Archive | November, 2013

Arts History Update for early December 2013

28 Nov

Arts History Update for early December 2013 by David Cummins


In 1930 Hildebrand Gurlitt was dismissed by Nazis from his position as director of an art museum in Zwickau Germany for showing modern art that Nazis viewed as

degenerate art. He continued to serve as a dealer in art and was happy to sell Nazi confiscated modern art thus financing the German regime. Because he was half Jewish and had lost his position the OSS treated him after the war as a victim of the Nazi regime. He may have been a collaborator. What we know for sure is that his son Cornelius Gurlitt had a flat in the Schwabing district of Munich Germany where the German custom agents/police on February 28, 2012 seized 1400 pieces of art including those of many modern art masters. This hoard of art not seen since the 1930s is worth many millions of dollars. and achieving a provenance for so many important pieces may take years If it was shopped by Gurlitt for the Nazis who confiscated it, no good title was transferred under the law of art. Thus we need to identify from whom and under what circumstances it was obtained by the Nazis.


Hoarder’s Son Cornelius Gurlitt Says of Looted Art: I Know Nothing, The Australian Times, November 15, 2013. Yet he is reported to have sold a single piece in Germany in 2011 for over a million dollars. Indeed, that’s what caused the custom agents/police to come calling. The gallery through which he sold the piece knew it was looted art without a provenance and Gurlitt had no other source of income than his hoard of art inherited from his father. What is astonishing in this day and age is that he has been living on this inherited art for decades and in the German system he is not registered for social security and is not a registered taxpayer, so he’s going to have a lot of German income taxes to pay for a lot of years. He lived under the radar and is now an 80 year old man who made a mistake and sold through a commercial gallery rather than in the underground art market.


Since German authorities have only released the names of 79 pieces of art, we now find Stuart Eizenstat, adviser to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, petitioning the German government to make public the identity of all the seized art. Only then can the process of making claims of restoration by Holocaust victims and their heirs begin notice that Franz Marc, Horses in Landscape (1911) is one of those masterpieces already identified and made public.


Hector Feliciano, The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspiracy to Steal the World’s Greatest Works of Art (Basic Books 1997) ABE Books in good condition $7.92 incl s&h




Texas Works exhibit at Fine Arts Gallery of Buddy Holly Center 19th Street and Crickets Avenue Lubbock opens December 6 and runs to February 16, 2014. The work of three artists is displayed Catherine Prose, John Hitchcock, and Katherine Liontas-Warren. Each of the artists earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University so the School of Art must be proud to have three alumni exhibiting. Catherine Prose some years ago was director of the Buddy Holly Center administering the Fine Arts Gallery located there. John Hitchcock Katherine Liontas-Warren




Mount Etna volcano in the eastern region of Sicily, Italy erupted again on Saturday November 23, 2013. Here are 18 photographs;_ylt=AocicWgzwUqCU6wzh4kk3ae.ulI6




Have been listening to the whispering grass again, the ripples of conversation on the street. Usually I turn off quickly when it’s a political rant, but this time I heard something interesting. The anti-Obama faction of people in Lubbock has used every mean-spirited and sometimes downright racist epithet to tag him with, but of course it is all so bizarre and divorced from reality that none of it sticks. Now I hear something that seems to be gathering traction. People are saying that Obamacare, the new national health care financing scheme created by Congress in the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, is a “redistribution of wealth” or “redistribution of economic resources”. The anti-Obama crowd thinks that it’s on to something, and it’s half right. Obamacare is a redistribution but it’s not a shift in wealth or economic resources from a well-off group of people to a less well-off group of people. It’s a shift in the providing of health care, formerly a trickle to less well-off while the spigot ran freely to well-off people. The new law is written in such a way as to reduce, not eliminate, a person’s balance sheet differentials when accessing or not accessing health care.


That was totally accomplished in Medicare so that now, with the combination of Medicare capping the amount billed down to a reasonable amount and paying 80% of that capped amount, even those persons who refused to purchase medi-gap supplement health insurance coverage, the twenty percent remaining is not a show-stopper for most health events for seniors. For those people who purchased or their current or previous employer purchased medi-gap health insurance, the Medicare system takes wealth differentials out of the question of accessing health care. Low economic class, middle class, and upper class seniors pretty much all access health care providers, except for a few providers who refuse to serve Medicare patients. Large hospitals and most other sizable health care entities are federal contractors and must accept Medicare patients.


Health care is a commodity purchased by government and insurance carriers but rarely purchased by patients. There is no open or free market for patients who have no way to shop or compare either availability, suitability, prices or quality of services. Now that people understand that, they are comfortable with having government and insurance companies set themselves up to deal with health care providers and manage the pricing by providers and costs by government and insurance companies. Smart people know it’s a combination of government and insurance companies. The U.S. Department of Defense negotiated the military health care system into existence and contracts with health care providers, and then employs insurance companies to manage and execute the governmental policies within the system. I am retired military and have Tricare for Life [military health care for military retirees 65 years of age and older] which is managed and financed for one third of the country by Wisconsin Physicians Insurance Company of Madison Wisconsin. Tricare for Life policies made by DOD cap pharmacy costs [prices charged by Big Pharma and other pharmaceutical companies] and I get drugs at much lower than retail prices and the co-pay for me as a patient is minimal for generic drugs and a low amount for patent-protected highly marketed drugs. The insurance company that manages and finances the Tricare pharmacy program is Express Scripts. It receives the money it spends from the U.S. Government. The consequence is that for those people who spent twenty years or more in the military there is no wealth or balance sheet differential for gaining access to health care. We are people and the government is going to carry the economic burden first through Medicare and supplementary through Tricare for Life so long as patients pay the Medicare B premium. There is an insurance company that operates Medicare health care financing in Dallas Texas [Novitas Solutions Inc operates in Medicare Administrative Contract Jurisdiction H] and an insurance company that operates Tricare for Life in Madison Wisconsin.


There you have the reality. The health care industry of providers is generally happy with Obamacare because it brings more patients, ultimately all Americans, to the providers. The downside is that providers won’t be able to set their own prices but will have to negotiate with the federal government and some large insurance companies on reasonable pricing models and differentials when really unique events arise. The upside for providers is that they get paid and the charity work and deadbeats who don’t pay are purged from the system.


What is a Medicare cap and how does it work? Here is an example. An EMS ambulance from a location in Lubbock to the UMC Emergency Room was billed at $1,211.80 and Medicare capped the allowable collection at $393.86 and paid 80% or $313.81 and the medi-gap supplementary policy paid $80.05 and patient paid nothing more than the premium for Medicare B coverage and the premium for the medi-gap policy. A leg immobilizer brace was placed on the patient and billed at $636.92 but the Medicare cap was $522.28 and it paid 80% or $416.13 and medi-gap supplementary policy paid $106.15 and patient paid nothing more. The provider ambulance service collected 32.5% of its bill and the provider clinic collected 82% of its bill. What you should learn is that a billing price may sometimes be no more than a listed retail price and there are a number of actual collection rates depending on who is financing the health care service.


Hopefully the people in Lubbock who are ranting about Obamacare, will learn about some of these realities and think more clearly about what is really going on. The 2010 Congressional legislation is far from perfect, it was a compromise for many legislators, and the system that is being created will have to be amended and improved in the future. The naysayer ranters will not have a place at the table to make those amendments and improvements because they exclude themselves.


Indeed, the amendment and improvement process is already going on. The U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously passed a bill titled Medicare Patient Access and Quality Improvement Act of 2013. That occurred in July. In October both the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee released an identical discussion draft of a bill that would change the model for Medicare payments to physicians. What is similar in these bipartisan proposals is the repeal of the current model of physicians charging whatever they like [provider’s fee for service model], and the Medicare imposed cap being based on the SGR Sustainable Growth Rate model that Congress has repeatedly reneged on since it would have resulted in repeated reductions in payments to physicians. What is also similar is that legislators realize that the old model rewarded physicians for volume of patients and intensity of health care service for those patients. The agreement is to create a new model that rewards good outcomes for the patient relative to services performed, so higher payments to physicians in the future would be tied to coordinated health care, quality of service performed, effectiveness for the patient, and efficiency in providing services. Thus, cost reductions in the system will be reflected in higher payments to physicians who are responsible for those cost reductions. Cost reductions can occur while patients receive more valuable health care. This kind of thinking is now what legislators are doing, largely as a result of heath care provider organizations requesting these solutions. One thing some members of the public may not understand is that whatever model is chosen for Medicare payments becomes the model from which insurance carriers negotiate with health care providers for non-Medicare patients. Systemic changes are afoot in an industry in which Medicare is projected to spend $600 billion in 2013 [$70 billion to physicians] and the industry spends $3 trillion this year. Stuart Guterman, Emerging Consensus on Medicare Physician Payment Reform: A Golden Opportunity, The Commonwealth Fund, November 25, 2013.


Some people don’t seem to know that among the industrialized richest nations on the planet the United States spends the most by far per capita but its health outcomes are the lowest per capita. Some of that poor outcomes consequence is a direct result of lack of access because of inability of individuals to pay, and Obamacare’s scheme for making large strides toward universal access regardless of ability to pay out of pocket at the moment service is received, will improve consequences. With more patients in the system more often, both delivery efficiencies and cost efficiencies must occur. Physicians and all other health care providers are part of that. Patients, whether or not they know it, are part of that and must learn to adjust to more efficient delivery of health care systems and must get smarter about acquiring health care insurance or another financing mechanism.





Annual Christmas Carol Concert at Hemmle Recital Hall at Texas Tech University is always cheerful. It’s Tuesday December 3 at 8:00 pm $11 adults $9 seniors $8 children and students at Select a Seat outlets or at the door general admission seating. The six singing groups are West Texas Children’s Chorus, University Singers, Women’s Chorale, Matador Singers, Chamber Choir and University Choir. Hot cocoa will be served.


The Pride of West Texas Show Chorus [Lubbock chapter of Sweet Adelines International female singing groups] Christmas Concert and Dessert show is the previous evening Monday December 2 at Science Spectrum 2579 South Loop 289 frontage road east of Indiana Avenue $ 15 at 7:00 pm. Advertised guest singing groups for the concert include The Singing Plainsmen, Crossfire, Blown Away and The Ties That Bind. Tickets online or by phone 799-SING.




The Vienna State Opera streams live opera online. So does the New York City Metropolitan Opera. Cinemark Movie theaters show live opera on their screens. As folks learn more about opera, they want to know more. Evan Baker, From The Score to The Stage: An Illustrated History of Continental Opera Production and Staging (University of Chicago Press 2013). Patrick Summers of the Houston Grand Opera says of this book “This important view of what we do every day in the serious work of our companies is often lost in a haze of trifle about diva fits, egos, and other dull social cliches about the arts.” $40.67 at




November– March 15, 2014….“Hidden Views: Art From The Collections”This magnificent collection of paintings and sculpture from the National Ranching Heritage Center and Ranching Heritage Association art collections, was recently placed on exhibit for public viewing in the center’s Macy Gallery. Collected from private donations from many of the center’s supporters, the exhibit is the first showing for many of the pieces. “These special artworks were created by some of history’s most notable western artists,” said Matt Brockman, executive director of the center. “We’re proud of them and want the public to benefit from their display.” The exhibit includes the last large oil painting completed by Tom Ryan, a well known artist who often depicted cowboy life on the historic Four Sixes Ranch near Guthrie, Texas. Other works on view are paintings by notables Frank Reaugh, Milbe Benge, Robert Lougheed, Fred Harman, Peter Hurd, Jack Bryant and Boris Bernhard Gordon. A sculpture by Garland Weeks is also featured. Most of the art, held for decades in private collections, have had limited or no exposure until now. For further information: Scott White (806) 742-0498. The exhibit is scheduled to remain open until March 15, 2014. The National Ranching Heritage Center, 3121 4th Street.

































Arts History Update for late November 2013

23 Nov

Arts History Update for late November 2013 by David Cummins

October 26-27 was the grand opening for the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio on the River Walk.


Here is the website for You Tube videos from Texas Tech University Libraries there are how to videos, library services videos, and some animations.

———————- is a website where you can order a six hour  DVD of Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre for only $9.95 plus s&h priority code 88877. Very attractive offer to January 13, 2014.


Stephen M.B. Hunt House (1907) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is now on the market.

John Lautner’s Stevens House (1967) in Malibu also on the market

Charles Platt Penthouse (1924) at 1150 Fifth Avenue New York City on the market

Sowden House in Los Angeles designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr who is known as Lloyd Wright

Pottery House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for an El Paso commission but first built with modifications thirty years later in Santa Fe NM It may have been an inspiration for the current Diekemper home in Lubbock.

Jules Gregory Home in Lambertville, NJ is a somewhat modest home


BOOK CHRONICLES ART RENAISSANCE AT HIGHLANDS IN 1960S.  US Fed News (USA) – Wednesday, November 13, 2013.  LAS VEGAS, N.M., Nov. 11 — New Mexico Highlands University issued the following news release:  “Elizabeth Orem’s book, A Fine Frenzy – New Mexico Highlands University Artists and Teachers in the 1960s, chronicles the visual arts renaissance in this era and is available through the university’s Foundation for $25 phone 505-454-3248.  All proceeds from the sale of the book will be used for scholarships for Highlands art students awarded through the Foundation.  The collector’s book illustrates the artwork and lives of legendary Highlands University art professors Elmer Schooley, Ray Drew, Harry Leippe, and Paul Volckening. All four were internationally known for their art. Schooley and Drew were painters, while Leippe is a bronze sculptor living in Las Vegas and Volckening is a Santa Fe potter.  Each donated art work to the university’s fine art collection, with many pieces gracing the walls and alcoves of Donnelly Library.  The professors’ passion and remarkable dedication to teaching art were hallmarks of their collective style. In the 1960s, 300 students were art majors at Highlands. The four were known for their hands-on approach to teaching, and their love for sharing the process of creating art. . . . “

Here is a picture of Orem and information on the four artists she writes about. An Elmer “Skinny” Schooley piece In the Gleaming (2000) oil on linen, hangs in the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Academic Classroom Building lobby and another is in the collection of Texas Tech University Museum. has information about Schooley who passed away in 2007.


Anyone interested in Islamic art should subscribe [it’s free] to Saudi Aramco World magazine. It’s lavishly adorned with photographs of major art around the world often focused in the Middle East. Subscriptions can be made online at Don’t be put off by the sponsor being an oil company, since there are no advertisements or commercialization in the magazine. It’s an exploration of cultures in an Islamic world but many stories don’t directly deal with religious culture and instead focus on activities that are unique to certain regions. The current issue November/December 2013 has a series of photographs of gorgeous domes, a Madrassah [school] prayer hall in Samarkand Uzbekistan, a commemorative complex in Cairo Egypt, Hall of the Two Sisters in The Alhambra Granada Spain, Taj Mahal in Agra India, Prophet’s Mosque in Medinah Saudi Arabia, and Museum of Islamic Art at Doha Qatar. here is an article about Islamic art

—————————- Four Faces (2013) is a new installation of public art sculpture at the Talkington Residence Hall west courtyard near the Boston Avenue at 19th Street entrance to Texas Tech University. The patina on the metal faces is gorgeous. And they are spatially open in front and completely open in the rear so people can even walk into and sit down or lean into the sculpture and temporarily become part of it.

More new art on campus [temporarily] are the photographs in the thirteenth annual High and Dry exhibit at the International Cultural Center November 22 – January 16, 2014. The photographs are always recent and gorgeous, from arid regions of the planet not just West Texas and eastern New Mexico. They are always mounted on the walls so well as to give each a special and deserved prominence. The entire space between the Hall of Nations and Auditorium is devoted to the exhibit photographs. Building hours are Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and the address is Indiana Avenue at 6th Street. David Michael Kennedy is the juror and he will give a talk focused on the contents of the exhibit on Friday December 6 at 6:30 pm in the International Cultural Center Auditorium. Many of the photographers show up for the reception that evening 5:00 – 7:00 pm so it’s a treat to see the photographs and meet the photographers. Here is an album of photographs from the 2011 High and Dry exhibit

Nearby art include the Lahib Jaddo paintings in the hallway leading to International Affairs Offices and the exterior gates and grill-work by metal sculptor Lars Stanley of Austin between Outreach and Extended Studies building and International Cultural Center building. John Russell Thomasson’s mural Peoples of the World is in the space adjoining the Hall of Nations to the east.


The Fall 2013 issue of Ranch Record at page 30, published by National Ranching Heritage Association at Texas Tech, has a story with photographs of invited yarn bombing or yarn storming where knitters, crocheters and other fiber artists went to work adorning features in Proctor Park and even adorned two bronze longhorn steers out front of NRHC off 4th Street in Gibson Memorial Park They are sculptures by Terrell O’Brien a native of Lamesa Texas in Dawson County now living in Fort Davis Texas.

Yarn bombing is a form of guerrilla art and some call it graffiti art in that it started by fiber artists unilaterally deciding that something out in public would look better or more interesting if it were adorned with brightly colored yarn. Even when observed by other citizens, few bombers were accosted or arrested, perhaps because it is obvious that the owner of the item bombed could so quickly and easily cut off and jettison the adornment. Some bombing groups created a game out of how long it would take before their addition to the space would be removed. Emily Wilkinson, director of Ranch Education, saw the humor and public interest in the phenomena, realized that at a public facility anything which draws attention to and is a public use of the space in a non-abusive way, can be a positive thing, simply invited anyone to come to yarn bomb in early Spring 2013, saw the results and renewed the offer, with greater response for October 2013. The archive at the RHC now has the consequences in its images collection. The items will surely have been removed before the first sleet and snow, and if you arrive for Candlelight at the Ranch December 13-14 6:00 – 9:00 pm don’t expect to see any yarn other than what docents are providing in their re-enactment of pioneer life in Proctor Park.

Of course the expectation by the operators and constituencies of the NRHC is that authenticity of all the articles and items at NRHC is assured, so the temporary nature of contemporary yarn is known from the get-go. Removability without harm to the item bombed is expected and perhaps accomplished adroitly by NRHC personnel.

Dr. David R. Smith, former Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center president and former TTU System Chancellor, was appointed president of State University of New York SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse New York in 2006. On November 7, 2013 he resigned amid charges that he padded his compensation with income from two outside private companies without permission from SUNY Upstate’s chancellor or board of trustees. As an investigation was launched he was put on leave November 5 and announced his resignation two days later. Why did he feel that he needed more compensation since in 2012 his salary was $363,000 from SUNY Upstate and an additional $268,000 from SUNY Research Foundation?

A former president, Gregory L. Eastwood M.D., became interim president this month. Smith was under consideration as a finalist for the presidency of Penn State University when this incident occurred


An earlier discussion about MOOC [massive open online courses] college level courses being available for anyone to sign up and sample, leads to this rather expected follow-up. Udacity [a for profit company] and edX [a non-profit consortium led by Harvard University and MIT] are two MOOC platforms. Administrators at San Jose State University told philosophy department officials to incorporate MOOC platform content into the department’s distance learning content, obviously a cost-cutting measure, and the department’s faculty objected. Steve Kolowich, Angered by MOOC Deals, San Jose State Faculty Senate Considers Rebuff, The Chronicle of Higher Education, November 18, 2013.


Arts History Update for mid November 2013

15 Nov

Arts History Update for mid November 2013 by David Cummins


Missed the Texas Book Festival this October? AWP Conference & Book Fair Seattle 2014 is February 26 – March 1 at the Washington State Convention Center. AWP is Association of Writers & Writing Programs. and the Conference website is here Annie Proulx is the keynote speaker. Some of us enjoyed her visit to Lubbock and the Texas Tech campus some time back, especially after reading That Old Ace in the Hole (Scribner 2002), the fellow named Ace Crouch being inter alia a windmill repairman in the Panhandle of Texas, resistant to selling his land to a corporate or any corporate agri-business.


The focus here is on the art and craft of writing, not consumerism of another’s writing, so it’s a membership driven “everyone’s an insider” conference with a registration fee.




The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago is on exhibit at the Kimbell Art Museum Fort Worth from October 6 – February 16, 2014 website images are stunning. A visit to the new Renzo Piano architect-designed Pavilion 65 yards to the west is going to be thrilling.


Mr. Piano will appear and be engaged in A Conversation with Renzo Piano at Will Rogers Memorial Center Auditorium Tuesday November 19 at 7:00 pm, a free but ticketed event.


Exhibit: The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from The Art Institute of Chicago Ongoing Exhibit, Museum Hours — Kimbell Art Museum, 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth

One hundred years ago, the Art Institute of Chicago presented one of the most legendary displays of art ever held in America—the International Exhibition of Modern Art, better known today as the Armory Show, after its first venue, the Lexington Avenue Armory in New York City. The exhibition brought to the United States of 1913 a dizzying array of brand-new art from Europe, joined with the newest trends in painting and sculpture by native-born artists—1300 works by some 300 artists in total. As it had in New York and would in Boston, the Armory Show aroused both the interest and scorn of collectors and the public. Paintings by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Marcel Duchamp challenged accepted ideas of “true art” and threatened to upset the balance of American taste. In Chicago, only a few of the works in the show stayed behind, but the city had been afforded a glimpse of what was to come in the 20th century. Part of that future would involve the Art Institute of Chicago becoming one of the greatest collections of modern European art in the world. Nearly 100 of the Art Institute’s most outstanding masterpieces are on view at the Kimbell in The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago. This exhibition—a loan show of unprecedented depth and quality—allows residents of and visitors to another American city to appreciate Chicago’s stupendous modern collection for the first time. Following upon the success of the Kimbell’s 2008 exhibition of Impressionist masterworks from the Art Institute, The Age of Picasso and Matisse tells the story of European art in the first half of the 20th century through the holdings of one of the world’s best encyclopedic museums. Ticket price: $14–$18. See the website for additional information and to purchase tickets





J. T. Clark, Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Geurnica (Princeton University Press 2013)

Picasso and Truth offers a breathtaking and original new look at the most significant artist of the modern era. From Pablo Picasso’s early The Blue Room to the later Guernica, eminent art historian T. J. Clark offers a striking reassessment of the artist’s paintings from the 1920s and 1930s. Why was the space of a room so basic to Picasso’s worldview? And what happened to his art when he began to feel that room-space become too confined–too little exposed to the catastrophes of the twentieth century? Clark explores the role of space and the interior, and the battle between intimacy and monstrosity, in Picasso’s art. Based on the A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts delivered at the National Gallery of Art, this lavishly illustrated volume remedies the biographical and idolatrous tendencies of most studies on Picasso, reasserting the structure and substance of the artist’s work. With compelling insight, Clark focuses on three central works–the large-scale Guitar and Mandolin on a Table (1924), The Three Dancers (1925), and The Painter and His Model (1927)–and explores Picasso’s answer to Nietzsche’s belief that the age-old commitment to truth was imploding in modern European culture. Masterful in its historical contextualization, Picasso and Truth rescues Picasso from the celebrity culture that trivializes his accomplishments and returns us to the tragic vision of his art–humane and appalling, naïve and difficult, in mourning for a lost nineteenth century, yet utterly exposed to the hell of Europe between the wars.


As a reader of Nietzsche and in full appreciation for the insight that the dour syphilitic philosopher brought us, when truth appears to be challenged in public life, the appropriate answer is not Picasso’s of anything goes and all conventions are jettisoned. The better answer is to restore truth one statement and one action at a time. That is how truth started and became the norm. Just because there are commercial practices like advertising campaigns that are nothing less than process lies, does not mean that truth is absent even in the lives of the advertisers who enter into a process of lying for their clients. And just because political party champions develop and process lies about their imagined opposition and opponents, remember that their behavior demeans and reduces politics but does not deny truth which is absent from their rhetoric but not from reality. The community of citizens participates in politics despite the process of lying and ignores it as we would an adolescent miscreant. Identifying a batch of lies does not mean that truth is gone as a societal norm. A short or long list of idiosyncratic events does not create a general principle applicable to the whole. It never has and never will.





Local Color Artist Studio Tour 2013 November 9-10 was well attended and the art was stunning. I particularly liked seeing so many young men, women and couples  out viewing and purchasing. That bodes well for the future. Congratulations all around.




The Teaching Company d/b/a The Great Courses offers free teasers occasionally. At Veterans Day 2013 it posted six short video-clips on military matters — type in Priority Code 91096:


1. Masters of War: Operation Torch 4 minutes

2. Why We Go to War: Myth versus Fact 5 minutes

3. America Prepares for WWII 7 minutes

4. The Truth About American Militias 6 minutes

5. Understanding the Art of War 3 minutes

6. The Battle of Midway 10 minutes


For what is this a free teaser? Two pertinent courses for purchase are The Art of War and History of World War II: A Military and Social History.




A national online and off-site marketplace for purchasing health care insurance under the new conditions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010, is proceeding apace. There were bound to be glitches during such an enormous undertaking. Causes are: 1. toxic politics, 2. lack of Congressional funding for implementation of the Act, 3. management goofs, and 4. dysfunctional procurement of IT support under the HITECH ACT [Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009] . The media seems only to be able to get its mind around to and understand # 3 when that can be quickly resolved, while the other three causes are rapidly becoming systemic and can only be solved by cooperation and goodwill.


Luc Ferry, On Love: A Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century (transl. Andrew Brown, Polity 2013) The French philosopher, former national Minister of Education and public intellectual, asserts that we have passed through the ancient, medieval, modern, and lately post-modern, and have entered into the era of universal love and cooperation. He makes a case, in this book, but not a convincing case although we hope he is correct.


There is at least within this book a plaintive confirmation that the deconstructive post-modern and the social relativism “what do absolutes matter anymore”

periods are behind us. That is enough for us to toast whether or not evidence of its successor is meager.




The Letters of Paul Cezanne (ed. and transl. Alex Danchev, Thames & Hudson Ltd. 2013)

Here is the long-awaited and much needed new translation of the correspondence of Paul Cezanne, known as the father of modern art. The existing collection in English, produced in the 1930s, is dated, inaccurate and incomplete; for this book, Alex Danchev has gone back to the original manuscript letters, clearing up decades of questionable scholarship and producing a fresh, honest and accurate translation. In his introduction Danchev paints a picture of Cezanne as a singular thinker and an uncompromising seeker after artistic truth qualities that shine through in the letters, but that many of his contemporaries failed to appreciate or comprehend. Danchev fills in the gaps here and in his many notes, revealing the man’s very human hopes and fears as he strove to harness his sensations and artistic passion. The result is a collection of over 250 letters, written to family, friends, fellow artists and dealers, and encompassing major cultural figures of the late nineteenth century.



Arthur C. Danto, What Art Is (Yale University Press 2013) Texas Tech Library N66.D26

What is it to be a work of art? Renowned author and critic Arthur C. Danto addresses this fundamental, complex question. Part philosophical monograph and part memoiristic meditation, What Art Is challenges the popular interpretation that art is an indefinable concept, instead bringing to light the properties that constitute universal meaning. Danto argues that despite varied approaches, a work of art is always defined by two essential criteria: meaning and embodiment, as well as one additional criterion contributed by the viewer: interpretation. Danto crafts his argument in an accessible manner that engages with both philosophy and art across genres and eras, beginning with Plato’s definition of art in The Republic, and continuing through the progress of art as a series of discoveries, including such innovations as perspective, chiaroscuro, and physiognomy. Danto concludes with a fascinating discussion of Andy Warhol’s famous shipping cartons, which are visually indistinguishable from the everyday objects they represent. Throughout, Danto considers the contributions of philosophers including Descartes, Kant, and Hegel, and artists from Michelangelo and Poussin to Duchamp and Warhol, in this far-reaching examination of the inter-connectivity and universality of aesthetic production.”


Would you agree that art is: 1. the artist’s meaning, 2. the embodiment, the thing itself e.g. paint, canvas etc. and 3. the viewer’s interpretation? If so, and if the first two are static, only the third is dynamic, providing a major role in art for the viewer.


Virginia Chieffo Raguin, Stained Glass: Radiant Art (J. Paul Getty Museum 2013)

Addresses the making of a stained glass window, its iconography and architectural context, the patrons and collectors, and the challenges of restoration and display. This title features works from Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, and Netherlands, and covers a range of subjects from religious scenes to heraldic panels and secular scenes.




Dr. Sascha Scott professor of art history at Syracuse University


spoke at Texas Tech Museum Sunday November 10 on the strange mixture of art and politics in 1910-1930 in the Taos region of New Mexico when federal policies toward Pueblo Indians changed from forced assimilation to preservation of native culture and artists responded. She focused on Ernest L. Blumenschein 1874-1960 Marsden Hartley 1877-1943 John Sloan 1871-1951 and Georgia O’Keeffe 1887-1986 and particularly an absorbing painting At The Rodeo (1929) by O’Keeffe

and The Chief Speaks (1917) by Blumenschein.


Dr. Scott has a manuscript in press for editing at University of Oklahoma Press in Norman, that will further address this topic. It is preliminarily titled A Strange Mixture: Art and Federal Indian Politics Between the World Wars. Articles include Unwrapping Ernest L. Blumenschein’s The Gift, American Art, University of Chicago Press, Fall 2011 at pp. 20-47, and Review of Georgia O’Keeffe: Catalogue Raisonne, Woman’s Art Journal, Fall-Winter 2006 at pp 49-51


Here is The Gift by Blumenschein





Christopher Wool Retrospective, Guggenheim Art Museum in New York City, is on exhibit October 25 – January 22, 2014 in the rotunda and adjacent gallery. His primary medium is dour, black and white pictures of stenciled words, usually in enamel on aluminum panels. They are made in decorative patterns with incised rollers, they often involve rub-out or erasures that bring the image into abstraction. He blends the photographic and painting mediums. Word painting has a long history but Wool made it new. He liked the eclat of pop art but not its borrowed subject matter. He wanted to create subject matter. Still, words are hard for viewers of art because our minds rarely allow us to look and read at the same time. Wool’s blending of anonymous aggressive graffiti and formal abstract painting stateliness created something unique, beginning about 1987. It is now time for a substantial retrospective.





Clive Thompson, Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press 2013)

” It’s undeniable-technology is changing the way we think. But is it for the better? Amid a chorus of doomsayers, Clive Thompson delivers a resounding “yes.” The Internet age has produced a radical new style of human intelligence, worthy of both celebration and analysis. We learn more and retain it longer, write and think with global audiences, and even gain an ESP-like awareness of the world around us.


Some analysts have posited that the Internet age degrades private consciousness and public discourse. Thompson suggests otherwise, noting that popular innovations that allow people to write, has created a global culture of avid writers. The fact that much of that writing is not good writing is somewhat irrelevant since it is not offered for commercial publication toward a readership attuned to literary styles. It communicates.





Installed earlier this year is public art in the courtyard south of Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University titled We Are in the Business of Changing the World by Tara Conley and Joe Barrington d/b/a BC Sculpture Notice the arches one curving up and the other down representing up and down markets, and the somewhat abstract bull and bear representing those types of markets. another new piece of public art is south the Media and Communication Building titled The Messengers by David B. Hickman


———————- is a discussion of the art glass installed over the entrance to the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research building on 18th Street west of the Maedgen Theatre east of the College of Education building. Brooklyn New York artist Corinne Ulmann designed and built this piece which should also be viewed from within the building on the second floor as part of a conference room setting.





Ann Davis & Elizabeth Herbert, Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy (University of Calgary Press 2013) is a new book about the artist and art educator who lived 1909-1985 for whom the Marion Nicoll Gallery is named . It is a student run gallery in Calgary operated by an art association


The catalogue for a 1959 – 1971 retrospective exhibit May – August 1975 of her work at Edmonton Art Gallery and Glenbow Alberta Institute is digitized at the University of Calgary Library


Mary-Beth Laviolette, Alberta Mistresses of the Modern, 1935 – 1975 (Art Gallery of Alberta 2012), is a 79 page catalogue of a recent exhibition featuring ten female Alberta artists. Texas Tech Library OVERSZ N8354.L38




Reading poetry is not a throw away evening. Some combine it with music and film or visual projections and turn it into a book and CD recording. That occurred when this group got together in 2003. They’re back at the Bowery Poetry Club on Monday November 18 at 9:00 pm with a premiere of a new multimedia presentation titled That Tiny Playful God: Poetry, Music and Art from the Basque Country (transl. to English later by Elizabeth Macklin) Here are video clips of events at the Bowery Poetry Club at 308 Bowery Street at Bleecker Street in Manhattan



National Book Award winners will be announced at a banquet in Wall Street on Wednesday evening November 20. The previous evening finds the finalists reading from their work at the New School 66 West 12th Street and you can watch that reading on your computer 7:00 -9:00 pm EST webstream






Here is Leonard Cohen reading from his poetry on February 14, 1966 at the 92nd Street YMHA in Manhattan. He was by then an experienced poet having graduated from McGill University in Montreal and published his first collection of poems Let Us Compare Mythologies(McClelland and Stewart 1956 including 76 pages), a decade earlier. Currently he is a balladeer recently concluded an international tour and released his twelfth album titled Old Ideas(2012) $9.58 at, that recalls his first album Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967) remastered in 2007 $8.10 at He is now an aged [79 to be specific] singer, songwriter and poet. Wikipedia


Leonard Cohen: Poems and Songs (ed. Robert Faggen, Alfred A. Knopf 2012) Texas Tech Library PR9199.3.C57 P64




































Arts History Update for early November 2013

10 Nov

Arts History Update for early November 2013 by David Cummins

Many churches in many towns have amazing art. Occasionally the art is on exhibit or temporary loan. From October 29 through November 14 Steven Hendricks has three pieces on loan at the First Unitarian Universalist Church 2801 42nd Street in Lubbock. They are Amerika, Patriot and Arab Spring all acrylic paint on panels.


11… Veterans Day at the Silent Wings Museum. (A collaborative announcement) All events are at the Silent Wings Museum: 10am… Doors open, free admission 11am… Opening Ceremony Veterans Day Presidential Proclamation (Mayor Speaks, Color Guard, Wester Elem. School children sing) 2pm… “Toys Go To War” Gallery Talk by Donald Abbe, PhD 5:30 – 7:30pm… Evening Reception begins — Hors d’oeuvres and Live Swing Music by Jazz Alley 6pm… Guest Speaker LCDR US Navy Barent N. McCool


Urban Tech / Texas Tech University College of Architecture Downtown Center is at 1120 Main Street Suite 206 between Avenue J and Avenue K phone 806-543-7165 and current exhibits by students relate to Migrant Worker Housing and an Outdoor Stage on Avenue J! The Lubbock area has a long history with migrant workers and their housing. Aztlan Park 101 Avenue J was once [1940s and 1950s] the largest migrant worker housing complex [primarily tents and huts] in the entire South Plains. Marker Unveiled in Aztlan Park Tells Story of Blood Sweat and Tears Shed by Migrant Workers Who Once Lived in Camp At the Site, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, April 24, 2009 Today most migrant worker housing is closer to the farms on which the migrants work, and is regulated by United States Department of Labor OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Copper Canyon Press of Port Townsend Washington is a small press that publishes poetry a genre in which pretty much no one makes money but art is made. It’s a non-profit entity


On November 2 a Quanah Parker Trail Arrow was installed by Charles A. Smith, sculptor from New Home Texas, at Wildcat Bluff Nature Center 2301 North Soncy Street Amarillo in the northwest edge of the city. This site is a nature preserve with primitive trails. My daughter and I once did a 10K Volsporting walk on those trails. Very enjoyable although the excitement of the day was at one point on the trail when a helicopter landed with EMS personnel because one of the walkers suffered a rattlesnake bite and was airlifted to an Amarillo hospital where he was appropriately treated and survived. From that point on during the walk we looked down at the ground ahead as much as out into the hackberry, salt cedar, juniper, creosote bush and other native flora in the Panhandle.

The arrows are 342 pounds of steel with fletching in traditional Comanche colors, 22 feet in length with the bottom foot below the arrowhead encased into a concrete pad for stability. The arrow in Lubbock is in Mackenzie Park near the American Museum of Agriculture. In August 2013 it was renamed Bayer Museum of Agriculture since Bayer CropScience paid to name and expand the museum into 35,000 square feet of display space.

——————– Steinway Concert Grand Piano that is choice of many concert pianists. Is this instrument the new piano at the School of Music? The Jon Kimura Parker concert on October 13 was the inaugural playing of Tech’s new Steinway grand piano, but I don’t know what model was purchased. John A. Paulson, hedge fund billionaire, just purchased Steinway Musical Instruments, the former Steinway & Sons, for $512 million.


Here’s the recap on the recently concluded Texas Book Festival in Austin attended by 40,000 people on October 26-27.


Window on the West: Views From the American Frontier is a fascinating exhibit at Texas Tech Museum. Closes November 13, 2013. What is singular about these pieces of art is that they are all by artists who actually traveled into the western United States and painted or sketched what they actually saw, often being one of the first records of the visual likeness of the location. The style of most of these artists was Hudson River School or Mount Washington School or similar perspectives on natural realism. The earliest piece was 1838, the latest in the first decade of the new century. Many were done in association with survey parties. If only Captain Marcy had an artist alongside him during

his treks across the Llano Estacado we might have similar art for our region.

As one views these initial visitations to the western United States one immediately begins to recall the periods and concerns of art immediately following the western landscape period. Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s River, 1900 – 1940 (eds. Kirsten Jensen & Bartholomew F. Bland, Fordham University Press 2013) a period when the bucolic river becomes urban and industrial in art.


The multi-talented principal of Estacado High School, Samuel J. Ayers, Ed.D., has an exhibition of his sketches and relief prints at Lubbock Christian University Art Galleries November 4 – December 6. A reception with the artist is Monday evening November 11 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.


Art on the Llano Committee selected and Texas Department of Transportation installed the fifth sculpture in the project at 19th Street and Quaker Avenue Prairie Dancers (2013) by Jerry Daniel Here is Daniel’s website Installation took place November 4, 2013 and the loan will be there for two years. It’s on the southeast corner of the intersection. Here is a You Tube video of his installations of other metal dancers Jerry Daniel is a 1963 graduate of Texas Tech University. His studio is near McKinney Texas. 

Previous installations were Texas Landscape (2008) by Eric McGehearty a metal book at South Loop 289 and Quaker Avenue southeast corner, Moon River (2007) or by Michelle O’Michael  at South Loop 289 and I-27 flyover, Black Pink (2009) gas inflated steel by William Cannings at Marsha Sharp Freeway and 19th Street South frontage road, Sky Drill (2012) by Brent Baggett at West Loop 289 and Marsha Sharp Freeway.

For more information on the Art on the Llano project telephone Dianah Ascencio at TEXDOT 748-4472


Art Critic (1955) by Norman Rockwell 1894 – 1978 depicts a young lad with painting tools standing before a museum painting, closely inspecting it with a magnifying glass. We were all charmed by his sharing our lives with us. Some viewed him as “just an illustrator” for the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines, but his subtleties were often lost on the effete. A new and revealing biography is Deborah Solomon, American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell (Farrar, Straus & Giroux November 5, 2013) $17.71 Kindle $12.74. The humorous and optimistic paintings that created a national ethos were a far cry from those of the man who suffered from depression, anxiety and a sense of inadequacy. Three marriages brought him little happiness, he was treated by psychoanalyst Erik Erikson and he moved to Stockbridge Massachusetts to be near Austen Riggs, a leading psychiatric hospital. Basic information is here The Norman Rockwell Museum is in Stockbridge

A current exhibition is American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts at Nashville Tennessee November 1 – February 9, 2014.

There is a collection of Rockwell paintings at the National Museum of Scouting at Irving Texas boy scout activity was a favorite topic for his paintings.


Images of America: Lubbock (Arcadia Publishing November 2013) will be for sale and authors will sign the book Sunday November 17 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm at 2701 19th Street inside the Snyder-Martin-Chalk Heritage House, a free event sponsored by Lubbock Heritage Society. Authors are Pam Brink, Daniel Sanchez and Cindy Martin who are all active in Lubbock Heritage Society $22 Arcadia $15.94


Designed by architect Sylvan Blum Haynes it was built in 1929 for Fred and Annie Snyder and sold by them to merchant Retha Martin in 1944, then transferred in 1964 to John and Callie Chalk [Callie being Mr. Martin’s daughter]. Hence the name Snyder-Martin-Chalk House. In 2004 it was purchased by banker [CEO Vista Bank] Kirk McLaughlin, renovated and named Rivendell, presumably a reference to the refuge for elves in J.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle Earth.


The public has this opportunity to enter this historic house, visit with the authors of the book, and purchase this new book on historical Lubbock. You may very well consider joining as a member of Lubbock Heritage Society, that does many good things in and for the community.


Samuel J. Ayers, Dean of West Texas Architecture: Sylvan Blum Haynes (Knowledge Center Inc. 2007) Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 72 A977 D281