Archive | September, 2012

Arts History Update for very late September 2012

26 Sep

Arts History Update for very late September 2012 by David Cummins


Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Texas Tech University, shortened to OLLI, is a short course for adults age fifty and up, to engage with current and retired faculty and staff at Texas Tech to learn about what’s happening on campus and in various disciplines and fields of study. It was featured in an article within RaiderWire Texas Tech Faculty and Staff Electronic Newsletter James Hodgins, Bringing the Community Back to School: OLLI and Texas Tech faculty offer classes to improve community engagement, September 10, 2012


Try this link but it may require an eraider account user name and password to gain access.



Another geography lesson for 21st century folks. What are the boundaries of Catalonia? Everyone knows that Barcelona is the seaside capital and major art center, among other qualities, and that Catalonia reaches to the French border and the border of tiny Andorra, but what are the western and southern boundaries? And we know that Catalan is an operating language of the region and first language as compared with Spanish for many Catalans. I’ve read two books first published in Catalan and later translated into Spanish and English.


September 11 is the traditional Catalonia Day and typically there are 50,000 marchers who take to the streets of Barcelona and lead everyone in festivities. This September 11, 2012 was a different story. Spain’s fiscal problems and Euro imbalances led to nationally imposed austerities, disappointing and sometimes angering Catalans. 1.5 million Catalans took to the streets, many waving the traditional Catalan flag and this time chanting for independence rather than more autonomy from Madrid.


Spain has little flexibility to deal with any serious secessionist move. The truth is that the Basque Country separatists, even though some were violent, never posed a serious threat to Spain and it could by a stroke of the pen let go of the unruly, small and isolated area thrusting it back into a 19th century rural economy. Spain would be unaffected. Catalonia is an entirely different matter, a much larger region, much more prosperous and perhaps when viewed as a separate region, the most prosperous in Spain. Its distinct culture, language, long seacoast and interior depth allow it to be self-sufficient if required to be. It is the main supply point for the Balearic Islands including Majorca [Mallorca], Ibiza and Menorca on all of which the main language is Catalan. There is a rich history on these islands in the Western Mediterranean, occupied by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, and Muslims ending with the Christian Reconquest led by King Juame I of Catalonia and Aragon in the 13th century. During the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s the islands were Republican and ultimately taken by Franco’s forces.


I feel about Catalonia as I did about the referendum voting in Quebec. It’s their call and I welcome their independence if that is their choice, and welcome their important place within Spain if that is their choice. Our respect and admiration for Catalans is not at issue or in question.





Everyone knows about electronic books offered for sale by, Barnes & Noble, Google Books, and other big box electronic book stores. Here is a list of Independent Book Stores selling electronic books. There is quality and access to the planet’s best books on offer, even when a big box store doesn’t offer something. Notice several book stores physically based in Texas.


Some publishers are now publishing books only in electronic digital format. The New York Review of Books just commenced a NYRB Lit series and its first e-book published in this series is Lindsay Clarke, The Water Theatre: A Novel (New York Review of Books Lit, September 4, 2012) and you can purchase it at for Kindle or PC Reader for $7.69. The book was published in the UK in paperback (Alma Publishing Co., April 1, 2011, hardcover 2010) and may be purchased in acceptable condition at ABE for $5.91 including shipping & handling from the UK. New York Review of Books publishing department has had success republishing nearly forgotten or recently ignored classics in its series NYRB Classics.


Clarke’s prize-winning earlier novel The Chymical Wedding (Knopf 1989) is at Texas Tech Library PR6053.L3295 C47 also available in good condition from ABE $3.63 inc s&h. Whitbread Best Novel Award 1989, now Costa Book Awards. [intertwined lives of six people in two different eras and centuries, with themes of alchemy, the occult, fate, passion and obsession]


Clarke is a contributor of an essay as well as editor in The Gist: A Celebration of the Imagination (ed. Lindsay Clarke, The Write Factor 2012) available in Kindle electronic at $6.99 or in paperback but $54.80 incl s&h from ABE. This large differential in price is occurring more often and I have responded by reading on my digital electronic tablet, or rarely but sometimes in the Cloud Reader on my PC or laptop. It’s nice to have multiple access options particularly when traveling.




Pablo Picasso painted the women he loved, such as the Russian – Ukrainian ballerina Olga Khokhlova 1917 – 1927 For him she was mostly serene and statuesque. Then came the 17 year old Marie-Therese Walter;_ylt=A2KJkPnViGFQXHEA4teJzbkF?p=%2Carie+therese+walter&fr=ush-mailn&ei=utf-8&n=30&x=wrt&y=Search and his famous bulbous sensuous curves. Finally there was Dora Maar, the painter poet and photographer;_ylt=A2KJkK5QiWFQVgkA4QGJzbkF?p=dora+maar&fr=ush-mailn&ei=utf-8&n=30&x=wrt&y=Search


By noticing how many times and moods in which he painted these women we get a glimpse into what it is that supplies the muse for an artist.




Barry Lopez will appear and speak on Wednesday October 3 at 2:00 p.m. in the Formby Room of the Southwest Collection and Special Collections Library on the Texas Tech campus. Free event. Music by Curtis Peoples and Janet Veal will precede the conversation. He’s a naturalist, author, landscape photographer, and all-around good guy. In 2011 he received the Honorary Geographer Award from the American Association of Geographers. His book Arctic Dreams won the National Book Award in non-fiction for 1986. Here’s a video of him talking and here is his acceptance speech



On his website you will discover that Lopez has donated his manuscripts, field notes, etc. to the Special Collections Library and he makes two visits per year to Texas Tech as its Visiting Distinguished Scholar. In the academic trade he is known as a non-resident scholar. He lives somewhere near Blue River Oregon east of Eugene bordering the Willamette National Forest. Saturday September 29 is National Public Lands Day so no day use fee will be charged that day in this forest a day that often draws volunteers to work on projects in public lands. In San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro proclaimed the day for celebration at Hardberger Park

Arts History Update for late September 2012

16 Sep

Arts History Update for late September 2012 by David Cummins


Texas Tech’s University Library wants you to get reconnected and learn about all the services that exist at a Library that keeps evolving into a 21st century library. Library Services Fair is at 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Wednesday September 19 in the Croslin Room, the outer lobby of the Main Library . Exhibits and personal librarians will be on hand to introduce you to services you might not know are available. Tours will be provided including to the new Crossroads Recording Studio, the 3D Animation Lab, the Digital Media Studio, and to the areas where computers are available for visitors to use. If you want to see something you know about like the Institute for Pragmatism, or topographical maps, just ask.


Remember that Texas Tech is a state agency, i.e. a public agency paid for in large part by taxpayers, and you as a member of the public and a taxpayer, are a welcome visitor,owner,user of the library. It’s yours, so come on in and use it. If you are not already a registered user, you must go through a bit of paperwork and get an eRaider username and password since so much of the access to library materials is through the digital network. No need to do that on September 19 as it may be accomplished anytime.




Here’s a photo of a home on the shore of Mo-Jo Lake near Angleton Texas in Brazoria County It was completed in 1973 as a weekend home for Alvin and Marilyn Oshman Lubetkin. It was designed and built by the Ant Farm Collective and the photo is in the collection of Chip Lord, one of the collective architects. Doug Michels and Chip Lord, two young San Francisco architects, started the collective.


Many will recall that Jake Oshman built a sportings goods store chain. He had two daughters Marilyn and Judy. Jake died in 1964. A 1968 deed record shows that the owners of the land at Mo-Jo Lake were Marilyn Oshman and her sister Judy Oshman, and we think that hence the owners gave the name to the area as Mo-Jo. Alvin Lubetkin and his wife Marilyn Oshman Lubetkin commissioned the Ant Farm Collective to design and build this amazing structure. It won an award as House of the Century.


At last report it had fallen into ruins and tatters suffering from flooding, disuse and neglect for many years. Two more early photos apppear at one exterior and one interior.


An exhibition Ant Farm 1968 – 1978 by the University of Califonia Berkeley Art Museum in 2004, toured thereafter including at the Blaffer Art Museum of the University of Houston. The catalogue for the exhibition is Constance Lewallen & Steve Seid, Ant Farm 1968 – 1978 (Berkeley Art Museum 2004) at Texas Tech Library NK1412.A57 A4.


Most West Texans know that Cadillac Ranch (1974) commissioned by Stanley Marsh 3 was an Ant Farm project. Its attempt to display the quality of impermanence of automobile icons, seems rather permanent to us now off Interstate Highway 40 west of Amarillo. Ten Cadillac autos from model years between 1948 and 1964 were buried nose down astride U.S. Highway 66 demonstrating both progress and obsolescence. The rest as they say, is history.





A Conference on Mesoamerica will take place on the Texas Tech campus at the Human Sciences Building Friday October 26 from 1:30 p.m. to Saturday evening October 27 at 6:00 p.m. Here’s the schedule of speakers and events for this free event open to the public. Even if a junior faculty member may be expected to dutifully attend most or all presentations, that doesn’t apply to you, so you may come and go as you like. Registration is free and if you want to attend the receptions at the end of each day and eat the food, also free, you must register through the website or by telephone by October 12 and the form to do so is at





Just as if it were significant, College Football highlights include


Idaho lost to # 3 Louisana State University 63-14

Washington def Portland State University 52-13

Illinois def Charleston Southern 44-0

# 14 Texas def Ole Miss 66-31

# 24 Arizona def South Carolina State 56-0


Whoever schedules these games has his mind firmly on the bottom line somewhere near his anus, attracted there by dollar signs, and doesn’t give a flip about sport and competition. This is the last weekend of non-conference pre-season games for many teams.


I looked in on television for the Husky game. Its entire season is played in Century Link Field south of downtown at the junction of Interstate Highways 5 and 90, since Husky Stadium on campus is being renovated. Century Link Field is home to the Seatte Seahawks NFL team and the Seattle Sounders soccer team, as well as WaMu Theatre for indoor performance events.


Other teams got it on with conference foes, such as # 2 USC lost to # 21 Stanford 21 -14 in Palo Alto. This pleased me, never having been a fan of the University of Spoiled Children and rules violations. One day when the Texas Tech football team took Professor Dave along on the plane for a road trip, we flew into Los Angeles and went to the Coliseum where USC whipped Texas Tech. I didn’t enjoy the whipping and didn’t notice any angels in the city when the tour bus took me and the coaches wives sight-seeing.


Washington State with Mike Leach on the sideline defeated Nevada Las Vegas 35-27. Now he starts into PAC-12 play. Colorado continues to flounder losing to Sacramento State last week 30-28 and Fresno State 69-14 this week. Its season started with a loss to in-state rival Colorado State 22-17. The Buffaloes travel to Pullman Washington to play WSU on Sept 22. Mike Leach has a chance to go up 3-1 before taking on the class of the PAC-12.








Arts History Update for mid September 2012

6 Sep

Arts History Update for mid September 2012 by David Cummins 


Explorations of walking and thinking while walking, have been and continue to be inspirational.


A new book, reviewed favorably, is Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Viking Adult October 11, 2012) reviewed at

Adam Thorpe, Thou Hast Thy Walks: The relatively recent habit of walking for pleasure continues to inspire philosophical reverie, botanical observation, and the writing of books, London Times Literary Supplement, August 17 and 24, 2012 at page 3.


The Old Ways compares favorably with Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking (Penguin Books 2001) Texas Tech Library GV199.5 S65


For the Scots in the audience, nothing excels over a prose poem love letter to the Cairngorn Mountains in Scotland ………. Nan Shepherd, The Living Mountain (written in the 1940s but first published in 1977) republished in Grampian Quartet: The Quarrywood, The Living Mountain, Weatherhouse, and A Pass in the Grampians (Canongate Books 1997). Shepherd was a native of Aberdeen-shire 1893 – 1981 and


Iain Sinclair, Lights Out for the Territory: Nine Excursions in the Secret History of London (Granta Books 1997) chapter one is online at


Karl Philipp Moritz, Travels in England (1782) or Journeys of a German in England in 1782 at


Richard Jefferies, The Open Air (Chatto & Windus 1885) and The Hills and the Vales (1896, republished Oxford University Press 1980) Texas Tech Library QH81.J437


Albert Maverick, A Maverick Abroad: Foot Travels in England and France, 1876 (Principia Press of Trinity University 1965) Southwest Collection TEX33 M461 A163


Many of these authors address a common theme; viz., that by walking unhurried in a landscape observed and reflected upon for the first time, one maps one’s own psyche.




J’Nell L. Pate, Arsenal of Defense: Fort Worth’s Military Legacy (Texas State Historical Assn 2011) $30.30 hardcover at Texas Tech Library F394.F7 P37 Fort Worth was named for a general in the Mexican American War of 1846 and the fort opened in 1849. Its military status as an industrial center for military aircraft followed from WWII days. The author will speak about the topic at the W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas, a museum and research facility of Tarleton State University located in Thurber Texas on September 16 at 2:30 p.m. Thurber was a coal mining town owned by Texas and Pacific Coal Company that imported its workers who were ethnically diverse and brought an amazing character to the town. The discovery of oil nearby disturbed this “company town” and the rest, as they say, is history. The main campus of Tarleton State is in Stephenville. Thurber is between Fort Worth and Abilene. Thurber is sometimes thought of as a ghost town, and the mail and shipping address for the Gordon Center is Mingus Texas, east of Ranger and west of Weatherford near Interstate Highway 20.




The Abraham Art Gallery at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview announces its 2012 – 2013 season of exhibitions:


August 27 – October 6 Work: Curse or Calling?

October 15 – December 12 Dancing by the Light of the Moon: The Art of Fred Marcellino

January 28 – February 15, 2013 West Texas Regional Scholastic Art Competition and Exhibit

February/March Special University Art Scholarship Exhibition & Fundraiser

April 8 – May 3 Student Art Exhibition, Practicum for Graduating Art Majors

May 20 – June 30 Plains Art Association 52nd Spring Celebration of Art


The Gallery is in the lower level of the Mabee Learning Resources Center and is open Monday – Thursday 9:00 – 5:00 p.m. Friday to 4:00 p.m. Saturday 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. telephone 806-291-3710 website




Steve McCurry will appear at the Texas Tech Student Union Building’s Allen Theatre at 6:00 p.m. September 21 for a public lecture. It is free to attendees underwritten by Texas Tech Museum and Helen Jones Foundation. He is an international photo-journalist whose work has appeared in many places including National Geographic Magazine. has a slide show of amazing pictures. Texas Tech Library has seven books of McCurry photos titled Steve McCurry, The Unguarded Moment, Portraits, South Southeast, The Path to Buddha: a Tibetan Pilgrimage, The Imperial Way, and Sanctuary: The Temples of Angkor.


Fifteen minute video interview with McCurry is




El Rancho de las Golondrinas [Ranch of the Swallows] dates from the early 1700s and is now a living history museum spread over two hundred acres with low admission and self-guided tour fees. Its address is 334 Los Pinos Road, Santa Fe New Mexico but it is 15 miles south of town near La Cienega. It is a Santa Fe Renaissance Fair site September 22-23 and a Harvest Festival site October 6-7 but anytime is a good time to visit.


Originally a paraje or stopping place on the El Camino Real, the royal road from Santa Fe to Mexico City, it is now a historic site on which reconstructions of historic structures from several periods have been placed.




Those who know another language in addition to English, and who have read a book in the other language, and then read the same book in translation to English, can testify to the experience as being revelatory of the work. There is more to translation by far than just assignment of words from one vocabulary to another. The London Review of Books in collaboration with the British Centre for Literary Translation will hold translation workshops later this month in London England. It would be great fun to attend. Notice that one of the workshop leaders Ros Schwartz has translated so many French works into English, and done it so well, that she was awarded a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, for her services to French literature.


If you want to translate just a word or phrase, there are many online services, none better than Google Translate A Handbook for Literary Translators (1999 fourth edition) is online from the PEN American Center. Here is a list of books about the art of translation




Have watched on television very little of the Republican Party or Democratic Party National Conventions. Wolves prowl but we are not the glow in the fire that both attracts and repels them.





The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth presents Lucian Freud: Portraits from July 1 – October 28, 2012 in its only United States exhibition, arranged by the National Portrait Gallery of London England Distinctive portraiture and wide acceptance have insured that his works are now regarded as masterpieces. Here is a 1-1/2 hour documentary on Freud The Modern in Fort Worth Texas is at 3200 Darnell Street, not far from the Cultural District.


One of his last works Donegal Man (2007 etching) is fascinating. I traveled in Donegal, northwest Ireland “up here it’s different”, and watched men cutting peat to take home for the furnace and stove, after hanging in sheds so that the compacted wetland substrata decomposed vegetation could dry, and then be used in small blocks. I imagine the subject of this portrait to be a 49-51 year old man whose best days are behind him and is “looking strong” for some chance at days of leisure.


Freud was Sigmund Freud’s grandson, who was born in Berlin in 1922 and escaped to England when the National Socialist German Workers Party [Nazi Party] came to power in the 1930s.




Dale Chihuly glass master pieces are at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden May 5 – November 5, 2012. It’s stunning. The garden is lighted and some Chihuly pieces are lighted on Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday evenings in September and Monday through Thursday evenings in October with a higher admission fee 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. with a musical concert on some evenings. Tickets for the evening must be purchased in advance, not at the gate.


Chihuly pieces are installed at two sites in Dallas, one in Irving, three in San Antonio, and one in Corpus Christi as well as at the Spencer Theatre for the Performing Arts east of Alto northeast of Ruidoso New Mexico. The Chihuly Foundry and Studio on Lake Union inside Seattle is not available for public touring, but there are many pieces of his public art in the Puget Sound area that one may view. Chihuly Over Venice (1998 DVD 90 minutes) was shown nationally on television, while installing organic glass sculptures at various Venice Italy canal intersections. available through


Lee Ware and Bren Merritt opened Sandstorm Glassworks in Lubbock in 2010, in the rear of Tornado Art Gallery on Buddy Holly Avenue and 19th Street. It is a glass blowing studio and kiln with cold working areas that offers the public workshops, classes and demonstrations. Both artists are from the Seattle area, Lee from the Pratt Center of Fine Art and Bren from the 5th Avenue Glass Studio. If you ask how can glass be formed into that, mosey on down to Sandstorm and see their amazing creations.




John Erickson, author of the popular “HANK THE COWDOG series of books will be at Ruby Lane Books 127 E. Main Street, Tuesday, Sept. 11, from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Post City , Texas .  Erickson will also present a free concert and reading that same day Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in the Post Elementary School Auditorium. The concert is sponsored by Caprock Cultural Association. Post is about 43 miles southeast of Lubbock.


John Erickson resides on a ranch outside of Perryton Texas in the far northeast part of the Texas Panhandle.