My brother Peter Dickinson visited briefly this afternoon. We enjoyed lunch with friends and family and transferred 2021 Christmas presents that have been waiting for the opportunity. Pete and I also made our every-ten-year swap of the Headhunter‘s Bowl our mother gave us. I think every family has its odd traditions and this is one of ours.
When Pete and I were little kids, our mother (Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson) bought special Christmas present for our father (Wade Dickinson). We were so curious that she said if we could guess what it was without unwrapping the package, we could have it. Because it was such an odd thing, she was sure we could not guess and gave us unlimited questions. Eventually, we did guess that it was a very old wooden headhunter‘s serving bowl from the Solomon Islands. (I remember we had to get out a global atlas and narrow down the location by global quadrants and then ask many questions about what the Solomon Islands were historically famous for.) Ever since we were old enough to have our own homes, Pete and I have been trading our strange bowl back and forth. It is now Pete’s turn to play host.
Thanks to my daughter, Jessica Dickinson Goodman, for updating my mother’s website, eleanordickinsonart.com. We put up the website after Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson died in 2017 as a way of keeping information about her and her remarkable art and legacy in circulation. Unfortunately, Jessica just had to remove all of the e-commerce features of the site because it attracted bad behavior rather than buyers. At least once a month for two years, I was contacted by someone through the site who purported to want to purchase an artwork but really wanted to use us for money laundering. It seems that the web is not a good place to sell high-end fine art. This site redesign still makes information available but asks buyers to contact us in email. I hope the site maintains communication but reduces the fraudulent contacts.
My brothers and I are trustees of the Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson Charitable Art Trust. During the last three years, my brother Pete Dickinson and I have been working with Natalie Piazza to inventory and properly archive my mother’s art collection. During this Corona Virus lock down, I have asked Natalie to work from home preparing a selection of photos and descriptions of Eleanor Dickinson’s art for display on eleanordickinsonart.com. This site redesign will make that expansion of materials much easier – thanks, Jessica!
Eleanor Dickinson Art contains selections of original creations from the archives of Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, a remarkable American artist who was actively creating, teaching, and exhibiting fine art for over 75 years. Her work has been exhibited at many dozens of galleries and museums around the world, and is collected by a wide variety of individuals, universities, museums and other major institutions, including:
My mother, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson (1931-2017), was interested in art and religion all of her life. An early exhibit was the 1967 Old Testament figures show at the Temple Gallery, Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco. The figures were life size, free standing, line drawings on paper inspired by Bible stories. Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden are two of the figures from the Temple show. Another famous series she created was called “Revival!” presenting fundamentalist Christian worship in the American South. “Revival!” was exhibited in a variety of locations from 1970 to 1981, has two books about it, and can be seen in part in the collections of the Oakland Museum, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, and Tennessee State Museum. Eleanor Dickinson was a powerful artist, beloved Professor Emerita at California College of the Arts, feminist and art activist. She was involved in drawing the emotional expressions of people in all aspects of life, often in a religious context. My brothers Mark and Peter and I are Trustees for the Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson Charitable Art Trust, created in 2014 to provide donations of art works to charitable organizations or institutions.
Ella Rachel Bolli Van Gilder was a remarkable woman who early in her life worked with Jane Addams at Hull House – a settlement house for European immigrants in Chicago. She later returned to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she married Walter Van Gilder. They were both were enthusiastic craft workers (in the Arts and Crafts style) and gardeners, in addition to his founding and managing Van Gilder Glass Company. My mother, Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, grew up in their house at 1007 Circle Park Drive in Knoxville.
* with help from John Gibbs – Workshop (Campbell, CA)
This is what the chair pieces looked like when we pulled them out of the attic:
Here is the chair today, after much effort by John:
1911 portrait of Ella Bolli Van Gilder:
1007 Circle Park Drive in Knoxville: photo taken by Eleanor Creekmore when she was 10 years old, in 1941:
If you want to receive Katysblog posts by email, please sign up using the Sign Me Up! button (upper right). Images Copyright 1941 by Eleanor Creekmore Dickinson, and 2016-2018 by Katy Dickinson.