Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Lou Dorfsman's Wall.

I'm not sure anyone today in what's left of the ad industry has any recollection of who Lou Dorfsman was or even why they should know his name. Today we seem to abnegate the heroes of our past. It's not just the holding companies who throw out talent, experience and wisdom along with the salaries they no longer want to pay. I think many of the trend-chasing ad schools do the same. It seems to me, last year's awards are studied--not the very foundations of great advertising, design, art direction and writing.

I'm sure there are filmmakers who have never seen Welles' Citizen Kane or Touch of Evil. There are more who have never seen anything by Jean Renoir--a director who has four or twelve films on most lists of the greatest movies ever, including Boudu Saved from Drowning, A Day in the Country, The Grand Illusion, The Lower Depths, La Bete Humanite, The Rules of the Game and The River. Or my favorite director--who no one knows anymore, Preston Sturges, whose eight hits in six years are among the greatest comedies ever made. They include, Christmas in July, The Great McGinty, Miracle at Morgan's Creek, The Lady Eve, Sullivan's Travels, Unfaithfully Yours and a commercial failure The Sin of Harold Diddlebock which starts with the greatest 25 minutes in American movie history.

In much the same way, no one knows Lou Dorfsman today. Though in my day, Hall-of-Fame art directors like Mike Tesch cut their teeth working at CBS for Dorfsman.

One of the reasons my wife, Laura and I traveled up to the Hudson Valley on Laura' birthday weekend was to see "Lou's Wall, his "GastrotypographicalAssemblage," which after it was discarded by CBS (who had commissioned it) was tossed into the trash.

Below are some bits from Lou Dorfsman's 40-year at CBS, including a five minute film on his wall and its rescue. Below that thirty or so of my lousy photos of the wall.

The trip from New York City to the wall takes about 90 minutes. You can even take the train to Poughkeepsie and a ten minute uber to the Culinary Institute's campus. There are nice people there who will walk you over to see the wall. Then, if you have reservations, you can eat in one of the CIA's great restaurants. When you're done eating and belching, you can stop by the Craig Claiborne bookstore and choose from their selection of 91 lemon-zesters or 47 garlic presses. Then you can find a place to stay overnight or take the train back to Grand Central Terminal.

Either way, you'll be well-fed, well-stimulated, and well-inspired. And remember, the artist does not weigh his clay.



No comments: