This Week’s Various

Purvis Young, Main Street Gallery, Clayton GA

several Purvis Young works at the Main Street Gallery in Clayton, GA, from a visit made in 2014

At the Washington Post Magazine: Who Should Get the Artwork of Purvis Young?
Lawyers, collectors, ‘voodoo stuff with a cut chicken head’: The extraordinary tale of a beloved painter — and the people who wanted his art.

When he died in 2010, he named Lovest and 12 of her daughters and grandchildren as the main beneficiaries of his will. He left hardly any cash, but he did leave 1,884 artworks. Lovest assumed a sale would eventually be arranged and her family given its due. So she was surprised in 2018 to learn that a judge had let lawyers take all of the art to satisfy a half-million dollars in bills racked up on Young’s behalf. Her family hadn’t gotten a cent — or a single painting.


A Cuban Santeria priest named Silo Crespo acted as Young’s manager. According to Moos, Crespo told her that Young deserved a $30,000 or $60,000 base salary, plus commissions. When Moos balked — Young’s pieces sold for a few hundred or few thousand dollars, which she shared with the artist in an industry standard 50-50 split — Crespo put Santeria curses on her family. She hired a priestess to remove them: “I had to have the gallery cleaned. I had to do all this voodoo stuff with a cut chicken head.”

The Guardian with ‘The Michelangelo of kitsch’: the restoration of outsider architect Bruce Goff who was the architect of two designs in Mississippi: the WC Gryder house in Ocean Springs and the Emil and Charlotte Gutman house in Gulfport (since, destroyed by fire).

Think about the menu at Mobile’s SOCU, particularly the desserts:
Hennessey Peach Cobbler
Church Lady Banana Pudding

Via ArtNews: Outsider Art Fair Will Spotlight Children’s Artworks from the 1930s at Upcoming New York Edition

Dooky Chase's, New Orleans LA

from a visit to Dooky Chase

Lolis Eric Elie writes Leah Chase’s enduring legacy and independent spirit remembered on this Twelfth Night for the LA Times:

It’s easy to let legends slip away and become just that — an accumulation of stories that paint a two-dimensional portrait of a person who, like all people, was more complicated. But to fully appreciate Chase’s legacy, let alone learn from it, we need to keep in mind that her independent spirit was the bedrock of who she was.

The ‘Modern Southern’ meal at the James Beard House on Jan 24 by Jim Shirley of Gulf Coast restaurants Great Southern Café, The Bay, Farm & Fire Southern Pizzeria, North Beach Tortilla Co., The Meltdown On 30A, and Ji Shi Kitchen, Seaside, FL will include, just in part:

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus with Smoked Choctawhatchee Bay Mullet Dip with Chicken Skin
Heritage Pig Cheeks-in-a-Blanket
Smoked and Fried Apalachicola Oyster with Chicken Fat Bread and Collard Green Aïoli
Blood Orange Pie with Cornbread Pudding

A short Various this week. I guess we’re all just starting to get back in to things for the new year. BTW, my older son broke his arm in two places this week during PE, so would deeply appreciate some sweet thoughts going his way. Lots of love! xoxo!

H.D. Gibbes & Sons, Learned MS

We visited the H.D. Gibbes & Sons store in Learned, Mississippi in 2017, and have been meaning to get back since. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, they serve supper (steaks, seafood — on paper plates, and they just take cash or check) and six days a week they’re a regular country store. The food there is supposed to be amazing and I am all about it.  It’s on my list to finally do for supper in 2020.

Gibbes Country Store, Learned MS Gibbes Country Store, Learned MS

Gibbes Country Store, Learned MS Gibbes Country Store, Learned MS

Gibbes Country Store, Learned MS

This Week’s Various

Clementine Hunter, Ogden Museum

I suggest going for six and adding Clementine Hunter forger, William Toye. The one above is genuine, from The Ogden’s permanent collection. 

Laurel’s Mark Landis made artnet’s list, 5 of the Most Notorious Art Thieves, Swindlers, and Forgers of the 21st Century

Where He Is Now: Donating works, even phony ones, to museums without any financial incentive, it turns out, is not against the law—so Landis never actually saw any consequences for his deceptions — though the costs of his donations to museums cost something to the tune of $5 million. In 2014, Art and Craft, a documentary about his life, came out, and museums have made an effort to expose his works. That said, Landis seems undeterred and has attempted to donate dozens more forgeries even after his story was exposed.

Also: some of the aforementioned have already been made into docs/films but every one of them is A+ material for one or more.

Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors

A still I took from Ragnar Kjartansson’s The Visitors, from its stop at The Frist in Nashville. I loved this experience so much I cried.

Artnet’s The 100 Works of Art That Defined the Decade, Ranked includes the Dread Scott Slave Rebellion Reenactment, Kerry James Marshall’s (he was born in Birmingham) Untitled (Gallery), 2016, my fave Ragnar Kjartansson, The Visitors (2012)

How I Like to Sleep at Night. Hyatt French Quarter, New Orleans LA

above: the thermostat at the Hyatt French Quarter. I set it to 45* before bed, and we woke up to…I don’t know…something approximating 45*. HyattFQ: you rock. 

Super random: The Atlantic on Your Bedroom is Too Hot (the temp) — and fam, it is a glorious 60*.

If that wasn’t quite super random enough: Why the Amish are Montana’s Most Devoted Backcountry Skiers, which is really, really so so so good.

Jane Robbins Kerr: Bits and Pieces from Mississippi exhibit at Oglethorpe in Atlanta, running January 10 – March 1.

Charoset Bar

above: everyone likes their charoset a little different, so I do a charoset bar

Among Google’s top trending recipe searches of 2019: the Popeyes chicken sandwich recipe, king cake, hot toddy, and charoset.

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Greetings from Fort Smith! We are thrilled to present you our beloved @okudart latest work , The Rainbow Embassy, an architectonic intervention that we curated for @unexpectedfs in Downtown Fort Smith. Another good reasons to take the road to the Northwest Arkansas region and discover the growing public art collection of Downtown Fort Smith! #justkidsofficial #unexpectedfs #fortsmith #northwestarkansas #dtfs #arkansas #okudart #streetart #urbanart #placemaking #artcurator #installationart #okudart

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Via Hyperallergic: Among the rolling green hills and grey-brown trees in winter, a rainbow of colors and patterns cropped up in Fort Smith, Arkansas. As part of a collaboration between Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel, global creative house Justkids and 64.6 Downtown, a nonprofit focused on revitalizing the area, an uninhabited house received a fresh makeover into a “Rainbow Embassy,” welcoming visitors far and wide to the neighborhood.

Butch Anthony Twangelism, Balise, New Orleans

one of Butch Anthony’s Intertwangalisms that hung in Balise

Coulter Fussell: The Raw Materials of Escape and Butch Anthony: Inside/Out will be on view now at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston January 17 to February 29, 2020.

Joe Burrow ornament wish at Windsor

Saw this last week: dreidel ornament on one of the Christmas trees at the Windsor Court — “I wish that I could get a autograph from Joe Burrow”

The NYT ran the obit for Barbara Testa, who found the manuscript for the first half of Huckleberry Finn in her attic. Backstory really interesting.

“It would certainly be the greatest literary discovery of the 20th century,” one expert told The Los Angeles Times. So revered was the novel that another expert likened its discovery to “the British finding a working manuscript of ‘King Lear’ or ‘Hamlet.’”

Flatfoot dancing is different from clogging, and are some of these people at the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention in North Carolina wetting the bottoms of their pants? Does it keep them down so they’re not flapping while dancing?

Eutaw, Alabama

Eutaw, Alabama represent.

Harlan Greene, author of “Mr. Skylark: John Bennett and the Charleston Renaissance” writes the Post and Courier about the beliefs behind haint blue ceilings.

Elizabeth Spencer, author of, most famously, “Light in the Piazza,” has passed away. Her obit was in the NYT:

Old enough to know ex-slaves and Civil War veterans, Spencer chronicled her complicated affection for her ties to tiny Carrollton, Mississippi — her determination to honor them and to leave them behind. Like her predecessor and fellow Mississippian, William Faulkner, she was an author praised by strangers and shunned by acquaintances.

Christie’s has announced its upcoming January 17 sale of Bill Traylor’s Man on White, Woman on Red / Man with Black Dog (double-sided), with an est of $200-400k.

Via artnetIt comes from the personal collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, who was gifted the work by Steven Spielberg after filming wrapped on the movie adaption of her novel, The Color Purple. Walker, speaking to the Wall Street Journal, described the artwork as “a gift from someone I consider a genius with soul,” but ultimately explained that “my spirit tells me it is time for it to find a new home.” (She went on to explain that wildfires in California have made her nervous, and happy to have the Traylor find “a safer wall than mine on which to hang.”)

From the NYT: In Appalachia, Crafting a Road to Recovery With Dulcimer Strings

But last year, an unlikely group of renegades — suspender-wearing luthiers from the Appalachian Artisan Center here — embarked on a novel approach to the hopelessness of addiction called Culture of Recovery, an apprentice program for young adults rebounding from the insidious treadmill of opioids and other substances. Participants, about 150 so far, learn traditional arts like luthiery — the making and repairing of stringed instruments — under the tutelage of skilled artisans.

KDRH #43- Van Ramey and Charles Lykins and The Troublesome Boys from Appalachian Artisan Center on Vimeo.

Little Chinatown Restaurant, Kenner LA

the roast duck at Little Chinatown

Ian McNulty on Flavors and Lessons in the Melting Pot of a Kenner Strip Mall and nice that Little Chinatown (my fave Christmas Day meal) and Pollas a la Brasas (also fab) get a mention.

Alex Beggs at Bon Appetit with a tiny piece called The Most Ridiculous Baking Project Is the Bûche de Noël. I found last week at Poupart’s Bakery in Lafayette, Louisiana:

Buche de Noel at Poupart's Bakery in Lafayette LA Buche de Noel at Poupart's Bakery in Lafayette LA

Buche de Noel at Poupart's Bakery in Lafayette LA Buche de Noel at Poupart's Bakery in Lafayette LA

This very 1986 house in Chastain Park (Atlanta)

Poche's, Breaux Bridge LA

at Poche’s in Breaux Bridge

Y’all keep this in mind (via Texas Monthly’s article Feral Hogs Are Invading Yankeeland. Northern Friends, Here’s What You Need to Know. Tips from Texans who trap, kill, and study wild pigs.):

“If you start throwing little box traps at them because they’re cheap, you might catch four or five and think you’re doing good,” he says. “Well, if there are fifteen pigs out there, you just educated the other ten. There’s only one thing worse than a feral hog, and that’s an educated feral hog.”

Modern Farmer says eat them.

Seriously, though, feral hogs are no joke. Also: sorry too about the nutria, armadillos, fire ants, kudzu…

Bill Ferris’ 1978 Hush Hoggies Hush, about Tim Johnson’s pigs, taught to pray before they eat at the trough in Bentonia, Mississippi.

Don’t care that they are a DFW-area barbecue restaurant. No to this.

Carson McCullers' Home, Columbus GA

Carson McCuller’s home in Columbus, Georgia

Available for pre-order: My Autobiography of Carson McCullers (read the description here at Square Books)

Hot Fire Chicken with Pickles, Compere Lapin, New Orleans

hot fire chicken with pickles at Compere Lapin. Was great.

Esquire’s 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Decade which, how can you even, really (like most of these genre lists)?  Nothingggg against these, but we’re missing just a lot of representation from <$$$ restaurants here. Among those listed:

Catbird Seat, Nashville
Compere Lapin, New Orleans
Curate, Asheville
The Grey, Savannah
Husk, Charleston
Knife, Dallas
Little Jack’s Tavern, Charleston
Nancy’s Hustle, Houston
Seven Reasons, DC
Turkey & The Wolf, New Orleans

Smoky Mountain Sushi, with (Benton’s) prosciutto, collards, and blackeyed peas, from Amy Campbell at the Tennessee Farm Table. And that is a great podcast, always.

Shugie holding the cake I made

We had a great holiday break and hope you did too. xoxo!

The Cosmopolitan, And Vegas Delish

I’ve only been to Las Vegas three times — once around 1999 for a work convention, once in 2015 with my bestie (both those stays were at the Mandalay) and in 2017, at The Cosmopolitan. By far — by faaaar even though the Mandalay is nice, the Cosmopolitan is my favorite. In fact, they renovated last year, so the rooms have been updated since these ’17 pics. But this was a beyond-fab room:

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

What’s got me thinking about this is that the boys are asking for a big trip, and this might be fun to do with them — I’d love to take them to some Cirque du Soleil shows (my faves are O and Beatles LOVE). And staying at the Cosmopolitan puts us on the right ‘end’ of the Strip so walking anywhere is a lot easier.

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Sidenote: the room had fun wallpaper, including Piero Fornasetti’s Tema e Variazioni design, inspired by the Italian opera singer Lina Cavalieri. Fornasetti’s site is great, btw.

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

I’m not a wallpaper aficionado but really enjoyed the designs they had in the room — I was wondering if maybe this one with the birds was Cole and Son, but I don’t see it on their site.

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

and this one below is a more interesting pattern than is immediately obvious — see the girls/women?

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Anyway, our balcony room was beyond fab — we spent all kinds of time on it, taking in the Strip and especially the fountain show at the Bellagio.

Bellagio Fountain from our balcony at The Cosmopolitan Bellagio Fountain from our balcony at The Cosmopolitan

Bellagio Fountain from our balcony at The Cosmopolitan

The boys would eat that up. Lots of great restaurants I’d like to take them back to (Le Cirque, Lotus of Siam, Nobu, and Wing Lei are some of our faves). Staying at the Cosmopolitan also makes it crazy easy to go to the in-hotel restaurants we enjoy, like:

Beauty & Essex:

Beauty & Essex, The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Beauty & Essex, The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Foie Gras, Beauty & Essex, The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas


Pork Ramen, Momofuku, The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

Rose. Rabbit. Lie.:

Rose Rabbit Lie at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Rose Rabbit Lie at the Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

and Scarpetta:

Scarpetta at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Scarpetta at The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

…and just to see the design of some of the other hotels is its own thing.

The Wynn:

Wynn Las Vegas

The Venetian:

The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas

Anne Patterson Another Sky Sculpture, The Venetian, Las Vegas

The Bellagio:

Bellagio Hotel Flowers, Las Vegas

I’m talking myself into it. Yeah.

Park City

For our Salt Lake City / Park City trip, we stayed at Marriott’s Summit Watch Vacation Club Resort. Since it’s a ski resort rather than a regular hotel, it has different amenities, like the kitchenette in each room and the family activities like crafts for kids. It’s super close to everything, including the ski lift. There was nothing ‘wrong’ with this room or the resort, but I’d like to stay somewhere different next time.

Marriott's Summit Watch Vacation Club Resort, Park City UT Marriott's Summit Watch Vacation Club Resort, Park City UT

Marriott's Summit Watch Vacation Club Resort, Park City UT

The biggest plus of staying here, I think, is the walking trail behind it, which runs along a little creek, and the walkability of the whole town

Marriott's Summit Watch Vacation Club Resort, Park City UT

and the shoe tree is right at the resort too:

Shoe Tree, Marriott's Summit Watch Vacation Club Resort, Park City UT

Even though it was warm out, the ski lift stays in operation. We were just dressed in our regular street clothes and got on. BTW, when they hear that you’ve never done this before, and they warn you that when it’s time to hop off and to keep briskly walking, take that advice because otherwise, the lift is going to just nearrrrrrly knock you over! Hurry! haaaaaa!

Park City Ski Lift Park City Ski Lift

Park City Ski Lift Park City Ski Lift

It was time to walk around Park City more — they have these commemorative manhole covers from the 2002 Olympic Winter Games

Park City Manhole Cover. Olympic Winter Games 2002. The whole town is so pretty and walkable. No wonder Sundance is so fabulous (this year it’s January 23 – February 2). This is the Egyptian Theatre. Egyptian Theatre, Park City UT

Egyptian Theatre, Park City UT Egyptian Theatre, Park City UT

a Banksy — camera man and flower:

Banksy Camera Man and Flower, Park City UT Banksy Camera Man and Flower, Park City UT

We really liked staying in Park City for the SLC part of our trip, and I know we’d have a fun time again — just different, because of the season — if we went now. We’d definitely need to bring the boys and start on the bunny slopes; PC has the largest ski area in the country so lots of options. I just checked now, and their high today is 25* and the hotel we stayed is almost booked.