Richard Koppe (1916-1973) was an American modernist artist, designer and educator. In the late 1930s, Koppe attended the New Bauhaus in Chicago where he was taught by László Moholy-Nagy. You can really see the tutor’s influence on the pupil’s style.
For ages we’ve hankered after a menu he designed in 1948 for Well of the Sea restaurant located in the basement of Hotel Sherman, Chicago. Examples appear on eBay occasionally – but they are never cheap!
He produced other designs for the restaurant including 5 impressive ‘glow in the dark’ wall murals, coloured recessed back-lighting and kinetic mobiles. A range of crockery was produced for the restaurant by Shenango in 1953 using his designs. Someone on Zazzle is currently producing exact replicas of this restaurant-ware; putting it to china, melamine and textile home accessories.
We have an illustration painted by Cal Dunn of one of Koppe’s Well of the Sea murals in one of our vintage cookbooks, ‘The Ford Treasury of Favourite Recipes from Famous Eating Places‘. We’ve also found a couple of contemporary black & white photographs of the restaurant here and here.
Richard Koppe exhibited widely at international institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia, the Royal Academy of Art in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
He also taught for many years as Head of Visual Design and Fine Arts at the Institute of Design (ID) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and later as Professor of Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Additional image credits:
Art in America magazine | Corbett vs Dempsey | Elmhurst Art Museum | Invaluable | Flickr
Bags of Love is offering one of our readers one of their personalised triptych canvas artworks. A lovely way to pep up the walls in your bedroom or lounge.
The example on offer measures 90cm x 30cm – each of the three panels is 30cm2. Upload photos to the Bags of Love from your mobile phone, computer or Facebook or Instagram accounts. You can even chose from their own image library.
I downloaded the lovely photograph above of the Ribblehead Viaduct from the internet to practice making an artwork.
It was just the right ratio for the job – 3 times wider than tall – it created a trio of perfect squares.
I tried again with a photograph of one of Justin’s favourite locations in the country – the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District.
It wasn’t the exact size to slot into three equal squares, however you can resize and crop the image until you’re happy with the composition.
You can also use three separate images – for example, a portrait of your 3 children… or your pets!
To enter, let us know in the comments what subject matter you’d chose to display on your triptych.
Personalised triptych canvas artwork from Bags of Love
Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax | Competition Database | U Me and the Kids | Mom Does Reviews
This was an interesting recent buy. It’s a rather lovely painting of an angel. Archangel Michael or Gabriel perhaps? The wonderful colours and stylised nature of the piece really grabbed our attention.
It was produced in 1968 by Renate Doktor – and there’s certainly something very distinctive about the treatment of the subject matter that puts it in this era. It’s painted on board – unframed, but mounted on a Hessian backing – again very common of the period.
We think it’s very charming. If you’d like this particular angel to watch over you, just drop us a line. We’ve priced it up at £75.00.
I’ve had a great response from people about my early birthday present, an original painting by Ken Law (1919-1988) entitled, “Oldham Landscape”. I thought I’d look into and share more of his wonderful artworks as this week’s Designer Desire.
For years, there was absolutely no information about Ken on the internet. Then his son John came across an online forum of people all over the world who either appreciated or owned examples of his work. John filled in a few details (one being to confirm that Ken Law the LSO cellist and Ken Law the artist were indeed the same person!). The family still own many of his works and two of the forum members visited Ken’s widow and photographed some of them. These have been shared on the forum.
A dedicated website has been created by Ken’s grandson however, other than some background information, just over half a dozen or so images of his oils and watercolours have been uploaded.
Additional image credits:
20th Century Forum | Deerfieldpb | Flickr | Ken Law
We’ve mentioned a few times previously that we love the work of artist Ken Law – and have a small collection of his 1960s prints – Hampstead High Street, Tower Bridge and New York Bridges, to date. Well, I was browsing a well-known online auction website a couple of weeks ago – and did a quick search for Ken Law to see if any of his vintage prints were currently for sale. My jaw dropped when this original oil painting appeared before my eyes – only just listed. Straight away I thought, “Oooooh, early 50th birthday present?!”.
The painting depicts Oldham – a Lancashire (now Greater Manchester) mill town about 15 miles from here. Perhaps former mill town might be more accurate now; at its peak, it was the largest cotton-spinning town in the world. Justin grew up in the neighbouring town of Rochdale and often went to Oldham on Tommyfield’s flea market day – and for nights out in his youth! So this landscape is very much in his psyche – and mine too, as an honorary Northerner, residing here for nearly 20 years now.
It’s a classic Northern Industrial scene – factories, terraced houses, chimneys – the Pennine moors in the distance. This picture captures it on a winter’s day, sun low in the sky, snow covering the rooftops and vehicles slipping & sliding down the hill!
Ken used oil on gesso – the surface being painted, scratched and gouged. It’s full of character and texture. We’re still researching, but we think that this painting was exhibited at The Royal Academy in the late 1960s.
By this point, you’ll realise that we can describe it quite accurately and have taken lots of photos – yes, it did become my 5oth birthday present – it arrived today!
I just couldn’t let the opportunity for a genuine Ken Law depicting favourite subject matter slip through my fingers. There are certainly no regrets now it’s arrived – it makes me happy just looking back at the photos in this post.
Much loved already – I’ll always remember when it came to live with us. A real birthday treat!
In our last Ken Law inspired post, we mentioned that we were on the lookout for a copy of his ‘New York’ print. Well, our wait is over!
We bought this cute little example last week – for the bargain price of £1. The stylised river, bridge and skyline scene is classic Ken Law. We love how he creates an image incorporating a series of coloured ‘blocks’. It’s so imaginative and distinctive.
Despite only being small, it still grabs your attention as you turn a corner on our landing. We’ve hung it alongside a group of vintage West German vases. We thought the styles and colours worked very well together. One of our last foreign trips (pre Fudge) was a fabulous ten-day holiday in New York – so, in addition to being an eye-catching decorative piece, it’s a lovely reminder of some great days sightseeing, shopping and drinking cocktails in El Quijote!