Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Baltimore Screens

If you find yourself strolling the neighborhoods of East Baltimore you will be treated to a unique form of folk art.  Ever since William Oktavec painted the first screen in 1913 residents of Baltimore have been displaying these pastoral scenes on their windows and doors.   It's a perfect way for the city dweller to gain a bit of daytime privacy.  They can have their windows open and allow the breezes in because the people walking by see only the beautiful paintings - while those inside can see straight through. 

During the 30's and 40's these screens were so popular it is estimated there were over 100,000, mostly in the neighborhoods of Canton and Highlandtown in East Baltimore.  The traditional scenes most often show a red-roofed cottage - and a pond with swans.

I'm very pleased to say that I will have a gallery showing of my Baltimore Screens in Chestertown for the month of April.  I'm sharing the show with my friend, Cathy Edwards, who paints wonderful traditional folk art.   Join us Friday, April 2 at 6pm for the opening reception --
211 High Street
Chestertown, MD
Hope to see you there!

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