Archive | May, 2012

Arts History Update for very late May 2012

27 May

Arts History Update for very late May 2012 by David Cummins


One size doesn’t fit all, and never has. Just discovered a website at which the purpose is to publicize on the web your artistic creations, and it’s free …… how’s that for a deal? So even if you have a website or have piggybacked your creations onto another’s website, this additional opportunity is just another step to show your work to another slice of the unbelievably large audience for art.




Lahib Jaddo, artist and professor of urban planning at the Texas Tech University College of Architecture, was born in Iraq an ethnic Turkmani living in mostly Kurdish northern Iraq. She is an emigree and has both an insider and outsider perspective on her former home. She took marvelous photographs of the Kirkuk Citadel during her 2005 trip. Go to Texas Tech Library and in the left panel click on Digital Collections and Local Digital Collections, and in the dialogue box click on Lahib Jaddo Collection of Vernacular Architecture. Thirty-one photographs, thumbnails, will appear. Click on each to fill the screen and read the caption information.


A citadel was the historic center of a city, easily defended as its acropolis or highwest walled section, functionally a fortress. Buildings photographed by her stretch back to the year 1361 CE. The citadel area in Kirkuk was depopulated by the Saddam Hussein regime in his program of unifying the society into his style of Arabic culture, but portions remain to be photographed.


Marco Polo’s thirteenth century Silk Road route from Venice to Antioch by sea and then east overland to Kirkuk and beyond to Kashgar in far west China ending in Shangdu China north of modern Beijing, passed this way. Other routes to the eastern seaboard of China were explored and were much easier for merchants, so Polo’s became the northern land route. Indeed Polo [with father and uncle] returned by a sea route to Singapore, the coast of India, to Hormuz on the Persian Gulf and then overland to the Mediterranean Sea.





The Battle of Blanco Canyon on October 17, 1871 between Colonel Ranald Mackenzie’s troops and Comanche Indians, is being explored during a field camp led by Sam Watts of Granbury. Look for updates on that at future West Texas Historical Association meetings.


White River carved a canyon across the Llano Estacado leading southeasterly to exit the escarpment in Crosby County into the Rolling Plains country. White River Lake is a playground and potable water source off the escarpment west of Spur. That canyon is Blanco Canyon.


We know it to have served as a camp for Coronado’s 1541 expedition when the Pueblo Indians in the upper Rio Grande led him on a snipe hunt away from the pueblos toward fictional El Dorado. At the time Coronado came through it was a swift flowing river and there was a bosque [trees] that was a rare source of wood on the staked plains. Even at the time Colonel Ranald Mackenzie brought his troops up into the mouth of Blanco Canyon there was a small river and cottonwood and other trees in the canyon. He established a supply camp near the mouth of the canyon at Anderson’s Fort now on the National Register of Historic Places as site 41CB1 about eight miles southeast of Crosbyton.,_Counties_A-C#Crosby_County The so-called battle was little more than a skirmish with a band of Comanche including a temporary settlement with women children and their supplies, so it afforded Mackenzie with a first hand experience of how the Comanche could, when under attack, break camp and lead their opponents on several diversionary feints to cover the withdrawal of the main settlement party without injury or capture. Mackenzie must have been impressed with those battle tactics and their effectiveness in execution.


Three years later on September 28, 1874 when he was overlooking an encampment of the main band in Palo Duro Canyon he cruelly but effectively attacked not the Comanche warriors but their remuda of horses killing and wounding all but of few which were captured, 1,400 horses in all, the majority slaughtered. A horseless Comanche band accepted their fate, a long walk or wagon ride to the reservation near Fort Sill in Indian Territory [later Oklahoma]. The Red River War of 1871 – 1875 ended in that fashion. War can be turned into glory with battle streamers flying on parade grounds, but it was anything but glorious when the hated bluecoats protected the buffalo hunters who decimated the basic food and provisions supply of the Comanche, and then the bluecoats decimated the horses that had made the Comanche the lords of the plains. One can only imagine how dejected and defeated they felt on that sad trek to a bluecoat managed reservation.


That War was the last of the Indian Wars in this section of the country. Anglo settlement in Crosby County near Mount Blanco on the east side of Blanco Canyon was almost immediate. It was the first such settlement on the Llano Estacado, the intended result of the military strategy to open this frontier to ranching and settlement by removing the bellicose Comanche. In 1876 Charles Goodnight entered Palo Duro Canyon and started operating the JA Ranch with longhorn cattle and John Adair financing. Adair was a fiery Scots-Irish businessman with a castle estate in County Donegal Ireland who married a New Yorker and they split their time between New York, Ireland and England.


Today the White River is often not a visible stream nor is Running Water Draw, its source, as it passes underground through the Plainview area in Hale county into Floyd County. Floydada’s golf course is located in Blanco Canyon. White River Lake near Spur is usually good fishing but is now in a drought condition. It is co-managed by White River Municipal Water District in Spur


The high plains of northwest Texas is crossed by four canyons, north to south, all running to the southeast off the Caprock into the Rolling Plains country; viz. Palo Duro Canyon [Praire Dog Town Fork of the Red River], Tule Canyon [Tule Creek with Mackenzie Dam and Reservoir in western Briscoe County], Blanco Canyon [White River], and Yellow House Canyon [North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River impounded in 1960 by Buffalo Springs dam and reservoir named Buffalo Springs Lake five miles southeast of Lubbock that is managed by Lubbock County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1]. Lake Ransom Canyon reservoir farther southeast was achieved by another dam in 1961. The Ransom Canyon area was developed from the former Johnston Ranch. The name Canon de Rescate or Canyon of Ransom referred to the site being used by Spanish and Anglo traders to negotiate with Comanche for the return of hostages.,_Texas In the upper Brookhollow section of the housing development there is still a running spring with potable water, reminding us of how and why this area was so valuable for ranching and now for rural living.





Murals commissioned by George Littlefield and painted by E. Martin Hennings, then of Chicago, depicting the former’s ranches in West Texas and New Mexico, were on display at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon September 17, 2011 – February 18, 2012 and the National Ranching Heritage Center on 4th Street has announced a Littlefield Murals exhibit for November 3, 2012 through late January 2013. George Washington Littlefield, originally from Gonzales County but then living in Austin, destroyed the Ziller Building in 1910, Austin’s first stone building constructed in 1849, and constructed an eight story office building at 601 Congress Avenue that opened in 1912. He was president of American National Bank that occupied some first floor space and into its lobby he placed six murals painted by Hennings. The new and opulent Littlefield Building was the financial center of Austin and for a short period the tallest building between New Orleans and the California coast. No doubt Littlefield knew that Hennings received a 1909 commission to paint ceiling murals for the Florentine Ballroom in the Congress Hotel in Chicago, so Littlefield issued the 1910 commisison to Hennings.


Hennings re-established himself as a Taos New Mexico easel artist for the remainder of his career. He did return to murals at the end of his career, completing The Chosen Site (1940) in the post office at Van Buren Arkansas. and this The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma has five Hennings paintings, Afternoon Ride, Heading for the Pueblo, Two Women, Drummer Boy, and Juanita


Littlefield began ranching in West Texas and New Mexico in the late 1870s and by 1901 purchased the Yellow House or southern division of the XIT Ranch operating as the LIT in the Texas Panhandle and the Yellow House in the South Plains. The city of Littlefield is named for him. He died in 1920. The ranch headquarters was near the Las Casas Amarillas [the Yellow Houses] bluff in the north part of Hockley County, where there was spring water. The bluff overlooks Yellow House Draw that along with Blackwater Draw are the sources of the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River that commences at Mackenzie Park in Lubbock. Here’s a picture of the road to the ranch headquarters.,_Texas Through the Littlefield Lands Company and later Yellowhouse Land Company portions of the ranch were sold off for farms and settlements including the city named for him. In 1970 the last remnant of the former Yellow House Ranch, 20,000 acres, was sold to the Matador Land and Cattle Company.




The Venice Biennale opens June 4 through November 27, 2013 with art at the Giardini and the Arsenale in that city Remember that it includes dance, film, music, theatre and more in addition to art, so other venues are in play. Not too early to plan a trip there. The website provides gorgeous photos of art and activites that occurred in 2011, effectively designed as an enticement. Sarah Sze will represent the United States in its pavilion at the Giardini She is a New York based sculptor who assembles everyday materials, discarded objects and kinetic devices into hitherto unseen art pieces. Her website is


Can’t wait, and willing to experience an Americanized version of an Italian festival, then Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston South Carolina is ongoing from May 25 – June 10, 2012. It was established in 1977 by the late composer Gian Carlo Menotti as a companion to his Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto Italy.


The Piccolo Spoleto festival runs on the same dates You won’t feel too far from home if you attend Greater Tuna at the Charleston Acting Studio. Written by Joe Sears, Jaston Williams [once a resident of Crosbyton Texas] and Ed Howard, this performance will star Robin Burke and Robbie Thomas $21 adults $19 students/seniors. The City of Charleston supports Spoleto Festival but it is privately produced, so the city’s Cultural Affairs Office produces Piccolo Spoleto.














Arts History Update for just past late May 2012

17 May

Arts History Update for just past late May 2012 by David Cummins


Peter Pearson, iconographer, will conduct a workshop October 11-14, 2012 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church 1101 Slide Road in Lubbock. It is open to the public for registration. is his website. This Pennsylvanian previously conducted a workshop in Lubbock that was well received so he’s back “by popular demand” if that’s not too tattered a phrase.




Andrew Krivak won the 2012 Chautauqua Prize for his novel The Sojourn (Bellevue Literary Press 2011) that was a finalist for the National Book Award $10.17 paperback $8.52 Kindle at, $7.83 including shipping at ABE in good condition. If you want an unsparing sensitive experience in the Austria-Hungary world prior to and during The Great War followed by emigration to America, this historical novel rings true as well as being highly literary in the telling. The author’s Slovakian heritage hones his keen intuitive perception. At the period in which he writes, Bratislava the current capitol of Slovakia, was called Pressburg a German name for a principal city in Austria-Hungary overlooking the Danube River. I spent an enjoyable lunch in a hotel in Bratislava overlooking that river and dreaming about what had taken place on or near it across previous centuries.


Farther east a village might contain mostly German speakers but the next village over would contain Hungarian speakers or another Slavic tongue. The current boundary between Hungary and Slovakia did not earlier exist. Austria-Hungary extended north to the Carpathian Mountains and the High Tatra. Across them was Poland and the road to Krakow, or at one time easterly to Lithuania or Galicia.


And the next village over might contain Roma …………. the wandering people called Gypsies with an often erroneous Egyptian ethnic derivation. They are fascinating to observe but dangerous to dwell among, since hospitality to strangers is not how they have been treated so they return the favor and do some, perhaps not lethal, harm to strangers. Observe but do not tary.


The preeminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution is a 138-year-old community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 people visit Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages — all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village.

Chautauqua has been replicated elsewhere such as in Ottawa Kansas from 1883 – 1914 and Winfield Kansas Hesston Kansas and Broken Bow and Plattsmouth Nebraska

The Waxahachie Chautauqua Preservation Society puts on an annual event in that city southwest of Dallas this year on September 21 – 22.


Fine Art for sale from the Texas State Historical Association? No kidding. I don’t know that I want Willie Nelson hanging on my wall, but Lamberto Alvarez’s painting of the musical icon is quite handsome. His limited edition print for $250 will bring you into repeated contact with Willie. No one will tape a joint to the back of the frame, unless you do. The original was done for the cover of Texas Almanac 2012 – 2013.

Other choices include a lone longhorn steer overlooking Palo Duro Canyon by Frank Reaugh, Longhorn Overlooking Canyon (1913) from which this print was made; $350 print on canvas, you do the framing. The Dallas Art Museum evolved out of the Dallas Art Society founded and nurtured by Frank Reaugh. Owning anything by him is both artistic and historical to Texans. Here’s Palo Duro Canyon Lighthouse in Sunday Canyon I recall doing a ten kilometer hike/trot to the Lighthouse and back, scenic exercise. Not capable of that today.


Music is the language of the soul. But it is often not written about well, the better to appreciate aurally. An exception is the writer Charles Rosen. His latest is Freedom and the Arts: Essays on Music and Literature (Harvard Univ. Press 2012) Last year President Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal. He is now 85 years of age An expansive review of the book is Alastair Macaulay, The Pleasures of Charles Rosen, The New York Review of Books, May 24, 2012, at p. 28

Many earlier works by him are at the Texas Tech Library including Piano Notes: The World of the Pianist (Free Press 2002) Tech Library ML700.R77 paperback reissue in 2004 $14.98 at $10.94 including shipping used in very good condition, or $5.82 including shipping at ABE in good condition.


The Art League of West Texas Foundation’s annual juried show will be June 1 – 29, 2012 at Municipal Garden & Arts Center 4215 University Avenue. The first date is the reception and announcement of winners at 5:30 p.m.


Route of the Hiawatha [train, i.e.] is a rails to trails conservancy project begun in 1997, so you can bicycle or hike the former train route for 15 miles downhill from the crest of the Bitterroot Mountains, the border between Idaho and Montana twelve miles east of historic Wallace Idaho at Lookout Pass Ski Area. The route takes you through nine tunnels including the 1.7 mile long St. Paul Pass Tunnel [also referred to as Taft Tunnel], and across seven sky high trestles, one 230 feet high. Give thanks at the end of the trail for the shuttle bus that takes you back to the Ski Area and parking lot adjacent to Interstate Highway 90. The trail opens May 26 for the season closing on September 30 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time PDT. Here’s a view of the queen of The Milwaukee Road, the Olympian Hiawatha glass-domed passenger train

The Milwaukee Road stopped running in this area in 1977 and by 1980 the western reaches with terminus in Seattle were permanently closed. Its full name was Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad.,_Milwaukee,_St._Paul_and_Pacific_Railroad but it was always known colloquially as The Milwaukee Road.

Do not confuse this railroad with James J. Hill’s Great Northern Railway that took a more northerly route from St. Paul Minnesota to reach Seattle crossing the Rocky Mountains continental divide at Marias Pass, an entry into Glacier National Park in Montana. The Bitterroot Mountains border area was crossed aside the Flathead and Kootenai Rivers into Athol Idaho and then on to Spokane Washington. The Great Northern’s most celebrated passenger train was the Empire Builder, referring to Mr. Hill who was known as the builder of the Inland Empire. Athol is a small town north of Coeur D’Alene, south of Sandpoint Idaho, and west of the southern end of Lake Pend Oreille. From Kalispell Montana to Athol Idaho on a Great Northern train was pure scenery.

Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie Washington has as its centerpiece the restored 1890 Snoqualmie Depot. At Seattle the King Street Station (completed 1906) served the Great Northern and Northern Pacific while Union Station (completed 1911) served The Milwaukee Road and Union Pacific. The stations were only a long block from each other in the Pioneer Square section of south downtown Seattle. Here’s King Street Station

Today Amtrak operates in this area on some Great Northern trackage, some Northern Pacific Railway trackage, and some Milwaukee Road trackage, and has a train called the Empire Builder so the name and approximate experience is still available. the current route is West Glacier MT then Whitefish MT then Libby MT then Sandpoint ID then Spokane WA. The rest, as they say, is history.

For some it is personal history. My father lived in Wallace and graduated from high school there. My parents were married in Spokane and their first home was in Wallace Idaho. My older brother was born in Wallace. I visited my paternal grandmother many times in Wallace. I walked the halls of Shoshone County Courthouse where my father practiced law, and scouted out trailheads ending with closed and shuttered mine shafts. My mother graduated from high school in Miles City Montana and then graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula. Big Sky country. My father’s office in the Dexter Horton Building was only four blocks from Union Station in Seattle. My own law office years later in Puget Sound Plaza Building was twelve blocks from that station.


Arts History Update for late May 2012

13 May

Arts History Update for late May 2012 by David Cummins


The International Cultural Center at Texas Tech is always a destination with art in the west, center, and east galleries as well as in hallways. Special exhibits sometimes occur in the Hall of Nations room at the west end and its mosaic tile floor is a work of art. John Russell Thomasson murals in the hallway outside the Hall of Nations and one in the west gallery “Peoples of the World” are stunning. Regular hours are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at 601 Indiana Avenue.


An event on Thursday May 17 from 5:00 -6:30 p.m. will be special. A reception will occur for three exhibits that will be up through June 7, Rick Dingus photographs “Pilgrimage Sites in India 1988 – 1990” in the west gallery, Naveen Rajendrapandian photographs “An Indian Odyssey” in the central gallery, and Stella Alesi oil paintings “Mandalas” in the east gallery. Free food and drink for all. At 5:30 p.m. Dr. Sankar Chatterjee, curator of paleontology and Paul Whitfield Horn professor of Geosciences, will discuss Indian spirituality in the ICC Auditorium. There is no charge. Enjoy. Contact Jane Bell director of operations for more information at 742-2974 extension 232.




Tuesday May 6, 2012 at Christie’s New York City auction house some billionaires went art shopping, spending $388.5 million, a new record for Christie’s. Leading item was Mark Rothko, Orange, Red, Yellow (1961) for $86.9 million ; then Jackson Pollock, # 28 (1951) for $23 million , Yves Klein, FC1 (Fire Color 1) (1962) for $36.5 million , Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (798-3) (1993) $21.8 million , and Alexander Calder, Lily of Force (1945) $18.6 million .


A person from the Calder Foundation was overheard to say “I hope it was bought for a museum. That’s where it belongs”. Yeh, right, baby. The Richter piece was last bought in 1994 by a private collector and hasn’t been seen outside the owner’s circle of friends. The pieces are beautifully presented on the Christie’s website and you should enjoy them there, and quickly.




A coffee table book that is not a travelogue The Outdoor Museum: Not Your Usual Images of New York (photographs Margery Gray Harnick, poems Sheldon Harnick, Beaufort Books 2012) is reviewed in and is $19.77 hardcover at It’s only 128 pages but this Broadway couple’s insight into their city is amazing. The poetry is by a lyricist for musical theatre on Broadway. and a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame Another review is Margery is an actress with a marvelous photogrpaher’s eye for the unusual and significant.


BookExpo America will be held at the Javits Center in New York City June 4 – 7 2012 Here is the online catalogue for the event including the forthcoming visionary art book Net of Being by Alex Grey and Allyson Grey (Inner Traditions October 2012)












Arts History Update for just past mid May 2012

8 May

Arts History Update for just past mid May 2012 by David Cummins

John Hill, Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture (W.W. Norton & Co. 2011) $29.95 $21.27 at, features the new construction in this century in this dynamic place. Hill continues the adventure by his blog called a Daily Dose of Architecture, and as you can see, he regularly conducts walking tours of sections of the city in which he will point out new constructions and describe what one could only guess at from a limited exterior street view. In his blog he takes pictures from off street surrounding buildings so the perspective he presents is not replicable. If you’re going to the city, and he has a tour during your visit, sign on and enjoy. His blog demonstrates that he is well connected internationally and his friends send him photos of new construction around the globe.

We blossom where we are planted. There is a desert between California and Texas, that we occupy or transit and transform by our imaginings including our constructions and spoilations upon this unique environment. Desert America: Territory of Paradox (eds. Ramon Prat et al., Actar 2006) $24.95 at but $9.37 including shipping at ABE used books in “very good” condition Here are samples of desert homes some of which are tremendously appealing, for me because they make the isolation comfortable in a defined zone but au naturale for every step beyond it. If someone moved in “next door” I’d be gone by dusk. From here one can’t even see the grid and its constricting stifling urbania. Call me and we’ll do lunch ………. next year.

——————————— Doris Duke, once “the richest girl in the world” died in 1993. This month on May 19, her beloved Duke Farms [2,350 acres] in Central New Jersey is being opened to the public as a “working” park with community farms, miles of walking trails and several lakes. It’s a destination. The Farm Barn built in 1906 is now the orientation center. Universities use certain spaces as research plant laboratories. A gilded sanctuary for a mogul James Buchanan Duke, tobacco and electrical power tycoon, and his family has gone green and is open to the public. The location is 80 Route 206 South, Hillsborough New Jersey 08841 and you enter via the gate at Duke Parkway East or at the Orientation Center 1112 Duke Parkway West between Route 206 and Roycefield Road. If you were in New York City and caught a train at Penn Station it’s a one hour ride to the Somerville Station at Hillsborough on the New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley Line. At that point you’re 1-1/2 miles from the gate via a short taxi ride. Enjoy miles of trails for walking or bicycling in fine weather or snow shoeing in Winter.

Yes J. B. Duke was born in Durham North Carolina and Duke University was named for his father Washington Duke when J. B. established an endowment for the University. His grave is on campus. His only child was Doris that “richest girl in the world”. and here’s a bio on the life of Doris Duke

In an earlier Update I wrote about Doris Duke’s Honolulu Hawaii home Shangri-La that is now a museum owned by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and operated by the Honolulu Musem of Art. It’s also a destination. ————————

Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall : A Novel is the story of Thomas Cromwell’s service to King Henry VIII, and it won her the 2009 Man Booker Prize. Now the second book in the announced trilogy Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel (Henry Holt & Co 2012) is on offer. $15 hardcover $12.99 Kindle at

Thomas Cromwell here is the man and what he did, Mantel will tell you how, and with what effect on his psyche, as she imagines it. It’s so engaging that you will say “if it didn’t happen this way, it should have”. We would like historical figures to be good dramatists. Wolf Hall is in Lubbock Public Library at FIC MANT.  –

James Wood, An Invitation to a Beheading: The Thomas Cromwell Novels of Hilary Mantel, The New Yorker Magazine, May 7, 2012 at p. 71; Stephen Greenblatt, How It Must Have Been, New York Review of Books, Nov. 5, 2009 at


The world’s largest collection of Grant Wood paintings is at Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids Iowa. A single gallery is devoted to the artist whose studio from 1923 – 1935 is just a few blocks away. Then take a trip on the Grant Wood Trail throughout Iowa. The online gallery provides views of Young Corn (1931) Woman With Plant (1929) Overmantel Decoration (1930) Portrait of John B. Turner (1928-1930) and Calendulas (1928-1929).

American Gothic (1930) is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. It is iconic Here’s the online Grant Wood Gallery ————————

Texas has a Family Land Heritage Program to recognize those farms and ranches in Texas that have continuously been operated by a single extended family for a century or more. Texas Department of Agriculture operates the program. Download an application if you think your farm or ranch qualifies. On the website there is a spread sheet that signifies that in Lubbock County registrants include the Payton-Gossett Farm 2 miles west of Slaton on FM 41, Alexander-Williams Farm on county road 77 one mile west of 1730, B & W Farm 8 miles north and 3 miles east of courthouse, Ute Becton Farm 8 miles north of Idalou on Highway 400, Caldwell Estate 1-1/2 miles southwest of Slaton, and Vaughn Farm 8 miles north and 3 miles east of courthouse. In some other states with a similar program a registered farm or ranch proudly displays a bronze marker signifying that status. ——————–

Diamond Jubilee festivities for Queen Elizabeth II are about to commence. She became queen sixty years ago on February 2, 1952, the date on which her father King George VI died. Her formal coronation event was deferred so as to not intefere with suitable mourning for the departed monarch. Coronation took place June 2, 1953. She has reigned for more than sixty years. On Kearney Street they might say “helluva run, mum”. ——————————

Haven’t seen a formal announcement but word on the street, yes that whispering grass, is that the Summer Reading selection for incoming Freshmen/women at Texas Tech is Timothy Egan’s The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (Houghton Mifflin Co. 2006) Texas Tech Library F595.E38 Lubbock Public Library 978.032 EGAN for which he won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction. $3.95 including shipping cost at ABE used books in good condition, $4.61 in very good condition, $4.66 fine condition, $5.99 new. Reviewed in the New York Times A more nuanced and local review is

The natural world is not a pristine single thing, it’s dramatically changing and adapting, and we the people are one of the forces that changes nature. We adapt within it, we adapt to it, and it adapts to us. Texas Master Naturalists is a program for encouraging Texans to become more aware and active within the natural world. There’s a Llano Estacado chapter in Big Spring, a Panhandle chapter in Amarillo, and a South Plains chapter in Lubbock headed up by Jackie Driskill phone 806-928-1172 or email see A recent activity by the chapter was a trip to Caprock Canyons State Park near Quitaque where they viewed the Texas State Bison Herd in its natural habitat. Another was rock-hounding down near Fluvanna, more fun than exploring a textbook on pre-cambrian geology. If you have to know more than just dirty fingernails, West Texas Geological Society is at . Its Fall Symposium is September 26-28 at Midland. ————————–

Arts History Update for mid May 2012

3 May

Arts History Update for mid May 2012 by David Cummins



Garrison Keillor, ever the upstream swimmer, has opened [April 19] a brick and mortar bookstore near Macalester College in St Paul Minnesota, his home town. The official grand opening soiree is May 2, 2012 with Garrison and some cast members of Prairie Home Companion present. It’s called Common Good Books His latest book is a novel Guy Noir and The Straight Skinny (Penguin 2012) $11.95 paperback, audio CD with cast from Prairie Home Companion is $21.95. At his chief competitor’s shop the paperback is $10.20 and audio CD is $20.21. He’d best get accustomed to being “beaten on the price point” by the mega seller Amazon.


Barnes & Noble, a bricks and mortar bookstore chain, is reeling from the competition. Its Nook is a good device and arguably the equal of Kindle, but its market is a fraction of for electronic reading. The software inside is Google Android and Microsoft in Redmond Washington just purchased 17.6% of the Nook and electronic reading book store etc., a soon to be subsidiary of Barnes & Noble. Most observers think Microsoft is angling for a position in the electronic textbook market that Apple has already grabbed along with its iPad1 iPad2 and today’s new improved iPad as big sellers into the public schools and some higher education markets. Barnes & Noble college division has bookstores on 641 campuses including Texas Tech University. Here is B&N talking about the partnership Look for the next generation of Nook devices to contain a Microsoft Windows 8 operating system software bundle, as an alternative to Google’s Android which will be continued and supported as well. Windows 8 is already inside some smart-phones and computer tablets as an alternative to an open source Android operating system. Both Google and Microsoft are competing with Apple.


On April 12 the U.S. Department of Justice brought anti-trust price-fixing charges against Apple and several large publishing firms, having just moments before settled with three publishers Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette Book Group by which they agreed to lowering of prices by and Barnes & Noble for electronic books published by the three publishers. Collusion by Apple and book publishers to maintain a price point for electronic products above what Amazon and B&N wish, is not the way to compete.


Garrison Keillor is not oblivious to what’s going on in the back alley fights between giants. He’s just determined to build a reader friendly bookstore in his home town and compete on a personal interaction basis with a populace that views him as a natural resource.




You’re probably familiar with the genre of reading known as mystery or crime fiction, and the annual award by the Mystery Writers of America organization, known as the Edgar Allan Poe Award, sometimes shortened to winning an Edgar. is the website where you can identify the winners and nominees for the current and earlier years. Of equal interest are the other categories in which awards are made, e.g. best play, best short story, best episode in a television series, etc. The database has all these. Explore.


There is an interesting blog operated by Molly Weston titled Meritorious Mysteries at on which are posted newly published e books that are temporarily able to be downloaded into a Kindle or Nook free, and of course if you don’t own one of those devices, you can go online and create a free account and download the item into your Kindle or Nook cloud reader online, and then read the item on your desktop, laptop, net-book, tablet or even a smart-phone if you like reading on that small a screen. I just downloaded from Molly’s site for the first time, and it works.


Luis Alberto Urrea won an Edgar for his short story Arnapola (2009). It is set in Phoenix Arizona so it was included in an anthology of sixteen short stories Phoenix Noir (ed. Patrick Milikin, Akashic books 2009) $15.40 paperback $9.75 Kindle at The Noir anthology series of mystery short stories includes Indian Country Noir (eds. Sarah Cortez & Liz Martinez, Akashic Books 2010) paperback $11.64 Kindle $9.75. Oh yes, if your seamy side has to be Texas, there is Lone Star Noir (eds. Bobby Byrd & Johnny Byrd, Akashic books 2010) paperback $11.96 Kindle $9.75.


Speaking about Luis Alberto Urrea who visited Texas Tech University not long ago when his book The Devil’s Highway: A True Story (2005) was a freshmen/women advance reading book selection, you may have read his historical novel about his great aunt Teresita Urrea, the Saint of Cabora titled The Hummingbird’s Daughter (2005). If so, you will now want to conclude her story when she fled Mexico and entered the United States as an immigrant. Queen of America: A Novel (Little, Brown and Co. 2011) hardcover $13.98 Kindle $12.99 at Texas Tech Library Hummingbird PS3571.R74 H86 Queen of America PS3571.R74 Q44 Here is La Santa Teresita de Cabora’s story in the words of her great nephew and by another’s words


Lubbock Public Library has all three books Queen FIC URRE Hummingbird FIC URRE and Devil’s Highway 304.873072 URRE.


And what you may ask is the Lubbock connection with the Saint of Cabora? William Curry Holden wrote Teresita (Stemmer House Pub. 1978) Texas Tech Library BF1283.U77 H64 the story of her life, as he had discovered it during his lengthy explorations in northern Mexico in the 1930s. Holden was Texas Tech’s first museum director and the impetus behind construction of the present museum building on 4th Street that opened in 1970. The museum he founded on campus was located in the building now named for him, Holden Hall.




On Wednesday May 2, 2012 at Sotheby’s auction house in New York City one of four versions of Scream, this one painted in pastel by Edvard Munch in 1895, was sold at auction for $119.9 million, a record sum. The other three are in Norwegian museums. This was held privately by Petter Olsen, a Norwegian whose family had been friends and neighbors of Munch.


The image has become iconic as a symbol of angst and existential dread. Who you may ask is the new owner? We don’t know since bidders may register their bona fides with Sotheby’s and express their bidding through a Sotheby’s officer. The buyer of Scream did that. A bidder who didn’t prevail, bid using the Chinese language, and that caused people to run down in their minds a list of Chinese billionaires.


In total 61 lots were sold on Wednesday tallying $330.56 million. Sotheby’s did quite well itself, since its commissions are a sliding percentage of the sale price.


Look for Christie’s, Sotheby’s and the heavy hitters to be joined by others. Recently internet auctioneer eBay purchased Butterfield Auctioneers of San Francisco and will launch its online art auction website in the Fall.




The Hungarian artist Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 1895 -1946 was a huge force in Modernism not just for the works he produced but because he explored pioneering theories and tested them for new forms of expression when he taught at the Bauhaus in Weimar and Dessau Germany from 1923 – 1928. The application of his theories continues today. His works on display at a Retrospective October 8, 2009 – February 28, 2010 at Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt Germany included paintings, photographs, photograms, sculptures, film, stage set designs, and typographical projects. He was interested in multimedia before the term was used, and even discussed in 1925 theories of marketing forms of expression. He worked at the point where creativity and technology merge. “All design areas of life are closely interlinked.”


An early piece Landscape With Houses (1918) demonstrates that he was the equal of any continental expressionist painter, but his project was exploration not creating for the collecting passion of patrons. See Composition A 19 (1927) and you realize that many thousands of contemporary artists are heavily influenced by Moholy-Nagy. Publication of his theories continues as in Moholy-Nagy: The Photograms: Catalogue Raisonne (Hatje Cantz Verlag 2009) Texas Tech Library TR647.M56


The Art of Light: Works by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag as he played with light throughout his career. The following page links us to United States museums in which his pieces are collected and displayed From 1937 through the war years Moholy-Nagy taught at the Chicago Institute of Design and a book marks those contributions Katherine Ware, In Focus: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (Getty Museum 1995)


Productivity by periods in his life are broken down at the The Moholy-Nagy Foundation website


In 2006 the University of Art and Design in Budapest was renamed Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. its website in English is