The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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A Painting by Richard Shaver

October 4th, 2010 · 10 Comments


The Ullage Group is particularly fond of the work of Richard Shaver, and likes to return to it from time to time.  This is one of those times; we’ll be posting a few items on Shaver this week.

For those unfamiliar with him, I’ll say (briefly) that he was quite active as a pulp writer in the late ’40s and  early ’50s.  Influenced by the fantasy writer Abraham Merritt, and by his own unusual beliefs (which were, in turn, probably largely due to schizophrenia), he published a stream of extraordinary stories about stunted beings living in giant underground caverns, ancient technology, and eccentric physics.  Later, he became fascinated with rocks; he became convinced that they were the books of an early race of giant sea people, and painted the images he saw in them.

There aren’t too many Shaver paintings around; but I have one of them, and never got around to posting a picture of it before.  Here it is.  It’s painted on wood; he usually used paint mixed with wax, soap, and other materials to mimic the texture of rock, but I don’t know what he used for this one.

(Posted by Doug Skinner; thanks to Angela Alverson for photographing it.)

Tags: Forteana · Liminal Graphics · Microlithomania

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Greg // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing, Doug.

  • 2 mamie // Oct 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    It’s very beautiful and well photographed.

  • 3 Richard Toronto // Oct 11, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Doug deserves vast amounts of kudos for keeping the Old Man’s memory alive when so few were willing to do so…

  • 4 Doug // Oct 11, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Thanks, Richard! I’ll be posting a few of Shaver’s poems as well in the next few days.

  • 5 Anthony // Oct 18, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    This is really great! Thanks for posting it Doug.

  • 6 Brian Tucker // Oct 19, 2010 at 10:48 am

    I second Richard T’s comments. Nice to see this image of the painting, as well as that Rich Horton photo and other RSS memorabilia. I hope this finds you well, Doug.

  • 7 Doug // Oct 19, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Thanks, Brian; I hope you’re well too. Richard T prompted these posts with a query about a Ray Palmer article. Happily, I had the one he was looking for; and that made me realize I hadn’t posted any of these images. I’m glad you found them!

  • 8 Derek // Sep 24, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Very cool!

  • 9 name Shaverology // Oct 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    […] occasionally posted about Shaver on this site; here, for example, is one of his paintings.  For more on War Over Lemuria and Shaverology, please visit Richard’s […]

  • 10 name Richard Shaver on Time and Space // May 12, 2014 at 12:24 am

    […] now and then, we like to post something about Richard Shaver.  Here we have some of his ruminations on time and space, and, at the end, a bit about tuna.  […]

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