Playing Poker – Beyond Art, Behind Coolidge


C. M. Coolidge, known for his “poker playing dogs”, is a brilliant man with innovative ideas and an entrepreneurial about art instinct. Born in small town in upstate New York to Quaker parents, he didn’t receive a formal education college, but did take some college business classes later in his life. By the time he was 18 or 19, he took a few lessons in portrait painting, along with a course in a few years later bookkeeping. His love for reading resulted in a solid self education. At the age of 19, he started doing cartoons for newspapers in surrounding neighborhoods. A few years later, while living in Rochester, NY, he wrote and illustrated a weekly newspaper column.

Coolidge loved people and was quite social. At around the age of 20 or 21, he was elected a Superintendent for one of the local school districts. Later, he was elected Town Clerk. Around the same time, he became active in the Masonic Lodge. Coolidge had lofty plans for himself, although most of his pursuits didn’t work out or were short-lived. When he was 27 or 28, he started the first bank in the town of Antwerp, NY. He worked for a short time, and then became a druggist. That; however; did not hold his interest for long. And, a year later he was founded by his hometown’s first newspaper. Unfortunately, that failed a short time later 퍼스트카지노.

Between jobs and free time, he would draw cartoons for the newspaper area and would do caricatures of people. One of his many elaborate projects was the writing of a comic opera concerning the elimination of mosquitoes. Interestingly, it was produced but made no real money. He also applied for a patent for collecting fares on street cars. Although, again, nothing became of it.

The one consistent endorsement is the love of comics and art. He began to do dog paintings around the turn of the century. Mainly, they were purchased by companies and used as giveaways. Coolidge’s big break came from the advertising firm Brown & Bigelow approached him to a series of paintings that would be used on calendars and other memorabilia. That was in 1903. Around this time is when his infamous poker dog paintings got underway.

Over the next ten years, Cool Creations created 16 paintings of dogs – seven that portrayed dogs playing pool. The other nine were dogs surrounding a poker table. By putting dogs in art, yet in a situation familiar to middle class Americans, he not only anthropomorphized them, but created an instant kitsch fad. It was cigarettes and calendar businesses for which he worked. A few of his original dog paintings sold for US $ 2,000 to US $ 10,000 dollars, which was an astonishing amount for the time period.

For his years images of dogs playing poker while drinking, smoking, and getting into trouble graced bachelor pads, bars, and taverns around the country. The scenes are always evoked feelings of something modern American and something. Recently, a pair of his poker dog paintings called A Bold Bluff and Waterloo, expected to go for US $ 30,000 to US $ 60,000, surprised the art world by selling for $ 590.00 for the pair.

More meaning for A Friend In Need:

A few theories about his art give more meaning than what initially meets the eye. One theory of painting that is A Friend In Need has great significance. “Coolidge’s painting was used in the Second World War to boost the morality of the Dutch citizens. The dog with the Church’s giving help, which goes unnoticed. Russia (the most left dog) tries to attract USA’s attention, while Hitler (the dog with the pipe and the ‘big ears’ in front of the clock) watches anxiously. ”

Jim McManus Poker enthusiast has stated, “In A Friend in Need, the blatant cheating back to the early nineteenth century, Mississippi riverboat days, when it was a series of opportunities to fleece the suckers”

A specialist for Sotheby’s Auction House, Alison Cooney, says that people who are painting as simply “kitsch art” are missing the deeper meaning of work. “It’s a humorous, ironic take; ‘ she continues, a jab at middle-class America; another way of poking fun at ourselves. ”

Another theory suggests that the dogs were all aspects of C.M. Coolidge himself Known to his friends as “Cash”, he loved a good bet and was something of a hustler. He wore a hat and often held a cigar, just paintings from dogs did. Other sources that he looked like the bulldogs he painted.

A recent tongue-in-cheek article by Steven J. Rolfes, he writes “In this iconic work, we see a masterpiece of the last supper, with Christ (on the left) conveying his wisdom to his followers. We see Judas to his right, with silver coins at his pawside. ” He asserts that the painting A Friend in Need has deep arcane roots in a very secret society that even precedes the Illuminati called the “Prior of Dogbone.”

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