Arts History Update for early July 2013

27 Jun

Arts History Update for early July 2013 by David Cummins







On June 15, 1215,King John of England placed his seal on the Magna Carta[Great Charter], granting basic liberties to his subjects.He wasn’t the first English king to grant a charter, but he was the first to have it forced on him by his barons. He had taxed the Church and the barons heavily to fund the Third Crusade, defend his holdings in Normandy, and pay for unsuccessful wars, and England was on the brink of civil war. The charter limited the monarchy’s absolute power and paved the way for the formation of Parliament, and it is the nearest thing to a “Bill of Rights” that Britain has ever had. It guaranteed, among other things, that “No free man shall be arrested, or imprisoned, or deprived of his property, or outlawed, or exiled or in any way destroyed, nor shall we go against him or send against him, unless by legal judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.”

Of course, John had no intention of upholding the document, and it was repealed almost immediately on the grounds that he gave his seal under duress. But the idea had taken root, and through a succession of subsequent charters, it became the basis for the British legal system and, in turn, the legal systems of most of the world’s democracies. Parts of the United States Constitution were lifted directly from the Magna Carta, and it is so central to our own idea of law that the American Bar Association erected a monument at the meadow of Runnymede. The yew tree, under which the signing is believed to have taken place, still stands.





[I thought happiness was Lubbock] Texas in My Rear View Mirror (1980) by Mac Davis can be heard on this You Tube video. Baby, Don’t Get Hooked On Me (1972) was the breakthrough song and album title that launched Mac into stardom.


Mac Davis Lane in Lubbock is named for the former resident who was born here. It extends from University Avenue east to Texas Avenue passing by the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center whose address is 1501 Mac Davis Lane. reminds us that he is in the Songwriter Hall of Fame.




Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It, and other stories (University of Chicago Press 1976) contains the novella A River Runs Through It and may be read at Texas Tech Library PS3563.A16 R6. A Robert Redford directed movie A River Runs Through It (1992) was a hit. It is currently being replayed on television’s Sundance Channel at various times from June 17 through July 18. If you don’t get that channel, you can view it as a Columbia Tri-Star 124 minute home video at the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection Special Collections Library PN1997.R58 (1999).


A coming of age and family bonding / un-bonding / re-bonding story set in and near Missoula Montana, two sons, one rebellious the other a reflective writer, of a stern Presbyterian pastor, live their lives from 1919 to 1941.


This partially or semi-autobiographical tale by an admired writer was important for that reason as well, but stands alone on its own merit.




At the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection Special Collections Library there is a newspaper collection and within it one can find The Big Spring Daily Herald of Big Spring Texas and four of its very significant issues; viz., April 26, 1936 “Progress Through Ten Years, Oil Production”, October 2, 1949 “100 Years Anniversary Edition”, July 18, 1954 “Cosden Anniversary Edition”, and January 19, 1964 “Progress Edition”. 1949 certainly was not the 100 year anniversary of the newspaper or town, but rather of the Anglo-significant marking of the place when Captain Randolph Marcy U.S. Army Engineers came by this spot in 1849 and found the spring that Comanche Indians used. He placed it on his maps of the area and its importance for Anglos thereafter was assured. Because it was a good-sized spring it was called big spring.


Cosden relates to the oil refinery established by Cosden Petroleum Corporation in Big Spring in the late 1920s. Here is Josh Cosden’s bio


Captain Marcy is the man who explored West Texas and the high plains searching for the headwaters of the Red River including the fork that runs through Palo Duro Canyon. He found the headwaters in 1852 and published his findings Randolph Marcy, Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana in the year 1852 Texas Tech University Southwest Collection SPL22.1 M322 R312 (US Gov Doc 1853)





At the Djerassi Foundation in the Santa Cruz Mountains there are more than 50 pieces of sculpture installed on the grounds. Twenty-three of them are on the 4-1/2 hour walking tour $50 led by the Executive Director Margot Knight between April and October when weather permits. It’s up and down hillsides so not for the faint of breath or ambulation. The annual Open House is Sunday July 28 reservations required $35 at which there will be open artist-in-residence studios, dance and music performances, and literary readings. Djerassi Resident Artists Program is the principal activity and the location is 2325 Bear Gulch Road, Woodside California 94062-4405 phone 650-747-1250 e-mail The location is about 15 miles west of Stanford University and Interstate Highway 280 Junipero Serra Freeway using Sand Hill Road, Potola Road, California Highway 84, California Highway 35, and Bear Gulch Road. Carl Djerassi is the founder of the Foundation and Program back in 1979.


He is a professor of chemistry emeritus at Stanford. His recent play Foreplay: Hannah Arendt, the Two Adornos, and Walter Benjamin (2011)  deals with philosophers Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Theodor and Gretel Adorno, and their concerns and interactions. Haven’t seen the play performed or even read the play, but it recalls for me another play about philosophers during the early days of World War II, Copenhagen (1998) by Michael Frayn. In September 1941 the younger Werner Heisenberg, head of Germany’s nuclear energy project, paid a visit to Neils Bohr, Danish physicist, in Copenhagen. The interaction during that visit and how it may have influenced or affected subsequent actions by both men is dramatized in the play. Bohr later escaped to Sweden and thence to the United States where he became active in the Manhattan Project. Heisenberg returned to Germany and some people speculate that he slowed the research on atomic fission and fusion physics due to a concern about how the Third Reich would use that capability. I was moved by watching the play Copenhagen on Broadway.





Am a fan of abstract art in general and interpretive abstract art in particular so Bluestem by Lee Albert Hill at LHUCA’s Christine DeVitt Exhibition Hall June 7 through July 27, 2013 is very appealing. Repeated visits are energizing. Linear and geometric spaces in acrylic paint, grass and paint overlaid on canvas and then exposed to ambient outdoor weather, reveal natural forms that are then over-painted. The reductive contrasting patterns that evolve, express bold forms that stretch our imaginations. Bluestem is a native prairie grass on the southern high plains. Here are images of the Bluestem series of paintings Hill is both architect and artist so one interpretation is looking for a visual transition from natural space to the built occupation of space produced by an architect.


Reductive art—Reductive-Art—Creatively-Simple&id=3429938 is discussed here.





The Center for Contemporary Arts, 220 Cypress Street in downtown Abilene Texas is home for more than 70 artist members, has ten working studios, four galleries for exhibitions, and sponsors a monthly Art Walk on the second Thursday evening 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. It’s a free fun evening of art and entertainment. The next Art Walk is July 11 and the theme is the annual Car Walk on Cypress Street exhibiting new and antique cars, muscle and stock cars, luxury cars, and funny / funky cars.


If you go to Abilene make time for The Grace Museum at 102 Cypress Street including its Childrens Museum. The museum resulted from a 1992 restoration and renovation of the historic Grace Hotel. Here is a You Tube video of Abilene architect Rick Weatherl speaking about the preservation and renovation process. Grace Hotel opened in 1909, named for the owner’s daughter, sited across the street from The Texas & Pacific Railroad depot, welcoming visitors to Abilene. In the 1930s it became the Drake Hotel until 1973 when it was closed until the 1992 renovation and re-purposing.


Cedar Break Gallery of Fine Art is also Barry Arthur’s working studio for making Western sculpture and paintings. Located at 957 North 2nd Street.


Cockerell Galleries and Studios contains the working studios of twelve artists and a gallery operated by Abilene Christian University School of Art & Design Located at 1133 North 2nd Street.


Frontiers Texas! is a museum / multimedia facility featuring life-size holographic images that tell the story of the Texas frontier from 1780 to 1880. Located at 625 North 1st Street.


12th Armored Division Memorial Museum relates to the storied performance by that Army unit in the second World War. and is located at 1289 North 2nd Street.


Jennings House Museum is across the street from Abilene Christian University at 1602 Campus Court in northeast Abilene.


National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature is located at 102 Cedar Street.


Here is a historical walking tour of downtown Abilene Texas


The ruins at Fort Phanton Hill, a U.S. Army post from 1851 – 1854 on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River can be seen by traveling 11 miles north of Abilene on Farm to Market Road 600.


Buffalo Gap Historic Village is a museum consisting of fifteen separate structures. It opened in 1879 and is eight miles southwest of Abilene on Buffalo Gap Road Farm to Market Road 89.


Dyess Air Force Base is nearly adjacent to the west southwest of Abilene and is the site for hop aboard free Space Available Travel by veterans like myself. Phone 325-696-8199 for a recorded current schedule of flights. Cargo aircraft have none of the amenities of commercial flights but a free ride is just that. Here is what passes for art at Dyess AFB mostly graphics for patches, posters and signage. It was opened in 1942 as Abilene Army Air Base and is now home to the 7th Bomb Wing of Air Combat Command.


Hardin-Simmons University is at 2200 Hickory Street in north Abilene. McMurry University is at 1401 Sayles Boulevard in south Abilene.




What places or sites in Lubbock County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places? Of course you can go to the Internet location for the National Park Service and then to the Register or and then select the state and county desired and click on search. Up jumps the list.


Another way to answer the question is to go to the Texas Historical Commission’s atlas at and in the county box select Lubbock and in the type box select National Register of Historic Places. Up jumps the list.


Lubbock Lake Archaeological Site

Warren and Myrta Bacon House

Cactus Theater

Canyon Lakes Archaeological District

Carlock Building

Fort Worth & Denver South Plains Railway Depot

William Curry Holden and Olive Price Holden House

Holden Properties Historic District

Kress Building

Lubbock High School

Lubbock Post Office and Federal Building

Fred and Annie Snyder House

South Overton Residential Historic District

Texas Technological College Dairy Barn and Silo

Texas Technological College Historic District

Tubbs-Carlisle House


If some of those locations aren’t readily known to you, here’s current information:


Lubbock Lake Landmark is north of the juncture of Clovis Highway and North Loop 289 and contains the archaeological site. The Landmark is a division of Texas Tech University Museum.


The Bacon House is at 1802 Broadway Street just west of Avenue Q and is owned by the Diocese of Northwest Texas of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America. It serves as Bishop Sam B. Hulsey Episcopal Center.


Cactus Theater, once a movie theater, is now an active performance stage located at 1812 Buddy Holly Avenue, formerly Avenue H, and is owned and operated by Don Caldwell and Caldwell Productions.


Canyon Lakes Archaeological District is the entire six lake Jim Bertram Canyon Lakes System extending from northwest to southeast Lubbock and connecting several parks, from the Buddy Holly Recreation Area to the Dunbar Lake areas with Mackenzie Park and its Lake in the middle. Paleolithic encampments and usage predate our current usage. Comanchero trading took place here with Comanche Indians and a sign indicates that activity at Aztlan Park just west of Mackenzie Park.


Carlock Building, later known as New Cotton Exchange Building, formerly entered at 1001 13th Street facing north on 13th Street, is now 1302 Texas Avenue facing east. It opened in 1930, its architect being J.B. Davies & Company who designed it in the art deco style. It is now owned and carefully and tastefully restored by attorneys Glasheen, Valles & Inderman


Fort Worth & Denver South Plains Railway Depot is the west facing building on Crickets Avenue that is part of the Buddy Holly Center at 1801 Crickets Avenue, formerly Avenue G, at 19th Street and is the depot for which the surrounding area is named The Depot District.


William Curry Holden and Olive Price Holden House at 3109 20th Street was built and owned by Curry and his wife. He spent the major part of his long career at Texas Tech beginning in 1929 as a historian and anthropologist and was the first director of the Texas Technological College Museum, the person for whom Holden Hall, a major academic building, is named and for whom Holden Reading Room in the Southwest Collection Special Collections Library building is named. He and Olive named the house Casa Grande and it was constructed in 1931 as an adobe house in the pueblo revival style. Olive was an artist and librarian and worked with the architect James Atcheson so the house became a paradigm of historical and architectural integrity. For the young couple it was their dream home and was furnished with authentic Indian craftsmen/women items. Unfortunately Olive died in 1937. Curry remarried Frances Mayhugh in 1939 and she lived with him in the house for decades.


Holden Properties Historic District is a series of five houses on 20th Street inspired by Curry and Olive Holden’s home and they are collectively known as Adobe Row completed by 1939.


Kress Building at 1109 Broadway Street in downtown Lubbock was opened in 1932 designed by architect Edward F. Sibbert in the Spanish Mission / Spanish Colonial Revival styles. It was intended as a commercial department store just two short city blocks west of the courthouse.


Lubbock High School or Thomas Saltus Lubbock High School was named for the person for whom the county and city were named. He was active in the Texas Revolution and a merchant active into the Civil War 1817 – 1862. Located at 2004 19th Street, the building was begun in 1930 and completed in 1948 by architects Haynes & Kirby and Peters, Strange & Bradshaw. It is known for its terra cotta decorated foundations and positioned ceramic tiles designed to complement the Spanish Renaissance Colonial Revival style at Texas Technological College. A blend of motifs include outstanding North Italian Romanesque Revival and Mozarabic features. It has a campanile bell tower and red tile pavilion roof. Currently there is a kitchen and dining hall building under construction to the east, replacing a discarded church building.


Lubbock Post Office and Federal Building is at 800 Broadway Street east of the County Courthouse. It opened in 1932 designed in the Classical Revival style by James A. Wetmore. The building is currently owned by Lubbock County and is available for purchase.


Fred and Annie Snyder House on 19th Street between Boston Avenue and Canton Avenue, later acquired by Retha Martin in 1943 so sometimes called the Martin House, was built in 1928 to a design by Sylvan B. Haynes in colonial revival style.


South Overton Residential Historic District is bounded by Broadway Street to the north, 19th Street to the south, Avenue Q to the east, and University Avenue to the west. It has 393 properties that contribute to the historic designation. The district was opened in 1907.


Texas Technological College Dairy Barn was completed in 1927 two years after the College opened. It is located to the west and a bit south of the present Library.


Texas Technological College Historic District is bounded by Flint Avenue on the west, University Avenue on the east, 6th Street on the north, and 19th Street on the south.


Tubbs-Carlisle House at 602 Fulton Avenue was completed in 1908 designed in the Queen Anne style. Isham Tubbs and his brother in-law Gus Carlisle built the house. Texana Tubbs was Isham’s wife. Gus Carlisle was a farmer west of Lubbock for whom the community of Carlisle was named. 4th Street and Frankford Avenue is a major intersection just outside northwest Loop 289. A block west of the intersection is Fulton Avenue and two blocks south is 6th Street.




Don’t you love it when baseball is played and the story book ending and the real life ending match up? The Western Division of the American League leader Oakland Athletics were in Seattle on June 23 to play the Mariners. It was the bottom of the tenth inning with the game tied 3-3 when pinch hitter Kendrys Morales came to bat and hit a three-run home run. Dejected Athletics players were walking off the field while Morales was rounding the bases and 22,813 loyal fans at Safeco Field were wildly celebrating a 6-3 victory. It doesn’t get much better than that in the baseball world.


In the college ranks the Spring semester is long over but the NCAA College World Series playoffs is just ending. The two teams remaining are Mississippi State 51-18 and UCLA 47-17 in a best of three playoff for the crown. The location is TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha Nebraska. The victor is the UCLA Bruins winning the first game 3-1 and the second 8-0.




Jenny Moore, associate curator at the New Museum in New York City, has taken the position of Executive Director of Chinati Foundation in Marfa Texas. She will be on duty August 1.




























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