Friday, March 29, 2013

Charles Leong, Painter

The World
(New York)
June 2, 1899
Gaiety in Quaint Cathay.
The First Chinese Fair Ever Held in New York
Is Opened with a Crash of Gongs.

Portraits by a Chinese Artist.
Included in the Food Exhibit Are Canned
Frogs, Bean Jam and Preserved Insects.

(next to last paragraph)
…A Chinese painter, Charles Leong, who, it was said, had studied at the Academy of Design, exhibited a portrait of Admiral Dewey and another of Li Hung Chang….

(Next post April 1: Keye Luke and Baseball)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chin Yin a.k.a. Chin Jin

1910 U.S. Federal Census
Manhattan, New York, New York
3 Doyers Street
Line 22: Chin Yin, Artist
(click images to enlarge)

The Call
(San Francisco, California)
August 31, 1913
4 Bridal Feasts for Ms. Chin Chee
drawing by Chin Jin

(Next post March 29: Charles Leong, Painter)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chinese Art at the Whitney Gallery

The Sun
(New York)
Whitney Gallery Is Open to Public
Painting of Famous Chinese Artists Will Be on View Until May 1.
Varied Art Collection
Birds, Small Animals, Flowers and Tree Trunks Shown on Many Canvases.

A great change has been effected by Mrs. Harry Payne [Gertrude Vanderbilt] Whitney in her art gallery on West Eight street. The rapid work of the “Indigenous” Americans has been removed to make way for the still more rapid impressions of some artists of modern China. The galleries are completely filled with interesting and artistic kakemonos brought to this country recently by Mrs. Francis Ayscough of Shanghai, China.

The subjects are variations upon the themes familiar to students of Chinese painting—birds, flowers, tree trunks and philosophers gazing from mountain tops into space. They were painted before the Boxer troubles, which in a way put a period to old Chinese philosophy, and although they betray traces of modern restlessness they still conform to the old ideals. The brush work is dextrous and sure and is always made to serve an idea. The color schemes of course are charming and the birds and little animals are often drawn with great humor.

Among the artists represented are Jen Po-Nien, a native of Shaohsing, who died in 1895. It was he who painted the charming picture of the Mandarin ducks, supposed to be inseparable, and hence held by the Chinese as symbols of happy married life. The picture contains some beautifully studied lotus leaves and reeds in addition to the ducks.

Another of these distinguished modern Chinese artists is Hsu-Ku, who painted continually while attached as priest to the great temple of the God of War in Shanghai; and still another of these artists was Wang Shu.

The exhibition, which is unusual and interesting, will remain on public view until March 1.

(click images to enlarge)

The Sun
Mrs. Whitney Shows Modern Chinese Art

(Next post March 22: Chin Yin)

Monday, March 11, 2013

About the Artist: Wylog Fong

1900 United States Federal Census
Name: Lock Fong
Home in 1900: San Francisco, San Francisco, California [22 Waverly Street]
Age: 6
Birth Date: Jan 1894
Birthplace: California
Race: Chinese
Gender: Male
Relationship to Head of House: Son
Father’s Name: Jung
Father’s Birthplace: China
Mother’s Name: Chu See
Mother’s Birthplace: China
Marital Status: Single
Residence: San Francisco City, San Francisco, California
Household Members:
Name / Age
Jung Fong 46 [Tailor]
Chu See Fong 34
Pa Lee Fong 15
Tai Fong 12
On Fong 9
Lock Fong 6
How Fong 5
Hing Fong 3
May Fong 1

1910 United States Federal Census
Name: Way Lock Fong
Age in 1910: 17
Birth Year: abt 1894
Birthplace: California
Home in 1910: Sacramento Ward 1, Sacramento, California
Race: Chinese
Gender: Male
Relation to Head of House: Son
Marital Status: Single
Father’s Name: Goe Fong
Father’s Birthplace: China
Mother’s Birthplace: California
Household Members:
Name / Age
Joe Fong 56
Young On Fong 19
Way Lock Fong 17
Way How Fong 11
Haning Fong 10

World War I Draft Registration Card
Name: Wylog Fong
Address: 287 Davis Street
City: Portland
County: Multnomah
State: Oregon
Birthplace: California
Birth Date: 22 Feb 1897
Draft Board: 1
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Nearest Relative: Joe Fong
Height/Build: Short/Slender
Color of Eyes/Hair: Dark Brown/Black
Signature: June 6, 1918

1920 United States Federal Census
Name: Wy Lok Fong
Home in 1920: Portland, Multnomah, Oregon [67 1/2 North Fourth Street]
Age: 23 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1897
Birthplace: California
Relation to Head of House: Son
Father’s Name: Jong
Father’s Birth Place: China
Mother’s Birth Place: China
Marital Status: Single
Race: Chinese
Sex: Male
Able to read: Yes
Able to Write: Yes
Household Members:
Name / Age
Jong Fong 65
Wy Lok Fong 23 [Artist; Landscapes]
Wy Heo Fong 21
Wy See Lock 55
Emilis Lock 31
Susie Lock 13
Frank Lock 12
Jean Lock 10
Edwin Lock 7
Calvin Lock 5
Sarah Lock 3
Chester Lock 7/12

1940 United States Federal Census
Name: Fong W Log
Age: 46
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1894
Gender: Male
Race: Chinese
Birthplace: California
Marital Status: Single
Relation to Head of House: Lodger
Home in 1940: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
Street: Wall Street
House Number: 1115
Inferred Residence in 1935: Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
Residence in 1935: Los Angeles
Father's Birthplace: China
Mother's Birthplace: China
Occupation: Sketch Artist
Attended School or College: No
Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 3rd grade
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 16
Class of Worker: Working on own account
Weeks Worked in 1939: 30
Income: 0
Income Other Sources: Yes
Native Language: Chinese
Veteran: Yes
Military service: World War
Social Security Number: Yes
Usual Occupation: Artist
Usual Industry: Art
Usual Class of Worker: Working on own account
Household Members
Name / Age
Walter Hansew 38
Lulu Hansew 50
Juan Louie 21
Edward J Fink 64
SE Ehun Wong 19
Royse R Shinyff 43
James Brunett 37
Edward J McKinney 46
Harvey Reared 46
Fong W Log 46

California Death Index

Name: Wy L Fong
Sex: Male
Birth Date: 22 Feb 1894
Birthplace: California
Death Date: 5 Sep 1974
Death Place: Los Angeles

American Art Annual
Volume XX, 1923-1924
Who’s Who in Art
page 519, column two:
Fong, Wylog, 287 Davis St., Portland, Ore. (P.) [Painter]

Asian American Art: A History, 1850-1970
Gordon Chang, Mark Johnson, Paul Karlstrom
Stanford General Books, 2008
page 311: Fong, Wy Log
Born: February 22, 1894, San Francisco, CA
Died: September 5, 1974, Los Angeles, CA
Residences: 1894-ca. 1914, San Francisco, CA
ca. 1914 - ca. 1930, Portland, OR
ca. 1930 - ca. 1954, San Francisco and Los Angeles
ca. 1954 - 1974, Los Angeles, CA

Wy Log Fong was a successful painter and illustrator in the 1920s and 1930s. Many of his works survive today, including original paintings, plus prints produced by the West Coast Engraving Company of Portland, Oregon, to which he was under contract in the 1920s. After moving from San Francisco, Fong attended high school in Portland, where he studied art at the Museum Art School. Fong is listed in the 1928 Portland city directory; however, it is unclear how long he remained in the Portland area. He later moved back to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles, where he attended the Art Students League. He was described as a sidewalk pastel portrait artist in Los Angeles’ Chinatown.

Fong created genre portraits of Chinese men, women, and children, similar in style to the work of early-twentieth-century painter Esther Hunt. Fong’s paintings contained stereotypes of his subjects, perhaps to appeal to non-Chinese audiences. one interesting aspect of his career are the works he painted on velvet from the teens to the 1930s. While velvet paintings date back to the eighteenth century, the origination of the modern kitsch form in the United States has been attributed to Edgar Leeteg, who was active in the 1930s and 1940s. The earlier dates of Fong’s work may mean that he was the first artist in the United States to work on velvet.

A Heaven in the Eye
Clyde Rice
Breitenbush Books, 1984
page 24: A month went by, and I had improved enough to enter the life classes. The girl—her name was Evelyn Nordstrom—was there, along with Mr. Wentz, the teacher. The rest seemed to be strangers to me and all older, until I saw a Chinese fellow whom I had known in high school—Wy Long Fong—who greeted me. There were two Japanese men and a woman, Catherine McKenzie, to whom Evelyn introduced me, and who was to become a friend of long standing.

page 25: Very quickly my circle of acquaintances grew. I met Kinzu Furiya, Mizino, Charles Heaney and other students who were in the advanced day-class under Harry Wentz, the teacher. Kinzu Furiya was a red-cheeked Japanese of about forty—a well-read Oriental philosopher whose paintings were tied much more to Oriental concepts than our own. Mizino, also Japanese, was a tiny, mouse-like man who painted landscapes in the western tradition. Charles Heaney, a slender fellow of about twenty-four, was very eager to push on with his studies. And then there was Wy Long Fong, my high school acquaintance, who was already a superb draftsman and a fine painter.

page 27: Then one evening, as we were engrossed as usual in our drawing, there was a knock at the door and the white-haired art critic entered. He told us to go on with our work, but soon was helping Heaney with his drawing. He looked at mine as well, after which he gave me that incisive, knowledgeable wisp of a smile and turned to Fong. At length the model left, and we gathered around to talk. He talked marvelously well about artists, about materials. He dripped names. He was a friend of Trotsky’s, knew this and that about prominent radicals, and gave fleeting glimpses of himself as an intelligence officer in the French military. It was a splendid performance. We asked him to come often, telling him that we needed a critic. Smiling with suave irony, he said he’d help for the price of a Chinese dinner after the meetings. We were happy with the terms.

Oregon, End of the Trail
Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Projects Administration in the State of Oregon
page 130: Wylong Fong, a young Chinese artist living in Portland some fifteen years ago, created vividly in oils but is best remembered for Oriental figure studies done with pastels on velvet. Phyllis Muirden, teaching art in Portland high schools, has executed some much-admired water colors

They Painted from Their Hearts: Pioneer Asian American Artists
Mayumi Tsutakawa (Editor), Alan Chong Lau (Editor), Kazuko Nakane (Editor)
University of Washington Press, 1995
page 82: Wylog Fong (1896?-1971?); Oil painter and illustrator
Born in San Francisco; ca. 1913 moved to Portland with his family; before 1920 moved to San Francisco and Los Angeles; was a sidewalk pastel portrait painter in Chinatown, Los Angeles.
Exhibited: Portland Art Association Museum of Art, 1922

Oregon Painters: The First Hundred Years (1859-1959): Index and Biographical Dictionary
Ginny Allen, Jody Klevit
Oregon Historical Society Press, 1999
page 158: Fong, Wylog
b. ca. 1900 San Francisco
Education: Museum Art School
Exhibits: Portland Art Museum
References: DAV (Davenport, R.J. 1996-97. Davenport’s Art Reference and Price Guide); HUG (Hughes, Edan M. second edition, 1989. Artist in California 1786-1940); OET (Corning, Howard McKinley, 1951. Oregon, End of the Trail); WWW (Falk, Peter, ed. 1985. Who Was Who in American Art); A2 (Portland Art Museum, Non-juried Exhibits, 1920, 22); A4 (Portland Art Museum, Group Exhibits, 59); CD (Portland City Directories. Artist Listing, 1918)
Media: Oil, Pastel
Specialty: Chinese Figure

Wylog Fong was born about 1900. He attended high school in Portland and later studied at the Museum Art School. There he met Clyde Rice, who mentions their association in his book, A Heaven in the Eye. Fong exhibited his oils and pastels at the Portland Art Museum. He listed a Los Angeles address in 1959.

A Seed of Modernism: The Art Students League of Los Angeles
Marian Yoshiki-Kovinic, Dr. Will South, Julia Armstrong-Totten
Pasadena Museum of California Art/Het Day Books, 2008
page 72: Plate 26, watercolor
page 73: Plate 27, watercolor
page 103: Wylog Fong (1894-1974), painter, illustrator, model
(excerpt)...He later returned to San Francisco and then to Los Angeles, where he attended the League during the period when Macdonald-Wright was director. Macdonald-Wright used him as a model for many of his paintings and drawings. At the League Fong was an integral part of the group of students and a regular attendee of the Saturday night “stag parties,” where a variety of ethnic cuisine was prepared and served. In 1937 Fong illustrated an article, “Fong Sad as New Year Customs Wane,” for the Hollywood Citizen-News, explaining how disappointing it was to see that the Lion Dance had replaced the traditional Dragon Dance at Chinatown’s celebration of the Chinese New Year..... —Marian Yoshiki-Kovinick

(Next post March 15: Chinese Art at the Whitney Gallery)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wylog Fong Prints

(The Lantern)
The carefree, jubilant holiday spirit of the Youthful Chinese has been presented in a remarkable manner by the painter of this water color. The brilliantly colored garb, the quaint jacket, skirts and sash—the correct boys’ wear—and the decorative lantern (Daang-loong), which is carried in parades and fetes—all truly Chinese—have been painted with painstaking care for accurate details, yet with a sympathetic understanding and an artistic treatment that places it among the painter’s best works.

Painted by Wylog Fong
A Chinese Artist of the younger generation whose work is attracting widespread attention.

Fong was born and spent his younger days in the Old Chinatown of San Francisco and later studied Art in the City of Portland, Oregon.

His life among his own people and particularly in the Chinatown of San Francisco, the most typically Chinese of all American settlements—has endowed him with an understanding of his people, given to few painters.

(West Coast Engraving Co. label attached to back of framed print.)

(The Parasol)
The carefree, jubilant holiday spirit of the Youthful Chinese has been presented in a remarkable manner by the painter of this water color. The brilliantly colored garb, the quaint headdress and footwear, and the ornamental parasol (Djair)—all truly Chinese—have been painted with painstaking care for accurate details, yet with a sympathetic understanding, and an artistic treatment that places it among the painter’s best works.

Hung Far
(Cherry Blossom)

Fon Hay
(Happy Boy)

Nuie Jai
(Little Girl)

Num Jai
(Little Boy)

Har Doy

printed in three colors

Flowers of the Orient

printed in three colors

See Lay

Fairy Jade
A delightful study of the Americanized Chinese, rendered in the true spirit of the Orient. The name of the picture is a literal translation of the name of the model who posed for the painting.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Wylog Fong Meets Cartoonist Fay King

The 1920 United States Federal Census recorded “Wy Lok Fong” in Portland, Oregon, at 67 1/2 North Fourth Street, where he lived with his father, “Jong Fong”, the head of the household. Also residing there was Wylog’s brother, “Wy Heo”, and his sister, “Emilie Lock”, her husband “Wy See Lock”, and their seven children.

Wylog Fong took cartoonist Fay King to a Portland, Oregon, Chinatown restaurant. In the article, his name was spelled “Wylong”.

Syracuse Evening Telegram
(New York)
December 16, 1922
Fay King Says Chop Sticks Should Have Hooks on Ends

Some Job for Amateur to Get Enough to Eat
If He Has to Depend on Chinese Golf Clubs—
Pop Corn Provides Good Practice at Start.

I don’t mind telling the world I’m a Babe Ruth with the chop sticks!

Wylong Fong, a clever young Chinese artist, took me to China Town to see a restaurant he had decorated and after admiring his paintings, I suggested it would be an opportune time for me to try my hand at chop sticks.

If you have ever dug around in a tall fruit lemonade and tried to hoist the cherries up with a coupla soda straws you have an idea of what eatin’ with chop sticks is. It ain’t no cinch.

You hold both of ’em in one hand, and it’s about as easy as if you held your shiftin’ gears and the brake with one mitt and tried with the other to change from high into low with three fingers and stop your car with the other two.

Some Swift Progress.

If it hadn’t been that I once had a friend who played drums and showed me how to rat-tat-tat with the drum sticks, and a Spanish dancer out in San Francisco showed me how to click the castanets, I don’t think I would have got out as well as I did. I made some pretty bad shots at first, but pretty soon I did better.

Chop sticks are built like wooden knittin’ needles, and you ain’t ever supposed to drop “stitches.” If they were built like crochet needles, with a hook on the end, it would be easy. Then you could fish up your food, but this day you have to grab it like tweezers.

When I got pretty good with ’em, the jolly old Chinese proprietor of the place turned cheer leader on the side lines, and he says:

“You doing fine, Miss Fay King!”

And, he gimme the chop sticks for a present.

Up to now the main trouble with the chop sticks was the chow. I ain’t very keen for Chinese dishes, being such a plain eater. So when I got home I had to figure out something that I could eat with chop sticks. I hit on pop corn. It was something I liked! I tackled a big panful, and it was great practice.

I can now prance up to the plate and bat five hundred!

Tip to Golfers.

Seems to me, country clubs ought to go in for chop sticks instead of silverware. They make great table golf. The members could tee their eats, every mouthful would be a hazard, and there’d be as much fun puttin’ at the table as on the green.

Young Fong tells me that some chop sticks cost as much as a hundred and fifty dollars, if they are real nifty. I’m still workin’ with a pair of woodens, and thinking what it would mean to a golf hound to have his sticks with him all the time. He could eat with a pair of cleeks, or his mid irons, swell brasales, or niblicks.

An’ if you had a hole pinched through your chop sticks you could keep your cigarette on one and not burn holes in the tablecloth while you’re eatin’.

Might make a combination chop stick and fountain pen, too.

Chop sticks oughta be a great cure for indigestion, cause you’ll never get gout from what you haul up with those things!

It’s too much like work to over eat!

(click image to enlarge)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Keye Luke, Portrait Artist

Seattle Daily Times
March 9, 1924
(click images to enlarge)

Oakland Tribune
November 10, 1935
Keye Luke caricature of Mark Sandrich

Greta Garbo
publicity photographs of artwork

Chouinard Night School

Seein’ Stars
March 29, 1942

February 25, 1945

Sequins for Calico
Edythe Hope Genee
House-Warven, 1951
From the front flap:
Jacket design and artwork by Keye Luke.
The striking picture of Miss Genee was 
created by Mr. Luke from an original
photograph by Franklyn Clark, Shanghai.

Flower Drum Song
Melodyland Theatre

Portraits of Samantha Eggar and Yul Brynner,
stars of the TV series Anna and the King

(Updated September 29, 2014; tomorrow: Keye Luke’s Blessed Mother Goose)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Keye Luke’s Sheet Music Covers

Just a Little Longer
(click images to enlarge)

Owl and the Moon


Published by Melody Shop, Seattle, Washington

Friday, March 1, 2013

Keye Luke in the Tolo 1922

Tolo 1922
Franklin High School
Seattle, Washington
(click images to enlarge)

Before Keye Luke was an actor, he was
an artist who aspired to be an architect.

(Tomorrow: Keye Luke’s Sheet Music Art)