Categotry Archives: Artists

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Francis Brunn

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Categories: Artists

For 50 years, Francis Brunn amazed audiences with his dazzling acrobatic and juggling feats.
The graceful gymnast and showman attended the Performing Arts School in Berlin. At 17, he and his sister Lotte began touring Europe as professional entertainers. In 1948, Brunn joined the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus and became the first juggler to work the center ring as a solo headliner. There he combined the style of flamenco dancing with a wide variety of juggling accessories.
Over the next four decades, Brunn trained through accidents and injuries. He performed with smaller circuses and on television programs like “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “The Johnny Carson Show.” Able to juggle up to 10 rings at once, Brunn is considered by many experts to be one of the world’s best jugglers.
His most famous combination trick involved standing on one leg while simultaneously spinning two rings around the other; juggling three rings in his left hand; rotating two rings around his right arm while spinning a ball on the tip of his finger — all while balancing a ball on a mouth stick and a ball on a stick atop his forehead.
Brunn died on May 28 from complications of heart surgery. He was 81.
Watch Brunn Perform on “The Jack Benny Show”

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Simon Nathan

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Categories: Artists, Scientists, Writers/Editors

Simon Morris Nathan, the author of the popular “Simon Sez” photography column, died on May 19. Cause of death was not released. He was 82.
The Westview, Pa., native graduated from the University of Dayton. His “Simon Sez” photography column debuted in the 1950s. Popular with professionals and hobbyists seeking up-to-date information on camera innovations, the column appeared in Popular Photography, Modern Photography and other magazines. Nathan also wrote several books, including “Camera in Paris,” “Good Photography’s 35mm Handbook” and “Good Photography’s Darkroom Guide.”
A talented shooter in his own right, Nathan specialized in panoramic photography. Although he spent most of his life living in the New York City area, Nathan also traveled extensively on writing and photography assignments. In 1962, he carried three different panoramic cameras to the South Pole.
Nathan also created still photography for nine James Bond films, and took the panoramic photo of the United Nations that appears on a U.N. postage stamp. While working for the Flying Tigers freight line, he developed a hand-held camera that was capable of producing undistorted, large-format photos.

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Jack Leigh

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Categories: Artists

Photographer Jack Leigh spent his entire adult life capturing the beauty of Georgia’s coastal region.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, the Savannah native launched a three-decade career shooting the local environment. His mostly black and white photography appeared in his own gallery, in museums, personal and corporate collections and in five books.
Leigh achieved national recognition for his picture of The Bird Girl, a statue in Savannah’s Bonaventure Cemetery. The haunting image appeared on the cover of the 1994 book, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” by John Berendt. The popularity of the book generated a boom in tourism at the cemetery, forcing local officials to move the statue to a museum to keep neighboring graves from being trampled by increased foot traffic.
Leigh died on May 19 of cancer. He was 55.

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Gill Fox

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Categories: Artists, Media, Writers/Editors

Gilbert T. Fox, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated cartoonist, died on May 15. Cause of death was not released. He was 88.
The New York City native studied art at the former Textile High School in Greenwich Village. He completed the Landon Art Correspondence Course and launched an eight-decade career as an editor, writer and artist.
In 1936, Fox landed a job as an opaquer for the Fleischer animation studio. There he colored transparent, animation cells and inked “Betty Boop” and “Popeye” cartoons. From 1940 to 1943, Fox worked for Quality Comics, drawing covers for comic books and editing “Police Comics.” He worked on “Bernie Blood” and “Dogface” for Stars and Stripes during World War II, and later drew backgrounds and wrote scripts for episodes of Will Eisner’s “The Spirit.” Fox also wrote and drew the newspaper cartoon “Side Glances” from 1962 to 1982.
Despite his well-established career in the funny pages, Fox was most proud of his political cartoons. His artistic commentary, which appeared in the Connecticut Post for six years, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Fox won first place in the 1992 Excellence in Journalism competition, sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists, and received the 2003 New England Newspaper award.

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Yang Shen-sum

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Categories: Artists

Yang Shen-sum, a prominent Chinese artist, died on May 15 of a heart attack. He was 92.
The Chinese painter studied art in Kyoto, Japan, and spent the rest of his life becoming a master of the Lingnan school of painting, a style that combines traditional techniques with Japanese and Western realist approaches. Yang added his own flair by painting with the use of dry textural stroke
He was best known for his bird, animal and floral pictures, and elegant calligraphy. His giant pine tree painting, “Evergreen Forever,” is currently displayed in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.
Yang moved to Canada in 1988, and was in Hong Kong on a visit when he died.

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