Hanging Out at the “DAR” Bar

January 26, 2008

DARs at the Bar

Or … How to Increase Business at Your Bar with the DAR Daughters and a Six Shooter.

The pop photographer Richard Avedon created “The Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution,” which depicted officials of the DAR formally dressed in full regalia. He exhibited it at an art show in 1970, and then gifted the colossal ladies’ portrait to his favorite bar in South Minneapolis, the Black Forest Inn. There it hung grandly, covering the entire wall of the back bar, until one wild day in 1986, when bar regular, Ellis Nelson, sauntered into the place, pulled his six shooter and took aim. Ellis did not shoot a woman in the back, however sorely tempted, as Minnesota cowboys do have their principles. No, he aimed straight for the eyeball of one demurely standing woman and the chest of another, and he didn’t miss. Notching the barrel of his pistol, he explained: “That photo always bugged the hell out of me.

The moral of this story is that DAR ladies should not allow their portraits to be displayed at places of ill repute, such as the back bar of the Black Forest Inn, where they risk the unfortunate fate of this innocent DAR lady (PICTURE) immortalized in Richard Avedon’s pop portrait of “The Generals of the Daughters of the American Revolution.” The DAR lady’s portrait now serves to attract bar hoppers and other curiosity seekers to the Black Forest Inn where they ask to finger the bullet hole in her head.

Richard Avedon’s black and white photograph was taken at the 1963 NSDAR Convention, at the Mayflower Hotel, in Washington D.C. The original “without gunshots” portrait may be seen HERE and there is more information about the shooting at The Rake, November 2004.

The image, Richard Avedon’s “Daughters of American Revolution” at the Black Forest Inn, is subject to copyright by TedSher. It is posted here with permission via the Flickr API by barneykin.