Arts History Update for mid January 2013

2 Jan

Arts History Update for mid January 2013 by David Cummins

Hotel Settles, 200 East Third Street, Big Spring Texas, reopened Tuesday January 1, 2013 after a major renovation following its closure in the late 1970s. It is historic, built by W.R. and Lillian Settles in 1930 designed by David S. Castle, Abilene architect, and is registered in the National Register of Historic Places. It was purchased in 2006 and restored by G. Brint Ryan d/b/a Settles Hotel Redevelopment Company. His brother Kris Ryan worked on the renovation/redevelopment. G. Brint Ryan is principal in Ryan Inc. / Ryan Valuation Services 13155 Noel Road # 100 in Dallas. This was a 20 million dollar project. Don’t know how many of the fifteen floors are renovated but the first, mezzanine floor, and second floor are redone along with a comfortable lodging room for you on some floor. The third floor rooms are retained in the original floor plan for authenticity sake. Upper floor rooms are modernized and expanded. E-mail for more information at King and Queen size bedded rooms are $179 while suites are $220 per night. Settles Grill offers breakfast lunch and dinner. Drinks are available at Pharmacy bar and Parlor. An outdoor swimming pool will be available in Summer 2013. Project architect is Norman Alston and general contractor is Mike Knowles.


National Gallery of Art, London England has an exhibit Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present October 31 – January 20, 2013. This Gallery has not previously held a photography exhibit. The connection between painting and photography is the impetus for this exhibit. The catalogue makes clear that (1) four centuries of fine art paintings deeply influenced (2) the first three decades of photography, and that influence persists into (3) contemporary photography. Hence, the title Seduced by Art.

The exhibit provides a clear history of photography as an art in itself, but also anchors it in the long history of fine art painting and sculpture.

Hope Kingsley & Christopher Riopelle, Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present (National Gallery London 2013) hardcover 208 pages $50 at, reviewed by Alex Danchev, A History of Its Own, London Times Literary Supplement, December 14, 2012 at p. 14.

Walter Benjamin wrote an essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936). In this exhibit one of the photographs is titled The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1988) by Karen Knorr. It shows a man in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, dwarfed by the reproductions all around him, casts of Renaissance sculpture, a copy of Raphael’s fresco in the Vatican, and more. The man himself is sitting in the middle of the pieces, poring over the illustrations in a book.


Geronimo is a fascinating 19th century character in the American southwest and northern Mexico. Born in 1823 in the Sierra Madre mountains of northern Mexico or 1829 in the Gila River country of northern Mexico [contemporary eastern Arizona perhaps near Safford], he died in captivity at Fort Sill prison Oklahoma near Lawton in 1909 age 86 or 80. That captivity began when he surrendered to U.S. Army General Nelson A. Miles on September 3, 1886, after which he was taken, separated from his fellow raiders so as to deprive them of his leadership, to Florida and later Alabama where he didn’t do well, and finally to Oklahoma Territory at Fort Sill where he did do well, often buddying up with Quanah Parker, the taller handsome well-assimilated and well-connected rancher at Star House west of Fort Sill near Cache, Oklahoma Territory. Geronimo participated in fairs and carnivals including the 1904 World Fair [Louisiana Purchase Exposition] at St. Louis Missouri and is buried at the Fort Sill Cemetery section for Apache Indians. Oklahoma became a state in 1907.

Geronimo was a Bedonkohe Apache. He was not a chief, much less a great chief such as Mangas Coloradas or Cochise. Mangas Coloradas 1791 – 1863 was a Mimbreno Apache in the mountains of northern Mexico [contemporary southwestern New Mexico] who became a war leader when Mexico offered a $100 bounty for each Apache scalp and his people became hunted objects in 1837 onward. He was killed by U.S. Army troops, imprisoned at Fort McLane near Hurley in New Mexico Territory near contemporary Silver City New Mexico. Cochise 1805 – 1874 was a Chokonen Apache in the mountains of northern Mexico [southeastern contemporary Arizona Dragoon Mountains or Cochise Stronghold area, but New Mexico Territory from 1850 onward] and son in-law of Mangas Coloradas. Cochise was an active chief from 1861 to his capture in 1872 and death on reserved land in the Dragoon Mountains two years later.

Geronimo’s status as a raider began after an attack in his absence by a company of Mexican soldiers [federales] in northern Mexico below the United States – Mexico boundary, against his village killed his mother, his wife, and their three children in 1858 [one source puts this slaughter in 1851]. Thereafter he was a relentless and formidable raider against Mexican villages below the border and New Mexico Territory villages above the border and patrols of soldiers from both countries. He was said to be the “baddest” Indian in America and quite deserving of a U.S. Army General taking troops into the field to capture him.

He was captured in Mexico and escorted to Fort Bowie New Mexico Territory near present day Wilcox Arizona and shipped by rail to Fort Marion Florida

Edward S. Curtis, Portrait Photograph of Geronimo (1907) Here is a photo of Geronimo in 1886 just before his capture when he was camped at Canyon de los Embudos in northern Mexico 25 miles south of the United States border. He’s the rider on the viewer’s left with patches on his shoulders. His son Naiche is the rider on his left. Both were escorted by U.S. Army soldiers to Fort Bowie [near present day Wilcox Arizona] where the military post was operating to protect nearby Apache Pass a key spot on the road between Texas and southern California. now Fort Bowie National Historic Site Here’s the Butterfield Overland Trail map from St Louis to Los Angeles and then north to San Francisco The choke point west of El Paso was Apache Pass. The next major stopping point is Fort Yuma at the border of New Mexico Territory [present day Arizona] and California. Here’s a current map from Wilcox on Interstate Highway 10 leading by a state road thirty miles southeast to the Chiricahua National Monument near historic Fort Bowie. and the Monument destination All the Apaches mentioned above are Chiricahua, a larger grouping of Apache Indians.

Books to consult include:

Robert M. Utley, Geronimo (Yale University Press 2012) Texas Tech Library E99.A6 G3276 hardcover $19.80 Kindle $16.50 at

S.M. Barrett, Geronimo: The True Story of America’s Most Ferocious Warrior (1906, Skyhorse Pub. Co. 2011) $10.36 paperback $0.99 Kindle at Barrett interviewed Geronimo at Fort Sill and tells his story.

Angie Debo, Geronimo: The Man, His Time, His Place (University of Oklahoma Press 1976) (softcover 1982, reissue Vintage Press 2005) Texas Tech Library E99.A6 G324 $18.21 paperback at

John Gregory Bourke, An Apache Campaign in the Sierra Madre: An Account of the Expedition in Pursuit of the Hostile Chiricahua Apache in the Spring of 1883 (Charles Scribner’s Sons 1886) Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection 28.3 A639B Kindle $2.99 at

John Gregory Bourke, On the Border with Crook (1891, Charles Scribner’s Sons 1892) (reissued University of Nebraska Press 1971) Texas Tech Library E83.866.B78 Kindle $3.99 at, referring to U.S. General George Crook who chased but did not capture Geronimo in northern Mexico. Bourke was General Crook’s aide-de-camp and published this book after Crook’s death in 1890.

Travel by United States military across the land border with Mexico, including General Pershing’s Punitive Expedition against Pancho Villa 1916-1917 is often instructive, and belies the efficacy or need for the steel reinforced concrete border fence constructed on orders by President George W. Bush, a Texan who should have known better. Rachel St. John, Line in the Sand: A History of the Western United States – Mexico Border (Princeton University Press 2011) Texas Tech Library F786.S767 $25.08 hardcover $13.47 Kindle at Samuel Truett, Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the United States – Mexico Borderlands (Yale University Press 2006) Texas Tech Library F786.T83 $19.45 paperback $10.45 Kindle at


Geriatric Art Society or G.A.S. is a group of senior men who join each other in desirable venues for painting H.A. Sessions is a Lubbock painter They had a “paintout” at Rockport Texas in April 2012 and here are some paintings that resulted Byron Martin is another Lubbock artist member of this group as is C.B. Martin One member Acree Carlisle may paint a portrait of another member, C.B. Martin

Click on one of the other names and see some examples of excellent art including scenes in Texas.

At the First Friday Art Trail on Friday January 4, 2013 members of G.A.S. are exhibiting their work at Varsity Book Store 1305 University Avenue.


Jonathan Franzen, Ambition, McSweeney’s Quarterly and Karen Russell, The Hox River Window, Zoetrope – All Story both appear as short fiction pieces in a book Best American Magazine Writing 2012 (anthology, eds. American Society of Magazine Editors, Columbia University Press 2012) paperback $9.80 at

Best American Short Stories 2012 (eds. Tom Perrota & Heidi Pitlor, Mariner Books 2012 twenty stories in 384 pages) $10.17 paperback $8.52 Kindle at

Best American Essays 2012 (eds. Robert Atwan & David Brooks, Mariner Books 2012 twenty essays in 336 pages) $10.17 paperback $8.52 Kindle at


Have you noticed couples in a restaurant, one or both with their smart phones out and being flicked at, while no conversation takes place? There’s a book on that. Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other (Basic Books 2011) Texas Tech Library HM851.T86 $11.35 paperback $9.34 Kindle at Turkle is an MIT professor of technology and society. What is the path between isolation and connectivity? Why do young people want to be “always on” the connectivity device, while downright rude with their table partner[s]?

Why do young people prefer electronic texts, tweets, likes, posts, shouts and photo exchanges to having a telephone or in person live conversation?

As a lawyer, I have warned people about placing and thereby storing on electronic social media their personal information, when we know that can be tracked and found by a stranger with an agenda. When a prospective employer does find a job applicant’s personal data and is unimpressed and refuses to hire the applicant, the applicant pays a heavy price for using electronic social media unwisely. That has happened thousands of times.


Medicaid is one of the large elements in the three-legged stool that is Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010 and its measured slow advance toward providing health care financing for millions of Americans without health care insurance. A significant expansion of Medicaid occurs on January 1, 2013 but the largest expansion occurs on January 1, 2014. Texas has declined to participate, preferring to withdraw from federal Medicaid which is operated by the states but financed 90% by the federal government and 10% by the states. Texas withdrew and Governor Perry and the 2011 state legislature created a new agency programmatic within Texas Department of Health and Human Services with a mandate to construct and operate a totally state-funded mini-Medicaid program that would at best likely serve 10% of existing Medicaid recipients and none of any new expanded group. Texas leads the nation in the largest amount, 4.6 million people, and second in the nation in per capita proportion number, 18.5 percent of Texans [behind only Mississippi with 22.6 percent], of uninsured poor [below poverty guidelines] people, and that number has grown in recent years and is expected to grow in the future unless the federal legislation is implemented. More heart-rending, Texas leads the nation along with Mississippi in the largest amount of uninsured children living in poverty, and per capita proportion number of uninsured children. Some regions in Texas are worse than others. The McAllen-Edinburgh Lower Rio Grande Valley area has the highest proportion of uninsured poor people in the nation, 37.7 percent, and El Paso is third in the nation at 24.7 percent.

The state agency that oversees the Texas Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs is Texas Health and Human Services Commission in Austin. You will search in vain on this website for any public declaration of the crisis now intentionally underway. What you occasionally see is a newspaper notice reporting on the state’s creation of a new Texas Women’s Health Program that punishes Planned Parenthood’s advocacy of abortion rights by defunding its clinics that don’t do abortions but only do birth control and preventative health care for 48,000 women in Texas. The Texas legislation in question is that which defunds any provider of health care [like Planned Parenthood] which is affiliated or associated with a health care provider that supplies abortions. That legislation languishes in federal and state court litigation. is an article by Chris Tomlinson who is the Associated Press supervisory correspondent in Austin Texas responsible for political and government reporting in Texas. Email him at if you have questions about anything I’ve said or didn’t say.

The federal government Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that given the Texas withdrawal from Medicaid, the CMMS will establish a federally operated and federally funded Medicaid system in Texas beginning January 1, 2013 but it hasn’t done that yet and it will be a huge task that will take years to accomplish. Poor people, Texans, without health care is the result. They are the political football that politicians abuse while posturing with pomposity on hot-button social issues. Governor Perry recently announced his position for the 2013 legislature by asking for a law to prohibit “welfare” benefits going to poor Texans unless they pass a required drug test. Politicians count on the public not knowing who or how many Texans are poor and are denied health care or granted a token health care experience [by a provider who won’t be paid even a fraction of his/her normal rate for that service] and dismissed with a prescription the patient can’t fill because they have no insurance and no way to pay the pharmacist. Poor health care stunts lives and keeps the poor marginal, unemployable and infirm, living what Thomas Hobbes called “lives that are nasty brutish and short”. It’s an open secret that this unserved and desperate group of people are the majority of criminals in Texas, so it’s an old story of government [organized society] mistreating people and those same people mistreating us [individuals in society] in return. Our prisons are overflowing. You get what you give. A helping hand helps the helper as well as the helped.

One day, sometime in the future, Texans will elect and demand a governor and legislators who will not propose or permit legislation and political stances that hurt millions of vulnerable poor people.

Wealthy people on top often decry potential “class warfare” [President George W. Bush warned against this] but in fact class warfare is applied by the wealthy every day against the poor.



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