RHODcast: May 4, 2021
I hope our story of the missing paintings of JOJ Frost is a bit of a page-turner. And if it is, you shouldn’t have to wait longer for part two. A complete revaluation of Frost as a painter has changed things around. But even if we never know who hid that painting of his in the walls of the old house, or why it was cut in half, more and more of his works are turning up. And there’s a reason why it’s taken so long to bring them into the light.
(If the Frost story has drawn you in and you would like to know more, here are a couple of places to look:
The Marblehead Museum has a collection of over 30 pieces by Frost but also an extensive archive of his work on PDF.
Bethe Lee Moulton’s book, “The Paintings of JOJ Frost, An American Story” remains the starting point for an exploration of his work, is lavishly illustrated and includes reproductions of over 90 of his known surviving paintings.)
The Missing Paintings – an American Story (pt 1)
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An extraordinary gamble in early 2020 made RICK BOYD rich. But since we spoke back in March of 2021, it’s been a torrid spring for Bitcoin investors. Would you be OK with it? Is he? And whatever happened after HEATHER CAIRNS realized some of the torrent of wealth that came her way when Google went public? It’s all about risk, after all.
It all began with… a Chinese dinner? Or did it begin when HEATHER CAIRNS would invigilate the tests taken by two “child prodigy” graduate students in the engineering faculty at Stanford. Anyway, one thing led to another. Heather eventually returned to her home town on Boston’s North Shore where people still call her The Google Lady.
One hot day in June, Rhod joins BETTE HUNT, the emeritus historian of Marblehead, Mass. for a walk through the town’s almost 400 year old graveyard. Old Burial Hill connects the living with the dead in some strange ways as they discourse on Thornton Wilder’s famous play, George Washington’s favorite general, the Marblehead woman convicted at the Salem witch trials and the fairly undiscussed existence of a “negro” burial site in this quintessentially Yankee town.
Who hid the painting in the wall of that old house? Rhod delves into the story of the eccentric artist JOJ Frost, who tried unsuccessfully to sell his pictures from a wheelbarrow, and whose paintings were worth less during the Depression than the boards they were painted on. Yet he left an incomparable account of a vanished way of life. And his paintings keep on turning up.