Brian Epstein (Sept 19, 1934 –Aug 27, 1967)

Brian Epstein was an English music entrepreneur who managed the Beatles. Epstein first discovered the Beatles in November 1961 during a lunchtime performance at The Cavern Club. He was instantly impressed and saw great potential in the group.[1] Epstein was rejected by nearly all major recording companies in London, until he secured a meeting with George Martin, head of EMI‘s Parlophone label. In May 1962, Martin agreed to sign the Beatles, partly because of Epstein’s conviction that the group would become internationally famous.

“John…Paul…George. And Ringo. Collectively the four most famous names in the world. Extraordinary young men who have directly altered the lives of hundreds, even thousands of people, who have affected the entire balance of the entertainment industry, who have kicked up so much dust that in all our lifetimes, it will not completely settle.”

“So much has been said that is exaggerated, inaccurate, extravagant and open to misinterpretation that I thought that a detailed account could only help and, I hope, prove of considerable public interest.”

“Well, I don’t know about the dizzy height, but I always thought they were going to be pretty big.”

“Well, then we got to know each other and eventually worked out a bit of idea of management.”
Brian Epstein, A Cellarful of Noise, 1964

The Beatles onstage at Shea Stadium, with Brian Epstein looking on,
August 15, 1965
Photo: Marc Weinstein/


The Beatles and Brian Epstein at the world premiere of A Hard Day’s Night, London Pavilion, Piccadilly Circus,  July 6, 1964


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“In 1961 Brian Epstein who owned a record store in Liverpool, England went to the Cavern Club in his Liverpool, England to hear a local band named The Beatles. ”

beatles-ed“Pictured with the Beatles are their manager, Brian Epstein, left, and Ed Sullivan”
Los Angeles Times

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John Lennon, Brian Epstein & Ringo Starr
Photo by Beat That Image

Brian and Paul

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“He let the Beatles freely express, let them be. He didn’t cheat them, he understood and loved them.”
—  Mark Lewisohn on Brian Epstein (via twitter, August 26, 2017)


“Brian put in a lot of time getting us off the ground. He believed in us from the start.”
He wanted to manage us and we weren’t going anywhere anyway.  So we said ‘yes you might as well.’..”
– George Harrison, The Beatles Anthology

“I liked Brian. I had a very close relationship with him for years. In the group I was closest to him. He had great qualities and he was good fun.
—  John Lennon, The Beatles Anthology
“He was a very private person and like good managers he didn’t put himself up front. He was only up there if he had to be there. You were more likely to see him standing enigmatically. It’s a great memory of mine: Brian in his polka-dot scarf at the back of the crowd, holding himself very proud, very proud of his boys.”

– Paul McCartney about Brian Epstein

“He was very good. He started like we did. He didn’t know the game, neither did we, really. We knew how to play, and he tidied us up and moved us on.

“He ran a record division in his father’s furniture company, heard about us, or heard about them, I wasn’t even with them then, went down to the Cavern, and said, hmm, maybe I’ll manage them. He didn’t know how to manage to save his life, but he decided to be a manager, so who knew?”
– Ringo Starr
From The Brian Epstein Story by Debbie Geller

“Brian Epstein, it’s worth noting, had always been a socialist and made a point of voting Labour. I never met another rock ’n’ roll manager who took such a position. They were all too keen on their personal fortunes to find attractive the high taxation inevitable under a Labour government.”
—  Derek Taylor (It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, 1987)
“Had there been no Beatles and no Epstein participation, John would have emerged from the mass of the population as a man to reckon with. He may not have been a singer or a guitarist, a writer or a painter, but he would most certainly have been a Something. You cannot contain a talent like this. There is in the set of his head a controlled aggression which demands respect.”
—  Brian Epstein on John Lennon (A Cellarful of Noise, 1964)

thanks to Tumblr pages  like mrepstein for some of the quotes and pictures


Ai Weiwei, born May 18, 1957

“Only with the Internet can a peasant I have never met hear my voice and I can learn what’s on his mind. A fairy tale has come true.”

The Divine Comedy - Elevator

artist, curator, architectural designer, cultural and social commentator and activist

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Cube Light (2008)


#aiflowers is a project by Ai Weiwei inviting everyone to create a flower in memory of the child victims of the devastating Sichuan earthquake on May 12, 2008.


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Ai Weiwei in Lego Room (2015)


“The Chinese artist and provocateur Ai Weiwei with his ‘Forever’ installation in London.”
Credit: Facundo Arrizabalaga/European Pressphoto Agency


“There is no refugee crisis, there is a human crisis.”
Ai Weiwei

Zodiac Heads, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Coming to Denver: Oct 18, 2017 – Oct 17, 2018

“I’ve never planned any part of my career– except being an artist. And I was pushed into that corner because I thought being an artist was the only way to have a little freedom.” “I’m not sure I’m good at art, but I find an escape in it.” (2008)

“Living in a system under the Communist ideology, an artist cannot avoid fighting for freedom of expression. You always have to be aware that art is not only a self-expression but a demonstration of human rights and dignity. To express yourself freely, a right as personal as it is, has always been difficult, given the political situation.” (2008) “Your own acts tell the world who you are and what kind of society you think it should be.” (2010) “I also have to speak out for people around me who are afraid, who think it is not worth it or who have totally given up hope. So I want to set an example: you can do it and this is okay, to speak out.” (2010)

“I often ask myself if I am afraid of being detained again. I love freedom as much as anybody else, maybe more than most. But it is a tragedy to live your life in fear. It is worse than actually losing your freedom.” (2012)

“We should leave behind discrimination, because it is narrow-minded and ignorant, denies contact and warmth, and corrodes mankind’s belief that we can better ourselves. The only way to avoid misunderstanding, war, and bloodshed is to defend freedom of expression and to communicate with sincerity, concern, and good intentions.” “Why I’ll Stay Away from the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.” Guardian, August 7, 2008. above quotes courtesy of wikiquotes

Lucille Ball (Aug 6, 1911-Apr 26, 1989)

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

“The secret to staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”

“There’s a great deal of difference between temperament and temper. Temperament is something you welcome creatively, for it is based on sensitivity, empathy, awareness … but a bad temper takes too much out of you and doesn’t really accomplish anything.”

“Whether we’re prepared or not, life has a habit of thrusting situations upon us.”

Yayoi Kusema, born March 22, 1929

“I translate the hallucinations and obsessional images that plague me into sculptures and paintings.”

“I fight pain, anxiety and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art. I followed the thread of art and somehow discovered a path that would allow me to live. “

“A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colourful, senseless and unknowing.”

“Become one with eternity. Become part of your environment. Take off your clothes. Forget yourself. Make love.”

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Yayoi Kusama: Souls of Millions of Light Years

“Infinity Mirrors”

Alberto Giacometti Quote

“Infinity Mirrors”


Sculptures and paintings from “My Eternal Soul” (begun in 2009).
Credit:Tyrone Turner for The New York Times


:All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins,” from 2016.
Credit: Tyrone Turner for The New York Times

The Yayoi Kusama Museum Opens in Oct., 2017 in Tokyo.

Dorothy Tanner had told me that she and Mel visited Yayoi Kusama’s studio in New York in the mid-1960s when Kusama was creating art with macaroni as her medium. Her Museum opens in Tokyo in Oct.

 “Since 1977, Ms. Kusama has lived by choice in a mental hospital in Tokyo due to nervous disorders and hallucinations stemming from childhood. She continues to paint and create to this day in her artist studio across the street from the psychiatric hospital.”
The Observer

Sol LeWitt (Sept 9, 1928 – Apr 8, 2007)


“The artist’s aim is not to instruct the viewer, but to give information, whether the viewer understands the information is incidental to the artist.”

“The artist is seen like a producer of commodities, like a factory that turns our refrigerators. I believe that the artist’s involvement in the capitalist structure is disadvantageous to the artist and forces him to produce objects in order to live.”

“Artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.”

“In conceptual art the idea or the concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair…it is intuitive; it is involved with all types of mental processes and it is purposeless. It is usually free from the dependence on the skill of the artist as a craftsman.”

“The ideas need not be complex. Most ideas that are successful are ludicrously simple. Successful ideas generally have the appearance of simplicity because they seem inevitable.”

“Minimal art went nowhere. Conceptual art became the liberating idea that gave the art of the next 40 years its real impetus. All of the significant art of today stems from Conceptual art. This includes the art of installation, political, feminist and socially directed art. The other great development has been in photography, but that too was influenced by Conceptual art.”


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Splotch #22, 2007


Paula Cooper Gallery, Chelsea, NY




Wall Drawing #370, Metropolitan Museum

John Ferren (Oct. 17,1905 – July 1,1970)

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(John Ferren was Mel Tanner’s favorite art instructor at the Brooklyn Museum Art School circa 1950)

John Ferren (1905–1970) was an American artist. In his 20s, he apprenticed as a stonecutter in San Francisco, California. He is Bran Ferren‘s father. He is noted for his success in France as an American artist. Writer Gertrude Stein said of him “Ferren ought be a man who is interesting, he is the only American painter foreign painters in Paris consider as a painter and whose paintings interest them. He is young yet and might do  that thing called abstract painting.”

For a short time, Ferren was an art school student in San Francisco. By the mid-1920s, Ferren was producing portrait busts. It was also around this time that he became interested in Buddhist and Eastern philosophy. By the early 1930s, he was attending the Académie Ranson, and the Sorbonne.

In the 1950s, Ferren collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock. In the movie The Trouble With Harry, the artworks of main character Sam Marlowe were painted by Ferren. In Vertigo, Ferren created the Jimmy Stewart nightmare sequence as well as the haunting Portrait of Carlotta.
(John Ferren on Wikipedia)


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John Ferren, "Dance" (1962), oil on canvas, 22 x 22 inches

John Ferren, “Dance” (1962), oil on canvas, 22 x 22 inches


Installation view of 'John Ferren (1905–1970)' at David Findlay Jr. Gallery (photo by Jeffrey Sturges, all images courtesy David Findlay Jr. Gallery)

Installation view of 'John Ferren (1905–1970)' at David Findlay Jr. Gallery (photo by Jeffrey Sturges)Installation view of ‘John Ferren (1905–1970) at David Findlay Jr. Gallery (photos by Jeffrey Sturges) 

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Born in Pendleton, Oregon, in 1905, as a young man, John Ferren apprenticed to an Italian stonecutter in San Francisco and briefly attended the California School of Fine Arts (now San Francisco Art Institute) in 1925. In 1929, Ferren traveled to New York and Paris, where he was exposed to the work of Hans HofmannHenri Matisse, and the holdings of Albert Eugene Gallatin, an influential collector of abstract and nonobjective art. While in Europe, Ferren attended informal classes at the Sorbonne, Académie de la Grande Chaumière, and Académie Ranson. However, according to the artist, he was most influenced by socializing with other artists working in Paris at the time, including Alberto GiacomettiJoan MiróPiet MondrianPablo Picasso (whom Ferren would later help to sketch Guernica [1937]), and Joaquín Torres-García.

Ferren returned to the United States in 1930 but was quickly drawn back to Paris, where he lived and worked for the next eight years. While there, Ferren was linked to the group Abstraction-Création, an association of artists formed in Paris in 1931 to promote abstraction and counteract the trend toward Surrealism and figuration. He also met Pierre Matisse, son of the French painter Henri Matisse, who gave the artist his first solo show in New York, in 1936. While working at Stanley William Hayter’s prominent workshop Atelier 17 in Paris, Ferren discovered a nineteenth-century printing technique whereby an engraved and inked plate is imprinted in wet plaster, which, once dry, is then carved and painted. Two such engraved plasters by Ferren were among the first examples by an American artist to be acquired by Solomon R. Guggenheim, in 1938.

On returning to the United States, Ferren became acquainted with Taoism and Zen Buddhism through his friendship with Chinese American avant-garde artist Yun Gee, who explored Taoist themes through his work. This exposure propelled Ferren toward an increased focus on evoking movement and unity through his abstract compositions (though he still occasionally painted figuratively and drew inspiration from the nature and landscape of the American West). Later in his career, he combined a number of different artistic ideologies, mixing, on the same canvas, strong architectural forms with expressionistic, painterly acts of spontaneity. In 1963, Ferren spent a year in Lebanon, which raised his awareness of Islamic art, returning his eye and practice to geometric forms.

Ferren taught at Queens College, the Brooklyn Museum Art School, and Cooper Union, all New York. In 1955, he served as the president of the Club, an Abstract Expressionist organization. In the late 1950s, Alfred Hitchcock enlisted Ferren as an artistic consultant on the films The Trouble with Harry (1955) and Vertigo (1958). During his lifetime, Ferren’s work was exhibited in solo and group presentations throughout the United States, including the groundbreaking Ninth Street Show of works by sixty-one New York–based artists held in 1951 in a vacated storefront on the eponymous street. Ferren remained active as an artist until his death in Southampton, New York, in 1970. A major retrospective of his work was held at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in 1979.
coutesy of


Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006)

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“There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans.”
Jane Jacobs


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“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs Walk


Jane Jacobs was an American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist best known for her influence on urban studies. Her influential book The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) argued that urban renewal did not respect the needs of most city-dwellers. The book also introduced sociological concepts such as “eyes on the street” and “social capital“.[1][2]

Jacobs was well known for organizing grassroots efforts to protect existing neighborhoods from “slum clearance” – and particularly for her opposition to Robert Moses in his plans to overhaul her neighborhood, Greenwich Village. She was instrumental in the eventual cancellation of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, which would have passed directly through SoHo and Little Italy, and was arrested in 1968 for inciting a crowd at a public hearing on the project. After moving to Toronto in 1968, she joined the opposition to the Spadina Expressway and the associated network of expressways in Toronto planned and under construction.

As a mother and a writer who criticized experts in the male-dominated field of urban planning, Jacobs endured scorn from established figures. She did not have a college degree or any formal training in urban planning, and was criticized for lacking such credentials.

“You can’t rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.”

Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (April 29, 1899 – May 24, 1974)

A problem is a chance for you to do your best.

 I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues.

By and large, jazz has always been like the kind of a man you wouldn't want your daughter to associate with.

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 The wise musicians are those who play what they can master. 

Image result for duke ellington bandDuke Ellington, Louis Armstrong & Diahann Carroll, Paris, France, 1960
 Love is supreme and unconditional; like is nice but limited.

Image result for duke ellington bandDuke and Louis
 Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one.

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 Fate is being kind to me. Fate doesn't want me to be too famous too young.

My attitude is never to be satisfied, never enough, never.

Image may contain: 3 people, hat, night and indoorDuke, Max Roach, and Charles Mingus

John Muir (April 21, 1838 – Dec 24, 1914)

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.

When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

The mountains are calling and I must go.

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