Blue Heron in flight

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thar she blows!

I bought this beautiful ink sketch of a whaler at Del Mar. I had this old frame lying around and thought it would fit nicely. I just got the thing back from Jennifer across the street. I think that it looks pretty nifty. The work was painted by a man named Stuart Morton Boland, signed St. Boland - August, 1951. Drawn especially for the Nautical Research Guild. Never heard of the guy and decided to do some research.

Boland was the author of the book Legends of San Francisco, published in 1954 as well as a play in three acts and nine scenes, Doomsrod in 1936, Immortalia and several other books I shan't bore you with.

The Nautical Research Guild are actually an organization of ship modelers that have existed since 1948. I find a citation for him into the 1970's. I don't know where he fit into the pantheon but he was certainly on deck early.

Boland, Stuart Morton: San Francisco and Whaling on the West Coast.
Nautical Research Journal 20, Washington, 1973-74. pp 15-17, ill. 

Now this guy is intriguing. A very competent artist, I was told that he was a librarian, obviously a historian. A ship modeler. And then it gets juicier. What else?  Holy Cthulu, Batman! I am an old lover of fantasy literature and I find this blurb on an H.P. Lovecraft website concerning the August Derleth letters:

Stuart Morton Boland and the Necronomicon
Back in 2007, I listed an article from the old Acolyte as a Lovecraftian curiosity. Now that the Derleth Letters have been published, more info is available - from HPL's side.

[24 Oct 1936] "Speaking of the bizarre - I had an interesting note the other day from an apparently scholarly chap in San Francisco - by name, Stuart Morton Boland - who announces himself as a librarian who has been all over the world studying esoteric elder parchments like the Necronomicon in various places sch as Budapest, Madras, Bombay, &c. He thinks there may be some substratum of truth behind my references to the Necro, & will accordingly be disappointed when he finds that Grandpa is a callous materialist. But I'm being very curteous in my disillusionment; since he seems to be an extremely pleasant sage, & has promised to send me some mysterious objects which he obtained at the cryptic pre-Nahuan Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan during a recent trip to Mexico. The latter will surely be welcome, since my private "museum" already contains 5 Central-American items - 2 early Mayan images, an earthen Aztec image, an Aztec bowl, & an earthen Aztec calendar-stone."

The only other reference I can find right now is:

[To Barlow, 16 September 1936] "...correspondence hammering on all sides ... I owe 7 letters now ... {on envelope} ... Just had an esoteric-looking communication from an occultly inclined nut in San Francisco who seems to be a sort of educated Bill Lumley. I'll enclose it in my next for your edification."

It's true that Boland was "scholarly" as can be seen with his article in THE ISLAMIC REVIEW of JANUARY 1951: Arab Contributions to World Civilization by Stuart Morton Boland. 

We also know from this journal that Boland was a graduate of University of California, Librarian of the Ocean View Branch of San Francisco.

So Boland was also a seeker interested in the ancient occult mysteries, a pleasant "sage," a student of the necronomicon, or as Lovecraft termed him, an occultly inclined nut. This guy might be an interesting window for me to ply. The Islamic Review article he wrote ain't bad. Even found a picture of him. Lived in the Presidio.

From the Acolyte *11 - Stuart Boland
He corresponds with Lovecraft as well as the great Robert E. Howard, the author of the Conan series. Early seeker of the cosmic truths of the Toltecs and Mayans. A big thank you to Kentuckian and Lovecraft scholar Chris Perridas, whose website compiled and gave me access to much of this material.

That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons even death may die.
The Nameless City - 1921 Abdul Alhazred


Ken Seals said...

I've heard from locals who know that those ancient gods have currently taken up refuge in the Santa Margarita River valley of North County San Diego, California, USA.

Some may even appear very human like to the undiscerning observer. It's likely that they are coordinating an upcoming breakout via the internet and blogging software!


Anonymous said...

whaaa?, huh?