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OUR 40th YEAR! * www,junto.blogspot.com * Richard Carreño, Editor * PhiladelphiaJunto@ymail.com * 1.215.385.3512

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

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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.

Monday, 14 November 2016


Janine Yasovant, of the WC News Service, reports on Decha Warashoon
Decha Warashoon
Works by Professor Decha Warashoon, an art lecturer and Thai national artist (Visual Arts, Graphic Arts, and Mix Media Arts) in 2007, are shown here. Warashoon graduated from the School of Arts and Crafts in Bangkok, an institution that focuses mainly on artistic skills. Warashoon himself frequently makes replicas of his works as samples and as teaching materials for his students. From 1967, he has exhibited widely in Thailand and abroad and has won many well-known art competitions. He was also the first visual Thai national artist to be awarded eight honorary PhD. degrees. Apart from painting in oils, watercolours, and acrylic, Warashoon is also interested in printmaking and in making leather bags and hats. He also sculpts, mainly Buddha's image.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Long Memories

By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
In 1996 I also happened to be in London when that other Clinton, William Jefferson Clinton, was reelected to his second term. The mood then, in the media and amongst my friends and acquaintances, mostly academics and journalists, was strong, widespread interest in the election. But little expressed concern. Even less emotional engagement. Twenty years later, that same platter is still on offer.
With a twist. Brexit anyone?
Back then, my political cohort of centre-lefties, largely New Labourites and enthusiastic followers of their new team captain, Tony Blair, saw Bill Clinton as being in the same putatively progressive mold of Blair. Clinton's sexual dalliances, exploits, and financial scandals were, as was the case then in the United States, set aside by his supporters, including his feminist cadre. for the greater good.

Friday, 28 October 2016


[WC News Service]
Gare du Palais
Château Frontenac
Every visitor to this historic city, founded in 1608 and one of the oldest in North America, can't miss the monumental, turreted structure that looms over St. Lawrence River. In fact, the Château Frontenac almost swallows whole the city's legendary Haut-Ville, dominating the skyscape as the iconic symbol of this capital of Quebec Province and the indisputable heart of French Canada. 
Iconic. Also ironic.
First, the Frontenac, despite its vague architectural conceit to Loire Valley antecedents, isn't really a château. (It's a hotel). In addition, the building's founding was rooted in a very American  instinct -- capital and economic growth. Its owner, the Canadian Pacific Railway, wanted to expand and centre tourism and commerce in what still a riparian backwater, and hired American staritect Bruce Price, who was then making the rounds in Anglo-Canadian business circles, to do the job. Historic? Hardly. Most telling of all, at least by local standards, the edifice isn't really that old. Construction began only in 1893.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

An Opposing View: He's Entitled

Albert Barnes and Paul Guillaume

By Robert Zeller
June 03, 2014
Albert Barnes by Giorgio de Chirico
My colleague Richard Carreño [at BroadStreetReview.com] compares the Barnes Foundation’s art collection, of which some 800 pieces were hung on permanent display in Merion, to that of Paul Guillaume in the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. There are some important differences, however.
Giorgio de Chirico's portrait of Barnes.
Guillaume’s collection, as Richard points out, consists of 145 works. Barnes owned some 350 works by Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, and Picasso alone. In addition to the works in the galleries, he had ten times as many in other repositories, notably his estate at Ker-Feal. These included works by Corot, Courbet, Millet, and De Chirico, the latter a portrait of Barnes himself. He wasn’t just hiding them; they simply didn’t fit in with the conception he had for the galleries. In the case of De Chirico, Barnes may simply not have wished to call undue attention to himself in what was designed as a pedagogical setting. Guillaume’s portrait of himself by Modigliani does hang in l’Orangerie. De gustibus.

Monday, 3 October 2016


Facing Down the Ugly American
By Don Merlot
[WC News Service]
New Orleans
Back in 1968 I started my international career in February and took off for my first international trip in June. When I stepped off the plane to experience my first foreign culture exchange and to pursue an international global career, my expectation was, as a recent college graduate, that I could handle anything and everything. 

One of the things that I was told about seeing a new culture was, do not judge a culture or compare it to your own. You do not have to like it, nor comment about it publicly. You are a business ambassador doing business and be polite and diplomatic.

Maybe as I look back, that was true; in the American Culture of the 1960s we were the Baby Boomers out represent the USA and its interests but it was not practiced by all American travelers that I had met or known. And there I was, starting my first business trip in June 1968 surrounded by an anti War movement, racial discord, political division.  My new business group consisted of Americans who wanted to sell excess manufactured goods. There was a common feeling then that Americans were exporting “fast food, blue jeans, and rock 'n roll." 

Books Received

Liberace's Filipino Cousin
By David R. Brubaker
ThingsAsian Press, 2016

David Brubaker knows and loves this corner of the world [the Philippines], and his passion for it is infectious. History, humor, and travel tips are brought together in his tantalizing glimpses oi this country of 7,000 islands and the delightful people who live there. As you read and laugh through pages, you'll be learning how to navigate your way through the crazy streets of Manila, how to travel country roads to meet an island witch who uses her powers to heal, how to join one of the most exclusive clubs on earth, and above all, how to enjoy your time in a country that is still off the beaten track for many travelers. -- From the cover

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Ben Franklin in Paris

Hôtel de Valentinois
Photo: WC News Service
By Richard Carreño
[WC News Service]
DURING HIS LONG life of eighty-four years, Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, postmaster, printer, librarian, scientist, politician, journalist. Here in Paris, though, the polymath Franklin reached his apogée, as an American freedom fighter, Society maven, intellectual superstar, statesmen, and, despite his age and age-related ailments, even as an envied roué and lady's man.

Franklin (1706-1790) was always peripatetic. This was all the more remarkable in that 18th century travel, both overland and overseas, was time-consuming and involved incredible hardship, planning, and danger. Franklin mastered it all, becoming arguably the most well-travelled American of his time.
Born in Boston, he wound up, via New York, in Philadelphia in 1723, where he married, raised a family, and blossomed as the Anglo-American luminary of legend.

Friday, 9 September 2016


[WC News Service]
While France remains on high-alert, following recent terrorist attacks, and its armed forces and national and local police deployed to block still more murder and mayhem (a potential bombing was thwarted just this past Sunday at Nôtre Dame), another zealous security force is working diligently underground here to deter another fierce threat -- this from unsuspecting tourists.

In fact, these agents are nothing more than a band of weasels employed by Paris's equally conniving subway system, the Métropolitan, or Métro, to ostensibly enforce a wide range of rules of regulations to maintain underground safety and order. Not a word of truth to it! The Métro police have, in fact, have a singled out docile -- often non-French speaking -- visitors as their prime target. The offense? Not retaining the paper ticket used at turnstiles to enter the subway network. The punishment? Strict fines.

I know. I was nailed this week. This, after eighteen months of residence in Paris (in the 60s) and more than forty visits in subsequent years. And I speak (and read) French.

Shame on me.

The Buddha Image in Art

By Janine Yasovant
[WC News Service] 
Yothin Narasak
The Buddha image is a symbol of gracefulness that many art collectors seek. It is said by many that Chiang Mai is the city of culture and religionIn the city center, outside the city wall, temples can be seen in every two kilometers. Each temple has paintings and sculptures that are the symbol of the Buddha. Many Thai northern artists are working as teachers and art lecturers. Apart from teaching or making their own art, they occasionally paint murals in temples or sculpt Buddha images for temples. This involves a mixture of faith and the development of an artistic knowledge they already have.     
Yothin Narasak is a northern artist from Chiang Mai who has had a number of interesting commissioned works to draw the head of Buddha on teakwood. His works have unique beauty; many have mentioned his works as “naïve art.'

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Fly on the Wall

By Don Merlot 
[WC News Service]
Chacun  a son goût.

To each his own taste.

When it comes to wine, the French categorization of red and white (Bordeaux and Burgundy) in the 19th century have dominated  oenophile and epicurean palates until the end of World War II, when Europe had to be rebuilt and the Pax Americana renovated France in the post war period.  American G.I’s who returned from VE- Day who had learned about and had savored the wines of France became acquainted with the wine habit and formal dinners with family, friends and social associates. The historical epitome of a dinner was guided by the French who influenced the British on wine with dinner. 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Book News: Vietnam Angst

War Saga in 60s Setting
Paris to Saigon
Lawrence J. Potesta
Amazon Kindle: Free (limited time) at amazon.com
It’s 1966, and Mickey Van escapes the jungles of Vietnam for a cushy post in Germany. James, his best friend, is black, alone, afraid and not so lucky as he fights for his life and sanity in the daily terror of the Hell known as 'Rice and Dice Land.' The letters that these two soldiers share are horrifying, bloody, and brutal as well as life preserving and morale boosting. Following a long and treacherous battle fighting the North Vietnamese, James is cut down by friendly fire and sent home to his sobbing mother in a flag draped coffin along with thousands of other sacrificial lambs.

Mickey Van, suffering from survivor’s guilt, trades his escapades in Paris for likely death as a Medevac helicopter pilot in the country that took James’ life. These choppers bearing giant red crosses taxi maimed and bleeding soldiers screaming for their gods and mothers to healing hands providing that they might someday see their grandchildren.