, I was Mexican because I was born in Mexico City, MX. At Tulane, where I graduated in 1965, I was considered a foreign student, and even had an international student counselor. Originally, I was in ROTC (Army), and was scheduled to earn my officer gold bars. Twice in my first years in the “States” did I experience any ethnic bias: A fraternity in college declined to take me because of my Mestizo blood. (When I left Mexico my father told me if that happened shake it off and do not force your way into a pl[...]

Hello Kitty!


MUTTER MUSEUM REBRANDS AS MEW-TERPlease join us in celebrating today's launch of the new MEW-TER MUSEUM. Today we're excited to announce that we are transitioning from a medical history institution to a museum exclusively devoted to historical feline anatomy!Become a Mew-ter Museum Founding Member!Get your claws into the best yarns from behind-the-scenes, and complimentary guest passes for you and your litter of kitties. Today only, we're offering fans the opportunity to become a Founding Member of the new Mew-ter Museum.Right meow, we will be sharing some of the feline specimens that you can currently see in our galleries, along with their never-before-revealed histories. Be sure to follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!Posted 1 April, 2017The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.© MMXVII WritersClearinghouse. All rights reserved WritersClearinghouse. Publication queries to[...]


 By Janine Yasovant[WCNewsService]Widsanupong NoonanWidsanupong Noonan started painting while at university. He studied in the faculty of Architecture, Department of Fine Arts, King Monkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand. He received a best student award for two years, in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 he had his own art exhibition and he got a first class honour degree from the institute. He won many painting competitions during that time. Most of his works are very large. They are realistic paintings mixed with sculpting using oil color on fiberglass. He expresses his own dreams on sculpting partly while painting  He got master's degree (a MFA  in the Program of Visual Arts, Department of painting, Faculty of Painting, Sculptures and graphic arts, Silpakorn UniversityNoonan who does painting and sculpting concurrently.  I asked, “Is there anyone who works in the same way as you?”  "As far as I know, this is my original idea” he replied “It is coincidental that the surface of fiberglass is suitable, so I can draw and sculpt anything on it.”Few artists can express feelings in the same way as he does. Each piece is a personal creation. Viewers clearly understand his works. But there are hidden mysteries. There are two parts in each artwork. The first part is painting of a woman whose facial expression can be sad or lonely. The second part is sculpting from his imagination which can be touched. It depends on the concept of what can be seen with the eyes, or what is tactile.“Each of my works take a long time to make because of resin mould sculpting and painting. It is a direct expression of feelings. As I said before, everything is illusion and this is what I want to express. The size of every painting is different but all of them has its own completeness. Not only the satisfaction of newer generations and contemporary arts, but it is also two-way communication between spectators and I to see what they think after looking at my works. In my view, different thinking is neither right nor wrong. The truth of time was my continuous series about the illusion of relationships. The latest exhibition Love illusion is still about illusion." Widsanupong Noonan has received many awards from competitions He also has solo exhibitions and joint exhibitions with his friends from 2007 to 2017. He also sculpts. He is happy with sculpting the Buddha images and a realistic statue of the king of Thailand. These works are very popular and sell out quickly.                          The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.© MMXVII WritersClearinghouse. All rights reserved WritersClearinghouse. Publication queries to[...]

Soane & Town, Architects


MATCHED SETSNew Spaces Now Open at Soane MuseumOur 7 million pound restoration is now complete.We’ve just got bigger (and even better!). Our 7-year programme of restoration is complete, returning the Museum to the original design of Sir John Soane. Previously ‘lost’ areas have been restored, and new spaces are open for the very first time. These include the Catacombs, the Regency-era kitchens, and our second temporary exhibition space – the Foyle Space. An astonishing 365 objects from our collection are now back on public display for the first time since Soane's death in 1837, and we're thrilled to say that the Museum now has full step-free access. -- Recent press release, the Sir John Soane Museum, LondonTwin LibrariesThe following is excerpted from Ithiel Town: An American Original by Richard Carreño, published by the Thompson, Connecticut, Historical Society (1995)Much of Town's professional and personal life remains murky.  Perhaps the least known aspect of his life bridges his thirty-year career as a private book collector.  What is known is that during that time Town had amassed an architectural library of about 11,500 volumes, one of the premier collections on the topic anywhere.According to Michael C. Quinn, "Town's fine arts collection had no peer in America, and probably rivaled European libraries of the day in its comprehensive scope of written and visual printed materials."One measure of the leviathan size of Town's library is how it compared with comparable collections.  When Jefferson's library was sold to congress in 1815, it contained forty-three volumes in its architectural section.  Peter Harrison's collection numbered twenty-nine titles.  Even Bulfinch's library only tallied about twenty-seven texts.The intimate size of these other libraries was in keeping with an early tradition of the working library.Instead, Town became a collector -- a massive collector.  Perhaps unbeknownst to him, the British architect, Sir John Soane, was pioneering a similar effort in England.  Soane's collection, at 7,783 volumes, was sizeably smaller than Town's.  Yet both collectors were likely tapping the same book-selling sources in England and on the continent."Both men while requiring illustrated volumes for their professions, responded to the architectural book as an object precious in itself," according to Quinn.In this context, Quinn has also noted Soane's departure from tradition.  His observation also serve for Town."Even though Soane certainly drew on the information contained in his architectural books, their sheer number broke decisively with the earlier tradition of the intimately known working library.  Sir John Soane had extended the instinct of the connoisseur and collector beyond actual works of art, to encompass printed materials devoted to architecture and to the fine arts."In America, Town was the companion piece.  In published catalogs of the holdings, the collection is routinely referred to as "rare," "choice," "costly" "scarce," "valuable," "extensive," "elegant," and "splendid."Because of Town's meticulous and driven need for acquisition, any definitive reason for Town's decision to dispose of the library in 1842 has remained a constant puzzle.  This, especially, since Town had built a stately house at 6 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven (razed in 1942) to house his indulgence.Quinn notes that Town had always planned to sell the collection citing an 1832 will.Still[...]

In Training


 MAD MANBy Don Merlot[WC News Service]The flight from Michigan to New York City was on a clear night. I could look out the plane windows and see the towns and villages. We were traveling from Chicago to New York City.  As we came into New York’s air space, we cruised over the metro area and saw the Statue of Liberty and the buildings on Manhattan: The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building were front and forward. The ribbon of street lights looked like gold necklaces. After landing we took a taxi to the hotel in Manhattan. It was late so we settled in for the day to prepare for the next day.  The excitement was high for me. This was my first business trip with my first job. This was not my first time to New York. My earlier visits were when I went military prep school in Virginia in 1958 to 1959. One trip was to visit my school roommate’s home in Short Hills, New Jersey, and the other was to catch up with a childhood friend that I had known from the American School in Mexico City, whose father had moved and worked in the city. He commuted from Roslyn, on Long Island. The other two trips were interviews for jobs when I was at Thunderbird (1967).These experiences prepared me for the massive size of the greater metropolitan area; the cosmopolitan culture; the skyscrapers, and the blaring noise of the traffic that was constant from day break to nightfall. These visits were a test to see the big picture for business, and the global world as well: The preparation to see the world: the big picture. It reminded me of the movie Auntie Mame, and I was the bronco being busted to become a worldly executive.  This trip was tremendous boost for my persona and very emotional. I was in the throes of the beginning of my international career and on the road to become a world savant and traveler.   I had learned in grad school that only 10 percent of the Americans had gone fifty miles beyond their birthplace in their lifetime. I knew from experience, growing up in Mexico City (1942 to 1958), and traveling the interior of Mexico for vacations (Acapulco, Taxco and Cuernavaca), and travelling by car up to the USA on the Pan-American Highway to Kansas to visit my family in Topeka.  I remember learning and understanding that when people asked, where I was originally from, I would have to say “Old Mexico” and not confuse them by saying (“New”) Mexico. Most people when I went to school would ask where was my home and would say Mexico and that would conjure up an adobe hut, a cactus plant and a burro, a Sarape, and a sombrero.  As I walked down Park Avenue the next morning I was looking up to the Pan Am building on a spring sunny day in Manhattan in 1968. I was to meet with the company’s advertising agency for the international division, I had to pinch myself that I was really starting my career. Madison Avenue was the Mecca for the Western World’s advertising agencies and this central location was a couple of blocks away from that ground zero. Our hotel was on 48th  between Lexington Avenue and Madison Avenue.  My first career step when I accepted my first international job as Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager for the International Division of Whirlpool Corporation was now in progress. My graduate school (Thunderbird -- the American graduate school for Foreign Trade) degree was in international marketing/advertising. My desire and first expectation was to[...]





BOOK BUYINGLondonThe best book buying deals in Britain are on-line. (A shameless plug for Philabooks|Booksellers). But when I'm replenishing my inventory, which I often do in London because of the ready availability of titles that suit my customers' tastes, I go for remainders.As is the case in strictly used bookshops in America, discounts in similar London versions are usually no great bargain. (Overhead, etc.) I buy only when I make what I call 'a love connection.' In other words, a book I must have. The used bookshops I like best are in British Museum area.  My favourite remainder spot is South Kensington Bookshop, in South Ken's museum district and French enclave. (It's located in the building complex attached to the South Kensington tube stop). Great titles, many just a year or two old, are be had up to fifty percent off list prices. At times, even greater discounts can be sighted. The shop seems to be open 'round the clock. At least, whenever I pop in. Service is pleasant and efficient. Highly recommended!There was another remainder bookshop I used to go to, in Victoria directly across the south side of the station. It used to be a double hit, since I'd also visit the old Politico bookshop, off Victoria Street. (Long gone). Don't remember the name of this Victoria Station shop, and I'm wondering if it's still there. (Memo to self: Check it out on next buying trip).Meantime, if you follow Philabooks at, you'll see some new titles I've just listed. Or, go to Call 1.215.385.3512 for even speedier service.-- Richard Carreño© MMXVII WritersClearinghouse. All rights reserved WritersClearinghouse. Publication queries to[...]