Wisdom on Wednesdays—Maker or middle-man

“Man has lost all respect for those people who necessarily are economically defenseless and dependent—I mean the so-called creators, those close to the origins.  The minute modern man gives money not primarily in trade, his respect for the recipient of that money is gone.  This means that those whose destiny it is to make, and who wish to continue to make, must either intensify their religious life and find a highly individual happiness in love and humility—or regain the respect of the middle-class majority by deserting their prerogative of originating and join the ranks of the middle-man.  For the artist this has necessarily meant virtuosity, performance (or commercial) ‘art.'” (c. 1931)


Self-portrait, pencil sketch, Akron, Ohio, 1913


Wisdom on Wednesdays—lost in the means

“The modern world is going in circles, lost—it has forgotten its origins and ends. It is like a man who, halfway on his journey has forgotten whence he came and where he is going.” (1963)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—the sense of origins

“The sense of origins—the so-called creative faculty—no longer plays a vital part in our present American culture.  We have all but severed ourselves from our physical-emotional life. . . . This I conceive as the tragedy of our present culture: that media are no longer in the middle but are the very, only, stuff of ourselves, and the ends can take care of themselves!”

Townhouse - Carl Schmitt

Townhouse, oil on canvas, 1916 – probably a view outside the back of Schmitt’s studio in New York, then in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan (463 W. 21 Street)