Jon Crispin's Notebook

Gordon Krieghoff

Posted in Art, ephemera, Family, History, painters, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 16/02/2016

Gordon Krieghoff

I have mentioned my Krieghoff connection before.  Like Cornelius, Gordon was also a painter, and he lived and worked in Detroit, which is where my mom grew up. If I remember correctly, they were contemporaries, although Gordon was somewhat older.  In addition to works like the one above, he was also a commericial artist.

While my family doesn’t have any Cornelius paintings, we do have quite a few of Gordon’s.  There is not much of a market for his work, and there isn’t much information online about his life.  It is possible that my brother or sister know more than I, and they might add something in the comments.  I don’t ever remember meeting him as a child.

When my parents died, we siblings each got several of the paintings.  The frames were in pretty good shape but the mats were yellowed and probably not acid-free.  This is the second one that I have had reframed, and like the first, there was something sketched out on the reverse side of the painting.

Gordon Krieghoff painting

This is clearly the beginning of what was probably an advertisement of some sort.  I know he did illustrative work for some of the larger Detroit companies, including General Motors.  Like many of us, I wish I had more concrete facts about my extended family history.


Posted in Architecture, Art, Bridges, Buildings, Cities, Family, Jon Crispin, Rivers, Travel, Uncategorized, Water by joncrispin on 19/03/2014

It has been a while since I’ve posted.  I think it was a combination of having the Kickstarter campaign wrap up and feeling a bit of “Kharma Congestion” as my friend Alex would call it.

Last week Cris and I drove to Toronto.  She was presenting at the annual CIES Conference and I was tagging along for fun.

We went out to an amazing South Indian restaurant called Udupi Palace and it was the best.  Cristine’s favorite food in the world is a paper masala dosa, and Udupi has the best ones she has ever found outside of India.  After we ate, we were waiting for a streetcar to take us back downtown and I saw this window display.  Love the hands.

I was very excited to get back to Toronto to be able to see the Thompson Collection of Cornelius Krieghoff paintings at The Art Gallery of Ontario.  Here is a previous post about my relation to him.  The museum has a ton of his work.  I was really jazzed to see so many in one place.

This is a detail from one of his paintings that is a sort of self-portrait of his family (in the sleigh).

I especially liked reading the bottom paragraph here.  It helps to explain where I might get my own disregard for authority.

After Toronto, we drove to Pittsburgh for another of Cris’ conferences.  On the way we had to stop at Niagara Falls.  I hadn’t been on the Canadian side for years, and it was a beautiful day.  (Unlike many, I also really like the American side.)

In Toronto we scored some of these great Roots mittens.  And I bought this hat in the Soviet Union in 1982, a very long time ago.

Next stop was Eddie’s Footlong Hot Dogs on the Lake Road just outside of Meadville.  I grew up eating these and was thrilled to see that they had opened for the season just a few days earlier.  I rarely post pictures of food, but oh man are these good.  Too cold to eat at the picnic tables, but two with the works hit the spot.

We got to Pittsburgh in time for a nice walk along the River.  It is a fantastic city that somehow remains largely intact.  The downtown is full of beautiful buildings that are mostly in good shape, and it seems, just waiting for a revival of sorts.  It is hard to imagine why young artists aren’t flocking here and making it home.  It is such a cheap place to live, with amazing loft spaces right in town, and tons of culture.  And the rivers!

So many beautiful steel bridges.  This one leads to PNC Park, just across the river from downtown.

Here’s a view looking back across the water.

Our hotel was very near to Penn Station and on Sunday morning I took a walk over to check it out.  As a kid I had traveled through it on the train, and the upper floors are now converted to “luxury” apartments.  This is a section of the dome which used to be the main entryway from the street.

It was sad to see the “modern” waiting room like this.

With only two trains a day, and nothing running North/South there isn’t much activity.  And the times aren’t particularly convenient.

Thanks for checking in.  I’ll try to get on a more regular schedule of posting.  Tomorrow Peggy Ross is coming over and we are meeting with my friends at Small Batch Books to start work on the Suitcases book reward.  I’ll keep updating progress on the project, and plan to be back shooting next week.

Cornelius Krieghoff

Posted in Architecture, Art, Family, People, Travel by joncrispin on 24/09/2011

My childhood was almost completely happy.  There were very few times when I was troubled by much, but one thing that bothered me from time to time was my middle name.  My sister’s is Louise, my brother’s is William and most of my friends had basic “normal” names.  Carol Lee Thomas, Alan Jeffrey Radov, John Joseph Bowman Jr. (Oddly, I can’t remember Mike Hogan’s, but I am guessing it was probably Robert.  In fact he might have been Robert Michael Hogan; named after his dad who was a famous University of Pittsburgh football player.)  My middle name is Krieghoff.  Maybe it was the proximity to the end of the second world war, but to me it just seemed weird.  My mom’s maiden name was Krieghoff, and I guess she had reason to be proud enough of it to pass it along.  It wasn’t until I was in my teens that I started to understand what a cool thing it was to be named after the most famous Canadian painter of the 19th Century.  Read about him here.

I had known that he was buried in Chicago, and yesterday I called the Graceland Cemetery to find out exactly where.  A lovely woman called Max gave me lots of information and since Cris and I are here for a couple of days I made the trek out there this morning.

It is interesting that in 1980 the trustees of Graceland paid for and erected a new stone for his site.  Max walked me through the rather complicated directions to the section where he is buried (section g, resub, lot 178). Being directionally challenged, she gave me some landmark stones and once I spotted the one below, I knew I was in business.

I was told his stone was facing East, and after wandering around a bit I found it.

It is on the west side of the cemetery, just off Western Avenue.

Max had told me that he was laid to rest (what a funny phrase for being put into the ground in a wooden box) on 8 March, 1872.

Look, somebody (me) stuck a number 6 artists brush into the ground next to the stone (seemed more appropriate than flowers).

A very cool day.  Something I have wanted to do for a long time.  /  Chicago is such a great city.  Lots of amazing architecture.

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