Not the Momma! (Moma)

At our house growing up we used to watch the show “Dinosaurs” and all I really remember is the baby dinosaur (whose mischevious antics reminded us of our own baby of the family) beating the dad dinosaur on the head and saying “Not the momma!”  Like so:

In this case instead of “Not the Momma!” I’m angling towards “Not the Moma!” – as in the New York Museum of Modern Art.  Here’s the back story after that painful transition — JT and I decided to check out a new Savers that opened up in Crestwood a few weeks back.  I was strolling the art aisle when I saw an interesting piece that had a nice plexiglass wrapped frame.  I flipped it over to see the price and was struck by this:

WHAT I SPOTTED

A MOMA sticker?  In the Savers store in Crestwood, Missouri?  For $5, a cool acrylic frame, an interesting composition on the other side and the mystery of a MOMA sticker, we paid up and scampered out.  There were some screws holding the whole assembly together so we got home, cued up the Elvis Costello and began playing history detectives.

THE TAG

According to the sticker and our friend Wikipedia, this is what the front should be.

FEMME_~1

A gold chloride toned print by the French photographer Eugene Atget.  However Wikipedia also told me that this is also in the Yale University Art Gallery.  I guess that could refer to just the original and maybe there are prints out there.  However,  New Haven is a long way from STL so . . . here’s what was paired up with the MOMA tag:

WHAT WAS IN THERE

I’m not good with art terms but it appears to be an assembled paper and ink/paint piece.  The mystery deepens — when I turned this piece over, there was some writing on the back:

SIGNATURE

“Ciulei (chew-lay) Dancing for the Grey Female” and signed Rev Sullies (?).  Google has not been kind to me on this one.  Anyone have any ideas?

At any rate, I like it and the frame it came in so I  think I’m going to display it on the back porch — there is one little sliver of wall between the kitchen door and the kitchen window on which to hang art.  I still wish it could have matched the tag and I could have had a crazy story to tell on Antiques Roadshow about how I ended up with a French photograph from the 1920s  . . . . Anyone else ever find something so bizarre at a thrift store?  I’m sure there’s some good stories of crazy thrift finds out there.  It’s all about the thrill of the hunt.  Cheers – CT

4 responses to “Not the Momma! (Moma)

  1. Good find and detective work! I think I actually prefer the picture vs. the photo too. Look forward to seeing how it looks in the back porch renovation.

  2. That really is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard…but one of the coolest. I hope you get some answers someday.

  3. Man, I used to love Dinosaurs. That and Family Matters made my Friday evenings. No luck finding anything on the art though. My Google skills have failed me.

    • Yeah, I think the art may remain a mystery. Oh well. Was Dinosaurs part of the “TGIF” line-up? At our house we were Full House all the way. Cheers – CT

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