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)

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Wisdom on Wednesdays—An overwhelming desire for security and comfort

Gertrude Knitting, c. 1970, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 in.

“Civilizations, like persons, exhibit the same symptoms in senility: an overwhelming desire for security and comfort with a minimum of manual effort; and will submit to indignities for their sake.”  (1954)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—Society will destroy us

CSF24403

Tagliocozzo, 1939, pastel on paper

“We are in the condition today of being reduced by the tyranny of society and require that check and balance which can only be provided by the agrarian outlook: the family as a unit on the land.  Unless the family (and person) once more assume importance, society will destroy us.”  (1941)

Wisdom on Wednesdays—The world’s best obeyers

Portrait of Griswold Hurlbert, oil on board, 15 x 12 in.

“We Americans are the world’s best obeyers when it comes to obeying money and machinery.  We stand in line, jump to attention, get out of bed, go to work, sit at table or generally obey any mechanical contrivance which immediately dictates to us, and not a person.  But what power to place in the hand of the man who sets all this machinery in motion!”   —from the essay “Obedience” (1936)