It’s a long shot, but I’ve been searching for relatives and associates of Diana Wilber. Diana is a long time resident of Rochester, New York, and had a collection of Danny Allen’s graphite drawings. Unfortunately Diana is now in a nursing home due to Alzheimer’s disease. I’m told that a woman named Jeanie Cimento was at one point looking after her. I was hoping if I could find Jeanie Cimento, I might be able to obtain more scans of Dan’s work if she has Diana’s things. I’m also told Diana had/has a sister who was or still is married to a man named Richard Hersch, who was a ceramics professor at RIT’s School of American Craftsman. I’m still pursuing that connection.
In addition, I’m also trying to find an old friend of Danny’s by the name of Gail Schwann (or Gayle Swan, Swann or Schwanz). Trying to locate these people is like searching for needles in a haystack after all these years. I know that Gail has a son named Mooie. Again, I have no idea if I’m spelling any of these names correctly. I’m hoping if I can locate any of the people I’ve mentioned, that I might get access to scans of the graphite drawings.
A while back I’d been in touch with an old friend named Wendy Lippman, and I’m sure she’d be willing to provide scans of her collection, but her email address has gone dead. Wendy has some wonderful pieces by Danny Allen.
Attached is a tiny, unsigned and undated graphite drawing by Danny Allen the size of a postage stamp. Danny gave it as a gift to our mutual friend, Gary Clinton. Gary has two pieces of comparable size, and framed them beautifully so they match as a set. There were so many more pieces of various subjects done in this same technique. I only hope they still exist. I further hope I can locate some of them.
Richard “Hersch” is spelled Hirsch. He has a studio in Scottsville and is connected with The Rochester Contemporary Art Center. There are Lippmans that live near my sister at the toop of Meigs Street but think it is one “p”, Lipman, a doctor and his wife. Good luck looking for people from the past. I look sometimes for traces of Ramon Martinez. He lived with me for about a year after his church in Clarendon was condemned and demolished. He had an antique shop, Antiques and Old Lace before he passed away in 2011. I went in and out of shops near there trying to find out more. Some of his beautiful paintings sat in my house for that time but moved along with him. I have an old scarf he gave me that says “capitalist tool” all over it. I loved to visit with him and bring people together with him that knew him or others in common and listen to them tell stories. Keep looking, keep telling stories.
Hi Nanette – I have to apologize for not having responded sooner. Life got complicated, and my attentions were distracted. I truly wish we could recover Ramon’s art collection. I’m told that because he had no will or heirs, the state took all his belongings. I’m not confident that the state would every have understood what they had in their possession. As for Dan’s story, its still unfolding. Dan’s mom recently passed away, and the family are finding all kinds of things while going through her home!