Saturday, September 30, 2006

Joe Levenson (1921-2002)

The gently smiling face you see on the left is Joe Levenson, artist, photographer, friend and Salmagundian. In 1989, I was newly employed in Manhattan, looking for an open studio. Someone recommended the Salmagundi Club because their open sketch sessions got great models, were attended by friendly people and took place in a lovely art gallery. I went with some trepidation, but my fears were soon quelled. It was a Thursday night. The sketching was a challenge. The quick poses started with one-minute warm-ups, then five, ten, fifteen and twenty minute poses. Joe Levenson, the monitor, then nearing seventy, kept the time and kept the session in good order. The gallery had a variety of artists, young, old, professional, amateur. Joe welcomed them all, and had a pleasent word for everyone. He welcomed me, introducing himself in such a warm and generous way, that if I had never been able to go back again, I would have remembered him for life.

As it happened, I wasn't able to go back to the Club for many weeks; the demands of job and family interferred. About two or three months later, I returned on a Thursday to draw again. Joe greeted me, remembered me, and asked about my son. He was a genuine soul who really cared about people. The picture you see here shows a tiny shadow of the goodness of Joe. It is with great pride that I dedicate the N*des-of-the-Month October 2006 calendar to his memory. Joe, we celebrate your spirit and we miss you.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

October N*des of the Month In Process

The second n*des-of-the-month calendar will be available in previews for members on Friday Sept 29th. Non-members will be able to see and download the printable calendar beginning October 1st.

Richard Pionk, president of the Salmagundi Club, curated the exhibition and I am in the process of testing the pages now. For the jury of selection, we included the two Salmagundi nudes by Warren Davis mentioned in these news pages previously this month.

Works by twelve artists are in the October n*des-of-the-month calendar, but we're going to keep you in suspense until....

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Julia's Samoset Auction Report Mentions Art of the Nude

This prestigious Maine auction is held yearly in August. The press release, just published reports spectacular results, including some for the art of the nude:

A Sir William Russell Flint tempera depicting two seated nudes and titled "Diaphenia and Hazel" was termed by the auction house as "an outstanding example of the artist's work." Provenance on the lot listed it as having been exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. Bidding on the lot was brisk with it selling at $51,750.

A plaque of a nude slave girl brought $4,887.

To see the complete story by David S. Smith, click here.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Last Night at Spring Studio

Jacqui Morgan's reception was attended by a great group of friendly people of all ages. People looked at the art carefully and many had favorites. Jacqui's use of multiple poses in the same image space is very "now" as more artists of the nude make a determined effort to move from figure studies to figures in space and to explore the spatial relationships of the figures and the page. In this way, Jacqui's work is very true to its title as the "Now Watercolors."

The vast table of food was attacked and eventually conquered. The wine flowed and the chatter was exciting in Spring Studio's basement space. If the subway was rumbling by, it was hardly noticeable.

This show is up until the end of the month. The photo is a collage, three of Jacqui and two by her. Spring Studio is located at 64 Spring Street in Soho. Definitely worth a careful look.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Reminder: Spring Studio Reception Tonight

Jacqui Morgan, "The Now Watercolors"
6-8 pm
Spring Studio
64 Spring Street, Soho.
For public transportation, take the #6 to Spring Street and you are there.

See you!

Submission Opportunity

Lexington Art League is accepting submissions for The Nude International 2007. Artists 18 and older are eligible. Download prospectus at calltoartists.htm. or send SASE to Attn: Nude 2007 Prospectus, 209 Castlewood Dr., Lexington, Ky., 40505. Call (859) 254-7024 for information.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Call for Entries -- Richard C. Pionk to Jury October Calendar

Be sure to post your nudes to the Art Log before September 21. Selection of the n*des-of-the-month will take place next Friday. If your art is not uploaded to by September 21, it will not be eligible for the October calendar.

I am very pleased and proud to announce that noted artist, teacher and president of the Salmagundi Club, Mr. Richard Pionk will jury the October n*des-of-the-month exhibition.
For a bio on Richard Pionk, [click here].

You can post one or many. Post several and you may have more than one in the calendar. Post many and you may have a whole bunch in the calendar. Membership is free, but required to discourage pornographers and spammers. Posting is free for artists, nominal for dealers. There are no commissions charged. For further information, click the 'Join' option in the menu on the left.

Norwood H. MacGilvary Nude Found at Salmagundi in Rare Book

This bright, delightful image we found bound in to one of the special copies of the Club history is by Norwood H.l MacGilvary, a member of the Salmagundi from 1916. Here is some biographical information on this artist:

From Pittsburgh, Norwood MacGilvary studied at Berkeley (1896-1897) and the Mark Hopkins Institute (1897-1898) in the Bay Area of California before moving east in 1906. He also studied in England with Myron Barlow, and in Paris where he exhibited at the Paris Salon. In addition he exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Art Club, Pennsylvania Academy, and the Pittsburgh Art Association.During the 1915 Pan-American Exposition in San Francisco, he was in that area for an extended period of time.From 1921 to 1943, he was a teacher at the Carnegie Institute. In addition to painting realistic New England landscapes, he did surrealistic paintings, which gave him a reputation as an artist-philosopher.

Source: Treadway Toomey Galleries, Oak Park, IllinoisPeter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"

Norwood Hodge MacGilvary was born in Siam where his parents were missionaries. He studied under Jean Paul Laurens at the Academie Julian in Paris from 1897 to 1898. He also studied under Mayron Barlow at Etaples, France from 1904-1906. He became an associate professor of painting at the Carnegie Institute in 1921.Norwood MacGilvary has exhibited at the Salon in Paris, National Academy of Design, New York, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Art Institute in Chicago, Carnegie Institute. His work is in the permanent collection at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. He has also illustrated for "Harpers Magazine" in the 1920's. He died in 1950.

Source: Idler Fine Arts

For information about the Salmagundi Club [click here]. For more information about these artists and their work, go to AskArt.

Nude by Warren Davis in Rare Book

This is the watercolor by Warren Davis which was in the book we 'found' last night at the Salmagundi Club. Club member Bob Mueller knew about the books and I'm unclear whether Library Chairman John Morehouse also knew. To conservator, Alex Katlan and to me, they were a complete surprise and delight.

Best known for his paintings of idealized female figures, Warren Davis studied at the Art Students League in New York. He was also a magazine illustrator, and many of his depictions of ethereal appearing goddesses were on the covers of "Vanity Fair". Later in his career he became a skilled etcher and exhibited in Europe and the United States including the Pennsylvania Academy and the Salmagundi Club.

Source: Treadway Toomey GalleriesPeter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Last Night at the Salmagundi

The reception was well-attended, the dinner was excellent (although service was slow due to the unexpected crowd). However, the highlight (for me) was the discovery in the Salmagundi Library of some rare books that only few of the members knew about.

The Salmagundi Club, A History was written by William Henry Shelton and published in 1918. Five hundred copies were printed (I personally have number 37 which I bought some years ago). The Club also has a number of these. However, last night we discovered that the Club has something more rare.

In 1921 and 1922, to raise money, twenty books (ten each year) were specially bound with eight original etchings or watercolors signed by the artists. These were sold to raise money for the Club.

Last night, we found that the Club has at least three of these rare books. The watercolors are as fresh as if they were painted yesterday. Most of the works were landscapes (just lovely), but there were also a few nudes. I got so excited about this find, I took pictures of them and forgot to take pictures of the reception!

I will post the two nudes here tonight: one by Warren Davis, whose work is also in the Shaw print show, and the other by Norwood H. MacGilvary.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Reminder: Salmagundi Reception Tonight

SCNY Annual Graphics & Sculpture Exhibition

Reception & Awards: 6:00 - 8:00 pm.
47 Fifth Avenue, NYC (at 12th Street).

Come for the reception, stay for dinner. See you there!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Salmagundi Lower Gallery Show

This lovely nude is one of the 23 Shaw prints on display now in the Salmagundi Lower Gallery. The artist who did this painting was Warren Davis (1865-1928). Davis joined the Salmagundi in 1897. He was a painter and illustrator, known for his idealized female portraits. He won the purchase prize for this entry in the Salmagundi annual show in 1928, but did not live to attend the dinner in his honor.

The Shaw prints generally have the artist's signature in the lower right, just under the image, but on this one is inscribed as a memorial to Davis. It is also signed by a many other artists, which is the reason for the wide lower border you see here.

There are several other nudes, but most of the show is landscapes and genre scenes. The show will be up another week, but if you get to the reception for the Annual Graphics and Sculpture Exhibition on Sept 13th (see prior post), be sure to stop down to the lower gallery to take a look.

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11

My sympathies go out to all those who lost family and friends five years ago today. For me, art is part of the healing process: disbelief, despair, acknowledgement, acceptance, expression.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Jacqui Morgan "The Now Watercolors" at Spring Studio

Reception Sunday, Sept 17th, 6-8 pm. Save the date!

Last Thursday, I went to Spring Studio for the afternoon long pose. To my surpise, I recognized the work on the walls right away, even though I knew I had never seen it before. It was a solo show of Jacqui Morgan, the illustrator and author of a delightful book, Watercolor for Illustration. Jacqui has a distinctive style and her work is polished and attractive.

The show runs through Sept 30, and the reception is Sunday. Definitely worth stopping by if you want to see Jacqui's work and meet people dedicated to the art of the nude.

To quote the website (all true), "Spring Studio is known for its excellent models, its prompt starting times, its participants' gracious manners, and for its spirit of artistic tolerance. It attracts artists and students from all over the world."

Spring Studio is located at 64 Spring Street in Soho.

Salmagundi Annual Graphics and Sculpture Exhibition

Reception Wednesday, September 13th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the Salmagundi Club, 47 Fifth Avenue (12th Street) NYC. Save the date!

This is the opening exhibition of the Salmagundi 2006-2007 season. I have a piece in the show (Two Nudes #2378). You can see it now in the Art Log.

This Salmagundi exhibition is a black & white show (no color). The Club was famous in NYC in the 1880's for its annual 'Black and White' which gave etchers and illustrators a show of their very own. Of course, the painters did not sit still for that one, and John Francis Murphy painted a wonderful landscape in grisalle (which is currently on national tour and due to return to NYC next spring).

The graphics show is in the Upper Gallery, with a good assortment of landscape, portraits, sculpture and a few nudes.

As a bonus, in the lower gallery, the Curators (Chis Dunne, Tim Newton and I -- thank you, guys!) have a selection of autographed Shaw prints. Samuel T. Shaw was a non-artist member and great benefactor of the Salmagundi Club. Each year he purchased 'the best' painting from the annual painting exhibition and with it went the copyright. He kept the originals and made them into prints which he sold widely. A second version of the prints left a wide border on the bottom and the original artist and many of the artists of the Club would sign each piece. The Club has a collection of these prints which are both fine examples of the art of the Club members and interesting historically since they are signed by so many well-known artists. The earliest print on the wall is about 100 years old and the latest is about 1942, a few years before Shaw's death.

Also of note, in the 1920's, another benefactor, Charles Vezin donated about 18 paintings to the Club, also from a series of purchase prizes that he sponsored. These became the basis of our 'Thumbox' display, which is opposite the Club's dining room.

Hope to see you on Wednesday.


PS: Thanks also to Richard Pionk, our president, Pam Singleton, our chairman for suggesting this show as a way to brighten up the lower gallery.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The first calendar

The first n*des-of-the-month calendar is here!

On August 21st, Brigitte Saint-Ouen, founder and director of Gramercy 32 Fine Arts Gallery, curated the exhibition for the September 2006 n*des-of-the-month calendar. Twenty-eight pieces were chosen and Brigitte graciously accepted two spots of her own as a courtesy for the jury of selection. Brigitte represents some prominent French artists and choose nudes by Philippe Aini, "La Censure," and Claude Gaveau, "Le Chapeau."

There's also a printable version of the calendar for take away.

More about the Juried Shows

Once the volume of submissions increases sufficiently, selection for the n*des-of-the-month will be based on a combination of page views and votes. A guest juror (curator or other art professional), chooses the best 30 or 31 for the calendar (28 or 29 for February).

As a professional courtesy, I offered the first curator (my dealer, Brigitte Saint-Ouen of Gramercy 32 Fine Arts Gallery-- September 2006) two spots as a jury of selection. She listed two pieces and you can see them in 2SEP06 and 18SEP06. This seems like a good practice, so I will continue it.

Following the curator's placement instructions, the images of the winning art become days in a calendar, the n*des-of-the-month. The winners get bragging rights and presents a familiar format with a new twist.

Introduction to is a members only posting site for the art of the nude. Membership is requred in order to discourage pornographers and spammers. Membership is free and there are no monthly fees, no commissions charged. is a virtual meeting place for those interested in the art of the nude. is advertised in NY Gallery Guide. Arrangements between artists, dealers and collectors to physically view, display or purchase art is strictly between those parties.

A posting to the Art Log lasts 30 days. Each month, a guest curator or art professional selects the n*des-of-the-month from the entries in the Art Log. Ordinary listings expire, but n*des-of-the-month are featured in a unique calendar format in the current month and viewable afterward the month is over in the barebrush website archives.

The Art Log listing and contest is free for self-represented artists. Fees for others are nominal.

As an artist, my principle oeuvre has been and continues to be the art of the nude. My "Bare Brush" series, mostly of watercolor sketches, begun in 1992, now numbers over 2,300 and is still going. I post my art on this site for sale through Gramercy 32 Fine Arts Gallery.

During this startup period, I have not had a lot of work posted by other artists and dealers. I hope that this will change. Regardless, I have the idea that this website is about the art of the nude, and not just about me, so I would like to encourage you to post your art here and take advantage of the opportunities which may come your way as a result.

This is just the beginning of, an online marketplace dedicated to the art of the nude.

Development continues

Thanks to the super savvy folks at OpenCrypt (UK) the membership system is up and running in record time. It's easy to join, and free, all you need is a valid email address. I'm keeping the information requirement to a minimum.

You must be a member to list art or to vote for the listings in the n*des-of-the-month juried show. I'm doing this to protect art market participants (artists, dealers and collectors) from spammers and pornographers.

The art uploader program was provided by SPADS of Colorado, and modified for

Thanks guys!

A lot of people objected to the idea of putting a game on this site, as they feel it would denigrate the art. Let me assure you, I am looking for a classy game which will be a plus and not a minus, and I won't settle for anything less. I haven't found it yet, but if I don't find it, I'll see if I can develop it myself. I have an idea of a game which would challenge the player's visual memory or acuity -- something to encourage viewers to really look carefully at the art.

If anyone knows of a game like this or knows someone who might be interested in building something like this, please let me know. Thanks!