Steinlen's Le Chat Noir LbNA # 61285
|Placed Date||Mar 31 2012|
|Location||Jack Brooks Park, 5700 FM 2004 Rd, Hitchcock, TX, Hitchcock, TX|
|Found By||Wry Me|
|Last Found||Feb 13 2016|
Planted for The Cat’s Meow event. *****Ridiculously huge stamp warning*****
Théophile Alexandre Steinlen’s posters advertising the Paris cabaret Chat Noir in the bohemian Montmartre district of Paris have become iconic, as was the cabaret itself, which spawned countless imitators all over the world. Chat Noir (Black Cat) is regarded as perhaps the very first establishment of its kind, entertainment presented as a series of musical numbers and skits. Satires were very popular. Often the poet-owner, Rodolphe Salis, addressed people he knew in the audience and served as emcee. Chat Noir started out as a gathering of like-minded disaffected artists, poets, etc. who gathered in Salis’ apartment in the seedy Montmartre district of Paris, where an influx of artists came because of high rents in other artsy areas of the city. Steinlen was one of these. Over drinks, they would discuss politics and write and perform for each other. These gatherings became more and more popular, and soon Salis started referring to his place, decorated with the artwork of his friends and where drinks were a routine part of the gatherings, as Chat Noir. He also referred to it as a cabaret, a medieval word that meant wine cellar or tavern. Artists, tourists and expats thronged the tiny establishment until they had to move to a bigger place just up the street.
Steinlen worked in the Art Nouveau style, inspired by natural forms and structures and typified by curving lines. He and other Chat Noir salon denizens were highly critical of the society in which they lived, often reflecting this in their art, so he sometimes worked under a pseudonym to avoid political fallout. He portrayed everyday life in the Montemarte district and included cats in so many of his pieces, it became a sort of trademark for him. He died in Paris in 1923.
To the box: After entering the park, keep driving until you reach a “T” intersection. Go left, pass the veteran’s memorial and park in the lot. There are several trailheads here, but the only one leading directly from the parking lot is the one you want. You can still cut across the grass; starting at the actual trailhead is not necessary. You are looking for the gravel hiking path. You’ll know you’re on the correct one when you pass a handicapped-accessible ramp leading down to a small overlook near the water. Keep going until you reach a “Y” in the path. Go right and follow the trail, counting benches. From the middle of the 2nd bench, turn and backtrack about 8 steps. Go left off-trail about 15 steps to a funky clump of tallow trees. Before you reach it, you will see a cedar tree, bent at a right angle. Farther on and slightly to the left, closer to the far treeline is the clump of tallows. Part of the tree is bent along the ground where it broke and kept growing. The box is on the ground, covered with sticks, etc. This area gets soggy, so please use the big log to weigh the box down and wedge between the trunks. It’s best to plan on taking this box back to the bench. You’ll want the flat surface to get a good impression.