Archive | February, 2012

Arts History Update for early March 2012

28 Feb

Arts History Update for early March 2012 by David Cummins



As of February 23, 2012 the French government has changed the rules on official forms designating the status of women. In the future such forms will only designate women as Madame and will not offer the designation Mademoiselle as that was seen as sexist and requiring less than youthful women to officially reveal their unmarried status. It also required women who wished to keep their marriage unknown, at least officially on public records, to prevaricate and call themselves Mademoiselle.


The new forms offer only the choice Monsieur or Madame. The Prime Minister said in the press release that official forms on file would be revised, but that’s hardly possible or at least would take decades to achieve. That may not be worth doing as wholesale revision would turn the forms on file into the bureaucracy’s forms rather than the individual’s forms. Best not to revise heritage.


Prime Minister Francois Fillon will likely be unable to change French culture on the street, although he may change back room record keepers and functionaries while on the clock. Good luck on the rest. Brigitte Bardot will always be Mademoiselle to me at age 77 or any of her earlier ages.




Remi / Rough [an assumed name] is a South London England graffiti artist whose work was so admirable that he became a studio artist employed on commissions. But he returns to graffiti when he can, for the sheer joy of it.


A debut novel by Gautam Malkani is Londonstani (Fourth Estate 2006) and Remi / Rough was employed to create the book cover and posters to be plastered all about the city for the novel’s initial publication stage. Here’s a short You Tube video of him creating that cover and poster. The novel did not do well commercially in Britain or on republication in the United States, perhaps because it captured well the idiom of South Asian second and third generation immigrant young people [rude boys with too much unemployed time on their hands] who speak an imaginative blend of English, Punjabi, Urdu, profanity, gangsta rap, and mobile-phone texting. $18.31 paperback at, notice Remi / Rough’s cover. but only 99 cents used at Alibris. This time the cover may be better than the book.




Texas Tech University School of Art annual Community Open House is Friday March 2, 2012 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. at both locations, the School of Art building on 18th Street near Flint Avenue and the 3-D Art Annex building on Main Street between Flint and Indiana Avenues. At both places there will be student tours, faculty demonstrations of current projects, and refreshments. Studios given over to a particular medium are often the most interesting because you will see and appreciate how things are accomplished before they get to the finished product that we view, admire and purchase. Remember that the School of Art uses College of Architecture building space for some classrooms and studios, so the painting and drawing studio you can tour on March 2 is in Room 305 of the Architecture building. An outdoor patio below ground level conjoins the two buildings. Even during the Spring windstorms that we usually experience, that patio is protected communal and peaceful.


You are the community. This Community Open House is for you. Please visit and affirm Director Tina Fuentes and the faculty’s decision to open up the academy and welcome you inside. The 3-D Art Annex building has parking spaces out front and parking ticket amnesty for the afternoon. The Flint Avenue Parking Faciltiy top floor [roof] is available for visitors, slip a dollar bill in the pay station meter and display the receipt on your inner windshield, take the elevator to ground level, and walk across the street.


————————— is offering some arts history and music courses at 70% discount from regular prices through March 15, 2012. I purchased DVDs, audio CDs and audiotapes from this company and have been quite satisfied.


Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London is offered for $69.95 which includes DVDs for 24 lectures, 30 minutes each and the images are stunning. I own this set. A History of European Art is offered for $129.95 that includes DVDs for 48 lectures, 30 minutes each. Masterworks of American Art is $69.95 DVDs for 24 lectues, 30 minutes each. This particular course includes only art prior to the 20th century so it does not include the modern art period or post-modernism. Museum Masterpieces: The Metropolitan Museum of Art is $69.95 DVDs for 24 lectures , 30 minutes each. I own this set and it is stunning.




When a local artist has a really appealing website, one is impelled to disseminate it. Hilton McLaurin is an oil and acrylic painter who occasionally conducts a workshop from his home in Ransom Canyon. On this entry page into his website he shows us images of ten paintings, names them, states the medium, and tells us where they are available for purchase. Can’t ask for much more than that. It’s obvious that he uses a watercolor technique in his oil painting, so I speculate that he is an excellent watercolorist as well.


Hilton plays the bagpipes. Pipes and Sticks on Route 66 is presenting pipers and drummers in peformance at venues in Chicago, Tulsa, Lubbock, Albuquerque, Flagstaff and Pasadena April 7-21, 2012. The Lubbbock event is at Cactus Theater April 12 at 7:30 p.m. $25. okay you’re right, Route 66 does not and never has traversed Lubbock. Amarillo must have passed on this event but Lubbock is standing in as “a musical license close enough to sell tickets” Route 66. Advertising says that the pipers at the Lubbock concert will include Stuart Liddell of Inveraray Scotland, Angus McColl of Benderloch Scotland and Willie McCallum of Bearsden Scotland, and drummers include Mike Cole and Jim Kilpatrick. Thanks to Hilton for getting these headliners to drop in to Lubbock, whatever its relationship or lack of it to Route 66.





Eric Yahnker draws and sculpts in the genre of comedic art, saying “I don’t buy the idea that it’s somehow lowbrow to be entertained by art”. He majored in Journalism at USC and then took a degree in animation from CalArts where he worked on the story boards for South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut that included sophomoric potty humor but also flashes of geopolitical analysis. Then he drew and directed Seinimation a series of animated shorts that appear on DVDs for Seinfeld’s last four television seasons. The gallery where he regularly shows his work is Seattle’s Ambach & Rice click on artists then click on Eric Yahnker for nineteen pieces of art including A-Bea-C (2009) colored pencil and graphite on paper depicting Bea Arthur with her eyelids raised and left hand at her chin in a classic Golden Girls pose. It is a tribute to the recently deceased 86 year old actress,,20274866,00.html His own website is at check your gentility at the door.


CalArts is the shortened name for California Institute for the Arts a premiere place for budding contemporary visual and performing artists to gain a groove. It was established in 1941 by Walt and Roy Disney and currently has six schools; viz., Art, Critical Studies, the Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, Film/Video, Theatre, and the Herb Alpert School of Music all at 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia CA 91355-2340. Valencia is less than 45 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Admission is competitive, tuition is $37,684 per year, and there are 1,400 students.




Arts History Update for very late February 2012

22 Feb

Arts History Update for very late February 2012 by David Cummins



The vernal equinox is Tuesday March 20, 2012 at 12:14 a.m. Get ready. Celebrations Monday evening or all day Tuesday. Ostara is the Celtic pagan holiday A quiet meditation may be in order


Speaking of meditation, Kadampa with an office and events at 6701 Aberdeen Avenue Suite 4 south of Embassy Suites Hotel at South Loop 289 and Slide Road is now bringing meditation into Lubbock coffee houses, specifically at J&B Coffee at 26th Street and Boston Avenue on Wednesday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. $10 adults $5 students and seniors. Blend a cup of Joe with a cup of serenity.




S. C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History (Scribner 2010 hardcover 2011 paperback) will lecture at St. John’s United Methodist Church 1501 University Avenue at 7:30 p.m Friday April 13, 2012. It is a free event open to the public. Reception and book signing afterward in the Garden Room. Sam Gwynne wrote for California Business, Time Magazine, Texas Monthly Magazine and, most recently, the Dallas Morning News. He is the author of several books and resides in Austin Texas. At the hardcover is $17.26 and paperback $10.88. Lubbock Public Library has four copies Adult Non-Fiction 978.00497 GWYN and Texas Tech Library E99.C85 P3835. Here’s a 26 minute interview with Sam Gwynne about this book






Sixty original works of art by Tom Lea, Jose Cisneros and Carl Hertzog will be on display February 23 – March 31, 2012 at The Gage Hotel and Ritchey Building in Marathon Texas at 102 N.W. 1st Street. These pieces are from the collection of J.P. Bryan. At the dinner and grand opening of the exhibit on February 23 Mr. Bryan will speak on “Iron Sharpens Iron” with the thesis that these three El Paso artists made each other better by their exhilarating accomplishments and interactions. Sponsors include the Tom Lea Institute: Sharing the Art and Literature of a Great American , and Museum of the Big Bend .


The Ritchey Building, the Kiva, and Dance Court are all spaces associated with the historic Gage Hotel to make it a complex offering spaces contemporary folks prefer for a resort hotel and event center. Marathon is 70 miles north of Big Bend National Park in the high Chihuahuan desert and winding down is what a person does best at the Gage. Cell phones might not work here, nor is your room likely to contain a television set. The Gage Gardens is a 26 acre park that includes a walking and jogging path to help you unwind.


Alfred Gage opened the hotel and ranch headquarters in 1927. At its apex the ranch was 500,000 acres. Gage died the year after he opened the ranch headquarters and hotel. J.P. Bryan and his wife Mary Jon acquired it in 1978 and created today’s complex. Mr. Bryan gave this talk and showed slides of his art collection in El Paso on October 23, 2011. A standing room only crowd was thrilled, prompting the current talk and exhibition.


Thanks to Tai Kreidler for alerting me to the event, and now you.


Jose Cisneros 1910 – 2009 was a painter, wood carver, writer, and muralist but primarily devoted himself to illustrating the Southwestern border region. See this illustration of an oil well coming in. He named it Fortuitous A biography of Cisneros is John O. West, Jose Cisneros: An Artist’s Journey (Texas Western Press 1993) Texas Tech Library NC139.C56 W47 Here’s the Cisneros painting Onate Entrada 1598, the First Thanksgiving relating toDon Juan de Onate crossing the Rio Grande entering Northern New Spain and inviting the native Manos to a feast. Those who think the first Thanksgiving occurred when Pilgrims shared a feast with New England Indians around 1620 might now understand and deplore that “Kilroy was already there” down on the Rio Grande.


Carl Hertzog 1902 – 1984 was a commercial and fine art printer in El Paso. See the book Al Lowman, Remembering Carl Hertzog: A Texas Printer and His Books (Still Point Press 1985) Texas Tech Southwest Collection OVERSZ TEX 33 H576 L918 R386 and see


Tom Lea 1907 – 2001 was a certifiable genius and no more can be said without further understatement. see some murals Carl Hertzog published four books written and illustrated by Lea in the 1940s.

Tom Lea, The Art of Tom Lea (Texas A&M University Press 2003) Texas Tech Southwest Collection OVERSZ 68 L433 A784






CASETA is the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art $50 per person annual membership contact Leslie Thompson at It’s based in Houston Texas.


The tenth annual Symposium happens April 27-29, 2012 at Texas Wesleyan School of Law in Fort Worth Texas. Tai Kreidler alerted me to this event as well, and now you.


You may say, art in the period of early Texas? No, it’s not about time, it’s about the place and its ……….. yes, peculiar culture. Texas culture encourages eccentricity, creativity, self-reliance and self-discovery. The rhythms and explorations of Texas artists imagining the place are unique in this unique place, so it’s worth our contemporary continuing exploration and discovery of that art in that period of time precisely because it is that place.


Let me give you an example, when I first came to Texas and drove down the roadways I saw wildflowers and thought they were weeds. Now I pull over, whether or not a shoulder exists, and at least observe if not sit down in the wildflowers and meditate.




Texas Impressionism: Branding with Brushstrokes and Color, 1885 – 1935 is an exhibition on view April 7 – September 3, 2012 at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, curated by Michael Grauer. the exhibit will then travel   The Grace Museum, Abilene, Sept. 22, 2012 – January 13, 2013; Tyler Museum of Art, Feb. 8, 2013 – May 6, 2013; The Witte Museum, San Antonio, June 15 – Sept. 8, 2013; Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, Sept. 27, 2013 – Jan. 5, 2014.







Ross Lindsay, Curious Vision II is a piece of abstract art offered for sale as a giclee print. It was made by layering thick gesso to give the painting texture, then layering paint glazes to give it depth, and then he painted, abstractly of course.







The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner (2012) is a documentary film in two parts totaling 180 minutes produced by Jonathan Stedall. It premiered in London England in late February 2012. A six minute trailer may be viewed at or at See announcement The Austrian creator of Anthroposophy, Waldorf Schools education system, bio-dynamic agriculture, and more, died in 1925 but his ideas have legs. see also The Steiner Archive is at Steiner gave a series of lectures in 1918 which are now titled The Challenge of Our Times and is available at reprinted by Anthroposophic Press in 1941 Texas Tech Library BP595.S894 C52, similar to the title of the contemporary documentary film.


This is not the first documentary film on Steiner. Finding Rudolf Steiner (2006) 87 minutes, directed by David Antonelli a Canadian from Windsor Ontario, may be located at




Fetched from my mailbox is the current issue March / April 2012 of American Automobile Association’s Texas Journey magazine. On the cover is a smiling Carol Clarkson Howell paintbrush firmly in hand. Inside is an article Deep in the Art of Texas: Creativity Thrives in Downtown Lubbock pages 26-30 by Janis Turk photos by Russell Graves. The locus is the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts and Louise is pictured along with executive director Karen Wiley and clay studio manager Roger Holmes. Art by Joey Martinez, Will Cannings, Shannon Cannings, Charise Knudson Adams and Erika Pochybova-Johnson is featured.


Turk is a downstate writer based in Seguin but we know Russell A. Graves well as a Childress wildlife photographer junction of U.S. Highway 83 and U.S. Highway 287. Graves wrote and photographed The Prairie Dog: Sentinel of the Plains (Texas Tech University Press 2001) Texas Tech Library OVERSZ QL737.R68 G7 finding a spot on many coffee tables in our vicinage.










Arts History Update for late February 2012

20 Feb

Arts History Update for late February 2012 by David Cummins

The Stuart Wing of the Fred J. Jones, Jr. Museum of Art at University of Oklahoma at Norman opened to the public on October 22, 2011. It is a large and marvelous expansion of an already important museum containing the Adkins and other large collections of art. The website has a very substantial digital exposition of those collections. Click on your favorite collections and scroll through.


Canada geese annual migration to the South Plains is in early November and the exit is in late February to northern staging areas, and is about to enter into the exiting phase. Poets speak of these migrations We have enjoyed them this Winter and deplore in advance their departing while there may be four or more weeks until Spring arrives. The cycle is captured and becomes part of our own human life cycle. Who cannot be amazed by the beauty of a gaggle of geese in the sky flying as it were, in formation? The rhythmic honking gradually becomes a bugling announcement of their presence. The Canada geese are truly a partner in our Winter.


Diego Rivera Murals for the Museum of Modern Art November 13, 2011 – May 14, 2012 is a current exhibit at MoMA New York City that looks back to 1931 when the museum mounted only its second retrospective exhibit, this time featuring Rivera. Since it could not transport to New York City any of his existing murals, it commissioned the already famous Diego Rivera to come to MoMA and it provided him with a studio in an empty gallery within the museum. There he painted five portable fresco murals on panels that were part of the exhibition. They depicted the Mexican Revolution era that began in 1910 and ended in 1921 since there was not only the overthrowing of an aged dictatorial Porfirio Diaz that needed to take place, but also the putting together of some sort of then not yet well understood republic. They were Indian Warrior, Sugar Cane, Liberation of the Peon, Agrarian Leader Zapata, and The Uprising. The exhibit went up in December 1931 and by late January 1932 Rivera had painted three more portable murals on panels depicting New York City during the Great Depression then under way, Pneumatic Drilling, Electric Power, and most importantly Frozen Assets (all 1932). The eight murals are viewable here They are magnificent. Click on Frozen Assets and scroll through an in depth explanation of the work and what it constituted as Rivera’s depiction of what he saw as a capitalist society in which workers were harnessed cogs in a machine. The catalogue for the current exhibit is Leah Dickerman and Anna Indych-Lopez, Diego Rivera: Murals for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA 2011) 148 pages $35 Texas Tech Library ND259.R5 A4

The five week exhibition in 1931-1932 set a record for attendance by the public. Later, during the building of Rockefeller Center, Rivera was commissioned to paint an important mural Man at the Crossroads (1934) that was a sensation but was quickly removed / destroyed. The story is told in detail in the book by Daniel Okrent, Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center (Viking 2003) Texas Tech Architecture Library F128.8.R7 O38. Rivera was angered by destruction of his mural, returned to Mexico, and never visited the United States again. He repainted the mural at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City adding the figure of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in a nightclub. It was the inclusion of the figure of Vladimir Lenin that drew a storm of protest in New York City. Another book is Christine Roussel, The Art of Rockefeller Center (W.W. Norton & Co 2006)

A site where Man at the Crossroads (1934) is better displayed is E.B. White wrote in New Yorker Magazine about an imaginary conversation between Diego Rivera and Nelson Rockefeller A Ballad to Artistic Integrity

One of the murals by Rivera is Agrarian Leader Zapata (1931) referring to Emiliano Zapata, successful general and commander of the Liberation Army of the South who post-war was working on land reform issues when he was assassinated April 10, 1919. Drop over to Nora’s Mexican Food Restaurant 4102 34th Street (at Orlando Avenue) Lubbock and you will see a mural and paintings of Zapata who is well-remembered and admired.

The Mexican Revolutionary Project, so successful in displacing Porfirio Diaz, was not nearly so successful in its other themes: building of a new state, land and labor reform, anti-clericalism, nationalism, and indigenismo [i.e., official valorization of Indian history and culture]. In significant ways those same themes exist today in Mexico and there still is no consensus for how to deal with them. If a new Rivera painting were to resurface today, we would call it “contemporary” for the same reasons it was contemporary and brash in the 1930s and 1940s.


Panter & Hall Gallery in London has its annual Scottish Show exhibition up through February 24, 2012 My favorite is Gordon Hope Wyllie’s Crofts by the Sea (undated). Wyllie 1930 – 2005 was known for capturing the essence of Sutherland and the rural Hebrides.

Whilst traveling on one lane roads, with turn-outs should a vehicle arrive from the opposite direction, on the island of Skye, I recall coming up on a small self-holding, a croft if you will, and stopping the car. I have enough Scottish blood in my veins and remembrance of ancestors in whom violence was sport, that I did not foolishly step onto a man’s subsistence for no other reason than curiosity. One likes to travel and dally, but not be buried there. So I looked at a distance at the croft long enough to spot a goat and chickens and to differentiate the home from the outbuildings, all long ago in need of repair but now unable to be further repaired only rebuilt should that dank day arrive.

My own ancestors had small self-holdings in the Highlands when the English enacted the Highland Clearances legislation forcing the Lairds to expel those who could not produce enough to create an export to the city for the overholding Laird. The crofters who couldn’t do so went to the city, Glasgow and others, and were used up in the factories and shipyards of the 18th century’s industrial revolution workplace, someone else’s capitalist revolution. A taste of that life made steerage to America sound idyllic and some of my ancestors survived the crossing. By the third generation in the colonies, fellow colonialists thought the Cummins moderately or minimally civilized. As near as I can tell, not a single Cummins owned land on the east coast or piedmont, their first ownerships being across the Appallachians and Alleghenies where they displaced Indians rather than another colonialist. The old violence from the glens became useful in the American frontier.

Now you know why I understand the first Anglo families of Texas. They were not particularly good or cultured people, but they were certainly brave and could match their own violence with that of the Indians they displaced. Once they had a land grant in hand to a certain number of hectares, formally acknowledged by the post-1821 Republic of Mexico, they weren’t about to cower under vascilating arbitrary rules and regulations announced by Mexican governors. It was their land now and they would live free on it or die. That’s how 1836 happened and a whipped Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna fled south across the Rio Grande. A decade later, after Texas entered the Union, Santa Anna blustered about his potential militant return to Texas so the United States Army went south to get him in the War of 1846 and returned with the deed to California and the American southwest.


Jason John will give a talk in the School of Art room B-01 at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday February 21, 2012 on how artists might use social media to enhance their careers. The public is welcome to attend this free event. John is an assistant professor of painting in the department of Art & Design within the College of Arts & Sciences at University of North Florida in Jacksonville.


The next computer operating system is …………… drum roll please.

Microsoft gave us Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and now we [almost] have Windows 8 operating system. It’s in predevelopment preview stage [some systems can download], which will soon be followed by the [everyone can download a beta version] beta version stage. During both of those stages the Redmond Washington behemoth will keep tweaking the new operating system until it thinks it is ready to be offered in the showroom at a sticker price [less for you beta stage people who helped it by suffering through the tweakings]. What’s really pushing Microsoft to replace Windows 7, which is a perfectly good operating system and much better than Windows Vista, is the boom in applications for mobile items like smartphones, tablets, ereaders, etc. and the improvements in flash video permitting the watching of long video like movies on small mobile devices.

If you have the current Windows 7 operating system and your unit, PC laptop tablet smartphone etc. is working just fine and you watch what you want to watch, don’t fuss about something new on the near horizon. It’s for others who are geeks and those who have to have the latest to feel they’re on the top of a heap [unrecognzied by others and only existing in the minds of those who must climb to the top of that heap, and hope to be noticed by someone].


The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper is a large and comprehensive traveling exhibition beginning in 2007 that was at the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth in 2009, and later that year at The McNay Art Museum in San Antonio. If you missed those, it is now at the Wichita Art Museum February 19 – May 13, 2012. The art museum is the largest in Kansas and is a municipal museum, an important fact since very recently one of our Lubbock city councilmen intoned that our city had no business conducting an art gallery or art museum. His reference was to the fine art gallery within the Buddy Holly Center at Crickets Avenue and 19th Street. It’s only 508 miles from Lubbock to Wichita Kansas, just 100 miles farther than to San Antonio.

The Wichita Art Museum was established in 1915 when Louise Murdock’s Will created a trust to start the Roland P. Murdock Collection of art in memory of her husband. The trust would purchase art for the City of Wichita by “American painters, potters, sculptors, and textile weavers”. The collection includes works by Mary Cassatt, Arthur G. Dove, Thomas Eakins, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyshoi, John Marin, Paul Meltsner, Horace Pippin, Maurice Prendergast, Albert Pinkham Ryder and Charles Sheeler. The Museum’s lobby features a ceiling chandelier made by Dale Chihuly. The museum opened in 1935 with art borrowed from other museums. The first work in the Murdock Collection was purchased in 1939. Mrs. Murdock’s friend, Elizabeth Stubblefield Navas, selected and purchased works of American art for the Murdock Collection until1962. The building was enlarged with a new lobby and two new wings in 1963. In 1964 a foundation was established for the purpose of raising funds for new acquisitions. In the 1970’s the city built a new and larger climate controlled facility. In 2003 the museum finished another expansion project giving the building 115,000 total square feet.


Arts History Update for February 11, 2012

11 Feb

Arts History Update for February 11, 2012 by David Cummins

The Arab Spring is not going well in Syria. Syrian military forces, unable or unwilling to differentiate militant insurrectionists from the general public, are attacking with deadly force any crowd of people who congregate much less demonstrate, and any area from which harsh words about the national regime emanate. It is not lost on the majority of the people who are Sunni that the Alawis or Alawites in power led by President Bashar al-Assad despise and repress Sunni and economiclly spread benefits to other Alawites excluding Sunni. Everyone knows that if democracy were to arrive, the Alawites would be out of power and would probably flee to avoid retaliation. Can the majority Sunni throw off the repression? Will neighbors with Sunni majorities come to their aid? Alawis or Alawites are a sect of Shia Muslims or Shi’ites.

Most Syrians have known no other government or leadership for more than 40 years since Air Force General Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970 and reorganized the Ba’ath Party to make it his own. Hafez al-Assad ruled until his death in 2000 when his son Bashar al-Assad took over. Alawites are about 15% of the Syrian population whereas Sunni are about 74%. All top military and civilian posts in government are held by Alawites. Historically Alawites populated the northwestern province of Syria in the mountains and on the coast, but are now distributed throughout the country. They are easily recognized by Sunni since Alawite don’t believe prayer is necessary, they don’t fast, they don’t perform pilgrimage to Mecca, and they don’t have specific places of worship such as mosques. They are generally treated by other Muslims as being like Ismaili Muslims.

Neighbors in the Arab League countries proposed a solution on January 22 that would lead to democracy, but precisely because it did that, al-Assad rejected it and asked his protectorate states [Iran, Russia, China] to give him time to violently repress and eliminate internal opposition to his regime. The killing continued. The Arab League went to the United Nations and brought its plan to the Security Council. It was debated and, on February 4, 2012, thirteen of the fifteen members of the Security Council voted for the plan. Russia and China voted no and thus vetoed the plan. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed regret and urged the international community to continue and step up its engagement to find a solution. General Assembly president Abdulaziz al-Nasser expressed his concern also. The French Ambassador Gerard Araud said the vote was particularly disappointing because Syrian forces had just killed a large number of civilians in the city of Homs Syria in the past 24 hours. We know now on February 11, a week later, that the Syrian forces have launched a siege on that city and barrage it by artillery daily so that indiscriminate civilian casualties are inflicted, purportedly because some people in the city must be opposed to the al-Assad regime. Of course, that’s a fulfilled prophecy now because the entire city must be opposed to the regime that launched and continues the barrage. In the reasoning of al-Assad that’s reason to destroy it as an object lesson to other opponents.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Civil Rights Navi Pillay will address the UN General Assembly on Monday February 13, 2012. She will call for international action to protect civilians in Syria. She will call for an investigation of Syrian government officials to determine who has committed crimes against humanity and will ask for investigated persons to be charged before the International Criminal Court. The General Asembly has on its agenda a report from the UN Human Rights Council that strongly condemns the current violence as of the end of December 2011and presumably would be more strident if it were written last week. Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group outside the UN, has accused the Syrian government of torturing children and killing peaceful protesters who could easily have been arrested and detained. At some point in Monday’s debate Susan E. Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, will state the position of the United States.

The Arab Spring in Syria began in March 2011 and is now eleven months along, with pretty much only misery as an achievement. A single bomb blast in Aleppo by insurrectionists on Friday February 10–syria-bomb-blasts-kill-25-in-aleppo followed the artillery barrages in Homs and will itself be followed by more Army artillery barrages for days in Homs under the old lex talionis eye for an eye reasoning. The majority of the victims are not actors in the drama, only casualties.

Syria’s neighbor to the north Turkey, not an Arab League member, seems to be ready to intervene. It is welcoming refugees from the terror and will actively resettle them inside Syria when that can be achieved successfully. If an Arab League nation would agree to head an international bombing mission to force the Syrian Army into its Damascus barracks, certainly France and likely the United States would sign on to perform in Syria what they achieved in Libya. Sunni dissidents would then arm themselves and take control, gradually, of government agencies and functions throughout the country outside Damascus, which would become an isolated city-state and unsustainable.

Arts History Update for mid February 2012

8 Feb

Arts History Update for mid February 2012 by David Cummins

Want to submit a piece of art into the Juried Gallery at Lubbock Arts Festival April 13-15, 2012? Here’s the Call For Entries form You must have completed the work within the past two years, unsupervised and original in nature to you and your creativity. Submissions at $20 per item by digital photographs on a CD by March 5. You will be notified by March 23 and if selected for the Gallery, you must deliver the shipped item by April 4 or hand delivered item by April 10. You may offer the item for sale or not as you wish. The juror this year is Tracey Abel.

Premiere [really a preview] Night is Thursday April 12 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Exhibit Hall $40 per person tickets available at Select a Seat

In the same building at Civic Center Theatre on Friday evening and Saturday and Sunday afternoons is Cinderella performed by Ballet Lubbock $30 tickets also at Select a Seat.


There have been any number of failures in bringing to the stage contemporary narrative ballets, such as Dracula, Marie, and Ocean Kingdom, although Mark Morris’s Sylvia is enchanting and gets performed occasionally. A narrative ballet like Swan Lake, Giselle, or Nutcracker is difficult to create and more difficult to connect with audiences.

Twyla Tharp is giving it a go and putting herself front and center. Twyla Tharp’s The Princess & The Goblin based on George MacDonald’s 19th century story, with music by Franz Schubert and Richard Burke, will be performed as a world premiere at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center by the Atlanta Ballet February 10-12 and 17-19, 2012. It’s a full-length production, not best of Tharp snippets or stand-alone segments. The Atlanta Ballet is a first rate company so the experiment is a fair challenge.

George MacDonald 1824 – 1905 was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He wrote The Princess and the Goblin in 1872. C.S. Lewis regarded MacDonald as Lewis’s mentor. G. K. Chesterton cited The Princess and the Goblin as having “made a difference to my whole existence”. As you can appreciate, the audience will not be familiar with the tale or the libretto. Romanticism was thoroughly replaced by 20th century values, so this is a revisiting of bygone community values. Ballet aficianados are aware that ballet tells its own story in such a way that it can be received and enjoyed without having to be translated into language. Still, abstract dance can be sterile, and there is space for a vocalized story line.

A very young Princess Irene discovers that the town’s children, including her two younger sisters, have been kidnapped by goblins. She alerts the adults but they, including her father, ignore her. With the help of her magical great great grandmother Irene, the young Princess Irene and her friend Curdie travel to the Goblin kingdom and rescue the children.

Before you get discouraged about the prospects …….. recall that Twyla Tharp choreographed for Broadway the shows Movin Out, The Times They are A-Changin, and Come Fly With Me. Don’t bet against Twyla.


Want to use a digitized image of a piece of art or of an artist? Who owns it? How do you gain access and what does it cost? Of courses the answers are different depending on the source or resource, but a clear simple example is ….. gaining an image from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Here’s the drill Not at all daunting. Very straightforward. Essentially, it’s commercialization of the desired image that is either prohibited or expensive.


A family of three moved from Oklahoma to Oregon last Summer, and they went out mushroom hunting and got lost in the edge of a forest, spent six days without food but had plenty of fresh water, and were finally rescued and helicoptered to a hospital in Gold Beach Oregon. What must the locals think of those Oklahomans? Adult husband and wife with 23 year old son have had an introduction to the Pacific Northwest, unlike anything they could have known in Oklahoma. They were in the Siskiyu National Forest not too far from where the famous Rogue River spills out of the mountains and forests into the Pacific Ocean. Gold Beach, on the coast, is about 45 miles north of the border with California.

A good rule of thumb is that if you’re hiking or exploring in an area new to you, the first time you employ a local guide and take whatever gear and provisions s/he recommends.


Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, commanding the U.S. Army’s 4th Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Griffin, traversed the Rolling Plains and High Plains of West Texas in the 1870s determined to push the Comanche onto a reservation in Indian Territory west of Fort Sill and modern Lawton Oklahoma. His supply train of wagons created what became known as Mackenzie Trail. Here’s an article about it. Quanah Parker Trail, a series of locations for which there is evidence of having been frequented by Comanche, is being demarcated across northwest Texas by emplacement of giant steel arrows, and inviting people to adjust their Texas Plains Trail visitor motoring routes to include locations pertinent to the Lords of the Plains in Comancheria who preceded Anglo settlers and ranchers. Here’s a photograph of the giant arrow in front of Terry County Heritage Museum in Brownfield. The sculptor is Charles A. Smith whose metal sculpting studio is three miles north of New Home Texas on Farm to Market Road 1730.

Yes, Mackenzie Park within the city of Lubbock would be an appropriate location for an arrow. Holle Humphries, executive on the Quanah Parker Trail project, is working on that.

Just a day after writing this, an article appeared in the Lubbock AvalancheJournal newspaper Ray Westbrook, Arrows Tracing Path of Comanche Chief, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Online, Feb. 6, 2012 including an image of the giant arrow in Matador installed near the 1891 Motley County Jail building.

Quanah Parker was both a leader and an example for his people for 36 years after beginning reservation life from 1875- 1911 possibly becoming one of the most wealthy native Americans as a cattleman near Cache Oklahoma [west of Lawton outside the grounds of Fort Sill] in his beloved Wichita Mountains area. The Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge comprising 59,000 acres was established in 1901 and is the nation’s largest refuge. Surely Quanah Parker must have had some significant role in that. The newspaper article reports that he was buried beside his mother Cynthia Ann Parker in the Fort Sill Post Cemetery in the Chief’s Knoll section. My research discloses that next to him is Prairie Flower, his sister and a daughter of Cynthia Ann Parker and Chief Peta Nocona. Scroll down the following website page to see photographs of the monument marking Quanah Parker’s grave Chief Geronimo, Chiricahua Apache, is buried there as well as Chief Yellow Bear, Southern Arapaho, Sitting Bear, Kiowa, Chief Ten Bears, Northern Comanche, Black Beaver, Delaware, Kicking Bird, Kiowa, Satanta, Kiowa, and Chief Little Raven, Southern Arapaho.

You may recall that Teddy Roosevelt visited Quanah Parker and Geronimo at the Indian Reservation and went hunting with them. When Teddy was elected president in 1904 he invited both to participate in the Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington DC and both Indians rode in that parade in 1905. is the website for Fort Sill National Cemetery near Elgin Oklahoma northeast of Lawton that was dedicated November 2, 2001 and is available for contemporary burials. It sits on former reservation land but should not be confused with the smaller Fort Sill Post Cemetery where the aforementioned people are buried.


Boundaries International Architecture Magazine is a new magazine published in Italy with text in both English and Italian Each quarterly issue is themed and focused on the social concerns of the profession rather than the form of the built environment. Its July – Sept 2011 issue “Contemporary Architecture in Africa” stressed the functional and the Oct – Dec 2011 issue “Architecture for Emergencies” included the Jean Prouve 1956 piece “House Built in Less Than Seven Hours”. It says that it receives no public funding and excludes advertising. That’s by way of alerting us that it’s a work of art and joy by its producers, but we know such lightly or uncompensated efforts usually are unsustained over time. Get it while it’s hot through the United Kingdom website

Design Bureau is a new Chicago-based bi-monthly magazine that highlights a wide range of design and designers including but not limited to architects. It looks very hip, including a spanking new loft hillside home in rural Oregon. $24 for six issues subscription online.

Neither magazine is collected by Texas Tech Library.


Here’s an article that makes us all wonder about an apparent absence of ethics and morality within unregulated or lightly regulated major financial institutions, themselves only recently to blame for a global economic turndown harming millions of people. John Caher, Attorney General Sues Banks Over Their Use of MERS Electronic ‘End-Around’, New York Law Journal, Feb. 6, 2012 The lawyer is Jeffrey K. Powell, deputy chief, Bureau of Consumer Frauds and Protection, New York State Office of the Attorney General and here’s the complaint if you enjoy reading legalese running to 44 pages People of the State of New York v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. et al., in Supreme Court of the State of New York Kings County [in New York the state’s trial courts are named the supreme court, so this lawsuit is filed in a trial court in Kings County which is Manhattan].


Gary Fineout, U.S. Judge: Baroque Artwork to Return to Man’s Heirs, Associated Press, Feb. 6, 2012 The piece is Girolamo Romano, Christ Carrying the Cross Dragged by a Rogue (1538). Its owner Federico Gentil di Giuseppe fled France a month before the 1940 German invasion. The Vichy wartime government seized and sold the painting at auction.

The legal principles at play here are (1) a thief cannot pass title or ownership, and (2) goods that are shipped by a person who does not have legal authority to act for the owner, are contraband and may be seized and held until the rightful owner appears and proves his claim, and (3) international law applied in any signatory state is accepted and enforced in other signatory states.

So the Vichy government stole the painting from Gentil’s residence and its attempt to pass title or ownership failed. The museum in Milan Italy that shipped the painting to the United States for exhibition shipped contraband. When the heirs of Gentil made their claim of ownership, the item was seized and held under court order until the court could determine if it should be returned to the museum in Milan or to the Gentil heirs. Both Italy and United States are signatories to Unidroit Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects (Rome, 1995) so if the museum in Milan Italy disagrees with the decision of the United States District Court in Florida it should appeal to the United States Court of Appeals because the musuem is bound under Italian law by the final decision in this case.


Elementary school students from All Saints, Bennett, Cooper, Crestview, Lubbock Christian, Oak Ridge and Waters schools, display their creations in Art

Trail in the Village Shopping Center February 9 – 15, 2012. Attendees may browse and vote for their favorite. The shopping center, 82nd Street and Quaker Avenue, awards a savings bond to one student from each school, whose art will thereafter be displayed at the annual Lubbock Arts Festival April 13-15 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.


Arts History Update for just past early February 2012

3 Feb

Arts History Update for just past early February 2012 by David Cummins


Simon Mulligan is a youthful appearing 32 year old British pianist of remarkable talent who played on the Fazioli piano at Hemmle Recital Hall on campus Saturday January 28, 2012. The solo concert was moving and memorable. His website announces his credentials which are extensive.


He played Mendelssohn, Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert not only flawlessly but expressively, letting the rich tones of the new top quality piano register with the audience. Then he entertained with a piece of his own composition St. Croix in the Rain. Then he played his own remarkable arrangement of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It just doesn’t get better than that.


The concert was free, scheduled by Texas Tech School of Music, both more simple in presentation and intellectually and emotionally extravagant than any at $75 per seat or more.


There are numerous websites where you can hear passages of his recorded pieces as a teaser before purchasing, so you can quickly access his virtuosity.


Mulligan’s concert January 28 was recorded by the School of Music but you will have to drop by in person and ask to listen to it. Liza Muse, publicity officer, may be reached by phone 742-2270 ext 295 or email to schedule that listening.




If you’re enjoying Downton Abbey TV-PBS series set in The Great War period 1914-1918 in England you might enjoy first quality novels of that period. You could do no better than Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s End (Vintage 2012). paperback $12.92 Kindle $14.99.


Ford Madox Hueffer 1873-1939 was an established writer, editor and veteran of The Great War 1914-1918 when, in 1919, he changed his name to Ford Madox Ford because his father was German and the name sounded too German at a time when feelings, anger, sadness and regret were high.


Ford was a propagandist for the English War Propaganda Bureau until he enlisted at age 41 into the Welsh Regiment and was sent to France and the Western Front. He wrote The Good Soldier (1915) a novel set in immediate pre-war days and his masterpiece tetralogy Parade’s End (1924-1928) really four short novels set in England and on the Western Front during and after the war. Those short novels are Some Do Not … (1924) No More Parades (1925) A Man Could Stand Up (1926) and Last Post (1928) collected as Parade’s End. The current reprinting is 912 pages but then there are four short novels within. You will explore the world of the English ruling class as it descends into the chaos of war.


Texas Tech Library PR6011.O53 P2 (1950) but individual novels Some Do Not … (1926) PR6011.O53 356 No More Parades (1925) PR6011.O53 N7 A Man Could Stand Up (1926) PR6011.O53 M266 The Last Post (1928) PR6011.O53 L3


BBC Two will broadcast a television series in England later this year based on Parade’s End adapted by playwright Sir Tom Stoppard.







Living the large life in New York City? In the East Village on 14th Street? It’s possible. Here’s an apartment on the second floor of a building, that has a retractable window wall facing the street, and another facing the tiny back yard space behind the building. Click on the sequence of eleven images to see the walls retract and provide an entirely different environment and atmosphere.


You will notice the price tag at a bit more than $2 million.


The very idea of disposing of an exterior wall and bringing the outdoors inside at will, or at whim, is energizing. I am imagining how that would work in Lubbock. One could put a vapor lock in the retracted wall space that would seal the apartment or living unit’s atmosphere [heat or coolness level] so that there would be an invisible atmospheric barrier between the unit and the great outdoors even though the wall was retracted.



Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe has a new exhibition Jaune Quick-To-See Smith: Landscapes of an American Modernist January 27 – April 29, 2012 this article is excellent and has images of three of her works The Environment: Trees are Burning (1991), Sunset on the Escarpment (1987), and Herding (1985). The Museum has more including Georgia On My Mind (1986). She is a Salish born on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana, an enrolled member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation. She is 71 years of age and has lived and painted in New Mexico since 1976. Texas Tech Museum recently acquired some of Smith’s work for its collection. She exhibited at this museum Jaune Quick-To-See Smith: Made in America concluding on January 29, 2006. Contact Peter Briggs, curator of fine art for more information on that exhibition and Smith’s work in the museum’s collection.


The Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona recently acquired some of Smith’s work


Here is her Ode to Chief Seattle (1991) Trade (Gifts for Trading Land With White People) (1992) is located at the Chrysler Museum of Art Norfolk Virginia.




Solovetsky Islands in Russia are situated in the White Sea, an inlet of the larger Barents Sea. Solovetsky Islands are just outside the Arctic Circle and just north of the northern terminus of the White Sea – Baltic Sea Canal. The largest of the Solovetsky Islands contains Solovetsky Monastery and Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, two of the more holy Russian Orthodox Church sites in the country. That reputation is muted by the location’s history as a prison from which most prisoners never returned. It is both a temple and a graveyard, holy and horrific. Jeffrey Tayler, God’s Gulag: A Remote Archipeligo Is One of Russia’s Holiest Places and Its Most Haunted, Atlantic Monthly, Jan – Feb 2012 .


It wasn’t just Uncle Joe Stalin and his 1920s and 1930s purges that filled the prison; in an earlier time the czar sent prisoners to the monks who served as prison wardens. Forty thousand prisoners died between 1923 and 1939 in the Solovetsky Islands. In 1967 the Soviet authorities opened a museum in Solovetsky Monastery to tell the story of this place. When the Soviet Union collapsed and its atheist doctrine was bankrupt, monks returned to the Monastery in 1990. Many Russian tourists arrive today to check out both the holy and the horrific storylines in this frigid place.




Nancy Reddin Kienholz spoke at the Chemistry Building lecture hall, invited by the Texas Tech School of Art, on Thursday February 2, 2012. She showed images of human scale installation art that she and her husband Edward Kienholz had created, and images of her art since his death in 1994. She showed and discussed Five Car Stud (1969-1972). That piece was recently exhibited at Los Angeles Country Museum of Art.

Edward Kienholz: Five Car Stud, 1969-1972, Revisited September 4, 2011 – January 15, 2012. White men in several cars have pulled a Black man out of his truck where he was spooning with a white woman. The earthen scene is lit at night by the lights from the white men’s cars. They have the man tied up and are castrating him as punishment for his “unacceptable” behavior.


Many of their installations are viewable at including My Country ‘Tis of Thee (1991) mixed media assemblage of several politicians in business suits minus their pants.