The Sangers- Artists and Rebels

The Sangers – Artists and Rebels on Display May 1 for First Friday Art Walk

Exhibit features the artwork of Margaret, William and Alexander Sanger

As a part of First Friday Art Walk, May 1, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE) will sponsor The Sangers – Artists and Rebels, an exhibition of the paintings, drawings and photographs of two generations of the Sanger family, Margaret, William and Alexander. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, took up watercolors after moving to Tucson, Arizona in the late 1930’s painting mostly desert scenes (photo attached). By contrast, her husband, William Sanger, was a professional painter as well as architect, and began displaying his work in the 1910’s (photo of painting attached). A frequent visitor to Maine, many of his canvases are stormy, dramatic and visceral. Alexander Sanger took up drawing and watercolors after his retirement as President and CEO of PPNYC in 2000. He paints, like his grandfather, on the Maine coast and also in New York City.
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Sangers: Artists and Rebels Art Show in Portland, Maine

On Friday May 1 the gallery at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will be hosting “The Sangers: Artists and Rebels”, featuring the drawings, watercolors and photographs of yours truly, together with watercolors by my grandparents, Margaret and William Sanger. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the art of my family. This is also the 100th anniversary of my grandfather’s going to jail for birth control, preceding my grandmother’s first incarceration by a year.

The gallery is a 443 Congress Street, Portland, Maine and will be open 5-8pm.

My Grandfathers at the 1913 Armory Show

by Alexander Sanger

One hundred years ago, a February day in 1913, two strangers, both fortyish, one in a formal black suit, wearing a black homburg, with carefully manicured nails, the other in a rumpled tweed suit, carrying in his oil-paint-stained hands a wide-brimmed brown fedora, stand alone in Gallery G of the International Exhibition of Modern Art at the 69th Regiment Armory on Lexington Avenue (“The Armory Show”). Gallery G was the English, Irish and German room. A large painting, “The Garden of Love,” that has briefly brought the two men together, is by a Russian living in Munich, Vassily Kandinsky. It is mostly abstract, though some figures are vaguely discernible; it is the only abstract painting in the room — a colorful oil, with a blending of hues like a watercolor — vibrant and seething with energy. Gallery I, two galleries over, which contained, among other revolutionary abstract works, Duchamp’s “Nude Descending the Staircase,” was so crowded with gawkers that a visitor could barely see, much less absorb the revolutionary experience of the artworks. The two men had Gallery G and its one abstract painting, and ten realist ones, to themselves. The two men are my grandfathers. The better-dressed one, Edwin Campbell, a doctor turned businessman, lingers enthralled before the Kandinsky, while the other, William Sanger, an architect and sometime painter, though appreciative of Kandinsky’s painterly technique, moves on to the adjoining work, a non-abstract watercolor, “The Political Meeting,” by the Irish Jack Butler Yeats.
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Mister Roberts

The theatrical Mister Roberts was a wartime naval officer who cared about the men on his ship more than he cared about his career. He also cared about getting into the thick of the fight. These two goals provided the dramatic conflict in the play written by Joshua Logan that premiered on Broadway in 1948. Robert’s captain was the one obstacle that stood in the way, since there was no way Roberts could get transferred to a destroyer without the captain’s signature on the transfer form. The captain wasn’t about to oblige because Roberts was a superb officer, and because of this the captain was willing to overlook Robert’s nasty habit of standing up for the interests of the crew and confronting the captain at every opportunity. The crew eventually held a contest to forge the captain’s signature, which got Roberts his transfer to a destroyer and which got him killed. The play enjoyed a limited revival this year in Washington at the Kennedy Center. I wonder if Judge Roberts went to see it? Continue reading