Wisdom on Wednesdays—We do not yet despair sufficiently

Woman and Guardian Angel - 2-5-2014

Woman and Guardian Angel, oil on canvas on board, 1925, 30 x 25 in.
A gift to the Foundation from the grandniece of John Kenneth Byard, one of Carl Schmitt’s early patrons.

“Hope can only be wanted when we despair sufficiently.  Today we do not yet despair sufficiently – it is a half-way affair, clinging to an old faith like a fairy-tale.  Only when we are honest enough to acknowledge our very patent loss of faith, can we recover it again through Hope and Love.”  (1939)


Wisdom on Wednesdays—The Hope


Noli me tangere (Christ appearing to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection), woodblock print, 1920, 8¾ x 5 in.

“Christianity in the first 500 years of its existence was known as ‘The Love’ in much the same way as it is known in our day as ‘The Faith.’  It died as love and resurrected as faith as it is dying today as faith and is resurrected as a hope.”  (1941)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—No hope for mankind

Portrait of Santo Caserta - CSF11405 - CROPPED

Portrait of Santo Caserta, oil on canvas, c. 1932, 36 x 24 in.
Caserta (1910-2013), a friend of the Schmitts in Silvermine, studied the violin at Julliard School in New York, but had to abandon the instrument on account of a skin condition. He then taught himself to play the cello, and at the age of 46, auditioned for a position in the Philadelphia Orchestra under the legendary conductor Eugene Ormandy. When asked by Ormandy who his cello teacher was, Caserta had to admit that he had taught himself the instrument. Ormandy was so impressed that he gave him the job. which he held for the next twenty years.
Schmitt also painted a portrait of his friend playing the cello.

“There is no hope for mankind.
But there is every hope for an individual man.” (1930)

A new generation of artists at the Carl Schmitt Studio

CSF Creative Director and Artst-in-Residence Andrew de Sa welcomes local students to the Carl Schmitt studio-gallery in Silvermine.

A guest post by CSF Creative Director Andrew de Sa

Thirty years after his passing, Carl Schmitt is reaching a new generation of artists.  This Spring, I’ve had the joy of welcoming local school groups to Schmitt’s historic home and studio in Silvermine, Connecticut.  These visits are less of a tour through a museum than an invitation into a home and a glimpse into a life.  While enjoying a drawing lesson in the studio, students learn about the artistic practices and innovations of the artist.  Over a cup of tea, students experience a taste of Schmitt’s family life while sitting around a well-used kitchen table. 

What is the aim of these school trips?  To introduce students to a radically different way of life.  To impart to children the story and example of Carl Schmitt, an artist who lived not for comfort or material success but for Beauty: Beauty in paintings and family life but also in hardship and suffering.

These school visits are only made possibly by your generosity; we hope to have many more.  Thank you for your support!