MICA PRESENTS LARGEST
SIDESHOW PERFORMER JOHNNY ECK, DEC.
The Amazing Johnny Eck
coincides with a
second exhibition at MICA that celebrates Baltimore
culture. From Friday, Dec. 13, 2013–Sunday, March 16,
2014, the Fox Building’s Meyerhoff Gallery (1303 W. Mount
Royal Ave.) will
house PICTURE WINDOWS ... The
Painted Screens of Baltimore and Beyond, which explores
the history and cultural significance of the artistic
painted screens throughout the city, beginning 100 years
ago. As a young man, Eck was a student of Baltimore’s
original screen painter, William Oktavec, and when he
returned from his film career in Hollywood, he picked up
where he left off, painting screens for his neighbors and
far-flung customers and admirers.
MICA’s exhibitions are supported by
a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency
dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community
where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of
Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides
financial support and technical assistance to non profit
organizations, units of government, colleges and
universities for arts activities.
Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute
College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously
degree-granting college of art and design in the nation.
The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate
and continuing studies students from all 50 states and 57
countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art
education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree
and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design
education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches
to innovation, research, and community and social
engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe,
even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the
Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of
exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and
other established artists.
The Johnny Eck Museum began
collecting Johnny Eck(hardt) material shortly after his
twin brother, Robert, died in 1995. Since that time, its
goal has been to accumulate anything pertaining to the
incredible lives of the Baltimore-born brothers. The
wonderful journey has included pouring over hundreds of
family letters, photographs, drawings and diaries.
Listening to Johnny’s audio tapes, 78 rpm records and
hearing the stories related from people who knew them.
Their impressive story spanned nearly eight decades of the
greatest and most tragic events of our times, and, through
all the world’s ups and downs, they managed their lives
with a resilience that many lacked and a sense of pride
and will that was unmatched. Ladies and gentlemen, the
Johnny Eck Museum wants to share this amazing story
through its collection of memorabilia from the personal
belongings of Johnny and Robert Eckhardt.
All images courtesy Johnny Eck
a. Johnny on Stool,
hand-tinted photo by Johnny Eck, circa 1927.
b. Johnny Eck,
Rainbow/Pot O’Gold (detail), painted screen, late
1980s, (Eck’s last ever painted screen).
c. Johnny Eck, untitled
self-portrait, watercolor, circa 1925.
d. Johnny Eck and his twin brother
Rob, Canadian Exposition, 1927.
e. Johnny Eck in front of his
bannerline, circa mid-1930s.
f. Johnny Eck, Punch and Judy
puppets, hand-carved wood and paint, circa 1940.
Jessica Weglein and Dionne McConkey 410.225.2300
Thanks to Brian
Ezzelle for his continued support of Sideshow World
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