Frances Jenkins Ramsey Releases New Memoir on an American Artist
Few people can truly say that they have lived life according to their own terms or have pushed through life with full and righteous conviction. In "Joseph Nordmann", author Frances Jenkins Ramsey has created a tribute to Joseph Nordmann, who was, besides being a gifted artist, was a man who lives a full and impressive life.
"Joseph Nordmann: The Art of a Full Life" follows the life of an impressionist painter who held many titles in his 94 years: professor of chemistry, Caribbean bartender, ace football scout for the Toronto Argonauts, scientist for the film industry, and professional writer. His friends and acquaintances have included everyone from NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Waterfield, early California colorist painter Paul Conner, to the great Russian émigré portrait artist Nicolai Fechin. It is a wonderfully intriguing tribute to a man who took all the opportunities to be many things. First and last, he was an artist, and Ramsey's biography is filled with his auteur and many vignettes about his wandering lifestyle that helped define the same auteur. Ramsey is nothing if not attentive to detail, plus, she is an outstanding compositor and narrator - making this illustrated volume an art treasure in itself. It is the definitive work about an important, if underrated, American original - one who created a unique, beautiful niche in avant-garde American impressionism.
Frances Jenkins Ramsey, who has, with her husband Ray, diligently collected Nordmann's works have dedicated an entire floor of their museum in Hamilton, Texas to Nordmann's art. The author and Nordmann were close friends, the book reflects this in the intimate, enthralling awe she conveys in the writing and composition that makes up the portrait of a remarkable human being whose artistic accomplishments seemed to be milestones to a life lived "outside" the main venues of his art.