File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 262

Date: Sun, 16 Nov 2008 21:05:31 -0800
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] Preservation and loss & context

With all the fires in Southern California right now, prevention and  
loss is sort of a theme. Sadly, one of the houses that was lost day  
before yesterday in the Sylmar fire was that of Ed Chiodo of Chiodo  
Brothers. They are multi-talented designer/director/producers,  
responsible for many film and TV projects with puppets and animation,  
as well as actors. Killer Klowns from outerspace to Team America,  
they have been very good to puppeteers and puppets, and I hope we get  
the chance to help them in return. Ed's Family is fine, but the house  
is a total loss....

On Nov 16, 2008, at 10:20 PM, Alan Cook wrote:

> A Miss America CROWN--an obvious typo.
> My apologies
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Alan Cook
> Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 2:16 PM
> To:
> Subject: [Puptcrit] Preservation and loss & context
> David Shayt, 56, a Smithsonian Museum specialist died November 4th.  
> Patricia Sullivan wrote his obit for the Washington Post which was  
> reprinted in the Nov. 15th Los Angeles Times
> Among the ecclectic ephemera that Shayt collected:
> A Miss America cown, scepter & sash
> A toy castle which survived Katrina flooding
> tool chests & lunch boxes
> coffins
> "There's an accurate perception that we ....will care for--not  
> neessarily exhibit but care for--and honor an object eternally.  
> That perception of immortality is very precious to people." (1992  
> quote from Shayt to the Post newspaper)
> Shayt added, "There's a school of thought here that regards  
> museums, especially the Smithsonian, as ecclesiastical, as quasi- 
> religious, and that people give things as a way of obtaining a  
> piece of immortality.....what we do offer is perpetual care."
> Well, forever is a long time. Perpetual care only lasts so long.  
> The best we can do is preserve as much as possible for as long as  
> possible so that it can speak to future generations. With effort,  
> SOME art and artifacts and knowledge will survive fires, floods,  
> earthquakes, landslides, extinctions, wars, asteroid landings,  
> censorship, lightning, highway accidents, burglary, accidents and  
> other disasters including financial Recessions & Depressions. But  
> all of these things of value were made to be enjoyed in the present  
> and anything later is "extra" if we are lucky.
> This weekend's wildfires have displaced thousands of Californians,  
> destroyed hundreds of homes. There is no way of knowing how many  
> art works have vanished in the flames. But one Korean family lost a  
> 5 hundred year old scroll which had been passed down in the family  
> up 'til now, making us all the poorer for such a cultural loss.
> Fires have been part of puppet history--Margo & Rufus Rose suffered  
> a home fire. Many puppets survive, but Sarg Mikado puppets by  
> Donald Cordry were damaged, and now preserved at UConn.
> Michael Myerberg's Hansel & Gretel and Aladdin movie puppets were  
> destroyed in a New Jersey Warehouse fire, Wallace & Gromit figures  
> were lost to flames.
> Tony Sarg's successful career ended in bankruptcy. Puppets now  
> highly valued sold as low as $1 to $3 each.
> The Taliban destroyed century-old buddhas for "religious reasons",  
> and the religious right just outlawed the right of same-sex  
> families to be married in California---iconoclasts destroyed  
> religious images. Zealous people are as dangerous as wildfires.
> Survival is tricky for puppeteers and puppets, but we do what we  
> can to keep on going.
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