Bob Omrod

Wacky Wednesday

Gypsy Vardo.jpg

Question: What do you get when you have a middle school art teacher, stuff you can get for cheap at a 5 & 10 store, and a whole lot of creativity? 
Answer: Miniatures and dioramas of all shapes and sizes filled with humor and delight.  (Hey!  That could be a slogan to describe our collection here at the Treasure Tour!)
For forty years, Bob Omrod taught his students how to use their imagination to create small landscapes, cityscapes, castlescapes, and anything else they could think of, often using things around the house.  The picture we've included here depicts a gypsy's home - a mobile wagon likely drawn by horses in the early days called a vardo.  Our vardos are a little too small to actually provide accommodation, but they certainly gave Mr. Omrod relief before being converted - before being modified into vardos, these small cylindrical containers once contained Metamucil.  Sorry, was that too much information?  Well, anyway.  Come to the American Treasure Tour to check out these unique creations - and consider making one yourself when you get home with your own empty Metamucil bottles.  But please don't provide us with details.

Lions, tigers and bears....

OH MY!!!!

It is never good to judge another person based on your own standards, but if you say "Lions, tigers, and bears" to someone, and they don't respond with a good, solid, "Oh my!" then they may be a little deficient in their popular culture education or they're a grumpy pants. Sorry to have to say it, but there it is.

The American Treasure Tour has all three - lions, tigers, AND bears. We also have elephants, giraffes, and hippos. And a cow in western clothes.  Because, well, you know. Why wouldn't we?

Here are some quick facts about The Wizard of Oz:
The jacket worn by Frank Morgan, playing the role of the actual wizard, was found in a thrift shop. It had the name L. Frank Baum written on a label inside it. Baum wrote the original book.

The majority of the scenes including the Wicked Witch of the West were cut from the film because they were thought to be too scary for most audiences. 

The Munchkins were played by a group of little people managed by Leo Singer. They traveled under the name of "Singer's Midgets" and came from Europe to star in the movie. Many were of Jewish heritage and stayed in the United States after filming ended, to avoid the horrors of the war. Very few of them spoke English, and their songs were dubbed.

The only location footage used in the film (not shot in a studio) are the clouds in the opening scene.

Check out more of the American Treasure Tour's love of The Wizard of Oz with the Bob Omrod Giant World of Miniatures!


Omrod's Aliens

QUESTION:  Which of the following men has not yet directed one of the films in the Alien franchise?
A). Ridley Scott
B). David Fincher
C). Tony Scott
D). James Cameron

In 2015, Bob Omrod's collection of miniatures became a part of the American Treasure Tour. If you have not yet seen it, it is truly amazing that it was created by one man, but that it was on display in his home until it moved to Oaks. Filled with imaginative interpretations of scenic scenes and dioramas, there is something for everyone. One element of the miniatures the blog enjoys exploring is his love of movies.  We've talked about his dioramas dedicated to Wizard of Oz, Dune, and his 40 Horror films ensemble. Today's blog is dedicated to the science fiction horror film Aliens.

1979's Alien introduced the character of Ellen Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver. A strong-willed woman who never gave up, Ripley had to contend with an alien in her spaceship as it systematically killed her compatriots. The film proved extremely popular, making a sequel inevitable. But politics got in the way and it took seven years until Aliens came out. It is one of the rare instances where critics and fans consider the sequel superior to the original. It garnered seven Academy Award nominations, winning two (for Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects). Alien 3 came out in 1992, and Alien: Resurrection was released in 1997. Since then, there have been two Alien v. Predator films and the 2012 prequel Prometheus, with others continuing the legacy. Bob Omrod has captured the feel of Aliens in a diorama depicting the monsters, their victims, and a whole slew of eggs getting ready to hatch. While Mr. Omrod has created a family-friendly image of Aliens, we do not suggest that the film itself is suitable for younger viewers.

ANSWER:  C). Tony Scott, the brother of Ridley, was better known for light-hearted action comedies.

Antique Shoppe Paintings

QUESTION:  What is the proper name for an indoor balcony?
A)  Mezzanine
B)  Loft
C)  Overlook
D)  There is none

As we continue our exploration of the Omrod Antique Shoppe, located on a nickelodeon in the Music Room here at the American Treasure Tour, we would like to draw your attention to the second floor (stairs not included in the diorama). It's easy to overlook such subtle nuances as the balcony above the lovely tea set on the left, but it dominates our delightful shop.  Hanging from the far wall are a number of paintings - mostly floral settings. None of them are more than two inches high, but immaculately detailed. One thing they have in common is that they were all painted by Bob Omrod. Not only is he a creator of delightful miniatures, but Mr. Omrod is an accomplished painter. 

Hans Helming  Vase of Flowers  (1480)

Hans Helming Vase of Flowers (1480)

Flowers have been incorporated in art since before there was such a thing as recorded history. Ancient Egyptians incorporated still lives in the tombs of the dead. The Greeks, then the Romans, also followed suit. It was not until the Middle Ages, though, that paintings of flowers came into favor. Fifteenth century artists such as Hans Memling immortalized their flower arrangements in oil-based paintings. It continued from there, with such memorable devotees to the craft as Vincent Van Gogh and Georgia O'Keefe. Now, we can add another name to the pantheon of flower painters:  Bob Omrod.

ANSWER:  D)  There is none. And once again, the limitations of the English language become evident.

The Omrod Antique Shoppe

QUESTION: At what age is an object considered an "antique"?
A)  5 years
B)  65 years
C)  100 years
D)  200 years

The American Treasure Tour's Music Room has been host to an amazing display of miniatures created by local retired art teacher Bob Omrod since August 2015. It does not take a psychiatrist to diagnose Mr. Omrod as being highly creative and with a delightful sense of humor as you peruse his tiny village that explores seascapes, winter wonderlands, gardens and rodeos, and an exploration of movies. There is so much to see on the massive spread situated towards the back of the Music Room that it is easy to overlook some of his free-standing exhibits. For the next few days (Excepting weekends - sorry, we at the blog offices have to watch movies, when we're not in the office, you know!), we are going to delve into this one small piece of Omrodabilia. Do you like the word we just created?

The Omrod Antique Shoppe is just about one-and-a-half feet wide, and a foot high with a ceiling that slopes down towards the back, with a clear plastic wall in front to protect the tiny furniture and objects inside. And what an array of items on display! There are no price tags, and realistically, if anyone was small enough and wanted to browse the store, they would have a difficult time maneuvering through all the cool items. The biggest challenge is to decide on which tiny piece to examine first. We noticed a spinning wheel in the back, behind the odd-looking stuffed animal. The first spinning wheels were developed in India around fifteen hundred years ago. Its name says it all - by spinning flax or wool on a wheel, it is twisted and tightened into thread or yarn for use in sewing or knitting. Wheels required manual power, often in the form of pedals on the floor. Not an easy way to make a living, but definitely a necessity in the time before industrialization. To be honest, the one in our Antique Shoppe is not practical for normal use.  It's too small. 

ANSWER:  C)  100 years