Arts History Update for very late June 2014

19 Jun

Arts History Update for very late June 2014 by David Cummins


RALPH – The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities has been an online magazine since 1994. It is saucy, irreverent and attitudinal. Two collections of its best reviews, articles, poetry, etc. are published in book form The Noisiest Book Review in the Known World: The Best of RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities (volume I at 466 pages and volume II at 513 pages, each $25) (Mho & Mho Works 2013) but $29.99 at for both. The website contains an archive of its issues, so reading online without subscribing at $25 per year is an option. Contact RALPH at Box 16719 San Diego CA 92176-6719 phone 619-280—3488 or e-mail


Here is The Roots of Buddhist Psychology by Jack Kornfield reviewed by L.W. Milam




Italian Futurism 1909-1944 Reconstructing The Universe is a current exhibit at The Solomon R. Gugenheim Museum New York City February 21 through September 1 and it is stunning with more than 300 works by Balla, Boccioni, Bragaglia, Depero, Dottori, Marinetti, Pannaggi, Rosa, Russolo, Tato and others. Catalogue by Vivien Greene et al. at 352 pages with 338 color plates $60 $43.33. The first comprehensive exhibition of Futurism in America, with a focus on motion, if not the speed of a Lamborghini at least the chugging away of a Ducati motorcycle. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti 1876-1944 issued a manifesto Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, Le Figaro newspaper, February 20, 1909 and the movement died when he died in 1944. He sought to shift the culture of the nation and to a degree, futurism did. While a strong writer he was an even better publicist and, when publicizing his own ideas, he was a fervent apostle. Necessarily radical, futurism focused on social conflict in the modern city and was influenced by Georges Sorel’s Reflections on Violence (in French 1908 exponent of revolutionary syndicalism, English translation T.E. Hulme 1912 TTU

Library HD6477.S523) but went further, Marinetti saying “we are aspiring to the creation of an inhuman type, one in which moral suffering, generosity, affect, and love will be abolished … naturally cruel, omniscient, and combative”. Yes, some Russian artists quickly jumped on the speeding train adapting futurism into Russian constructivism, but that story is not told in this exhibit. F.T. Marinetti: Critical Writings (ed. Gunter Berghaus, transl. Doug Thompson, Farrar Straus & Giroux 2006) and Marinetti: Selected Writings (ed. and transl. R. W. Flint, Farrar Straus & Giroux 1972) TTU Library NX600.F8 M37


Ester Cohen et al., Futurism (5 Continents 2009) $43.39 ABE Books very good condition $62.79


Richard Humphreys, Futurism (Movements in Modern Art Series) (Cambridge University Press 1999) $25.12 TTU Library NX552.A1 H86


Sylvia Martin, Futurism (Basic Art Series) (Taschen 2006) $17.34 TTU Library N6494.F8 M37




Kandinsky: the intellectual innovator


Vivian Endicott Barnett, Vasily Kandinsky: From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925 (Hatje Cantz 2013) $40.44 TTU Library ND699.K36 A4


Angela Lampe and Brady M. Roberts,, Kandinsky: A Retrospective (Milwaukee Art Museum June 5 – September 1, 2014 and Frist Center for the Visual Arts at Nashville thereafter, Yale University Press 2014) $40.65 [the catalogue for the exhibit at these two museums is expanded in the publication by the Press]


Ulrike Becks-Malomy, Kandinsky (Taschen 2007)


Hajo Duchting, Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944 A Revolution in Painting (Basic Art Series) (Taschen 2012) $14.99 at 96 pages, always tastefully packaged at Taschen


Kandinsky and Franz Marc founded Der Blaue Reiter [The Blue Rider] group of artists in Munich Germany yielding the first abstract watercolor painting in 1910. Kandinsky had studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich beginning in 1896 after leaving a successful law practice / law professorship in Russia, and painted Der Blaue Reiter (1904). He returned to Russia in 1914 ending the Blaue Reiter period, when The Great War broke out. He returned to Germany at the invitation of Walter Gropius to join the Bauhaus group at Weimar 1922 – 1933 Bauhaus was quickly troubled by right wing German politics and moved from Weimar to Dessau in 1925 and to Berlin in 1932 and was then dissolved in 1933 whereupon Kandinsky settled in Paris France. Here’s a 4 minute video of actress Helen Mirren in the Museum of Modern Art New York City admiring four original Kandinsky paintings. Art like music can directly enter one’s soul.


and of course his own writing: Wassily Kandinsky, Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1910) (transl. M.T.H. Sadler, Dover Pub. rev ed. 1977) $6.26 and Point and Line to Plane: Contribution to the analysis of the pictorial elements (Bauhaus Books 1926) (transl. Howard Dearstyne & Hilla Rebay, Cranbrook Press for Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 1947, Dover Fine Art Series, Dover Pub. $9.83 and Guggenehim Museum Foundation 1979, Martino Fine Books 2013, reprint of 1947 edition only $7.95 but readable online free at The former in another format is differently titled The Art of Spiritual Harmony (Illustrated) (Martino Fine Books 2014) paperback $5.95 e-book $2.99. These prices remind us that we can purchase excellent art books at modest cost and have outstanding images in our personal space. Kandinsky Complete Writings On Art (eds. Peter Vergo and Kenneth C. Lindsay, G K Hall 1982 Faber and Faber 1982 two volumes at 924 pages Da Capo Press 1994 reprint one volume at 972 pages) TTU Library N7454.K3 (1982) writings are arranged in chronological order from 1901 through 1943. Da Capo Press paperback $40 is $29.14 at new and is $16.43 in good condition at ABE Books incl s&h.



The Blaue Reiter Almanac (eds. Franz Marc & wassily Kandinsky, Munich Germany 1912) (Viking Press 1974) (MFA Publications 2005 $17.73 296 pages)



In January 2015 Microsoft Windows 7 operating system will go onto extended support that just covers the basics. You’ll still receive free security updates, but non-security-related hot fixes will only be available on a paid subscription and you’ll have to start the subscription before April 15, 2015. There will be no free support, Microsoft won’t honor warranty claims, and the company will not add new features.


By the way, Microsoft XP’s mainstream support ended on April 14, 2009 and it went into an extended support mode that ended on April 8, 2014; Microsoft Vista’s mainstream support ended on April 12, 2014 and it is now in extended support mode that will end on April 11, 2017.


If you are a Microsoft Windows XP operating system user today you should not use the Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser as it will make you vulnerable to threats your static operating system can’t handle. Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox are excellent free web browsers to download and install and I recommend them. Purchase a good anti-malware software like Malwarebytes or select a high quality free one like Avast, download and install it, and check on it regularly to see what it’s protecting against so you know the threat level, and take precautions and adopt safe practices. By continuing to use XP you decided to go alone into the nether world of computing so be intentional and risk averse as you travel that road.


So if you’re satisfied with the support you’re getting on Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, you probably won’t have much to worry about with Windows 7 for another four years.


At some point you may wish to embrace the contemporary Microsoft Windows 8 operating system and purchase, download and install it. It’s now easily able to be adjusted to the familiar Start Menu if you don’t want to use the Touch Screen modality most of the time.




Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art is setting up a travel trip to Chicago Illinois for Spring 2015 led by art historian Carol Neuberger. It will include visiting renowned private art collections, an architectural tour of the city, curator-led visits to museums, a concert by Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and more. Contact Kira Neal for more information and cost, e-mail phone 202-633-8768




Take a Hike “across the pond”: 1. in Cotswold villages and lanes, and in the Duchy of Cornwall 2. walk the Thames Path for any part or all of 184 miles 3. Offa’s Dyke Path in Wales 4. Wales Coast Path is 870 miles 5. Anywhere in the northwest of England in or near the Lake District, the Pennine Way National Trail and Hadrian’s Wall Path6. Walk in the Scottish Highlands with the rangers at Aigas Field Centre at Beauly, Inverness Shire 7. in southwest Ireland walk the Beara Peninsula [part in County Kerry and part in County Cork], Killarney National Park and remote Sherkin Island.




Texas Plains Trail Tourism & Preservation Roundup for 2014 is July 30-August 1 at Canyon Texas, main venue is Panhandle Plains Historical Museum. Here’s the schedule and prices comprehensive $95 per person but ala carte as you wish




Never read Ulysses(1922) by James Joyce? The novel follows its protagonist Leopold Bloom through an ordinary day June 16, 1904 in Dublin Ireland. Bloom buys kidneys at the butcher’s, serves his wife Molly breakfast in bed, reads the mail, and visits the outhouse. He attends a morning funeral, runs an errand at the drug store, and inadvertently gives a man a winning tip about a racehorse. He bumps into an old flame, stops off for a sandwich and a glass of wine, helps a blind man cross the road, and ducks into a museum to avoid his wife’s lover. He gets into an argument at Barney Kiernan’s pub, ogles a young woman at the beach, and pays a hospital visit to a woman in the throes of a difficult childbirth. He spends the evening in a red-light district with young Stephen Dedalus, protagonist of Joyce’sPortrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Bloom feels paternal toward the young Dedalus, and sees him home safely. Finally, in the wee hours of morning, Leopold returns home to Molly, just as Odysseus returned to Penelope.Ulysses is the Latinized or Roman version of the Greek Odysseus found in Homer’s TheOdyssey. $17.66 hardcover $2.70 paperback $0.99 e-book with introduction, map of Dublin etc. but you may read it free as a public domain item downloaded at this site 13,498 times in the last 30 days, if you were wondering if this modernist masterpiece were still popular. At 736 pages a download doesn’t equal a full reading. Probably many more people have started reading Ulysses than finished reading it. Spark Notes may help



“What is so staggering about Ulysses is the fact that behind a thousand veils nothing lies hidden; that it turns neither toward the mind nor toward the world, but, as cold as the moon looking on from cosmic space, allows the drama of growth, being, and decay to pursue its course.”

Carl Jung


Kevin Birmingham, The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses (The Penguin Press 2014) 417 pages. For more than a decade, the book that literary critics now consider the most important novel in the English language was illegal to own, sell, advertise or purchase in most of the English-speaking world. James Joyce’s big blue book, Ulysses, ushered in the modernist era and changed the novel for all time. But the genius of Ulysses was also its danger: it omitted absolutely nothing. All of the minutiae of Leopold Bloom’s day, including its unspeakable details, unfold with careful precision in its pages. The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice immediately banned the novel as “obscene, lewd, and lascivious.” Joyce, along with some of the most important publishers and writers of his era, had to fight for years to win the freedom to publish it. The Most Dangerous Book tells the remarkable story surrounding Ulysses, from the first stirrings of Joyce’s inspiration in 1904 to its landmark federal obscenity trial in 1933. ABE Books new $18.08 $22.19 e-book $11.99——————————-



Captain Randolph B. Marcy US Army Corps of Engineers expedition of 1852 purpose was to trace the Red River of Louisiana to its source or headwaters. He was based at Fort Smith Arkansas but he started this expedition at Cache Creek near present Fort Sill Oklahoma, entered Wheeler County Texas on June 10, camped on June 12 where Fort Elliott was later located at Old Mobeetie, and entered Gray County on June 14. He camped near the present town of Lefors on June 16 at the head of the North Fork of the Red River. Marcy knew the Canadian River was to the north because he had visited it in 1849, so he traveled 25 miles north and found the Canadian, now assured that it was a distinct separate river. He returned south to the North Fork of the Red and traveled farther south to the Salt Fork of the Red River. He found a nearby stream of fresh water and named it McClellan Creek for his deputy George McClellan who would later become his son in-law and a Civil War general. A marker now exists several miles south of Pampa on Texas State Highway SH 70. On July 1 Marcy reached the main fork or Prairie Dog Fork [later named Prairie Dog Town Fork] of the Red River that flows southeast near Estelline and north of Childress where it begins to form the northern boundary of Texas and southern boundary of Oklahoma, an amazing meandering river that runs from the panhandle 1,222 miles before emptying into the Mississippi River [through the Atchafalaya] navigable below Shreveport Louisiana.


From a West Texas perspective the river system to the south of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River is the Pease River that flows past Copper Breaks State Park and the town of Vernon and empties into the Red River [the Roaring Springs Ranch Club is at the springs that is the headwaters of the Pease River]. South of that is the Wichita River that flows through Wichita Falls and empties into the Red River. South of that is the Brazos River system that takes a southern turn and flows through central Texas to the Gulf Coast. South of that is the Colorado River that rises in Dawson County near Lamesa and flows southeast into central Texas, the capitol at Austin, and on to the Gulf Coast at Matagorda Bay


Nine years later Captain Marcy would be General Marcy during the Civil War.


Kenneth F. Neighbours, The Marcy-Neighbors Exploration of the Headwaters of the Brazos and Wichita Rivers in 1854 (reprinted in Panhandle Plains Historical Review volume 27 in 1954) $29 and (reprinted 1956) ABE Books very good condition $15. US Army Major Robert S. Neighbors was the United States Supervising Agent for Texas Indian Affairs from 1853. He was murdered at Fort Belknap on September 14, 1859 by Edward Cornett one of many people who thought of people like Neighbors as detestable “Indian lovers”. His murder helped the Texas legislature end the reservation experiment in Texas and move them in 1859 to Indian Territory next to Oklahoma Territory north of the Red River.Records of the Marcy Expedition of 1852 are displayed at White Deer Land Museum in Pampa Texas and here is background for the historical marker referred to above


The town of Lefors in Gray County and headwaters of the North Fork of the Red River would become famous twenty years after Marcy camped there, when Colonel Ranald Mackenzie successfully led the US Army Fourth Cavalry against Comanche at that site on September 29, 1872


Tierra Blanca = white land, that is the source of the name of the museum, although the town of White Deer on White Deer Creek between Pampa and Panhandle is perhaps the more recent and direct cause for naming the museum, derived from both tierra blanca and a white deer. The town White Deer has a statuary of a white deer right on Main Street US Highway 60.


Tierra Blanca Creek rises in Curry County New Mexico and flows east by Hereford and Umbarger [forming Buffalo Lake at Umbarger Dam (1937) as part of the Tierra Blanca Water Conservation Project and the adjacent National Wildlife Refuge]

and where Tierra Blanca Creek joins Palo Duro Creek east of the town of Canyon is the beginning of the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River


Intensive agricultural capture of water and drought conditions mean that Buffalo Lake is often dry and the course of the Tierra Blanca Creek is hard to discern west of Hereford to and beyond the state boundary. We must trust the hydrologists who say it rises in Curry County New Mexico and flows beneath the surface. Las Escarbadas (1886) was a division headquarters building for the XIT Ranch 35 miles west of Hereford astride Tierra Blanca Creek or Draw and is now reconstructed (1977) on the site of the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock. Las Escarbadas means the scrapings, and refers to comancheros having come to this place where they scraped at the apparently dry draw and were repeatedly able to yield fresh potable water, so they would set up their trade goods and wait for the Indians.


Rio Blanco = White River but any river can be masculine Blanco or feminine Blanca. The town of Blanco Texas is White and masculine. Tierra Blanca Creek or White Land Creek is feminine. Rita = small river. Cañon Blanco = Blanco Canyon or White Canyon


Rio Colorado = river of red color, is the source of the name of the Red River, in French “Riviere Rouge” as it was called in Louisiana. Note bene: there are several red rivers, this one often referred to as the Red River of the South, while the Red River of the North flows north to Manitoba as the boundary between Minnesota and North Dakota


Robert Goldthwaite Carter, On The Border With Mackenzie or Winning West Texas from the Comanches (1935) (Antiquarian Press 1961 TTU Library Southwest Collection 45.2 C324) (Texas State Historical Association 2007 TTU Library F391.C337) Carter was long-lived 1845 – 1936

Robert Goldthwaite Carter, Tragedies of Cañon Blanco, A Story of the Texas Panhandle (Gibson Brothers 1919) on microform at TTU Library

Robert Goldthwaite Carter won the Medal of Honor in 1900 for his service as 2nd Lieutenant Carter in the US Army Fourth Cavalry on October 10, 1871 at a battle on the Brazos River He retired from the Army in 1876 due to disabilities as First Lieutenant and was breveted for Captain many years later. He was an avid writer. He served in the Civil War 1862-1864 as an enlisted man from Massachusetts, then went to West Point graduating in 1870 and being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. He served in the Mexico Expedition of 1873, the Remolino Coahuila Mexico Raid of May 18, 1873, battling the Kickapoo and Apache Indians when Colonel Mackenzie received orders at Fort Clark Texas to stop Indian cattle rustling. It was a successful Raid Colonel Mackenzie was the most effective cavalry officer in the 1870s so it was no surprise when he was tapped to lead the Red River War of 1874-1875 to rid the Comanche from the Panhandle and Plains of Texas.





Andrew Wyeth was a mid-20th century artist to whom we repeatedly return, currently in an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC titled “Looking Out, Looking In” May 4-November 30, 2014

“One of Andrew Wyeth’s most important paintings, Wind from the Sea (1947), is also the artist’s first full realization of the window as a recurring subject in his art. Wyeth returned to windows again and again during the next six decades, producing more than 300 remarkable works that explore the formal and conceptual aspects of looking both in and out of windows. Spare, elegant, and abstract, these non-figural paintings are free of the narrative element inevitably associated with his well-known compositions. This richly illustrated book presents a select group of Wyeth’s tempera paintings – many of them never before published or on public view – along with two essays that explore Wyeth’s fascination with windows.”



Nancy K Anderson & Charles Brock, Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In, National Gallery of Art, catalog 192 pages $55 but $38.86 at


Looking at Wind From the Sea (1947) we see through billowing curtains at an open window the scene from which Christina’s World (1948) sees the house on the hill that was Wyeth’s summer house in mid-coast Maine near Cushing. Wyeth 1917-2009 lived his entire life at Chadds Ford Pennsylvania, his birthplace, and at this summer house in Maine. His birthplace was the home and studio of his father N. C. Wyeth the famous illustrator 1882-1945. Andrew Wyeth was the youngest of five children Henriette Wyeth 1907-1997 the eldest, who married Peter Hurd in 1929 after he first arrived at Chadds Ford in 1923 The Brandywine River Museum of Art at Chadds Ford has Andrew Wyeth’s studio on display and


Andrew became the most famous of all the Wyeth artists and came to the attention of the art world in mid-century as it turned toward abstraction whereas he was a realist and regional painter. Despite being out of sync with the style of the time his paintings continued to absorb collectors and viewers, especially those who could not understand the main abstractions of Pollock and others. He sketched a full scene but by the time he painted he had removed so much of the sketch material “boiling it down” he said, that what was left was often a scene of desolation, an enigma that required speculation to understand. He used a subdued palette and depicted objects symbolically as emotionally fraught places, usually absent human beings. We have all been speculating a good long while, and the recent publications help us appreciate the artist’s stance and agenda at the time he painted them. For instance, we learn that he first met Christina age 55, a paraplegic woman, but of course he painted her as a young woman perhaps 18-26 years of age crawling if not clawing in the field to make her way back to the buildings and life support. That painting at Museum of Modern Art New York City has been viewed by millions of people and is one of the most recognizable paintings in America. Many would not agree with my interpretation, nor should you.


David Cateforis, Rethinking Andrew Wyeth (University of California Press 2014) $48 at includes a collection of essays by different people about Wyeth and his oeuvre.


Richard Merryman, Andrew Wyeth: A Spoken Self-Portrait (National Gallery of Art 2013) TTU Library ND237.W93 A4 resulting from interviews with the artist over a long period


Wyeth and Edward Hopper were friends. In Nighthawks (1942) by Hopper we look through a diner window and see an employee and alienated unassociated patrons late at night, a snapshot of a stasis. We’ve always wondered if the diner ever came to life afterward or if this condition were its destiny.


Other artists were similarly engaged. 7 A.M. News (1976-1978) by Alfred Leslie shows a woman in her morning dressing gown seated at a breakfast table with newspaper in hand but she’s looking winsomely away despite what’s in the newspaper or flickering on the small television set on the table. She’s well to do but perhaps not doing too well or at least dissatisfied and emptied by what she reads in a newspaper and sees on television, as breakfast is in part an unattended soft boiled egg in its shell, in an egg shell holder beside her empty coffee cup. She is unfed. Leslie started as an abstract expressionist but went to a realist figurative style, especially adept at the contemporary woman with widened agendas and opportunities. A Nouveau Realisme [New Realism] Manifesto was signed in Milan Italy on October 27, 1960 and many artists bucked the abstraction trend






On June 10, 2014 the town council of Taos New Mexico voted to rename its Kit Carson Park as Red Willow Park, in disgust with Carson for having led and participated in the rounding up of Navajo people by the US Army in 1863-1864 and taking them on The Long Walk to Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner, New Mexico Territory, the fort having been set up to guard the prisoners/residents of the new reservation. Only a fraction made it there and back to Navajo country in 1868 after this failed ethnic cleansing experiment, so Carson is known by some as an Indian killer and destroyer of Navajo culture and livelihoods. Taos Pueblo is said to be the Place of the Red Willow, so the park’s new name refers to Taos Pueblo. Fort Sumner was closed once the Navajo left and was sold to a rancher Lucien Maxwell in 1870. On July 14, 1881 Sheriff Pat Garrett found Billy The Kid in a Maxwell home bedroom and killed him.


The Bosque Redondo Memorial Museum (2005) designed by Navajo architect David N. Sloan is located at Fort Sumner State Historic Site and Monument 6.5 miles southeast of the town of Fort Sumner, New Mexico. Murals were installed in 2012



Stanley Marsh III age 76 died Tuesday June 17, 2014 in Amarillo Texas. Businessman turned artist and eclectic promoter of arts. he paid a group of artists d/b/a Ant Farm to create Cadillac Ranch off Route 66 now Interstate Highway 40 west of Amarillo. Cadillac Ranch is ten partially interred vintage Cadillac automobiles on Marsh property. They are usually brightly colored and folks feel free to paint on this public installation art. Ant Farm was a radical art and design collective that both designed and installed Cadillac Ranch in 1974 for Stanley Marsh III. When Doug Michaels, founding member of Ant Farm, died age 59 in an accident on June 12, 2003 the Cadillacs were all painted black in mourning. Perhaps they are now being painted black in mourning for Stanley Marsh III.




On June 18 Jeff Bezos and introduced the new Amazon smart phone called Amazon Fire. This is the first smart phone for Amazon, competing directly with Apple and its iPhones, Samsung Electronics and its series of smart phones, and Google smart phones. Amazon Fire has a 4.2 inch high definition display screen, a 2.2GHz processor, 2 GB of Random Access Memory, and its wireless connection is to AT&T at 4G speeds. It emphasizes quality access to streaming video music and games and the ability to shop at to purchase the wanted video music and games and enjoy it immediately. Its rear facing camera is 13 megapixels with an f/2.0 lens. Without a contract it may be purchased for $649 but with an AT&T contract it can be purchased for as low as $200. It is not set up as an open source wireless device so for now at least, AT&T is the exclusive provider.










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