R.C. Gorman's Formula

In less than two decades, Navajo artist R.C. Gorman has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the hottest names in what might be called boutique art. His images of slightly chunky Native American-appearing women adorn the walls of homes, office buildings and a scattering of museums all over the country. Working in a variety of media, Gorman has amassed enormous commercial and public success while being largely dismissed by most critics as someone who is in art for about the same reasons that Denny's is in food.When Gorman arrived here about 12 years ago, he was a bold artist whose work was varied and held great artistic promise, said Patrick Houlihan, curator of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, and Marilyn Butler, the owner of galleries in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Santa Fe, N.M.Then, Butler said, something changed in Gorman. He discovered the economic advantages of mass-produced prints -- each of them can net far more than a single original -- and, said Butler, "there didn't seem to be much discrimination about it. He developed a formula of the Navajo-looking woman, and there hasn't been anything new since then."What Gorman apparently started thinking about was how to sell the formula -- as widely as possible. He flies to six to 10 shows a year across the country, flaunting a jet-set life style. He cultivates an image of outrageousness.But behind it, there is a cold and calculating sanity. The shows sell out frequently, and Gorman returns to Taos with the check in his pocket. Alan Edison, owner of the Great American Gallery in Chicago, put the gross for the most recent Gorman show there at $45,000.If a visitor had expected something from the public-relations files on Gorman -- perhaps an animated, gregarious, outrageous and even insane artiste -- Gorman in person was a total contradiction. He was cordial and attentive, yet conscious enough of media relations that he casually pulled a prepared kit of clippings from a file drawer."I'm mellowing out," he said. "I just had a very terrible operation and for the longest time, I couldn't wear clothes and I was confined to caftans. They didn't know it was that bad and they thought it would be a two-hour operation, but it took six."This mellows one down. I thought I would just go on forever, but I am reminded this is not possible."He has friendships with people like Andy Warhol, and he loves to tell a story about encountering Salvador Dali in an elevator in the St. Regis hotel in New York. The car was crowded, but Gorman and two people traveling with him managed to squeeze inside. He recognized Dali but did not speak to him. Finally, though, one of Gorman's companions took the initiative, saying, "Dali, this is R.C. Gorman." Dali looked up, Gorman recalled with great satisfaction, and replied, "Yes, I know."The man whom an art magazine would eventually call "Navajo in vogue" and a "press agent's dream" was born Rudolph Carl Gorman on the Navajo reservation in Chinle, Ariz., son of Carl Gorman -- himself a prominent artist.It is not exactly clear when R.C. Gorman was born. He will only say that his listed birth date in 1932 is "a reasonable time, give or take 10 years." Official biographies put his age at 53; there is rampant speculation that he is at least five years older.He was educated in reservation boarding schools -- standard practice for Indian children. After high school, there was a stint in the Navy and then Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he majored in literature with a minor in art. Eventually, overwhelmingly impressed by the work of Orozco, he talked the tribal government into financing his art studies in Mexico, where he studied with Jose Sanchez, a master printer who has worked with Orozco, Siqueiros and Tamayo."I was raised on the reservation, and we didn't have very much," Gorman recalled. "The only thing I had to go on were books on artists, and I went through the whole gamut. My favorites were artists like Rembrandt and Michelangelo and van Gogh. Up to Picasso."What really changed a lot of my ways of expressing myself was when I went to Mexico and saw those very bold impressions from the Mexican artists like Siqueiros and Tamayo. I still love Tamayo and Orozco."Returning from Mexico, Gorman settled in San Francisco, supporting himself as a male model while experimenting with his art. Fame came slowly, if steadily. Eventually, he visited Taos as a tourist, liked it here and settled permanently.Throughout the country, Gorman's paintings, lithographs, seriographs, paper casts, pottery, cast bronze sculptures, etched-glass room dividers and even T-shirts have become as ubiquitous as Muzak. The images have been called suspiciously reminiscent of Zuniga, but Gorman contends he never heard of Zuniga until after his own style was established."I admire him very much," Gorman said of Zuniga. "Actually, when you come right down to it, the only thing we have in common is large women. And I've slimmed mine down. But now, the more I look at it, we do have different attitudes and certainly different models. But if they are going to compare me to anyone, Zuniga is just as good as any."Gorman and his associates are reluctant to talk in precise terms about the economics of his various enterprises. However, a picture does emerge from interviews with gallery owners in three cities and a review of the current prices for Gorman's work at a variety of galleries, as well as the volume of goods produced by the artist. Rough calculations indicate his personal net income is at least $1.2 million a year. The gross is far larger -- perhaps more than $10 million -- but Gorman employs 11 people, including his housekeeper, gallery help and others. He says he has three lawyers working almost full time on his affairs.His work is affordably priced for the middle class (the lithographs and seriographs, anyway), yet costly enough to create the impression of a significant investment.Contracts with the three printing houses that reproduce Gorman's work limit his new lithographs to 15 a year. Between 150 and 200 copies are made of each print. Retail prices for the prints today range from about $800 to $2,000 -- with most about $1,500.He produces a mix of limited-edition prints and original paintings -- the sculptures and other works are a sideline -- but a single lithograph can net him as much as $50,000, says Marian Frank, operator of the Enthios Gallery in Santa Fe and his authorized dealer there. Lithographs and seriographs are more widely distributed and sellers are chosen by the printing houses.Gorman's sympathizers believe that lack of recognition may be as much because he is an Indian as anything else. They say no Indian artist has ever achieved widespread acceptance in the art community. Forrest Fenn, a Santa Fe gallery owner who has known Gorman for many years but doesn't handle his work, agreed that being an Indian is a hindrance. Fenn said the problem is that Native American artists are not allowed to shed their ethnic identities and be considered on their merits just as artists. But even with Gorman being identified as more an art factory than a true artist, Fenn believes Gorman still meets several criteria necessary to be seen in history as a significant artist -- though probably not in his lifetime. R.C. Gorman's Formula Navaho Artist Gains Fame, Not Acclaim By Allan Parachini Los Angeles Times TAOS, N.M.In less than two decades, Navajo artist R.C. Gorman has emerged from relative obscurity to become one of the hottest names in what might be called boutique art. His images of slightly chunky Native American-appearing women adorn the walls of homes, office buildings and a scattering of museums all over the country. Working in a variety of media, Gorman has amassed enormous commercial and public success while being largely dismissed by most critics as someone who is in art for about the same reasons that Denny's is in food.When Gorman arrived here about 12 years ago, he was a bold artist whose work was varied and held great artistic promise, said Patrick Houlihan, curator of the Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, and Marilyn Butler, the owner of galleries in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Santa Fe, N.M.Then, Butler said, something changed in Gorman. He discovered the economic advantages of mass-produced prints -- each of them can net far more than a single original -- and, said Butler, "there didn't seem to be much discrimination about it. He developed a formula of the Navajo-looking woman, and there hasn't been anything new since then."What Gorman apparently started thinking about was how to sell the formula -- as widely as possible. He flies to six to 10 shows a year across the country, flaunting a jet-set life style. He cultivates an image of outrageousness.But behind it, there is a cold and calculating sanity. The shows sell out frequently, and Gorman returns to Taos with the check in his pocket. Alan Edison, owner of the Great American Gallery in Chicago, put the gross for the most recent Gorman show there at $45,000.If a visitor had expected something from the public-relations files on Gorman -- perhaps an animated, gregarious, outrageous and even insane artiste -- Gorman in person was a total contradiction. He was cordial and attentive, yet conscious enough of media relations that he casually pulled a prepared kit of clippings from a file drawer."I'm mellowing out," he said. "I just had a very terrible operation and for the longest time, I couldn't wear clothes and I was confined to caftans. They didn't know it was that bad and they thought it would be a two-hour operation, but it took six."This mellows one down. I thought I would just go on forever, but I am reminded this is not possible."He has friendships with people like Andy Warhol, and he loves to tell a story about encountering Salvador Dali in an elevator in the St. Regis hotel in New York. The car was crowded, but Gorman and two people traveling with him managed to squeeze inside. He recognized Dali but did not speak to him. Finally, though, one of Gorman's companions took the initiative, saying, "Dali, this is R.C. Gorman." Dali looked up, Gorman recalled with great satisfaction, and replied, "Yes, I know."The man whom an art magazine would eventually call "Navajo in vogue" and a "press agent's dream" was born Rudolph Carl Gorman on the Navajo reservation in Chinle, Ariz., son of Carl Gorman -- himself a prominent artist.It is not exactly clear when R.C. Gorman was born. He will only say that his listed birth date in 1932 is "a reasonable time, give or take 10 years." Official biographies put his age at 53; there is rampant speculation that he is at least five years older.He was educated in reservation boarding schools -- standard practice for Indian children. After high school, there was a stint in the Navy and then Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he majored in literature with a minor in art. Eventually, overwhelmingly impressed by the work of Orozco, he talked the tribal government into financing his art studies in Mexico, where he studied with Jose Sanchez, a master printer who has worked with Orozco, Siqueiros and Tamayo."I was raised on the reservation, and we didn't have very much," Gorman recalled. "The only thing I had to go on were books on artists, and I went through the whole gamut. My favorites were artists like Rembrandt and Michelangelo and van Gogh. Up to Picasso."What really changed a lot of my ways of expressing myself was when I went to Mexico and saw those very bold impressions from the Mexican artists like Siqueiros and Tamayo. I still love Tamayo and Orozco."Returning from Mexico, Gorman settled in San Francisco, supporting himself as a male model while experimenting with his art. Fame came slowly, if steadily. Eventually, he visited Taos as a tourist, liked it here and settled permanently.Throughout the country, Gorman's paintings, lithographs, seriographs, paper casts, pottery, cast bronze sculptures, etched-glass room dividers and even T-shirts have become as ubiquitous as Muzak. The images have been called suspiciously reminiscent of Zuniga, but Gorman contends he never heard of Zuniga until after his own style was established."I admire him very much," Gorman said of Zuniga. "Actually, when you come right down to it, the only thing we have in common is large women. And I've slimmed mine down. But now, the more I look at it, we do have different attitudes and certainly different models. But if they are going to compare me to anyone, Zuniga is just as good as any."Gorman and his associates are reluctant to talk in precise terms about the economics of his various enterprises. However, a picture does emerge from interviews with gallery owners in three cities and a review of the current prices for Gorman's work at a variety of galleries, as well as the volume of goods produced by the artist. Rough calculations indicate his personal net income is at least $1.2 million a year. The gross is far larger -- perhaps more than $10 million -- but Gorman employs 11 people, including his housekeeper, gallery help and others. He says he has three lawyers working almost full time on his affairs.His work is affordably priced for the middle class (the lithographs and seriographs, anyway), yet costly enough to create the impression of a significant investment.Contracts with the three printing houses that reproduce Gorman's work limit his new lithographs to 15 a year. Between 150 and 200 copies are made of each print. Retail prices for the prints today range from about $800 to $2,000 -- with most about $1,500.He produces a mix of limited-edition prints and original paintings -- the sculptures and other works are a sideline -- but a single lithograph can net him as much as $50,000, says Marian Frank, operator of the Enthios Gallery in Santa Fe and his authorized dealer there. Lithographs and seriographs are more widely distributed and sellers are chosen by the printing houses.Gorman's sympathizers believe that lack of recognition may be as much because he is an Indian as anything else. They say no Indian artist has ever achieved widespread acceptance in the art community. Forrest Fenn, a Santa Fe gallery owner who has known Gorman for many years but doesn't handle his work, agreed that being an Indian is a hindrance. Fenn said the problem is that Native American artists are not allowed to shed their ethnic identities and be considered on their merits just as artists. But even with Gorman being identified as more an art factory than a true artist, Fenn believes Gorman still meets several criteria necessary to be seen in history as a significant artist -- though probably not in his lifetime.

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Using Room Dividers for Bedroom Decorating
Decorating your bedroom can be a great way to express yourself and get a great place to lounge and sleep in but coming up with interesting ideas can be a challenge. One way that I like to create interesting spaces is by using items that you might not normally find and using room dividers for bedroom decorating is an ideal way to create a unique look and maybe even gain some extra storage space too!Room dividers or folding screens come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and even shapes. You can get then min metal, fabric, plastic and wood and they can be found with beautiful motifs ranging from antique to modern to Asian so you are sure to find one that matches with your bedroom decor.There are many interesting ways to use room dividers for bedroom decorating. The thing about a divider is that it covers a wide area and, thus, makes a big statement. One traditional method of using them is to place them in the corner. This helps to soften out the harsh edges of the room corner as well as add a decorative touch in a spot that may be lacking. But, perhaps the best part of this method is that if you place it kitty cornered it leaves a space between the divider and the corner and you can use this space for extra storage!Another way to use a divider in the bedroom is as a headboard. This can make a great focal point to your room and many room dividers are quite decorative so this can really make your bed seem unique and appealing. To do this, simply spread the divider out flat and slide it behind the head of the bed. You might want to secure it properly with feet or to the wall just to be sure it doesn't fall. Try to find a one that is the same width as your bed, but if it is a little longer or shorter that will be OK too.If you have a large bedroom, you can use a folding screen to divide the space into a sleeping and sitting area. Simply place the divider jutting out from the wall at the point where you want the space divided. You 'd be amazed at the visual effect this creates and how it separates your large room into 2 smaller cozy spaces.Another great use for room dividers is to simply add a focal point or some color to a wall. This is quite useful if you rent and cannot change the wall color from the typical bland eggshell color. To so this, simply open the divider up and stand it flat against the wall. This adds a large area of decor to the room without taking up any space. To make it look best, place some plants and maybe a chair in front of it. You might also consider adding some custom made feet to keep the divider stable against the wall.When using room dividers for bedroom decorating, the key thing to keep in mind is to be sure to buy a room divider that is in keeping with your rooms colors and style. You must choose carefully as the divider will be a large element in the room, but if you pick it out properly it will blend right in and add a unique and unusual look to your bedroom.
Kids Room Dividers for the Safety of Toddlers and Babies
If you have kids and they share a bedroom, then you know the problems that can arise from the lack of privacy. The older child never wants the younger one touching their things and they feel they have no privacy when it comes to dressing in the room. Space can also be a problem with smaller children like a baby, infant or toddler and safety is always a concern with them. Kids room dividers can help you solve some of these problems. They can be educational, fun and colorful and can serve multiple purposes.When you have kids you usually set up play dates for them so they learn to get along with other children. Kids room dividers allow you to set up a playpen area where multiple children can play without the worry of their safety. They can create up to a 41' area for them to play in, in a freestanding divider. These are the most modern way of caring for your children's safety yet are contemporary in style. They are portable and can be taken with you to the park or the beach to provide safety there too. The prices are very reasonable when consider the safety of a child.Older children constantly bicker over whose is who's when it comes to toys and other belongings. Kids room dividers can settle that age old dilemma by keeping each child's belongings on their side of the room. They also allow older children to feel as if they have some privacy from the prying eyes of younger siblings. The dividers can be sliding dividers, rolling or on wheels, a screen, bookcases or activity and tack boards. In some cases you can have double sided activity boards allowing both sides to see the same thing. In the case of bookcases, they allow each child to keep track of their own books by sorting them and storing them.IKEA is one of the leading manufacturers of room dividers including kid's room dividers. They are available at many local retailers such as Home Depot, Lowes and Walmart and are relatively inexpensive to purchase. The prices will vary depending on the style of dividers you choose as well as the retailer you purchase it from. In some instances, you can find the exact same product online at a discount with a discount on shipping as well. All kids room dividers are intended for interior use only. It is not recommended to use them outdoors where the elements can affect their looks and functions.There are many ideas that can be used as kids room dividers as well as many options that are available. Some may simply need partitions without the frills and thrills that some of the dividers offer. Others may need a replacement for their current method of dividing the space of a bedroom up. Whatever the reason, there is a divider to fit your needs. Make sure to set and keep a budget as some of these can be rather pricey.
Using Office Room Dividers As Decorative Walls
Office room dividers are typically thought of as cubicles that are both too short with no privacy and too expensive to implement. This is not so in the case of today's models. They provide the privacy you need, are less expensive than construction and can be used with a number of different ideas. Construction can be time consuming as well as expensive causing your company to lose money in two directions. It is a partition that creates cubicles which do not provide privacy and can be expensive to use. They do not allow for a more stationary office space nor do they offer the benefits of office room dividers.Some are mobile meaning they are on wheels that can be moved to what ever position you choose to put them in. When you want a more stationary setting, simply lock the wheels so the panels cannot be moved. Many offices are opting for this style of room dividers because it is easier when it comes time to clean the floor or replace carpeting in the office. At the same time, some of the dividers are equipped so that you can add doors to each section or leave them open for a friendlier atmosphere.Office room dividers are a modern way of using decorative walls in an office without the expense of building materials. The materials and prices of these make them perfect for almost any setting including attorney offices, school offices and the small mom and pop business. The prices vary depending on the styles, sizes, materials and manufacturers of the dividers but they are much more economical than rebuilding or restructuring an area. They make great replacement walls for wide open spaces and can be installed in as little as 4 to 5 hours.Some dividers can have a sliding door attached to them instead of a swinging door. Of course there are also sliding dividers that can be used in situations such as a classroom or instructional area. These generally span the entire width of a room dividing a large space up into two smaller areas. These too are sound absorbent providing for more privacy than other types of dividers. There are many varieties of the office room dividers that are available. You have only to choose what is right for your office setting. Many retailers carry these contemporary yet modern office fixes that are reasonably priced in comparison to the time and money spent on renovations.Before visiting retailers in your area, you must be sure to take accurate dimensions of the space you want to transform into multiple offices. This gives you a better idea of the size of panels you will need to make the number of offices you intend to create. Some dimensions concerning height will be necessary in order to provide you with dividers that span from the floor to the ceiling. Also the desk size will need to be estimated unless you are purchasing sets that include desks in them.
Cut'n'paste
Confirming the adage that everything old is new again, wallpaper is enjoying a resurgence on the home decorating front. Once considered a relic from the 1960s and '70s, wallpaper is now hot, hot, hot, having caught the eye of a new generation that appreciates its retro look and subtle elegance.Interior designers are finding more renovators want to decorate their homes with wallpaper - from once daggy boldly coloured flocks to stunning woven bamboos. James Marks, sales and marketing director for Radford Furnishings, which imports fabrics and papers from the US, Britain and Europe, says wallpapers are one of his company's fastest-growing areas."It's been a well-kept secret, but wallpapers are making a big comeback," says Marks, whose clients include British companies Cole & Son (which makes flock papers using traditional techniques), the US design house of Ralph Lauren and British company Zoffany. As of September 1, Radford Furnishings will also be handling wallpapers from Designers Guild and British designers William Yeoward, Cath Kidston and Jasper Conran.Zoffany and the National Trust in Britain collaborated to create an exclusive range of wallpapers based on historical documents and architectural decoration.The result is the National Trust Collection of wallpapers, named after three of Britain's finest stately homes - Knoll, Oxburgh Hall and Fellbrigg House - and are pictured on this page.Marks's comments are reinforced by decorative artist and wallpaper hanger James Stephenson, who agrees there is a "huge resurgence" in paper."All my retail, commercial, entertainment and domestic clients are wanting wallpaper that offers the 'wow' factor. People who dismissed wallpaper as something old-fashioned from the '60s and '70s cannot believe the range of papers available, and what is achievable using them. It really is an awakening."Popular wallpapers today include chinoiserie styles in red and gold, woven fibres, reeds, bamboos, metallics and psychedelic retro looks.Interior designer Isabella Emerson has always been a wallpaper fan. "A wallpapered room says 'this is my home, I've put my mark on it and I'm not moving'," says Emerson, who believes paint cannot reproduce the luxury and elegance that wallpaper creates. Emerson says there is a big demand for using wallpaper in new and creative ways."Don't limit it to walls - think about making screens or room dividers with it, make a feature wall with a beautiful, bold patterned paper. Enjoy it and the colours and patterns it provides." Fiona Baker, from Designers Guild, says wallpapers were once more commonly used to decorate children's bedrooms, but these days are highly sought after to decorate dining, lounge and living areas."We're seeing a lot of young people who have just purchased their first home and are wanting to really make a statement with their interiors and are looking at wallpaper to do that," says Baker.And the application isn't confined to papering all four walls, she says. "Customers are using interesting papers to do just a feature wall, a chimney breast or using a couple of panels in place of an art piece." Stencilled or hand-painted paper was first used as wall decorations in Britain and Europe in the 15th century. Wallpaper was popular among the wealthy during the 18th and 19th centuries, with block printed or flocked papers featuring myriad designs, including imitation architectural motifs, Chinese and chinoiserie styles, panoramic scenes and delicate florals.It fell out of fashion between the two world wars, only to return in the early 1950s, perhaps influenced by people such as Queensland born Florence Broadhurst, before really coming into its kitschy own in the 1960s and '70s.Broadhurst, whose career spanned music and fashion design, ran an arts academy in Shanghai but returned to Australia in 1949 to design wallpaper using paper and inks from Europe.Her work spanned classical, contemporary and geometric designs - about 800 in 80 different colour ways - which were highly sought after, until her untimely death (she was murdered in her Sydney showroom) in 1977.Her wallpaper designs are now being interpreted into rugs by Customweave carpets and rugs in collaboration with Signature Prints, a leading distributor of Florence Broadhurst designs.
New Uses Found for Fiber Glass; Foreign Markets Stressed by California Company
JAN. 2, 1964 This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Please send reports of such problems to . HAWTHORNE, Calif. A California fiber glass panels concern is learning some striking new uses for its products from its customers abroad.The Filon Corporation, a pioneer in production‐line manufacture of fiber glass plastics, in the last two years has put increasing emphasis on foreign markets. The results include:Carports in Japan, race‐track canopies in England, tenniscourt domes in Italy, greenhouses in Switzerland and France, and, in several other countries, unusual architectural uses in homes, office buildings and even churches.Fiber glass appears to be gaining in acceptance wherever a tough translucent material is needed, according to David S. Perry, president of Filon.Process Licensed Through its subsidiary, Filon A. G., in Zurich, the company makes its process available to Canada, France. West Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan and Spain. It is completing arrangements for production in Belgium and also negotiating with an Australian company.AdvertisementFor a 12‐year‐old company, Filon has moved briskly in the new highly competitive plastic construction field. In March, 1962, it became a publicly held company. Its 1963 report is incomplete, but last year sales and royalty income grossed $8,125,891, or 98 cents a share for 870,275 shares of common stock.AdvertisementAt its plant here and nearby El Segundo, Filon manufactures fiber glass panels in 70 shapes and sizes and about 100 colors. The company supplies building companies and contractors. In the United States, the panels are especially popular for fences, industrial skylights, greenhouses, room dividers and shower doors.The material's versatility also is evidenced in sign and display facings, garage doors and church windows. One of the better examples of the lastnamed use is found in the St. Louis Priory Church in Creve Coeur, Mo.Mr. Perry's foreign‐market outlook comes naturally. He was born in Russia, operated a zipper business in Italy before coming to the United States in 1939 and subsequently manufactured sportswear and was a construction contractor in California.He formed Filon's forerunner, the Flexolite Corporation, in 1951, and changed the name to Filon in 1953 after acquiring an automatic production system for plastics invented by Calhun Shorts of Bellevue, Wash.Production‐line techniques have cut the average retail price from $1.20 a square foot in 1951 to less than 50 cents now, Mr. Perry says. The topline brand of the fire‐resistant material is guaranteed for 15 years against cracking and discoloration.In 1862, the company set up the Silmar Chemical Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary, to manufacture and distribute polyester resins, an integral component of the finished panels.This year, Filon opened new regional warehouses at Seattie, Dallas and Kansas City, Mo. Other warehouses are in White Plains Skokie, Ill., and Atlanta.A version of this archives appears in print on January 2, 1964, on Page 45 of the New York edition with the headline: NEW USES FOUND FOR FIBER GLASS; Foreign Markets Stressed by California Company. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
Sound; Novelty Powers a Speaker
By HANS FANTELOCT. 10, 1982 This is a digitized version of an article from The Times's print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems. Please send reports of such problems to . The quasi-Faustian quest for the perfect loudspeaker has lately led into strange but promising directions. Innovative emphasis now seems focused on the patterns of sound dispersion, with new approaches to this problem prominent among several recently introduced speaker models.Traditional loudspeakers, almost by definition, are boxes. Their sound projects from holes in the box spanned by vibrating cones or domes. This in itself limits sonic realism in some respects because the natural sound of most musical instruments is not projected in this way but spreads openly in all directions.To duplicate this natural sound spread, several speaker manufacturers have come up with quite unconventional multidirectional models, with Bose's 601 Series II and the Ohm Walsh 2 being outstanding examples. But none departs so radically from estblished norms as a California company known by its initials as BES (Bertagni Electroacoustic Systems).What BES has done, in the words of the company's president, is to ''take the sound out of the box.'' He was speaking literally as well as metaphorically. Literally because BES does away with the usual speaker enclosure; metaphorically because the sound thereby attains an open and airy quality that audibly confirms its freedom from boxlike confinement.AdvertisementThis unique speaker - conceptually fenced off by about 20 patents - was invented by Dr. Jose Bertagni, a former professor of electrical engineering at the University of Buenos Aires. In place of the conventional speaker cones it employs large, flat plastic foam panels. These panels are not housed in any enclosure but simply set in a frame, like a picture. Standing freely, and preferably at a distance from the nearest wall, these panels radiate a broad sweep of sound both from the front and back and also project part of their sound energy in an upward direction. The result is a close analogue of the sound dispersion created by a musical instrument - such as as a violin, cello, or piano - if it were actually playing in that particular room. The impression is one of unforced naturalness - an unobtrusive but convincing musical presence.AdvertisementThat, of course, was the aim from the start. But achieving its technical feasibility involved a long and arduous course of evolution. By abandoning the idea of the conventional boxed speaker cone, Dr. Bertagni sidestepped the usual problems inherent in that approach. But a whole new tangle of difficulties confronted him instead. He had to find ways to control the resonant modes of the flat panel and equalize its sound dispersion throughout the range of frequencies assigned to it. Most important, he had to devise an effective method to set the panels into motion. Dr. Bertagni is the first to admit that in the course of these developments he got carried away by his enthusiasm several years ago and allowed some speakers to be manufactured before these problems were adequately solved. Later he bought them all back. That, he allows with a rather forced smile, is the hard way to gather engineering data, but the costly lesson evidently has proved valuable.In their present mature version, BES speakers regulate the frequency response of their vibrating panels by means of ridges, grooves and cavities molded into their cellular substance as well as by the varying dimensions of the plastic foam cells in different parts of the panel. The edges of each panel are treated to act as energy absorbers so that excess energy swallowed up at the rim. That way no vibrations bounce back from the edges into the main area of the panel to cause false and distortive vibrational modes. This has been one of the main obstacles in the development of flat-panel speakers, and it now appears to have been surmounted at last. In essence, the entire panel pulsates like the body of a musical instrument but without adding any tonal coloration of its own.Since the flat panels cannot be set in motion like conventional speaker cones, Dr. Bertagni activates them with what he rather dramatially calls ''acoustic hammers.'' These are magnetic drivers, similar to those found in ordinary speakers, linked to the vibrating panel through a short plastic rod of predetermined elasticity. It is the degree of elasticity in this linkage which largely controls frequency response, and it differs for the three separate panels radiating bass, midrange, and treble. No conventional crossover network is used to divide the total frequency spectrum, thereby eliminating yet another common source of distortion.Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.Invalid email address. Please re-enter.You must select a newsletter to subscribe to.View all New York Times newsletters.A system of such acoustic complexity naturally has to be meticulously fine-tuned, both in its design and manufacture. In the largest BES speaker, the Model SM-300, this has been so successfully accomplished that frequency response deviates no more than three decibels from linearity within the crucial range from 60 to 16,000 Hz, while overall response extends all the way up to 20,000 Hz. With bass response still audible down to an awsome depth of 25 Hz, this speaker deals quite impressively with the low pedal notes of a pipe organ and lays to rest lingering suspicions that no boxless speaker can touch bottom in the range of musical sound. A mere 15 watts suffice to drive this model, but it will handle 10 times as much without audible complaint or risk of damage.I cite these figures to establish numerical legitimacy for what might otherwise seem an overly offbeat design -a case of inventive unorthodoxy gone rampant. But, as always, the real legitimization of any audio item lies in its sound.In this case, smoothness, clarity and range clearly put the SM-300 at the top of any class, with a welcome absence of undue tonal coloration confirming what the figures lead one to expect. As with most current speakers, I preferred a slight treble turndown to reduce what I perceived as a somewhat aggressive brilliance, but once that was done, each instrument came across with its own distinctive character - and nothing else - and a fine sense of balance prevailed throughout the entire musical range.Beyond these high marks of general competence (covering the requisites for excellence in any speaker) the SM-300 exhibits virtues peculiar to multidirectional models: an exquisite sense of spaciousness, a seamless texture of sound from any angle, and the broadening of the stereo effect to a large area of the listening room.With their height of 53 inches and a width of 22, these panel speakers seem most at home in fairly large rooms, where they can also serve as room dividers with listeners at either side. Thanks to the sound source being spread over an ample radiating surface, there are no acoustical ''hot spots'' and one can sit fairly close to the speakers without getting blasted. By the same token, a pleasing sense of sonic fullness is felt even at low volume levels so that even massive orchestral scores remain musically convincing at less than full loudness.At $1,280 a pair, the BES SM-300 may be a little hard to pay for, but it is certainly easy to live with. As a radical departure from established norms, it represents a conceptual challenge that deserves serious evaluation both from a technical and a musical standpoint.A version of this article appears in print on October 10, 1982, on Page 2002021 of the National edition with the headline: SOUND; NOVELTY POWERS A SPEAKER. Order Reprints| Today's Paper|Subscribe
Want Affordable Custom Furniture? Check Out "the Inside
Finding furniture for your home isn't hard. From high-end showrooms to no-money-down-easy-payment outlets and thrift stores, the sources certainly abound. The only problem is that you rarely find the color or style you secretly want and just end up settling on a nice neutral color that's only somewhat comfortable - until now.Shopping at The Inside is a dream come true, allowing you to choose styles and fabrics that perfectly match your tastes. And the best part? They make it especially for you! Most of the brand's pieces and accessories are well under $1,000, and shipping is always free. In just two to three weeks, you'll find your custom-designed piece delivered straight to your door: a wonder to unwrap, and a precious gift you can hardly believe is yours.How It WorksInstead of visiting a brick-and-mortar showroom, you just go to The Inside website and leisurely start shopping. First, you choose a style from one or more categories, whether it be beds, headboards, benches, chairs, cocktail ottomans, traditional ottomans, removable wallpaper (very cool, especially for apartment dwellers), screen room dividers/accents, or throw pillows. Next, you can choose the upholstery fabric, or order swatches at $1 each so you can examine the texture and colors up-close before placing your order.Once you've decided on that, all that's left to do is complete your order and wait for your custom furniture to arrive!Important Things to KnowAll the furniture sold by The Inside is made from scratch in the United States. The frames are made from hardwood pine and the filling is comprised of polyfoam and fill. The fabrics are all fire-resistant (OEKO-TEX certified) and free of VOCs. They are also child and pet-friendly, woven with "double-rub" count synthetic fibers, which equals the softness of 10-plus years of use combined with maximum durability. All items have a one-year warranty and are returnable during that time, with terms clearly outlined on the company website.Wondering how The Inside keeps prices low? It's actually quite simple. They don't keep a costly inventory on hand since every item is custom-made. Subsequently, they have no need for big warehouses or showrooms, which means they're spending far less than almost all of their biggest competitors.Money MattersIf you subscribe to The Inside newsletter, you get $45 off your first order. And if someone you refer makes a purchase of $199 or more, they get a $50 discount and you get a $50 Visa gift card. Talk about some serious savings!The Woman Behind It AllChristiane Lemieux, a graduate of the Parsons School of Design, is the co-founder of The Inside and serves as the company's CEO. She also created DwellStudio, which was eventually bought by Wayfair. She wrote two well-received books on design, The Finer Things and Undecorate, and hosted both iconic talk show host Ellen Degeneres' Ellen's Design Challenge and HGTV's popular show Overhaul. As a world traveler, Lemieux gathers epochal fabrics that often inspire the prints available on her site. She also works closely with SF Girl By Bay, Peter Som, Clare V., Scalamandre, Christene Barberich, The Everygirl, and Katherine Carter from Homepolish on designs and fabrics for The Inside.
What to Look for When Buying a Camping Tent
What To Look For When Buying A New Camping TentWhen you are shopping for a camping tent there are few things to think about. How big do you need?-How many doors and windows?-What type of construction you prefer?-What type of weather you are going to be in? These are some of the questions you should answer before you go to buy your tent. Certainly do not buy the most expensive thinking it is the best or buy the cheapest thinking it is of good quality.How Big Should Your Camping Tent?If you are not planning going on a backpacking or canoe trip then the size of your tent should not matter so much. The size of a tent is measured in sq. ft., and how many standard sleeping bags fit inside of it. A four person tent will hold four people and there sleeping bags, but there will be very little room to store other items and will be tight for sleeping. I have always added two people to the size of the tent that I needed and always have had enough room in the past. Multi-room tents are a good option if you would like a little privacy. There are a few kinds of multi-room tents to choose from. There is the kind with a wall in the middle and a zipper door, or the kind where you tie up room dividers to make a one room into a multi-room. Finally there is the kind that is like the first but with a screen room attached (3 room) or the screen room replaces one of the rooms (2 room). These are nice for changing out of dirty or wet clothes before getting into the sleeping area. They also work great for a table and chairs when it is raining, or storing gear.What Are Some Things To Look For?The type of construction-Weather proofing-Other features to look for-Here Are Some Additional Tips For Prolonging The Life Of Your TentYou should always use a tarp or mat to protect the bottom of the tent from rocks and sticks, this also prevents moister from penetrating the bottom. Make sure your tarp is under the camping tent and not sticking out. If it is sticking out it will collect rain and dew and most likely it will collect under the tent. This is just a general camping tip, never store food in your tent. This will keep out ants and other bugs, also this will keep out animals. You should store food in a screen tent away from your sleeping area. When done you should sweep out your area to also help prevent pests. When you get home you should take your camping tent out of its stuff sack and let it air out to prevent that musty mildew smell. You can store in the sack but never on concrete, it can absorb moisture and mold the tent and destroy the seams.
Room Divider Screens - Decorative and Functional
If you have ever had the necessity to divide a room at your home or office for privacy purpose or for space saving, room dividers would have definitely crossed your mind. Room divider screens not only break up a room into portions with a decorative touch but they also provide an elegant and attractive way to add privacy to your room.Room dividers have been in existence for many centuries, even the ancient palaces have been decorated with beautifully painted divider screens. Room dividers can be used indoors in homes/offices and churches for maximum utilization of space available or for hiding the not so beautiful fixtures like air conditioning unit etc. They are also used outdoors near swimming pools or saunas to add privacy with an elegant touch.There are many varieties of room dividing screens available in the market nowadays. Various types of room dividers include those made of wood, metal, glass, fabric etc, folding and non-folding and come with 2,3,4 or 5 panels. Choosing a room divider depends on the purpose and the individual's taste. Small apartments would find a folding room divider to be very handy. Glass room dividers do not block light and can be used in offices or homes where light is needed. If a room divider also needs to satisfy one's sense of decoration and design, tastefully carved wooden dividers can come in handy. These are made of different types of wood like birchwood, mahogany, bamboo etc and add new color and texture to your home. There are also screen dividers with gorgeous oil paintings which would add elegant decor to any room in which they are used.So, whether one is old fashioned or modern, whether the use is for home or office, indoors or outdoors, whether the reason is space saving or privacy, there is always a room divider to appeal to everyone's taste and needs.
Ideas for Room Dividers
There are so many different ways in which one can construct room dividers. And a dividers that has been used since the beginning of time is obviously walls. This is a classic way to divide rooms, no matter that you home already has walls, and you can still install walls to divide large rooms. However, you don't have to build the wall you can now actually buy temporary walls. These temporary walls can be set up and taken down at any time.One can also paint the existing walls different colors, which will divide a room into various sections. You can paint one wall a certain color and the other wall a matching contrast color; this method will also set a boundary. Hanging room dividers are also functional and decorative. Create your own hanging divider by using beads and shells. You can also create a fabric divider which will separate the living space from the dining space. You can do the same to create a small office space in a corner.You can also create fabric room dividers using a canvas frame which is made from a lightweight wood. These canvas frames are already made up and all you need do is choose a really nice fabric and then cover the frames. This is really inexpensive way to make a room divider. The canvas comes in various different shapes and sizes and is obtainable at craft shops. You can then cover a few say three canvases per hanging and join the panels vertically together with chains.In addition you could also make fabric room dividers out of plywood. You need a quarter inch thick plywood and fabric of your choice. Cut the plywood to the desired height and the wrap and staple the fabric on the plywood. Once hang will give a slated effect.