Celebrating ....

* CELEBRATING OUR 41th YEAR! * www,junto.blogspot.com * Richard Carreño, Editor * PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com *

Friday, 29 September 2017


The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

LORD OF HOSTS for Almost $100! Are You Crazy?... Get It for $29.99! See Below:

(Now 20 percent off to PJ readers!)

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

The Philadelphia Junto

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.


The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Phonphan Wichukilmonkol

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com
By Janine Yasovant
[WCNews Service]
Phonphan Wichukilmonkol is a newer generation of Thai artist who's constantly working. Most of his works are quickly reserved by art collectors. After Phonphan graduated from Princess Sirindhorn's College, he went to further his education in the faculty of Fine and Applied Arts Communication Design, Bangkok University.
Artist and Works
Phonphan had participated in several projects in Thailand such as Art for Cancer project to help poor patients, as well as for the Rama Foundation and the National Cancer Institute. He also designed a leaflet and a T- shirt, and a bag for the Friends of the Asian Elephants Foundation, and he's constantly submitting  his works for auctions. Moreover, he participated in the 38th Bualuang Art Contest.
His works are very eye-catching. In January-February 2016, he participated in a group art exhibition "The Four Elements" with other three other young artists in Bangkok, and then in March 2016 he joined the group exhibition "99 Arts for the King." 
His works are a mix of oil-based colors with backgrounds in acrylic. Sizes begin from 100 cm by 100 cm  Prices range from around $USD880  to  $USD3600.

Monday, 12 June 2017


By Don Merlot
[WCNews Service]
My first trip to the outside world started in New York in 1968 when working with our international advertising agency and the account people. I met them face to face and  worked with them to carry out my responsibilities. 

I had grown up in Mexico City. My parents were American; and we spoke English at home.
I attended the American School which was a primary school and junior and senior high.  Classes would be half day in English and half day in Spanish. Most students had similar backgrounds; mostly Americans; or European or Mexican parents who wanted to have the children have a bilingual education.

Many fathers worked for American companies or the U.S. Government. There were also Canadians, and Europeans. We were part of the Anglo-American community of Mexico City. When we visited friends, we would walk or ride our bikes to see each other. As we matured we could take busses if we went beyond our neighborhood.
One day I was with a friend on city bus and we were talking in English when an older woman asked us,  Por que no hablan en Cristiano? ( “Why are you not speaking in Christian?”  She meant Spanish, of course.) I remember being startled by that. We knew other passengers we interested in our answer. I was instantly aware that we were in an awkward situation. We apologized and talked in Spanish. Mexico’s language is Spanish and “in Rome do what the Romans do.”

Sunday, 21 May 2017


Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia. ****/5. 

Building exterior, not much. Interior decor and design, excellent. Displays, educational, forthright, and bright.
-- Hotspur for The PJ.

More photos follow

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


The Dream Garden
By Robin Lee
[Special to WC News Service]
Over twenty years ago, I filmed the sad demise of the magnificent and historic estate and art studio of American illustrator and artist and Philadelphia native Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966).
His estate and art studio sprawled upon the upper level of his historic estate with hundreds of miles of  views all the way over to the Vermont mountains, captured in many of his paintings. This estate was located in the Cornish area of New Hampshire, a place for artist, poets and writers to work.

I lived close by his estate, and 1993 was the first time I was invited to his estate for tea. A long story and it would take all day and more to tell you of what I discovered. In short, I discovered nirvana, a world that few know of. And, now, it is gone.


Chaisak Chaiboon was born in 7 May 1959 in Thailand. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from the faculty of Painting, Sculpture and Graphic Arts, Silpakorn University. After graduation, he worked at Amarin Printing and Publishing as an editor for art department of famous Thai magazines such as Baan Lae Suan (Home and Garden), Preaw and Preaw Sudsabd (Variety magazine for women). From 1994 to 2002, he set up his own publishing and advertising company, Contemplate Advertising. After that, he focused solely on printmaking.
-- Janine Yasovant

Sunday, 14 May 2017


By Fred Winslow Rust
I like to go to Nassau,
I like to settle down
Among the palms, above the bay,
In this quaint, half-ancient town.
I like to walk in Nassau,
On Bay Street's shady side
And stroll along and see the life,
And shop, -- I need no guide.

I like the Nassau quiet;
No rush of motors through
From everywhere to everywhere,
Through days and night times, too.

Of course I hear the toot of cars.
The carriage bell so sweet,
But visitors come by boat or plane
So motors can't compete.

I like her solid comfort, --
Her latticed porches call, --
Her lovely high walled gardens,
Her people -- best of all.

The smiling natives and the clerks,
The gentry whom I see,
All make me feel I'm Nassau's guest,
And proud that I should be.

And when I go to Nassau,
However long my stay,
I wish I could stay longer, but, --
I'll come again some day!

[From A Song of Nassau and Other Verses, 1935]

Sunday, 23 April 2017


The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Fly on the Wall, A Memoir

Notes & thoughts on food and wine
“Life is a heavy burden; take it one step at a time." – Eiyasu Tokugawa, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan. (17the century). 
By Don Merlot
[WC News Service]
Our daily office coffee break ritual started at 9 am. The department heads had two groups: sales and engineering. The directors would walk out of their offices into the office bays to collect us, and we would be joined by the rest of the departments and go to the company cafeteria where several dining tables would be full of office staff. We would take our morning coffee together. Our group consisted of the international division. Our directors would be in the center of the table and the staff would surround them. 
On my first day I was thinking as I walked through my first business rite of passage to my first job that here I am with my new family. I recently graduated from Thunderbird (American Institute for Foreign Trade). I was newly married, and had just relocated to southwestern Michigan and my new job was in international advertising and sales promotion at Whirlpool Corporation. 

This day was also the first day for a fellow graduate from Thunderbird, who was recruited at the same time as I. Not, that I was overwhelmed, but there were so many people coming over from other tables to meet us too. I knew I would never remember all the names and the roles they had, but I felt welcome to my new life. 

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Hello Kitty!

Please join us in celebrating today's launch of the new MEW-TER MUSEUM

Today we're excited to announce that we are transitioning from a medical history institution to a museum exclusively devoted to historical feline anatomy!

Become a Mew-ter Museum Founding Member!

Get your claws into the best yarns from behind-the-scenes, and complimentary guest passes for you and your litter of kitties. Today only, we're offering fans the opportunity to become a Founding Member of the new Mew-ter Museum.

Right meow, we will be sharing some of the feline specimens that you can currently see in our galleries, along with their never-before-revealed histories. Be sure to follow along on InstagramFacebook and Twitter!
Posted 1 April, 2017

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVII. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

By Janine Yasovant
Widsanupong Noonan
Widsanupong Noonan started painting while at university. He studied in the faculty of Architecture, Department of Fine Arts, King Monkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, Bangkok, Thailand. He received a best student award for two years, in 2005 and 2006. In 2007 he had his own art exhibition and he got a first class honour degree from the institute.
He won many painting competitions during that time. Most of his works are very large. They are realistic paintings mixed with sculpting using oil color on fiberglass. He expresses his own dreams on sculpting partly while painting  He got master's degree (a MFA  in the Program of Visual Arts, Department of painting, Faculty of Painting, Sculptures and graphic arts, Silpakorn University

Noonan who does painting and sculpting concurrently.  I asked, “Is there anyone who works in the same way as you?” 
"As far as I know, this is my original idea” he replied “It is coincidental that the surface of fiberglass is suitable, so I can draw and sculpt anything on it.”

Friday, 10 March 2017

Soane & Town, Architects


New Spaces Now Open at Soane Museum

Our 7 million pound restoration is now complete.

We’ve just got bigger (and even better!). Our 7-year programme of restoration is complete, returning the Museum to the original design of Sir John Soane. 

Previously ‘lost’ areas have been restored, and new spaces are open for the very first time. These include the Catacombs, the Regency-era kitchens, and our second temporary exhibition space – the Foyle Space. An astonishing 365 objects from our collection are now back on public display for the first time since Soane's death in 1837, and we're thrilled to say that the Museum now has full step-free access. 
-- Recent press release, the Sir John Soane Museum, London

Twin Libraries

The following is excerpted from Ithiel Town: An American Original by Richard Carreño, published by the Thompson, Connecticut, Historical Society (1995)

Much of Town's professional and personal life remains murky.  Perhaps the least known aspect of his life bridges his thirty-year career as a private book collector.  What is known is that during that time Town had amassed an architectural library of about 11,500 volumes, one of the premier collections on the topic anywhere.

According to Michael C. Quinn, "Town's fine arts collection had no peer in America, and probably rivaled European libraries of the day in its comprehensive scope of written and visual printed materials."

One measure of the leviathan size of Town's library is how it compared with comparable collections.  When Jefferson's library was sold to congress in 1815, it contained forty-three volumes in its architectural section.  Peter Harrison's collection numbered twenty-nine titles.  Even Bulfinch's library only tallied about twenty-seven texts.

The intimate size of these other libraries was in keeping with an early tradition of the working library.

Instead, Town became a collector -- a massive collector.  Perhaps unbeknownst to him, the British architect, Sir John Soane, was pioneering a similar effort in England.  Soane's collection, at 7,783 volumes, was sizeably smaller than Town's.  Yet both collectors were likely tapping the same book-selling sources in England and on the continent.

"Both men while requiring illustrated volumes for their professions, responded to the architectural book as an object precious in itself," according to Quinn.

In this context, Quinn has also noted Soane's departure from tradition.  His observation also serve for Town.

"Even though Soane certainly drew on the information contained in his architectural books, their sheer number broke decisively with the earlier tradition of the intimately known working library.  Sir John Soane had extended the instinct of the connoisseur and collector beyond actual works of art, to encompass printed materials devoted to architecture and to the fine arts."

In America, Town was the companion piece.  In published catalogs of the holdings, the collection is routinely referred to as "rare," "choice," "costly" "scarce," "valuable," "extensive," "elegant," and "splendid."

Because of Town's meticulous and driven need for acquisition, any definitive reason for Town's decision to dispose of the library in 1842 has remained a constant puzzle.  This, especially, since Town had built a stately house at 6 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven (razed in 1942) to house his indulgence.

Quinn notes that Town had always planned to sell the collection citing an 1832 will.

Still mystifying is the timing.  Why just two years before his death in 1844 did he undertake the sale?  Did he have a precedent notion of his impending demise?


Tuesday, 7 March 2017

In Training

By Don Merlot
[WC News Service]
The flight from Michigan to New York City was on a clear night. I could look out the plane windows and see the towns and villages. We were traveling from Chicago to New York City.  As we came into New York’s air space, we cruised over the metro area and saw the Statue of Liberty and the buildings on Manhattan: The Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building were front and forward. The ribbon of street lights looked like gold necklaces. After landing we took a taxi to the hotel in Manhattan. It was late so we settled in for the day to prepare for the next day.
The excitement was high for me. This was my first business trip with my first job. This was not my first time to New York. My earlier visits were when I went military prep school in Virginia in 1958 to 1959. One trip was to visit my school roommate’s home in Short Hills, New Jersey, and the other was to catch up with a childhood friend that I had known from the American School in Mexico City, whose father had moved and worked in the city. He commuted from Roslyn, on Long Island. The other two trips were interviews for jobs when I was at Thunderbird (1967).These experiences prepared me for the massive size of the greater metropolitan area; the cosmopolitan culture; the skyscrapers, and the blaring noise of the traffic that was constant from day break to nightfall. These visits were a test to see the big picture for business, and the global world as well: The preparation to see the world: the big picture. It reminded me of the movie Auntie Mame, and I was the bronco being busted to become a worldly executive.
This trip was tremendous boost for my persona and very emotional. I was in the throes of the beginning of my international career and on the road to become a world savant and traveler.

Monday, 20 February 2017


The best book buying deals in Britain are on-line. (A shameless plug for Philabooks|Booksellers). But when I'm replenishing my inventory, which I often do in London because of the ready availability of titles that suit my customers' tastes, I go for remainders.

As is the case in strictly used bookshops in America, discounts in similar London versions are usually no great bargain. (Overhead, etc.) I buy only when I make what I call 'a love connection.' In other words, a book I must have. The used bookshops I like best are in British Museum area.  

My favourite remainder spot is South Kensington Bookshop, in South Ken's museum district and French enclave. (It's located in the building complex attached to the South Kensington tube stop). Great titles, many just a year or two old, are be had up to fifty percent off list prices. At times, even greater discounts can be sighted. 

The shop seems to be open 'round the clock. At least, whenever I pop in. Service is pleasant and efficient. Highly recommended!

There was another remainder bookshop I used to go to, in Victoria directly across the south side of the station. It used to be a double hit, since I'd also visit the old Politico bookshop, off Victoria Street. (Long gone). Don't remember the name of this Victoria Station shop, and I'm wondering if it's still there. (Memo to self: Check it out on next buying trip).

Meantime, if you follow Philabooks at amazon.com, you'll see some new titles I've just listed. Or, go to PhilabooksBooksellers.blogspot.com. Call 1.215.385.3512 for even speedier service.
-- Richard Carreño

Sunday, 29 January 2017

The PJ depends exclusively on reader support. Please help us continue by contributing directly via PayPal, or by contributing editorial content via PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com. Empowered by WritersClearinghouse | S.P.Q.R. 1976 Richard Carreño, Editor Copyright MMXVI. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, 27 January 2017


'Born as a girl in this land is a proof of her physical and mental strengths since she is young. It is so different from boys. The society is biased towards male. Families are encouraged by the custom to have a boy rather than a girl. There I saw a young girl in a tiny village. She walked and carried two clay pots on her head. It looked like she was accustomed to this but the pots seemed heavy. She looked at me while I took a photo of her. I guessed it might be the first time of her life to be photographed.' -- Udom Wanjing

Udom Wanjing is an award-winning independent artist and a guest lecturer teaching art in many universities in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He was selected by Kasikorn Bank in Thailand to design an addition to honor the heroism of the Thai Army.
In 2003, he exhibited his works in an exhibition at Salle Nougaro (Airbus) in Tulus, France. A year later he brought traditional Thai painting to exhibit at The Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm. In 2015, and again in 2016, he visited India, and sketched his impressions, oil pastel on cotton. He also works with charcoal on canvas.  -- Janine Yasovant [WC News Service]

Sunday, 22 January 2017


Giordano radiates vibes from societal cartoonist Robert Crumb and the pop artist, the late great Richard Merkin. 

A graduate of the South Philadelphia High School, Giordano studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and is known as a multi-tasker, working in oils, acrylics, and watercolors, painting on canvas, wood panel, and paper.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Sa-ad Tanomwong

By Janine Yasovant
[WC News Service]
It is so interesting to talk about a Thai artist, Sa-ad Tanomwong, whose work I've followed for several years. He is an independent artist that I always admired and who I have wanted to write about -- his life and work. In December 2016, he agreed to be interviewed show me some of his works.

The artist

Sa-ad Tanomwong was born in Klaeng District, Rayong Province, Thailand. He graduated from Poh Chang academy of art. He began his artistic career as movie poster painter, taught art subjects at Santirad school and then worked for the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.
After he resigned from the last job, in 1971, he eventually got a job at a USIS organization as an art illustrator and this was the beginning of his full-time artist life. When he was working for the USIS Thailand with another eight artists, he had an idea to create art that looked exciting and independent because he had inspiration from a foreign artist who drew powerful realistic paintings of wild horses.

Friday, 25 November 2016


Gassed (1919) by John Singer Sargent
By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
Like many laymen, I've always thought of John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) as a Society portraitist. A trenchant -- even oftentimes, an unforgiving filter of the genre -- to be sure. The 'scandalous' full-figured Portrait Madame X attests to that. For the most part, though, Sargent's softer side, summed up in the fan-favourite Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, elicits the most raves.
This is the Sargent that most viewers have known and loved. And the one that gets reinforced in one Sargent show after another. Most notably, for me, it was the blockbuster Sargent retrospective I went to see in 1999 at the Tate (it was rebranded Tate Britain only later). Comprehensive? Really?
Well, I didn't see Sargent's pencil and charcoal drawings and sketches. His landscapes and seascapes? I got up close and personal with these only some years later at the former Corcoran in Washington.

As for his tour de force, Gassed (1919), currently doing a star turn at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, I had to go to the Imperial War Museum for that experience. Step forward, John Singer Sargent as war artist. Who knew?

Thursday, 24 November 2016



The Museum of Modern Art | 11 West 53 Street | New York, NY 10019
(212) 333-1273

Glenn Lowry
From: Lowry, Glenn <glenn_lowry@moma.org>
Date: Wed, Nov 9, 2016 at 4:22 PM
Subject: Today

I know many of you, like me,  were dismayed by the results of the election last night. I will spend a long time trying to understand what happened and what it means for our future. But I take comfort in a note that I received from Marie-Josée Kravis, our president, first thing this morning who reminded me not to forget what we stand for, and to strive to be a beacon for the values we care about most. As I read her note, I thought about how fortunate we are to have trustees like her. I realized that our mission going forward suddenly had become clear: to be a model of an open, tolerant, and generous institution in everything we do.



Friday, 18 November 2016

Letter from Washington

By Richard Carreno
[WC News Service]

WASHINGTON -- I read this in The New Yorker, in print, as well, and was equally impressed.  But for some reasons that might somewhat differ from your view. I thought at the time that the tone -- despite many good points in the article -- was too hysterical and crisis laden.  (I still hold this view upon re-reading). Understandable, I suppose, in that it was written just after the biggest presidential upset in history, and the grief at the unexpected was overwhelming for many. (Me included, except for the overwhelming part). Ergo the cry-ins and sensitivity sessions at many institutions of higher learning (Penn included) to calm the nerves of these poor dears.

I am in Washington at the moment, as I write this, and I just visited Trump's new International hotel in the Old Post Office Building. What a triumph in design -- all in bad taste, of course. The rooms run about $400 per night. Less, with discounts of course. Not quite the Georges V. It will serve the right-wing swamp lizards who are now descending on this capital in great numbers. These people from Des Moines and other nether parts who will of course be appropriately impressed. For the rest of us, it's time to boycott Trump properties. Here. Now.  (I was struck by the service of a bellhop who out of one eye noticed I had to relieve myself. You know, that twitchy dance number.  He caught my eye and pointed in the direction of the lavatory. Not a word was spoken. Well done! I also sort of liked the idea that my only activity in Trump-land was to pee on a part of it).

The point is, We really don't know how Trump will proceed -- despite what knowing, elite, establishment New York liberal David Remnick (The New Yorker's saviour and Sy Newhouse's house toady, by the way) might deduce. I think more reasoned thinking suggests that Trump will be at his worst in dealing with social policy(ie healthcare and the like, Supreme Court, etc.. , immigration). He might fare better in international matters (ISIS, Russia, Syria, etc). His administration will be replete with second-raters, with conflicts of interest up the wazoo. So there will be many nefarious compromises of course.

The reaction of the media and responsible corporate press (not Bernie incidentally) is to normalize Trump. (Pence and Nancy Pelosi had a hand-holding session yesterday here, wherein they and press lackeys blew kisses at each other). This is, Trump would say, a YUGE mistake.

Trump must be taken down. In my opinion, this can only happen if the opposition (and I'm not strictly speaking of the Democratic Party) reconstitutes itself to reflect the broad spectrum of the truly and honestly aggrieved and disaffected. All the talking heads of course are talking about Hillary's neglect of white men. But, oddly, they're not commenting on the white, brown, and black men and WOMEN who voted for The Donald. (Hello, Philly suburbs).

The Wall will NOT be built. The swamp will NOT be drained. I wonder how it will take before the White Man brigade realizes that it has been conned -- again!

Earlier today, I stopped at the new Museum of African-American History and Culture. I couldn't get in. No tickets are available, and won't be for months, I'm told. By all accounts that museum is stunning, a true wonder and celebration of America's black minority. (Interesting, Philly's African American Museum is failure. No one goes). These museums are identity keepsakes of course, and makes one wonder when the Museum of Latino History and Culture will open on the mall, celebrating a minority (my minority by the way) whose numbers are far greater than that of the black populace. The point is this: The Dems (viz Hillary) are too constricted by their links to identity groups -- the celebration of diversity, as opposed to unity, our true cause!

Some of us have been saying this for years. Finally we might have a chance to refashion a more progressive form of  neo-liberalism.

Sending you a copy of the article on this topic in today's New York Times.

Meantime, they're still blowing kisses. So I'm not optimistic.