THE ARTISTS LIFE: “FRITZ DURIEN HALL OF FAME WAREHOUSE” By: J.A. George.
Water Color on 9“ x !2” Cold Press Paper
What Carry Nation did to keep Kansas dry, Fritz Durien did to keep Kansas wet. From his Hall of Fame Saloon Topeka Barkeep Fritz Durien kept stashes of the good stuff at various locations under the floor boards of his Saloon. Not one to go down easy Ol’ Fritz fought the battle against Kansas Prohibition all the way to the high court.
The photo that this painting is based on struck me for it’s stark simplicity of an act of defiance. Fritz is not making a grand gesture rather the gesture is simple and speaks volumes. You can almost hear Fritz thoughts as he stashes his treasure; My customer’s will not go thirsty. But more importantly neither will I.
Fritz’s battle with the government hit’s close to home for me. I also had a battle with church people and a city government that wanted to close down my little neighborhood tavern in Baxter Springs, Kansas because of the evilness of liqueur and beer. I fought the good fight but eventually grew tired and moved on. Fritz also eventually gave up the good fight, closed his Saloon and headed off to Germany. In a strange twist of ironic fate the “Hall of Fame” Saloon went from selling hard liqueur to selling soda pop after Fritz had left the building.
“Art must evoke an emotion in order to be art. If it only creates indifference then it is not art, it is garbage!”
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