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Bill Self (1921 - 2010) appeared in more than 30 films between 1945 and 1952, including "Red River" directed by Howard Hawks, and went on to produce many feature films including "The Shootist" starring John Wayne. His love for the American West was kindled early on with a movie about a lady sharpshooter, Annie Oakley.

Once 15-year-old Bill Self saw Barbara Stanwyck star as Annie Oakley at the Keith Theatre in Dayton, Ohio, he was hooked. Oakley's brother, who lived nearby, had loaned some of his Oakley memorabilia for display in the theatre lobby. The 1935 film and the memorabilia fired Self's imagination, and his fascination with Oakley and William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody took root.

As the story goes, Bill Self had embraced Annie Oakley's work so much, that after that first movie, he contacted Oakley's brother, and the two became friends. Then, at age 17, he started writing an Oakley biography and persuaded his family to travel to Cody, Wyoming, so that he could study the Oakley scrapbooks in what was then the original Buffalo Bill Museum.

He even went so far as to coax the museum's founder and curator, Mary Jester Allen (Buffalo Bill's niece), to name him Assistant Historian?complete with letterhead stationery and business cards! The book he started was never published, but Self's love for Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, and the West led to service on the Board of Trustees of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center from 1984 until his death in 2010.

On Friday, September 23, 2011, Self's daughter, Barbara Self Malone, on behalf of herself and her brother, Edwin B. Self, presented a large collection of their father's Annie Oakley memorabilita to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. Over the years, the elder Self had given much of his Annie Oakley collection to the Center, adding to its extensive Buffalo Bill and western history holdings. Included in this bequest and previous gifts were clothing, letters, gear, firearms, photographs, and other memorabilia.

"Dad always loved heroes," Malone says. "Even as a teenager, he was fascinated by Annie Oakley. She took risks; she excelled; and she had a strong connection to the American West. With his collection, he felt connected to Annie Oakley; and with his early experiences in that Buffalo Bill Museum, he never hesitated in his desire that the collection should one day go to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center."

Part of the bequest was a ca.1892 William Cashmore rifle produced by Charles Lancaster & Company. Malone and her husband, George, formally presented the English-made double rifle?thought to be the customized to Oakley's measurements with a silver AO on the stock?at a luncheon of the Center's Board of Trustees in Cody.

The Historical Center has one of the most important Annie Oakley collections in existence including clothing, gear, saddle, firearms, posters, and photographs.

"We couldn't be more pleased about this acquisition," Executive Director and CEO Bruce Eldredge said. "With it, we add significantly to our Annie Oakley collection?much of it due to the generosity of Bill Self and his family. These latest treasures are truly extraordinary."

Committed to connecting people with the Spirit of the American West, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, weaves the varied threads of the western experience?history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms technology and the nature of Yellowstone?into the rich panorama that is the American West. For general information, visit www.bbhc.org, or call 307.587.4771.


WILLIAM E. "BILL" SELF BIO (1921 - 2010):

William E. "Bill" Self was born in Dayton, Ohio, on June 21, 1921. After his graduation from the University of Chicago in 1943, he made his way to Los Angeles to become an actor. His first role was that of Private Gawky Henderson in the 1945 film The Story of G.I. Joe. All told, between 1945 and 1952, he appeared in over 30 films.

In 1952, Self moved to the less glamorous side of the camera and launched his extensive career in television production, first with CBS Television Network, and later to a 15-year stint with Twentieth Century Fox. He left Fox in 1975 to join with Mike Frankovich in the development and production of television and feature films, a partnership that was short-lived but produced The Shootist (1976), John Wayne's last film, and From Noon Till Three (1976) starring Charles Bronson.

Later, Self returned to CBS in several capacities, eventually being tapped as President of CBS Theatrical Film Production. He served in this capacity for three years, supervising the creation of 10 movies. After that, when CBS decided to discontinue its feature film business, Self created the independent William Self Productions to develop both television and feature films. In partnership with Norman Rosemont, Self produced several works for television's Hallmark Hall of Fame. His Sarah, Plain and Tall, co-produced with Glenn Close, received the highest rating of any Hallmark Hall of Fame to that date.

From childhood, Self was described as having "enthusiasms"?keen interests that became life-long pursuits. After he won a citywide contest in Dayton to appear in a magic show, he developed a love for magic and had memberships in several magic organizations. His early love for movies served him well later in film and television. And, after meeting a champion tennis player in the lobby of a theatre in 1932, Self convinced his parents to buy him a tennis racket?leading to many a match with the likes of Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Charlie Chaplin, and Jack Warner, among other Hollywood notables.

Because of his affinity for Buffalo Bill, his Wild West show, Annie Oakley, and the American West, Self was appointed to the Buffalo Bill Museum Advisory Board of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in 1982 and became a member of the Center's Board of Trustees in 1984, a position he held until his death in 2010.

ANNIE OAKLEY BIO (1860- 1926):

Annie Oakley was born Phoebe Ann Moses?Annie to her family?on August 13, 1860, in Darke County, Ohio. After the death of her father and stepfather, the 9-year-old Oakley lived with the superintendent's family at the Darke County Infirmary, which housed the elderly, the orphaned, and the mentally ill. In exchange for helping with the children, Oakley received an education and learned the skill of sewing, which she would later use to make her own costumes.

As a young teen, she returned to her family after her mother had married a third time. To help with family finances, Oakley used her father's old Kentucky rifle to hunt small game for the local grocery store for resale to hotels and restaurants. Her hunting enterprise was so successful that she was able to pay the $200 mortgage on her mother's house with the money she'd earned...and she was just 15 years old!

One of her "customers"?who was impressed with her shooting?invited her to participate in a contest against well-known marksman, Frank E. Butler. Oakley won the match with 25 shots from 25 attempts; Butler missed one, but that didn't stop him from being totally enamored of his opponent. Eventually, the two shooters were married on August 23, 1876.

The Butlers traveled with their shooting performances, signed up with the Sells Brothers Circus for one season in 1884 as "champion rifle shots," and then joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West in 1885. Oakley became a star attraction, and Butler was content to be her manager and assistant. The two prospered with the Wild West and remained with the show for 16 years?including two trips to Europe that secured her position as a seasoned performer and star of the Wild West. In truth, Annie Oakley may have been the first woman celebrity.

Because of a desire for less travel, the Butlers left Buffalo Bill in1901. They did continue to perform, however, finally retiring from shooting exhibitions in 1913. Eventually they moved to Pinehurst, North Carolina, where Oakley wrote a touching eulogy for Cody in 1917, noting "the passing of a golden era."

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Oakley unsuccessfully offered to raise a regiment of woman volunteers to fight in the war and went so far as volunteering to teach marksmanship to the troops. She gave her time to the National War Council of the Young Men's Christian Association, War Camp Community Service, and the Red Cross. She had, by all accounts, a very philanthropic soul.

In 1926, after 50 happy years of marriage, the Butlers passed away within three weeks of each other: Annie Oakley died on November 3, and Frank Butler died November 21. Both died of natural causes after a long and adventuresome life.


Annie Oakley about husband Frank Butler, June 30, 1926, five months before his death

"He is so gloomy and looks so queer and bad. And he will sure go if he does not think of more pleasant things and stop reading all the murders and things that pray on his mind."

-Affect. Missie

Annie Oakley to husband Frank Butler, October 21, 1926, two weeks before her death

"Jimmie. Sorry you fainted, but you are in the best hands you could get into. Don't try to write any of your checks. Just sign...So glad you are getting some sunshine there. Hope you feel better."

-Lovingly. Missie

Annie Oakley to husband Frank Butler, undated

"Don't tell me anything about the house. Just tell me about yourself."

The latest additions to the Buffalo Bill Historical Center's collections include several personal letters between Annie Oakley and her husband, Frank Butler?evidently the last ones they wrote to each other. Literally touching that correspondence, seeing the handwriting, and sampling the sentiment?as brief as it was?gives new insight into the life of Buffalo Bill's star, Sitting Bull's "Little Sure Shot," and Frank Butler's "Missie."

But, this recent acquisition also provides a window on Bill Self, the collector. Simply put, his collection of Annie Oakley photographs, clippings, film, letters, and objects is extraordinary. Witness:

  • a wig Oakley used when she became prematurely gray-haired
  • powder horn
  • spurs
  • film
  • historic news clippings about the Butlers
  • and, of course, the ca. 1892 William Cashmore rifle produced by Charles Lancaster & Company

In this collection, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center can celebrate the spirit of the American West anew and join the Self family in commemorating Bill's Self love for the West.

"An Iowa Christmas Story" with Michael Zahs, Sunday November 20th, 2011 starting at 2p.m. at the German American Heritage Center, 712 West Second St. Davenport, IA 52802 563-322-8844, www.gahc.org. Free with admission.

Celebrate "An Iowa Christmas Story" with Michael Zahs at the German American Heritage Center. Michael is a two time winner of the "Iowa Teacher of the Year" Award and enjoys using stories and artifacts to bring the past to life. He does this so well that in 2010 the NEA named him one of the top 38 teachers in the country! Using his collection of over 30 holiday items, some from his personal 200 year family history in Iowa, you will learn how Christmas has been celebrated in our state since 1808, and how our state has grown and benefitted from its ethnic richness.

(Davenport, Iowa - October, 2011) On November 10, the Figge will host an event to celebrate the exhibition Restoring the Spirit: Celebrating Haitian Art which features art work that vividly portrays Haitian culture and history.  The Figge is partnering with Kids Against Hunger Your Quad-Cities to bag lifesaving food which will be delivered to Haiti.

Kids Against Hunger is an international food relief organization working to save the lives of starving people. The local chapter has provided over 700,000 meals to starving people in Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua, many of whom suffer from malnutrition and resort to eating mud cakes to stave off the hunger.  In addition, they have provided nearly 65,000 meals to hungry people in the Quad Cities. The bagged meals, made up of rice, soy, six vegetables and twenty-one vitamins and minerals, provide a nutritionally complete meal and cost $0.25 per meal.

The Figge is seeking over 100 volunteers to help bag food from 5pm to 6pm on November 10.  Families and children are encouraged to participate.  Suggested free will cash donations of $20 will be accepted to help cover the cost of these meals.  For a fee of $360, teams of 12 volunteers can sign up to create 1440 meals in an hour.  There will be a brief program at 5pm with remarks by John Kessler of Kids Against Hunger your Quad Cities.

At 7pm, Figge friend and Rock Island psychologist Dr. Ralph Saintfort will present a talk, "The Earthquake in Haiti and Its Aftermath." Dr. Saintfort has been a clinical volunteer with Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership since 2003. He was born in Haiti and lived there with his family until he was 14. This talk is offered in conjunction with the special exhibition Restoring the Spirit: Celebrating Haitian Art.


To volunteer at this event, please contact Jennifer Brooke at the Figge Art Museum 563.326.7804x2048 or j.brooke@figgeartmuseum.org

This event is sponsored by the Figge Art Museum, the Scott County Medical Association, the Rock Island Medical Association and the Rock Island Medical Alliance.

[DUBUQUE, IA.] Art Gumbo, a quarterly soup dinner that supports local art projects with community-supported micro-funding, was awarded a $2500 Mediacom Arts & Culture Grant last week to fund the upcoming Art Gumbo Bowls Project.  More than $33,000 in arts funding was awarded on October 19 to sixteen Dubuque arts groups at a luncheon held at The Grand River Center in the Port of Dubuque hosted by Kathy McMullen of Mediacom.

WHAT: Quad City Arts Art @ the Airport

WHEN:          October 28-December 27, 2011

WHERE:       Quad City International Airport Gallery, 2200 69th Ave., Moline, IL 

WHO:             Paintings by Caroline England, Yale Factor and Pam Ohnemus, with Glass by Liquid Fire glass artists.

In November and December, Art @ the Airport features watercolor paintings by Caroline England, intricate oil paintings by Yale Factor and acrylic paintings by Pam Ohnemus, with blown glass works by Liquid Fire glass artists.

Davenport watercolorist, Caroline England is known for her larger than life, dramatic depictions of flowers and gardens.

DeKalb artist Yale Factor's landscape paintings have been exhibited nationally and regionally for over thirty years. The detail put into each painting goes beyond what is usually captured by camera, each leaf and blade of grass is rendered with precision. The viewer is drawn in from a distance and then keeps approaching to find a completely different world depicted upon closer examination.

Davenport artist Pam Ohnemus concentrates on the vanishing landscape of the prairie in her acrylic paintings. She incorporates newspaper articles about the tallgrass prairie into some of the paintings as collage elements to add interest and information. Exquisite panoramas and vivid close-ups of native prairies reach tantalize the viewer with their beauty and textures.

Hand-blown glass works by Liquid Fire studio artists (Rock Island) will accentuate the landscape paintings.

Don't miss this is exhibit just because you don't have a plane to catch-the lights in the gallery are always on and the airport offers free parking for the first hour. Meet a friend for lunch and enjoy the art! Quad City International airport gallery is easy to access with one hour of free parking to allow plenty of time to browse the exhibit.

Quad City Arts is a nonprofit local arts agency dedicated to the growth and vitality of the Quad City region through the presentation, development, and celebration of the arts and humanities. All Quad City Arts programs are funded in part by Festival of Trees, Quad City Arts Partners and operating grants from the Illinois Arts Council (a state agency) and the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. This gallery and exhibit is generously sponsored by the Quad City International Airport.

Displayed Artwork To Be Auctioned Off At Upcoming Red Ribbon Dinner

Beginning November 4th, The Project of the Quad Cities will have a display case of donated artworks at Bucktown Center for the Arts. The pieces on display will be works from local artists, and will range in size and medium. All artworks will then be auctioned off as part of the Silent Auction at the 19th Annual Red Ribbon Dinner on January 21, 2012. Bucktown Center for the Arts is located at 225 East 2nd Street in Davenport. For more information on Red Ribbon Dinner or to donate artwork, please call 309-762-5433.

Established in 1986, The Project of the Quad Cities is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides those infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS in the Quad City area with case management and support services. Visit the website at www.apqc4life.org to learn more about The Project of the Quad Cities.
We are Mississippi River Valley Art Directory, sponsoring a bi-annual self guided art tour along the Mississippi River.

We promote 55 locations for this fall 2011 drive.  Many artists open their private studios or homes to visitors during this special opportunity weekend.

Our drives are always the weekend before Mother's Day and the first weekend of November. Upcoming drives will be held on November 5th & 6th, 2011, May 5th & 6th, 2012, and November 3rd & 4th, 2012.

Our goal is to promote artists along the Mississippi River, (100 miles either side), their events and the supporting communities.

We will gladly send a printed map at your request, or you may print one from the website at www.mrvad.com

We greatly appreciate your interest in local artists.  We hope that you will add our bi-annual events to your calendar.

[MAQUOKETA, IA] Maquoketa Art Experience welcomes Iowa artists Peter Fraterdeus and Alice McMahon to Maquoketa on November 12 and 19 for a two-session workshop studying the art of book structures and sketching techniques. The workshop, held on two consecutive Saturdays, entitled "Travel Sketching Journals: Book Structures and Sketching Techniques" combines basic non-adhesive bookbinding techniques to create a four-signature journal with a folded paper cover with plein air sketching techniques including exploration of Maquoketa's built and natural environments.

Non-adhesive books are made without glue, and require no special equipment. Covers are made with folded and tabbed heavy paper, using principles discovered in 13th Century "limp vellum" bindings. Fraterdeus will use examples from his collection of fine-printed contemporary books as examples for the workshop.

"Travel Sketching Journals have a long history, long before the days of picture postcards or digital cameras," Fraterdeus explained, "Today they provide a record of a journey, and an opportunity to heighten our skills of observation. Travel sketches are both mnemonic and illustrative, whether quick or studied, they need not be more than a few lines and smudges, or may be as closely observed as a fine drawing"

No bookbinding or drawing experience is required for participation in this workshop, but some familiarity with paper folding and drawing tools will be helpful.

The book structures section will be taught by Peter Fraterdeus who has taught letterpress printing, calligraphy, book structures, and digital typography in a number of venues, both in the US and Europe, including the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Art. He is the owner/proprietor of Slow Print in Dubuque, an award-winning 'high-touch' 21st Century letterpress printing studio. In the 1981, he received a National Endowment for the Arts apprenticeship grant to study calligraphy and letter carving in Wales, and in 1986, received an NEA Design Projects grant for his first digital typeface, "Prospera".

The journal drawing section will be taught by Alice McMahon, an internationally exhibited figurative artist, specializing in pastel portraits and charcoal magic realist drawings in large formats. Her work has been shown at the Saatchi Gallery in London and featured in American Artist magazine. She is currently represented by the 33 Contemporary Gallery in Chicago. Recent work includes a 30"x50" drawing on MDF board exhibited during the 2011 Voices From The Warehouse District's Art in ReVolt exhibit at Voices Gallery in Dubuque, Iowa.

The cost for the two-session workshop is $125 plus a $20 materials fee and is open to adults 18 or older. Registration materials are available at www.maquoketa-art.org. For more information contact Paula Neuhaus at paula@maquoketa-art.org or call 563.652.9925.



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The German American Heritage Center's temporary exhibit "In Praise Of The Pencil" closes on Sunday, October 30th at 4 p.m. This is your last chance to see the amazing pencil sculptures, pencil art by local artists, a history of the pencil and how it is made, as well as impressive pencil collections. Stop in to the Center before it's too late.

The Figge Art Museum is hosting a lecture entitled "Art, Urbanism, and the Parisian Experience: An Introduction" at 2:30 pm Sunday, October 16. The lecture, presented by Dr. Heidi E. Kraus, will serve as an introduction to a four-week seminar on Paris and French art to be held next at the Figge next spring.  In addition to a broad overview of major sites, monuments, and works of art, attention will also be focused on various aspects of Parisian life, including restaurants and cafés, shopping, education, and understanding cultural differences. The October 16 lecture and spring semester seminar are offered in conjunction with the Figge's member trip to Paris April 10-19, 2012.

Dr. Heidi E. Kraus received her Ph.D. in Art History from The University of Iowa in 2010, where she specialized in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century French art.  Currently Dr. Kraus is the Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Iowa Museum of Art and is co-curator of "Napoleon and the Art of Propaganda," an exhibition opening at the University of Iowa Museum of Art in October 2012.

Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members.

For information about museum programs, including the Figge Member trip to Paris, please visit the Figge website at www.figgeart.org.