Newspaper career recognized by artwork in Muscatine show

MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Great Leonardo da Vinci had the Mona Lisa.

Muscatine artist, Randy Richmond, had to stretch a bit farther to find inspiration for his work, “Outstanding in His Field,” which is part of a show at River’s Edge Gallery, 216 W. Third St.  The show, “The Unknown Collection: Previously Un-exhibited and recently discovered work of Oscar Grossheim and G. Randall Logsdon,” will be on display through May 4. A reception was held Friday evening at the gallery.

And that’s when I got to see “Oustanding in his Field,” which, Richmond said, is his commentary on the elimination of my former job at the Muscatine Journal.

Randy Richmond

To be honest, I’m not sure what I think about this. It’s flattering. And the work is good — Richmond’s normal mixture of manipulated photography mixed with his offbeat sense of humor. The photos are all presented in the format of cabinet cards, a style of photograph that was used for photographic portraiture in the 1870s. It consisted of a thin photograph that was generally mounted on cards measuring 4¼ by 6½ inches.

The piece of artwork about me is helped by its smallish size. And it is also helped by the fact that the person in the picture isn’t really me.

Still, the whole thing is flattering. It wasn’t often during the 23 years I worked in newsrooms that I was called outstanding.

According to the gallery, 20 percent of sales from this show will go to the preservation of the Oscar Grossheim collection at Musser Public Library. Grossheim was a Muscatine photographer who died in 1954 at age 92. He was known for his portraiture and documentary photographs of the pearl button industry, store displays and local life along the Mississippi River.

For information, call 563-263-3176.