Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ellie Bogardus - Reconstructed "Kiss in the Moon Light"

I have on more than one occasion left a razor behind in a hotel: Beijing, China; Durango, Colorado; and at least a couple of more places. Remedy: A trip to the grocery store and seven dollars - replaced, nothing really precious. However, when a piece of art left behind, it is a whole 'nother matter - a lifetime of remorse, a desire to reclaim, an inquiry to a blogger.

I received a message a couple of days ago from Kit De Garimore asking if I come across a photograph of an art piece by Ellie Bogardus titled: Kiss in the Moonlight, she would be relieved to know that the painting has survived her move as a teenager from Cambria. An implied hope that an anonymous someone had recovered it after she left it behind. A follow-up email after I replied to her message gave a vivid description, a poem of sort:

Kiss in the Moonlight

The painting was a colaje 
With raised surfaces of fabric, paper and string.  
Dark blues,
A bright moon in the top right,
An abstract smiling women 
In a swooning pose 
In its center.

Reconstruction: The posting: Ellie Bogardus - The Lost Generation, shows a colage style used by Bogardus in 1967 that preceded De Garimore's remembrance of Kiss from 1976. A reconstruction interpreting a wall mural etched into the stucco south wall at Bogardus' Cambria home is posted here. Searching back through all of the postings of Bogardus pieces, I found only one night scene in a painted drawing medium, a couple of images of moons (full and crescent), and a number of abstract women to choose from - but none of these in a swooning pose.

There are a number of options and combinations to choose from to create a reconstruction of Kiss in the Moonlight - it will take some time to figure this one out. Given the artist's background in painting the scenery backgrounds for early era cartoons, it is appropriate that the example above serve as a placeholder until a suitable reconstruction is constructed.

If anyone reads this, and knows the where-about's of Kiss in the Moonlight, please let us know. I don't know of any inventories of her art works. Perhaps there is some record in the Smithsonian files that of her works are not accessible online.
First inquiry: I had one of Ellie's paintings, I believe it was called Kiss in the moon light 1976? Sadly I left it behind when I moved from Cambria as a teenager, in a small apartment. It was a gift.  My only hope is that it was recovered by some one. I never had the heart to write to her and apologize for loosing it. My greatest fear is that it was not found and cared for. I spent time in her Cambria house and remember some of its beauty. If you come across a photo of this painting it would give me grate joy to know that it survived[.] Thank you. K.DG.

Follow up message: Thank you[,] you are very kind to respond. The painting was a colaje, with raised surfaces of fabric, paper and string. Dark blues, a bright moon in the top right, an abstract smiling women in a swooning pose in its center.  It is probably gone. My father told me that he had run in to Ellie by chance while vacationing in Italy, years ago. I think he even had a photo. If I fined it, will pass it along. Thank you again. K.DG.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Ellie Bogardus - The Italian Period

Occasionally, I get a message from a viewer who happens upon one of the Ellie Bogardus blog postings and has something to share of his or her history with the artist. Back in July, I received such a note: I was used to know her and her husband, the time they lived in Italy, my family still owns some of her works. Few days ago I've found some candles (quite hippy looking!) she had crafted with my mom around 1966!! Lovely person! I remember she was letting me play whit inks and colours (I was 3/4 y.o.), and also with Mammut, their dachshund I loved.

In October, I received another a note on "Turn Back The Pages - More Notes On Ellie Bogardus..." which was his reply to my inquiry for more information: Hi, how can I send u some pics about?!? I'm that "gentleman"... :-)

1988 hand-painted sweatshirt
Alessandro La Villa (who goes by the handle, Bambotron) sent a follow up message with a photograph of a sweat shirt that Ellie had painted for his mother on her "last trip to Cambria." He mentioned that there was once a portrait of his grandmother in an armchair, but at a time in the past someone close to the family had stolen it from her home. He also promised "more was to come."

This past October, Alessandro sent another image with the explanation: This was done for my father (Silvio), after a healt[h] problem for Jean and Bebel (Mammouth)! Jean gave me his authorization to show him naked!!! lol! There was a P.S. again of more to come. The Jean refers to Jean-Marie Bonnard (Ellie's Husband), referred to in earlier posts.

1967 Nursing Diploma

The next day, October 15, Alessandro sent another photograph with the explanation: ... here's another Ellie's work from the "Italian" period. I'm glad to introduce you my "Sicilian" grandmother Agata, in her armchair, Ellie's way! As you can see, it's ink drawn on tissue paper. She also realized a painting  of my Granny, sadly it has been stolen... Anyway, talking with my mother about Ellie it's great, cause she really remembers a lot about... did you know Ellie was also a cookbook writer?!? looks like she has made more than one cookbook, filling those with her "stories" about how she got the recipe and how was the first time she tasted those food. Great people makes a lot of stuffs!!!

Agata, Alessandro's grandmother
It has taken me months to follow up with a post of the information from Alessandro - I need to follow up with him and see if there is more he can share.
To document another memory of Ellie Bogardus (no images, except in someone's mind) comes from C.H. Crawford posted August 17th on "The Artist's House - Ellie Bogardus": Thanks for sharing. I was visiting Cambria recently and could not remember where Ellie's cottage was located. She was kind enough to allow me, a complete stranger, to stay in the little suite in the back in the late 80"s. It was a fabulous spot right next to the cliff. It was literally just what my doctor ordered. I wish I could have stayed a lifetime. She was very kind to me those few days. We shared soft shell crab out in the gazebo. Magical indeed!