Archive | November, 2012

Arts History Update for just past early December 2012

29 Nov

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


The twelfth annual photography exhibit High and Dry: People and Places of the World’s Dry Lands is ongoing November 22 – December 18, 2012 and these have been well attended and impressive in the past. Don’t miss it. International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University 601 Indiana Avenue. Here is a slideshow of photos in last year’s exhibit


The exhibit reception is Friday December 7 from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. with the juror talk by Luther Smith at 6:30 p.m. in the 189 seat auditorium. Usually there are tasty nibbles at these receptions. The hostess with the mostest for the event is Jane Bell director of operations. Here is Luther Smith’s photography website and here is his website as a professor of art at Texas Christian University


The reception event is the same evening as First Friday Art Trail in December 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. At the Buddy Holly Center 1801 Crickets Avenue [formerly Avenue G] First Friday access is free and the current exhibit is by Crafts, Etc. this year featuring wood-working by four Texas artists Olen Fortenberry, Lora Hunt, Spider Johnson and J. Christopher White. On Sunday afternoon December 9 at 1:30 p.m. these artists will conduct a free gallery talk about the exhibit.




Do you believe in terroir? It’s the special characteristics that the geography, geology, and climate of a given place, interacting with the plant’s genetics, express in the food grown in that place. Some scoff. Others are sure, especially with wine, coffee and cheese. In France and Germany there are strict laws governing how one may refer to some products, unless they are grown in a certain place in which that product is historically grown. Many think this is just a marketing strategy gaining legitimization.


Some take terroir to another level and suggest that the way people cook in a certain place, and the styles of cooking and customary behaviors add terroir to the cuisine. Humans, in other words, can create terroir or enhance existing terroir.


I am planning a trip to the Marfa area, high mountain [altitude 4,688 feet population 2,424] Chihuahuan Desert area in trans-Pecos River far west Texas. A book by a terroir believer is Gary Paul Nabhan, Desert Terroir: Exploring the unique flavors and sundry places of the borderland (University of Texas Press 2012) Texas Tech Southwest Collection Library Natural History Collection TX360.U62 N33. He wrote another book Arab/American: Landscape, culture, and cuisine in two great deserts (University of Arizona Press 2008) Tech Library F787.N33


Daphne Beal, In Marfa, Texas, Minimalist Art and Maximum Flavor, The New York Times, November 18, 2009 advises one to eat locally at The Shark, a 1974 delivery truck parked under an outdoor market pavilion four days a week. Tacos del Norte, Cochineal, Blue Javelina, Brown Recluse, Q Cafe & Wine Bar and Maiya’s are other options. From that selection one should be able to confirm or deny terroir.


The minimalist art refers to the late Donald Judd and Chinati Foundation located on a long out of service Army post first named Camp Albert in 1911, then Camp Marfa, and in 1930 Fort D.A. Russell. During World War II the fort was used as Marfa Army Air Field and it closed in 1946. Hanger 98 or Building 98 contains vintage aircraft and a mural painted by German prisoners of war incarcerated here In the late 1970s Judd purchased and turned some vacant Marfa buildings into his art studio and display gallery.


Camp Albert opening in 1911 must have had to do with the Mexican Revolution of 1910 onward against the long-time dictatorial President Porfirio Diaz. While it took less than two years to displace Diaz, the scramble over succession and reforms made for a crippled infrastructure and violence for a decade. Pancho Villa was acting up in Columbus New Mexico and elsewhere so President Wilson sent Brigadier General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing to lead the Punitive Expedition of 1916-1917 into Mexico to bring Pancho to justice. The Rio Gande border with Mexico is only 60 miles to the south from Marfa. Revolution discussion is here


Some of Marfa is just funky like this Prada Store This store owner is an owner, not a retailer.


One expects that Luz de Estrella Winery in Marfa will eagerly claim terroir. However, when checking further, it closed and the property bears a for sale sign. Apparently there is now no winery in Marfa. Cathedral Mountain Vineyard is 18 miles south of Alpine Texas on Texas Highway 118. It supplies product to Times Ten Cellars in Dallas


The Chihuahuan Desert Visitor Center and Research Institute is at Fort Davis, as is Blue Mountain Vineyard. Saint Genevieve Wines is at Fort Stockton.


Marfa may be the smallest town in America with a National Public Radio station KRTS-FM 93.5


Timothy J. Crowley, 1983 graduate of Texas Tech University School of Law, built an 8,000 square foot vacation home six miles west of Marfa. It’s not likely on tour for it is a refuge for a Houston mover and shaker couple. His wife Lynn Goode is owner and founder of Lynn Goode Art Gallery in Houston and Marfa Book Company in Marfa. Carlos Jimenez, the architect who designed the vacation home, completed in 2004, wrote a book Crowley (Oro Editions March 1, 2009, photography by Paul Hester) $29.95 at Texas Tech Architecture Library NA737.J48 A4 has the book in its stacks


————————– is a map of pre-Civil War Army forts in Texas depicting the frontier with Indian activity farther west. On the Rio Grande there was Fort Brown [Brownsville ], Ringgold Barracks [Rio Grande City ], Fort McIntosh [Laredo ] and Fort Duncan [Eagle Pass ]. Inland from Corpus Christi there was Fort Merrill and Fort Ewell on the Nueces River. The road west from Bejar [San Antonio] or the San Antonio – El Paso Road was Fort Lincoln , Fort Inge [Uvalde ] Fort Hudson [near Comstock, on a Devil’s River tributary ], Fort Lancaster [on Pecos River ] see , Fort Stockton , Fort Davis , Fort Quitman [Esperanza on the Rio Grande ] and finally Fort Bliss [El Paso ].


At this same time the containment and transportation security forts stretching from North Texas down to the Rio Grande included Fort Belknap [controlling Brazos River Indian Reservation, near Newcastle, the Butterfield Overland Mail route from St Louis and Memphis ran to Fort Smith Arkansas, then through Indian Territory, then crossing the Red River, then to Fort Belknap ], Camp Cooper [controlling Clear Fork of Brazos River Comanche Reservation, near Throckmorton ], Fort Phantom Hill [near Abilene ], Fort Chadbourne [near Bronte, from here the Butterfield Overland Mail route went west to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River, then Fort Stockton, Fort Davis, Fort Quitman and Fort Bliss ], Fort McKavett [near Menard ], Fort Clark [near Brackettville ], and Fort Duncan [Eagle Pass on Rio Grande ]. This was the so-called Line of Defense against Kiowa, Comanche, Lipan Apache and Mescalero Apache. Fort Concho at San Angelo wasn’t established until 1867, after the Civil War ended. Fort Concho was quite new when Colonel Ranald Mackenzie of New York was its commander.


During this pre-Civil War era more than seventy camels were imported from North Africa to Indianola Texas by U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis and his successor, and stationed at Camp Verde near Bandera Pass Texas. They were trained for travel west to Fort Bliss and beyond through Fort Hudson and the other forts on that route. Chris Emmett, Texas Camel Tales: Incidents Growing Up Around an Attempt by the War Department of the United States to Foster an Uninterrupted Flow of Commerce Through Texas by the Use of Camels (Naylor Printing Co 1932) [reprint Steck-Vaughn 1969 at Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 26.3 C181 E54]. See also Odie B. Faulk, The United States Camel Corps: An Army Experiment (Oxford University Press 1976) Tech Library UC350.F38


Fort Union National Monument, New Mexico north of Las Vegas NM about 18 miles exit Interstate 25 at Watrous exit 366 then travel northwest on state highway 477 Old Santa Fe Trail The fort was essential to provide security for the Santa Fe Trail. Chris Emmett, Fort Union and the Winning of the Southwest (University of Oklahoma Press 1965) Texas Tech Library F801.E46





Chesley Sullenberger captain on US Airways Flight # 1549 on January 15, 2009 will be the after dinner speaker at Lubbock Womens Club on Thursday January 10, 2013 6:30 p.m. reception 7:00 p.m. dinner at the Club 2020 Broadway Street Lubbock 79401. Tickets are $75 per person and go on sale Friday November 30, 2012. They may be ordered by phone 806-763-6448.


He took off from LaGuardia Airport in Queens and almost immediately ran into a flock of birds that clogged the jet engines and the plane lost power. He could not bring it back to the airport so he made a controlled ditching of the aircraft in the Hudson River where the plane floated while rescue craft arrived and took everyone away to safety. Two people were injured and no fatalities. 


Quick decisive thinking and action to take the best option available and avoid a catastrophe. It was the kind of heroism everyone appreciates and honors.


Lubbock Womens Club 



Friday – Saturday evenings December 14-15 and Friday – Sunday evenings December 21-23 at 7:00 p.m. is a Lubbock Moonlight Musicals production of A Madrigal Dinner: Christmas Joy Past and Present $45, $60, $75 and $100 per person depending upon which character Jester, Knight, Queen or King is sitting with you at that festive Table in the Christine DeVitt Icehouse Theatre at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts at 517 Avenue J in Lubbock. Tickets are available through Select A Seat outlets. Here is a description of the Madrigal Dinner style of mixed chorus events and the voices will be excellent selected by Gerald Dolter, Professor of Musical Theatre at Texas Tech University who is the impetus and driving force behind Lubbock Moonlight Musicals. The gowns and garb worn by the singers are themselves a delight and often spot on as replicas of the finest festival at a medieval monarchical court. Some audience participation may occur so gargle and cleanse your palate preparatory to breaking into song.


This is an event like no other in the community, so if you haven’t partaken here’s an opportunity for a special treat.












Arts History Update for early December 2012

27 Nov

Arts History Update for early December 2012 by David Cummins

Gary Schwantz, Ph.D. is the author of a new book eCouragements: e-mail messages for savoring life (2012) that is a collection of his weekly inspirational e-mails. You can order online at for $15 plus $3.99 shipping. Gary is a Lubbock facilitator, speaker, convener person who is a former Lubbock County Commissioner and current adjunct faculty member at Texas Tech University College of Human Sciences, his alma mater. The book is illustrated throughout by Pat Maines, Lubbock graphics, design and miniature artist. her website is

You may also purchase the book at its book release party Thursday December 6 4:30 -7:00 p.m. at Studio West [Melissa Grimes design studio] 2801 26th Street, Lubbock. Gary will make brief remarks at 6:00 p.m. and sign any books, preferably by him, but who knows what he will sign? Wine and hors d’oeuvres are on offer and if you know Melissa they will be sumptuous.


Now that Hamas made rocket attacks [from its supposedly secret positions in Gaza] on select Israeli locations, again killing indiscriminately rather than attacking a military unit, the Israeli military responded with a precision strategy to send rockets to known locations of Hamas in Gaza but this is a densely populated area and some Palestinians uninvolved in violence are injured and dying.

Why is this happening all over again? It’s a replay of decades of useless violence that can’t achieve anything positive. That is our view of Palestine and Israel, not their view. Perhaps we should stop looking at those places and people with our built-in filter of nationalism, democracy, and a society which is intended to be integral to the success of everyone within the society. We measure progress by how many and how much we are all better off.

First, notice that Hamas made the rocket attack that started the current violence. But you say, Hamas is not the elected leadership of Palestine. Mahmoud Abbas is the elected President of the Palestinian National Authority on the Fatah political party ticket that prevailed over the Hamas opposition. Abbas has been Chairman of Palestine Liberation Organization PLO since 2004. The reality is that Fatah and PLO are today considerably weaker within Palestine, and especially within Gaza, than when they came to power. The reality is that they would be tossed out of office if they “made peace” with Israel or seriously negotiated the two-state solution to which the United States has been attached for decades. In the last century President Clinton brought the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the PLO Fatah leader Yasser Arafat together at Camp David Maryland to negotiate that two state solution. Israel was reluctantly willing because it was an option and might have been an improvement and the United States wanted it badly, but Arafat kept throwing up obstacles until it was obvious that he only wanted the appearance and image of negotiating on a world stage, not peace or detente or an agreement with Israel.

Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, in its 1988 Charter told us that it aims toward removal of Israel from Palestine

If you thought, at the time, as I did, that this was a personal failure of leadership in the form of one man, Yasser Arafat, then you and I didn’t get it. What we didn’t understand is that Palestinians don’t want a state within a state [today’s standoff] or a new state Palestine astride a relatively new and more powerful state Israel. That doesn’t meet their primary and irresolvable goal, the removal of an Israeli Jewish polity from the religious and tribal homeland of Palestinians. They will not and cannot emotionally or intellectually accept the position that the very same area is the religious and tribal homeland of someone else, Israelis or anyone else. The claim of Christians during the Crusades was ultimately overthrown and the claim of Israeli Jews will ultimately be overthrown. That is their position and their view that Israelis are outsiders or infidels. The tactically ineffective rocket attacks against Israelis, or suicide bombings in Tel Aviv, are what some Palestinians can presently do to keep laying their claim toward removal of all Israeli Jews from religious and historic Palestine. Palestinians know that such activities bring immediate suffering on themselves, but they are already suffering and must endure it and more, for the cause of removal of Israelis.

This rather pessimistic view is shared by others. Hussein Agha & Robert Malley, This Is Not a Revolution, The New York Review of Books, November 8, 2012 at p.71

From our perspective an ocean away, the determined Israelis persist and have peace treaties in place with Egypt and Jordan, and a detente with Lebanon and Syria, their four neighbors. Ehud Barak, the former Prime Minister, has been Minister of Defense since June 18, 2007 under two Prime Ministers of a different political party than his Over a score of years Barak has been a member of three political parties One Israel, Labor, and Independence and is himself a former Lieutenant General in the Army. Barak succeeded a former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and now serves as Defense Minister under that same man who has returned for another stint as Prime Minister.

Hamas is a Sunni Muslim organization that identifies itself to be a wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. Israel deals with it even though it is currently being financed in part and militarily supplied in part by Iran. Hezbollah is a Shia Muslim organization based in Lebanon supported financially and militarily by Iran Israel strongly opposes it and fears the growing nuclear power ambitions of Iran, even pledging to make a pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities if and when they yield a military capability.

On Tuesday November 20 masked Hamas militants publicly [at a major intersection in Gaza City] killed six Palestinians who were accused of providing Israel with information about Hamas fighters and rocket launching sites. This is how Palestinians are terrified by fellow Palestinians as well as by Israelis. This terror is part of their suffering for which there is no end in sight.


Here is the Endesa Pavilion in Barcelona Spain a self-sufficient solar prototype structure installed at the Marina Dock accessible by the public and monitored for its form follows energy utilization paradigm. Oh, those Catalan architects are thinking outside the box again.


Historian Ramachandra Guha speaks on India’s constitutional development and future in two videos, the first one hour 13 minutes on constitutional development and the second, one hour 16 minutes on India’s Fault Lines: A Fatal Blow to its Global Ambitions. Books and articles of interest are:

Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (Ecco 2007 893 pages) Tech Library DS480.84.G74

Pankaj Mishra, Impasse in India, The New York Review of Books, June 28, 2007 reviewing Martha C. Nussbaum, The Clash Within: Democracy, Religious Violence, and India’s Future (Belknap Press / Harvard University Press 2007)

David Malone, Does the Elephant Dance? Indian Foreign Policy (Oxford University Press 2011) Tech Library DS480.853.M3655


The British Museum is opening an Ice Age Art exhibit February 7 – May 26, 2013 so we can see many items carved from bone by paleolithic ancestors. A recent book tells a story that reveals much of the basis for our fascination. Andrew J. Lawson, Painted Caves: Palaeolithic Rock Art in Western Europe (Oxford University Press June 2012 $180) The title is misleading because the caves yield far more engravings and outline drawings than paintings. It is further misleading because many discoveries are not in caves but in rock shelters and in open air settings. There is an emphasis on dating the art by scientific methods such as radio-carbon dating and by dating calcite layers on top of the imagery. A very recent article updates techniques for the latter method. A.W.G. Pike at al., U-Series Dating of Paleolithic Art in 11 Caves in Spain, Science Magazine, June 15, 2012 at pages 1409-1413 discussing recent usages of uranium series disequilibrium dating of calcite deposits that either overly or underly the art.

The art of the Chauvet Cave in southern France in the Ardeche region, discovered in 1994, is amazing regardless of the uncertainty that remains about whether it might be 40,000 years old [Aurignacian period example of figurative art is Lion Man] or a mere 20,000 years old [Gravettian period example of figurative art is Venus of Lespugue]. Click on through the images in the cave from the following website. My favorite is the rhinoceros-like beasts interacting with the horses. A second is the grouping of lions. Jean-Marie Chauvet et al., Dawn of Art: The Chauvet Cave (the Oldest Known Paintings in the World) Texas Tech Library OVERSZ N5310.5.F7 C4713

The art of the Lower Pecos River near where it flows into the Rio Grande River, is a Texas rock art destination. The Shumla School at Comstock Texas is a good place to start enjoying this area A mere 4,000 years in age, it’s also fascinating. A couple of books might be of interest:

Carolyn E. Boyd, Rock Art of the Lower Pecos (Texas A&M University Press 2003) $34.33 Texas Tech Library E78.N65 B69

Lawrence L. Loendorf, Thunder & Herds: Rock Art of the High Plains (Left Coast Press 2008) $29.71 paperback at Texas Tech Library E78.G73 L64


Sinister Pop is an exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art that attempts to draw links between the rise of consumerism in the 1960s and the counterculture sentiment that soon followed, led if you will by Pop Art pioneers. I am less than sanguine about claims by artists or their flacks that avant-garde artists are the seers / prophets of our times. November 15 – March 31, 2013. Doing something because it can be done, and painting the clatter and din of a society ramping up its capacity to communicate by mass media outlets, was of only passing interest to me at the time. My interest in Pop Art continues to be passing, being more intrigued by aesthetic and construction rather than the psychology of the commercially mundane. Looking back at Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol I prefer to look ahead.


Arts History Update for late November 2012

19 Nov

Arts History Update for late November 2012 by David Cummins

You never listen” is not just the complaint of a problematic relationship, it has also become an epidemic in a world that is exchanging convenience for content, speed for meaning. The richness of life doesn’t reside in the loudness and the beat, but in the timbres and the variations that we can discern if we simply pay attention.

We hear and see a great deal, we let much of it go appearing to shuck it off but actually it invades our psyche and is deposited with us. Much of that is marketing or propaganda by the speaker or the manipulator of the image, and very little is taken in critically by our best thinking.

In my home a few years ago, I made a rational decision about Newsweek Magazine and Time Magazine, having been a subscriber for many years. I had noticed that over time I read less and less of each. Those are magazines that get much of their message across by images and are filled with sleek advertising. I had also noticed how few images still interested me. Had the magazines changed? Probably not, to any large degree. What I found that I was doing, was that I was critically assessing the content of what I was reading, discerning it as unhelpful or uninteresting and in some cases specious or mendacious. I am not the only resident in the household so those magazines still arrive but I do not even glance at Newsweek and read less in Time than I do in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal daily newspaper. There is pure joy in upgrading the content that infiltrates my mind.

Readers of this Update already know the kind of content to which I am paying attention, so that is not news, but you may not know how enervating and liberating it is to shuck off contemporary journalism’s crass commercial manipulation. I didn’t like the dumbing down qualities of repeated manipulation and concentration on the over-lacquered mundane in the guise of news.

Taking charge of what we allow to occupy our time and attention, in the din of contemporary life, is encouraged. When that accentuates our critical thinking, it’s an improvement in our lives.


Sometimes our cultural opportunities require travel. Be aware that Southwest Airlines acquisition of AirTran and gradual incorporation of routes expands our opportunities on a reliable service for customers-oriented airline. Service from Lubbock to Key West Florida began this month, added to five other Florida destinations. Southwest service to Branson Missouri begins March 9, 2013, and on April 14, 2013 service begins to Charlotte North Carolina, Flint Michigan, Portland Maine, Rochester New York, and San Juan Puerto Rico. These are all connecting flights for Southwest. The only non-stop routes from Lubbock are Las Vegas Nevada, Dallas, and Austin. Here’s an interactive route map

In addition you can patch flights to locations; e.g. non-stop from Lubbock to Las Vegas Nevada on Southwest and non-stop onward on AirTran to Los Cabos Mexico on the southern tip of Baja California.


Am planning a trip to Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River where Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight first brought central and north Texas cattle to the west bank of the Pecos and then northward up that western bank past Fort Sumner New Mexico Territory and then on to Colorado, initially Granada then Pueblo and later Denver on what would be called the Goodnight-Loving Cattle Trail. Some books of interest are:

J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman (Houghton Mifflin 1936) (paperback reprint University of Oklahoma Press 1981) Texas Tech Library F596.G66

The Nita Stewart Haley Memorial Library and J. Evetts Haley History Center is located at 1805 West Indiana Avenue, Midland Texas 79701 and see and

Sybil J. O’Rear, Charles Goodnight: Pioneer Cowman (Eakin Press 1990) 69 pages juvenile non-fiction Tech Library Southwest Collection G653 O66

William Thomas Hagan, Charles Goodnight: Father of the Texas Panhandle (Unversity of Oklahoma Press 2007) Tech Library F391.G66 H34

Ralph Compton, The Goodnight Trail (St. Martin’s Press 1992) historical novel and accurate depiction of a trail drive

Deborah Hedstrom-Page, From Ranch to Railhead with Charles Goodnight (illus. Sergo Martinez, B&H Publishing Group 2007) 89 pages juvenile history Texas Tech Southwest Collection 92 H456 F931

E. C. “Teddy Blue” Abbott & Helena Huntington Smith, We Pointed Them North: Recollections of a Cowpuncher (Farrar & Rinehart 1939) at Tech Southwest Collection Library 45.3 A131 (University of Oklahoma Press reprint 1955) Tech Library F596.A22 chronicle of driving Texas cattle to new Montana ranches

Richmond P. Hobson, Grass Beyond the Mountains: Discovering the Last Great Cattle Frontier on the North American Continent (McClelland & Stewart 1972) opening ranches in northern British Columbia

Charles Goodnight 1836 – 1929 Oliver Loving 1812 – 1867.

Loving had driven a 1,000 head herd from north Texas to Denver in 1860 and was there jailed for being a Southerner and secessionist. Kit Carson interceded and Loving was allowed to ride back to Texas in 1861 where he fed beeves to the Confederacy until war’s end. In 1866 he teamed with Goodnight to head west below the main Comanche-controlled area, cross the Pecos River and head north for Denver. They herded 2,000 head into history opening the Goodnight-Loving Cattle Trail that was used for decades. It was on their second drive in 1867 that Loving and another man were out ahead of the herd and ran into Comanche. A wounded Loving was found and rescued by Goodnight, and a Fort Sumner New Mexico Territory surgeon cut off his arm to avoid gangrene poisoning but three weeks later Loving died. His last words were a request to Goodnight that the younger man take Loving’s body back to Texas for burial. Goodnight did that, and Larry McMurtry wrote it into Lonesome Dove and literary and film classics.

Lewis Nordyke, Cattle Empire, The Fabulous Story of the 3,000,000 Acre XIT (William Morrow & Co, 1949) Tech Library F391.N85

Leland Kent Turner, C.E.O. on the Range: Murdo Mackenzie and the Matador Ranch in an age of reform, 1891 – 1911 (Thesis 2004) Tech Library AC805.T3 no. 183

John Lincoln, Rich Grass and Sweet Water: Ranch Life with Koch Matador Cattle Company (Texas A&M University Press 1989) Tech Library SF196.U5 L56

Pauline Durrett Robertson & R. L. Robertson, Panhandle Pilgrimage: Illustrated Tales Tracing History in the Texas Panhandle (Staked Plains Press 1976) Southwest Collection Library TEX 36 P191 R651


Association of American University Presses just held national university press week November 12 – 16, 2012 and Texas Tech University Press celebrated by having a week long Open House in its new quarters, the ninth floor of the former Rawls College of Business Administriation Building now renamed and re-purposed as Media and Communication Building being the new home for the College of Media and Communication, formerly Mass Communications. TTU Press books are on sale for the event. A couple of books might be of interest in the western history area.

Jesse Wallace Williams, The Big Ranch Country: Tales and Trails of Twentieth Century Texas Ranches (Terry Brothers 1954 hardcover reissued in paperback TTU Press 1999) $15.16 on sale Tech Library F596.W58

Richard Lowitt, American Outback: The Oklahoma Panhandle in the Twentieth Century (TTU Press 2006) $17.56 on sale. the area was known for years as “no man’s land”, since New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas eschewed the strip of land 35 miles wide north to south and 165 miles long east to west, and Texas, a slave state since 1845, could not legally claim it, so prior to statehood for Oklahoma in 1907, it was not a part of any state and was not part of either Oklahoma Territory or Indian Territory, so it seemed to so many to be lawless and un-governed. It was called Cimarron Territory. Larry McMurtry wrote a novel about that, too Telegraph Days: A Novel (Simon & Schuster 2006) setting his female protagonist in the fictional town of Rita Blanca [Little White River] in “no man’s land”. Yes, today you can find the Rita Blanca National Grassland in Cimarron County Oklahoma and Dallam County Texas the area that you will have learned about when reading in Telegraph Days. If you’re motoring drive U.S. Highways 56 and 64 between Clayton New Mexico and Boise City Oklahoma through the Grassland.

From 1850 to 1890 it was known as Cimarron Territory and then attached to Oklahoma Territory. Here are some great pictures of the Panhandle including the landmark Black Mesa. The North Canadian River is named Beaver River as it runs easterly through the Panhandle. The Cimarron River enters the Panhandle from New Mexico and then flows into southern Kansas and back into the Panhandle before joining the Arkansas River near Tulsa.

Yes, you may recall Edna Ferber 1885 – 1968 writing a novel Cimarron (Grossett & Dunlap 1929) that was made into a film Cimarron (1931) that won an Academy Award Oscar for Best Picture. It was based on Oklahoma Panhandle development following the 1889 and 1893 Oklahoma Land Rushes. A film remake occurred in 1960 with substantial revisions. A television series Cimarron Strip (1967-1968 twenty-two episodes) depicted the tough job of a marshall in no man’s land in the 1880s.


The facts about the General David Petraeus affair are becoming known. He retired from the Army in 2011 and became Director of the Central Intelligence Agency in September 2011. His affair with Lieutenant Colonel Paula Broadwell, Army Reserve officer who is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, began in November 2011 and ended in July 2012. She was acting as a civilian writer when she was interviewing General Petraeus and traveling to his duty sites as she was gathering material with her co-author Vernon Loeb to write the book All In: The Education of General David Petraeus (Penguin Press HC January 24, 2012) $19.17 hardcover $ 11.56 paperback $14.99 Kindle at Texas Tech Library E897.4.P48 B76

When the FBI contacted CIA Director Petraeus to advise him about the information the Bureau had learned and how it had learned it, the Bureau also advised other intelligence officers, and it was James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who learned this information on November 6 and that same day contacted Petraeus and urged him to resign. Clapper is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General.

Isn’t it wonderful to learn that this matter is unrelated to politics, politicians, their cadre, national elections and media commentators exercising sophistry. They think everything is about them or concerns them or is or should be shaped by them, when most of life is just life.

Eventually we may learn that no security or intelligence of any kind was ever compromised, that Petraeus’s quick exit saved the office and agency from having to deny anything or cover up anything “to look better” momentarily. A half-year affair occurred and Mrs. Holly Petraeus and Mr. Scott Broadwell will deal with it privately in their own ways.


Dr. Edwin Barnhart will speak on the Texas Tech campus in the Student Union Building Allen Theatre on Thursday November 29 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available through Select A Seat Upcoming Events for $10 General Admission. He is a Mezoamerican archaeologist / anthropologist who spent time in Belize and Chiapas studying the Mayan culture and civilization. He is currently sought after as a speaker because the press advises us that a Mayan calendar predicts the end of the planet due to a catastrophic event in 2012. There is not much time left for that prediction, itself an interpretation, to come true. Here is the Internet page set up to entice us to arrive and listen to Dr. Barnhart Here is his own website titled Maya Exploration Project. He spoke at University of Texas in 2011 with the title The Mayan Calendar and the 2012 Craze, so that provides a clue as to his approach.

The Center for STEM Education at University of Texas at Austin operates a Chautauqua short courses program in which Dr. Barnhart will be teaching during 2013.


A Celebration of the Vaquero, the Mexican cowman, is now a Plaza in Fort Worth Texas at which the sculpture Vaquero de Fort Worth (2012) was dedicated Saturday November 17, 2012. The sculptors are David Newton and Tomas Bustos . It is now part of the Fort Worth Public Art inventory.


William Turnbull, sculptor, died November 16, 2012 at age 90. Here’s a 1949

piece At Chatsworth House, Derbyshire there will be an exhibition of Turnbull’s work from March 10 – June 30, 2013 and at Yorkshire Sculpture Park there is a current exhibit Turnbull was born in Dundee Scotland, flew airplanes for the Royal Air Force in World War II, but was an artist from his time as a young boy when he drew from magazine illustrations. His official website is

Arts History Update for mid November 2012

8 Nov

Arts History Update for mid November 2012 by David Cummins


Daytona State College operates Southeast Museum of Photogrpahy in Daytona Beach Florida. The current exhibits are appealing.




Wealthy people follow their money. Raymond Nasher, a Duke University alumnus, founded the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. In October 2012 his daughter Nancy Nasher and her husband David Haemisegger, donated $5 million to the Museum, one for a visiting curatorship and four for acquisitions of modern and contemporary art. Here is the website Yes, Raymond and Patsy Nasher made the lead gift creating the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas Texas. He was a North Texas real estate developer 1921 – 2007.




Art Forum International provides a guide to worldwide art fairs for the coming year. By clicking on one of the items one can get to the fair’s website and discover more information. You can bookmark the website of Art Forum to keep informed. A one year ten issue subscription to the physical magazine is $46. Texas Tech Library Periodicals / Journals has many issues for exploration at N1.A814 Here’s the table of contents for October’s issue




A friend telephoned to report that she was home from her recent trip to Esalen Institute at Big Sur south of Monterey California on the coast. The West Coast of this country has for generations been a region that William James called “Mind Cure”, where seekers have engaged in magical thinking. People have learned about themselves as if it were a recent discovery. Chris Johanson, The Award of Self (2009) is an installation piece by a San Francisco artist who grew up in San Jose. He has a series of pieces at Altman Siegel Gallery at 49 Geary Street In print he’s published This is What Is .




Liberty Enlightening the World (1886) by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, more commonly known as The Statue of Liberty, rests on Liberty Island, formerly Bedlow’s Island, in New York City harbor. Here’s a 4 minute video on her construction in France, ocean shipment in crates, and emplacement. She is now 125 years old. She is a gift by the Franco-American Union in France, and the pedestal was commissioned and paid for by United States private subscriptions and donations as a responsive show of unity with France. Liberty is the most well-known sculpture in America and a United Nations designated World Heritage Site. Gustave Eiffel, civil engineer, designed the interior superstructure for the statuary. Elizabeth Louden Ph.D at Texas Tech University College of Architecture led a laser maping preservation project on Liberty recently.





An exhibit Randy Bacon: The Colors of West Texas opened October 26 and extends through December 1, 2012 at William Reaves Fine Art Gallery, 2313 Brun Street, Houston Texas. This is the catalogue of 27 recent paintings and you will recognize some from his recent exhibition Familiar Territory: The Art of Randy Bacon at the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University. Judy Tedford Deaton is chief curator at Abilene’s Grace Museum and she wrote an essay on Randy and his art for this catalogue. Painting # 11 is titled Near Lubbock (The Spade Ranch) (2011) and painting # 18 is titled Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos (2012). The north fork of the Double Mountain runs through Lubbock rising from the confluence of Yellowhouse Draw and Blackwater Draw at Mackenzie Park and flowing southeast through Buffalo Springs, Ransom Canyon and Yellowhouse Canyon. The Spade Ranch with south pasture headquarters near Smyer Texas was at one time ten miles wide and 54 miles long there were ranch operations at multiple locations from 1889 onward led by Isaac Ellwood [co-inventor of barbed wire] and his heirs. Breakouts of ranch land sold off by Ellwood Farms yielded several farming communities such as Ropesville, Wollforth, Roundup, and Spade.


Randy Bacon’s website is and if you scroll to the right you will see some of his recent paintings.


Speaking of the National Ranching Heritage Center, Scott White, curator of art, compiled and organized Pitchfork Ranch correspondence during the Great Depression. The newly issued book is Getting By In Hard Times: Letters From the Pitchfork Ranch: 1938 – 1939 (ed. Scott White, NRHC 2012, 240 pages) available from NRHC Cogdells General Store $25 phone 806-742-2497 . This is not the first book about the historic ranch. Jim Pfluger, Pitchfork Country: The Photography of Bob Moorhouse (NRHC 2000) Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 51.3 P682 M825. Pitchfork Land & Cattle Company website is David J. Murrah, The Pitchfork Land and Cattle Company: The First Century (Texas Tech University Press 1983 maps by Jim Rogers) Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 51.3 P682 M979


See also Wyman Meinzer & Henry C. Chappell, 6666: Portrait of a Texas Ranch (Texas Tech University Press 2004) Texas Tech Library OVERSZ F392.K45 M45

and 6666: the Four Sixes (NRHC 2003) Southwest Collection F392.D4 A15


The ranch website is descended from Captain Samuel “Burk” Burnett founding it in 1870. Burk’s son Tom became friends with Quanah Parker. Here’s a 1908 photograph of them. Burk, Tom, Quanah and another rancher organized the famous wolf trap for a visiting Theodore Roosevelt who fashioned himself quite the hunter of wild game.




Art Monthly is the United Kingdom’s leading magazine of contemporary visual art. A one year subscription is $74 for us in the former “colonies”. It might be possible to subscribe online to the digital edition but the price is listed in pound sterling. Perhaps the current exchange price is used to extract dollars. Free access therafter to the archive of issues since 1976 is very attractive. The digital price is about $48 per year. There are two issues that you can read online free to see if you like it.




A really good film is watchable anytime, and the 1947 postwar slice of life in every day East End London film It Always Rains on Sunday (Ealing Studios, directed by Robert Hamer) is on screens again in London beginning October 26, 2012. Surely we will soon see it, again, in the states. It’s remastered with current state of the art technicals, so it’s not grainy and “old”.


A really good play is not to be missed. John Lithgow stars in The Magistrate at the National Theatre on the South Bank of the Thames River, opening November 14, 2012. Here’s Lithgow telling about the role




An Evening With Alex Danchev is planned for Monday November 12 at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Horchow Auditorium 7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Danchev and Texas Monthly writer Michael Ennis will converse about Danchev’s new book Cezanne: a Life (Pantheon October 23, 2012) 512 pages $24.07 hardcover at $15 tickets but free for members of DMA.




Doug Starn and Mike Starn, See It Split, See It Change (2009) is a 240 foot long glass tile mural in the South Ferry Subway Station in New York City borough of Manhattan. The Sandy storm flooded the station. Here’s a picture The good news is that after pumping out the water and restoring transportation service, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority MTA now reports no damage to the mural. The arboral images were on glass within the ceramic outer layer so an initial cleaning of the outer layer revealed the art in full splendor.


When the emergency services website is no longer needed, the old website of MTA will be back in operation and you can see images of the Arts for Transit project at


The artists’ studio is at