Sunday, April 14, 2013


That damn Bogdan Yelcovich is at it again. This time trying to get me interested in art.

There is no way - - - not for me - - - not with gunpowder and fishing worms under my fingernails.

Look what he is showing me today. Can you believe it?

So I tell him “Nice, Bogdan, but what am I supposed to do with a pretty magazine cover?

He responds “It isn’t the cover I want you to look at; it is what is inside.”

Well I gave in and told him I would look at his foolish magazine.

He opened it up and showed me this.

“Asher Brown Durand? What would I know about Asher Brown Durand?” I asked Bogdan.

He answered “Once I show you I don’t think you will ever forget him.”

“Take me to him then” I demanded.
"OK" Bogdan said; "Next week we will bum a ride on the train to Maplewood, New Jersey."

So Bogdan took me to Asher's home.

Mr. Durand was kind enough to show me the following artwork.

"American Scenery"
"The Trysting Tree"
"Kindered Spirits" 1849

"The Hunter"   1846

"The Beeches"  1845

Bogdan was right. I don’t think I will ever forget Asher Brown Durand.
Not only was he a great artist but he was also as humble as apple pie. I asked Bogdan if he knew why such a great artist was so humble. Bogdan said that Asher had grown up with a large number of brothers and sisters; that may have had something to do with it.

Durand was born in New Jersey. His father was a watchmaker and a silversmith.

He served an apprenticeship in engraving. The owner of the firm offered him a partnership. Asher accepted and managed the firm's New York branch.

He helped organize the National Academy of Design were he served the organization as president for a number of years.

His interest shifted from engraving to oil painting. He spent summers sketching in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and New Hampshire's White Mountains.

As I said before, that Bogdan Yelcovich sure knew things - - - and famous people.
I began to wonder if I really knew who this Bogdan Yelcovich really was.

©W. Tomosky

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