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Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Audio Recordings

 Collection
Identifier: A0043

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of forty-seven compact discs of audio recordings made by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. The recordings are on forty-six compact discs, which were digitized from twenty-two audiocassette tapes. There is also one compact disc that contains transcriptions of the recordings.

The recordings include various types of music (classical, popular, jazz, opera, and more) as well as dialogue recorded from multiple radio programs and news events, including the 1956 Democratic National Convention. About half of the compact discs have recordings of Von Bruenchenhein's spoken word, which ranges from what sounds like poetry or songs, to narratives describing traveling in South America, his (imagined) involvement with Sputnik, and discussions, including a fight with his wife Marie. Some recordings are of him singing or humming along to the music, and some just include ambient sounds, include rain and thunder.

Dates

  • c. 1955-1965

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Access to sensitive materials may be restricted at the discretion of the American Folk Art Museum.

Conditions Governing Use

The Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Audio Recordings are owned by the American Folk Art Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws, and is dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship.

Biographical Note

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein worked as a florist and a baker before devoting the last forty years of his life to making art. The son of a sign painter and the stepson of a Sunday painter who believed in reincarnation, Von Bruenchenhein was exposed to creative trades and nonconformist ideas from an early age. It was a fortunate foundation for an artist who eventually found voice in a wide range of expressions: photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and poetry. He was idiosyncratic in his techniques, choosing to fingerpaint with oils, fire clay pieces in his kitchen oven, and construct intricate objects from leftover chicken and turkey bones. "Create and be recognized" commanded a sign the artist hung in his basement studio, and he attempted just that; his home was transformed over four decades by his unrelenting outpouring of expression.

Von Bruenchenhein's most compelling works are his photographs: self-portraits, double-exposures, and thousands of portraits of his wife, Marie. His devotion to his artmaking was superseded only by his obsession with Marie, whom he called “the queen of my existence.” Emulating mid-century pin-ups, Von Bruenchenhein captured his wife in various stages of dress and undress, adorning his subject with vampish costumes and idiosyncratic accessories against floral draped backdrops. In the photos, Marie assumes poses and expressions that display the range of female sexuality—innocent and virginal, seductive and sexy. Sometimes, when she confronts the camera lens (and her husband), she even appears a little bit bored. It is not at all clear, in fact, if Marie is a willing or unwilling collaborator in the creation of these images.

The artist’s world was not fully understood nor appreciated until after his death, but he had not chosen to remain unknown—he had tried, unsuccessfully, to attract the attention of clients, galleries, and museums. Nonetheless, he certainly valued his artwork and held himself in high esteem: a hand-tinted photographic self-portrait bears the bold inscription "Time produced non better."

Extent

47 compact disc(s)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection consists of forty-seven compact dics of audio recordings made by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. The recordings include various types of music (classical, popular, jazz, opera, and more) as well as dialogue recorded from multiple radio programs and news events, including the 1956 Democratic National Convention. About half of the compact discs have recordings of Von Bruenchenhein's spoken word, which ranges from what sounds like poetry or songs, to narratives describing traveling in South America, his (imagined) involvement with Sputnik, and discussions, including a fight with his wife Marie. Some recordings are of him singing or humming along to the music, and some just include ambient sounds, include rain and thunder. A full transcript of the spoken word tracks is included in this finding aid.

Arrangement

The forty-six compact discs are labeled to correspond to the audiocassette tapes from which they were digitized. Each disc is then further broken down into tracks to correspond with the different types of recordings. There were twenty-two original audiocassette tapes, each of which was recorded on both sides.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Lewis and Jean Greenblatt, 2014

Tape Log and Transcription

All Tape labels correspond to audiocassette tapes that were transferred to digital audio. The audio files are organized into folders corresponding to tape and track names.

01. Classical Music 44:48

01. Classical Music 8:39
02. Popular Music 15:18
03. EVB Spoken Word 1:04


01. Jazz Music 4:37
02. Opera Music 2:23
03. Jazz Music 5:19
04. Instrumental Music 6:11
05. Instrumental Music 2:24
06. Instrumental Music 11:35
07. Instrumental Music 9:14

01. Classical Music 4:39
02. EVB Spoken Word 0:30

05. EVB Spoken Word 0:08

08. Station Scanning and then Classical Music 5:54
09. EVB Spoken Word 0:18

No segment / Not a shred of youth / We find in every little shred of truth / That it cannot be reclaimed / And on that we shall have / No youth again / Is adamant to all the things / Even to the note of truth / Found in all / The wandering that we make / Beyond the call of sanity at all / You, you, and you / Are growing older and time / Takes it’s precious amount / From each and ever being / Not seeing all the things / That you and me / Could arrive at during each / Dream of another / Great entanglement / With honey / The rest / Leave it then / As such / Leave it then / And not much / That we can do / Nor can we hope for a greater thing / Than what we are

Title
A Guide to the Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Audio Recordings
Author
Mimi Lester
Date
December 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository

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