The Colossus of Hanford (declassified)


The Colossus, Declassified
2006
Digital Painting/photo collage
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

The Colossus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a gigantic statue brandishing a torch of the harbor at Rhodes. Its dedicatory inscription is said to have read, “To you, O Sun, the people of Dorian Rhodes set up this bronze statue reaching to Olympus when they had pacified the waves of war and crowned their city with the spoils taken from the enemy. Not only over the seas but also on land did they kindle the lovely torch of freedom.”

The Statue of Liberty is modeled on the idea of the Colossus.

Miss Flame, of Fire Prevention Week, 1950, in the Hanford Declassification Project archive, is revealed in several incarnations. Two earlier entries of mine show her as a masked woman in a flamboyantand glamorous gown.

Then there are these images of her in a dark dress, her face draped with a mysterious veil; images not taken in her public role but seemingly in a private shoot. One wonders at the purpose, and I am briefly reminded of the veiled woman upon the “Shape of Things to Come” Camp Hanford Float, but the float was from 1956 and would have nothing to do with Miss Flame of 1950.

As I reflected on the images, Miss Flame in her veiled form transformed into the torch-bearing Colossus or Rhodes, an association cemented by the photo of her looming large over the photographer with a lamp in the background, her identity completely cloaked. Aloof from human concerns, she became headless, a representation of the falsehood that victory is a fulfillment of heaven-directed destiny, when instead the power of possession is blind and belongs simply to those who win what becomes the final round.

Miss Flame as Madame Death

Miss Flame as...art? 1950
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0054382”
Accession Number N1D0054382
Document Number 1378-50-NEG-I
Alternate Document Number 1378-50-NEG
Title Description FIRE PREVENTION “MISS FLAME”
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s) FIRE SAFETY,HANFORD SITE,MISS FLAME
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 05-Feb-2002
Public Availability Date 14-Jun-2002

I don’t know of these were pictures of the woman in a veil were just taken for the fancy of the photographer (perhaps inspired by Magritte?) or if the veil was used in another theatrical presentation or was a part of the woman’s costume. But it occurs to me that with her cigarette she is likely intended to represent Death, not due any dangers to health, but the ever present threat of the spark.

She lights her cigarette.

Continue reading The Colossus of Hanford (declassified)

Miss Sunshine (declassified)

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine

hanfordfirepreventionweekmisssunshineunsigned
Miss Sunshine, declassified
2006
16 by 20 approx
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

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Hanford Fire Prevention Week of 1951 rolls around. Having observed the iconic femme fatale who was Miss Flame of 1950, everyone out there wants to know who was Miss Flame of 1951, right?

There was no Miss Flame of 1951. Instead, we have Miss Sunshine.

You make me happy, when skies are gray

The original photo is impossible to beat but I still wanted to give it some color. The more I worked on it and thought about it the more the man on the right stood out to me, and he already figured pretty strongly, the strongest of all the men basking in the radiance of Miss Sunshine.

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Little Atom

[clear]
Little Atom
2006
Approx 25 h by 22 inches w
Digital Painting
Based on a photo
© copyright Jk

Little Atom, Burt Pierard, trained with Tony Prince, The Atomic Clown, and was ten years of age, in 1952, when he became the youngest registered clown in The Circus Clown Club of America.

Note: This portrait came about through my working on the couple of portraits of Tony Prince, the Atomic Clown, and making some inquiries. I eventually got in touch with Burt Pierard who was helpful in answering some questions I had about Tony Prince and his miniature Prince Sisters Circus. And he commissioned a portrait of himself as a young clown. It’s my first straightforward clown portrait and I loved doing it. Burt was able to sketch for me his signature clown make-up to use for a reference.

When I was a kid I didn’t care for clowns. Except my mother had a few cloth doll Pierrots she started making when I was little and never finished, and those fascinated me as a child. But no otherwise I didn’t like clowns except for the European Pierrot. Whenever I saw the European-style Pierrot in a show I was pretty well riveted. Then when I was about 18 I saw Fellini’s clown movie and some time in my 20s I suddenly started liking Jerry Lewis and then in my 30s I finally got hold of Charlie Chaplin movies. And that’s my history of beginning to come to an understanding with clowns.

Tony Prince, the Atomic Clown, with clock nose, declassified

clowntoniclockdarker
Tony Prince, the Atomic Clown, with clock nose, declassified
2006
21 by 16 in h
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

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Tony Prince, the Atomic Clown, was also the subject of a previous entry. In this digital painting, I have done Tony so his flesh appears to show through crackled paint, but Burt Pierard, who apprenticed with Tony, says that Tony was a master at the art of applying clown makeup.

I’ve been interested in clowns for a while, their function in different cultures. Exactly what the process was in American culture where they became principally associated with entertainment for children, I don’t know. Because, of course, they’re not just for the entertainment of children, their intent is for society as a whole, a balancing force.

An “Atomic Clown” with a clock upon his nose recalls the Doomsday Clock which was begun in 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, its purpose being to reflect events dangerous to humankind.

But Tony’s “clock”, set at about 1 or 2, would have nothing to do with the Doomsday Clock.

Below are several other images of Tony at work/play.

Continue reading Tony Prince, the Atomic Clown, with clock nose, declassified

Tony the Atomic Clown, and his Prince Sisters Miniature Circus, declassified


Tony Prince, the Atomic Clown, declassified
2006
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

Read the introduction to the Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project paintings

An employee at Hanford, Tony Prince, the Atomic Clown, came from a carnival family. His father was a clown with Ringling Brothers. His mother was an aerial artist and bareback rider with Barnum and Bailey. Tony began performing as a clown at the age of six and traveled with, among others, the Ringling Brothers, Clyde Beatty, Cole Brothers and the Frank J. Walters circus for underprivileged children.

Tony created his own circus, The Prince Sisters’ Miniature Circus, built on a scale of one inch per foot and having 22 performing acts, putting it together over a span of 23 years.

Coming across the images of the miniature circus in the archive, I became curious and started looking for information on Tony Prince. I found only two items on Google for him. One was an EBay auction of August 2005 in which 8 of the wagons from Tony’s miniature circus, the only known remnants of it, were being sold for a starting bid of $495. Another mention was found through a Richland high school alumnus message board, through which I made a contact who was able to supply me with a bit of information on him. The individual had apprenticed with Tony Prince when he was a child and was able to supply some articles and a few interesting recollections but didn’t know what had happened to Tony, but he knew he had sisters in Arizona. The sale of the items from the miniature circus was connected with an estate out of Sedona, perhaps connected with one of those sisters or family of them? It would be interesting to know who became the owner of this bit of Hanford/Richland’s history.

1952 TONY THE CLOWN AND HIS CIRCUS - INTERIOR OLD CHRISTIAN ADVENT CHUYRCH BUILDING - 505 GOETHALS AVENUE
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0040777”
Accession Number N1D0040777
Document Number 2986-2-NEG-F
Alternate Document Number 2986-2-NEG
Title Description TONY THE CLOWN AND HIS CIRCUS – INTERIOR OLD CHRISTIAN ADVENT CHUYRCH BUILDING – 505 GOETHALS AVENUE
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 09-Jan-1952
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

Below are some pics of Tony Prince’s “Prince Sisters Miniature Circus”. These pictures are dated Jan 9 1952 and were taken in the old Christian Advent church building at 505 Goethals Avenue. The last picture shows Tony Prince 26 Sept 1950.

Continue reading Tony the Atomic Clown, and his Prince Sisters Miniature Circus, declassified

Fire Prevention Week Meets Them, Declassified

Richland was just another word for kindling

firepreventionweek
Fire Prevention Week Meets Them, declassified
2006
20 by 16 in h
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

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Them, a movie in which ants, mutated by exposure to Los Alamos radioactivity, went about terrorizing people in the desert, made quite an impression on me as a child, considering I was a child living in Richland. I knew there were no giant ants (likely) out in the desert surrounding us, but the possible scenario of them lurking in desert caverns, squeaking over the denuded bones of tasty victims, was something I thought about at night, going to sleep. And sometimes, when I was out playing in the desert, I’d look to the horizon and squint my eyes against the prospect of a glimpse of gigantic ant heads rearing up and wagging saw-tooth mandibles.

The photo of Miss Flame standing high upon her perch for all of Richland to despise struck me as a wonderful one to convert into a painting. As I worked on it, the next thing I knew one of the giant ants of Them was crawling up over the loudspeaker.

The glamor of the dangerous femme fatale, Miss Flame

Continue reading Fire Prevention Week Meets Them, Declassified

Miss Flame, Declassified

She was a human torch, run away!

firedarkernosig
Miss Flame, declassified
2006
15 by 12 in h
Digital Painting/photo collage
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

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This is Hanford Fire Prevention Week’s Miss Flame of 1950. Very David Lynch, isn’t she?

That’s some sparkle plenty for small town Richland Miss Flame. Was the striking young woman chosen to be Miss Flame as she already owned an appropriate costume from a prior Halloween? Or did the men who bestowed upon her the title of Miss Flame (for they were certainly men) design this costume and have it sewn up for her, hat and elbow warmers and all?

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La Gulde Declassified


La Gulde, Declassified
20 h by 15 inches w
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

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The Bearded Lady and The Ape-Man, in the days before television reigned supreme, when quality fare walked abroad.

The digital painting is based on a photo from the Hanford Declassified archive titled “circus performers” which is from WWII.

There are a couple of other photos in the archive which may help identify the circus.

Continue reading La Gulde Declassified

Artist and Model, Declassified

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.”
– Aristotle

Artist and Model, Declassified
Artist and Model, Declassified
2006
20 w by 16 in h
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jkearns

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Down in what appears to be some sort of basement, art was pursued at the Hanford Project, and examples are to be found in the Hanford Declassified archives.

Painting the inward significance of things can be dangerous, which is why you put the artist class in a basement room that has holes in the ceiling. Except that what we see below doesn’t appear to be radical.

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Babes in Plutonium Land – Making Hanford sexy

When you’re the third largest boom-war-time population center in Washington state, isolated in the desert, you’d better supply the workers some Xmas fun

hanfordesquiregirlsunsigned
Babes in Plutonium Land – The Esquire Girls Perform at Hanford, Declassified
2005
14 w by 10 in h
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”
© copyright Jk

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It’s fun painting transparent veils. The topless woman is standing on hers which led me to wonder how common it was for her to trip on it and how many she ripped a hole in each week.

Despite the transparent veils and ostrich feathers, this image will probably not do very much to help make Hanford a fun and sexy subject, but we can try.

When I realized, several week ago, that there were no references to Nagasaki in the Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project, for some reason I then wondered if breasts existed in the archive. Because when I realized that there were no references to Nagasaki, and I thought about all that film, and the bathing suit beauties and beauty queens photographed over the years, well I wondered if there were breasts somewhere in those mountains of film, and I wondered if the government would or would not see them as something to declassify and put up with the rest of the images that provide a govt approved portrait of the time and place and people. If I couldn’t find any references to Nagasaki in the archive, were there breasts? Wouldn’t everyone’s brain present them the same question?

Finally, under a search query of just plain “girls” there popped up the images of The Esquire Girls. We know they were not the kind of girls your mom wanted you to grow up to be because Cypress Gardens, during the 40’s, was a popular spot for crowning beauty queens, and we find on the web this quote on those beauty queens crowned at Cypress Gardens and how they were good girls, not like the Esquire Girls.

These are not Esquire Girls, but wholesome, young ladies from the area and across the country,” explained Dick Pope, the founder, who used the utmost respect when shooting or mailing out photographs of these lovely ladies.

Who says this isn’t wholesome?

Hollywood Esquire Girls Christmas Show, 1944
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0005150”
Accession Number N1D0005150
Document Number D-7813-NEG
Alternate Document Number D-7813-NEG
Title Description ESQUIRE GIRL – CAMP HANFORD
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 15-Dec-1944
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

Continue reading Babes in Plutonium Land – Making Hanford sexy

Prize for Christmas Decorations, Declassified

Everybody has won and all must have prizes

hanfordchristmaswinnersflatdarker
Prize for Christmas Decorations, Declassified
2005
20 w by 16 in h
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

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I know those houses. I grew up in houses just like that, playing on lawns just like that. My Christmases looked just like that–well, except for the decorations. We didn’t decorate. But others did, and I see the star on the pole and my heart goes pitter-patter because I know those decorations.

Working on this picture took a couple of weeks off and on and while I worked I was reminded me of what the terrain was like in Richland during the winter, the desert and the rough yards on the desert border. I was reminded me of the earth and dead desert foliage and grass, up close in the way a child is up close to it, playing on the ground, recollected the way it was cold, and the cold light of the shortened day in which all colors washed together.

1954 CHRISTMAS DECORATION CONTEST,MR AND MRS HC LEE,MR AND MRS RE FIELD
View at the “Remixing the Hanford Declassified Project” my painting based on this photo:
www.idyllopuspress.com/idyllopus/hanford_declassified/chr…
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0043600”
Accession Number N1D0043600
Document Number 12597-1-NEG-C
Alternate Document Number 12597-1-NEG
Title Description WINNERS OF CHRISTMAS DECORATION CONTEST – MR. AND MRS. H.C. LEE, MR. AND MRS. R.E. FIELD
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s) CHRISTMAS DECORATION CONTEST,MR AND MRS HC LEE,MR AND MRS RE FIELD
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 20-Dec-1954
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

There are a number of photos for prizes awarded to be found in the Hanford Declassified database. Dance prizes. Prizes for suggestions for work improvements at Hanford. Prizes at the Atomic Frontier Days celebrations. Prizes awarded at the parks for children in doll and other competitions.
Continue reading Prize for Christmas Decorations, Declassified

Where the Old West Meets the New, Declassified

And the welcoming committee was Plastic Man

hanfordatomicfrontiersdayparade54flatdarker
Where the old west greets the new, declassified
2005
25 w by 19 in h inches
Digital Painting
Based on a photo from the “Hanford Historical Photo Declassification Project”.
© copyright Jk

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“C’mon, kids! Wave at Reactor Man!”

Actually, he was known as Plastic Man.

Atomic Frontier Days, GE Float, 1954
DDRS Record Details for Record Accession Number
“N1D0003098”
Accession Number N1D0003098
Document Number 9010-NEG-G
Alternate Document Number 9010-NEG
Title Description ATOMIC FRONTIER DAYS PARADE
Number of Pages 1
Key Word(s)
Author(s)
Company(s)
Document Date 07-Aug-1954
Public Availability Date 14-Feb-2002

Yes, we have here a proud General Electric entrant in a Richland Atomic Frontier Days Parade. Which may be a shocker to non-Richlandites, that Richland had Atomic Frontier Day celebrations in the summer, that there would be a float congratulating the start up of the first reactor and that Plastic Man meets Rawhide was great entertainment.

Not that it isn’t.

You have to admit that Plastic Man could be pretty endearing. He looked like a cross between a wind-up doll, a mime, a robot, and Wonder Bread wrapping.

[column_one_half]1954 PLASTIC MAN - 231 BUILDING, 200-W
[/column_one_half]
[column_one_half_last]1954 PLASTIC MAN - 231 BUILDING, 200-W[/column_one_half_last]

Continue reading Where the Old West Meets the New, Declassified