November 29, 2011

Words of the Month - Unmentionables

        Cultures around the world invest their languages with taboos so that some words are considered "bad."  Most commonly, "bad words" are those that refer to bodily functions, sex, and religious subjects too holy or too evil to be spoken of.  There's nothing surprising about this - culture is all about defining acceptable behavior.  And as a good little girl with Prude Pride I don't use "bad words" in my own speech, believing that use of lots of cusswords is not only potentially obnoxious, but also betrays a certain laziness and lack of creativity.  However, while I don't find "bad words" themselves particularly interesting, there is a linguistic phenomenon that I do find fascinating: when speakers are so anxious not to be vulgar that they start to avoid or modify perfectly "good" words that happen to sound just a little too similar to something unacceptable.
        The Victorians, according to the legend, were so shy of referring to people's legs that they couldn't refer to the legs of tables or chairs, either.  I don't know whether this is true, but it isn't implausible.  Languages adopt silly conventions like this all the time.
        Take the example of the word cock.
        It begins all the way back in Old English as the male of the domestic fowl.  By the end of the fifteenth century it was being used to mean a pipe and valve for liquids (as well as referring to a number of other more specialized or uncommon items).  So far so good.  By the mid eighteenth century, however, it had also come to be a vulgar term for penis (possibly by extension from the water spout definition…)  Well, as soon as that sort of slang gained currency, how could any respectable person mention domestic fowl in polite company?  A decent substitute is rooster, which gained currency (chiefly in the US) in the early nineteenth century, around the time we were going all Victorian.  And if you're going to be truly polite you have to start using the word faucet, too.  Less likely to be misconstrued, you know.  It was around 1840 that B.D. Walsh noted: "Cock-roaches in the United States… are always called 'roaches' by the fair sex, for the sake of euphony."  (He didn't mean euphony, of course.  He meant euphemism.)  The mere sound cock apparently couldn't pass the lips of a lady no matter what its actual meaning.
        But don't think this sort of behavior was confined to those uptight Victorians.  Do you say the name of one of our fair planets cautiously so as to avoid the sound of "your anus?"  It's my hypothesis that the pronunciation of Uranus was shifted some time in the 1970's or 80's by people every bit as over-genteel as the Victorians.  I admit that I have little evidence to confirm this hypothesis, however, because information about historical pronunciation is not easy to come by.  It would be interesting to study newsreels and television through time for evidence of if and when a shift took place.
        I suspect that the pronunciation of harassment in the US has also shifted due to squeamishness about the syllable ass.  The pronunciation harris-ment has been the British version right from the start, but in the US har-ass-ment was standard until about the time of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy in 1991, when newscasters found themselves having to say the uncomfortable word with unwonted frequency.  But just use the British version and - hey presto - you're completely inoffensive.  (Really annoying, perhaps, but inoffensive.)
        One of the coolest things about the human capacity for language is that we're never just saying what we're saying.  With every word we're communicating a vast wealth of information about ourselves and our relationships with the society around us.  When I speak (or write) I'm happy to be perceived as genteel, polite, and inoffensive… but really, let's just let the poor rooster be a cock!

[Picture: Chanticleer, rubber block print by AEGN, 2009 (sold out).]

November 25, 2011

The Biggest Block

        While we're on the topic of big things, how about the biggest wood block print in the world?  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest woodblock print in the world was 281 feet and 9 inches long.  Entitled "Type A," it was made in 2007 by Christopher Brady, an art graduate student.  I'd love to show you a picture of the full print so we could see what the piece looks like independent of its world-record-holding status, but alas, I couldn't find a straight-up picture of the piece anywhere.  (There may not even be one.  Apparently it ripped during measuring, and has since been divided up and sold in smaller segments.)  My info, such as it is, comes from an article on the University of Mississippi web site.  The article implies that the piece is not printed from a single 282 foot long block.  When you think about it, that's
pretty obvious - after all, wood blocks just don't come that big.  But what I wish I knew was whether the separate blocks were fastened together in some way to be inked and printed all at once, or whether the parts of the woodcut were each printed separately.

        Here's another oversized wood block print: in this case the block is a floor (the floor of a theater orchestra pit).  It amuses me that it's referred to as a "floorcut."  This is attributed to Thomas Kilpper, although of course it took a whole crew of people to accomplish the project.  You can find a lot more details at the blog Printeresting, where I ran into it.
        And finally, another fun thing that the world of the oversized block prints embraces is printing with road rollers.  When you're dealing with a block larger than even the big presses then of course backs of wooden spoons aren't really feasible, either.  A road roller really makes an excellent press, and I can see how it would be a lot of fun getting together a whole bunch of artists and fooling around with the technique.  If you google "road roller printing" or something along those lines you'll end up with a number of videos of people printing big blocks this way.  Here are a couple of photos of a 24 foot long print from a road roller printing event in London in 2010.

        So, with all this inspiration, who's going to aim for the next world record?  A round 300 feet perhaps?  I look forward to seeing it!

[Pictures: Christopher Brady with Type A, wood block print by Brady, 2007;
block of Cómo puede superarse el estado de negligencia?, wood block print by Thomas Kilpper, 2011;
The London Fields, linoleum block print by about 20 artists, 2010;
 and the rolling of the block (photos by Teresa Eng).]

November 22, 2011

The Biggest Bird

        This is the time of year when people in the US are turning their thoughts to big birds.  The turkey, as you may know, was almost our national bird, with Ben Franklin as its advocate.  But this being a blog about fantasy, I'm not talking turkey.  If you want a big bird, nothing less than a roc will do.
        Mythologies around the world have stories of monster-sized birds, and it's not hard to see why.  From the power of actual giant raptors such as condors and eagles, to fossilized eggs of extinct birds that were even bigger, to the idea that such birds as ostriches might be the chicks of even huger birds, it's easy to imagine that a truly enormous bird was eminently plausible.  The roc, or rukh, originated in the Middle East and India, apparently amalgamating various bits and pieces of mythology, as these things do.  But here's what we know about the roc now.
        Marco Polo reported in the 1290's that the roc is "for all the world like an eagle, but one indeed of enormous size; so big in fact that its quills were twelve paces long
and thick in proportion. And it is so strong that it will seize an elephant in its talons and carry him high into the air and drop him so that he is smashed to pieces; having so killed him, the bird swoops down on him and eats him at leisure."  Rocs can also destroy entire ships by dropping boulders on them - at least, they could destroy wooden sailing ships that way.  I assume they have a harder time with modern steel ships, although I haven't heard any reports of recent roc attacks.  Perhaps that's because the rocs build their nests in more inaccessible places now, so that humans are no longer found destroying roc eggs.
        The roc's range is the China Seas, along the coasts and islands from Korea to Malaysia, though clearly those for whom elephants are a major portion of their diet must be concentrated at the southern end of that range.  However, Madagascar is also a hot spot for rocs.  Those, presumably, eat African elephants.  I don't know whether the Madagascar roc is a separate subspecies, or whether the range is continuous.  The roc is generally described as being white, although that would seem to make it harder for unscrupulous traders to pass off green or brown rafia palm fronds as roc feathers, as they have been known to do.
        Whether you procure your roc in Madagascar or Korea, I recommend the following recipe this holiday season:
        Dig a pit large and deep enough to hold the cleaned roc.  Line the pit with large, fire-heated stones and cover them with about ten bushels of greens and a couple sacks of sweet potatoes.  Rub the roc well with oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Get the roc into the pit somehow.  A tow truck or backhoe might be useful, or you can do it the old fashioned way by gathering all your friends and family to help roll it.  This can get messy, so don't wear your party clothes at this stage.  Cover the roc with more greens, douse with a couple buckets of water (or barbecue sauce, if you prefer), spread a layer of very large cabbage leaves to protect the food, and then cover the entire thing with a layer of earth or sand.  Let roast until done.  You'd better start right away if you want it to be finished in time for Thanksgiving dinner.  Bon appetit!

[Pictures: Detail from Ferdinand Magellan sailing through the straits, copper engraving by Andrianus Collaert from a drawing by Johannes Stradanus from Americae Retectio, c 1585;
Sindbad carried off by the Roc, illustration by H.J. Hunt, from The Arabian Nights Entertainments ed. by Andrew Lang, 1898;
Anonymous roc - I found this picture on the web uncredited, and I'd love to track down the artist because I just love it.  If anyone recognizes this one, please let me know!]

November 18, 2011

Julius Griffith's Lino-cuts

        Julius Griffith (1912-1997) was a Canadian artist, who also spent a chunk of his life in England.  He has a very distinctive style in his linoleum block prints where all his lines are wiggly, which he did by rocking the blade as he cut.  I have no idea of the reasons behind this unusual method, and I think in some of his pieces it's more effective than others.  But sometimes it's really quite amazing how well it works in situations where I would never think to try that sort of line.
        Here's an example where you can see just how homogenous Griffith's cuts are.  There are just a few thin, non-wiggly lines, as in the edges of some of the tree's branches and the supports of the front porch roof, so you know he can do straight lines when he wants to.  And yet for many other places where I'd expect a straight line, like the bottom edges of the roofs or the right side of the tree trunk, he's chosen to use dashed gouges.  I like the way it looks on the side of the middle house and the very edge of the left house, but I don't like that I can't quite tell what's going on with the broom(?) and something(?) on the porch of the middle house.  I feel like my eyes aren't quite in focus!
        This one I think is a lot of fun.  I love the way the wiggly lines work on the stripes of the boy's shirt and the pages of music.  I think it even works well on the piano teacher's arm that supports her on the bench - I love how the gaps in the wiggles mark her elbow so well.  I've used the technique of rocking my cutter to get wiggly lines in some of my blocks when I specifically wanted a zig-zaggy texture, but I've certainly never used it as a method of shading, or simply filling in a large area that's smooth in real life.  It's so much fun to see how differently different people conceive things.
        One final example.  I think the rough gouges work very well on this cathedral, lending it a real feel of monumental stone.  I especially like the black, shadowed walls and the places where edges are defined by a wider space between white wiggles.  I'd like the piece even better without the small, indistinct people at the bottom, but that's probably just me.
        Griffith is an artist whose work I had not encountered before I saw an example in George A. Walker's Woodcut Artist's Handbook.  I'm so pleased to have discovered these unique, interesting examples of block printing.  (I notice that the earliest example here was done when Griffith was already 70 years old.  I don't have any examples of his earlier work, but I'd be curious to see some!)

[Pictures: Three Houses, lino-cut by Julius Griffith, 1993;
Piano Lesson, lino-cut by Griffith, 1993;
St. James [Cathedral, Toronto], lino-cut by Griffith, 1982.
(Images from D&E Lake Ltd.)]

November 15, 2011

The Sorcerer's Song

        One of the most popular Victorian poets, though not always considered in that light, is W.S. Gilbert, the librettist half of Gilbert and Sullivan.  I'm a huge fan of some Gilbert and Sullivan operas, though not such a fanatic as to love them all.  While in college I had a blast as a cellist in the pit orchestra of the Yale Gilbert & Sullivan Society, where my favorite productions were definitely The Pirates of Penzance and RuddigoreRuddigore could probably fall into the category of fantasy, or at least Gothic horror, what with its Bad Baronet and his haunted portrait gallery.  But another Gilbert and Sullivan production that contains elements of fantasy is The SorcererThe Sorcerer, which opened in 1877, is not one of the more popular of the duo's operas.  Indeed, I've never even seen it - my library system doesn't have any sort of recording of it available.  But I have seen the lyrics of its patter song reprinted as a poem about magic.  It's not the greatest poem, painfully forced in places.  The patter songs from Pirates ("The Very Model of a Modern Major General") and Ruddigore ("My Eyes Are Fully Open") are definitely cleverer as well as being better poetry.  Still, they aren't fantasy, so I'm happy to share with you here a fantasy poem of a very different tone than those I usually cite.  

      The Sorcerer's Song
Oh, my name is John Wellington Wells.
I'm a dealer in magic and spells,
In blessings and curses,
And ever-filled purses,
In prophecies, witches, and knells.
If you want a proud foe to "make tracks,"
If you'd melt a rich uncle in wax,
You've but to look in on our resident Djinn
Number seventy, Simmery Axe.
We've a first-class assortment of magic
And for raising a posthumous shade,
With effects that are comic or tragic,
There's no cheaper house in the trade.
Love-philtre, we've quantities of it,
And for knowledge if any one burns
We keep an extremely small prophet, a prophet
Who brings us unbounded returns.
For he can prophesy with a wink of his eye,
Peep with security into futurity,
Sum up your history, clear up a mystery,
Humor proclivity for a nativity.
He has answers oracular, bogies spectacular,
Tetrapods tragical, mirrors so magical,
Facts astronomical, solemn or comical,
And, if you want it, he
Makes a reduction on taking a quantity.
Oh, if any one anything lacks
He'll find it all ready in stacks
If he'll only look in on the resident Djinn
Number seventy, Simmery Axe
He can raise you hosts of ghosts,
And that without reflectors,
And creepy things with wings,
And gaunt and grisly spectres.
He can fill you crowds of shrouds,
And horrify you vastly.
He can rack your brains with chains,
And gibberings grim and ghastly.
Then, if you plan it, he changes organity
With an urbanity full of Satanity,
Vexing humanity with an inanity
Fatal to vanity,
Driving your foes to the verge of insanity.
But in tautology on demonology,
'Lectro biology, mystic nosology,
Spirit philology, high class astrology,
Such is his knowledge, he
Isn't the man to require an apology.
Oh, my name is John Wellington Wells.
I'm a dealer in magic and spells,
In blessings and curses,
And ever-filled purses,
In prophecies, witches, and knells.
If any one anything lacks
He'll find it all ready in stacks
If he'll only look in on the resident Djinn
Number seventy, Simmery Axe.

        Now, are you ready to experience how this piece was intended?  Not as a poem sitting somberly on the page, but as a patter song, a showpiece of virtuosic silliness.  There are various versions on-line, but I've chosen to link you to this one to start off because it's got the lyrics as subtitles.  Thom King in the title role of High Desert Opera's The Sorcerer.  Enjoy!

[Pictures: poster for the 1884 revival of The Sorcerer, artist unknown;
detail from a poster for three G&S operas, H.A. Thomas Lithograph Studio, 1879.
(from Wikimedia Commons.)]

November 11, 2011

The Sun and the North Wind: an Allegory of Power

        Do you know the fable of the Sun and the North Wind?
        The Sun and the North Wind were having an argument over which of them was stronger.  When they saw below them a traveller, they devised a competition to settle their argument: whichever one could force the traveller to remove his cloak would be judged the stronger.  The North Wind went first and blew as hard as it could.  It was certainly very powerful, but the stronger it blew the more tightly the traveller clutched his cloak around him.  When it was the Sun's turn, the Sun simply shone bright and warm, and very soon the traveller was taking off his heavy cloak of his own will.
        In my single brief brush with the world of "real" artists, a summer class for art educators at MassArt, one of the visiting lecturers was an artist who conceived of his work as powerfully political.  He had done a lot of pieces depicting the violence in Central America, including images of executed bodies, tortured prostitutes, and leering politicians and soldiers.  Goodness knows this was an area in which the world could stand to be made an awful lot better, and goodness knows I admire anyone who sees a problem and tries to do something about it.  This artist's images were certainly powerful, and yet they were images that made me pull my coat more tightly around myself.
        Artists have a power that should not be abused.  We create.  We put into the world things that were not there before.  We give people new images, new stories.  G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown explains how he solves murders, "I don't try to get outside the man.  I try to get inside the murderer…  I am inside a man.  I am always inside a man, moving his arms and legs; but I wait till I know I am inside a murderer, thinking his thoughts, wrestling with his passions; till I have bent myself into his posture of hunched and peering hatred; till I see the world with his bloodshot and squinting eyes, looking between the blinkers of his half-witted concentration; looking up the short and sharp perspective of a straight road to a pool of blood.  Till I am really a murderer."  I believe this is what writing is all about - inhabiting each character, or finding each character within myself, feeling how any character might be me or I them but for the factors of chance and choice.  But if I truly have that murderer in me, how do I use that power?
        Or another analogy: I carve my blocks with sharp-edged tools.  The same tools, with their cutting blades, can be used to create beautiful works of art or could be used to destroy, to mutilate, to cause pain.  It's the same tool either way.  The tool is neither good nor bad.  The question is how the tool is used.
        I think it's important to be mindful of what we're adding to the world.  If I paint a scene of rape, am I giving the world a message that rape is horrible, or am I merely giving the world one more rape to look at?  If I describe the horrors of war, am I defying our culture's glorification of war, or am I merely dwelling amidst the horrors - and worse yet, forcing my audience to dwell there, too?  Am I sounding a wake-up call, or am I riding the shock value?
        I don't know the answers, and of course there is more than one way to try to make the world a better place…  But I do believe that depictions of violence must be handled as carefully as if they were real - that is, as if by painting murder we might really commit it.  We must always be cautious that we add to the world only what has the potential to improve it, and beware that we don't slip into degradation.

[Pictures: The Sun & the North Wind, rubber block print by AEGN, 1998 (sold out);
The Sun and the Wind, wood engraving by Thomas Bewick, from Bewick's Select Fables of Aesop and Others, 1871 (first edition 1818).]
(Quotation from The Secret of Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton, 1927.)

November 8, 2011

Sci Fi Comes to Open Studios

        This weekend was another Open Studios show and for me it was the biggest sales weekend in years.  Yay!  A portion of those sales were made possible by a little bit of science fiction that has just reached the world of art shows.  Of the 18 or so artists showing in the large auditorium where I had my display, at least four of us were using The Square for the first time this weekend.  The Square apparently first came out in a very limited way about a year ago, but it's obviously hitting its stride now.  What is it?  A small square plastic thingy that plugs into the top of an i-phone and allows you to swipe credit cards.  After you swipe, the transaction works about like ordering something on-line: the card is authorized, the money is transferred directly into my bank account, and a receipt is e-mailed or texted to the purchaser if they want.  A record of the transaction is also e-mailed to me.  If you want you can take a photo of the piece that was sold and attach that to the e-mails.  And the part everyone gets a kick out of is when the buyer signs the i-phone screen with their finger!
        I don't actually have an i-phone, but D does and he very generously allowed me to take it with me to my show this weekend.  (I treasure this as a symbol of True Love, because sometimes it can be hard to tell which he loves more: me, or his technologies!)  Over the weekend I had eight people request to pay with credit card.  A small aside here: when I first started selling at Open Studios shows seven years ago everyone assumed that the artists wouldn't be able to accept credit.  If people were expecting to buy something they brought their checkbooks or wads of cash.  If they hadn't expected to buy anything they might run out to the nearest ATM and return with cash later.  But as more and more artists began to get portable card swipers of various sorts, more and more buyers began to expect it.  In the past couple of years I've begun to lose the occasional sale, although I will say that when people really want something they usually find a way!  How many of the eight sales that used credit this weekend would have been lost completely if I had not had the Square I don't know, but I think it's safe to say that I would have lost at least a few sales.  And I think it's also true that as more and more artists get the ability to accept credit, the number of buyers who are prepared to pay by check or cash will shrink ever faster.
        So, my over-all review of the Square?  Highly Recommended.  The little device itself is free and there are no up-front costs or monthly fees.  If you get one and never use it, you're out nothing.  It's tailor-made for those of us whose use is likely to be seasonal or sporadic rather than constant.  Having an account with a monthly fee doesn't make much sense when I won't be doing any sales at all seven months out of the year, so I like that I pay for it only when I actually use it.
        One of the four of us using Square this weekend said she had trouble getting hers - it didn't arrive in time for one sale, and then in the ensuing muddle she ended up with two.  She pointed out that they have no customer service to speak of and it's hard to talk to someone in case of a glitch.  The other three of us, however, all received our Squares in the mail within 2-5 days of signing up, just as advertised.  Once you have it, it's easy to set up the (also free) app on the i-phone, and once you start a transaction the app walks you through each step clearly and easily.  Some people seemed to have trouble with the swipe - you have to pull the card very quickly and firmly and it might take a little while to get the hang of it.  I didn't find it too hard, though.  Also, a couple of times the phone required multiple attempts to authorize the card because it was having trouble connecting to the internet.  You'll definitely want to be sure of a good solid connection in your location or there could be much frustration.  The artist next to me had printed out some information about the Square in case customers were wary of it - but no one balked at all.  In fact, they all seemed rather tickled by the novelty of it.  (There was one woman who asked for a receipt, and when I touched the button for it her e-mail address auto-filled in.  She'd just purchased something from an artist on the other side of the room and the magical ether had remembered the e-mail that went with the credit card.  We both agreed that this was very cool but a little creepy!)
        As for the cost, Square keeps for itself 2.75% of each transaction for which it's used.  I had a couple of people kindly ask me whether I preferred that they pay with check or credit and I chose check because obviously I'd just as soon not pay that 2.75% when I can avoid it.  However it really is not a bad percentage - especially when you compare it with the 45% per transaction offered by the gallery owner who came through the show recruiting!
        I haven't yet seen my bank statement with all the money safely deposited, so I suppose there could still prove to be some problem, but as far as I can tell, the Square worked beautifully and I give it a definite thumbs-up.

[Pictures: Square plugged into an i-phone,
The blocks I was carving this weekend,
photos by AEGN, 2011.]

November 4, 2011

Monsters in Hats

        I know I'm a little late for Hallowe'en, but this seems as good a time as any to share a theme D, my brother, and I were bandying about a while ago.  We were observing that werewolves seem to look quite natural and appropriate wearing top hats, and I had this idea that every sort of iconic monster must have its own favorite style of headgear.  Some of the matchings that pleased us the most were
           zombies wear boaters
           skeletons wear long nightcaps
           space aliens wear granny bonnets
           velociraptors wear backwards baseball caps

        I thought that twelve of these pairings, depicted in a campy vintage poster style, would make an amusing and enjoyable calendar.  (If anyone wants to put such a thing together, you're
welcome to my genius idea.  Just be sure to send me a copy!)  But I'm far too lazy to do that myself, so I've decided to make this post an interactive activity to get you started in the rich topic of monster millinery.

   1.  Print out the following lists and draw lines to connect them according to your own sense of what's appropriate.
   2.  Add more monsters and more headgear as desired.
   3.  Imagine how much more pleasantly and knowledgeably you'll be able to converse with the next well-dressed monster you meet.
   4.  Have fun!

     bigfoot                                              balaclava
     blob                                                    baseball cap
     chupacabra                                      beret
     ghost                                                  bishop mitre
     giant squid                                       boater
     mermaid                                           bonnet
     minotaur                                          coonskin cap
     mummy                                            cowboy hat
     Nessie                                                deerstalker
     skeleton                                             fez
     space alien                                        lamp shade
     swamp monster                               pith helmet
     Tyrannosaurus rex                          propeller beanie
     vampire                                             Robin Hood cap
     werewolf                                            sombrero
     yeti                                                      swim cap with plastic flowers
     zombie                                                top hat

[Pictures: Vampire in a Mae West hat, photoshop adaptation from movie posters;
Giant squid in a mitre, photoshop adaptation from an illustration by Alphonse de Neuville, wood engraving by Hildibrand, for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne, 1871 ;
Ghost in a sombrero, photoshop adaptation from an illustration by Richard Westall, copperplate engraving by E. Scriven, from Julius Caesar by Shakespeare, 1802;
Monsters in hats and assorted spare hats, pen sketch on paper by AEGN and TPGrundy (TPG did the spare hats and the skull, I did the ghost, alien, and mummy, and we both think we did the velociraptor!), 2011.]

November 1, 2011

Kirchner's "Father Müller"

        Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) is not, on the whole, an artist whose work I admire.  As one of the founding members of "Die Brücke" group attempting to break away from the traditional academic style of painting, I think his work tries way too hard to be harsh and shocking just for the sake of being different.  But I do have to give him and his fellow proto-Expressionists credit for helping to revive and elevate the woodcut as a legitimate artistic medium.  And they weren't just using it to reproduce black line drawings as it was generally being used at the time.  They experimented with what the medium could do: simplifying, using large areas of black, creating rough-hewn textures, and experimenting with bold patterns.
        One thing I dislike about Kirchner's work is that his people all look so sour and mean.  But I found a couple of exceptions, which I like very much.  The first is "Father Müller," who was a Swiss farmer in the area where Kirchner was staying while he tried to recover from the trauma of World War I.  I love the stark dignity of this portrait.  He looks as if he has a bit of a twinkle in his eye despite being weary.  Kirchner printed only a few copies of this block, two in color and the rest in black.  I actually like the color version better, even though the black version shows the carving more clearly.
        I also like this portrait of "Ludwig Schames."  Schames was an art dealer, which explains the nude in the background.  Apparently Kirchner made the portrait from memory.  I love his beard!

[Pictures:  Father Müller, wood block print by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1918,
(color version from Moma collection,
black and white from Yale Art Gallery);
Portrait of Ludwig Schames, wood block print by Kirchner, 1918, (image from Yale Art Gallery).]