From Our Dealers

Famed Artist Harry Roseland Comes Back to Life at Roseland Galleries

 
Harry Roseland was born in Brooklyn, New York where he would train and develop as an artist for the majority of his life.  Roseland began his artistic career under the guidance of portraitist John Bernard Whittaker at the Adelphia Art Academy before furthering his studies with J. Carroll Beckwith in New York City.  Perhaps inspired by Beckwith’s breadth of subject matter – the artist was noted for his landscapes, genre paintings, and portraits – Roseland did not limit himself to one type of painting, but instead, offered seascapes, paintings of American life, and portraits to the public throughout his career.

Although Roseland experimented with many genres, his most widely-known compositions were those that focused on the lives of black Americans, most of which were set in the South.  Interestingly, the artist likely never traveled to this region of the country, and so relied upon New England conceptions and stereotypes of Southern blacks for his genre scenes.  One figure often featured by Roseland was that of the exotic fortune-teller paired with a fair-skinned bourgeois woman.  Like many works of the time, these paintings were popular enough to be etched and distributed in print form to a broader audience; some, such as Reading Her Fortune, were even published in Harper’s Weekly.

Roseland’s genre scenes form an important chapter of the American Experience by allowing present-day viewers to understand widespread cultural beliefs present in post-Civil War America.  The artist’s works were exhibited by a number of associations including the National Academy of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Society of Independent Artists.  Roseland was also honored as a member of the Salmagundi Club and won several awards such as the gold medal at exhibitions such as the Brooklyn Art Club (1888), in Boston (1904), and at the 1907 exhibition for the American Art Society.  Today, his work is featured in the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Heckscher Museum.

There is no racism in any of Roseland’s portrayals of the challenges commonly faced by all humanity. There is no bias or favor with regards to who the victors are and who suffers the greatest defeat. There is only humanity, portrayed in its dusty, hard-earned achievements, and arduous failures and loss. This is humanity portrayed at its best; both victorious and defeated, winning and losing, gain and loss. Neither option promising happiness and contentment. Sitting at the kitchen table, these true heroes know the joy of battles won, and the sorrow of battles lost. They will endure; they will survive. Life will not defeat them. They have come too far to turn back now. Their lives no longer consist in what they have around them, but rather in what they know about themselves within. They know they’re strong, they know they’re tough, they know they’re unyielding and brave. The strength built through the fervent tenacity of survival makes them heroes to us all. They have won. They know they are “somebody” and no one can take that away. Their confidence is built with their own hands, not as a result of some beneficent overlord. The tablecloth may be ragged, the walls dilapidated and broken, but they understand the substance of life is not found in the accumulation of possessions. They have each other to rely upon, and when that dependence no longer remains, their resolute self-reliance will endure. Of this one thing they are certain: They’ll get by. Art by Harry Roseland captivates life experiences at their most real moments.

Roseland Galleries is the exclusive producer and distributor of the Harry Roseland Collection in the United States.
 


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THE EDISON PHONOGRAPH

 THE PHONOGRAPH

IN 1877 THOMAS ALVA EDISON " THE WIZARD OF MENLO PARK " WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO ACTUALLY RECORD SOUND.  FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD SOUND WAS NO LONGER A TRANSIENT.  UNTIL THE INVENTION OF THE PHONOGRAPH SOUND WAS LOST AS SOON AS IT WAS HEARD.  IN FACT UNTIL THE INVENTION OF THE PHONOGRAPH THE ONLY WAY TO HEAR A REPEATED SOUND WAS AN ECHO.  EXACTLY WHAT WAS THE PROCESS BEHIND THIS GREAT INVENTION THAT ALLOWED US TO CAPTURE A MOMENT FROZEN IN TIME AS A RECORDED SOUND?

THERE IS AN OLD ADAGE, " IF A TREE FALLS IN THE FOREST AND IF THERE IS NO ONE THERE TO HEAR IT, DOES IT MAKE A SOUND " ?
  THE ANSWER OF COURSE IS NO IT DOES NOT.  SOUND IS MERELY AIR IN MOTION, THE MOVING, VIBRATING AIR STRIKES THE TYMPANIC MEMBRANES ( EAR DRUMS ) OF OUR EARS AND WE PERCEIVE IT AS SOUND.  IT IS ACTUALLY NOTHING MORE THAN VARIANCES IN THE MODULATING AIR.  FOR EXAMPLE, THE REASON A DEAF PERSON CANNOT SPEAK IS NOT THAT THEY HAVE BAD VOCAL CORDS,  IT IS THEY HAVE BAD EARS.  NOT HAVING HEARD SPEECH THEY CANNOT IMITATE IT.  A DEAF PERSON WILL FEEL THE TREE FALLING IN THE FOREST AS THE MOVING, VIBRATING AIR STRIKES THEIR BODIES BUT THEY WILL NOT HEAR IT.  AS SOUND IS SIMPLY A PHENOMENON OF VIBRATING AIR WHICH WE PERCEIVE AS SOUND.

EDISON'S ORIGINAL MEDIUM FOR RECORDING WAS TINFOIL.  THIS WAS WRAPPED AROUND A GROOVED MANDREL AND ROTATED BY HAND.  THE MANDREL WAS ATTACHED TO A THREADED ROD WHICH WAS ATTACHED TO THE HANDLE.  AS THE CYLINDER WAS ROTATED BY HAND THE GROOVES IN THE THREADED ROD PULLED THE MANDREL PAST THE FIXED STYLUS ON THE RECORDER AND RATHER THAN REMOVING OR CUTTING THE MATERIAL, THE STYLUS SIMPLY INDENTED THE SURFACE MUCH AS EMBOSSING OR STAMPING A DESIGN INTO A SHEET OF ALUMINUM FOIL.  EDISON HIMSELF SAID HE WAS " ASTOUNDED AND A LITTLE FRIGHTENED " BY THE SUCCESS OF THE TIN FOIL PHONOGRAPH AND WAS SOMEWHAT NONPLUSSED THAT IT WORKED ON THE VERY FIRST TRY.

IT IS SURPRISING THAT EDISON INVENTED THIS PROCESS, PATENTED THE PROCESS THEN SIMPLY LET IT LANGUISH FOR YEARS BEFORE FINALLY BEING ROUSED FROM HIS STUPOR BY THE INVENTION OF THE WAX RECORDING METHOD.  EDISON'S PATENT COVERED INDENTION OF THE SURFACE MATERIAL, IN THIS CASE TINFOIL, BUT IT MENTIONED NOTHING ABOUT THE REMOVAL OF MATERIAL FROM THE RECORDING SURFACE.  IT WAS ACTUALLY THE WORK OF SUCH MEN AS ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL AND EMILE BERLINER THAT RESULTED IN THE PERFECTION OF THE WAX RECORDING METHOD WHICH ULTIMATELY RESULTED IN THE " PERFECTED PHONOGRAPH " AS EDISON CALLED HIS WAX CYLINDER MACHINE.

THE TERM " PHONOGRAPH " MEANS SOUND WRITER AND IN ACTUALITY ONLY APPLIES TO A MACHINE THAT IS CAPABLE OF NOT ONLY PRODUCING SOUND, BUT BY MECHANICAL MEANS , RECORDING IT AS WELL.

THE PROCESS EDISON INVENTED IN KNOWN AS THE " HILL AND DALE METHOD ".  IN THE CASE OF THE EDISON PHONOGRAPH THE WIDTH OF THE GROOVE REMAINS CONSTANT IN WIDTH BUT VARIES IN DEPTH, SO IT IS IN FACT KNOWN AS A VERTICAL CUT RECORDING, MUCH AKIN TO A SEWING MACHINE IN OPERATION.

THE PROCESS WORKS AND WORKS WELL AND IS STRICTLY MECHANICAL WITH THE THE SOUND BEING RECORDED AND PLAYED BACK USING A MECHANICAL CONTRIVANCE, IN THIS CASE A THIN MICA OR GLASS DIAPHRAGM.  THE RECORDING STYLUS IS ACTUALLY GLUED DIRECTLY TO THE BOTTOM OF THE DIAPHRAGM ON THE EDISON RECORDER.  AS IT CONTACTS THE RECORDING MEDIUM, IN THIS CASE A WAX CYLINDER, THE VIBRATIONS OF THE DIAPHRAGM ARE TRANSMITTED TO THE STYLUS WHICH IN TURN BEGINS TO SCRIBE A SMALL GROOVE INTO THE WAX CYLINDER.  THIS GROOVE WILL VARY IN DEPTH AS THE SOUND WAVES CONTACT THE DIAPHRAGM WHICH IN TURN IS VIBRATING AS THE SOUND WAVES PHYSICALLY MOVE THE DIAPHRAGM.

THE RECORDING STYLUS IS ACTUALLY A THIN ROD MADE OF SAPPHIRE.  AS IT  BEGINS PLOWING INTO THE WAX A SMALL THIN CURL OF WAX IS PRODUCED.  THIS IS KNOWN AS SWARF AND IS THE WAX BEING REMOVED FROM THE CYLINDER ITSELF.

ONCE THE CYLINDER HAS BEEN RECORDED OR SCRIBED BY THE RECORDER, THE RECORDER IS REMOVED FROM THE MACHINE AND IS REPLACED WITH A REPRODUCER. THE REPRODUCER IS VERY MUCH LIKE THE RECORDER WITH THE EXCEPTION IT IS A PIVOTED LEVER ATTACHED TO THE DIAPHRAGM WITH A THIN WOVEN SILK CORD.  AS THE REPRODUCER RIDES THE GROOVES JUST CUT BY THE RECORDER IT VIBRATES WITH THE SAME FREQUENCY AS THE ORIGINAL SOUND WAVES.  THE RESULT IS RECORDED SOUND.

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN NOTED WITH SOME QUESTION HOW THOMAS EDISON WAS ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH THIS FEAT OF WIZARDRY.  IT IS A LITTLE KNOWN FACT THAT EDISON HIMSELF WAS DEAF.  WHY THEN WAS HE THE ONLY PERSON TO ACCOMPLISH THIS PROCESS.  THE ANSWER OF COURSE HAS ALWAYS BEEN, NO ONE ELSE WAS THOMAS EDISON.

 

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Unsigned Haskell Jewelry

Identifying Unsigned Miriam Haskell

Identifying Unsigned Pieces of vintage Miriam Haskell Jewelry can be VERY difficult, even for the experienced, collector & when buying on-line and not being able to handle the individual pieces makes it even harder. MOST sellers aren't aiming to fool and may just be missinformed, so it's up to the buyer to be aware of a few simple points to help them make the right choices.

To see a quick guide to Identifying Haskell, click on the link below!

And good hunting!
Mirium Haskell

 

 

 

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