Another beneficiary was the Rutgers Geology Museum. In 1936, the Works Progress Administration funded 21 paintings for the museum by Alfred Poledo, a little-known 1930s artist. Like, there is almost nothing on the Internet about him. There’s this at the Living New Deal, which indicates he was from Boonton, and there’s some census data that shows he was an Italian immigrant, born around 1888 and deceased by 1940.
At least three of his paintings are in the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. The mosasaur, an extinct marine reptile whose fossils are found in New Jersey, is featured in two of the pieces, A Lagoon in Jurassic Time and A New Jersey Mosasaur, both dated 1936.
The undated Prehistoric Animals Ready for Battle is the only one that shows dinosaurs. What I presume is a Dryptosaurus (a New Jersey dino related to Tyrannosaurus) faces off against a Triceratops, while some hadrosaurs (the official New Jersey state dinosaur) walk through the background.
These three paintings were donated to the Zimmerli by Helgi Johnson, a professor in the Geology Department who died in 1974. It’s not clear whether the other paintings in the series are also in the Zimmerli or perhaps still at the Geology Museum.
There’s a new New York Times article on “Ranger Doug” Leen (not to be confused with the other Ranger Doug), a dentist and former park ranger, who rediscovered, preserved, and now recreates 1930s-era National Park posters created by WPA artists.
In the 1930s, posters for 14 parks, including the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon were created by government artists. Fewer than 50 original posters are known to survive and there are no original copies for two parks, Great Smoky Mountains and Wind Cave. Ranger Doug now works with artist Brian Maebius to create new posters in the same style for other national parks.
Recommendations for great, mostly modern, buildings to visit this pandemic summer on your architecture-themed road trip. According to the New York Times, you may not even have to get out of your car to experience some of them.
A while ago, I posted about the New York Public Library’s Map Warper project, which is making thousands of historic maps easily available. Well, the Map Warper project is still going strong, and here’s another map from their collection, which shows three small towns around Lamoka Lake. Taken from the 1874 Atlas of Schuyler County, the map also lists many of the farmers and other businessmen in the area.
…and he brought his family. The female Northern Cardinal also appears to be losing the feathers on her head. So I learned that every year people report seeing these balding cardinals. I now like to think of them as vulture cardinals, but some people call them lizard-heads. Ornithologists generally think this is normal yearly molting, although in some cases, the cardinals might be suffering from head mites, lice, or some similar parasite. I’m inclined to think the original cardinal, a regular visitor to the birdfeeder, is not just going through a normal molt. It’s been well over a month since I first noticed his condition and his other feathers are normal and bright red. The female may be undergoing a regular molt while I’m guessing the third bird, shown below with duller red feathers and a lot of brown, is a juvenile.