Our friends Arline Simon and Mo Oberman arrived on the island yesterday so I stopped by their studio. I wrote about them last fall after Arline and I exchanged paintings across several months. She surprised me as we departed Monhegan Island last summer, and I surprised her at the opening of her solo show at the Upstream Gallery in Dobb's Ferry, NY last fall.
Arline's show included several drawings of Arline's from the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s. To hear Arline tell the tale, she was watching the hearings on TV and was struck by the sheer evil of McCarthy's face and demeanor. She grabbed her book and began sketching. Over fifty years later, her daughter, designer Emily Oberman discovered her mother's drawings in a portfolio, and designed a book "Pentagram Papers 43: Drawing McCarthy". Arline brought her repro of the Joseph Welch drawing up to Monhegan for us after we purchased it last fall. I did a little research into Joseph Welch. He was the chief counsel to the Army during the McCarthy hearings. The era is very meaningful to me. My father was an FBI agent in NYC during the 1950s. When he transferred from his initial assignment in Arkansas to NY, his superiors assigned him to investigating purported Communist sympathizers among US citizens. He told me that he had no interest in that witch hunt. Dad requested a transfer to the crimes division, which is how he saw his role in law enforcement. I'm proud of him for making that move.
Here's a little video of the hearings that Arline responded to so beautifully with her pen and paper; the hearings that had nothing to do with my father's work what so ever.
McCarthy vs Welch "decency"
Every day on Monhegan is interesting. Today was certainly no exception.
Thanks for looking, and as always, I appreciate your comments.