Wisdom on Wednesdays—The desire of the wildest imagination

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Annunciation, 1921, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in.

“Today we forget that Christ 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)

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Christmas in Silvermine

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A woodblock print by Carl Schmitt for a Christmas card commissioned in the 1920s.

Carl Schmitt’s late son David has left us a wonderful series of reminiscences about his growing up in Silvermine.  As David remembers it, Christmas can bring out the best (and worst) in children of a large family.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

More gifts for Christmas from the CSF

In addition to the gifts we mentioned yesterday, 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.  See a preview of selected pages here.

Order your copies now in time for Christmas!  Each book that you purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

Click Here to Purchase The Vision of Beauty

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The CSF is also 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:

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Click here to go to the RequestAPrint gallery and order your prints.

Finally, don’t forget your own Christmas cards if you haven’t ordered them yet! (They make great thank-you cards, too.)

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As always, your purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt FoundationThank you!

Order these unique gifts from the CSF now in time for Christmas

This year the CSF is offering a number of unique gifts for Christmas: Carl Schmitt greeting cards, a collection of Schmitt’s writings, The Conscience of Beauty, and a pictorial history of the place he called home, Silvermine.

Carl Schmitt cards make a wonderful present for anyone on your list. They also make great thank-you cards.CSF21101_card

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The new book of Carl Schmitt’s essays, The Conscience of Beauty, is now available through Amazon.com. If you have enjoyed our weekly Wisdom on Wednesdays, you’ll find this new collection a richly rewarding experience.

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In these short essays Schmitt has gathered and distilled the fruits of his contemplation over a long lifetime, revealing a man whose words on paper are as remarkable as his work on canvas. The artist offers a fresh perspective on such topics as art, culture, personality, mythology, and history, all informed by the far-reaching perspective introduced in The Vision of Beauty. Along the way he touches on more immediate concerns of the media, respectability, large families, and fatherhood with his unerring sense of irony and wry humor.

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You can see a preview of the book (including a complete table of contents) here.

Through dozens of historic photographs the new book Silvermine tells the story of the bucolic hamlet Carl Schmitt called home for over 70 years. CSF director Samuel Schmitt recounts how the picturesque valley, once buzzing with sawmills, was transformed into a cultural hub with the coming of the artists, including Carl Schmitt, who formed the Silvermine Guild in 1922.

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Silvermine is part of the well-known “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing.  See a preview and order here from Amazon.com.

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This large boulder in front of the old Borglum place on Borglum Road was the site of many birthday parties and other get-togethers in Silvermine over the years. Through fascinating images such as this, the new book captures Silvermine’s rich social, artistic, and cultural life during the heyday of the artists’ colony in the first half of the last century.

And remember, all of your purchases benefit the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

Celebrating the place Carl Schmitt called home

Through dozens of historic photographs  Silvermine tells the story of the bucolic hamlet Carl Schmitt called home for over 70 years.  See a preview and order here from Amazon.com. Your purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

In an interview with the HAN Network, CSF Director Samuel Schmitt talks about his book Silvermine and how important the place was for his grandfather Carl Schmitt.  “Even after traveling and living all over Europe, Silvermine was his home.  He meant this on a deep level, a place where, as he put it, ‘body and soul become one.’”

Carl Schmitt stands proudly outside his new studio on Borglum Road in this photograph from 1919. Local contractor Bill Lyons completed the building at cost for his artist friend. It featured Flemish bond brickwork and a red tile roof outside, and handmade tiles on the floor inside. The single room and loft were heated by a potbelly stove which proved barely adequate when the artist worked late on chilly winter nights. Schmitt sold the building when he moved his family to Europe in the late 1930s. In 2004, after being used as a house and falling into disrepair, the studio was purchased by the Carl Schmitt Foundation, which restored it to its original condition. It now serves as one of the Foundation’s galleries.

Silvermine, home to Carl Schmitt for over 70 years, is known today for its natural beauty, the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, and the Silvermine Tavern.  Few, however, are aware of its rich history.  Encompassing sections of New Canaan, Norwalk, and Wilton, Connecticut, Silvermine went from a small mill town during the 18th and 19th centuries to a vibrant artist colony in the early 20th century.  Numerous artists, including Carl Schmitt, attracted by the scenery and proximity to the art scene in New York, flocked to the area, using the old mills and barns for their studios.

Silvermine recounts how the picturesque valley, once buzzing with sawmills, was transformed into a cultural hub with the coming of the artists, including Carl Schmitt, who formed the Silvermine Guild in 1922.  It’s part of the well-known “Images of America” series from Arcadia Publishing.  See a preview and order here from Amazon.com.  Your purchase benefits the Carl Schmitt Foundation.

“People who learn about the Guild, about my grandfather’s work, his century of life painting the land and his beloved family in Silvermine – they always want to know more.,” said Schmitt.  “I hope this book answers some of their questions and inspires them to learn about this wonderful place.”  Order now for Christmas!