Arts History Update for late December 2012

12 Dec

Arts History Update for late December 2012 by David Cummins
Wilhelmina Weber Furlong, possibly the first 1 American female modernist painter, known for her impressionistic and expressionistic still life paintings, lived 1878 – 1962. Her life was given over to painting and teaching painting, and she married a painter Thomas Furlong . She started an art colony on their property at the hamlet Bolton’s Landing on the west bank of Lake George in upstate New York. She called it Golden Heart Farm . She lived her later years at a town south of the lake and north of Albany, Glens Falls, and some of her work is on permanent display there at the Hyde Collection.

As a young woman she went to Paris and painted from 1898 – 1906 chumming with Pablo Picasso and others who influenced her embrace of modern art techniques and agendas.

The current website devoted to her is and it discloses a retrospective exhibition at the International Woman’s Foundation headquarters located at Building 98, Old Fort Russell, Marfa, Texas from September 27 – November 15, 2012 Here is a series of photos of Building 98 The catalogue for that exhibition is a book by a relative Clint B. Weber, The Treasured Collection of Golden Heart Farm, a biography of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong 1878 – 1962 (2012) available on eBay for $25. Here’s a picture of Wilhelmina

Hacienda del arcon translates to ranch or ranch house of chest or treasure chest. Loosely then, house of treasure.


Saul Steinberg, illustrator at The New Yorker Magazine for many years, is famous if at all for his drawing of the United States as imagined from the eye and brain of a person gazing west from Ninth Avenue Geographers need to be reminded that this is not real space but the mental space of a Manhattanite immersed in the affairs of his/her neighborhood. Presumably those people don’t think or need to think much about what’s going on out there, in the West. He didn’t put captions or titles on his drawings because he knew, rightly, that viewers would understand without anything but the image. Editors sometimes foisted captions or titles onto his work such as View of the World from Ninth Avenue (1976). The title added nothing.

Steinberg said very little about himself. He let his images do the talking. In a 1948 drawing Untitled (1948) his drawer draws outward but the line of the drawing spirals back into the drawer and draws himself He told us so clearly that the drawer is the drawing and that is all the autobiography we will ever have or need about him, straight from his pen.

Now we have a lengthy absorbing biography Deirdre Bair, Saul Steinberg: A Biography (Nan A. Tales / Doubleday 2012) $25.60 hardcover $21.99 Kindle at He was born in 1914 in a small town in southeast Romania, worked as a young man in Italy until legislation made it clear that foreign Jews were not to be employed in Italy. He fled to Portugal and then Santo Domingo in Dominican Republic and finally in 1942 to the United States. Within a year he became a citizen and entered military service as an ensign in the Navy Reserve and was assigned to foreign duty stations to work as an artist for his adopted country during wartime.

All in Line (1945) was the book of his wartime drawings ABE books $23.50 incl s&h in very good condition

The biography is reviewed at length in The New York Review of Books

A book that was the catalgue for an exhibition of his work at Whitney Museum of American Art is Harold Rosenberg, Saul Steinberg (Knopf 1978) Texas Tech Library OVERSZ N6537.S7 R67

John Ronan Architects designed the new Poetry Foundation building that opened in June 2011 in Chicago Illinois at 61 West Superior Street in the River North neighborhood of downtown. Here are thirteen photos of the interior and exterior The library, reading rooms, gallery, auditorium for public events, and offices of Poetry Magazine are now the permanent home of Poetry Foundation The building has a Silver level certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system.

Each of us, in the odd wistful moment, is drawn to and finds solace in the poetic.

Poetry of the Law: From Chaucer to the Present (eds. David Kader & Michael Stanford, University of Iowa Press 2010) $17.16 paperback at is a superb anthology. Of course my favorite is Carl Sandburg’s The Lawyers Know Too Much published in Smoke and Steel – IV playthings of the wind (1922) and especially the line “Why does a hearse horse snicker hauling a lawyer away?”

If you know poetry as an aural art, and would like to hear it sensitively read The Early Poetry of Carl Sandburg: Smoke and Steel [unabridged, narrated by Robert Bethune, 3 hours 41 minutes Audiobook] (Freshwater Seas 2011) is $17.49 at

The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 1970) 797 pages is at Lubbock Public Library 811 S213C


Leonard Cohen age 78 is still performing returning to his roots as a poet with a band behind him playing at such a low volume that it seems like a background scrim. It’s the words and the voice, a gloriously low and striated thing. His current album is Old Ideas (2012) available at the website for $11.99 and his tour ends the year at Madison Square Garden NYC on December 18 and Barclays Center Brooklyn on December 20. Here you can listen to Cohen performing By The Rivers Dark


I was looking at Max Beckmann’s Night (1919) an expressionist masterpiece depicting a society descending into madness during and after The Great War, World War I. Here’s an image list of his major paintings The critical text writing at this website Artchive is insightful and pertinent so I wanted you to see it and use it for other pieces of art that interest you.


Malcolm Bradbury 1932 – 2000 was an influential British writer as a contemporary Ian McEwan reminds us when he says, Bradbury “transformed my life”. Picador published just this year six of his novels from six decades Eating People is Wrong (Secker& Warburg 1959) Stepping Westward (Secker & Warburg 1965) The History Man (Secker & Warburg 1975) Rates of Exchange (Secker & Warburg 1983) Doctor Criminale (Secker & Warbury 1992) and To The Hermitage (Picador 2000). All but To The Hermitage and Stepping Westward are at the Texas Tech Library. To The Hermitage is at ABE Books in very good condition $3.95 including shipping & handling, and Stepping Westward is at ABE Books in good condition $3.79 incl s&h.

D.J. Taylor, Worst Enemy: Malcolm Bradbury’s Liberalism, London Times Literary Supplement, November 23, 2012 at pp. 14-15

He was a prolific short story writer as well.

Alice Munro, a Canadian, has a new book of stories Dear Life: Stories (Chatto & Windus November 15, 2012 fourteen stories) $15.90 hardcover $12.99 Kindle at Images of Alice are here She has been nominated for a Nobel Prize for Literature but never won, as yet. She is now age 81.


Allin Budek, an 89 year old Lubbock artist who is still actively painting, is offering her work for sale at a show in the home of John and Rocky Hamilton 3730 94th Place, Lubbock Sunday December 16, 2012 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. further information at phone 806-773-1826.




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