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J R's Art Collection
This 9 x 11-3/4-inch crayon poster was part of my bounty from Pamela Nelson's estate sale. I don't go to many such sales, but the opportunity to sift through a semi-famous Dallas artist's detritus was no more to be passed up than visiting Willard "The Texas Kid" Watson's house after he died. Both artists had been good friends.
I had assumed that Pam did the poster, but it's not signed, so I've never known for certain.
In June of 2003, Mike Hart, formerly of Peregrine Press, wrote to thank us for publishing this poster by his daughter, Sarah Hart, who was 6 or 7 in the late 80s or early 90 when their cat needed finding.
I also have other works by the children of artists ( All children may be artists, but artists' children seem to be better. ), so I really don't care that much. I love this piece, and it's been on my wall in the original plastic kitchen bag it came in for many years.
Only after scanning it for this page did I notice that also in the bag were four other, minor treasures.
1) The most interesting page is a Xerox-like, black "ink" copy of a flying turkey losing one feather, with bits of hand coloring on neck, wings and tail.
The 6-1/2 x 5-inch image is signed "Dozier '76." Below that, small, in pencil, is written "For Pam Nelson '87." I know Pam and Otis Dozier were friends. I don't know who colored the red and blue parts, but I assume it was Otis himself.
Again Mike Hart explains: "The Wild Turkey looks like a preliminary sketch Otis did for a lithograph he did, at Peregrine Press. I'm not sure what became of that sketch. '86-87 was about the time he would've been working on it.
Pam would also have been working there about that same time. I notice that the date on the sketch is '76, however. I guess it was an image he had kicked around for some time. Pam and the Doziers, as you said, were good friends. The coloring is also very similar to the finished litho."
2) Also in the bag is the 11 x 8-1/2-inch Xeroxed label for "A Limited Edition of 20 packets" of what appears to have been a Christmas card with attached condiments for making chili, "hand- packed personally by X & A. Tolbert" purporting, also in Xerox black ink to be "another famous product by X.A."
"Don't Mess with Xas!!!!!!!" "Feliz Navidad" with a recipe for original Tolbert chili. Complete with X' drawings of armadillos, sun, moon, birds, chilis, a eye-filled state of Texas and cactus. At the bottom is the 2-inch tall silhouette of a devil thumbing his nose.
X, of course, is Francis X. Tolbert, Jr., whom I first met a his father's chili parlor in downtown Dallas. A is his wife, Ann Stautberg. He's a famous, regional artist. She's as accomplished a photographer. They used to live in Dallas, now in Galveston.
3) Another, 12 x 9-1/2-inch page in this trove is what appears to be an 8 x 6-1/2-inch preliminary drawing for an EASL ( Emergency Artists Support League ) T-shirt. Near the top of the torn-out spiral-notebook page is the date "Sept. 3, '92." Above the design showing six artists, is the banner, E. A. S. L. Under the square design is "WE ARE FAMILY."
4) The last piece in the freezer bag is another Xerox. This time it's of a note signed by Wendy Reves on her personal stationery. I can't read the text, but the copy includes the cover of the dark, textured envelope, festooned with French, flying bird stamps. It is addressed to the Nelson's former home.
I tried to talk with Pamela about some of the things I bought at her sale, but she insisted she didn't want any of it back. The plan was to shed everything there. I doubt I paid more than a dollar for the whole bag. I also bought a hand-painted tie she'd done and some trinkets.
All Contents © 2001 by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved. It is illegal to reproduce these pages in any medium.