Archive | April, 2014

Arts History Update for mid May 2014

27 Apr

Arts History Update for mid May 2014 by David Cummins

Should Scotland be an Independent Country? That is the language of the Referendum plebiscite that will take place in Scotland on Thursday September 18, 2014. It is an historic question and an opportunity presented as a cross-roads to a people who are not of one mind and many may be unprepared to address it.,_2014

By gradual steps the United Kingdom through its Parliament has allowed devolution of partial political power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland so that each area has its own Parliament but there is no parliament for England, only the United Kingdom Parliament in which members from Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland sit as well as members from England.

The problem is that England dominates the union so heavily with 83.9% of the population, Scotland with only 8.4% Wales 4.8% and Northern Ireland 2.9%. The electorate in Scotland is 4.1 million people 16 years of age and older [in England voting age is 18 and older]. It is expected that about 3 million people will vote in the Referendum.

The Scottish National Party political party is a small fraction of the electorate and is barely powerful enough with its current majority control in the Scottish Parliament to gain this referendum opportunity, but not to determine its outcome. The Party’s rantings and media blitz are not indicative of or representative of the mood of Scots, the Scottish people.

Some astute people claim that rather than breaking away and being independent, Scotland should be one of four political units in a federation or federal setup like the United States [reserved powers in the states]and Canada [reserved powers in the dominion rather than the provinces], but if one creates an English parliament and then a federal parliament on top of that, the latter’s constituents Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland are too weak if England has 83.9% control. What would the English give up by way of control over the federal system, and why should they, and what would they gain? More to the point on a practical level, the English economy is staggered and anything but robust. There is no cash to remedy intractable unemployment and infrastructure problems much less to nurture a new political configuration. The reality is that Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland are outposts of Britishness in a Great Britain that is essentially English.

If the Scots understood that and what it means for them in their future, they would rationally take on the status of an independent country member of the British Commonwealth and take control of and responsibility for their own future. On the other hand, if the Scots are willing to be a British outpost of what is essentially an English nation and accept national control of a Scotland area by English interests, then they can vote no in the referendum.

What are some realities of independence? The North Sea oil industry would remain English and not be a money supply for Scotland beyond the location of management and hiring halls in Aberdeen Scotland and the nearby area, as a stable economic activity. The European Union would welcome an independent Scotland as a member of the EU and Scotland would use the Euro rather than the Pound Sterling as its new currency. Foreign investment in Scotland would occur at a healthy level and even at a robust level if Scotland encouraged rather than discouraged it. If it encouraged it, Scotland would grow up as a small European nation rather quickly and its present Britishness would be moderated. Comparisons to Holland and Denmark would be apt. Observant Scots would look at the northern provinces of England and see ignored waifs of a London constabulary, and be relieved that such a lot had not fallen on the Scots.

The future of Scotland is rather strong if Scots seize independence obtained by peaceful negotiation with friends rather than revolution and bloodshed. Will Scots be mature and confident enough on September 18 to seize that independence?

Surely it’s not a contradiction, that I think Wales and Northern Ireland should remain areas within an essentially English nation. If the Brits in Northern Ireland ever voluntarily wish to be incorporated into Ireland, that should be allowed to happen. The Welsh are one of several English oddities that contribute flavor and cultural heritage to the English nation. I very much enjoyed visiting Wales. It is not southwest Scotland.


Christopher B “Stubb” Stubblefield, Senior 1934-1995 is memorialized at the site of his restaurant 108 East Broadway Street in Lubbock about 50 yards east of Avenue A on the south side of Broadway Street facing north toward the South Plains Fairgrounds. The building is gone but the concrete pad on which it sat exists and there are markers on the pad showing the locations of the counter, kitchen, pit for pit barbeque, restrooms, and more. Terry Allen sculpted a larger than life size bronze Stubb (1999) that depicts him holding a platter of barbeque wearing his trademark overalls and smile. The statuary is the focal point of the site. Eleven trees frame the site and there are red flooring bricks around the pad, many inscribed for contributors to this memorial. For those of us who remember this chapter in the history of Lubbock, and were present to eat that barbeque and listen to the music, and be hosted by a truly unique individual “there will be no bad talk or loud talk in this place”, the memorial is just right for Stubb and for all who remember him and honor his legacy.

Musicians who played at Stubb’s BBQ include Jesse Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Ely, Terry Allen, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, Tom T Hall, B B King, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Linda Ronstadt, Clarence Brown, Fabulous Thunderbirds and George Thorogood.

Here is a picture of the restaurant during its day 1968-1982, so small it could but shouldn’t have accommodated 75 people. As I recall it, 45 people would fill the place He was known as C B Stubblefield but more often just Stubb. His parents had nine sons, so early on he had brothers and he added thousands more by his hospitality and good will.

Some visual art grew out of activities at Stubb’s BBQ. Paul Milosevich and James Eppler painted an occurrence The Great East Broadway Onion Championship of 1978 won by Tom T Hall over Joe Ely. Hall is depicted holding up a beer pitcher as a sign of victory and Joe is leaning on his refashioned cue stick that is actually a broom. Joe’s girlfriend Sharon was tired and wanted to go home so she picked up the white cue ball and put it in her pocket and walked out. Joe seized one of Stubb’s onions and used it for a cue ball and continued the game of pool.


Saturday May 3, 2014 there will be a Cinco de Mayo Parade with the theme We Are Lubbock commencing at 10:00 am east on Broadway Street ending at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) celebrates La Battala de Puebla del Cinco de Mayo 1862, an armed battle amazingly won by the lightly armed and under-manned Mexican forces led by Ignacio Zaragoza against a French Army unit marching through Puebla on its way to Mexico City. Despite the loss at Puebla the French Army regrouped and completed its successful march to Mexico City in 1863 and displaced the Mexican government that had refused to pay its debts to France. Debts to Spain and England were also not paid. Benito Juarez was president of Mexico for six terms 1858-1872 presiding except when exiled while Maximilian I ruled as French Emperor of Mexico. Maximilian was crowned Emperor at Mexico City on April 20, 1864 while Juarez was exiled in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua across the river from El Paso del Norte United States. Juarez would spend the remainder of his exile in Chihuahua City the capital of that northern state in Mexico. Maximilian was Maximilian Ferdinand von Habsburg, the younger brother of the Emperor of Austria Franz Joseph I, and gladly accepted Napoleon III’s challenge to lead Mexico, arriving in Mexico in early 1864.

In 1866 the American Civil War was over and President Andrew Johnson aided Mexico by establishing an American blockade of Veracruz and other ports to isolate the French supplied empire. France withdrew its army. Maximilian was captured and executed in 1867 and President Juarez returned to his office in Mexico City. The long rocky rule by Juarez was known as La Reforma and represented a triumph of Mexico’s liberal, federalist, anti-clerical, pro-capitalist forces over the conservative, centralist, corporatist and theocratic forces that sought a new version of the old colonial system oppressing and exploiting the masses of Mexican people in favor of an elite [now home-grown rather than Spanish]. La Reforma was not to last. Under Porfirio Diaz, a long rule 1876-1911 ended with the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1920, and Diaz brought a return to centralized autocracy and economic exploitation. Diaz fled to France in 1911 and died there four years later. It would take years of post-revolution multi-sided civil war for the Mexican government to stabilize under a Constitution of 1917 and start anew in 1920, a full century after its independence from Spain in 1821. 1910-1920 commanders, leaders, heroes and villains included Pascual Orozco, Francisco Madero, Victoriano Huerta, Bernardo Reyes, Felix Diaz, Emiliano Zapata, Venustiano Carranza, Francisco “Pancho” Villa, and Alvaro Obregon. The tumult in The Great War and Russian Revolution in Europe during this period was mirrored in Mexico.

The way forward has not been smooth, has not been without corruption, and has not been universally or even generally beneficial for the mass of Mexican people despite oil discoveries and exploitation in the Gulf of Mexico and thriving petrol-chemical industries. The PRI Institutional Revolutionary Party [Partido Revolucionario Institucional] political party was formed in 1929 and held political power as if it were a state party through a succession of presidents until Vicente Fox and the PAN National Action Party came to power in 2000 and again under Felipe Calderon in 2006. However, those administrations were uneven and PRI took back the presidency in 2012 under Pena Nieto. Back in 1989 the left wing of the PRI split off and formed PRD Party of the Democratic Revolution and it has increased its power, so there are three active nationwide political parties in Mexico.

In some ways Mexico is a failed state in that while wealthy and resource-laden it does not and seemingly cannot provide its citizens with uniformly assured levels of government services and infrastructure capabilities, so its citizens are unable to seize opportunities to better their lives. It is excellent in preserving and promoting its national sovereignty, no more so than in the late 1930s when President Lazaro Cardenas became hugely popular for expropriating the oil interests of American and European petroleum companies.

In 1990 the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa [Nobel Prize for Literature 2010] famously called the Mexican government under the PRI “la dictadura perfecta”, the perfect dictatorship.


Newsom Grape Day will be held at Newsom’s Barn on FM Road 2196 one mile east of Plains Texas where there are now 92 acres of vineyard grapes grown for wine. It’s an educational event for growers and wine makers and the just downright curious, this year focusing on the Tempranillo grape Telephone 806-456-7885 to the vineyards for more information. The event is Friday May 9, 2014 beginning with registration at 8:00 am. Newsom Vineyards is a major player in Texas wine grape growing. Plains is west of Brownfield Texas about 75 miles from Lubbock and only 15 miles east of the New Mexico border.

Saturday May 10 is the Wine and Music Festival sponsored by the Texas Wine and Grape Growers Association at the Mallet Event Center & Arena in Levelland Texas at 2320 U.S. Highway 385 south of town Daytime shopping and enjoyment of displays and eating barbeque is a free admission 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The evening Music Fest 6:45 – 11:30 pm is $25 per person with Ray Wylie Hubbard taking the stage at 9:30 pm

A quick drive to a quality vineyard is toward Lost Draw Vineyards run by Andy Timmons at 1701 County Road 525 near Brownfield Texas. He’s grown Viognier, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Muscat Canelli, Pinot Grigio, Vermentino and Malbec grapes. From Brownfield head east on US Highway 380 past the Terry County Airport and turn right or south for a mile.

Texas Custom Wine Works is a new wine-making facility [begins by crushing grapes and proceeds from there, because there is a market for crushed grapes mash that is usable by wineries for making blended wines] for growers who want to make mash or wine rather than sell their grapes to a single or stand alone winery. Located at 1823 County Road 460 south of Brownfield west of Lamesa Highway 137 and east of US Highway 62.


Since we talked about the history of Mexico perhaps we should explore the history of Texas, in snippets of course because we are so interested in so many details that we can only participate by portions. If we start with Northern New Spain whose east boundary was the Gulf of Mexico and the Sabine River with Louisiana Territory on the east, and we notice a colonial Spanish empire that is weak because Spain is weak because Napoleon was stronger, and Napoleon abruptly forfeited his French claims to North America by selling off the Louisiana Purchase 1803 properties [$15 million or 3 cents per acre including parts of 15 states doubling the size of the United States] that extended north and west from New Orleans Louisiana into the heartland of the American west from the Mississippi River up to the Rocky Mountains crest, and the Spanish ceded some land in what is now Louisiana east of the lower Sabine River in 1819 and sold Florida to the United States in exchange in part for an official United States renunciation of any claims to Tejas, that land west of the Sabine River. President Madison formally made it illegal to enter Tejas without approval of northern New Spain officials.

There had been filibusters or unauthorized and unapproved people who came into Tejas and claimed land by putting a plough to it, raising a shack and defending the tract with a rifle and knife. They were basically rogues because they had no status or authority from the United States or from New Spain or, later, Mexico. They were dealt with harshly by northern New Spain officials especially including General Arredondo. The last of the filibusters or rogues was Dr. James Long. When he heard, in Natchez Mississippi, of the Treaty with Spain that renounced United States claims to Tejas he formed a band of eighty men and marched west to Nacogdoches in June 1819. Arriving there he declared Tejas a free and independent republic, his band elected him its president, and he began to grant lands. He sent men to posts on the Trinity and Brazos Rivers while he went to Galveston Island to confer and try to join forces with Jean Lafitte. Lafitte refused unless Long could raise a large army. Long returned to Nacogdoches and found Spanish forces had retaken the place, killed his brother, captured some settlers, and others had fled back to Louisiana Territory. He joined them but went on to organize his last expedition in 1820 the so-called “Patriot Army” and sailed the Tejas coast to Point Bolivar, went inland to La Bahia and took control there momentarily before Spanish forces forced his surrender and deportation south to Mexico City where he was shot to death. See a book that explains the conditions in the United States during this period. John R. Van Atta, Securing the West: Politics, Public Lands, and the Fate of the Old Republic, 1785-1850 (Johns Hopkins University Press 2014) 311 pages.

Recall that this period was fraught with unrest, uncertainty and shifting alliances. Grito de Dolores [the shout of Dolores near Guanajuato Mexico] commenced the Mexican War of Independence from Spain on September 16, 1810 and ultimately ended the three century Spanish colonial empire and began the Republic of Mexico on September 28, 1821.

This set the stage for emressarios to populate Tejas. Moses Austin traveled to San Antonio de Bexar in 1820 and by January 17, 1821 he had a grant to bring 300 families into Tejas. He returned to Missouri but his health was broken and he died. His son Stephen F. Austin took over the grant to bring colonists from the United States into Tejas or Texas. These colonists would become citizens of New Spain or later Mexico as a condition of receiving their portions of the land grant. Austin rode to Nacogdoches and met with Spanish commissioners Juan de Veramendi and Erasmo Seguin who accepted him as heir to his father’s grant and Governor Martinez did also, so papers from Monterrey’s Provincial Council were issued establishing the grant which stated:

“Therefore, to the first and principal requisite of being Catholics, or agreeing to become so, before entering Spanish territory they also add that of accrediting their good character and habits … and taking the necessary oath to be obedient in all things to the government, to take up arms in its defense against all kinds of enemies, and to be faithful to the King, and to observe the political institution of the Spanish monarchy, the most flattering hopes may be formed that [Tejas] will receive an important augmentation in agriculture, industry, and arts by the new immigrants, who will introduce them.”

Governor Martinez added these words: “I shall also expect from the prudence which your actions demonstrate, and for your own peace and prosperity, that all the families you introduce shall be honest and industrious, in order that idleness and vice may not pervert the good and meritorious who are worthy of Spanish esteem and the protection of this government, which will be extended to them in proportion to the moral virtue displayed by them”.

This language, when read and pondered on closely, clearly established the mutuality of assent and contract entered in by both sides. Austin must clearly have known what he must gain from his colonists by pledge and commitment even if many would not be able to read and understand these words. Austin did have a private oral agreement with Governor Martinez and the Spanish commissioners that the requirement of the Roman Catholic religion would not be enforced. The people need only state that they are Catholic and appear to be Catholic. Further, Austin agreed that the American colonists would be substantial law-abiding people.

By 1823 he had traveled in Louisiana and elsewhere advertising the grant and encouraging emigration by a group of settlers that ultimately became known as the “Old 300”. Most came through Natchitoches Louisiana on the Texas Road to Nacogdoches Tejas its sister town with a slightly different spelling. He himself set up in San Felipe de Austin on the east bank of the Brazos River. He completed his contract and was able thereby to secure four more contracts authorizing the settlement of 1,700 additional families. Stephen F. Austin is known as the “Father of Texas.” Taking on his own father’s idea for a colony venture in Spanish Texas, Austin devoted himself to the project stating [I devote] “my life to the great object of redeeming it [Tejas properties under the land grant] from the wilderness….by peaceful, silent, noiseless perseverance and industry, and that the ax, the plow and the hoe would do more than the rifle or the sword”. He did however deal forcefully with the Karankawa Indians.

San Felipe de Austin was laid out in a town plat in 1823 and Austin’s home from which he conducted business was a six lot tract adjoining present day Commerce Plaza that is now San Felipe State Historic Site [donated to the state in 1940 and currently managed by the Texas Historical Commission] owned by the State of Texas and open to the public. His only other home in Texas was on the outskirts of San Felipe, today a small town in Austin County west of the City of Houston off Interstate Highway 10 but then it was intentionally chosen by Austin because of its river access and its being on the wagon road [Atascosito Road] from San Antonio de Bexar to New Orleans. His second home was burned during the 1836 Texas Revolution. The first home was referred to in history as The Log Cabin and was painted into history by Henry Arthur McArdle, The Settlement of Austin’s Colony, or the Log Cabin (1875) which painting the state refused to purchase from McArdle but he generously loaned it and it hung in the State Capitol for years until it was purchased by James DeShields, art collector, in 1901 and purchased from him by the state in 1928. It still hangs in the State Capitol Building. McArdle 1836-1908 from San Antonio tells us much of Texas history in the painting Stephen Austin appears centrally with a raised rifle in his right hand. The six other people reflect what has just happened. In the open doorway is a scout who is reporting a Karankawa Indian raid and pointing his left hand in the direction of the ongoing raid. This is an interruption in the activity in which Baron de Bastrop [Felipe Enrique Neri who enjoyed in Tejas his assumed baronage] in the lower left has a parchment letter in his hand, and Horatio Chriesman, the surveyor, is at the lower right and has been marking on the puncheon floor outlining a piece of land for which Austin is about to issue a title. Ran Foster, the hunter, has a pipe in his hand and is leaning forward to hear the news, while behind him standing is Samuel M. Williams, colony secretary. Simon, an African-American who is the cook, left his fire and is looking in from outside the cabin through the window to hear the alarming report of an Indian raid. Austin had been seated at the table but immediately rises at the report of a raid and raises his rifle to call on the community to rise and resist the Karankawa raiders. The event is dated as 1824.

San Felipe de Austin quickly became the second largest town in Tejas, second to San Antonio de Bexar. It was the colonial Anglo capital and ultimately became the place from which Texians [Anglo settlers] and Tejanos [Hispanic settlers] would lodge complaints against the Mexican government 1832-1835 [conventions of 1832 and 1833 and consultation of 1835] and then became the provisional seat of a potential independent government during the Texas Revolution 1835-1836.

To maintain context, Stephen F. Austin was not the only land contractor or empressario in Tejas but Austin was the principal one and he meticulously and honorably tried to fulfill his contracts with the Mexican government and traveled to Mexico City at some peril and discomfort in order to meet face to face with Mexican authorities. He came to be regarded as the principal communicator and representative of Texian and Tejano interests in Tejas relative to Mexico, the sovereign nation, and its authorities in the northern state of Coahuila y Tejas that was established by the Mexican Constitution of 1824 and had its state capital in Saltillo. That state’s constitution of 1827 was never acceptable to Texians and Tejanos so the 1833 convention in San Felipe de Austin sought a splitting off of Tejas from Coahuila and it was the proposed constitution for the new state of Tejas that Austin carried with him to Mexico City, hoping to persuade the central government to approve it. He was jailed for some months.

Here is what he presented in his own words “In 1833 the people of Tejas, after a full examination of their population and resources, and of the law and constitution, decided, in general convention elected for that purpose, that the period had arrived contemplated by said law and compact of 7th May, 1824 [Mexican Constitution of 1824], and that the country [Tejas] possessed the necessary elements to form a state separate from Coahuila. A respectful and humble petition was accordingly drawn up by this convention, addressed to the general congress of Mexico [in Mexico City], praying for the admission of Tejas into the Mexican confederation as a state. I had the honor of being appointed by the convention the commissioner or agent of Tejas to take this petition to the city of Mexico, and present it to the government. I discharged this duty to the best of my feeble abilities, and, as I believed, in a respectful manner. Many months passed and nothing was done with the petition, except to refer it to a committee of congress, where it slept and was likely to sleep. I finally urged the just and constitutional claims of Tejas to become a state in the most pressing manner, as I believed it to be my duty to do; representing also the necessity and good policy of this measure, owing to the almost total want of local government of any kind, the absolute want of a judiciary, the evident impossibility of being governed any longer by Coahuila, (for three fourths of the legislature were from there,) and the consequent anarchy and discontent that existed in Tejas. It was my misfortune to offend the high authorities of the nation, my frank and honest exposition of the truth was construed into threats”

Austin established a horse-rider carried mail and message service to and between his colonists and established a newspaper/gazette in San Felipe that was widely distributed. Between the gazette, the mail, and neighbors visiting each other, the colonists were in routine and regular communication with each other and knew what was happening in this frontier land. They came to each others aid and behaved like a widespread community of settlers. This provided a model for other colonies and for settlements by unauthorized settlers.

Austin had many interactions with Mexican authorities and was an astute observer of human psychology and behavior, saying this about them: “They are a strange people and must be studied to be managed. The have high ideas of national dignity, should it be openly attacked, but will sacrifice national dignity, and national interest too, if it can be done in a “still” way, or so as not to arrest public attention. “Dios castiga el escandelo mas que el crimen” [God punishes the exposure more than the crime] is their motto. The maxim influences their morals and their politics. I learned it when I was there in 1822 and I now believe that if I had not always kept it in view, and known the power that “appearances” have on them, even when they know they are deceived, I should never have succeeded to the extent I have done in Americanizing Texas.”


Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is now open at 120 West Loop 289 at North Slide Road After 6:00 pm prices are $9 regular movie $12 3D movie with seniors and children $7 and $10. Before 6:00 pm all prices are $7 and $10. Wraps, snacks, munchy foods and craft beers are on offer from a menu so arrive early for an un-rushed selection.


Road Scholar, the former Elderhostel travel program, partners with The Barnes Foundation at its new Philadelphia art museum campus, to bring on several five day programs for Road Scholar groups to have an intensive immersion into the unique and important collection of the Barnes. The cost is $1,249 per person and probably worth every penny

This collection was first made available to the public in 1922 by Alfred Barnes in his unique manner in a suburb of Philadelphia, and is now housed in the city in a fantastic new building after a bitter controversy and litigation that is postlude to a previous period of time and a prelude to the contemporary period at the Barnes. Ignore the controversy, live in the moment, and enjoy the new Barnes. If a five day immersion experience is a possibility, it couldn’t occur at a more unique and thrilling location. It likely would be a life altering experience for the aesthetic part of your soul.

As a paradigm or model for other art museums, many of them would do well to offer immersion programs of one type or another, with small unadvertised groups, testing how to put on and make those experiences meaningful and enjoyable, and when they’ve got it mastered, go public and create a revenue stream.


Arts History Update for early May 2014

22 Apr

Arts History Update for early May 2014 by David Cummins

The University Public Art Committee is not entirely comprised of artists but there have been many on that Committee over the years. Jane Bell director of operations at the International Cultural Center, herself a former member of the Committee, decided to mount an exhibit of art by some of those artists, perhaps as a window for the viewer into the minds of folks who commission artists to create original works of public art on the campus. That campus art has won national acclaim.

The exhibit is April 23 – June 13 and the opening reception is Thursday May 1, 2014 at 5:00 – 7:00 pm with a talk by Emily Wilkinson public art manager at 6:00 pm and she will show images of several stellar pieces of art on campus. International Cultural Center Auditorium at 600 Indiana Avenue. Free event.

The artists are Bonnie Aycock, John Chinn, Ken Dixon, Tina Fuentes, Lahib Jaddo, Pat Maines, Ken Pirtle, Barbara Barnhart Rallo, Ashton Thornhill and Sara Peso White. All or most of the artists will be present at the opening reception. Pirtle lives in Amarillo while the remainder reside in Lubbock. More information at 742-3667.

——————————- This Rails to Trails Conservancy website features Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway. The state park is 3 miles outside Quitaque to the northwest while the Trailway, the former Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway operating from 1928 as part of the Fort Worth and Denver Railway known as The Denver Road that opened in 1888, extends 64 miles from Estelline in the east on the rolling plains to the small community of South Plains in the west up on the high plains or caprock north east of Flyodada. The escarpment presented a challenge for the railroad company so Clarity Tunnel was built and hiking or bicycling or riding a horse into and through the tunnel is an adventure. I am glad to report having that adventure several years ago. The Park and Trailway are operated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

A successor railroad company Burlington Northern SF abandoned the 64 mile trackage in 1989 and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired it in 1993. The Denver Road was built from Fort Worth to Harrold [between Wichita Falls and Vernon] in 1881 but then the decision was made in 1885 to accommodate the panhandle region and extend the railroad to Amarillo and on to Texline into New Mexico Territory at Clayton where it could connect with the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe at Raton New Mexico Territory and thus take cargo and people to and from Denver. New York Times April 11, 1885 newspaper report. U.S. Highway 87 lays astride that trackage today.

Frontier Days are Friday and Saturday May 9-10 2014 at the park [includes re-enactments] and the fourth annual Texas Bison Festival is Saturday October 4, 2014 at nearby locations for 2013 Foundation where donors may contribute is

Here is a video titled Saving the Southern Bison at Caprock Canyons State Park The bison introduced to the park as the official Texas Bison Herd are genetically related to the bison calves that Molly Goodnight and her husband Charles rescued and kept on the Goodnight Ranch east of Claude Texas and north of Palo Duro Canyon.

The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock Texas is located at a former depot of the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway 1801 Crickets Avenue [former Avenue G]. This was not the first depot or trackage into Lubbock. That distinction belongs to Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway when it extended south from Amarillo to Lubbock in 1909, then a newly incorporated town of 1,000 people but within three years a town of 4,000 people. Transportation was key.


A variety of adult classes in various art media are offered at the municipal Garden & Arts Center 4215 University Avenue, Lubbock this Summer from May 17 through August 18. Call to inquire or pick up a brochure phone 806-767-3724.

Of course art classes are available year round at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts 511 Avenue K downtown. Lubbock Moonlight Arts Academy now offers classes for both teens and adults in a variety of arts.


Paul McCartney is touring Out There and that tour will include Lubbock Texas on Saturday June 14, 2014 at United Spirit Arena on the Texas Tech campus He is currently in South America April 19 at Montevideo Uruguay April 21-22 Santiago Chile April 25 Lima Peru and April 28 Quito Ecuador, then on to Japan and South Korea before beginning the United States leg of the tour. Non-transferable tickets include mementos by which to remember the event $250, $165, $89.50 and $59.50 and can be obtained through his website now by registered fans [free registration] and go on sale to the public on April 25 and probably will be sold out in hours. McCartney’s agent approached Lubbock because the star wants to see and be, if ever so briefly, in the city that produced Charles Hardin “Buddy Holly” Holley and the Crickets. Whatever was scheduled or not around June 14 at the arena was moved to accommodate an international icon.

Here is the BBC report of the day the music died in 1959 We look back and are amazed at how much he accomplished by 22 years of age.

McCartney’s latest album is New (2013) $14.21 at


Twelfth Night, or What You Will (1602) is one of Shakespeare’s most musically-rich plays. Characters break into song, and their dialogue frequently references many popular tunes of the day. The Bard’s audience would have known these songs well, and “got the jokes”. Hopefully we will also. The play is being presented by the Texas Tech University Theater Department Thursday May 1 through Sunday May 4 at the Maedgen Theater 2812 18th Street with live music provided by members of the Texas Tech Early Music Ensemble from the School of Music. It’s always good to witness collaboration by academic units, especially in the performing arts disciplines. Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm and Sunday afternoon at 2:00 pm $18 for tickets.

Heart-sick nobles, saucy servants and mistaken identities all collide in a delightful mix of the high and low in Shakespeare’s richest comedy about the things we do for love. In the words of Duke Orsino, “If music be the food of love, play on!”

William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, or What You Will is a comedy about a cross-dressing, ship-wreck surviving, poetry-loving girl who finds herself at the center of a not-so-average love triangle.

Written between 1601 and 1602 (right around the same time Shakespeare wrote Hamlet and Troilus and Cressida), the play is most famous today for being a so-called “Transvestite Comedy” (which just means it’s a comedy with one or more cross-dressing characters). In Elizabethan London, all stage plays were performed by male actors who cross-dressed in order to play the parts of women. Twelfth Night is particularly provocative and interesting, since the role of its heroine, Viola, would have been played by a boy actor, who was cross-dressed as a female character, who cross-dresses as a boy.
The story line has inspired many remakes and adaptations including the popular teen flick She’s The Man (2006) starring Amanda Bynes.

Viola’s cross-dressing may be no big moral whoop for audiences today but, for late 16th century and early 17th century Puritans, it was a big no-no. Theater critics argued that cross-dressing was sinful, “wicked,” and “monstrous”. They argued that it promoted sexual deviance and turned women into hermaphrodites. Today Twelfth Night is one of the most popular and beloved of Shakespeare comedies perhaps because of its rebellious portrayal of gender ambiguity.

It was popular back in Shakespeare’s day too, but perhaps for different reasons. We know from 17th century law student John Manningham’s diary that Twelfth Night was performed at the Middle Temple (a London law school) on February 2, 1602. Check out what he had to say:

At our feast we had a play called “Twelfth Night, or What You Will,” much like “The Comedy of Errors” […] A good practice in it to make a Steward believe his Lady Widow was in love with him, by counterfeiting a letter […]

It’s interesting that Manningham’s diary entry focuses on the Malvolio sub-plot, which isn’t necessarily what contemporary readers think of when they reflect on the play. Manningham’s entry suggests that, at least for him, the play’s ridicule of the social-climbing Puritan figure, Malvolio, was the most interesting and entertaining part of the performance. Several decades later, King Charles I (b. 1600-1649) may have thought the same thing. In his copy of Shakespeare’s works, he crossed out the title Twelfth Night and wrote in Malvolio! as a replacement.
Of course Queen Elizabeth I sat on the throne when Twelfth Night was penned. We wonder what she thought of the play, if she ever saw it, that is. Critics aren’t sure. If you aren’t sure, then know that Shakespearean scholar and professor Bill Gelber is the director of this production and might tell us this and more. Try out a bit of high culture legitimacy presented with contemporary flair by talented young people.
For those who might wish to read the entire play before attending And here is the SparkNotes character analysis


Remembering German Western Writer Karl May at the National Ranching Heritage Center is presented free Friday May 2 from 6:00 – 10:00 pm 3121 4th Street. For more information call 806.742.0498 or e-mail

Spend some time learning about German writer Karl May, the impact of his writings, and German settlement in Texas. Planned around a new exhibition “Tall Tales of the Wild West: The Stories of Karl May,” visitors will learn about the German author May (1842 – 1912) and his connection to the Llano Estacado and German interest in our region. An additional exhibit will be on display at Hedwig’s Hill, one of the Proctor Park historic structures with a German history. Following the lectures, a movie based on one of Karl May’s books will be shown on the Campbell Patio south of the building. Light refreshments will be served.

Meredith McClain Texas Tech German professor, is writing a book about Karl May Here is more about the German connection with Lubbock–complete.pdf

A biography of John Updike is Adam Begley, Updike (Harper 2014) $22.22 Kindle $14.44 reviewed by Orham Pamuk, Updike At Rest: Adam Begley’s “Updike”, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, April 17, 2014.
Updike the novelist was also a prolific short story writer, so good that Philip Roth called him “our second Hawthorne”. His collections of stories were published as Pigeon Feathers (1962) The Music School (1966) Museums and Women (1972) Problems (1979) Trust Me (1987) The Afterlife (1994) Licks of Love (2000) and My Father’s Tears (2009). John Updike: the Collected Stories (ed. Christopher Carduff, Library of America 2013 in two volumes at 1,872 pages) $44.87
Here is a 17 minute short film based on Updike’s short story A&P and a blog discussion of that story
From boyhood he drew, initially cartoons, and was a keen appreciator of art. He wrote three books about art Just Looking: Essays on Art (Alfred A. Knopf 1989) Texas Tech Library N71.U64 Still Looking: Essays on American Art (Alfred A. Knopf 2006) N6505.U64 Always Looking: Essays on Art (Alfred A. Knopf 2012) N71.U63 John Updike 1932-2009

NBA [National Basketball Association] Playoffs [professional male basketball] begin April 20, 2014

Season ended [82 games] with most wins as follows:

San Antonio 62, Oklahoma City 59, Los Angeles Clippers 57, Indiana 56, Miami [defending champion] 54, Portland 54, Houston 54

San Antonio Spurs earned home court advantage and open up against Dallas Mavericks for an old-fashioned Texas shootout near a corral, your television set on Fox Sports Southwest cable channel. First game April 20 won by Spurs 90-85.

Worst team during the season was Milwaukee Bucks 15 wins and 67 losses [a league record low for wins] into which new owners arrived April 17 after paying $550 million for the team. Those reckless spenders are Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens both billionaires so this is pin money. Lasry is a hedge fund manager and CEO of Avenue Capital Group while Edens is founder of Fortress, a private equity firm. Other poor teams were Philadelphia 76ers 19 wins, Orlando Magic 23 wins, and Utah Jazz 25 wins.


Cuming Museum (opened 1906) at 151 Walworth Road, London England [former Walworth Town Hall] suffered a fire on March 25, 2013. The bulk of the museum collection was unaffected and is in safe storage or displayed at various sites. Some items were recovered and are being cleaned and conserved. The intention is to reopen the museum in this very building after it is rebuilt. The museum served two purposes: (1) keeping the Cuming family [primarily Richard Cuming 1777-1870 and his son Henry Syer Cuming 1817-1902] art and artifact collection available to the public, and (2) serving as the museum for the history of the borough of Southwark. Information on the family and the museum is at

From London city center north of the Thames River, take Blackfriars Bridge which is Highway A201 south across the Thames into Southwark where it is called Blackfriars Road and travel to Elephant & Castle “turn around” and get on Highway A215 which is Walworth Road going south and get off at 151 two blocks south. If you consider the bridges over the Thames in London from east to west, they are Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Lambeth Bridge and Vauxhall Bridge. Are you oriented now? and this orientation aid

University of the Arts London includes six colleges one of which is London College of Communication that is located on the west side of Elephant & Castle.

Austin Osman Spare 1886-1956 was a socialist, pacifist, artist, magus/mystic and writer who served during The Great War in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France and Belgium. Thought to be a minor British artist, he is getting attention recently. Austin Osman Spare: Cockney Visionary, A Catalogue of Artworks (Jerusalem Press Limited 2010) was published for an exhibit Fallen Visionary at the Cuming Museum September 13 – November 14, 2010. Austin Osman Spare, The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love): The Psychology of Ecstasy (Co-operative Printing Society 1913 reprinted 1975 reprinted Jerusalem Press Limited 2011) paperback used $6.30 Kindle $3.99; ABE Books new print on demand is $9.42 incl s&h but better value is $10.89 new print on demand incl s&h that includes additional writings Automatic Drawings, Anathema of Zos, and Focus of Life. An even better value is to read all four writings online free at

————————– Entrance to Yellow House Ranch in northern Hockley County on FM 597 that is 3.5 miles west of junction with FM 1490 which junction is the Oklahoma Flats Community. Easiest way to reach it is to drive north from Levelland Texas on US Highway 385 through Whitharral and turn left or west onto FM 597. Proceed west on FM 597 through the Oklahoma Flats Community to the entrance to Yellow House Ranch. On the Ranch is Yellow Lake [part in Hockley County and part in Lamb County], Illusion Lake, Bull Lake, Rattlesnake Lake and Devil’s Inkwell Spring [all in Lamb County], all fed by Yellow House Draw. The watershed extends northwest to Portales New Mexico. Abutting Yellow Lake is Las Casas Amarillas or the Yellow Houses which were caves carved by Indians long ago in the limestone cliff or bluff above the lake and used as shelter. Below the cliff were two springs called Yellow House Springs that the Indians used for a supply of fresh potable water.

George Littlefield acquired Yellow House Ranch (1901) 312,175 acres in four counties and constructed a ranch headquarters building in the early 20th century at the Yellow House Springs site. The building burned and does not presently exist. The Ranch had been Yellow Houses division or part of the XIT spread before George Littlefield bought the southern part and continued to use the name Yellow House. In the late 19th century the Mackenzie Trail from Fort Griffin [Clear Fork of the Brazos River] to Fort Sumner New Mexico Territory [Pecos River] ran through this historic ranch land posting and supplying cavalry troops. Can’t we see in our minds the legendary Colonel Ranald Mackenzie leading a foray along the trail named for him? In the journals of the Coronado Expedition of 1541 these cliffs were described as Las Casas Amarillas since they looked to him like a Spanish apartment house.

On Friday April 25, 2014 at 10:30 am another Quanah Parker Trail Arrow will be installed by Charles A. Smith at the entrance to the historic Yellow House Ranch.

Arts History Update on Paul McCartney Concert “Out There”

18 Apr

Paul McCartney is touring Out There and that tour will include Lubbock Texas on Saturday June 14, 2014 at United Spirit Arena on the Texas Tech campus He is currently in South America April 19 at Montevideo Uruguay April 21-22 Santiago Chile April 25 Lima Peru and April 28 Quito Ecuador, then on to Japan and South Korea before beginning the United States leg of the tour. Non-transferable tickets include mementos by which to remember the event $250, $165, $89.50 and $59.50 and can be obtained through his website now by registered fans [free registration] and go on sale to the public on April 25 and probably will be sold out in hours. McCartney’s agent approached Lubbock because the star wants to see and be in the city that produced Charles Hardin “Buddy Holly” Holley and the Crickets. Whatever was scheduled or not around June 14 at the arena was moved to accommodate an international icon.

Here is the BBC report of the day the music died in 1959 We look back and are amazed at how much he accomplished by 22 years of age.

David Cummins

Arts History Update for very late April 2014

16 Apr

Arts History Update for very late April 2014 by David Cummins

John Carey, The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books (Faber and Faber 2014) $20.56 Kindle $10.86 is a memoir by the now 80 year old Merton Professor of English Literature Emeritus [since 2001] at St John’s College Oxford University his alma mater. While an outstanding don he was also a principal book reviewer for The London Times newspaper and so had a foot in grub street. He is currently writing a blog that includes references to interviews with him about this new book

He is a fervent anti-class structure person in Britain having come up through Grammar Schools [equivalent in USA to public schools] rather than Public School [equivalent in USA to private academies, both expensive and exclusive and so unavailable to the middle class and below] and entered St John’s College Oxford University on scholarship for having outwitted his competitors. He took a “first” graduating at the top or in the top tier of his academic matriculating class. See one of his masterpieces The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880 – 1939 (Faber and Faber 1992) Texas Tech Library PR471.C37.

John Carey, What Good Are the Arts? (Oxford University Press 2006) $25.67 (paperback 2010) $16.16 Texas Tech Library BH39.C373 ABE Books in good condition $4.03, is a stimulating book in which he debunks some in-vogue high-culture claims about the arts while embracing the arts warmly, although his clear preference is for his own activity, the literary arts or literature. That is to be expected and allowed for without agreement or disagreement. The book is recommended.

He wrote an essay Down With Dons in 1974 that was so witty and spot on, that it became famous and an example of professorial debunking. It could only have been written by a paid up member of the academic cadre it affects to despise. Here it is in eleven pages


The Lubbock Area Foundation periodically offers a day of tours to local organizations to which it has made grants, so that community members who sign up for the free tour can gain a deeper understanding about issues that affect lives in our community and can meet people who spend themselves in addressing those issues. On Thursday April 10, 2014 the Foundation led a group of people to Equine Refuge Services, Children’s Advocacy Center of the South Plains, and Link Ministries Tent City for Homeless and One-9 Sports Complex for Youth.

I was privileged to go on this tour and highly recommend a future tour. One does gain a deeper understanding, and it is thrilling to witness the passionate commitment of the people who operate these programs. At the Children’s Advocacy Center, after hearing from Carmen Aguirre and her staff and touring the facility, two presentations were made one from Fritizi Cates representing High Point Village and another from Laurie Foster representing Backyard Mission. Horses and hippo therapy and equine psycho-therapy lets people with physical and mental disabilities find and share an ability with a responsive animal that offers an opportunity for a unique relationship. Equine Refuge Services is located at 8405 County Road 2500 which is also described as 8405 South Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, reached by traveling south on Interstate Highway 27 to 82nd Street and turn east on 82nd Street to MLK Blvd and turn south two blocks where Equine Refuge Services is the 40 acre spread of barns, stables and paddocks on the east side of MLK. The directors and owners are a couple Patti and Randy Mandrell. Sexual abuse, violent and neglectful care, and just plain awful behavior toward children finds a response at the Children’s Advocacy Center of the South Plains 720 Texas Avenue with a 24/7 staff that immediately offers shelter, safety, structured and careful counseling, solace for traumatized children, and more. Tent City for the Homeless is now called High Cotton Genesis Program, on the east side of Avenue A at 13th Street. Link Ministries now owns the retired cotton delinting plant and cottonseed oil plant properties all the way from 13th Street to 19th Street and the One-9 Sports Complex is located at 205 East 19th Street on the south end of the property. In between those two locations is the Link Ministries administrative offices at 1701 Avenue A. The director is Les Burrus who might be described as a no nonsense compassionate man who helps people earn their accommodations and services and gain self-respect while becoming a member of a living community in which they can find safety, assured support, and rest from the constant stress. High Point Village at 10911 Slide Road is an activity center for Autism spectrum, Down Syndrome and similarly affected people, with plans for building a residential community on a 42 acre donated tract of land. Backyard Mission at 8205 Quincy Avenue helps people with homes that have serious issues by making free repairs to roofing, siding, windows, plumbing and other problems to get people into a livable state within their own homes. The workers are volunteers and the materials are either donated or purchased with contributions so it’s a self-funded pay as you go activity with no debt.

The Lubbock Area Foundation started in 1981 and now has a $32 million endowment the net income from which is granted to various organizations and activities within the area. It is a community foundation for the Texas South Plains located at 2509 80th Street.


Poetry is words with meaning crafted to reveal that meaning directly into the reader’s imagination, and when read expressively by the author of those words, can be a wondrous experience. It will happen again on Friday April 25, 2014 at 7:30 pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Lubbock 2801 42nd Street by poet and reader Larry D. Thomas This is a free event and the public is invited, refreshments and a book signing for purchasers afterward. His website is

Thomas was born in Haskell, educated in Midland and Brownwood and the University of Houston, service in the Navy as a counselor at the Navy Corrections Center, followed by a career as a probation counselor for Harris County (Houston) Texas. He now lives in Alpine Texas. He was the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. His current book of poetry is The Lobsterman’s Dream [Poems of the Coast of Maine] (El Grito del Lobo Press 2014 at 48 pages with woodcuts by Clarence Wolfshotl $23) and he will read from this collection.

Texas Tech Library has three collections of his poetry Amazing Grace (Texas Review Press 2001) PS3620.H63 A43 Where Skulls Speak Wind (Texas Review Press 2004) PS3620.H63 W48 and New and Selected Poems (Texas Christian University Press 2008) PS3620.H63 A6.

He publishes digitally online, an example being Far (West Texas) (2011) [nine short poems in chapbook format illustrated by croppings from photographs of the historic Kokernot 06 Ranch by his wife Lisa Thomas] publisher is Right Hand Pointing and here are the poems that include:

parsimony is mayor, judge, and governor; politics, the paring down by sun and wind to dust

One has several responses, starting with halleluiah and ending with getting in the car and heading for Alpine. At Right Hand Pointing you can also read Thomas’s Plain Pine (2008) The Circus (2009) Five Lavender Minutes of an Afternoon (2010) Social Networks (2012) Colors (2013) and The Red, Candle-lit Darkness (2013).

Other literary events open to the public and held at First Unitarian Universalist Church include an occasional Nighthawks Reading by authors and you can get on its mailing list at the Jespers website that discloses the earlier November 14, 2013 free reading event.

How does poesy arrive in the mind of a poet? William Logan, Guilty Knowledge Guilty Pleasure: The Dirty Art of Poetry (Columbia University Press 2014) 344 pages $35 His previous book Our Savage Art: Poetry and the Civil Tongue (Columbia University Press 2009) is at Texas Tech Library PS323.5 L644


U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lists lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species and finalizes a special rule endorsing a Landmark State Conservation Plan on March 27, 2014. The threatened category is a category below that of an endangered species. Hopefully the measures taken to preserve and reclaim habitat for the birds will be sufficient so that the species won’t become endangered. West Texas and the Panhandle South Plains region were once a habitat for this bird, so this listing as a threatened species is pertinent to landowners and ecologists in this region. There was a contentious public hearing held in Lubbock on February 11, 2013 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Banquet Hall, that I attended Many landowners have been paid federal funds to take conservation measures that had other beneficial effects but would also help toward survival of lesser prairie-chickens. To date those measures haven’t been successful in halting the diminishing stock of birds.

Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended to date


The Colorado River of Texas rises in eastern Dawson County near the unincorporated town of Welch and flows east southeast through the state capital at Austin and on to the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda Bay. A series of dams create the Highland Lakes and the Lower Colorado River Authority is the manager of the river for that section. The Highland Lakes include Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake Lyndon B Johnson, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis and Lake Austin. Some would include Town Lake now renamed Lady Bird Lake in Austin. Long before those bodies of water, dams on the Colorado produced Lake J B Thomas in Borden and Scurry Counties, Lake Colorado City, Champion Creek Reservoir, E V Spence Reservoir, and O H Ivie Reservoir on the upper Colorado. Major tributaries that flow into the central Colorado River are Concho River, Pecan Bayou, Llano River, San Saba River, and Pedernales River.

Margie Crisp, River of Contrasts The Texas Colorado (Texas A&M University Press 2012) 256 pages paperback includes 16 color photos and 61 color illustrations, a gorgeous book $29.95 at TAMU Press $23.39 $16.49 Kindle ABE Books new $24.50 incl s&h the website for the book is website for Margie Crisp artist is Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 36 C719 C932 R621

This is how the Colorado River looks near its source east of Lamesa south of Gail and west of Snyder.


There is theatre in rural west Texas. A Gem Dandy Theatre Ghost is a two act comedy written and directed by King Hill, playwright and producer of events, that will be performed Saturday April 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm and Sunday April 27 at 2:30 pm in the historic Gem Theatre (opened in 1915 as Claudia Theatre, then named Rialto Theatre, and then named Gem Theatre in the 1930s) at 120 North Trice Street in Claude Texas. Tickets are $10 adults $7 students and children phone 806-226-2187. The actors are members of the Claude Community Heritage Players. Hill is a theatre arts teacher at Ascension Academy in Amarillo at South Soncy Road and SW 45th Avenue, formerly a theatre arts teacher at Highland Park High School at 15300 E. Amarillo Boulevard.

Claude is 145 miles north northeast of Lubbock, take I-27 to Amarillo and then US Highway 287 east to Claude about a 2 hour 20 minute drive. Lodging in Claude is available at The Goodnight Inn and at L A Motel but you might try ranch lodging nearby at Bradley Ranch, Cameron Cattle Headquarters, or Dripping Springs Canyon Ranch. Amarillo hotels are about 24 miles west of Claude. A more scenic drive to Claude is to leave Lubbock on U.S. Highways 62/82 going east to Ralls and turn north on Texas Highway 207 and drive all the way north to Claude. You will cross Tule Canyon and see the Mackenzie Reservoir, recalling the history of Colonel Ranald Mackenzie’s battle of Tule Creek, and cross Palo Duro Canyon.


Bob Wills Day is Saturday April 26 at his hometown Turkey Texas but the run-up activities begin days earlier Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys [formerly the Light Crust Doughboys] made Texas Swing music popular


Arts History Update for late April 2014

9 Apr

Arts History Update for late April 2014 by David Cummins

The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers Program Spring Tour has Lubbock on its schedule Sunday April 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm at Talkington Great Hall within the YWCA Legacy Event Center at 1500 14th Street a free event.


In October 2007 the Lubbock City Council voted to name a series of streets Cesar Chavez Drive. On March 29, 2014 an annual Celebration Cesar Chavez Walk proceeded from the Buddy Holly Recreation Area at Canyon Lake # 1 to Cavazos Middle School on North University Avenue. On March 28 the film Cesar Chavez: History Is Made One Step at a Time opened nationwide (2014 directed by Diego Luna) and is screened at Movies 16 in Lubbock at 5751 58th Street. Miriam Pawel, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography (Bloomsbury Press 2014) 560 pages, and in his own words Cesar Chavez, An Organizer’s Tale: Speeches (Penguin Classics 2008) Texas Tech Library HD6509.C48 A24 Cesar Chavez lived 1927 – 1993


Judy Chicago has an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum titled Chicago in L.A.: Judy Chicago’s Early Work, 1963-1974 April 4 – September 28, 2014. In conjunction with the exhibit she is doing a performance art piece live in Prospect Park Brooklyn. Stay tuned for that. She did a fireworks performance art piece in Pasadena California in 1974. At age 75 she’ll be doing another in 2014.

The Dinner Party (1979) sculptural art is permanently displayed at the Brooklyn Museum on the fourth floor since 2007 and she authored three books about it, the latest The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation (Merrell Publishers 2006).

She has a recent book Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education (Monacelli Press 2014) $28.52 see also Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist (Viking 1996) Texas Tech Library N6537.C48 A2

She will open another exhibit Local Color: Judy Chicago in New Mexico 1984-2014 that will go up June 6 through October 12, 2014 at New Mexico Museum of Art 107 West Palace Avenue Santa Fe New Mexico. The exhibit marks her thirty year residence and art studio in New Mexico. This is an opportunity to see some of her recent work.


Texas Tech Museum exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Samara, A Mid-Century Dream Home” goes up April 27 through June 7 and here is the gallery description when the exhibit was at Penn State University The Samara home for the John and Kay Christian family in West Lafayette Indiana [both were employed at Purdue University] was completed in 1956 just three years prior to Wright’s death.

Here is a teacher’s guide about Samara and Wright A samara is the fruit of a tree that carries within it the seeds of that tree, and is often in a winged shape fluttering along the branch of the tree during a breeze. The samara of a sycamore tree was what Wright had in mind when designing this home and he designed a carpet runner for the living room of the house with multiple samara.

In driving around Lubbock you will see many Usonian style homes, one story, no attic, no basement, carport rather than garage, basic building materials used for both exterior and interior walls to reduce cost of installation finishing and maintenance, clerestory windows at the top of exterior walls to allow light to enter the living space and no need for curtaining or shuttering for privacy, and more features. Wright had designed more than 100 plans for such low cost high style Usonian homes and real estate developers mimicked those plans, especially in the southern United States where the climate made such homes more practical.

One of the features of Samara not duplicated in Lubbock homes is the floor radiant heating system that Wright devised. He laid copper water pipes in the cement slab for the home so that entry water would not be colder than 58 degrees and then routed it into the home boiler that would send steam into extended piping underlying the wooden floors that would serve to radiate the heat into and through the rooms. In the northern United States this system was used extensively and successfully.

The first Usonian house was the Jacobs House in Madison Wisconsin in 1936 so Wright was building many of these houses over the years.

I toured Robie House in Chicago, Unity Temple in Oak Park, Taliesin West in Scottsdale, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, all Frank Lloyd Wright designed structures.


Apollo and the Muse of Forgetfulness was the topic of a lecture April 1, 2014 by Catalina Popescu Ph.D. assistant professor of classics at Texas Tech University Here’s what I learned from the lecture. Zeus, an Olympian, bedded one of those Titan ladies Mnemosyne, on nine consecutive days and the outpouring from her was nine female daughters The Muses whose main virtue was their memory of all past events and the ability to impart chunks of that memory to poets, artists, historians, politicians and others who needed it. An unfailing memory is a good thing for many and when needed to move a community of mortals forward, but an un-faulty memory can be a hindrance to good relationships.

The Oresteia (458 BCE) by Aeschylus is in three parts Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides It was Apollo who saw the need for help when Orestes was being tried in Athens for murdering his mother Clytaemnestra because she had murdered his father, her husband Agamemnon, who had murdered their daughter Iphigenia in order to gain favorable winds for the military fleet to sail across the Aegean Sea to Troy and conduct the ten year war with the Trojans. Apollo brought forward a muse of forgetfulness to assist in defending Orestes in this trial and encourage the good citizens of Athens to acquit Orestes, forget the heinous act, come together in conciliation and accord to work together as a community, and put these murderous events behind them. Break the chain of murder. That was the sense of the excellent presentation Apollo and the Muse of Forgetfulness by the new assistant professor of classics.

We see contemporary manifestations of Apollo’s invocation of the Muse of Forgetfulness when the Union of South Africa established a peace and reconciliation commission dredging up the awful events of apartheid but refusing to prosecute or hold accountable its perpetrators. We all recall when Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years because he contested apartheid, offered his jailers immunity and forgiveness. It took our breath way. A similar commission was used in Bosnia. Germany went about its healing and reconciliation after the Nazi administration in a different manner.


Poetry and Jazz is the title of the final Presidential Lecture & Performance Series event for this academic year, on Friday April 25, 2014 at Texas Tech University Student Union Building Allen Theatre at 7:00 pm $18 ticket. Poetry by National Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and Jazz by Laurence Hobgood, former musical director and pianist for the All Star Orchestra band supporting popular singer Kurt Elling. Here is a You Tube video where you can watch and listen to an impressive solo piano performance by Hobgood on the first tune Come Fly With Me and here is Robert Pinsky reading his poem Shirt recalling the New York City Triangle Waist Company fire in 1911 when garment workers were unable to get out of the factory and 129 people died inside it or jumped to their deaths from eighth ninth or tenth story windows. Triangle Fire Archive Object by Voice of America (2011). [in early 20th century vernacular “waist” was a blouse, so these garment workers were sewing blouses for sale to women]

You can hear them recite and play piano at

Now you know that the quality of this concert is way over the top, as are all in this series. The first ten rows seat could easily be sold for $90 and the last row $65 so you know that $18 is a heavily subsidized offering by Texas Tech University to the community. Pinsky, a 73 year old New Jersey native, is not going to be sojourning on the South Plains again anytime soon, or ever, so jettison lethargy, pile your friends and relatives in the suburban and motor to the Allen Theatre for this unique and thrilling event.

High culture is rare on the South Plains but if you heard the Anonymous 4 quartet, and watched The Parsons Dance Company, you know how memorable and enervating it is. Please take advantage. This duo was so well received in eastern cities that they made a CD of a performance so POEMJAZZ (Circumstantial Productions 2012) is available for $15 and includes a booklet of the poems.

Pinsky’s breakthrough came with Sadness and Happiness: Poems (Princeton University Press 1975) Texas Tech Library PS3566.I54 S2 and his maturity was shown in An Explanation of America (Princeton University Press 1979) 80 pages paperback $14.49 new at and $3.47 incl s&h at ABE Books in good condition Texas Tech Library PS3566.I54 E9 and see Poetry and the World (Ecco Press 1988) Lubbock Public Library 814 P658P

If all this is available in libraries and on the Internet, why go to a performance? Because a product is not a performance. Watching and listening in community with others in a concert space where human talent performs for you, enhances your humanity as a person and as a member of your community, and is entirely unlike spinning a CD or DVD product or reading a book or folio. If you absolutely can’t attend, then spin and read and whet your appetite for a later attendance.

At the risk of being hortatory, if you’ve ever caught yourself half way between your dreams, and the crushing reality of your life, and realized you were stuck … that’s when you can see a performance and realize what’s happening. The performer is inspired and his/her inspiration is transported to you in the seat. Do what you love, the money status and 21st century life goods will catch up with you. You may even discover that you love your present job but had let it become a job as described in a manual when it’s really the vehicle for you to make a singular contribution to a nearby world.

Lubbock Arts Alliance office moved from 1717 Texas Avenue to Court Place Lubbock National Bank building Suite 606 at 1001 Main Street in downtown Lubbock. Phone remains 806-744-2787


Annual Frontier Day at Caprock Canyons State Park near Quitaque is May 10 and a free event with a paid admission into the Park, home to the Texas State Bison Herd Here is the history of the Park The editor of Caprock Canyon News is park ranger Lee’Ann Pigg and you can get the free newsletter by contacting her


Arts History Update for mid April 2014

1 Apr


Arts History Update for mid April 2014 by David Cummins

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists (ed. Sharon Louden, Intellect Books 2013)

“In this day and age, when art has become more of a commodity and art school graduates are convinced that they can only make a living from their work by attaining gallery representation, it is more important than ever to show the reality of how a professional, contemporary artist sustains a creative practice over time. The forty essays collected in ‘Living and Sustaining a Creative Life’ are written in the artists’ own voices and take the form of narratives, statements, and interviews. Each story is different and unique, but the common thread is an ongoing commitment to creativity, inside and outside the studio. Both day-to-day and big picture details are revealed, showing how it is possible to sustain a creative practice that contributes to the ongoing dialogue in contemporary art. These stories will inform and inspire any student, young artist, and art enthusiast and will help redefine what “success” means to a professional artist.” — Publisher’s description.  Read less


Post-Internet Art is an exhibit March 1 – May 11, 2014 at Beijing China’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Initially it was art dependent on the novelty of the online universe but has morphed into using digital techniques to create objects that exist in the real world. Back to mimesis, the imitation of the real, using digital techniques to capture representations of the real we hadn’t seen before. Here is the press release


Eric Bryant, Hollywood Scion Josh Roth on Collecting Los Angeles’s Great Artists, Artspace Magazine, March 17, 2014 this young professional with family wealth is collecting with a flair whereas his elders did so behind the scenes and away from the Klieg lights (carbon arc lamp producing an intense light).


Texas Association of Museums annual conference is in Lubbock at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center April 2-4, 2014 The New Mexico Association of Museums is joining in this annual conference. Here is the pricing on conference fees and day fees to attend a single day.


Nicholas Fox Weber, Balthus: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf 1999) hardcover (Dalkey Archive Press 2014 paperback reprint) $22.46 Kindle $13 is a 656 page biography of the French artist 1908- 2001 of Polish descent.

The first full-scale biography of one of the most elusive and enigmatic painters of our time — the self-proclaimed Count Balthus Klossowski de Rola — whose brilliantly rendered, markedly sexualized portraits, especially of young girls, are among the most memorable images in contemporary art.

The story of Balthus’s life has been shrouded by contradiction and hearsay, most of it his own invention; over the years he created for himself a persona of mystery, aristocracy, and glamour. Now, in Nicholas Fox Weber’s superb biography, Balthus, the man and the artist, stands revealed as never before.

He was born in Paris in 1908 to Polish parents. At age twelve he first stepped into the spotlight with the publication of forty of his drawings illustrating a story about a cat by Rainer Maria Rilke, who was then Balthus’s mother’s lover and a crucial influence on the young boy. From that moment, Balthus has never been out of the public eye.

In 1934 his first exhibition, in Paris, stunned the art world. The seven canvases drew attention to his extraordinary technique — a  mix of tradition and imagination informed by the work of Piero della Francesca, Courbet, and Joseph Reinhardt, but unique to the twenty-six-year-old artist — and to their provocative content; one of the paintings, The Guitar Lesson, was so powerful in its sadomasochistic imagery that it was deemed necessary to remove it from public display.
Continuously since then, Balthus’s work has provoked both great opprobrium and profound admiration — as has the artist himself, whether collaborating with Antonin Artaud on his Theater of Cruelty, transforming the Villa Medici into the social center of Fellini’s Rome in the 1950s, or competing for the artistic limelight with his friends Picasso and André Derain.

The artist’s complexities are clarified and his genius understood in a book that derives its particular immediacy from Weber’s long and intense conversations with Balthus — who never previously consented to discuss his life and work with a biographer — as well as his interviews with the painter’s closest friends, members of his family, and many of the subjects of his controversial canvases.

Weber’s critical and human grasp (he acutely analyzes the paintings in terms of both their aesthetic achievement and what they reveal of their maker’s psyche), combined with his rich knowledge of Balthus’s life and his insight into the ideas and forces that have helped to shape Balthus’s work over the past seven decades, gives us a striking, illuminating portrait of one of the most admired and outrageous artists of our time.


Jean Clair & Virginie Monnier, Balthus: Catalogue Raisonne of the Complete Works (Harry N. Abrams 1999) ABE Books good condition $200 incl s&h

Did it intrigue you to learn that as a young boy his mother was carrying on an affair with the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke? Does virtuosity arrive at our doorstep by osmosis? Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours Prayers to a Lowly God (transl. Annemarie S. Kidder, Northwestern University Press 2001 paperback) a bilingual edition with the German on a page and English translation on the facing page. Texas Tech Library PT2635.I65 S72513 ABE Books in good condition $9.93 incl s&h first published in 1905 in German and later with several English translations of which this is not the latest Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Book of Hours A New Translation With Commentary (transl. Susan Ranson, Camden House 2008 paperback) also a bilingual edition Texas Tech Library PT2635.I65 S72513 ABE Books new $26.59 incl s&h


Peter Matthiessen has written another novel. Not such remarkable news except that he is now 86 years of age and still prolific. It was only 2008 at age 81 that he won a National Book Award for fiction for Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend (Modern Library 2008), an 890 page revision of his trilogy of novels revolving around the Watson family in early 20th century Florida, Killing Mr. Watson (1990) Lost Man’s River (1997) and Bone by Bone (1999). Most agree that Shadow Country is better than the trilogy separately and is his masterpiece.

In 1953 he was a co-founder of The Paris Review literary magazine now a cultural institution The Paris Review Book of Heartbreaks, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, The Art of Writing and Everything Else in the World Since 1953 (Picador 2003) $16.78 paperback $10.67 Kindle ABE Books good condition $3.48 incl s&h, an anthology of modern literature.

His first National Book Award winner was The Snow Leopard (1979) a non-fiction remarkable nature and travel writing book concerning a trip to the Himalaya Mountains after his second wife’s death in 1972. He and she were Zen Buddhists and Peter later became a Buddhist priest in the White Plum Asanga tradition He lives with his third wife in Sagaponack a village in the town of Southhampton New York on Long Island in what is called The East Hamptons. The Zen Mountain Monastery is located in the Catskill Mountains at Mount Tremper New York and its New York City branch is Zen Center of New York City at 500 State Street, Brooklyn There is also a Village Zendo at 588 Broadway Street Suite 1108 in Manhattan connected with White Plum Asanga. The Still Mind Zendo at 37 West 17th Street on the sixth floor in Manhattan is also connected.

If you want to try a White Plum Asanga tradition zen retreat, head for Santa Fe New Mexico to Upaya Institute and Zen Center, 1404 Cerro Gordo Road

Matthiessen is an American literary treasure. His new novel In Paradise: A Novel (Riverhead 2014 only 256 pages) concerns an American professor who makes a trip to Auschwitz to attend a retreat at the former Nazi concentration camp. Initially that sounds bizarre but after checking, it turns out that such retreats occur rather often and that there are more than 70 historical novels about Auschwitz (German name) or Oswiecim (Polish name) just 30 miles west of Krakow Poland. I have been to Auschwitz and spent six hours there, one of those hours with a nearby resident Pole who was an inmate there as a boy. He told us about the daily life at the camp from his perspective, an office worker for the Nazi administrators of the camp because he spoke a little German. From my perspective Auschwitz is a living museum of pain, depravity and death. Dread is in the air one breathes walking around the railroad tracks, the huts that served as dormitories, and of course the unheated cold water showers that did double service as a gas chamber. The crematorium is, again, dreadful. The assortment of human clothing and paraphernalia left behind is stunning. For me, it was a witnessing of the end game of racism, what the Germans called The Final Solution or extermination [the negative side] or purifying the German racial gene pool [the positive side or goal]. I have done all the imagining I want to do about Nazi concentration camps and their implementation of The Final Solution, and don’t wish to read any novel on the topic, however well conceived and written.

Shadow Country is definitely worth reading but at 890 pages a daunting task. For a taste of Matthiessen’s skill, you might try On The River Styx and Other Stories (1989) Texas Tech Library PS3563.A8584 O5

a collection of short story fiction, or The Peter Matthiessen Reader: Nonfiction, 1959-1991 (Vintage Books 2000) Texas Tech Library PS3563.A8584 A6.

Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries (DVD 2009 60 minutes for PBS-TV) $14.69 directed by Jeffrey Sewald narrated by Glenn Close, explores the man who is a literary and spiritual force of nature.

Peter Matthiessen died on Saturday April 5, 2014 in a hospital on Long Island.


The Star Wars trilogy is the tale of how a group of rebels overthrew a mighty, power-hungry empire, and within that frame, is the story of a man who has a transformation from innocence to pain, to evil, to redemption (Darth Vader) and other young people who are learning what destiny has in store for them (Luke, Leia and Han). How would William Shakespeare have handled that? Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars (Quirk Books 2013) $8.49 Lubbock Public Library 812 DOES and The Empire Striketh Back (Quirk Books 2014) $9.45 Lubbock Public Library 812.6 DOES.

If William Shakespeare hadn’t lived and written, we would have invented him.

Of course some authors just extend the script of the films and create a life for Star Wars itself. Daniel Wallace, The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force (Star Wars) (Chronicle Books 2011) $11.41 Lubbock Public Library J 791.4375 WALL


On Friday March 28, 2014 Dan Boyce professional photographer exhibited at the Texas Tech Museum Sculpture Court prior to the Arts History Lecture Series lecture. Dan was a Kansas photographer until he recently moved back to Lubbock to be a caregiver for his parents Harvey and Marie Boyce. Dan’s website is The Quality of the Light .


Rachel Kushner, Telex From Cuba: A Novel (Scribner 2008) was a finalist for the National Book Award. It describes the American community in Cuba in the years leading up to the Castro Revolution before the Americans were driven out in 1958. Lubbock Public Library FIC KUSH. Ms. Kushner will discuss this novel in response to questioning by Robert Collins, Deputy Editor of the Sunday London Times newspaper on April 15 at 7:00 pm in the London Review of Books Bookshop 14 Bury Place, London England.

Kushner’s second novel The Flamethrowers: A Novel (Scribner 2013) was also a finalist for the National Book Award in 2013. Here is an interview with Kushner about this novel Her website is Lubbock Public Library FIC KUSH and Texas Tech Library PS3611.U7386 F57


Santa Fe Opera 2014 Season is June 17 – August 23 and includes Carmen, Don Pasquale, Fidelio, The Impresario and Le Rossignol, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen

Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival, the tenth annual, is May 24-25, 2014 at Santa Fe New Mexico Convention Center


City of Lubbock and Lubbock Independent School District Elections are Saturday May 10, 2014 with early voting April 28 through May 6. The election administrator is Dorothy Kennedy the county administrator of elections at 1308 Crickets Avenue Lubbock TX 79401 phone 806-775-1339


In 1933 a precocious eighteen year old Brit Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in Holland to walk across Europe to Constantinople. He did so over the course of a year and these three books are excellent travel writing, in some cases about a Europe that no longer exists. A Time of Gifts (Harper & Row 1977), Between the Woods and the Water (Viking 1986) and The Broken Road (John Murray 2013 posthumously from his unfinished manuscript). The last book is sub-titled From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. The middle book is sub-titled From the Middle Danube to the Iron Gates(Serbia-Romania border) and the first book is sub-titled From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (middle is the area in Germany and Austria with a series of locks that makes the river navigable in conjunction with the Maine and Rhine Rivers all the way to Rotterdam Holland and the ocean).

A Time of Gifts $10.72 Kindle $8.98 ABE in good condition $6 incl s&h

Between the Woods and the Water $12.58 Kindle $9.57 ABE in good condition $6.13 incl s&h

The Broken Road $22.44 Kindle $14.99 ABE new $21.32 incl s&h

He also wrote A Time To Keep Silence (Akadine Press 1997) about his stays in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, and his visit to Central Turkey’s Cappadocia to learn about early Christian hermits. Silence and solitude for introspection in modern life is the topic. He came to be an admirer but when he returned to the outside world he found it “an inferno of noise and vulgarity entirely populated by bounders sluts and crooks”.


The Pritzker Architecture Prize 2014 was won by Shigeru Ban from Japan. see his Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch New Zealand (2013) Paper Church, Kobe Japan (1995 disassembled 2005) and Paper Loghouse, Bhuj India (2001). He uses innovative materials in his design process such as recyclable cardboard paper tubes for columns, walls and beams, that he water and fire-proofs

Shigeru Ban is too busy doing humanitarian work responding to disasters by leading design and construction teams to help the victims, but other architects enjoy putting up their innovative designs in art gallery spaces.

Sarah McKenzie architect has an exhibit Transitional that opened March 14 to April 12 in the David B. Smith Art Gallery in Denver Colorado She says “I am interested in the connection between the construction of an architectural structure from raw materials (lumber, steel, concrete) and the construction of a picture from raw materials (paint, canvas, wood)” Frieze (2014) is oil and acrylic on canvas but it depicts an architectural construction process, and invites the viewer to guess at exactly what’s going on at the moment behind those curtains. As we ask ourselves, we admire that she cast an inner light inside the curtained space on the left without showing us what it illuminates. I want an artist to leave me, the viewer, some space for my imagination to work.

Allan Wexler architect has an exhibit March 29 – May 3, 2014 titled Breaking Ground at the Ronald Feldman Fine arts Gallery in New York City mostly hand-worked inkjet digital prints of landscapes that depict building shapes and interventions in the landscapes, plus two sculptures. They are architectural in nature. Wexler teaches at the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. Parsons has five schools; viz. Art and Design History and Theory, Art Media and Technology, Constructed Environments, Design Strategies, and Fashion. Here is Wexler’s academic bio and his studio website including a designed space for a human to sit and become part of the architecture