Arts History Update for just past mid October 2013

10 Oct

Arts History Update for just past mid October 2013 by David Cummins

The Museum of Navajo Ceremonial Art (1937) was founded to be a depository to retain sacred Navajo religious information. In the 1920s Navajo religious practice was thought to be imperiled as a culture because the United States Government

policy was to send Navajo children to boarding schools where they would not speak the Navajo language or follow their traditions. The efforts of Christian missionaries were taking a toll also.

Navajo healers use sand painting [dry painting] in their ceremonies, building the painting as they chant and sing, and then wiping it out at the end of the ceremony, much as a Buddhist monk makes a sand or bead or glass Mandala until it is completed and then it is intentionally destroyed. It is the process of making it that is significant. Many Navajo artists would react by recreating a sand painting or portions of it in their weaving and other art forms.

Mary Cabot Wheelwright, a wealthy Bostonian with an interest in religions, met Hosteen Klah in 1921. They collaborated to record and preserve Navajo ritual knowledge. Franc [Frances] Newcomb, a trusted trader, sketched the sand paintings and Klah wove huge tapestries of the ritual designs. Their work was preserved in the museum Wheelwright financed, the Museum of Navajo Ceremonial Art. In the next forty years the peril vanished as the Navajo way of life remained and prospered. Navajo people then expressed concern that non-Navajo had access to sacred ritual articles and knowledge. In 1977 the board of directors of the Museum voted to repatriate medicine bundles and other sacred items and those are now stored at Cultural Center Museum in Navajo Community College at Tsaile Arizona, later renamed Dine College. The board also agreed that non-Navajo would not be allowed to see sacred weaving in the museum collection or take photographs of them. The name of the Museum was changed to Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe New Mexico. and this is its website

In the Museum courtyard is a bronze Dineh (1981) by Allan Houser sculptor. In the Navajo language dineh means the people.

If you visit Santa Fe and its many museums, include this small gem.

Major League Baseball: the Post-Season ………. American League Boston (east) Detroit (central) Oakland (west). Cleveland and Tampa Bay compete October 2 to establish the fourth team which plays Boston in best of five games playoffs. Tampa Bay won 4-0

Boston v. Tampa Bay [3-1] Boston won 12-2 and 7-4 at Fenway, site moves to Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field where Rays won 5-4 but Red Sox finish 3-1 to win playoffs

Oakland v. Detroit [2-2] Detroit won 3-2 at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum. In second game Justin Verlander pitched scoreless for seven innings and Sonny Gray for eight but neither won or lost. Oakland scored in the bottom of the ninth and won 1-0. Site moves to Detroit Comerica Park. Oakland won 6-3 then Tigers won 8-6 and we move back to Oakland Alameda County Coliseum for the final game Thursday October 10

American League Pennant Boston v.

National League Atlanta (east) St Louis (central) Los Angeles Dodgers (west) Pittsburgh def Cincinnati to become the fourth team in playoffs

St Louis v. Pittsburgh [3-2]: Cards won 9-1 in Busch Stadium, Pittsburgh won 7-1, site moves to Pittsburgh PNC Park on the banks of the Allegheny River

, Pirates won 5-3 then St Louis won 2-1, site returns to St Louis for final game Wednesday October 9 Cards won 6-1

Atlanta v. Los Angeles Dodgers [1-3]: Dodgers won 6-1 at Turner Field, Atlanta won 4-3, site moves to Los Angeles. Dodgers won 13-6 Dodgers won again 4-3 to win playoffs

National League Pennant Los Angeles Dodgers v. St Louis Cardinals begins Friday October 11 at Busch Stadium best of seven games


The King Cole Bar is inside the St Regis Hotel in New York City specifically Two E. 55th Street at Fifth Avenue. It’s the venue of a large mural by Maxfield Parrish Old King Cole (1906) initially commissioned for the Knickerbocker Hotel on 42nd Street. It only adds to the mystique that Salvador Dali lived in this hotel for months and frequented this luxurious bar. better view of Old King Cole

Here is a catalog of his paintings and illustrations


Watched a video of the August 6, 2012 Men’s Laser Single Sail and Sailor Race at Portland/Weymouth Harbor, England in the 2012 Olympic Games. It was a hugely athletic and thrilling race between the two point leaders Australia and Cyprus and another race entirely between the two contenders for third place and a Bronze Medal Croatia and Sweden. There were additional boats in this fleet rather than individual challenge race. Tom Slingsby of Australia won the Gold Medal. He was the five-time World Champion in Laser racing going into the Olympic Games and we saw his skill and daring-do on offer. That name then registered. Wasn’t he on the crew for Oracle Team USA during its remarkable defense of the America’s Cup Challenge September 2013? and individual page Strategist and Grinder is the role he successfully performed on San Francisco Bay.

Laser boat racing is popular globally. It is a one person centerboard dinghy class Finn design that is universal, that was first used in the 1952 Olympic Games and been used in each Games since. Here is a picture of a laser fleet sailing San Francisco Bay with Alcatraz in the background. Home port for many lasers is St. Francis Yacht Club On the Marina 99 Yacht Road San Francisco CA [where Marina Boulevard meets Mason Street turn north on Yacht Road]. The Club will host the 2014 US Nationals Laser Races on July 31 – August 3, 2014 on San Francisco Bay.


Jean Dubuffet 1901 – 1985 continues to be exhibited by Pace Gallery in October 2013 and here are some of his late works At age 82 to be able to paint Mire G 96 (Kowloon) (1983) is just amazing. He was often categorized in the Art Brut style because he was willing to use ordinary materials not previously used as art materials, and turn them into an art piece. Others categorized him as an Abstract Expressionist. Categories did not contain or limit him, only the supplier of the category. Being both a painter and sculptor made it more difficult for others to categorize him, for which he probably was grateful.

Lisa Reinertson, Cesar Marching to Sacramento (2001) is a bronze sculpture of Cesar Chavez installed at Cesar Chavez Plaza 901 I Street, Sacramento. It was recently removed for conservation purposes by Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission while park improvements were made. On Tuesday October 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm PDT the re-installed statuary will be re-dedicated and the public is invited to this free event.


Thomas Williams & Michael Peppiatt, The Bay Area School: California Artists from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s (Lund Humphries Publictions 2012) $66.50 $56.76 ABE Books new incl s&h

Timothy Anglin Burgard, Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966 (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco) Yale University Press 2013) $71.82 ABE new $40.72

Susan Landauer, The San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism (University of California Press 1996) Texas Tech Library ND235.S27 L36 $43.86 ABE good condition $20.49

Thomas Albright, Art in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1945-1980: An Illustrated History (University of California Press 1985) $44.50 ABE Books very good condition Texas Tech Library N6535.S3 A43


Born during the Great Depression, I lived my productive life during the 20th century and recall it as a century of war, warfare hot and cold, and brinksmanship based on powerful figures whose rhetoric was deceit. Increasingly, the nation states of the planet became rogues in a chess game. Capitalists, especially large businesses, captivated by greed and the value of price, unaware of the price of value, careened in cycles yielding good or bad times for their employees and communities. They became at best unreliable. Religions splintered into sects and other separate units, gradually becoming irrelevant to life as lived by most people. Individuals became the most valuable entities, worst when self-centered and self-indulgent, and best when joined in community for win-win projects. Media would not or could not understand or report the values of individuals and placed a market value price on everything even though it was not for sale in any market, and in some cases never would be. The chief response to media’s blaring was by other media, an incestuous conversation of no interest to most of us. Media like politicians held no ground for credibility and survived in a shadow of disrespect. We ignore them and suffer the same as if we paid attention. The values of friendship, love, a balanced equipoise with nature, and striving to improve the communities we acknowledge and in which we have confidence, command our attention and drive our achievement.

Sadly, the first thirteen years of the new century yield to the same observations.


Angel Otero, painter, starts by painting a copy of one of Nicolas Poussin’s scenes, and then over-paints it on a plexiglass, and then removes the over-painting onto skins toward application on a canvas making a collage of the over-paintings into an abstraction. Here is the unusual process by which that occurs. and here is his website His studio is in the Bushwick section of north Brooklyn New York,_Brooklyn

The result of this elaborate process is a strongly textured abstraction, at some points a bas-relief or low relief, that is quite distinct from typical abstract paintings that seem flat by comparison. No wonder that the artist is riding a wave of popularity and collectors are swarming.

The Poussin scene is unrecognizable either in itself or in the accomplished abstraction so when asked about why Otero uses it, he says that his process is a justification of painting, his personal justification.


Bodega Bay is a small bay on the Sonoma County coast 68 miles north of San Francisco on San Francisco Bay. The nearby hills were populated by Miwok and Kashaya Pomo Indians in 1775 when a Spanish sloop arrived with its captain Don Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra Mollineda aboard. They explored and named the location but did not settle.

Russian fur traders with a Tzarist monopoly license in hand, arrived in 1812 with 25 Russians and 80 conscripted Native Alaskans to construct a settlement at Ross 24 miles north of Bodega Bay. They came to establish a base for sea otter hunting in the area and to harvest agricultural supplies for the northern Pacific Russian commerce, the first Russian settlement in America being on Kodiak Island in 1784. Old Sitka, which the Russians called New Archangel, was founded in 1799 and became the capital of their fur trading operations in Alaska. In 1806 Captain Nikolai Resanov sailed the Juno south to San Francisco Bay and lay at harbor and negotiated for supplies for his ailing Sitka operations. He agreed to marry Concepcion Arguello, the teenage daughter of the Spanish Presidio Commander, and the deal was done. Juno was loaded with grain and sailed north. Resanov intended thereafter to both establish trading relations with the Spanish and to establish a settlement base north of the Spanish settlements. Ivan Kuskov sailed south to Bodega Bay in 1808, taking in 2,000 sea otter pelts and exploring the region. In 1812 he returned and the settlement Rossiya was constructed north of Bodega Bay where Indians had a village. A fort was built in case the Spanish came calling on their northern neighbors. It was called Rossiya meaning Russia in Tzarist days. Today it is Fort Ross. By 1839 the marine animals were depleted and agricultural operations supplied too little for Alaskan needs so the Ross Colony would be closed. A sale was offered to the Mexican government but declined, then offered to Mariano Vallejo and declined. Finally a sale was made in 1841 to John Sutter of Sutter’s Fort near Sacramento, and thereafter transferred to the Call Family from which a part was purchased for historical purposes. is an 1841 watercolor painting of Fort Ross by a Russian lady.

Major Spanish settlements in Alta California were at Monterey Bay and San Francisco Bay. After Mexican Independence in 1821 government authorities would make land grants to Mexican citizens, for example to General Mariano Vallejo who established many ranchos in Sonoma County. Captain Stephen Smith, who married a Peruvian, Manuela Torres, and became a Mexican citizen in order to receive a land grant, established 35,487 acre Rancho Bodega in 1844 bordered by the Russian River to the north and Estero Americano to the south, a large portion of the Bodega Bay Area. He built the first steam-powered sawmill in California. Today – knock back a Syrah from Bodega Rancho Wines

The Mexican American War of 1846-1848 yielded a Mexican cession to the United States of Alta California and much of the American southwest. Resident Mexican citizens instantly became United States citizens. By September 9, 1850 California was a state within the United States, perhaps hastened by the gold discovery and its immediate consequences.

Firman Camelot founded the town of Bay in the late 1800s, which later changed its name to Bodega Bay.


Annual Texas Book Festival is October 26-27, 2013 at Austin on the Capitol grounds. A free event generally with some ticketed events nearby parking garages have been employed to provide free parking and the food vendors are terrific with several high quality barbeque vendors. Here is the list of authors who will be present many of them best-selling authors nationally.

Book Expo America, an annual event at Javits Center in New York City on May 29-31, 2014 is a place where new digital capabilities inside the industry are displayed as well as having the more traditional book fair activities.

Smaller regional and even local book fairs are quite enjoyable. West Texas Historical Association’s annual meetings always focus on recent books that pertain to the area and its history. People are lined up milling about the display tables and talking with vendors. Several authors are usually present. April 4-5, 2014 are the dates for the annual meeting to be held this year in Odessa Texas. Literary Lubbock is an annual book fair gourmet dinner featuring a half dozen authors of new books published by Texas Tech University Press held this last May 2, 2013, look for a date in early May 2014.

San Antonio Public Library operates an annual Book Festival and the Open Book Festival at Amarillo Civic Center Heritage Room is Saturday October 27, 2013 The West Texas Book Festival in Abilene has been going for many years


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