The 1970's have Peanuts, the 1860's had Dickens' latest novel, but in the 1920's and '30's nothing could quite match the goings-on in Krazy Kat , George Herriman's celebrated comic strip. Millions of inveterate fans (including President Woodrow Wilson) followed the daily adventures of the noble-minded, simple-minded Kat, his cynical, aggressive archfoe, Ignatz Mouse, and the sentimental, authoritarian Offisa Pup, from 1916 to Herriman's death in 1944.
If you're over 40, you'll remember all this; but the Disney Generation raised on such callow imitations as Mickey and Minnie, Tom and Jerry, Tweety and Sylvester, may not be prepared for Herriman's inventive situations and baroque, punning speech now being rediscovered by astonished critics as "the very dialog of absurd theater."
An exhibition of Herriman's finest Sunday-paper sequences will be shown in Fort Worth from mid-May until July 1.
"Krazy Kat" Exhibition/ From May 18/ Amon Carter Museum/ 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd./ Fort Worth.
Where do old things go when they die? If they are beautiful, rare, authentic, and most of all architectural, they might go to the Wrecking Bar and find themselves reborn. This unusual store, named after the tool needed to remove saleable items from old buildings, is located in a very large deconsecrated stucco church on McKinney Avenue in Dallas and contains one of the most extensive collections of architectural antiques and fragments in the country.
The Wrecking Bar now offers cleaned, restored and ready-for-installation articles of every description: do you need a complete wrought iron balcony from New Orleans, French parquet flooring, an Italian marble mantel and mirror or perhaps a beautiful leaded crystal entrance way? Maybe a drugstore backbar, fitting from an English Pub, or even an entire storefront?
There are hundreds of smaller pieces, including polished brass and porcelain hardware; all sizes of wood brackets, corbels and balusters; Victorian spoolwork; crystal and wooden chandeliers; sconces in brass and iron or carved wood; even old street lights.
Merchandise varies from week to week, providing an interesting change of scenery for regular visitors.
The Wrecking Bar/ 2601 McKinney Ave./ Dallas/ (214) 826-1717.
Small Craft Warnings
With summer heat just around the corner, the Texas art festival season is upon us. San Antonio got the jump early, with its April Fiesta, but May will see a plethora of beribboned, bedecked cultural extravaganzas in almost every corner of the state. Fort Worth kicks things off with its Annual Mayfest (its First Annual, to be exact), Dallas weighs in with a passel of arts and crafts on two consecutive weekends, Austin puts its best foot forward with the Laguna Gloria Fiesta on the banks of the Colorado, and things get wrapped up in fine style on the last weekend of the month at the Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair in Kerrville.
Fort Worth's Trinity Park hasn't been used much since the mass arrests of hippies there a couple of years ago, a situation the city fathers have tried to correct by launching something called the Mayfest. It's supposed to make citizens aware of the new recreational facilities connected with the Trinity River.
Highlight of the festivities will be the dedication of a lighted water-spout, Fort Worth's first. It cost the Junior League $26,000, which they heard is a bargain. The well-known architect and planner Lawrence Halprin, who designed proposals for downtown Fort Worth as well as the Trinity River some years back, is returning as an honored guest to see what has happened to his plans.
Mayfest/ May 5 & 6/ Trinity Park/ Fort Worth / for additional information, see Around the State.
The Annual Spring Charity Arts Festival, sponsored by the 500 Inc., will be May 5 and 6. This year there will be over 200 local artists and craftsmen.
The second show, sponsored by the Texas Fine Arts Association and the Quadrangle Merchants Guild, will be May 10, 11, and 12. It features all kinds of unique and carefully chosen arts and crafts.
The Annual Spring Charity Arts Festival/ Campbell Center/ Central Expwy. at N.W. Hwy./ Sat., May 5, 10-7 thru Sun., May 6, noon-7/ Dallas.
Texas Fine Arts Association and Quadrangle Merchants Guild Art Show/ Quadrangle/ 2800 Routh/ May 10, 11, and 12, 10:30-9/ Dallas.
The atmosphere is Mexican at Austin's Laguna Gloria Fiesta, the capital city's most popular annual event for 23 years. Nearly 200 artists from Texas and beyond will gather to exhibit and sell their wares, all of which have been selected by a committee with an eye to quality, variety, and price. The food is abundant, with an emphasis on Tex-Mex dishes that have helped make Austin the best-known city in Texas for this type of cuisine. If previous years' experience is any guide, warm sunshine and massive crowds will be the order of the day.
Fiesta Laguna Gloria/ May 19 & 20/ Laguna Gloria Art Museum Grounds/ Austin/ For additional information, see Around the State.
Perhaps the biggest fair of all is scheduled for the relaxed atmosphere of the Hill Country, May 25 through 28. The Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair brings together more than 200 artists and craftsmen whose talented hands can be seen demonstrating such exotic skills as dyeing yarn with native herbs and vegetables, corn husk doll making, black-smithing, and glass decorating, as well as more familiar crafts like sculpturing, weaving, spinning, and jewelry making.
Another unusual feature is the inclusion of music as one of the arts. The Kerrville Folk Festival will take place in the air-conditioned Municipal Auditorium during this same four-day period, giving fair-goers the chance to hear some of the finest individuals and groups in what is fast becoming a major regional music renaissance—the Texas folk-rock movement.
Texas State Arts & Crafts Fair/ May 25 thru 28/ Campus of Schreiner Institute/ Kerrville.
KerrviIIe Folk Festival/ May 24 thru 28/ Municipal Auditorium/ Kerrville.