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


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