Artists With Rare Last Initials

In this post we are now getting oh-so-close to something like numerology. But hey! -- it's late August and blog readers are probably off on vacation, so why not write a truly inconsequential post while waiting for their return?

I was glancing over the part of my bookshelves containing books about individual artists and noted that I had none for last names staring with "N" and only one staring with "O" (Thornton Oakley, if you're curious). Later that day I was in Barnes & Noble and passed by their books sorted by artist's name and saw none for "N." Hmm.

I found this item noting that N and O respectively ranked seventh and fifth in terms of citations in the 11th edition of the "Concise Oxford Dictionary," 2004 revision. So those letters seem to be popular enough so far as English words are concerned.

But when it comes to names as recorded in the 2000 U.S. census we find that N ranks 16th and O 18th with respective percentages of 1.65 and 1.39. The letter "M" is in first place at 10.48 percent, which makes it about seven times as common as N and O.

Data for other countries would obviously differ. For example, "V" ranks 19th in the report linked above, but surely would rank far higher in the Netherlands.

Another potential research problem is that many artists are not known by their given and family names. This is especially true for Italians where first names and nicknames are the monickers that often stick in art history.

All that aside, were my casual bookshelf observations all that far off?

Probably not. I skimmed through the "Oxford Concise Dictionary of Art & Artists" (Third Edition) making a rough tally of artists mentioned in biographical paragraphs (including passing mentions of relatives of the primary artist who also practiced art). My counts for N and O were 37 and 32 while M tallied at 170 (not counting artists known as "The Master of ..."). So M was about five times as common as N and O.

My copy of Walter Reed's "The Illustrator in America 1860-2000" (2001) has an index of artists. Its M-N-O block tallies are 43, six and ten, so M's are about five and a half times more common than N's and O's -- similar to the other results.

Conclusion? Artists with last names beginning with the letters N and O are not common. But it's because such last names are comparatively rare and not some cosmic connection between name and artistic success.

Belinda Grace is coming to Narellan Library

Belinda Grace

Visiting Author

Friday 9 September 2011

6pm for a 6:30pm start

Narellan Library

$6 per ticket

includes refreshments

bookings essential

Belinda Grace will be speaking about her wonderful new book You Are Abundant which

shows you how to:

- Increase and develop your connection to your clairvoyance and Divine Guidance

- Re-integrate your Divine Empowered Feminine wisdom and energies - essential for men

as well as women!

- Move on once and for all from the patterns that block you or hold you back

- Step up to a whole new level of awareness and abundance

- Create and live an intuitive, soulful and abundant life!

Belinda is one of Australia’s best loved Clairvoyant Healers and presenters, she is also the

author of the best-selling book ‘You Are Clairvoyant’ and has appeared in magazines, radio

and television around the world. Always inspiring and generous with her knowledge and

experience, BelindaGrace is committed to sharing her skills with you so that you can enjoy

a happy, spiritual and abundant life.

For more information and bookings, please

contact Narellan Library on (02) 4645 5039

or Camden Library on (02) 4654 7951.

Objetos presentados en el VI Encuentro