Archive | December, 2013

Arts History Update for late December 2013

21 Dec

Arts History Update for late December 2013 by David Cummins Here is the webcast of a November symposium on digital scholarship as part of an art history framework.




Want to learn about the candidates for Provost and Senior Vice President of Texas Tech University but don’t wish to attend the Open Forums where they appear? A website has all those forums video-recorded After doing so you may wish to write to President Nellis and submit your opinion on the candidates.




The William C. and Evelyn M. Davies Gallery of Southwestern Indian Art, recently refurbished, will re-open February 1, 2014 at Texas Tech Museum. The best news is that the donors for whom it is named, will be present for the event. Come join them. More information at Museum Association office, phone 742-2443.




The United Kingdom or Great Britain, comprised of England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland, is in a process that proceeds apace, of devolution of power or shared power between London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. Linda Colley, Acts of Union, Acts of Disunion (Profile Books Ltd January 2, 2104) $10.97 pre-order paperback at focuses on art, architecture and literature as well as political history to describe what the United Kingdom has become or not become over the years. The author will be present for an hour and a half at London Review of Books Bookshop January 14, 2014 7:00 – 8:30 pm GMT at 14 Bury Place a block west of Bloomsbury Square Gardens. Ticket is 10 pounds. Remember that in 2014 there will be a vote in Scotland for or against independence from Great Britain.


I am a Scots-American and recall as if it were yesterday, that the Union of 1707 was not brought about by a plebiscite. William Wallace led a Scottish Uprising against King Edward I of England in 1297 culminating in the Battle of Stirling Bridge where a larger English force was defeated. In April 1298 Wallace lost the strategic Battle of Falkirk and by the fall of 1298 renounced his role as Guardian of Scotland in favor of Robert the Bruce, Earl of Carrick and Red John Comyn, Earl of Badenoch [from whom I am descended Comyn becoming Cumin then Cummin then Cummins or Cumming and Cummings]. Wallace then unsuccessfully sought assistance from France in Scotland’s quest to be free from English domination but was back in Scotland by 1304 and captured near Glasgow on August 5, 1305, taken to London England, put on trial for treason, drawn, quartered and hanged. His preserved head, dipped in tar, was placed on a spike at London Bridge. These actual scenes were relived in the film Braveheart (1995) starring Mel Gibson as William Wallace. In 1306 Robert the Bruce assassinated Red John Comyn during a parley in sanctuary status in the Church of the Minorities in Dumfries, then rode to Scone and had himself crowned King of Scotland on March 25, and proceeded to fight guerrilla battles against the English culminating in a victory at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 that led to a tense stalemate with the English throughout his reign to 1329. This was Scotland’s high point of military relations with England.


See also




Be on the lookout for the opening of the Mean Woman Grill at 2103 Marsha Sharp Freeway, actually the south frontage road between University Avenue and Avenue Q. Miz Ayn Bowron and her co-owner operated the first Mean Woman Grill out of a renovated gasoline service station in Levelland and it became an institution that most folks are delighted is returning to a Lubbock address that will be easier to access. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm. Some think it might open in early January 2014.




Sales Taxes on Internet Sales


The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in the appeal by and opposing New York’s application of its state sales tax to internet sales transactions where the purchaser is a New York resident or addressee for delivery of the sold item. “Presence in the state by the seller” is the talisman for each state’s legal ability to levy its sales tax on the seller. The state already has the undoubted legal capability to levy the state sales tax against the purchaser who is a resident or business within the state [it’s a consumption tax of course], but the state has no practical way to assess and levy the tax against each of those many hundreds of thousands or millions of purchasers.


The argument comes down to this, does the Internet seller have a “presence” within the state? What constitutes a “presence”? In the case of it had a distribution/fulfillment of orders [physical building and employees] center in Irving Texas beginning in 2004. When the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts levied a sales tax on several years of Internet sales that were delivered to purchasers in Texas from the Irving distribution center, objected and when its objections were unheeded, it closed the Irving facility. Eventually and the Texas Comptroller negotiated a deal. would return to Texas and open fulfillment centers and would start collecting and remitting to the Comptroller a uniform state sales tax [no distinctions for different rates that apply between and among several cities and other local governments] beginning in June 2012 and the state would waive the levy of $269 million for earlier years. That deal resulted in opening fulfillment centers in Texas in Coppell [northeast of Grapevine], Haslet [half way between Fort Worth and Denton] and Schertz [northeast of San Antonio], Texas.


Several states levy their sales tax on internet sellers even if the sellers don’t have any physical presence in the state, but the sellers use a ”marketing affiliate in the state to refer purchasers to the seller”.  Internet sellers objected to that approach of tying taxability to contract relationships with businesses in the taxing state. objected and canceled all its contracts with so-called marketing affiliates based in states with revenue-hungry comptrollers. [a Utah corporation with buildings and employees there] canceled all its contracts with marketing affiliates in New York but New York persisted in its previous levy of its sales tax and Overstock has now lost that lawsuit. It will pay the tax for back years but not for the present or future because it has neither a New York physical presence or New York marketing affiliate contracts. New York has not yet been so bold as to levy and try to collect sales tax from all Internet sellers who sell to purchasers with a New York address.


Companies like and are representative of businesses that are being very careful about where they have a physical presence or contract relationships about marketing. pays sales tax to comptrollers in 16 states but not in the other 34 states. Furthermore, in those 16 states it has deals with comptrollers so that as to its taxability, there is an agreed uniform rate for all sales to that state, regardless of intra-state rate distinctions and variations.


Could this system of state taxation work better? Yes of course, but the states in their trade organization pact have been unwilling to work out a sensible reasonable solution. The states are too greedy and unwilling to accept the concept that cyber commercial traffic across the planet is not really a taxable transaction for any state. There is a bill in Congress the last several sessions that would permit a low level uniform state sales tax, a compromise as it were, but it hasn’t drawn enough support to pass the bill.


In Lubbock the combined state and local retail sales tax is 8.25% on most taxable items. If in one year a person purchased $1,000 of such items online from sellers located outside Texas without a “presence” in Texas, the purchaser would pay $1,000 plus shipping and handling charges but not an additional $82.50 in sales tax. Most purchasers would think that is appropriate because none of those sellers was taxed by the Texas Comtproller. Most purchasers don’t understand the sales tax as a consumption tax on purchasers collected from sellers who remit to the Comptroller.  If $82.50 is material to this purchaser s/he should check with each online seller to discover if it collects Texas sales tax, and then go through with or abort the contemplated purchase.


Don’t you think the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal should have an article like this explaining the situation? It writes snippets about the topic but obviously doesn’t understand what’s going on so it can’t write what it doesn’t know. It projects its own ignorance onto its readers.


Speaking of the A-J, a front page story recently reported that national retail Christmas sales are down. The very next day the Dallas Morning News front page reported that national retail Christmas sales are up. Neither reportage cited any source for its factual statement so the reader is not alerted as to how and where s/he might check out the facts. We know from experience that Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports are not fact-checked, because of a long series of errors in reporting. Readers can’t rely on A-J reports. People sometimes ask me about something that appeared in the A-J but I have to reply “I don’t know anything about it, all I learned on the topic was from an A-J report”.




Craft beer enthusiasts will want to mark their 2014 calendars. The Great American Beer Festival in Denver Colorado is October 2-4, 2014. It will be attended by 50,000 people and 500 breweries will participate. Awards are given in no fewer than 83 categories and 3,900 beers are entered into the judging. This is the largest of American beer festivals.


In Texas look for Big Texas Beer Fest at Fair Park Automobile Building in Dallas in April 2014, North Texas Beer and Wine Festival at the Irving Convention Center on Las Colinas Boulevard Irving Texas in May 2014, Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival at Moody Gardens in Galveston Texas in late August early September 2014 [around Labor Day], and Texas Craft Brewers Festival at Fiesta Gardens Austin Texas in late September 2014. To my knowledge neither Wicked Beaver Brewing Co of Wolfforth Texas or Yellow House Canyon Brew Works of Lubbock Texas or Triple J Chophouse and Brew Co of Lubbock Texas enter any of these festivals.


Remember that some of the large volume major breweries actually make some small volume craft-type brews that are tasty. When you’re shopping look for craft-type brews from some of the major label breweries. Shiner beers from Spoetzel Brewery in Shiner Texas, not a small craft brewery, include some small volume beers such as their seasonal varieties.




The VA [United States Department of Veterans Affairs] Outpatient Clinic in Lubbock is a 35,000 square feet facility off Interstate Highway 27 to the west at 6104 Avenue Q and its lease expires in 2015. Plans for relocation of the Outpatient Clinic to the campus of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center with a 126,900 square feet building on land leased to the VA by Texas Tech were approved by the Texas Tech Board of Regents on December 13, so if a federal appropriation is passed by Congress with this item still in the budget, the new clinic will be built and veterans will be better served there, and the specialty operations at TTUHSC and UMC will be readily available to those veterans, rather than their traveling to the Amarillo VA hospital [Thomas E. Creek VA Medical Center at 6010 Amarillo Boulevard West] or Albuquerque New Mexico regional VA hospital [Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center at 1501 San Pedro Drive S.E. west of Kirtland Air Force Base and east of Albuquerque International Airport]   .




Julia Morgan (1872 to 1957) was a prolific California architect who produced more than 700 buildings in her long career, most in her home state. Nevertheless, one project overshadows them all: the California hilltop estate for William Randolph Hearst that goes by its place name, San Simeon, as well as La Cuesta Encantada (“The Enchanted Hill”) or simply Hearst Castle. Her talents extended to simpler dwellings too, not to mention schools, churches and many buildings for benevolent organizations like the YWCA.
With an interest in architecture from a young age, Morgan pursued an engineering degree from the University of California at Berkeley on the advice of her brother. After receiving that undergraduate degree in 1894 (the first woman to do so) she received more advice, this time from mentor Bernard Maybeck, who encouraged her to attend the esteemed École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She failed the entrance exams twice but learned that the school had failed her because it did not want to encourage young girls. Undeterred, she went through the process again and was accepted two years later, becoming the first female graduate of the École des Beaux-Arts upon receiving the certificate in 1902. In a bit of foreshadowing, Phoebe Hearst, mother of W.R., offered to pay for Morgan’s schooling in Paris, which Morgan graciously declined.
Upon returning to California the same year, Morgan worked in an architect’s office but ventured out on her own in 1904, after getting registered to practice architecture in the state. This made her the first female architect in California, following similar firsts at UC Berkeley and the Beaux-Arts. Her status as a woman in a man’s profession has defined much of her legacy, but the way in which “all her life was work — morning, day and night,” as described by one employee, is really how she should be remembered. This blend of talent, love of architecture and untiring work ethic, is what enabled her to produce so many buildings and to work on one of the largest residential commissions of any time and any place.


















Julia Morgan was just awarded a Gold Medal by the American Institute of Architects, joining a handful of luminaries, and her likeness will be chiseled in stone at the Washington DC headquarters of the organization.






Arts History Update for mid December 2013

5 Dec

Arts History Update for mid December 2013 by David Cummins



Would you consider auditing a course at Texas Tech University? Here are the rules.


Here are the rules scalped from a Texas Tech website: Enrollment Without Credit. Persons who wish to audit a course for no grade must obtain written permission from the dean of the college in which the course is offered. Those who audit a course do so for the purpose of hearing or seeing only; they do not have the privilege of participating in class discussions or laboratory or field work, of turning in papers, or of receiving a grade or credit in the course. Students who audit a course will not be listed on the class roll, and no notation of the audit will be made on the student’s transcript.

Students enrolled for fewer than 12 semester credit hours in a semester (6 hours in summer) must pay a $10 per semester credit hour fee for the privilege of auditing a course. Written permission from the dean of the college in which the course is being taught and from the course instructor is required. No charge is assessed for enrollment of 12 or more semester credit hours.

(Senior citizens 65 years of age and older are exempt from payment of this fee regardless of the number of semester credit hours.)

The College of Visual and Performing Arts dean’s office is in Room 203 of Holden Hall. Speak to Cathy Jung e-mail phone 806-742-0700. Ask for written permission to audit this course. When that is in hand, submit it to assistant professor Heather Warren-Crow e-mail phone 806-834-3022 and ask her to sign. Take the completed form to the Bursar’s office in Drane Hall and pay the $30 fee [three credit hour course at $10 per credit hour] if you are younger than age 65. Attend class. Be sure to purchase the assigned book[s] and other reading material so you are prepared for each class. The Barnes & Noble campus bookstore is in the Student Union Building basement level. Spring Semester is January 15 through May 6, 2014 with Spring Break no classes March 15-23.


I have audited a class at Texas Tech and can vouch for it as a stimulating exercise.


A course in Spring 2013 is Popular Culture and the Fine Arts, cross-listed as College of Visual and Performing Arts 5300 and School of Art 5340. The class meets weekly on Thursdays from 3:30 – 6:20 pm in the College of Architecture first floor Gallery Room 001. It is led by Dr. Heather Warren-Crow but will be taught by a team of instructors. Parking is available for auditors at $1.20 per hour across 18th Street to the south in the Flint Avenue Parking Facility fourth floor [rooftop].


The obvious suitability of this particular course for auditors caused me to make this suggestion but here is the catalog of courses for Spring 2014 from which you may choose a more fitting course.


———————— Cantina Antinori Winery at Bargino Italy is a world class architectural marvel ten years and $ 10 million dollars in the making that opened in Spring 2013.




Season Four of Downton Abbey begins January 5 but if you can’t wait until then, the first hour episode will be shown locally twice at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Firehouse Theatre 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Thursday December 12, 2013. The first showing is preceded by afternoon tea at 3:00 and the second showing is preceded by a reception at 6:00 pm. Call KTTZ-TV to reserve a seat at 806-762-8606. Free event.




Having just been through a wave of media events dealing with the President Jack Kennedy Assassination fifty years ago on November 23, 1963, and looking forward to 2014 as the centenary of The Great War [renamed after World War II as World War I] that began in 1914 and launched a century of warfare, can we make a judicious observation? Wars are reported by journalists, summed up by memoirists, and explained by historians. The journalists report bits and pieces, the individual tiles in a mosaic that is dimly perceived if at all. Military folk know this because each soldier has “his” war and another soldier’s experience and war is very different. The memoirists too often recall a social memory of the conflict that succeeds only in perpetuating myths and prolonging hatreds, thereby justifying both the past conflict and future possible conflicts. The legitimate historians finally arrive and construct an engagement with history rather than the partisanship of disputed memories real and inherited. We saw all this play out with regard to The Civil War / The War Between the States.


What we saw in November 2013 from the media was a replay of the previous media’s product and conflicting memoirist perspectives. If there was any legitimate history it was drowned out by the media drool and self-congratulatory pandering, and I wanted to find the history but didn’t.


Do you understand why or even how The Great War happened? What does it mean to you to think about Prussian military strength and zeal within a relatively new German state that included citizens who were anything but Prussian either ethnically or socially? And since so little was resolved by the ending of The Great War, we observed that in the late 1920s and 1930s there was a Nazi Party displaying strength and zeal within the dysfunctional German state that included a majority of citizens who were not Nazis. But the Nazis offered Germans promises and hope that were dear to the ear but eventually would be broken to the heart. The “necessary” war was anything but necessary. Isn’t the current spate of European Economic Community [commercial markets] and European Union [political structures] designed to avoid the very conditions that made it so easy to go to war? If  group economic support were not present, don’t you imagine that incendiaries in Greece would be promoting warfare as a solution? Keep looking for sensible understanding of prior events and don’t limit your search to journalists and memoirists. Be cautious about the books that will arrive from publishers in 2014 about The Great War. Some will be labeled as legitimate history but won’t be.


Memoirs can tell us what individuals went through and felt, but the bigger picture is harder to establish given a welter of conflicting impressions, even by people in positions that influenced or could have influenced outcomes. The cultural weight of memory may be “the weight of the dead on the living”. The reality of pre-1914 Europe was that great powers and their alliances had worked themselves into a state of heavily armed capability and deterrence, from which position war became an option or tool to gain what was wanted or needed. Many citizens embraced it, yet there was a growing peace movement that sought to derail that option. We might compare that ineffective peace movement with today’s environmental movement that has activists, passive sympathizers, and lip service from politicians, but governments won’t co-operate internationally and are unwilling to act unilaterally. The planet marches onward toward universal distress.







The New York City Opera closed and filed for bankruptcy. Its last staging was Mark Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole. It’s all recounted by Martin Filler, High Cultu

re Laid Low: A New York Requiem, The New York Review of Books , November 30, 2013




Mexican printmaker Jose Gauadalupe Posada 1851 – 1913 is the subject of two exhibits at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth Hombre: Prints by Jose Guadalupe Posada October 19 – April 6, 2014 and at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Calaveras Mexicanas: The Art and Influence of Jose Guadalupe Posada September 13 – December 15, 2013 He is now being viewed as a modern art master.




Yes, the annual Texas Cowboy Christmas Ball in Anson Texas is a running event beginning December 14 but Michael Martin Murphey will entertain there on December 21 Here is the Texas State Historical Association blurb Can’t make it to Anson on the 21st? Michael Martin Murphey Christmas Show is at Cactus Theater in Lubbock Tuesday December 10 at 7:30 pm $35 or balcony $30 phone 762-3233. This 68 year old singer-songwriter has become a legend in Texas


That same evening is the opening of Santa Land at Mackenzie Park in Lubbock every evening through December 23 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm, a free event. Look to the hillside to the south [adjacent to Meadowbrook Golf Course links] for Steve Teeters sculpted metal horses and look inside the gate in the front yard of the Bayer Museum of American Agriculture for the Quanah Parker Trail Arrow sculpted by Charles A Smith of New Home Texas.




Frank Reaugh 1860-1945 is titled the Dean of Texas Artists and started art being displayed at the Dallas Public Library and was the initial force for a Dallas Museum of Art. CASETA Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art has featured Reaugh at many of its events and symposia. His art is collected at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at University of Texas at Austin, Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock, and Texas Tech University Museum in Lubbock. His papers are lodged at the Southwest Collection at Texas Tech. Reaugh made many trips into West Texas carrying young artists for whom he was a mentor, mostly into the rolling plains country but occasionally up onto the Caprock and the edges of the escarpment, in the first two decades of the 20th century.


Marla Fields of Frisco Texas decided that a documentary film should be done on him so she produced and directed Frank Reaugh: Pastel Poet of the Texas Plains. A 17 minute preview or trailer for the film was shown in Lubbock at Charles Adams Gallery on Wednesday December 4 in hopes of raising funds to take the film to film festivals in 2014 where purchasers might be exposed to it. You can be part of that project or e-mail her PBS is interested in her project.


Robert Reitz, co-author with Gardner Smith of A Whirlwind Is Seen: An Appreciation of Frank Reaugh, Pastel Poet of the Southwest (Sun and Shadow Press 1992) was present at the Lubbock event and spoke about the artist. See also Michael Grauer & Paula Grauer, Dictionary of Texas Artists, 1800-1945 (Texas A&M University Press 1999) Texas Tech Library N6530.T4 G73