Jonathan Eastman Johnson (1824 – 1906) was an American painter and co-founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In this painting from 1864, Johnson depicts merchant William Tilden Blodgett and his family in the parlor of their Manhattan home. Painted toward the end of the Civil War, the serene interior only hints at the urgent issue of Black emancipation through a kinetic toy seen on the table (click the image to enlarge for detail). Suggestive of a minstrel figure and outfitted as a Union recruit, its presence underlines Blodgett’s abolitionist sympathies and the complexity of racial stereotyping at this time. Along with Johnson, Blodgett would later serve as a trustee of The Met, securing funds for the purchase of the 174 European pantings in 1871, which included works by Anthony van Dyck and Francesco Giardi.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibition, Making the Met, 1870-2020, a Celebration of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150 Year Anniversary.
Dr. James Marshall, who revolutionized the music industry as the founder of Marshall Amplification, has passed away on April 5th, 2012 at the age of 88. Fondly referred to as the man responsible for ‘the Sound of Rock,’ a nice remembrance of Jim’s life and achievements in music can be found at This Link.
Guitarist Slash, who had a long professional relationship as well as personal friendship with Marshall offered this statement:
“I consider myself very fortunate to have known the late Jim Marshall. He was such a fantastic individual. Not only did he create the loudest, most effective, brilliant-sounding Rock & Roll amplifier ever designed, but he was a caring, hardworking family man who remained true to his integrity to the very end. His work ethic was unequaled and his passion unrivaled. He took great care of me personally, as one of his loyal fans and Marshall Amp enthusiasts, ever since we first met in the early 90’s. At that time, he did the unprecedented; he had the first-ever Artist Model Marshall series designed for me when my Marshall amps were destroyed in a Guns N Roses concert riot in St. Louis in 1991. We had been friends ever since.
Jim cared for all his customers like they were his family. He would do whatever it took to make sure an artist was completely satisfied and he made sure his staff did likewise. It was very important to him that Marshall quality and customer care was paramount. Jim’s passing marks the end of a very loud and colorful era. From Pete Townshend to Kerry King, Marshall Amplifiers have been behind every great Rock & Roll guitarist since the beginning. Marshall Amplification is one of the most enduring, iconic brands of contemporary music history. This industry will likely never see the likes of Jim again. But his legacy will live on forever.”
Don Cornelius, creator and host of the legendary Soul Train dance show, passed away early this morning (February 1st) of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Cornelius was 75 years old. The NY Times Arts section has an excellent Obit at This Link. Farewell, Don Cornelius. You were a true original, and you will be missed.