How could such a prominent fashion designer remain so unknown to the public?
One of the most interesting things I’ve discovered going through our John Falter collection in the last few years is how and how much of his personal interests, friends, and environs manifested themselves in his art. Jazz is a great example. Falter loved jazz from an early age and was a talented self-taught musician (clarinet and piano to be sure–perhaps even other instruments). As a teen in Falls City he played in a band with George “Pee Wee” Erwin, who went on to a successful career as a jazz trumpeter.
The jazz theme appears in his teenage sketch/scrapbook . . .
There are certain names we instantly recognize as those who passionately loved and strove for equality. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony and many others have a permanent place in history textbooks as heroes of social justice. There are, however, many other names with which we are much less familiar, but are no less important. These are the names of the people who worked decades prior to the names that we know. They fought desperately for the same causes, but they did not succeed. Most did not survive to see the fruits of their hard labor.