The Creed of the Magi

by Alden Cole on February 1, 2014 · 0 comments

CreedMagiArtWPpen and ink drawing on paper, 9″ x 9″ • framed, 21″ x 21″ • see below for picture of custom-signed poster on light card stock, 11″ x 14″ • $12 postpaid

Perhaps I should have saved this one for next Advent, but ultimately there’s no time like the present. The traditionally-sourced poetry of The Creed of the Magi was acquired in 1978 from Amelia Hartzel, a friend living in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the time with another friend Pasha Buck, and two of Pasha’s daughters, Karin and Margot Hill. I had the good fortune to hitch a ride from New York to Santa Fe with two of Amelia’s friends who were headed west for a youthful, early June road trip. The trip was a blur. Wish I could remember more of what happened in those 3 days plus it took to drive non-stop to Santa Fe.

CreedMagiWPThe two guys lived in the Boston area, so instead of trying to cajole them into driving into NYC to pick me up, I agreed to meet them in Utica on their selected-route west. Knowing that the first of the two original sets of  Thomas Cole’s famous series of paintings titled The Voyage of Life was at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute (the second set is at the National Gallery, Washington DC) I scheduled a bus to Utica which allowed me to spend a few hours in the museum studying the Coles, and the rest of the collection. (The only other piece I remember was an unusual Jackson Pollack, one of his usual pour-drop-and-spill paintings, but on a deep reddish-brown background, rather than the usual white, or light-toned ground I most associate with his work.) Anyway, once back in NYC, the Creed’s poetry sparked an image, which eventually evolved into a poster first reproduced on 8.5″ x 11″ paper, then 11″ x 14″. In that larger format it became the first poster to be published under the name Conscious World Art.

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