Arts History Update for still later October 2012

22 Oct

Art History Update for still later October 2012 by David Cummins

Winter Moonlit Night (1919) by Ernst Kirchner is the cover art for a book Lois Lowry, Son (Houghton Mifflin, October 11, 2012). Would that the book, a dystopian fable, were better. It is the concluding novel of a quartet The Giver (1993) Gathering Blue (2000) Messenger (2004) and now Son (2012). Son is $10.16 hardcover $ 9.17 Kindle at The boxed set of the first three is $17.80 paperback (Ember 2006) at and individually at Lubbock Public Library. Giver is at Texas Tech Library.

Shades of Margaret Atwood and that’s it, they are only shades.


A Latin Film Festival: The Immigrant Experience takes place October 28 – 29, 2012 at the Escondido Theatre in the Student Union Building basement on Texas Tech campus.

Sunday October 28 at 2:50 p.m. A Day Without a Mexican: Now Who is Going to Do All the Work? (2004) …………. 5:25 p.m. Crossing Over (2009)

Monday October 29 at 6:00 p.m. Innocent Voices (2004) ………… 8:20 p.m. The Proposal (2009) Sandra Bullock, need one say more?

a free event


November 7 – 10, 2012 is the Annual Western Literature Conference this year held in Lubbock at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center 2322 Mac Davis Lane. The title and theme is Western Crossroads: Literature, Social Justice, Environment.

Significant events include Annie Proulx speaking Wednesday November 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the hotel. The public is invited to this free event. I’ve read two of her books The Shipping News (Scribner 1993) Tech Library PS3566.R697 S4 that won a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, and That Old Ace in the Hole: A Novel (Scribner 2002) Tech Library PS3566.R697 T48 set in the Texas Panhandle where Ace is a windmill repairman. Her latest book is Bird Cloud: A Memoir of Place (Scribner 2011 stories and essays) Tech Library PS3566.R697 Z46 depicting south central Wyoming, Annie’s home ground near the North Platte River with views of Elk Mountain 11,156 feet and Medicine Bow Peak 12,013 feet high. The North Platte rises at the Continental Divide in Colorado and flows northeast through the Medicine Bow Mountains toward Annie’s place. Whoops. Just learned that Annie put her home Bird Cloud Ranch on the market for $3.7 million. Those 15 degrees below zero snow-massed winters can be too tough even for a gal with a mean pen in hand in a jaccuzi soak. Now I learn it is currently listed for $2.6 million. Here’s a photo of her place One doubts that she is homeless but her current residence is not known to me.

On Thursday the sessions are 8:00 – 9:15 a.m. seven panels, 9:30 – 10:45 another seven panels, 11:00 – 12:15 five more panels, 2:15 -3:30 five panels and 2:15 – 4:15 a plenary session In Search of First Contact: Vikings of Vinland, 5:45 – 7:00 four panels.

On Friday more panels and a plenary session ending at 5:45 p.m. and on Saturday more panels ending at 9:15 a.m.

David Sherman will be in town and he will speak and exhibit, free, his documentary film Wasteland Utopias Thursday November 8 at 4:15 – 6:00 p.m. at Tech’s English Building Lecture Hall Room 001. This documentary contrasts two 1950s experimenters, the commercial-minded Del Webb building Sun City retirement living in the Arizona desert and Wilhelm Reich manipulating weather by using ozone energy in the same locale [orgone cloudbuster rocket missiles, that landed him in a federal penitentiary where he died].


Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park opened October 24, 2012. It is on the southern tip, a four acre triangular park of grass, plantings and stone, of Roosevelt Island in the East River New York City. Louis Kahn, architect designed it, his last design, and then died. There have been many alternate proposals, mostly commercial and grandiose, for use of the site. Fortunately cool calm visionary heads stuck to the plan, and now decades later, it opened on October 24, 2012. Click on the slideshow icon for ten fascinating images of the monument location and setting. The World Trade Center memorial, literally National September 11 Memorial & Museum is sobering and somber, but this Four Freedoms Park is triumphal and uplifting. A local New York City architect has taken pictures

In the 19th century this island in the East River was used as a prison, a lunatic asylum, a workhouse, a landfill and a smallpox hospital. It was known by many names including Welfare Island. Ed Koch Queensborough Bridge passes over the island but does not provide vehicular access to it. In 1973 it was renamed as Roosevelt Island and Louis Kahn employed to design a monument. The Tramway opened in 1976 and became an instant tourist attraction and iconic symbol of the island. In 1989 subway access began, and in 2010 the Tramway was modernized. The Roosevelt Island Bridge was built in 1955 connecting it to Astoria, Queens but the island is vehicle-free at many places and not designed for vehicle traffic. An island shuttle bus takes people, about 10,000 residents in apartment buildings, to the subway and Tramway for 25 cents, 10 cents for seniors and disabled people, an obvious subsidy.

Roosevelt Island is a unique place within a unique city. Since the state controls the redevelopment of the island, many people think FDR Four Freedoms Park will eventually be operated within the state park system.


The Texas Master Naturalists chapter in Lubbock takes a field trip to the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge on Saturday November 10, 2012 and will take part in the annual migration to Texas of whooping cranes, by counting the birds.
Whooping Crane Migration
 Watch Gets Under Way

AUSTIN — Endangered whooping cranes have begun their annual 2,400-mile fall migration from Canada to Texas. As the rare birds approach Texas, a new citizen science initiative is inviting Texas residents and visitors to help collect sightings of whoopers.

Texas Whooper Watch ( is a new volunteer monitoring program that is a part of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Texas Nature Trackers program.   According to Lee Ann Linam, biologist in the Wildlife Diversity Program, Texas Whooper Watch is being developed to keep track of an ever-expanding population of whooping cranes.

Since beginning their slow recovery from a low of 16 birds in the 1940s, whoopers have, with few exceptions, always wintered on the Texas coast on and near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  However, in the winter of 2011-12, several groups of whooping cranes expanded their wintering areas to include more coastal areas and even some inland sites in Central Texas—patterns that surprised crane biologists.  “Texas Whooper Watch is a program that asks the public to help us discover more about where whooping cranes stop in migration and to be ready to learn more about these potential new wintering areas,” according to Linam.

This year biologists expect about 300 whooping cranes to start arriving in Texas in late October or early November.  According to surveys on the nesting grounds in Wood Buffalo Park in northwestern Canada, the flock may contain as many as 34 chicks.  Linam notes that Texas Whooper Watch will also help improve the accuracy of surveys on the wintering grounds, as the growth of the flock has made traditional census methods more difficult.

Whoopers usually follow a migratory path through North and Central Texas that includes cities such as Wichita Falls, Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, and Victoria.  During migration they often pause overnight to use wetlands for roosting and agricultural fields for feeding, but seldom remain more than one night.  They nearly always migrate in small groups of less than 6-8 birds, but they may be seen roosting and feeding with large flocks of the smaller sandhill crane.  They are the tallest birds in North America, standing nearly five feet tall.  They are solid white in color except for black wing-tips that are visible only in flight.  They fly with necks and legs outstretched.

Citizens can help by reporting sightings of whooping cranes and by preventing disturbance of cranes when they remain overnight at roosting and feeding locations.  Sightings can be reported or 512-389-TXWW (8999).  Observers are asked especially to note whether the cranes have colored leg bands on their legs.  Volunteers interested in attending training sessions to become “Whooper Watchers” in order to collect more detailed data may also contact the TPWD at or 512-389-TXWW (8999).

Additional information, including photos of whooping crane look-alike species, can be found at and at .

SL 2012-10-16

If you read the release to the end, we are asked to be Whooper Watchers and to snitch on the birds by calling Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in Austin 512-389-8999 or by emailing If six people call in from Lubbock to report a crane, is that tallied as six cranes or one crane spotted by six people? Or do they not actually make a tally from us, the mobile vulgus, but then why did they ask?

If you wish to know more about the Lubbock chapter of Texas Master Naturalists email or call Jackie Driskill at or 806-928-1172.


The three “Lost Littlefield Murals” are on display at the National Ranching Heritage Center 3121 4th Street through January 13 and a gallery talk by Dr. David B. Gracy II will occur on Friday November 16 at 7:00 p.m. Gracy likely knows more than a typical curator because he is a great-great nephew of Major George Washington Littlefield who purchased the southern division of the XIT Ranch in Lamb and Hockley Counties and ran cattle there on his Yellow House Ranch. The murals were painted by E. Martin Hennings in 1911 from scenes on the ranch so they are a recorded history of 19th century West Texas ranching as well as fine art.

To reserve a spot at the gallery talk contact Emily Arellano at 806-742-0498 ext 238 or email Free for Ranching Heritage Association members and $5 for others.

This exhibit was displayed at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon Texas from September 17, 2011 through February 18, 2012. Here are images

E. Martin Hennings

George W. Littlefield

Oh by the way, the murals were never lost. A Utopia Texas ranching family bought them at the public sale in Austin in 1954 and kept them as part of their family art collection for many years until recently offering them for sale. They didn’t make a fuss or draw attention to themselves. They enjoyed their collection as mannerly non-bragadocio people might. The public press art world may not have known about them, and therefore styled them as lost, but not knowing who has or where something is located shouldn’t draw a label for the art. It should be called “art world ignorance”.

Utopia is 80 miles west and north of San Antonio on the Sabinal River [town served by Texas Highway 187] as it flows south to join the Frio River that later joins the Nueces River and flows through Corpus Christi into the Gulf of Mexico. I once stayed in the Texas Stagecoach Inn on the Sabinal River north of Utopia close to Vanderpool and waded in the Sabinal.



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