Monday, November 4, 2013

Music Monday: Streets of Baltimore

Today’s Music Monday focuses not on an American Made Music title, but instead on the just-released The Painted Screens of Baltimore: An Urban Folk Art Revealed. Author Elaine Eff, herself a Baltimore resident and authority on painted screens, explores in-depth this homegrown tradition of that provides both beauty and privacy. 

Painted screens have long been synonymous in the popular imagination with the Baltimore rowhouse. Picturesque, practical, and quirky, window and door screens adorned with scenic views simultaneously offer privacy and ventilation in crowded neighborhoods. As an urban folk art, painted screens flourished in Baltimore, though they did not originate there—precursors date to early eighteenth-century London. They were a fixture on fine homes and businesses in Europe and America throughout the Victorian era. But as the handmade screen yielded to industrial production, the whimsical artifact of the elite classes was suddenly transformed into an item for mass consumption. Historic examples are now a rarity, but in Baltimore the folk art is still very much alive.
 
The Painted Screens of Baltimore takes a first look at this beloved icon of one major American city through the words and images of dozens of self-taught artists who trace their creations to the capable and unlikely brush of one Bohemian immigrant, William Oktavec. In 1913, this corner grocer began a family dynasty and inspired generations of artists who continue his craft to this day. The book examines the roots of painted wire cloth, the ethnic communities where painted screens have been at home for a century, and the future of this art form.

The Painted Screens of Baltimore is now available from UPM. 

Today, inspired by the release of this book we’re listening to The Streets of Baltimore performed by Gram Parson. The lyrics written by Tompall Glaser and Harlan Howard are below:

Well I sold the farm to take my woman where she used to be
We left our kin and all our friends back there in Tennessee
And I bought those one way tickets she had often begged me for
And they took us to the streets of Baltimore
Well her heart was filled with gladness when she saw those city lights
She said the prettiest place on earth was Baltimore at night
Well a man feels proud to give his woman what she's longing for
And I kinda liked the streets of Baltimore

When I got myself a factory job, I ran an old machine
And I bought a little cottage in a neighborhood serene
And every night when I'd come home with every muscle sore
She'd drag me through the streets of Baltimore
Well I did my best to bring her back to what she used to be
Then I soon learned she loved those bright lights more than she loved me
Now I'm a going back on that same train that brought me here before
While my baby walks the streets of Baltimore
While my baby walks the streets of Baltimore
 

No comments:

Share

Related Posts

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...