Jack Tworkov

Philip Guston

Mercedes Matter

James Brooks 

Jack Kerouac March 12, 1922-Oct. 20, 1969                         www.jackkerouac.com

In 1949, Jack took a road trip from the East Coast to San Francisco with Neal Cassady and his ex-wife Luanne. Jack would cross America and Mexico several times in the next decade, sometimes driving with Neal Cassady in a car, sometimes hitchhiking. These cross-country trips comprised much of the content for Jack’s most famous work, "On the Road”.
"On the Road", and Jack’s other novels, have made a significant impact on American literature. His “spontaneous prose” told tales of the Beat generation, making him the talented and reluctant spokesman for the hip youth of the 1950s.


The New Lost City Ramblers
John Cohen, Mike Seeger, and Tracy Schwartz

From our perspective of forty years we can now see that all along they [the New Lost City Ramblers] have played a role greater than we had imagined, that of national poets who, like the poets of all times and peoples, have shaped and nurtured our collective imaginations around its truest, deepest roots."


Jon Pankake, 2000

For forty years now the New Lost City Ramblers have given us a great gift. They have returned to us music of our own which in our great modern haste we had lost or forgotten.


Jack Tworkov
Born 1900, Biala, Poland.
Died 1982, Provincetown, Mass, USA

Born in Biala, Poland in 1900, Jack Tworkov came to the United States when he was thirteen. He studied at Columbia University and the National Academy of Design, under Ivan Olinsky. He also studied at the Art Students League with Guy Pene DuBois and Boardman Robinson. While working with the WPA, Tworkov met Willem deKooning, and together with other abstract expressionists, they founded the New York School, which flourished in the 1940's to the early 1950's. Tworkov was also a founding member of The Club, one of the primary avant-garde art forums in New York in the early 1950's. He taught at American University, Black Mountain College, Queens College, Pratt Institute, University of Minnesota, the Fieldston School, and Yale, where he was the Chairman of Art at the School of Art and Architecture from 1963-1969. He won the Corcoran Gold Medal at the 28th Biennial Exhibit of American Painting in 1963. Tworkov died in 1982.


Mercedes Matter                                                                                                            1913 - 2001

Mercedes Matter was born in New York in 1913. Her father, theAmerican modernist Arthur B. Carles had studied with Matisse. Her mother, Mercedes de Cordoba, was a model for Edward Steichen. Ms. Matter grew up in  Philadelphia, New York and Europe.

She began painting under her father's supervision at age 6, and studied art at Bennett College in Millbrook, N.Y., and then in New York City with Maurice Sterne, Alexander Archipenko and Hans Hofmann.

Beginning in 1953, Mrs. Matter taught at the Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts), Pratt Institute and New York University. Based on her teaching experiences she wrote an article for Art News in 1963 titled ''What's Wrong with U.S. Art Schools?'' In it, she lamented the phasing out of the extended studio classes required to initiate ''that painfully slow education of the senses,'' which she considered an artist's life work.

The article prompted a group of Pratt students to ask her to form a school based on her ideas, which led, in 1964, to the founding of the New York Studio School. 

In addition to her art and teaching, she wrote articles on artists, including Hofmann, Kline and Giacometti. She wrote the text for a book of her husband's photographs of Giacometti, four years after his death, published in 1987.  Merecedes died nineteen years later in 2001. 


Alan Lomax

Musicologist Alan Lomax was born in Austin, Texas in 1915. He began his career in the 1930s, working with his father John A. Lomax to develop the Archive of Folksong at the Library of Congress. Between 1933 and 1985, he traveled the American South, the Bahamas, Haiti, and the Eastern Caribbean many times to seek out and document African American songs, tales, and oral biography.

A believer in democracy for all local and ethnic cultures and their right to be represented equally in the media and the schools - a principle he called "cultural equity".

Alan Lomax was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 1986, an honorary doctorate of philosophy from Tulane in 2001, and a Grammy in 2002 for his life-long contributions to music. He joked that he had driven more miles in search of songs than anyone else on earth. He died on July 19, 2002.


Philip Guston                                                                                                                        

Born Phillip Goldstein in Montreal, Canada on July 27, 1913, Guston was a notable painter in the New York School, which also numbered many of the Abstract Expressionists, such as Jackson Pollock and Willem De Kooning. In the late sixties Guston helped to lead the transition from Modernism to Post-Modernism in painting, abandoning the so-called "pure abstraction" of abstract expressionism in favor of more cartoon influenced renderings of various personal symbols and objects.


Harry Smith

Harry Smith was an artist whose activities and interests put him at the center of the mid twentieth-century American avant-garde. Although best known as a filmmaker and musicologist, he frequently described himself as a painter, and his varied projects called on his skills as an anthropologist, linguist, and translator. He had a lifelong interest in the occult and esoteric fields of knowledge, leading him to speak of his art in alchemical and cosmological terms.

In 1952 Folkways issued Smith's multi-volume Anthology of American Folk Music. The Anthology was comprised entirely of recordings issued between 1927 1932, the period between the realization by the major record companies of distinct regional markets and the Depression's stifling of folk music sales. Released in three volumes of two discs each, the 84 tracks of the anthology are recognized as having been a seminal inspiration for the folk music revival of the 1950s and 1960s.  The 1997 reissue by the Smithsonian was embraced with critical acclaim and two Grammy awards.  Harry Everett Smith died at the Chelsea Hotel on November 27, 1991.


Robert Frank

Born 1924

In 1955, Robert Frank set out to observe and photograph the United States. Supported by a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, he traveled across the country for two years. The result was The Americans, a visionary work and a milestone in the history of photography

Though Swiss by birth, Frank traveled the world before settling in the United States in 1953. He eventually befriended the Beat poets (Jack Kerouac wrote the introduction to the book The Americans) and became one of the key visual artists to document this bohemian subculture in both photography and film, including the highly influential cinematic work Pull My Daisy. Like the Beats, Frank sought to reveal the profound tensions he saw in all strata of American society during the outwardly optimistic 1950s. His photographic journey encompasses rich and poor, black and white, north and south, offering a glimpse of what makes these people and places truly American.


Pete Seeger                                                                                                        
Born May 3, 1919

In addition to being America's best-loved folksinger and an untiring environmentalist, Pete Seeger is a national treasure. He has been at the forefront of the labor movement, the struggle for Civil Rights, the peace and anti-war movements, and the fight for a clean world. He has been a beacon for hope for millions of people all over the world. Once blacklisted from national television for being unafraid to voice his opinions, he was given the nation's highest artistic honors at the Kennedy Center in December 1994. In January 1996 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although he left Harvard during his second year, in the spring of 1996 he was awarded the  Harvard Arts Medal, presented annually to a Harvard graduate who has made an important contribution to the arts. He won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album of 1996 in February 1997 for his Living Music recording "Pete."  At the end of April 1999, he traveled to Cuba to accept the Felix Varela Medal, that nation's highest honor for "his humanistic and artistic work in defense of the environment and against racism." 


John Herald


John Herald was best known as guitarist and lead vocalist for the Greenbriar Boys.

Born Sept. 6, 1939, in Greenwich Village, he was a founding member of
 the 1970s folk collective The Woodstock Mountain Review and an
 accomplished solo performer. He carried the flag for traditional folk
 and acoustic music throughout his four-decade career.

The Greenbriar Boys were at the forefront of the folk-influenced
 music that set the tone in the early 1960s. They toured with Joan
 Baez, and Herald's song "Stewball" was covered by Peter, Paul and
 Mary. As a singer and session guitarist, Herald recorded with Linda
 Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Doc Watson and Ian & Sylvia.

Herald was an elegant guitarist and a yodeler of some repute, as well as an ardent environmentalist.

Herald said in a 2000 interview with the BBC: "Pete Seeger was the person who let me know that I could sing, in the sense of saying, 'Come on, sing along with this tune here, if you feel the spirit, and maybe you will hear your voice sailing above the crowd, and you'll see what fun it is.' That was at summer camp in 1954."


Ralph Rinzler                                                                                                                                          


Ralph Rinzler (born Ralph Carter Rinzler) played an important role in the revival of folk music in the late '50s and early '60s. In addition to playing mandolin and singing with the Greenbrier Boys, he helped to uncover and introduce folk musicians including Bill Monro, Doc Watson, Clarence "Tom" Ashley, and the Balfa Brothers to an international audience.

Rinzler was drawn to music from a very young age. Fascinated by the family's wind-up phonograph at the age of two, he began listening to Library of Congress field recordings by the age of seven. As a freshman at Swarthmore College, he was inspired by the playing of Pete Seeger to teach himself to play the banjo. Much of his early repertoire was culled from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Together with Seeger's half-brother Mike, who later launched the New Lost City Ramblers, he traveled through Maryland, exploring the state's thriving country music scene. Joining the Greenbrier Boys in 1958, Rinzler added a folk music sensibility to the group's predominately bluegrass sound.  A year after Rinzler's death in 1994, a two-day festival was held in his memory in New Market, TN.


Allen Ginsberg
1926- April 1997

Allen Ginsberg is probably one of the best-known contemporary poets in recent history. He was born in 1926 in Newark, NJ and received his B.A. from Columbia University in 1948.
            Like many of the writers of his period, Ginsberg had a desire to attain the mystical. The metaphysical poets of the nineteenth century, including William Blake, were perhaps his greatest influence.
            In addition to the almost epic poem Howl, Ginsberg has authored numerous books. Many of his writings were interpreted as controversial and even obscene.
Ginsberg is perhaps one of the most respected and revered Beat writer's.


Gregory Corso

Gregory Corso was born on March 26, 1930 in New York. He has spent time working as a manual laborer in New York City and as an employee of the Los Angeles Times.  In addition, he was a merchant seaman on Norwegian vessels and has had some acting experience, including an appearance in Andy Warhol’s film, Couch.

As a writer in the 1950's and 60's, Corso became a key member of the Beat movement. He pressed for social and political changes and Allen Ginsberg even called him an "awakener of youth".

Even though he may have reached his apex in the 1960's, Corso today still continues to have an influence.


James Brooks                                                                                                                                        

1906 -1992

James Brooks was a first generation Abstract Expressionist, friend of Jackson Pollock. One of the first "stain painters," James Brooks made his first stain painting around 1947-48. As such he was one of the "fathers" of Lyrical Abstraction.

James Brooks is an underrated American abstract painter. He lived and worked in Eastern Long Island. Currently his paintings, while under known, look uncannily current, especially in the light of the Lyrical Abstraction generation that started in the late '60s.

Woody Guthrie


In 1940, folklorist Alan Lomax recorded Woody in a series of conversations and songs for the Library of Congress. Also during the 1940s, Woody recorded extensively for Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records. The recordings from this period, which have been reissued under the Smithsonian Folkways label, continue to be touchstones for young folk music singers/songwriters everywhere.

In 1946, Woody Guthrie returned to settle in Coney Island, New York, with his wife and children. The peace he had fought so hard for seemed finally within his reach. It was during this time that Woody composed Songs to Grow On, a collection of children's songs which gained him a great deal of success, yet again. However, soon thereafter, Woody's behavior and health began to deteriorate, becoming increasingly erratic and creating tensions in his personal and professional life. He left his family once again, this time for California with his traveling protégé, Ramblin' Jack Elliott. In California, Woody remarried a third time, to a young woman named Anneke Van Kirk and had a daughter, Lorina Lynn.

Becoming more and more unpredictable during a final series of road trips, Woody eventually returned to New York, where he was mistakenly diagnosed several times as suffering with everything from alcoholism to schizophrenia. In fact, Woody suffered from Huntington's chorea.

In 1954, Woody admitted himself into Greystone Hospital in New Jersey, one of several that he would go in and out of for the next thirteen years. While at Creedmoor State Hospital in Queens, New York, Woody Guthrie died on October 3, 1967.


Jack Elliot                                                                                                                                           

Elliot Charles Adnopoz was born in August 1931, in Flatbush, NY. From a very young age, his dream was to be a cowboy and, when he was just 14, he ran away from home to join a rodeo. He took a job as a groomer for two dollars a day and started learning how to play guitar.

When his parents finally tracked him down, they convinced him to come back to New York and finish high school. It was during this time that Jack began playing out in clubs around Greenwich Village.

After hearing Woody Guthrie on the radio, Jack decided to track him down to see what he could learn from the troubadour. Elliot was going by the name Buck at the time, and quickly became a young protégé of Guthrie. Over the next half-decade, Guthrie and Elliot traveled together, with Jack learning everything he could want to know from his aging hero.

During those traveling years, he managed to befriend Allen Ginsburg, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and other great writers. One night while Jack was singing up the road, Woody snuck away and left his protégé in California. Jack headed down to Los Angeles with another travel mate, and didn't stop traveling for quite some time.

By 1960, he'd recorded six albums for the British folk label Topic. Since then, he's made nearly 50 records, including the forthcoming I Stand Alone, due out June 20, 2006. In 2000, the award-winning film The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack was made about Elliot's life.


Mike Seeger

Mike Seeger's fame is often overshadowed by his older half-brother Pete Seeger's notoriety, but his contributions to the American folk canon--both as a member of the New Lost City Ramblers and as a song collector--are pretty impressive in their own right.

In the 1950's and 60’s, musician-collector Mike Seeger, inspired by the great folksong collectors of the 1930's, visited traditional musicians of the rural South. Mike Seeger has devoted his life to singing, playing and documenting southern traditional mountain music. He has toured throughout the world as a soloist and as a member of the Vanguard old-time music group, the New Lost City Ramblers, of which he was a founding member. Mike plays a variety of traditional styles on banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, trump, harmonica, quills, lap dulcimer, autoharp and other instruments. He has produced nearly 70 recordings and has been nominated for six Grammy awards.


Roscoe Holcomb                                                                                                                                


One of the most noted Appalachian old-time musicians, banjo player and singer Roscoe Holcomb spent most of his life in the small town of Daisy, KY, and was one of the most authentic exponents of American mountain folk music. Indeed, he never had any professional ambitions but become a recording artist and participant in the folk revival circuit after being recorded for the first time in the late '50s. Holcomb's style is stark, epitomizing the keening, at times pained vocals associated with Appalachian music, with a repertoire stuffed with traditional songs that had passed among generations, as well as some songs that he likely learned from early country records. Folk musician and archivist John Cohen coined the term "high lonesome sound" to describe Holcomb's music, and the phrase has since passed into common usage to describe bluegrass and Appalachian music as a whole. He cut several albums for Folkways and made some concert appearances on the college/festival scene throughout the 1960s and 1970s, giving his last show in 1978.  Holcomb died three years later in 1981.

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The Scene


May 11th at Mayslacks Bar
in NE Minneapolis 7 – 10 PM.

Featuring John Cohen, Spider-John Koerner and Tony Glover, Paul Metsa, +

* Music Information *

May 13th, 2006
8 PM – Midnight

CLOSING November 4, 2006

Extended Hours on
Art-A-Whirl Weekend
May 19-20-21

May 24th Bob Dylan’s 65th
Birthday 8 - 10 PM at Icebox!

Keep Bob Forever Young! Celebrate Bob's 65th with us in the Icebox Gallery!
(Bob Dylan Date of Birth: May 24, 1941 Duluth MN.)

Bob Dylan First Thursdays!
B.D. Music Played Loud in the Gallery each First Thursday during the show.
5 – 9 PM Each First Thursday in the Arts district.
• June 1st
• July 6th
• August 3rd

Young Bob Closing Party
Icebox Gallery
Saturday, November 4
8 – 10 PM

Check Icebox website for additional events during the run of the exhibit.

Official Bob Dylan Website

Limited Edition Prints
Tail of the Talking Car
The Scene

The New Lost Times

John Cohen on KFAI Radio
John Cohen on Minnesota Public Radio