Saturday, July 25, 2009

Theta Nu Epsilon: Skull & Bones II

From the TNE site:

"The Society operated from 1870 to 1872 under the Skull & Bones Constitution, and existed happily as such as a chapter of that organization. It is not known what caused the break between Yale & Wesleyan; there are a number of possibilities, and a number of them may have contributed together to the separation. One of the most likely explanations is that Wesleyan sought to create more chapters, and Yale sought to stop the process. One thing is clear. Immediately after a constitution was adopted for the independent Theta Nu Epsilon in 1872, the first thing done was to issue a charter to a group of students at Syracuse. One can also note that the chartering process outlined in the constitution of 1872 was extremely short, and wholly under the control of the Alpha at Wesleyan."

"T.N.E. is a sophomore class society, and in a traditional type chapter, members were chosen near the end of their freshman or start of their sophomore year. Once selected, the new members were active and responsible for operation of the chapter during their sophomore year. As juniors and seniors, they were considered honorary members and only had authority in an advisory role. The society always excluded freshmen. From the beginning, the identities of the sophomore members were kept secret. In yearbooks, the names of the sophomores appeared in code. The Alpha Chapter and legitimate chapters continue this traditional type. Several latter types of chapters developed over time: one type is that of the three-year society, adopted by chapters at many institutions without a class society system, a third type was as a feeder organization to a senior society, a fourth type was where the chapter acted as an interfraternity coordinating body, and a fifth type was as a wholly secret society, (which were usually chapters that had notorious reputations)."

"Theta Nu Epsilon is simply a society dedicated to good fellowship and the exercise of those social practices that knit together succeeding generations and academic communities. Theta Nu Epsilon has no beliefs or credo, because it is not meant to supply the place of those institutions in society that do. Theta Nu Epsilon has no real or special secrets. Our initiation is challenging, dynamic, and possibly amusing, but it does not teach any truths any more significant, or any less so, than that one should be honorable, true to oneself, an upstanding member of the community, and should not forget to keep alive those social ties upon which we all must rely. Theta Nu Epsilon is not involved in any kind of political or social agenda. The Society can only exist as a point of union amongst its members if it remains a neutral ground of friendship, collegiality and nostalgic sentiment. Theta Nu Epsilon is designed for those who want more out of college, and who have more to give. Any attempt by anyone to pretend that Theta Nu Epsilon is anything more than this is a misrepresentation. Theta Nu Epsilon is not a cabal or a conspiracy, nor is it connected to any other organization, nor is it the tool or dupe of any conspiracy. Those who propagate such tall tales either, believe in such fantasies and are fools themselves, or they wish to make other people into fools and take advantage of them. Honesty and honor are the opposite of pretense."

Theta Nu Epsilon

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Commissioned Art of Michael J Deas

"Michael J. Deas is one of the nation’s premier illustrators, combining a "sense of grace and serenity" (in the words of Communications Arts Magazine) unrivaled by today's realists. His superb eye and phenomenal control of the oil medium has earned him numerous awards and citations, including four Gold Medals and one Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators. His luminous redesign of the Columbia Pictures logo led to a feature article on the cover of America's leading graphics publication, Communication Arts, Sept/Oct 1998. The extensive story included more than 15 illustrations, highlighting portraits, advertising art, logos, editorial & book designs, and U.S. Postage Stamps."

My favorite. Earthbound

Hell House, novel by Richard Matheson, 1999

The Vanished Child, novel by Sarah Smith, 1995

The Empty Summer, 1993

Interview With The Vampire, Anne Rice

"His paintings have graced the cover of Time Magazine and more than a dozen postage stamps commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service. He is the artist behind two of the best-selling postage stamps in United States history, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean. In addition to painting numerous private portrait commissions, Deas has illustrated dozens of book covers, most notably the 25th-anniversary edition of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire. The Columbia Pictures logo remains one of the most familiar icons in cinema history. Michael J. Deas is cited in Walt Reed's definitive history of illustration, The Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, and in 1999, his work was featured in major exhibition at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts."

Check out Deas site.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Cover Art: The Royal Scam

One of the greatest rock albums of the 1970s. I have always been fascinated by the album artwork though its hated by many... including the band.

The Royal Scam is an album by Steely Dan, originally released in 1976. The album went gold and peaked at #15 on the charts.
The album cover, which shows a somewhat well-dressed, possibly homeless, man sleeping underneath (or perhaps dreaming of) images of mutating skyscrapers, is a satirical take on the American Dream. The drawing and painting of the skyscrapers topped with various animal heads (snake, etc.), was considered dark, eerie, and gothic. The cover was designed by Larry Zox, and at least a portion was originally created for a Van Morrison album from 1974-75 that was never released. In the liner notes for the 1999 remaster of the album, Fagen and Becker claim it to be "the most hideous album cover of the seventies, bar none (excepting perhaps Can't Buy A Thrill).