After her graduation from art school Smirtch devoted her life to immortalizing the families of famous chemists. It was an appropriate career, perhaps, for the heir to the Rotless Patent Embalming Fluid fortune. Her first painting to receive wide recognition was the...Read More
Young Catlung was one of the earliest painters to document the opening of the American West. He painted innumerable portraits of members of Indian tribes, and even more pictures of buffalo until he realized there was no money in it. As poverty and depression set in, he began...Read More
One of the most prolific painters of the 17th or any other century, Anonymous used an astonishing range of techniques and media. She has been justifiably described as “The Picasso of the Past.” The painting at hand was done to commemorate the cornering of the Bruge...Read More
Americas Oldest Internet Guru Tells It Like It Is... And Was
*Life isn’t everything.
*The first hundred years are the hardest.
*Giving up caring is the hardest part.
*Living wired is the best revenge.
*God bless our wired home.
*On the Internet nobody knows you’re not 18 and blonde.
*Chat rooms: where you can talk without putting your teeth in.
*Every day above ground is a victory.
*I love the smell of bedpans in the morning.
*Think of varicose veins as a 3-D tattoo.
*I wouldn’t have any wrinkles if I was 5 feet taller.
*Who added Jack Kevorkian to my speed dialer?
*They say age builds character. Any questions?
*Never trust a funeral home with a timesharing arrangement.
*Life: birthstones, RollingStones, gallstones, headstones.
*Seen it all, done it all, can’t remember most of it.
*Consciousness is that annoying time between naps.
*Few women admit their age. Few men act theirs.
*Old age is one big Out of Memory error.
*I’ve frozen and I can’t reboot.
*I believe in granny-dumping. Leave me in Maui.
*Uh-oh… think I’m gonna upload breakfast.
*The older you get, the better you realize you were.
*Old age is a helluva price to pay for maturity.
*Nostalgia is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
*My friends may be dead but I’ve outlived my enemies.
*I never use snail mail. I don’t know any snails to write to.
*At my age a mirror is a lethal weapon.
*Why is there a lifetime warranty on caskets?
*At my age just waking up in the morning is a thrill.
*I’m not deaf, I’m ignoring you.
*The Voices have assured me I’m not delusional.
*Never trust a funeral home that has limited time offers.
*A friend in need is an enemy.
*Of all the things I’ve lost I miss my mind the most.
*Just waking up is a victory.
*Life is beautiful – then you wake up.
*First you’re over the hill, then you’re under it.
*Whoever named them “The Golden Years” was full of falafel.
*Old age is like a river. I have no idea why.
*Age doesn’t mean a thing. Old fiddles play the best tunes.
*Old age is one long regret.
*I feel like an extra in Dawn of the Dead.
*Old age is a life sentence without a crime.
*Old age is like a cabbage, for some reason.
*Nothing makes you age faster than the thought that you’re constantly growing older.
*Senility is its own reward.
*Only saints age well.
*Old age is death without the peace and quiet.
*Welcome to the Golden Ghetto.
*Youth is a ripening. Maturity is a mellowing. Then comes spoilage and rot.
*Your old age is a parody of your whole life.
*I hope I never get so old I get religious.
*Old people are dangerous: it doesn’t matter to us what’s going to happen to the world.
*I give good advice because I can no longer set a bad example.
*Old women turn into old men, and vice-versa. It’s the final insult.
*Old age is the punch line to a joke you’ve forgotten the rest of.
*It’s awful listening to old fools talk when you can’t get a word in edgewise.
*Living is the best revenge.
*When old age is in, common sense is out.
*I supplement my Social Security by working for the psycho-friends network.
*Gravity is my worst enemy.
*Only the good die young.
*With age you gain both wisdom and hemorrhoids.
*I almost remember being young.
*One starts out young and foolish; then you lose the young part.
*Youth is wine; old age is spoiled vinegar.
*Youngsters think they’re smart enough the way drunks think they’re sober enough.
*Youth is enthusiasm; old age is a fine mix of pessimism and regret.
*Old people are frauds; they invent fine reasons for surviving in misery.
*Youth is a dream; old age is a nightmare.
*Youth is a time of missed opportunities – old age is the constant memory of them.
*Youth is freedom, maturity indebtedness, old age irrelevance.
*The light at the end of the tunnel is flatlined.
*The spirit is willing, but the flesh is a bad joke.
*Inside I’m still 16; what the hell happened to the outside?
*If life hands you lemons, they make great missiles when studded with nails and frozen solid.
*People need an OFF switch.
*Some people don’t have the common sense to lie down and die.
*If you can’t face reality, watch the cartoons.
*Die young while you can still enjoy it.
*Strange… I’ve gone from well built to well hung.
*He who fears age fears life.
*Old age is a never-ending swan song.
*Ancient ruins are considered beautiful– why not people?
*Life is a joke; death is the punch line.
*Decay is just another form of growth.
*Boredom is the root of senility.
*Senility is the gateway to politics.
*I was born too late: I would have made a nifty witch.
*Sanity is largely overrated.
*Life would be better if we could just reboot ourselves now and then.
*There’s a fine line between madness and insanity.
*Decrepitude: noble word, ignoble condition.
*I need a CTRL-ALT-HUG.
*Life is too short to worry about dying.
*If life was fun there would just be more people.
*Whimsy in the young is oddity in the old.
*Old age is an endless summarizing of a dull book.
*My… oh, what do you call it? … isn’t what it used to be.
*I’m so old my birth certificate has expired.
*Oops. My brain just hit a bad sector.
*The urologist here treats us as peers.
*They’re recalling Firestones– why not kidney stones?
*I don’t suffer from bitterness. I enjoy every minute of it.
*Genuine stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
*Death before drooling!
*Life was that part between adolescence and obsolescence.
*Nobody survives old age. Nobody.
*The only way to attain great age is by starting young.
*In youth we run into trouble; in old age trouble runs into us.
*You are never too old to fail.
*Old age is when nothing is important and everything is vaguely amusing.
*Only wine and cheese improve with age.
*I’m so old my blood type has been discontinued.
*I outlived my doctor. Think about it.
*It scares me when people say how lifelike I look.
*I’m in the final scene and I still don’t know what the play was about.
*They should have filmed “Survivor” here. The stakes are higher.
*There’s snow on the roof and there’s ashes in the furnace.
*Old age is a delightful mix of ugly, infirm and ridiculous.
*I’m 10% artificial and 90% pharmaceutical.
*Never trust stories about the afterlife from anyone who hasn’t died.
*I blame my current condition on being born when I was.
*Life is forgetting: we don’t remember being born and we don’t remember dying.
*Dying is the last thing I want to do.
*If your time hasn’t come not even the best doctors can kill you.
*Death is nature’s way of telling you to stop worrying about dying.
*Having birthdays is better than the alternative.
*I used to get rid of dust; now I collect it.
*I’m old enough to be a confirmed pessimist.
*People accuse me of apathy, but I don’t care.
*Old age is a summing up of all the things you can never do again.
*Powerlessness corrupts just as absolutely.
*Trust everybody, but count the spoons.
*She who laughs, lasts.
*My whole purpose in life is to be a warning to others.
*Anticipate the unexpected.
*Realizing you’re a failure early enough in life saves an enormous amount of time.
*Some cures are worse than the disease.
*Anyone who smiles all the time is probably dead.
*So the meek will inherit the earth. Then what?
*Every prince I ever kissed turned into a frog.
*If you have no solution, embrace the problem.
*Be yourself. Then quit while you’re ahead.
*If opportunity knocks, never ask for ID.
*Amazing how nice people are to you when they know you’re writing a will.
*Life always comes to a bad end.
*Only death makes everyone completely equal.
*Turn up the music. Misery loves accompaniment.
*I feel like an ambassador to the afterlife. Without portfolio.
*If we’re suppose to live this long why aren’t we made of better stuff?
*When you talk to God you’re pious. When you listen to God you’re nuts.
*Small mind equals big mouth.
*I’m not elderly; I’m simply dying slower than most people.
*Violence is the first refuge of the stupid.
*Pessimism is the last refuge of the unambitious.
*Life is like a donut. It’s… It’s… …? Well, maybe not like a donut, then….
*Women are from Venus; men are from Hoboken.
*I could be pessimistic but I’m sure it would never work.
*I miss nostalgia.
*Half of all the people I know are below average.
*Life is a circle: we’re born wet, feeble and ignorant and end up the same way.
*My personal hourglass is running on fumes.
*Whatever happened to forgetfulness?
*Once I could stop a clock; now I can’t even wind one.
*I have nothing against change so long as it doesn’t affect me.
*Revivals: in religion a comedy, in theatre a tragedy.
*I was repossessed by the Tooth Fairy.
*Anyone for bridge? A dental plate?
*Life here is just one long Maalox moment.
*With age comes wisdom… and incontinence… and impotence…
*Out of sight, out of mind around here means blind and insane.
*Life: Hatched, Matched, Dispatched.
*Marriage: the time between “I do” and “Adieu.”
*If God is a woman, why did she give me 3 chin hairs, like an upside-down Homer Simpson?
*Don’t blame me, I voted for the other one.
*Honeymoon: The time between “I do: and “I have a headache.”
*I discovered the meaning of life years ago but forgot to write it down.
*Senility is really funny when it happens to someone else.
*We need wheelchair damage collision insurance.
*I tried to contain myself, but I escaped.
*My mind not only wanders; sometimes it leaves completely.
*I finally got my head together, and my body fell apart.
*Age doesn’t always bring wisdom; it usually comes empty-handed.
*I avoid rolling blackouts by not drinking in my wheelchair.
*If it’s nice to be wanted, what is it to be Most Wanted?
*Getting ducks in a circle is even harder. And forget about equilateral triangles.
*Life is worth living – just not my life.
*Repossession is nine-tenths of the law.
*Sometimes I stop to think and forget to start again.
*Fame is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
*I may live forever – so far so good.
*Talk is cheap because supply always exceeds demand.
*Today is the last day of my life, so far….
*When your mind goes blank, have the courtesy to turn off the sound.
*Therapy helps, but screaming is more fun.
*Fashions come and go; cheap bathrobes are timeless.
*Young fools usually survive to become old fools.
*Most of my future is behind me by now.
*Now that I’ve given up hope I feel much better.
*Remembering the good old days is the sign of a failing memory.
*Elderly is when the present is tense and the past is perfect.
*Why do people who have nothing to say talk so much?
*These days philosophers write for t-shirts.
*Doing nothing all day is tiring because you can’t stop to rest.
*I’m old enough to know better but too old to care.
*At my age whenever I smell flowers I look around for a coffin.
*I’m determined to live forever, or die in the attempt.
*Life needs no road signs since the destination is inevitable.
*All roads lead to the cemetery.
*Recreation here is limited to camping out in an oxygen tent.
*Ignorance is bliss and most folks are quite happy.
*I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.
*Life doesn’t happen in chronological order.
*The Book of Life is incomprehensible, plus there’s no index.
*Old age is when you find yourself talking in proverbs.
*At some point I gave up trying to overcome despair.
*Consciousness is not all it’s cracked up to be.
*Age is inevitable, misery optional.
*Experience is what you settle for when everything else fails.
*The last part of your life is spent revising what went before.
*Common sense isn’t.
*I try to take it one day at a time even if it takes me several days to do it.
*At some point you either reach your goal or wonder why it was such a big deal in the first place.
*Old age is when boredom becomes a fascinating topic of conversation.
*People do not age as well as wine because meat spoils faster than grapes do.
*Your life is a failure if your only accomplishment has been not dying young.
*I don’t want to die with dignity. I want it to be written up in the tabloids.
*Life is a test. It is only a test. If it was real there would be instructions.
*Life is like trying to get good grades in a course we never signed up for.
*Counseling is useless advice that you pay for.
*Imagination is what lets you fall off a cliff and invent wings on the way down.
*Before television people used to waste most of their days thinking.
*Being in a Home is like living in North Korea: everything is organized but nobody is happy.
*Anyone who wants to live to a hundred should be forced to do so.
*I am living proof that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.
*There is a fine line between ignorance and stupidity.
*What scares me most about today’s children is that they’ve forgotten how to pretend.
*Make decrepitude work for you.
*I think I’m on my fourth childhood.
*Old age is when you still have life but you no longer have purpose.
*Incontinence is a weapon. Use it wisely.
*Society corrupts, and nursing home society corrupts absolutely.
*One simple lie is better than the most complex explanation.
*Old age is when gravity wins every time.
*Attitude is not everything: no snail ever won a horse race.
*Arguing with a bigot is like wrestling with a pig – you both get dirty and only the pig enjoys it.
*Why is stupidity so much louder than wisdom?
*It takes a certain talent to live an entire life and still remain empty.
*Reality is all that gets in the way of true happiness.
*There are no silly questions. There are only silly answers.
*Everybody wants a long life, but nobody wants to get old.
*I consider myself quite unselfish: I’ve gone to the funerals of dozens of people who will never come to mine.
*I live in the past because things were cheaper back then.
*It’s hard to keep up appearances once your looks are gone.
*Bureaucracy is doing the unnecessary inefficiently.
*At a certain time of life the future becomes irrelevant.
*Youth is free – age we pay for.
*The most important things in life aren’t things.
*Remember the 1950s, when men were men and women were virgins?
*It’s always darkest before the doom.
*The greatest loss of old age is loss of purpose.
*Some days I can hardly work up the energy to say the hell with it.
*I am sometimes torn between apathy and lethargy.
*Smile and the world smiles with you, like some out-of-control toothpaste commercial.
*I am comforted by the thought that we don’t live forever.
*People send me sympathy cards on the grounds that I should be dead by now.
*What are the 3 warning signs of memory loss again?
*I’m thinking of starting an old folks’ magazine: Popular Obituary
*I don’t feel old. I don’t feel much of anything.
*The only thing I exercise now is caution.
*I’d like to meet a man my age who wasn’t dead.
*I’ve made no will. I could never get past “Being of sound mind….”
*Old age is when regrets replace dreams.
*What can ever replace apathy?
*Life: it’s not the journey, it’s the abrupt stop at the end.
*Obscurity is forever.
*I am an undertaker’s worst nightmare.
*I scream, you scream, we all scream for Thorazine.
*My motto is: Excess in Moderation!
*Laugh at yourself – everyone else does.
*Apathy is the antidote to despair.
*The trick is to live a long time without getting old.
*Sin as much as possible while you’re still able.
*Embrace failure and get it over with.
*Old age raises boredom to the level of a fine art.
*TV show idea: Xtreme Age.
*Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of.
*The more things change, the more you wish they hadn’t.
*Suddenly one day middle age had become a distant memory….
*My days are long stretches of boredom and occasional moments of blind panic.
*Old age is a punishment for missed opportunities in youth.
*Support the classics: seduce a granny.
*Never rush into sex. I was always glad I waited till I was a virgin.
*Life is just a phase that I’m going through.
*There are two kinds of people in the world: those who claim that life gets better as you get older, and the sane ones.
*Life is just a phase that I’m going through.
*Power to the feeble!
*Wanting to run for public office should be grounds for disqualification.
*None of us here is deranged. We simply prefer elective realities.
*Misery comes through doors you didn’t even know you left open.
*The past is history.
*Sometimes just being exhausted takes all your strength.
*I don’t mind giving away my age. How much do you want?
*Paradox > Orthodox
* Most days I feel like the Before in a fitness commercial.
*Whoever said You have nowhere to go but up died young.
*I knew I was in trouble when my warranty ran out.
*If death was fun we never would have made it this far as a species.
*My doctor tells me I’m DNR positive.
*Okay, I’ve reaped what I’ve sown. Now what?
*Morticians are only interested in your body.
*I’ve gone from a perfect waist to a total waste.
*I want to donate my body to science. Preferably bioweapons.
*A friend in need is an enemy.
*If I knew I would live this long I would have bought the motorcycle.
*AARP retired my subscription number.
*Chaos is merely unperceived organization.
*Patience is a vice.
*Deal with it. If you can deal from the bottom, all the better.
*Expiring minds need to know.
*Just did it. Sorry.
*Inanimate objects have feelings, too.
*Anticipate the unexpected.
*I’m not good enough to be a perfectionist.
*My life is in the past lane.
*Practice safe satire; always use a conundrum.
*You don’t have to dust memories.
*I’m so old I’m not even sure my memories are mine.
*The problem with immortality is that most people die before they attain it.Read More
After her graduation from art school Smirtch devoted her life to immortalizing the families of famous chemists. It was an appropriate career, perhaps, for the heir to the Rotless Patent Embalming Fluid fortune.
Her first painting to receive wide recognition was the “Posthumous Portrait of the Children of Johann Schroeder, Discoverer of Arsenic,” which was hailed at the time as strikingly innovative, as no one had ever posed a deceased family group before. Her salon piece, “Blue Boys,” depicted the sons of English chemist William Henry Perkin, the inventor of aniline dyes.
The painting shown here is another early work. Janssen’s helium laboratory was in his home, and he used his family as subjects for many of the experiments he conducted to discover the element’s properties. All the Janssen children had high-pitched, squeaky voices due to excessive exposure to the gas. The dog, Montgolfier, was also essential to Janssen’s investigations into the medical applications of his discovery. Unfortunately the helium enema never caught on, and the dog himself was later lost in a windstorm during an attempt to perfect a breed of aerial watchdogs.Read More
Young Catlung was one of the earliest painters to document the opening of the American West. He painted innumerable portraits of members of Indian tribes, and even more pictures of buffalo until he realized there was no money in it. As poverty and depression set in, he began considering a career as a political cartoonist, although he knew full well it would have broken the heart of his mother, who thought Nast was nasty.
He was fortunately recruited at a critical moment to document the activities of the Taste Police, a group founded by Minot Vandermorgan, shown at the lower left in this painting. Vandermorgan was affronted by the lowering of aesthetic standards in the burgeoning frontier towns. He was horrified to discover that yellow was the most popular color for a hotel, and he once left a town after seeing a lavender outhouse. Upon discovering the prevalence of lacquered papier-mâché ornaments as a substitute for the honest craftsmanship of carving, casting and turning, he and his army of volunteers set forth to raise national standards by any means necessary.
In this painting we see Vandermorgan about to lead a raid on Pokey’s Flamingo Paradise, where hundreds of the cheap lawn ornaments had been set out to dry after being painted a dreadful shade of pink that Vandermorgan described as “rose-barf.” The highly successful attack was estimated to have kept over 800 households from the ignominy of such a tasteless front-yard decoration.
Catlung’s complete series, which includes “Dynamiting a Traincar of Little Windmills,” “Assassination of the Inventor of Miniature Golf” and “Death of a Checkered-Suit Salesman” is in the private collection of the Archie McPhee Family Trust and not viewable by the public.Read More
One of the most prolific painters of the 17th or any other century, Anonymous used an astonishing range of techniques and media. She has been justifiably described as “The Picasso of the Past.”
The painting at hand was done to commemorate the cornering of the Bruge fish market in Belgium by the Fratelli Brothers, unscrupulous fishmongers who had been evicted from their native Italy for selling vast tracts of real estate which they did not happen to own. In Belgium they quickly found a weakness in the Fish Exchange, which they were able to parlay into a considerable fortune by manipulating the junk stockfish market. Once they had seized control they raised fish prices astronomically, to the point where a single goldfish was worth its weight in.
Vittorio, on the left, was the wheeler-dealer who did the actual purchasing and reselling. Antonio, on the right, being of a more creative bent, single-handedly created a market for gourmet cuts and exotic species. He is also thought to be the creator of chowder, bouillabaisse, paella, jambalaya and similar dishes based on the recycling of fish that have passed their sell-by date.
The curious title has been the subject of much speculation on the part of art historians. The consensus is that it represents a boastful remark by the brothers in poorly-understood Belgian.
Acquisition funded in part by a grant from Mrs. Pauls.® “If It Swims, It’s History.” ™
Before being drafted during World War I Singer was a conventional portraitist, traveling throughout Europe painting the crowned and uncrowned heads of Europe.
During his long recovery after being gassed in the trenches during the battle for Argonne Forest, Singer’s style changed completely, apparently as a result of his meeting with, and infatuation for, a young Carmen Miranda, who was touring with the USO visiting veterans’ hospitals.
The influence of the youthful samba dancer on Singer’s art is obvious. Once he began painting again, he obsessively introduced a fruit-covered hat in every scene, regardless of the subject. The painting shown here, originally intended as a tribute to the great Shakespearean actress Ellen Terry, became a dreadful embarrassment to both artist and subject, lampooned in all the London papers. Miss Terry was so mortified that to the end of her life she could never be in the same room with a fruit arrangement, and any servant foolish enough to sing the old ditty about “Oranges and Lemons / Say the Bells of Saint Clemens,” was promptly sacked.
Singer’s career as a painter was soon over. His last works, mostly clowns on velvet and children with big eyes all wearing enormous fruit-piled headpieces never caught on, even with the American tourist trade. His only attempt at a mural, “Mona Miranda,” filling one wall of Felipe’s House of the Dance Spanish, was destroyed during World War II.
Acquired as part of the corporate sponsorship program of the Dole Fruit Works.
The noted Depressionist portraitist Caterina Heimlichsen was the daughter of the jailor of Fleming, in what is now partly Belgium. According to Flemish law convicts were documented along with the evidence of their crimes. In the days before photography this was done by a local artist as little more than a sketch. Since Caterina and her family lived in a house on the jail property, as was the custom, she was able to devote considerably more time to her subjects, sometimes producing oil paintings of considerable skill and detail.
Noting her talent, her father Jan arranged for her to take criminal art courses at the famed Flemish Bureau of Investigation, where she studied with Pieter Boggle, another Flemmer who was later to make his mark as a documenter of public waste and fraud.
In the subject painting we see the unfortunate Elsa Hoefnagel, who apparently had an uncontrollable urge to steal dogs (kleptocanomania), which often brought her into conflict with the law. On this occasion she had stolen an entire litter of Chauvedoggen, or Mexican Clueless, from the yard of the mayor of Fleming, who of course had her promptly arrested, calling her a Fleming nuisance among other, more colorful terms.
Elsa was eventually cured of her obsession by channeling her feelings into writing poetry about dogs, a skill she had learned in prison. Although never a major Flemoid poet, one of her works is still quoted today, “In Flanders Fields the Puppies Grow.”
Caterina’s career went downhill after she was married to Horst Vlaxxenboorch, who became notorious as the Flanderland Philanderer. She eventually murdered him in a fit of despair, and her self-portrait, “Caterina Contemplating the Head of Horst” is considered by some to be the definitive work of criminal art.Read More
Fochit had been commissioned to execute a Madonna and Child for the tomb of Etienne Chevalier, treasurer to King Charles VII of France. As luck would have it he completed the painting one week after Paris had passed its landmark “zero-tolerance” legislation regarding child pornography. The artist was consequently arrested and used as an example by the courts, sentenced to 30 years in the notorious Bastille. He hanged himself shortly after his incarceration there.
His model, Agnes Sorel, was given a 14-year sentence for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, procuring the use of a child for use in a pornographic setting, and operating a milk bar without a town license. Her child, Jean-Louis, was assigned to a foundling home where he perished of neglect.
Acquired in part by a grant from “Sacre Bleu!” – the French Moral Outrage Society.
As the Black Plague repeatedly struck throughout Europe in the 16th century, finding decent servants became ever more difficult. The Clockmaker and Puppet Guilds combined forces to fill this gap through the construction of realistic spring-wound androids who could deal with the simpler household tasks.
As a protection against all-too-common android theft, all android owners commissioned a painting of themselves with their new purchases for use in court should the occasion arise. The otherwise unknown “Master of the Blue Fountain” became one of the most popular documenters of artificial household servants, although it eventually led to his downfall.
He became obsessed with “Sally,” shown here with her owner, and actually completed 12 portraits of her in various settings before attempting to elope with her one night under cover of darkness. Sneaking her into a local inn, he attempted to consummate his passion, not realizing that, driven by lust, he had overwound his gear-driven goddess. A few moments later with a resounding snap! he was neatly and effectively unmanned.
After his release from prison he had a local potter fabricate a partial substitute from blue faience, which accounts for his curious nickname.Read More