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!

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The myth which is eternally true

Resurrection-245x300 - at Campion Hall Oxford

Resurrection, c. 1940, Campion Hall, Oxford University
This painting is very similar to one of the same name bought by Schmitt’s good friend John Cavanaugh in the 1940s and now owned by the C. Michael Schmitt family. Schmitt’s great-granddaughter Bridget Skidd wrote of her discovery of this painting here.

“The Church keeps alive from day to day the tradition, the myth, which is eternally true.  Without the memory of the fall from paradise and the Redemption, no apprehension of the Eternal happiness is possible to man.”  (1960)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—When suffering is the chief evil

Second Night border

The Second Night, 1929, oil on canvas, 48 x 40 in.
From a contemporary black and white photograph; present location unknown.
For Carl Schmitt’s own “explanation” of this painting, see the article “The Artist Explains His Work,” from February 2015 issue of the CSF e-newsletter

“When suffering is the chief evil we are living the life of appearances.”  (1932)