Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Vintage 1947 Telephone Obsession - made in Baltimore

Telephone 1947 (6" x 6") oil on board 2015
I have this inspiring telephone given to me by an old friend. It pulls me towards it more often than I'd like to admit. Yes, some imaginary conversations have taken place on it but it also got some good  reality workouts in my studio until a few years ago when we went digital. I like how substantial it feels in my hand. I have several vintage telephones but this old, heavy black device cries out to me to be painted from time to time. I'll show you what I mean. Below are three additional paintings of the same phone made by Western Electric in 1947. More than likely it was made here in Baltimore at Western Electric's former, gigantic facility in Point Breeze.

Green Telephone on Table (12" x 16") oil on canvas 2010

Telephone ( 10" x 10") oil on panel 2014
Telephone (12" x 16") oil on canvas (2011)

Here is a little film of Point Breeze and its history. I guess I didn't realize that Western Electric stood on the former grounds of the Riverview Amusement Park. This film includes footage that shows the destruction of the park to clear the way for the industrial plant.

Also included in my collection is this very old phone. The bell box is large and heavy. I hope to paint more of this one soon. Hollywood actress Betty Davis uses this model quite often in her earlier films.

Betty Davis Phone (6" x 6") oil on panel 2015