Oh Carol!

Apr 17, 2011, 4:30 PM |


In my article, The Imagery of Chess - Surrealism and Chess, several years ago, one of the participating artists whom I covered was Carol Janeway.  As I noted on her page, my research results were very scant.  Since I recently found more information, I wanted to offer an update (since I don't have any control over my original site, I can only update telescopically).



Bust of Carol Janeway by Ossip Zadkine
      Information on Carol Janeway was scant at best. She was born Carol Rindsfoofs in Columbus, Ohio  in 1913 and died in Manhattan in 1989.  She published what seems to have been at least one magazine article, Decorating with Tiles (which tells how to brigh ten the home with colorful tiles) in American Home, March, 1947 . She authored the book, Ceramics and Pottery Making for Everyone in 1950.
     In 1966 she became the first American to design for the British company Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. Some of her work is owned by the Museum of Modern Art. She was married to the noted economist Eliot Janeway for several years.     


    An interesting tale is told by Eliot Janeway's son (by his second wife) in the book, The Fall of the House of Roosevelt: Brokers of Ideas and Power from FDR to LBJ  By Michael Janeway:
                I was fifteen when I found out that he [Eliot Janeway] was Jewish,
             born Eliot Jacobstein, and had changed his name - at fifteen.
             At the same moment I learned that my father had had a first wife.
             Cleaning out some closets for extra allowance, I came upon a set of
             legal documents, starkly official in blue State of New York folders,
             certifying the name change in 1928 and his divorce from Carol
             Rindsfoofs Janeway a decade later.
                Carol had been a Cornell undergraduate in the early 1930s,
             transferring  from Ohio State, She evacuated Ithaca with my father
             in his senior  year and they married; he was nineteen, she was eighteen.
             In 1932, with no jobs in New York, they'd sailed together for England,
             where  Carol entered the University of London while he studied at the
             London School of Economics.
                Blonde and alluring, she, and perhaps he, was not faithful. The
             marriage floundered during the Moscow leg of the European
             adventure (August 1933).
                He returned to England late in the same year without Carol. In a
             sequence of Groucho Marxian twists, Carol stayed on in Moscow
             with a new amour, obtaining a Soviet divorce decree in 1934
             (that proved worthless in the U.S., requiring a second round of
             divorce proceedings in New York in 1938 - the documentary residue
             of which I found in the closet seventeen years later - before my
             parents could marry.)



Carol Janeway's contribution to the Imagery of Chess show (December 12, 1944 through January 31, 1945) -


LIFE magazine featured Carol Janeway in an article on July 23, 1945

. . . Carol Janeway's Tiles Have Fanciful Designs

These fanciful tiles, covered with nonsensical birds and animals, are the work of a young New York artist whi began making them are Christmas presents and now her wares exhibited in museums.  Carol Janeway, a native of Brooklyn, had studied lithography in London and worked briefly in Moscow as a newspaper correspondent. Several years ago, while visiting a friend in Connecticut who hd a machine for printing tiles, she tried to make sone hand-drawn tiles.  She drew birds with pronged claws, fish scales and flowered tails, and four-legged beasts with featherss.  Her friends liked her odd designs, so she made many more ans sold them to the Georg Jensen shop on Fifth Avenue, which now devotes a special room to Janeway tiles.  She has a workshop in Greenwich Village with a small electric kiln where she makes not only tiles, but ash trays, book ends, jewelry, chess sets, fireplaces, dishes with scrambled mottoes.




1949 (from D.C.'s World Telegram and Sun)

N.Y. Times  November 24, 1989

Carol Janeway, 76, Ceramist and Author
Carol Janeway, a ceramist and longtime member of Community Board 2 in Greenwich Village, died of pneumonia Wednesday at New York Hospital. She was 76 years old and lived in Manhattan.
Mrs. Janeway's works were widely exhibited and purchased by museums, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. In 1966, she became the first American to design for the celebrated British company, Josiah Wedgwood & Sons. She was the author of ''Ceramics and Pottery Making for Everyone,'' published in 1950 by Tudor Publishing.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, she was a community board member for at least 10 years and led campaigns to preserve the small-scale neighborhood character of Greenwich Village. She served on the zoning and landmarks committees of the community board.
Surviving are her sister, Mary Harwood of Washington, Conn., and her daughter, Sister Catherine, of Evansville, Ind.