Take, for example, the living room bar sink that's filled to the brim with white, cream-colored, and iridescent glass beads or the never-used master bathtub lorded over by an antique Ethiopian Coptic cross mounted on the leg of an old-time diner stool amid a suspended shower of crystal drops hung from the bathroom ceiling on clear monofilament. Another tub/shower area in the house has been walled in with see-through boxes, each filled with an odd collection of items, including used hearing-aid batteries, dice, Mardi Gras throws, and watch parts, while from the top of that bathroom's mirror droop hundreds of metal chains.

In the grand room, the indefatigable Seeger has amassed a number of Tibetan singing bowls next to an old temple gong and a yak bell hung from a decorative woven strap; he eagerly demonstrates their deep tones by tapping on them. Exquisite multiharmonic vibrations fill the room.

"This is my playpen," he says with a satisfied smile.

Seeger's "faces" collection
Jamie Peachey
Seeger's "faces" collection
The artist as subject of a SeegerPeople photo construction.
Jamie Peachey
The artist as subject of a SeegerPeople photo construction.

No less attention-diverting is his dining room. It's been transformed into a gallery of sun faces he's personally made or collected, its center sitting area staged as an intimate, nest-like space surrounded by a floor-to-ceiling curtain of trade beads carefully hand-strung by the ever-active artist.

An entire room toward the back of the house recalls Pippi Longstocking's pirate treasure chests. The room is dedicated to antique wooden thread cabinets, each drawer of which is filled with items that fall into Seeger's mental categories — hearts, coins, old bone buttons, amulets, Mexican milagros, tiny masks from a variety of cultures and time periods, medals and badges, even mash-ups of wooden bases onto which the artist has appended some unusual bibelot, be it a watch gear, seashells, or a bit of unidentifiable detritus.

Throughout the residence, Seeger has strategically planted his own artwork — paintings, photographs, assemblages, and three-dimensional constructions. Forget storage — even closets have been commandeered for display purposes. One is almost entirely inhabited by antique toys and vintage ethnic jewelry.

Dick Seeger actually lives in only a small area of the master bedroom where he's placed his bed, a desk that seconds as his dining table, and a computer; he uses only the shower in the master bath. The rest of the space is devoted to his collection and wall montage of personal photos documenting his many activities and achievements through the past six decades; it's watched over by a huge shelf of what he calls "finials," turned wood pieces to which he's conjoined strange little heads of sundry origin, and large sculptures he's cobbled together from saw horses and ethnic masks, woodcarvings and jewelry. With the artist being an unshakable devotee of Coke and Cheetos, it's a very safe bet that extensive cooking has never taken place in his kitchen.

The quality, not to mention the quantity, of the objects Seeger has collected for more than 60 years is impressive, and he seems to value everything equally, despite source or cost. Pre-Columbian pieces rub shoulders with goofy Route 66 tourist "kachinas" and Mexican folk art; 19th-century Qing Dynasty figures consort with contemporary plastic figurines from The Wizard of Oz. Seeger doesn't exalt one culture or era over another — there's room and respect for everyone here at The Magical Mystery Spiritual Experience. A Beatle would feel right at home.


Though Dick Seeger has been seriously infected by the ethnic-art-collecting bug for a number of decades, his beginnings are anything but exotic or primitive. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1929, Seeger was an only child raised in Father Knows Best fashion by parents who came from large broods.

According to the artist, he was "flooded out of a house as a fetus," sang in a church choir, was his grade school principal's helper, and earned the title of a "super-duper turkey coop pooper scooper" in his youth. Despite his studious beanpole appearance, he was also an Iowa Junior State Champion in archery and finished first in obstacle courses in high school, college, and the Army, into which he was drafted. He served in both the U.S. Navy and Army and was stationed for a time on a naval destroyer. A scrupulously clean liver, Seeger's adamant that he's never smoked a cigarette or taken illicit drugs of any kind, ever.

After being discharged from military service, Seeger got married to his first wife, Helen, earned a degree in art from Cedar Rapids' Coe College, and garnered experience as a photographer. But, like the Beats of that generation, he was a ramblin' kind of guy, curious about the world around him. In the 1950s, after Helen tragically lost twin sons at birth, artist and wife, in a classic Jack Kerouac, On the Road-type of move, decided to drive from Iowa to Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, in their old car.

"I had a Spanish professor in college having a sabbatical in Oaxaca," he recalls. While in the Abastos Market in Oaxaca City, Seeger's billfold was stolen, and the duo ended up driving north to Mexico City sans identification documents and con very little money. While at a Mexico City bullfight, the couple's car was stolen.

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6 comments
Suzerina
Suzerina

Just savored the Seeger piece. I came to Scottsdale in 1965, married to Dick whose family had arrived in 1952...Always fascinated by the Old Scottsdale arts and culture scene and eventually a proud owner of Seegerpeople. images of my girls.Thank you for this treasure....and I need to get into that houseSuz.....

Roseann
Roseann

How can one fellow artist to another get to see this, Magical Mystery Spiritual Home, I'm feeling very "Beatles" right now....

Basti Auser
Basti Auser

YES , WE CAN...YES , WE CAN...WE WILL WIN IN WAR ON TERROR (30 whities or what are terrorists will never come back alive...thank you lord....aaamen).

What do you mean tragedy! It was just a birthday present for planet apes president !!! That's all ! Feels great to flip hamburgers and hip hop atop of good news...makes you feel vibrant and energized !!!

ARIZONA = UTOYA = GOVERNMENT‘S "AFTERLIFE" CASH & $$ FLASH MOB (there was no shooting in Utoya or Arizona, but tear gas and theater instead on faces of multiculturalism maniacs..your guilt or blame and shame weapon against us and our families in our own countries atop of forceful unemployment during so called "ECONOMIC CRISES" during which third world foreigners are allowed to rape, kill, and still is nothing else but fast way to early retirements for government related criminals/ terrorists...$$$ extra bonuses, and newly issued state identities while calling you a terrorists) !!! http://stateofterror.blogspot.... or http://stateofterror.wordpress...

OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... or http://avsecbostjan.wordpress.... Whitie is fighting war on terrorism just to come home and be pronounced as terrorist...turned in Timothy, jobless, homeless ...YESSS, WE CAN...YESSS, WE CAN...GABBY OPENED HER EYES (Obaminator’s psychotic speech in Tucson = failed “Apocalypse Now“)

WAKE-UP !!! WAKE UP PEOPLE BEFORE IT GETS ALL TO LATE ON PLANET APES !!! TEARS WON'T DO YOU ANY GOOD !!! AS BUSH STATED "THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE PAID FOR"(to die ) !!

EVEN IF IRAQ WOULD HAVE BEEN WAR FOR OIL ONLY, VETERANS WOULDN'T NEVER EVER HAVE TO BE HOMELESS PEOPLE THE WAY THEY ARE AND NOR WOULD OUR PEOPLE HAVE TO DIE ALLOVER THE PLACE THE WAY THEY DO TO VERY TODAY(never ending “war on terror” story). BECAUSE EVEN IF WAR WAS FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY, MONEY SHOULD BE USED FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS AND NOT WHAT THE CASE IS OR AGAINST WHITES(to destroy us allover the world) !!! You don't really proof for 911, just put your sht together in your heads...THIS IS PLENTY ENOUGH TO HAVE O(B)SAMA INDICTED FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE AMERICAN HUMANITY TOGETHER WITH HIS ZIONIST MASTERS) !!!

Don't worry O(s)bama, you have just saved USA what is lots of Dollars in your DEBT DEALS as those best of America or Navy Seals would also grew older and then you already know how it goes...DEAD & ILL = DEBT DEAL !!!

HOW MUCH FURTHER ARE WE WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO PLEASE VERY SAME PEOPLE WHO DENY US EVEN THE RIGHT TO EXISTENCE(what is to you country without laws or lawless country in respect to your personal rights, but the one that in contrast to your denied basic human rights recognizes you extremely liable when payments are due) !!?

IS IT INDEPENDENCE THAT WE CELEBRATE OR DEPENDENCE (what are your credit card bills or alimony saying about it) !!? HOW IS YOUR DIABETES AND LOST MARRIAGES !!? FORECLOSURES AND JOB SEARCH !!? THAT IS THE QUESTION TO BE OR NOT TO BE !!! IS IT LAND OF THE FREE OR STATE OF TERROR AGAINST OWN POPULATION !!? IT IS TIME TO LET THEM KNOW WHAT COLOR ARE THE STRIPES ON OUR STAR SPANGLED BANNER !!! TIME TO DETERMINE WHOSE INDEPENDENCE/AMERICA, WE CELEBRATE TODAY(who wants to erase us and denies us the right to exist) !!! IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHOM WE ADDRESS WITH "PRESIDENT" (STOP HUMILIATING YOURSELF) !!!

VOTING POLL:

DO WE NEED MORE PROOFS TO INDICT OBAMA AND BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOR CRIMES COMMITTED AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!?

1)NO, THEY ARE CLEARLY GUILTY AS OIL WAR NEVER EVER WAS REAL ISSUE IN GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITES. REAL ISSUE ARE FACTS OR WHAT WE WITNESS TODAY WHEN VETERANS ARE HOMELESS, JOBLESS, KILLED, ETC.

2)NO, AS 911 ALONE AS WELL AS ACTIONS IMPOSED AGAINST WHITES IN USA (as well worldwide) ARE CLEARLY INDICATING ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY

3)YESS AS JUST YESTERDAY(for over 15 years to very yesterday), WE (news/media = vacuum world of lies) WERE TELLING YOU THAT UNEMPLOYMENT WAS AT 10% WHILE TODAY ONE IS AT 50% (HOW COME NO ONE QUESTION JOURNALISM LIKE THIS OR WHAT IS WORLD OF LIES AND DEMENTIA)!

4)I AGREE WITH FIRST TWO ANSWERS ABOVE. IT IS TIME TO PRESS CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST BOTH ADMINISTRATIONS DUE TO ACTS OF GENOCIDE AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY FOR THE SAKE(SAFETY) OF US AND OUR CHILDREN(DO NOT TURN THEM IN WHITE REFUGEES ON PLANET APES OR WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE WHEN VISITING ABOVE PAGES) !!!

Aki
Aki

Fascinating individual with a drive to be and do the extra ordinary. I enjoyed this article and am amazed at the talents and hard work of Dick Seeger.

 
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