Radical Art and Music

I have been involved in Radical Art and Music most of my life. I can think of no better way to test your metal, find your righteous place in this world, then to consider rendering a painting that is a window to the outside of what is judged normal, and search for notes that are not regular, that plumb the depths of our magnificent consciousness. For, this is what some of us came here for. Others only want a simple faith. When one enters a church, they find music within, and, some work of art. Artists were employed to adorn magnificent cathedrals. Alas, while living in a small trailer on the McKinzie River, I opened a Bible and read all of Luke. I have discovered a lost view of…….The Truth? Is art – The Truth? Is music – The Truth? Who wants


In the last four days I have been examining the truth of four men

Peter Shapiro

Stefan Eins

Jonathan Richman

John Presco

To my friend Peter, I suggested he and Jonathan get on a stage at Harvard and speak of the Musical Genesis the history of their quest to make music, has captured them in. Is there a Muse of History? Is she – The Tenth Muse? Is she – A Male?

I am a Historian and a Thea login, two things I never thought I would be. I got TAGGED. When I joined the Upstairs Art Association, Rosalie Ritz – TAGGED ME – to be the General Manager, seconds after I told her my mother, Rosemary, was the manager of the Valley Youth Orchestra and worked in the office of the head of California Endowment of the Arts, who approves of THE FUNDING. I was tagged by black members of UAA to confront Rosalie, who ended up being fired by the board. Her favorite artist and I became roommates. Michael Harvey and I became best friend. We played allot of tennis. Peter Shapiro and I played allot of tennis. I lived with Peter in a downtown Victorian. I was the Artist in Residence. I had an easel next to the sound room where The Loading Zone practiced. I told Jonathan Richman about the Zone, and he took my advice about keeping his music – on a human scale!

Peter and I were roommates in another house where I rendered a large painting of Rena Easton, that got lost. My sister, Christine Rosamond Benton, saw that canvas, and took up art.

In 1971 I lived in a large factory with other artists. One artist built a stage in his space, and invited Richman to play on Halloween Night. Stefan and I shared our views on art. He and Christine Wandel were an item. She had been my, Keith’s, and Peter’s lover, and a close friend of Bill Graham.

John Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

The Marbles were an American rock band active in San Francisco from 1965 to 1966.


The Marbles had the following members: Peter Shapiro on lead guitar, Steve Dowler on rhythm guitar, David Dugdale on bass and Ray Greenleaf on drums. The Marbles were a psychedelic and rock group whose most notable performances were at the Tribute to Dr. Strange at the Longshoremen’s Hall in San Francisco on October 15, 1965, and again at the same venue for The Trips Festival on January 21, 22 and 23 along with Jefferson AirplaneThe Charlatans and The Great Society. Both Shapiro and Dowler went on to become members of Paul Fauerso’s The Loading Zone.[1][2]

Fashion Moda

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Fashion 时装 Moda МОДА, whose name comes from “fashion” in English, Chinese, Spanish and Russian, colloquially referred to as Fashion Moda, started as a cultural concept guided by the idea that art can be made by anyone, anywhere. Fashion Moda was an art space located in the South BronxNew York founded by Stefan Eins in 1978. As a museum of science, art, invention, technology, and fantasy, it was an alternative art space that combined aspects of a community arts center and a worldwide progressive arts organization until its closing in 1993.[1]



Fashion Moda 1981, South Bronx, NY

Fashion Moda was an art space founded by Stephen Eins in 1978 after closing his previous project, the 3 Mercer Store. Eins was soon joined by artist, poet and musician, Joe Lewis and William Scott, a nineteen year-old from the neighborhood as co-directors.[2] The gallery was located in the South Bronx, outside the traditional art gallery district which was emerging in Soho at the time. Despite this, Fashion Moda quickly became a strong voice in the New York art world during the late 1970s and the 1980s. The venue provided a platform for exchanges between downtown Manhattan artists, graffiti writers, and Bronx residents. The space encouraged the production of creative art, unhampered by the contemporary art market and academic art training. As such, it was a center for many downtown and local South Bronx artists, writers, and performance artists to workshop their ideas and first display their works. Fashion Moda received funding annually with grants from the National Endowment for the Art and the New York State Council of the Arts. In addition to art shows, the space held auctions, performances, seminars, and other events.[3]

With the South Bronx location, Fashion Moda was closely tied to the global emergence of Hip HopWild Style, a documentary by Charlie Ahearn on the manifesto of hip hop used Fashion Moda as studio and subject. Exhibitions and events were usually accompanied by musical performances including those from talents ranging from Afrika Bambaataa or Rammellzee to jazz musicians such as Jerome Cooper and Rasul Siddik.[4][5]

Fashion Moda played a major role in legitimizing graffiti as an art form by presenting one of the first graffiti gallery exhibitions in October 1980. Curated by the 19-year-old John “Crash” Matos, the Graffiti Art Success for America show featured artists such as Fab 5 FreddyFutura 2000Lady Pink, and Lee Quinones.[4] It was one of the first spaces to allow artists to paint directly on the walls and facade of the gallery. This influential show opened up new possibilities for the art form by allowing street artists to connect with critics, collectors, and curators.[3]

Fashion Moda introduced and exhibited a wide range of artists. Fashion Moda facilitated many exhibitions and collaborations between artists. John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres utilized Fashion Moda as a meeting place and collaborated to create life casts of Bronx locals which were exhibited in the South Bronx Hall of Fame show.[3]

In addition to highlighting new talent, Fashion Moda was a major force in establishing new venues. In 1980, Fashion Moda collaborated with the downtown progressive artist collective, Colab (Collaborative Projects Inc.), on The Times Square Show,[6][7] which introduced uptown graffiti-related art to the downtown art and punk scenes. Set up in an abandoned massage parlor in Manhattan’s Times Square, the Times Square Show included a mock store, performances, graffiti, a punching bag, peep shows, protest actions, and parodic manifestos. The goal of this shows was to legitimize an art form outside of the traditional art scene and exhibit it to the mainstream art world.[1][4]

In 1982, Fashion Moda was invited to participate in Documenta 7, a quinquennial contemporary art exhibition held in Kassel, Germany. At this event, a store was set up like the Time Square Show where shirts, prints, and novelty items from participating artists could be bought. A video lounge was also set up so that artists’ videos could be watched and purchased. The exhibition reflected the idea of art as a commodity and its power to spread social messages.[3] Joe Lewis left Fashion Moda in 1982, but it continued a program of exhibitions until its official closing in 1993.[4]


Fashion Moda was located in a building at 2803 Third Avenue in the South Bronx. The space was established in a former Salvation Army which was ransacked during the 1977 blackouts.[8] The art space was near 147th Street and the Hub, a shopping center.[9] During the time of Fashion Moda’s existence, the South Bronx was a rougher area. The area was stricken by povertydrugs, and violence. However, during this time, the South Bronx was also an area of intense creativity. The South Bronx location allowed the space and artists who participated in it the freedom to explore the questions “What is art?” and “Who defines it?”. In the area, boundaries were being broken and communities were being untied. The location of Fashion Moda allowed it to be a successful art space for many years.[10][5]


  • American culture in the 1980s By Graham Thompson. Edinburgh University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-7486-1910-0
  • New York Open to the Public By Cheri Fein. 1982. ISBN 0-941434-26-5

Jonathan Richman

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Jonathan Richman
Jonathan Richman at Ed’s, Winona, Minnesota (2014)
Background information
BornMay 16, 1951 (age 70)
Natick, Massachusetts, U.S.
GenresRockfolknew waveproto-punkgarage rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter
Years active1970–present
LabelsBeserkleyRounderUnited ArtistsTwin Tone, Upside, Rough TradeWarner Bros.Vapor, Blue Arrow
Associated actsThe Modern Lovers

Jonathan Michael Richman[1] (born May 16, 1951)[2] is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. In 1970, he founded the Modern Lovers, an influential proto-punk band. Since the mid-1970s, Richman has worked either solo or with low-key acoustic and electric backing. He now plays only acoustic to protect his hearing. He is known for his wide-eyed,[3] unaffected, and childlike outlook, and music that, while rooted in rock and roll, is influenced by music from around the world.



Early life[edit]

Born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Natick into a Jewish family,[4] Richman began playing music and writing his own songs in the mid-1960s. He became infatuated with the Velvet Underground, and in 1969, he moved to New York City, lived on the couch of their manager, Steve Sesnick, worked odd jobs and tried to break in as a professional musician. Failing at this, he returned to Boston.

When I was a teenager, I thought I would be a painter, and then sound overtook me. I made up songs because I had to. I had the need to express how I felt. And that’s still how it is. It’s just what I do. I do it when there’s no audience, I do it when there is an audience. And, when I paint, that’s how that is too.

Main article: The Modern Lovers

Richman formed the Modern Lovers, a proto-punk garage rock band, in Boston, Massachusetts. Other notable members of the group were keyboard player Jerry Harrison and drummer David Robinson, who later joined Talking Heads and the Cars, respectively.[2]

In 1972, they recorded a series of demos with producer John Cale (formerly of the Velvet Underground). Among these songs were the seminal “Roadrunner” and “Pablo Picasso“, which were eventually released on the group’s post-breakup album, The Modern Lovers in August 1976.[2] The album was strange for its time, featuring Velvets-influenced basic three-chord rock (“Roadrunner” – based on just two chords – is an homage to “Sister Ray“) at a time when glam and progressive rock were the norm.

Later in 1972, the group re-recorded some songs, along with other material, with producer Kim Fowley. These demos were eventually released in 1981 as The Original Modern Lovers LP. Despite playing live regularly, the Modern Lovers had a difficult time securing a recording contract. By late 1973, Richman wanted to scrap the recorded tracks and start again with a mellower, more lyrical sound, influenced by the laid-back local music he had heard when the band had a residency at the Inverurie Hotel in Bermuda earlier in the year. These stymied efforts to complete a debut album led to the breakup of the original Modern Lovers in February 1974.

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers[edit]

In 1975, Richman moved to California to record as a solo singer/songwriter with the independent Beserkley Records label. His first released recordings appeared on 1975’s Beserkley Chartbusters compilation, where he was backed by members of Earth Quake and the Rubinoos. The four songs on the compilation also appeared on singles released by Beserkley.

In January 1976, Richman put together a new version of the Modern Lovers, which included original Modern Lovers drummer David Robinson, former Rubinoos bassist Greg ‘Curly’ Keranen and Leroy Radcliffe on guitar. The new group, now billed as Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, found Richman turning away from the harder, Velvet Underground-influenced electric rock of the original Modern Lovers, toward a gentler sound mixing pop with 1950s rock and roll, and including a bigger emphasis on harmony vocals. During this period Richman recorded a mix of original songs and material by other writers, including Chuck Berry‘s “Back in the USA”, the traditional spiritual songs “Amazing Grace” and “Angels Watching Over Me”, and older pop songs like “Emaline”, “Buzz, Buzz, Buzz”, and “Lydia”.

Richman’s own songs continued to mix straightforward love themes with more whimsical themes like Martians (“Here Come the Martian Martians”), Leprechauns (“Rockin’ Rockin’ Leprechauns”), the Abominable Snowman (“Abominable Snowman in the Market”), and mosquitoes (“I’m Nature’s Mosquito”). Richman’s 1977 recording of the children’s music standard “The Wheels on the Bus” made explicit his interest in making music for listeners of all ages.

The album Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers was released in May 1976, three months before the older The Modern Lovers sessions were finally released. Drummer David Robinson left the group soon thereafter, due to frustration with Richman’s quest for lower volume levels, and joined with Ric Ocasek in forming the band the Cars.

After several months as a trio, Richman found a new drummer, D. Sharpe, an avant-garde jazz player on the Boston scene, who later went on to become a member of pianist Carla Bley‘s band.

Rock and Roll with the Modern Lovers was released in 1977 and, just as this record began to climb the charts in Europe, Keranen left the group to attend college. A subsequent live album, Modern Lovers Live, was released in 1978, with Asa Brebner on bass.[2]Jonathan Richman, live at the Soft Rock Cafe, Kitsilano, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (1984)

In the United Kingdom, Richman was recognised as a progenitor of the punk rock scene, and several of his singles became hits. “Roadrunner” reached number 11 in the UK Singles Chart, and its follow-up, the instrumental “Egyptian Reggae”, made number 5 in late 1977.[6] “Egyptian Reggae” was a version of Jamaican musician Earl Zero‘s reggae song “None Shall Escape the Judgment”; Zero was credited as co-writer on Richman’s later versions of the track.[7][8]

Back in Your Life was released in 1979 under the “Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers” moniker, but only about half the disc featured a backup band. The balance of the album was Richman playing solo. Following this version of The Modern Lovers’ final breakup, Richman went on sabbatical for a few years, staying in Appleton, Maine, and playing at local bars in Belfast, Maine.

By 1981, Richman was recording and touring once again with various combinations of musicians under the band name Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. The touring band was as large as five backup musicians during parts of 1981, when the group had bassist Curly Keranen once again, along with drummer Michael Guardabascio, keyboard player Ken Forfia, vocalist and guitarist Ellie Marshall, and vocalist Beth Harrington for a gig at New York’s Bottom Line. This expanded Modern Lovers group would go on to record much of the music on the Jonathan Sings (1983), Rockin’ & Romance (1985), and It’s Time for Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (1986) albums.

From 1981 to 1984, Richman most often played live in a trio with Keranen and Marshall. In 1985, the group was reconfigured, and consisted of bassist Asa Brebner and drummer Andy Paley. From 1986 to 1988, most of Richman’s concerts were played with guitarist Brennan Totten and drummer Johnny Avila. Signing with Rounder Records in 1987, Richman recorded his final album using the “Modern Lovers” group name (Modern Lovers 88). After this, the “Modern Lovers” moniker was retired.


Richman singing solo in 2014

From 1988 to 1992, Richman performed mostly as a solo act to support his Rounder albums Jonathan Richman (1989), Jonathan Goes Country (1990), and Having a Party with Jonathan Richman (1991). Around the time of his I, Jonathan album (1992), he formed his performance duo with drummer Tommy Larkins (Giant Sand, Yard Trauma, Naked Prey, et al.), who would continue to play and record with Richman for more than 25 years.

In 1993, he contributed the track “Hot Nights” to the AIDS-benefit album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization.

Always possessing an ardent cult following, Richman became better known in the 1990s thanks to a series of appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Another career boost came with the Farrelly Brothers‘ 1998 film There’s Something About Mary, where Richman and Larkins served as a two-man Greek chorus, commenting on the plot while performing their music within the framed action itself. He also appeared briefly in a bar scene in a previous Farrelly Brothers film, Kingpin, and performed the song “As We Walk to Fenway Park” for their 2005 comedy, Fever Pitch.

Richman continued to release albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s, with the Spanish-language ¡Jonathan, Te Vas a Emocionar! (1994), followed by You Must Ask the Heart (1995), Surrender to Jonathan (1996), I’m So Confused (1998), Her Mystery Not of High Heels and Eye Shadow (2001), and Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love (2004). In 1998, a live album of Modern Lovers recordings from the early 1970s was released, Live at the Long Branch & More. A live filmed performance, Take Me to the Plaza, was released on DVD in 2002.

Richman’s most recent albums are on the Cleveland, Ohio, based Blue Arrow Records: 2016’s Ishkode! Ishkode! and 2018’s SA.[9]

Musical instruments and technique[edit]

Richman’s minimalist songwriting style has been described as whimsical and childlike.[10] He himself has stated, “I don’t write, really. I just make up songs.”[11] Richman has played a variety of electric and acoustic guitars throughout his career. In promotional and concert photos from the early 1970s (such as those reproduced in the album Precise Modern Lovers Order), Richman is frequently seen using a white Fender Stratocaster. He later wrote a song (“Fender Stratocaster”) expressing his affection for the Stratocaster design.

In the late 1970s, working with his group The Modern Lovers, Richman often played a Fender Jazzmaster. He can be seen playing this guitar in the Dutch TV program TopPop filmed on September 16, 1978.[12] A contemporaneous stage photo used on the cover of the “Egyptian Reggae” single shows Richman playing a sunburst Stratocaster.

Late-1970s studio recordings, such as the Rock and Roll with the Modern Lovers album, also featured Richman playing nylon-stringed acoustic guitar. On a 1979 performance on French television, and in the cover photo of The Best of Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers, Richman plays a late-1970s Ibanez model 2453CW hollow-body electric guitar, a guitar similar in style to the Epiphone he would use extensively a decade later.[13]

In the early- and mid-1980s, working with The Modern Lovers, Richman was frequently photographed playing a Harmony Hollywood hollow-body electric guitar. This guitar is seen on the back cover of Richman’s It’s Time For album. By the late 1980s, Richman was frequently performing solo concerts using a blonde 1980s Epiphone Regent hollow-body electric guitar. He can be seen holding this guitar on the back cover of the Having a Party with Jonathan Richman CD.

Richman was still using his Epiphone Regent on stage when he began performing as a duo with drummer Tommy Larkin in 1992. After a short stint playing other electric guitars on stage including a Gibson SG, Richman switched to exclusively playing nylon-stringed acoustic guitars (of the classical and flamenco styles) in concert. Richman has played a number of different nylon-stringed guitars since the mid-1990s.

After switching to nylon-stringed acoustic guitars, Richman initially used a pick and played in a style close to that of his electric guitar playing. Eventually, he stopped using both a guitar pick and a guitar strap in concert, preferring to play only with his fingers, and to move frequently between playing guitar, dancing, and playing percussion instruments.[14][15]

Richman has also been photographed playing a Fender Telecaster and other electric and acoustic guitars, and he does not consider any specific instrument to be essential to his sound. In a 2006 interview with musician Chuck Prophet, Richman said “It’s not the guitar, it’s the player. In fact, my most recent Flamenco guitar isn’t even a real Flamenco guitar. It’s not made out of the right woods. Made out of walnut. It’s twangy. I bought it and I like it.”[16]

During the early- and mid-1980s, Richman frequently played tenor saxophone during his concerts with The Modern Lovers. He can be heard playing the instrument on “California Desert Party”, a song on his Modern Lovers 88 album. The album also shows him holding the instrument in the cover photograph.

Personal life[edit]

His first marriage was to Gail Clook of Vermont, in 1982, with whom he has a daughter, Jenny Rae, and son, Jason (Gail’s son from a previous relationship). This marriage ended in divorce sometime shortly before the release of Surrender to Jonathan (1996).

In 2003, Richman married Nicole Montalbano of Chico, California.[17][18] She contributed backing vocals to the album Not So Much to Be Loved as to Love (2004).

Richman also runs a business, Arcane Masonry, in Chico, making pizza ovens as well as other projects.[19][20]


Richman in Barcelona, 2009

Richman’s work with the first incarnation of Modern Lovers is a major influence on punk rock. One critic called him the “Godfather of Punk”.[21] On his second solo album, Brian Eno made mention of Richman’s band in his lyrics, and the Sex Pistols and Joan Jett were among the first artists of note to cover the song “Roadrunner” in the 1970s. A version of “Pablo Picasso” performed by Burning Sensations was included in the 1984 cult film, Repo ManDavid Bowie covered “Pablo Picasso” on his album RealityVelvet Underground founding member John Cale has a version of the song on his 1975 album, Helen of Troy, and continues to include the song in his live shows. Iggy Pop has performed “Pablo Picasso” live and wrote an extra verse for it. Echo and the Bunnymen covered “She Cracked” in concert in 1984 and 1985 and Siouxsie and the Banshees have a version of the song on Downside Up.

Richman’s music has set the tone for many alternative rock bands, such as Violent FemmesGalaxie 500They Might Be Giants (“Roadrunner” reportedly inspired John Flansburgh to become a musician), WeezerTullycraftJens Lekman, singer Frank Black (who composed the tribute song “The Man Who Was Too Loud”), Brandon FlowersArt BrutCraig Finn of the Hold Steady & Lifter PullerMac DeMarco and Nerf Herder who composed a song about him, titled “Jonathan”, which appeared on the band’s second album How To Meet Girls. British country rock band the Rockingbirds released the single “Jonathan, Jonathan” in tribute to Richman in 1992. The Silos also covered the Modern Lovers’ “I’m Straight”. Boston ska-punk band Big D and the Kids Table also covered Richman’s song “New England” for their Gypsy Hill EP. A tribute album, If I Were a Richman: a Tribute to the Music of Jonathan Richman, was released by Wampus Multimedia in 2001.

The Modern Lovers’ song “Roadrunner” appears on the soundtrack to the film School of Rock. In the commentary, director Richard Linklater mentions it is often called “the first punk song” and wanted to include it for that reason, along with all the other seminal rock songs in that film. Rapper M.I.A. featured the opening lyrics from “Roadrunner” in the song “Bamboo Banga” on her 2007 album, Kala.

As a producer himself, Richman and drummer Tommy Larkins produced Vic Chesnutt‘s final album Skitter on Take-Off in 2009 which appeared on Vapor Records. Chesnutt opened for Richman at concerts many times during his later years.


Rosalie Ritz and Upstairs Art Association

Posted on December 9, 2014 by Royal Rosamond Press


I found Rosalie Ritz before her huge easel in and old Victorian office building on Broadway in downtown Oakland. I had come to get some more brass fittings from the old bait and tackle shop, but, they had moved. I was the only model boat sailor in the East Bay. I had rigged a automatic tacking device on my catamaran that would eventually bring it to the edge of the unused model boat lagoon that was built by the WPA located in Berkley’s Aquatic Park. It was all mine, now.  The WPA had built Jaunita Miller’s Woodminster Theater and Water Wonder. I made my model at the time Altamont was being lauded as the West Coast Woodstock. My friend Peter Shapiro asked me if I was going and I told him it is going to be a disaster. I am a prophet.

I was moving away from the hippie scene, and was finding unique things to do, by myself. Exploring Old Oakland was now my cup of tea. Who was this ‘Mad Woman’? Why is she here? Obviously she is crazy, and thus I liked her instantly. In fifteen minutes, Rosalie has set the hook, and I am being reeled in to the most mad cap Alice in Wonderland scene I have ever been a part of.   It would end with Ms. Ritz locking the board of directors of the Upstairs Art Association in a antique room, pulling the fire alarm, and calling the police.

Rosy was a one woman riot who could not understand why these crazy-ass black artists she surrounded herself with, were not on the front page at least once a week. Rosalie had become famous for her courtroom sketches of extremely radical people, and things began to go wrong when we disappointed her, let her down, exhibited over and over again we did not have the right stuff. This woman was a Publicity Stunt. On Halloween Eve, she convinced the television stations to cover an ancient couple from outer space who were going to take thirty UAA artists home to their planet.

After I told Ritz who my sister was, and my mother worked with the woman that headed California’s National Endowment for the Arts, I was made General Manager and put in charge of a painting crew whose job was to restore these vintage offices with a ornate fireplaces in each one. When we put paint stripper on them, we exposed hand-painted tiles from Europe.

One day I walk in wearing an old surplus Norwegian army cap that I found in the greatest surplus store in the world once found on Market Street in San Francisco. It looked a barrette. It had some letters on it.  I think they were RNA. One look at it, and Ritz goes nuts.

“Where did you get that hat!” Rosalie asks as she yanks it off my head.

“In a surplus store in San Francis…..”

“How much did it cost?” she shouts, as she puts it on.

“A dolla……”

“Are there more!”

“There’s a whole big box…..”

Rosalie runs for her purse and hands me a twenty dollar bill and some money for BART. In two hours we are going to have a big social event at the old train station. Walter Dallas and his troupe of actors is going to put on a skit. No sooner do I walk in the door, then Ms. Ritz has grabbed a handful of these foreign army hats, and I insisting these black actors wear them.

Rosalie did the courtroom sketches for Pattie Hurst’s trial, Angela Davis of the Black Panthers. Just then, the crème de la crème of Oakland Society start coming through the door in their tuxedos. I took at the startled look on their faces. Uh-oh! I could see where this was going. Two of my friends who belonged to the Symbionese Liberation Army had been questioned by the FBI. Then, there is a loud “BANG!” as the balloon this beautiful black thespian was blowing up, got lose, hit the ceiling, and exploded!  Let the DISASTER MOVIE….begin!

Here are some images Rosalie rendered of the Upstairs Art Association.




To be continued!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2014



Rosalie Ritz (August 6, 1923 – April 18, 2008),[1] born Rosalie Jane Mislove in Racine, Wisconsin, was an award-winning journalist and courtroom artist who covered major United States trials in the 1960s through the 1990s. She worked with both CBS and Associated Press, and was presented with the Associated Press Award for Excellence in 1972.

The seventh of ten children, Ritz showed artistic talent at an early age. She attended the Layton School of Art, married World War II navy veteran and athlete, Erwin Ritz in 1946 and is the mother of four children: Barbara Bray, Sandra Ritz, Terry Leach and The Environmentalist Publisher and Managing Editor, Janet Ritz.

Early career[edit]

After her marriage to Erwin Ritz in 1946, Ritz moved from Milwaukee, WI, where she grew up, to Washington DC. There, she worked with a group of artists in Georgetown. During this time, several of Ritz’s selected works (oil paintings) won places in national juried shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, and received an honorable mention at the Flower Gallery.

It was during these years in Washington DC, that Ritz first covered US Senate and US Congressional hearings, including the McCarthy Hearings, where cameras were barred. Ritz worked under contract for the Washington Post, CBS, Public TV, and the Associated Press. Selected drawings appeared in the Washington Post from these hearings.

Courtroom Art[edit]

In 1966, at the height of the Haight Ashbury counter-culture era, Ritz moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area. Ritz’s sketches of the street scenes were published in the City Magazine and the San Francisco Examiner. Her work in Washington DC brought her to the attention of the local public television station KQED. From there, she began a career covering trials for the local CBS outlet, (KPIX) and for the Associated Press. This included the Patty Hearst trial, the Sirhan Sirhan trial, the Charles Manson trial, the trials of the Black Panthers, including Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver and David Hilliard, the trials of Angela Davis and Ruchell Magee, and the trials of the Soledad Brothers, the San Quentin Six, Mass Murderer Juan Corona, John Linley Frazier, the Presidio Mutiny Court-Martial at Fort Ord, the Billy Dean Smith Court-Martial, Inez Garcia (second trial), Bill and Emily Harris (Symbionese Liberation Army), Russell Little and Joseph Remiro (Murder of Marcus Foster/Symbionese Liberation Army), Wendy Yoshimura, Camarillo State Hospital Grand Jury Hearings, the Hell’s Angels, Alioto-Look Magazine Libel Trial, Alioto Conflict of Interest Trial, the Bonanno Brothers, Stephanie Kline, Larry Layton, Dan White, San Francisco Proposition Hearings, Sara Jane Moore, and Daniel Ellsberg and Anthony Russo/Pentagon Papers.[2]

While covering these trials, Ritz worked with several journalists, including the late New York Daily News reporter Theo Wilson, Associated Press senior trial reporter and special correspondent, Linda Deutsch, and Associated Press chief United Nations correspondent, Edie Lederer.

Ritz’s courtroom drawings of the Angela Davis trial were featured in the 2012 documentary, Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.[3]

Ritz continued to cover trials through the early 1980s. In the 1990s, the Associated Press brought Ritz out of retirement to cover the O.J. Simpson civil trial.

Shows and Exhibitions[edit]

Early in Ritz’s career, selected works (oil paintings) went on display at national juried shows at Corcoran Gallery of Art and at the Smithsonian.

During her years as a Courtroom Artist, Ritz’s sketches appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post and various Associated Press affiliates. Ritz’s sketches were also used on CBS news broadcasts and other media outlets.

In 1993, Ritz donated 1,837 courtroom drawings to the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library. Guide to Rosalie Ritz’s courtroom drawings 1968-1982 – Online Archive of California

In 2005, the UC Berkeley Art Museum held an exposition of Ritz’s sketches.

Later that year, the California Senate followed up with an exposition of Ritz’s selected works.


Rosalie Ritz died in California on April 18, 2008, nine months after the passing of her husband of 61 years, Erwin Ritz. She is survived by four children, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.[4]





Dallas, a graduate of Morehouse College and the Yale School of Drama, was based in New York when he accepted the invitation to come to Philadelphia in 1983 to create the School of Theatre for the University of the Arts. He got involved with Freedom Theatre and John Allen Jr., Freedom’s founding Artistic Director. Under Dallas, Freedom has worked with playwrights and artists including James BaldwinDenzel Washington, August WilsonSonia SanchezGrover Washington, Jr. and Glynn Turman.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillygossip/13031937.html#R58hG8ICXf68BScq.99

Dallas, a graduate of Morehouse College and the Yale School of Drama, was based in New York when he accepted the invitation to come to Philadelphia in 1983 to create the School of Theatre for the University of the Arts. He got involved with Freedom Theatre and John Allen Jr., Freedom’s founding Artistic Director. Under Dallas, Freedom has worked with playwrights and artists including James BaldwinDenzel Washington, August WilsonSonia SanchezGrover Washington, Jr. and Glynn Turman.
Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillygossip/13031937.html#R58hG8ICXf68BScq.99



, and model sailboats glided in the south basin that had been specially designed for that activity. The basin was soon declared to be one of the best model sailing locations in the country.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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