We continue our series of reminiscences by Carl Schmitt’s late son David, who died this past March at the age of 89.
One Christmas when I was about seven dad and mother bought me a present much better than I anticipated. Dad called my name and I stepped forward and he handed me a large box attractively wrapped. “To David from Mother and Dad.” I tore it open and inside was a large pair of brown hunting boots with a jackknife in a leather pocket on the left side of the left boot. I was overwhelmed. I put the boots on and paraded around the house upstairs and down all the rest of Christmas day. I could see nothing but those two boots.
Michael, pastel on paper, 1935
Unfortunately, my brother Mike had gotten a model airplane kit—the kind one puts together from balsa wood and covers with Japanese tissue paper, then paints to match the real airplane. It actually flew and took a lot of work to build. Late in the afternoon, just before supper, I was coming down the stairs, and of course Michael was assembling his plane right at the foot of the stairs. You guessed it, the inevitable happened; my big boot went “crunch” right in the middle of his plane and completely demolished it. It was a case of the inevitable force meeting the immovable object.
Carl Schmitt sons ((left to right) Peter, Jacob, Michael, John, David, and Austin, c. 1932.
Mike wanted to take it out on my hide but he didn’t, remarkably, because I pointed out that after all that wasn’t the best place to put his plane together. Naturally, he didn’t relish hearing my defense. It was a case of arrogance vs. pride which most kids excel in. I still don’t remember how the situation was resolved short of parental arbitration and both of us eating a little crow.
Christmas card (c. 1925) for John Kenneth Byard, a friend and patron of Schmitt in the 1920s who later became a well-known antiques dealer.
Christmas card, woodblock print, c. 1925
“Since Christ there are no more ‘Prophets’
“Since Christ there are no more ‘Myths.’
“Now there is only the Prophet, and the Myth.” (1962)
“Today we are prone to forget that Christ combines the Aesthetic, the Expedient, and the Religious Life. We forget that He came not only because man needed hope for eternal beatitude but that he was also the historic concrete answer to the desire of the wildest imagination: the appearance on earth of a God-man. History united to myth.” (1960)
Brown Nativity, oil on canvas, 30 x 36 in.
This year the CSF is offering three unique gifts for Christmas: Carl Schmitt greeting cards, the beautiful book Carl Schmitt: The Vision of Beauty, and high-quality prints of selected paintings.
New Carl Schmitt cards make a wonderful last-minute present for anyone on your list. They also make great thank-you cards.
The CSF is offering its stunning coffee-table book Carl Schmitt: Vision of Beauty at 25% off the regular price. Shipping and handling are free for this special offer. Each book that you purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation. See a preview of selected pages here.
Order your copies now in time for Christmas!
In addition, the CSF is pleased to offer museum-quality reproductions of works by Carl Schmitt in partnership with RequestAPrint, a leading producer of art prints to museums across the country.
RequestAPrint uses state-of-the-art ultra-giclee printers on semi-gloss heavyweight paper or medium weight fine art canvas. The prints are available in any size and in variety of frame styles. Here is just a sample of the paintings offered:
Click here to go to the RequestAPrint gallery and order your prints. A portion of your purchase will benefit the Carl Schmitt Foundation.
Finally, don’t forget your own Christmas cards if you haven’t ordered them yet! (They make great thank-you cards, too.)
“The past is permanent, a myth and therefore aesthetic—and real. A beginning.
“The present is temporal, scientific, expedient, and therefore real. A means.
“The future is eternal, a revelation and therefore spiritual—and Real. An end.”
Anno Domini 1941, 1941, oil on panel, 23½” x 18″. Inscribed “Carl Schmitt Ao Dn 1941″ lower left
This work was featured in the Summer 2012 issue of the CSF News.