Archive | July, 2014

History of the Llano Estacado and Environs

24 Jul

History of the Llano Estacado and environs by David Cummins

You didn’t know about the famous wolf hunt in 1905? President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was returning from a Rough Rider reunion in San Antonio and stopped in Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory, residents knowing that he was in favor of combining the two to form a new state of Oklahoma, and therefore would be well received. Teddy was intrigued by the stories, well supported, that John R. “Jack” Abernathy could and did catch wolves with his hands. On April 8-12, 1905 Roosevelt lit out on a wolf hunt led by Jack Abernathy over three counties in southwestern [today’s] Oklahoma with fellow hunters that included Roosevelt’s physician Dr. Alexander Lambert, Quanah Parker, Samuel Burk Burnett, Tom Waggoner, and Bill McDonald. Others were lagging and dis-spirited but Teddy was present when Jack lured a wolf to attack his wrapped arm and Jack throttled the wolf with his free hand and broke its neck. He repeated the exercise with three other wolves. Teddy thanked Jack for the display of courage in nature and Teddy headed for Colorado and a bear hunt with rifles.

The following year 1906 as president, Teddy signed the Oklahoma Statehood Enabling Act permitting both Oklahoma Territory [enhanced in 1890 by the addition of Cimarron Territory in the panhandle only 34 miles north to south but 169 miles east to west between the 100th and 103rd Meridians degrees of longitude west of the Greenwich Meridian at London England] and Indian Territory in which Anglo residents outnumbered Indians 9 to 1, to combine for a single new state of the United States. The 100th Meridian in the United States is historically regarded as “the dry line” everything west of it being a quite dry area and east of it being quite wet. The panhandle south plains of Texas is all west of the dry line.

In 1910 Teddy appointed Jack Abernathy U.S. Marshall for Oklahoma the youngest marshall in the nation

Samuel Burk Burnett 1849-1922 was owner of Four Sixes Ranch headquartered in Wichita Falls who started with Longhorns, then Durhams, then Herefords, to operate the finest strain of cattle. He introduced the practice of purchasing steers and grazing them for sale at auction. He had leased range land and ran cattle in Indian Territory by cooperation with Quanah Parker paying 6-1/2 cents per acre but as statehood approached he purchased107,000 acres in the Texas panhandle’s Carson County and 141,000 acres near Guthrie less than 100 miles east of Lubbock. The town of Burkburnett was named for him. His financial empire capital based on banking and oil was in Fort Worth.

Tom Waggoner was the son of Daniel Waggoner [died 1902] operating the extensive Waggoner Ranch properties upon which oil was later discovered, with headquarters at Vernon Texas.

William Jesse “Bill” McDonald was captain of the Texas Rangers

Quanah Parker was the last war chief of the Quahadi Comanche forced in 1875 to lead his people out of Comancheria onto an Indian reservation in Indian Territory and he became a successful rancher there and spokesman for Indians with the federal government.

So-called Cimarron Territory was known in past times as No Man’s Land, Old Beaver River Country, Public Domain and just plain lawless land or desert but the Old Santa Fe Trail Cimarron Cutoff ran through it and Colonel Kit Carson was dispatched in 1865 to set up Fort Nichols at a point where the Trail meets the Cimarron River The Cimarron Cutoff proceeded from Fort Dodge Kansas [Dodge City] to Fort Union New Mexico Territory [the northern mountain Old Santa Fe Trail proceeded from Fort Dodge to Bent’s Fort and La Junta Colorado and through Raton Pass at the border while the more direct Cimarron Cutoff Old Santa Fe Trail joined up at Fort Union and continued west 110 miles to Santa Fe. The Cimarron Cutoff’s major watering station was the Cimarron River but of course both Comanche and Kiowa watered there as well. Today the Cutoff passes through Cimarron National Grassland, Rita Blanca National Grassland and Kiowa National Grassland to Clayton New Mexico [approximately where US Highway 56 vehicles travel southwest from Dodge City] and on to Santa Fe since Fort Union in the Mora Valley 45 miles north of today’s Las Vegas was closed in 1891 after forty years usage.

Here is a route map of the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad in 1891 that illustrates that its trackage ran west from Dodge City to Coolidge Kansas, Lamar Colorado, La Junta, then left the course of the Arkansas River to go southwest to Trinidad Colorado, Dillon New Mexico near Raton, Springer, Las Vegas and Lamy [spur extended north to Santa Fe] and did not follow the Cimarron Cutoff of the Old Santa Fe Trail.,_Topeka_and_Santa_Fe_Railway#mediaviewer/File:Santa_Fe_Route_Map_1891.jpg It would be several years before spur railroads would enter the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma such as Southern Kansas Railway of Texas chartered in 1886 becoming the Panhandle and Santa Fe Railway in 1914, and the Fort Worth & Denver City Railway crossing lines with Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad at Dalhart Texas in 1888, shipping center for the XIT Ranch and other ranches, and extending beyond the state line toward Denver City Colorado.


Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca 1490-1558 was treasurer on the royal Narvaez Expedition to La Florida from Spain in 1527 [by way of Santo Domingo Espanola and Santiago Cuba] with 600 people, mostly men, with a commission to start two colonial settlements, that suffered a shipwreck and a 1528-1536 journey across the American continent beginning with being enslaved by Indians to 1532 and ending with Cabeza and three other survivors being traders and shamans with Indians of various tribes. The other survivors were Andres Dorantes de Carranza, his servant Estevan a North African Berber sometimes called The Moor, and Alonso del Castillo Maldonado.

On small boats near the mouth of the Mississippi River Panfilo de Narvaez was in another boat and was lost attempting to sail along the coast to Tampico [east coast of New Spain (Mexico)], while Cabeza and his boatload made it to Galveston Island where they were captured and enslaved by Karankawa Indians. From there in 1532 four escaped and walked west crossing the Rio Grande somewhere between the current Falcon Reservoir and Amistad Reservoir, but close enough to West Texas so that Cabeza heard about and perhaps saw bison and in his journal referred to this terra incognito [unknown land] as “Cattle Nation”. They walked through the north of New Spain [Mexico] and came down the west coast to San Miguel de Cuilacan Sinaloa where they met Spanish slavers on horseback. The next year in 1537 he sailed back to Spain and rendered an account to Holy Roman Emperor Charles V [King Charles I of Spain] awarding him a bison robe, among other items. Cabeza’s “account” titled Relacion (1542) (Narrative in English) is a marvelous report of the lands and peoples of this area. Andres Resendez, A Land So Strange: The Epic Journey of Cabeza de Vaca (Basic Books 2007) Lubbock Public Library 970.01 RESE Texas Tech Library E125.N9 R47 The two other Spaniard survivors wrote their account titled Joint Report that is now accessible in Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo’s massive Historia general y natural de las Indias, islas y tierra firme del mar oceano Esteban did not write an account or memoir but one was imagined for him by the novelist Laila Lalami as The Moor’s Account: A Novel (Pantheon Books 2014) Texas Tech Library PS3612.A543 M66.

Cabeza de Vaca in Spanish translates as cow’s head so it turned out to be quite coincidental that he later, probably while with the Jumano Indians, saw bison that he recognized as cattle but somewhat different from Spanish cattle. He saw no horses and Indians who hunted bison then, hunted them on foot. He was told by Jumano that they hunted to the north in a more arid region, perhaps the first recorded account of a reference to the Llano Estacado.

It would be only a few years later 1540-1542 when Francisco Vasquez de Coronado would explore that northern area and write his report.

Coronado was governor of the state of New Galicia on the west coast of New Spain and in 1539 Viceroy Mendoza sent Friar Marcos de Niza and Estevan [survivor of the Narvaez Expedition] on a northern expedition. Niza returned and said Estevan had been killed by Zuni who lived in a golden city of Cibola and there were other such cities. Coronado took it from there, preparing his own expedition. His route began on the west coast of New Spain [Mexico] at Compostela, then to Cuilacan, then north on an inland route to southeastern Arizona northeast to Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico, Acoma Pueblo, Tiguex Pueblo [on the Rio Grande River near Bernalillo and the present site of Coronado State Monument], and Pecos Pueblo from which he went east into the Llano Estacado to Blanco Canyon near Crosbyton and Floydada Texas, then crossed the Red River east of Palo Duro Canyon then northeast to the “Quivira” Indians in Kansas above the Arkansas River, returning by a more direct route to Pecos Pueblo in New Mexico. He found no gold or other valuables but many years later every piece of his expedition’s detritus has become quite valuable. What did he make of those herds of bison? His journal referred to them often and they were the main staple of a protein rich diet for the explorers.

Coronado did not treat Native Americans well, killing many Zuni and others. Juan de Onate brutally outdid him however on that score, as onetime governor of the area in 1598-1607. Conditions of subjugation continued, ultimately leading to the Indians Pueblo Revolt of 1680 Juan Bautista de Anza was a Spanish explorer of Alta California all the way north to Monterey, and was Governor of New Mexico 1778-1788 defeating Green Horn a Comanche chief and stabilizing Indian Pueblo life free of raids by Navajo, Apache or Comanche. He started the comanchero trading program with Comanche on the Llano Estacado seeing it as helpful to containing Anglo-French westward expansion from the mid-continent region. It did not surprise de Anza that New Spain could not effectively colonize Tejas beyond the Bexar settlement at San Antonio founded early in the century. He was very cautious about Anglos and French so he would never have permitted empresarios like Stephen F. Austin to bring Anglo settlers into Tejas in northern New Spain.


Captain Randolph B. Marcy lit out from Fort Smith Arkansas in his 1849 expedition to trace the course of the Canadian River. Today we know it rises in far southern Colorado on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, flows south into New Mexico west of Raton, through a canyon near Springer, and then east across New Mexico forming the northern border of the Llano Estacado through the panhandle of Texas and then across Oklahoma until it empties into the Arkansas River at the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir on the Arkansas, a total of 906 miles. Marcy traced its course in Oklahoma Territory and in Texas and some of New Mexico Territory and ended his exploration at Santa Fe [thus establishing the Marcy Trail from Fort Smith to Santa Fe] where he resupplied and then lit out across the Llano Estacado on its western border following the Pecos River southward to the edge of the Edwards Plateau at Castle Gap on the historic San Antonio-El Paso Road or Southern Emigrant Trail between the present towns of Crane and McCamey, and then locating the sandhills near Monahans and a large spring at Big Spring before turning north at the easterly escarpment of the Llano Estacado, thus circumnavigating the Llano Estacado and returning to Fort Smith.

The Canadian River was known before 1849 due to an expedition by US Army Lieutenants James William Abert and William G. Peck in 1845, and before that by an expedition by Major Stephen Long in 1820 barely making it back to Fort Smith. Long’s harrowing return, including eating the meat of their horses, and report are the source of maps referring to the Llano Estacado and beyond on the high plains as “The Great American Desert”.

John Miller Morris, El Llano Estacado: Exploration and Imagination on the High Plains of Texas and New Mexico, 1536-1860 (Texas State Historical Association 1997) Lubbock Public Library 976.48 M876L Texas Tech Library F392.L63 M67


Saturday October 4, 2014 is a trek to the site of the First Battle of Adobe Walls that occurred on November 25, 1864 about 150 years ago. Buses leave Amarillo Civic Center at 11:00 am or the Phillips Building in Borger at 1:00 pm for the site where Kit Carson’s grandson and Kiowa and Comanche will speak. $50 buys a seat on the bus and reservations are requested by August 15 to Amy Mitchell at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum phone 806-651-2242. More information e-mail Lynn Hopkins at Hutchinson County Museum

General Carleton commanded a garrison of US Army New Mexico Department and was hateful to Indians, having ordered Colonel Kit Carson in the Spring of 1864 to take the Navajo on The Long Walk from their homelands to a newly founded Bosque Redondo reservation at newly opened Fort Sumner.

During the Civil War the Kiowa, Plains Apache, and Comanche repeatedly attacked travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and settlements of Anglo-Americans, so General Carleton sent Colonel Kit Carson commanding the New Mexico Volunteers to strike a blow at the Indians and show them that the United States would protect its transportation assets and settlements even while fighting the Civil War. Carson left Fort Bascom on the Canadian River near Logan New Mexico [1863 post abandoned 1870] with 260 cavalry, 75 infantry, 72 Ute and Jicarilla Apache scouts, two howitzers and 27 wagons and proceeded down the Canadian River intending to camp at Adobe Walls in Texas, then the ruins of William Bent’s abandoned adobe trading post and saloon on the northern side of the Canadian River 17 miles northeast of present day Stinnett Texas. Carson had, twenty years earlier, been active at the trading post when it was a going concern, so he knew its location.

Four miles from Adobe Walls Carson’s scouts reported a Kiowa village encampment so Carson attacked it and fell back to Adobe Walls to regroup. To his surprise there were at least four other villages of Kiowa Apache and Comanche nearby so in a matter of hours Carson was besieged by 1,200 – 1,400 attacking warriors. After the initial attack even more Indians, said to be about 3,000, were attacking by afternoon. Carson retreated into the first abandoned Kiowa village and burned it including the elderly in their tipis. He then retreated farther to where his supply train wagons were located, and on November 26 he led the troops back to New Mexico.

The current historical marker says “though Carson made a brilliant defense, the Indians won”. Eight years later the Battle of the North Fork of the Red River at McClellan Creek in Gray County September 28, 1872 would go against the Comanche and in favor of Colonel Ranald Mackenzie. Ten years later on June 27, 1874 in the Second Battle of Adobe Walls 28 buffalo hunters would be encamped at Adobe Walls and 250 or more Comanche attacked, setting off the declared Red River Indian War of 1874-1875 and the removal of the Comanche to Oklahoma Indian Territory. General Sherman approved Colonel Mackenzie’s strategy to attack Comanche resources and make their survival off reservation untenable. Mackenzie attacked the horse herds at Tule Canyon and Palo Duro Canyon and destroyed resources forcing the Comanche evacuation to Indian Territory.

Here’s a map of Comancheria


Here’s a look at Fort McKavett Texas overlooking the headwaters of the San Saba River west the present town of Menard The fort served from 1852-1859 and again from 1868-1883 and for the last thirty years has been Fort McKavett State Historic Site where Buffalo Soldier re-enactors tell history stories. The San Saba flows east through Menard and the town of San Saba before emptying into the Colorado River.


July 24, 2014

Arts History Update for early August 2014

24 Jul

Arts History Update for early August 2014 by David Cummins

Texas A&M University Press is partnering with CASETA Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art and is providing discount code 3B to gain a 30% discount for purchase of any of the Joe & Betty Moore Texas Art Series books, a series at the Press devoted to art by Texans. but also notice Michael Duty & Susan Hallsten McGarry, Texas Traditions: Contemporary Artists of the Lone Star State (Fresco Fine Art Publications 2010) 240 pages $75 that will balance off the art of Texas past with the art of its present. Latter at Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 68 A1 D981 T355 that includes passages on Glenna Goodacre Rosie Sandifer and other once local artists whose beauty we live with daily. ABE Books new $75.44 incl s&h no sales tax for the moment.

William Keyse Rudolph, Julian Onderdonk: American Impressionist (Yale University Press 2008) 160 page catalog for an exhibit at Dallas Museum of Art, Witte Museum at San Antonio, and Stark Museum of Art at Orange, Texas. Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection 68 o58 R917 J94 on sale commercially for over $100. Onderdonk 1882-1922 was born raised and died in San Antonio

Harold Dow Bugbee: The Original Cowboy Artist of the Plains is an exhibit at the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock from July 19 – January 16, 2015 a six month period and the catalogue is gorgeous. The content of the exhibit is on loan for this period from Panhandle Plains Historical Museum, West Texas A&M University in Canyon Texas. Bugbee’s parents bought a ranch outside Clarendon Texas on the advice of his father’s cousin T.S. [Thomas Sherman] Bugbee who owned another ranch from early ranching days 1876 following the removal of the Comanche. Young Harold Dow Bugbee was thirteen years of age when his family moved from Lexington Massachusetts to ranch life near Clarendon. He wanted to be two things, a cowboy and an artist, and “in this the best of all possible worlds” [so says Pangloss in Candide] he succeeded at both. He died at his home on the ranch 1900-1963 at age 62.

Michael Grauer, Curator of Art & Western Heritage at PPHM in Canyon put together the exhibit and spoke at the opening reception on July 19. He had tramped through the H.D. Bugbee home with Olive the artist’s widow, and so had personal experiences in collecting the art and artifacts of this early cowboy regionalist plains painter and sculptor. He spoke well and we can only hope that NRHC will bring him back again this Fall for another talk on Bugbee and his art.


A family collection of art will soon have a home in a new museum at Stanford University Harry “Hunk” Anderson and his wife Mary Margaret “Moo” Anderson are donating most of the art in their Atherton California home to Stanford University for display as The Anderson Collection. Hunk age 91 and Moo age 86 have donated before to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and to the De Young Museum in San Francisco, but this donation outdoes them all, with Lucifer by Jackson Pollock, and originals by Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, Hans Hoffman, Sam Francis, Morris Louis, Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Agnes Martin and Robert Motherwell. Stanford’s new art and art history building McMurtry Building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro will open early in 2015 containing The Anderson Collection. No one else in America has such a collection of original abstract expressionist, color field, and pop art paintings. The article in the Los Angeles Times is a fascinating read.

Department of Art & Art History
School of Humanities & Sciences
Stanford University Galleries and Spaces Burt and Deedee McMurtry Building

One of our Arts History Update readers is touring in the Golden State and sent me this information. Thanks for sharing.


Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There is a Season) was composed music and lyrics by Pete Seeger in 1959, was recorded by Judy Collins as the closing song in her album Judy Collins # 3 (1963) and recorded by The Byrds in 1965 as a single and in an album, and!_Turn!_Turn! and by Wilson Phillips (vocal trio Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson, and Chynna Phillips) in their album California (2004) Of course Seeger lifted all but the repeated Turn Turn Turn from chapter 3 of the biblical Book of Ecclesiastes.

And here is Pete in the 1960s singing his own song that you can purchase on Google Play, Amazon MP3 or Apple iTunes. Here is Pete on his 94th birthday in 2013 trying to lead the assembled group in this, one of his signature songs Pete Seeger May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014

It was Pete Seeger who heard Guy Carawan sing a spiritual song “we will overcome” at a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee meeting in 1960. Pete changed the word to We Shall Overcome as being more singable and wrote the music that Joan Baez and many other singer-activists recorded and sang until it became an anthem for the civil rights movement.

Pete was an original, a folk singer like Woody Guthrie 1912 – 1967 with whom he played and sang, Pete on the banjo and Woody on his guitar or violin They are remembered as historic figures, larger than life, men who live long after their protoplasm [earthly physical body].


The 29th Annual Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering is February 27-28, 2015 on the campus of Sul Ross State University at Alpine Texas on US Highway 90 between El Paso and San Antonio there are a surprising number of places of lodging in Alpine but book early for your choice. The historic Holland Hotel at 209 West Holland Avenue is always a good choice and Prude Ranch near Fort Davis is only 30 miles away and Sunday House Inn at Alpine is a choice for folks who have forgotten or don’t know that a century ago or more folks would ride wagons a fair distance to get to a church on Sunday and would require a lodging or sunday house while there, spending a good part of the first day of the work week returning to the ranch.

Both mornings you may join the performers, local folks, and friends [made instantly in the trans Pecos region] at Poets Grove on Loop Road next to KVLF Radio station, warm your backside by the campfire and sip cowboy coffee, and eat eggs and hot biscuits and gravy made in dutch ovens in front of you off a chuckwagon. $5 per person 7:30 – 8:30 am.

Day sessions are free. Friday and Saturday evening sessions are $12.50 per person. Friday afternoon show by Cowboy Celtic is $5.

To get warmed up for Alpine, try the 26th annual National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration at Lubbock Texas September 4-7, 2014 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center downtown There are Friday and Saturday concurrent sessions of poetry, music, stories, history sessions, and gathering activities, chuckwagon cook-offs, Quanah Parker Society activities exhibiting Comanche culture, old-fashioned mouth watering bbq, a series of sessions on western family feuds, and of course the theater shows on both evenings. Saturday morning is the Parade of the Horse featuring some old carriages and surreys drawn by skilled horses. If you’ve had way too much fun, there’s always the Sunday morning open air cowboy church service where you can unload some of that Puritan guilt and shame. If you’re a first-timer to the Cowboy Symposium, pop over to the National Ranching Heritage Center on the Texas Tech campus on 4th street where you’ll see restored historic ranch structures and original tack and equipment, veritably a museum for a cowboy. It’s genuine and authentic.


hONEyhoUSe is a four woman band that is having a CD Release Party for “Sweep” its latest album at Peggy’s Garden adjacent on the north to Tornado Gallery 1822 Buddy Holly Avenue [former Avenue H] in the Depot Entertainment District in downtown Lubbock Sunday July 27 from 7:00 – 9:00 pm $15 at the door BYOB and BYOFood or just arrive for the music by a band that plays and sings rock, gospel, folk, country, blues, even a little funk, that is so authentic and genuine that fans are multiplying geometrically. Here’s the video press kit produced by Rolling R Productions in Albuquerque New Mexico.

Hillary Smith vocals and guitar, Yvonne Perea vocals and guitar, Mandy Buchanan vocals, and Savannah Thomas djembe/percussionist is hONEyhoUSe Hillary blasts it out, Yvonne has a smooth balanced mellow tone, Mandy is a sweet feminine songbird at a high register, and Savannah makes her hands one with the drum to drive the beat. You can listen to Root Beer Float and Beautiful You at Their previous two albums as a trio were Medicine Lodge and Sun. Song segments are here


Celebrated artists show at Abraham
Plainview Daily Herald (TX) – Saturday, July 19, 2014
Author: Abraham Art Gallery

The American Watercolor Society’s One Hundred Forty-Seventh International Exhibition — 2014, is now on view in the Abraham Art Gallery, Malouf Abraham Family Art Center on the campus of Wayland Baptist University. Forty exceptional works in watercolor by some of the most celebrated watercolor artists in America, as well as works by international artists from Italy, Spain, Australia, Canada and Singapore are included in this exhibition.

“The Abraham Art Gallery is one of only five venues in the United States selected to receive this show, and we are very excited and honored to present this outstanding exhibit to our patrons in the West Texas region,” said Dr. Candace Keller, curator of art for the Abraham Art Gallery and Museum of the Llano Estacado. “Helen Napoly, the New York Exhibition chair, and John Patt, executive director at AWS, assisted in extending the exhibition dates through October to allow scheduling for out-of-town groups and individuals to see this show, which always draws a large audience.” In addition, Dr. Keller stated that “collectors will be particularly interested in viewing this exhibit as these award-winning watercolor works will be available for sale in the Gallery.”

This annual juried exhibition of the American Watercolor Society is open to all artist members, associates and independent artists worldwide, and their awards total 40,000 annually. Signature members of the Society number about 500 with 1,200 associate members.

The history of this society of artists begins in 1866, when a group of 11 painters met at the studio of Gilbert Burling in the New York University Building to form “The American Society of Painters in Water Color.” The newly formed society held its first exhibition in the fall of 1867, and these annual exhibitions have continued to the present time. In 1878, the name was changed to the American Watercolor Society, and it was incorporated in 1903. In 1933, the AWS Silver Medal was established, with the AWS Gold Medal of Honor first awarded in 1948. Traveling shows, first termed “rotary shows,” were initiated in 1905, visiting Buffalo, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis and St. Louis.

The three watercolor works honored with the Silver, Gold and Bronze Medals are included in this exhibit, along with all the other works receiving major awards in this year’s competition.

There is a long and continuing tradition of watercolor painting in America, and the goal of the society is to raise public awareness of this history and to honor the excellence of watercolor artists.

Show dates for the American Watercolor Society One Hundred and Forty-Seventh International Exhibition — 2014, in the Abraham Art Gallery are July 11 to Oct. 31, 2014. The gallery is located in the Mabee Learning Resource Center on the WBU campus, and gallery hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, and 2-5 p.m. Saturday, or by appointment. Catalogs of the show will be available for sale to benefit the scholarship fund. Admission is free.


PETER ROGERS, ARTIST OF ICONIC TEXAS MURAL, TO SPEAK AT STATE LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES. AUSTIN, Texas, July 17 – “Peter Rogers, the artist of “Texas Moves Toward Statehood,” a dramatic mural of Texas history that has been a fixture in the lobby of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building ( for 50 years, will return to Austin for a public talk at the Zavala Building, Thursday, July 31, at 6 p.m. The building is located at 1201 Brazos Street, Austin, Texas, just east of the State Capitol. Rogers, who lives in New Mexico, will speak about his experience painting the mural, his acquaintance with two governors – Price Daniel who participated in the mural’s commission, and John Connally, governor when it was completed in the summer of 1964 – details of the mural, and his career in art. A limited quantity of high-quality versions of the mural on paper and canvas signed by the artist will be available for a contribution to the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas. Please rsvp at or (512) 463-5460. Targeted News Service (USA) – Friday, July 18, 2014.

Pelican books, a non-fiction imprint of Penguin Books, is being published again after a long hiatus [stopped in 1984]. An example of exceptional quality and value is Ha-Joon Chang, Economics: The User’s Guide: A Pelican Introduction (Penguin Books Ltd 2014) new at ABE Books $11.42 incl s&h no sales tax.


Medicare Made Clear Blog includes a four part series on Meditation that is excellent

Meditation 101: Part 1 Managing Stress With Meditation Part 2 What Is Meditation? 6 Myths Set Straight Part 3 How to Meditate in 3 Easy Steps Part 4 How Meditation Changes Your Brain is the first part with a link to the next three parts.


Arts History Update for late July 2014

14 Jul

Arts History Update for late July 2014 by David Cummins

The National College Baseball Hall of Fame repository is the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Libraries at Texas Tech University and there is a display exhibit now through September 30 noting the events of the past season. For Texas Tech the most important event was that its baseball team made the last eight teams in the nation at the College Baseball World Series in Omaha Nebraska
and for that accomplishment the team’s coach Tim Tadlock was awarded as National Coach of the Year. This was the first time for Texas Tech to be in the College World Series. Regrettably it lost its first two games and left town a bit deflated. Fans recall that it made it into the regional tourney at Coral Gables Florida and won, then hosted a super regional in Lubbock and won that in two straight games, fueling an enormous surge of pride that persists.


When companies say they participate in Social Media to advertise and inform about their product or service and connect with the market, what do they mean? Essentially, their staff keeps up a constant presence on:

1. You Tube channel
2. Facebook
3. Twitter
4. Foursquare
5. Flickr
6. Instagram
7. Linkedin
8. Wikipedia
9. Pinterest
10. Tumblr

An example is Texas Tech University and and and and and and and and and

There’s a verb associated with each form of social media, to alert us that this is an activity folks are encouraged to engage in, and of course the more they engage with a company or institution the more the latter has reached its goal. Do you “pin” or “link” or “tweet” or “like” or “follow” or ‘tag” etc.

There are many more social networking services.
The responsible and sensible use of social media on behalf of one’s employer is a skill for which employers pay top dollar when it’s demonstrated to help the company. Some companies outsource this activity, often to a public relations firm, and others employ staff in-house to carry it out.

Of course there is always the possibility of doing something badly, and we know that some folks will appropriate and share confidential and private information and images. Youngsters who have been “outed” in this manner have been so devastated as to attempt or commit suicide.

One sober although not often appreciated stance toward social media, is to be aware that someone, a total stranger with an agenda unknown to you, is repeatedly watching and listening to social interactions. It may be so commercial and mundane as someone trying to figure out who might be a likely market for the watcher’s commercial product and so should be targeted as a consumer. It may be headhunters or potential employers wanting to know about the private lives of persons of interest.

The vigilant and safe folks will take more time and telephone to have a private conversation or meet and talk over coffee eye to eye. Only in that context will private information be exchanged. Not on social media.

When something happens live, like athletic events and concerts, and communities of fans and supporters can interact to and with it, savvy operators of those events create Social Media platforms for fans and supporters to respond, often instantly so unconsidered, emotional and inconsiderate responses abound. Athletic Departments at universities are an example and notice the “Live Chat” drop-down dialogue box that you can be assured is monitored by an athletic department employee. Here’s a long list of social media sites devoted to Texas Tech Athletics including a way to instantly respond to head coaches in each of the sports.

In days of yore we noticed Monday morning quarterbacks chatting about what the football coach should or shouldn’t have done at last Saturday’s game. Today with digital social media, that “quarterback” sitting in row 37 or at home watching on television can “correct” the coach instantly. Thankfully, pressing the send button is a one way transaction, and the coach may not read or receive the message until Monday morning.



Tex Thornton:
King of the oilfield firefighters
and rainmaker
by Clay Coppedge


The oil fields of the Texas Panhandle in the 1920s and ‘30s were a place where a man who knew how to use nitroglycerin could make a good living for himself. Ward A. “Tex” Thornton was such a man. He learned all about nitro when he went to work in 1913 for an Ohio company that manufactured torpedoes. He brought that knowledge along with a steady hand and no small degree of courage to the oil fields around Amarillo in 1920.
Thornton was sent to Amarillo in 1920 as a branch manager for U.S. Torpedo Company of Wichita Falls where he learned about the peculiar nature of those oil fields and how nitroglycerin, which he knew all about, was in high demand. The problem was handling and using nitroglycerin without blowing everybody and everything around it to atoms.

Nitroglycerin, first developed in Italy in 1847, was adapted commercially by Alfred Noble of peace prize fame as a high explosive, which meant that it was highly unstable and could be set off with just the slightest jolt; numerous explosions of the spectacular but tragic variety attested to this and led to it being widely banned, which was bad for Nobel’s nitroglycerin factory. He experimented with it some more and eventually stabilized it with the use of diatomaceous earth in the manufacture of an explosive he called dynamite. (Yes, the man for whom the Nobel Peace Prize is named invented dynamite.)

Nitroglycerin in its raw form was used in the Panhandle oil fields in a couple of ways. Well shooters like Tex Thornton would put it into promising holes to create an explosion intended to shake the oil loose and bring it to the top; the thick limestone formations in the fields made it necessary to use a lot of nitroglycerin. The fields also held large amounts of natural gas, which made dropping little canisters of nitroglycerin into well holes occasionally problematic.

Demonic gas vapors sometimes caught the canisters and forced them back up the well hole. When that happened it helped to be able to (a) run very fast, or (b) catch the canister when it came back up. Bobble the nitro and the well shooter and everyone and everything in his immediate vicinity would be toast. Thornton was said to be one of the best at catching the nitro when it came back up.
The high levels of natural gas also made the fields susceptible to fires. One way to extinguish such a fire was to drop a charge of nitro into the fire and explode it; the explosion sucked all the oxygen from the fire and snuffed it out. When the threat of starting additional fires was too great to use the nitro, Thornton would smother the fires with massive amounts of steam and water, which took about three weeks, 20-30 men, and 50 steam boilers; but it worked. Tex Thornton was known as the king of oilfield firefighters.

Later, during the Dust Bowl, he picked up a reputation as a rainmaker or charlatan, depending on your point of view. There’s no evidence that Tex Thornton did not believe that explosions properly placed in the clouds would produce rain. Napoleon believed it, World War I soldiers believed it, and in the 1930s everybody in Dalhart, at the cold, flat and windy northwestern tip of Texas, was ready to believe it, too. Thornton probably believed the theory that rain follows artillery but if he tried such a thing anywhere other than Dalhart it hasn’t been widely reported.

Dalhart was hit especially hard by the Dust Bowl. The bank failed on June 27, 1931, a day when the temperature reached 112 degrees. That began the first of eight years with very little rain and the beginning of the most destructive dust storms in history. Dalhart was one of the worst-hit communities in the nation.

Tex Thornton showed up in Dalhart right the middle of the town’s misery, in 1935. He told the city he believed he could make it rain. He certainly tried. He set off explosives in the clouds for several days, battling dust storms and high winds much of the time. People came from miles around to watch him but the blowing dust drove most of the spectators away. Thornton stayed at it. Finally, it snowed. Then, as the temperatures warmed, it sleeted.

For all anybody knew, Tex Thornton had coaxed moisture out of the sky in Dalhart, though places like Kansas and Colorado, way out of range for Tex Thornton’s nitroglycerin, also got snow and rain in roughly the same amount at roughly the same time.

His reputation as a well shooter, firefighter and rainmaker made Tex Thornton something of a legend in the Panhandle but he met with an unfortunate ending that had nothing to do with a large explosion, as we might expect. Thornton was murdered by two hitchhikers he picked up on June 22, 1949.

The man and woman charged in the murder – the hitchhikers – were not convicted. The trial was of the sensational variety, and aspersions were cast on Tex Thornton’s character, an ignoble end for a legendary character of both oil field and Dust Bowl lore.


Ward A. “Tex” Thornton’s son was Charles Bates “Tex” Thornton “whiz kid’ at Ford Motor Company and Hughes Aircraft, and founder and CEO of Litton Industries,
in whose name funds were given to Texas Tech University to endow professorships. Charles B. Thornton 1913-1981 was born in Haskell Texas and was abandoned by his father soon thereafter. Charles attended Texas Technological College for two years majoring in business administration. Haskell is north of Abilene Texas on US Highway 277.

Opening up the Northwest

There were three railroads that operated from the upper Midwest to Seattle, the Northern Pacific Railway, the Great Northern Railway, and Chicago Milwaukee St Paul and Pacific Railroad [called The Milwaukee Road],_Milwaukee,_St._Paul_and_Pacific_Railroad In addition, the Union Pacific Railroad [the first transcontinental line chartered by President Lincoln in 1862] came north to Portland in 1884 and Seattle 1888 from San Francisco.
The Northern Pacific was chartered by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1864 for a line from Lake Superior to Puget Sound. Construction began in 1870, was delayed by Indian wars, and was completed in 1888 by a direct route through Missoula Montana crossing the Bitterroot Mountains at St Paul Pass and Taft Tunnel [1.6 miles, east entrance in Montana west entrance in Idaho] on to Lookout Pass and Wallace Idaho, and Stampede Pass in the Cascade Mountains west of Yakima, and by an indirect route from Spokane down to the Columbia River and then north from Portland Oregon to Seattle Washington. 15,000 Chinese laborers and 10,000 Anglo laborers were used in the construction.
The Great Northern, bankrolled by James J. Hill, took a more northern route, what is currently US Highway 2 route, through the Montana High Line country, Glacier National Park Montana, Sandpoint Idaho, Spokane Washington and across the northern Cascade Mountains at Scenic Washington [Old Cascade Tunnel 2.6 miles and New Cascade Tunnel 7.8 miles 1928-1989] in the Stevens Pass area reaching Puget Sound in 1893. John F. Stevens was chief engineer for the Great Northern.
In the economic Panic of 1893 the Northern Pacific slipped into bankruptcy but the other railroads carried on.
Railroad lines converged in Seattle in the 1890s and the two permanent downtown stations or terminals were constructed later, King Street Station (1906) [Great Northern and Northern Pacific] and Union Station (1911) [Milwaukee Road and Union Pacific].
Today all the lines have been merged into the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and its trackage is an amalgamation from former railroads. The current Amtrak passenger service eastward is on the Empire Builder train and its western terminus is King Street Station with its 12 story clock tower. The current passenger service southward to Los Angeles is on the Coast Starlight By law passenger service today must defer to freight train traffic, so train schedules for passengers are guides or suggestions. It’s relaxation and beverage time all day and night.
The historic Hiawatha train was a Milwaukee Road passenger train that ran between Chicago and Seattle. Today it is an Amtrak service between Milwaukee and Chicago. The historic Empire Builder train was a Great Northern passenger train service between Chicago and Seattle and the historic North Coast Limited was a Northern Pacific passenger train service between Chicago and Seattle. These three historic passenger trains were flagship trains and marked the apogee of haute railroading in the early 20th century. The freight cars and trains were the economic engines of the northwest.


Brewmasters Craft Beer Festival 2014, the fifth annual, is Labor Day weekend August 29-31 at Moody Gardens in Galveston Texas. It locks down a hot Texas Summer about as well as anything might. The best craft beer made in Texas is definitely present, and some excellent craft beer from around the nation is on offer. Free van service back to your hotel so no one gets into trouble on the road after imbibing. The other trouble is yours to navigate.

Brewlicious Brews & Food Pairing at $75 per person on August 29 in the Ballroom, and Brewhaha Grand Tasting at $35 per person in the Convention Center on August 30, and Beach Brews & Bands at $10 per person on August 31 for an evening concert with fireworks over the lake, among other events, make up the weekend I like the Pub Crawl around the city of Galveston event, with all transportation provided on Saturday evening, and I’m guessing the promoter stocks those pubs in advance with some of the best Texas beers so crawlers/aficionados will find their desires satisfied.

Moody Gardens at any time of year is a destination in itself


Bay Model Visitor Center at 2100 Bridgeway Boulevard, Sausalito California is a 1.5 acre working three-dimensional hydraulic model of San Francisco Bay San Pablo Bay and the Sacramento River – San Joaquin River Delta System, open to the public Tuesday through Sunday free admission US Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco District and the national parks and recreation system is the landlord. The model area is San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay [northeast to Vallejo], and Suisun Bay just west of where the Sacramento River flowing south from the Sacramento Valley meets the San Joaquin River flowing north from the Central Valley City of Stockton is to the east of that river systems delta and is on the San Joaquin River. Since 1933 there is a deep water channel that permits ships entering San Francisco Bay to proceed through Suisun Bay all the way to Stockton and to West Sacramento where there are turning basins. Carquinez Strait connects San Pablo Bay with Suisun Bay.

What a thrill it must be to walk around the expanse of the model feeling like a giant striding across the lands and waters and gaining a perspective not readily otherwise achieved.

The source of the San Joaquin River is the Mount Goddard area in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the river flows southwest to Fresno in the Central Valley and then north roughly parallel to Interstate 5 Highway. A myriad of diversions for agricultural irrigation purposes and some hydroelectric facilities make the San Joaquin a highly utilized river. This area of the Central Valley is referred to as the Thousand Lakes area.

The source of the Sacramento River is in the Klamath Mountains south of Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County and flows south roughly parallel to Interstate Highway 5 through the cities of Redding, Red Bluff, and Colusa to the City of Sacramento [joined there by the American River] and converges with the San Joaquin 40 miles south of the city. The city of Chico is on Butte Creek but is only a few miles east of the Sacramento River so Chico folks go tubing on the Sacramento at Scottys Landing


Arts History Update for mid July 2014

10 Jul

Arts History Update for mid July 2014 by David Cummins

Tim’s Vermeer (2013) is an 80 minute documentary film about inventor Tim Jenison’s quest to discover how Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer 1632-1675 could paint so photo-realistically 150 years before photography was invented. Vermeer His life and that of Baruch Spinoza Dutch philosopher 1632-1677 were coterminous Vermeer was mostly located at Delft while Spinoza started in Amsterdam and ended in The Hague.

Exposition of the value of Spinoza as an original thinker

Vermeer: The Complete Works (ed. Renzo Villa, Silvana Editoriale 2012) Texas Tech Library ND653.V5 A4


Most of the sewage water in Lubbock is treated and upgraded to stream water quality and discharged into Yellowhouse Canyon’s North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River. Downstream at John Montford Dam near Justiceburg it rests in Lake Alan Henry and then is piped up to southwest Lubbock, treated again, and is potable water coming out of our taps.

Less is going on our lawns and gardens since we are in stage # 2 drought restrictions on water usage since June 1. The parks in town where the water table is high have pumps that draw up non-potable water that is then placed into the irrigation system for the park, so lesser quality water is used to irrigate those parks and thus saves/conserves on usage of highly treated potable water.


Nicole Tonkovich, The Allotment Plot: Alice C. Fletcher, E. Jane Gay, and Nez Perce Survivance (University of Nebraska Press 2012) can be read online free in PDF files at Project Muse which is an online database of humanities and social sciences documents gathered by Johns Hopkins University. Notice that several other books dealing with the Nez Perce Indians are able to be read online, Numipu Among the White Settlers, Paralax, Transit Transmotion: Reading Race in the Allotment Photographs of E. Jane Gay, Nez Perce Country by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr., and Saving The Reservation: Joe Garry and the Battle To Be Indian by John Fahey [Garry was a Couer d’Alene not a Nez Perce] Here is an excerpt of a review of Tonkovich’s book

A bit of context may be helpful to understanding what this book is about. The Dawes Act of 1887 was enacted by Congress to achieve two things, reduce the size of the reservations granted to many Indian tribes in the west, and assimilate the Indian people on or near those reservations into the culture of non-Indian America. As far as reduction goes, Congress actually thought the treaties granting of such huge swaths of land may have been necessary to gain peace with Indians but wasn’t necessary for them to exist and thrive on ancestral lands while non-Indians settled and progressively improved and opened up the west. Accordingly, the reduction land was made available to homesteaders, timber companies, transportation networks, and town sites. The assimilation goal was to be achieved by taking the remaining [some was kept for tribal and communal use] reservation lands and dividing them up into individual and family plots or tracts of land, often 160 acres in size per individual, and allotting them to registered Indians.

The Nez Perce tribe was based in three Indian Agency places: Nespelem in eastern Washington shared with the larger group of Colville Indians, and Lapwai and Kamiah in north central Idaho. While Chief Joseph was kept by the US Army at Nespelem, the larger band of Nez Perce were on or near the Clearwater River in Idaho and the two Indian Agencies were at Lapwai and Kamiah. Spalding, on the river itself, was only six miles from inland Lapwai in a verdant valley. The allotments to individuals and families of Nez Perce Indians occurred from 1889-1892 and Alice C. Fletcher an ethnographer anthropologist and her assistant, a photographer, E. Jane Gay, were assigned by the US Government to manage the allotment process and record and report its implementation to the government. They did so and a formal record of their reports has long existed as a public record document that up to now has supplied the accepted history of the allotment process. Tonkovich located the private diaries and correspondence of Fletcher and Gay and uses those alongside the formal reporting to tell an entirely different story, largely from the Nez Perce perspective, of what happened during and following the allotment process.

There were in fact many Nez Perce who were not registered with the local Indian Agencies during the four year period 1889-1892 and some of those people when later registered were generously allowed to receive belated allotments, often on a part of the reservation they’d never seen much less lived on, and many were not allowed registration despite believing themselves to be Nez Perce. Furthermore, allotments only resulted in a federal patent [deed by the federal government to an individual person or persons] if the allottee lived on the land and made improvements on it to show that s/he husbanded or cared for the land. Many Nez Perce sold their allotted and patented lands quickly as soon as the federal government allowed a market for those lands. It would be astonishing to make a survey of formerly allotted lands to see how many and what percentage of them remain in Nez Perce hands as compared to how many are owned by non-Indians. Congress didn’t know it at that time, but a gradually changing policy on reservation lands would demonstrate that members of tribes would often enjoy more fruits from the reservation land if it were controlled by the tribal entity and it could parcel out usage rights but not ownership to individuals and families. Most people would say that tribal entities have been fairer to individual members than the federal government-appointed Indian agents were. Historically, Indian agents often consulted with tribal elders before making decisions anyway, so it made sense to let the elected tribal officials make the decisions directly.

Here is a map of the current Nez Perce Indian Reservation although a good deal of that land is in towns and privately owned by individuals Indian and non-Indian, and farmland or grazing land owned by individuals Indian and non-Indian. The remainder within that large shaded area is actually Nez Perce Indian Reservation and currently managed by the Tribe. There is a tribal-managed casino at both Lapwai and Kamiah and a museum Nez Perce National Historic Park Museum at Spalding and another at Kamiah. US Highway 12 runs along the course of the Clearwater River as it flows west to enter the Snake River at Lewiston Idaho Clarkston Washington on the border. US Highway 95 turns inland at Spalding, runs past Lapwai and goes up Winchester Grade to enter on top of the Camas Prairie named for the camas plant that is indigenous to the area. There is a Kamiah Grade highway that winds down off the Camas Prairie toward Kamiah down on the Clearwater River. The town of Grangeville is off the reservation as is Cottonwood on the southern end of the Camas Prairie. South of Grangeville on US Highway 95 is White Bird Grade [famous due to a US Army battle June 17, 1877 Battle of White Bird Canyon with Nez Perce at that site ] that leads down off the Prairie to the town of Riggins on the Salmon River. The towns surrounded by the reservation but on private land are Winchester, Craigmont, Nez Perce, Ferdinand, Orofino, Reubens and Gifford.

Incidentally White Bird, a Nez Perce chief along with the better known Chief Joseph, was victorious in the Battle of White Bird Canyon but was forced thereafter to flee the attacking US Army in 1877 under General Nelson Miles, and Joseph surrendered near present day Havre Montana October 1877 but White Bird and a small group made it into Canada and he lived out his life in Pincher Creek Alberta where he was murdered by a young 22 year old Nez Perce in 1892.


Cyril Lionel Robert James 1901-1989 was an Afro-Trinidadian writer who left Trinidad in 1932 for London, left England in 1939 for USA, and left USA deported back to England in 1953 for his radicalism and revolutionary activities. He stopped writing under his real name while in the United States and shared Marxist views with anyone who would listen. He actually wrote some things under one or another pen name but at the time they weren’t traceable to him. He wrote The Case for West Indian Self-Government (1933) and his masterpiece The Black Jacobins (1938) attempting to use the Haitian Slave Revolution of 1791-1803 [French colony of San Domingo is today known as Haiti] as a contemporary primer for all oppressed black populations anywhere. His book was banned in the Union of South Africa but parts were spirited into the country and he was well read by Africans there.
He wrote a play in 1934 Toussaint Louverture: The Story of the Only Successful Slave Revolt in History; A Play in Three Acts that was produced on stage in London starring Paul Robeson in the title role in 1936, and Duke University Press published the play in 2012 after it was found in 2005. He expanded upon the play to complete his book The Black Jacobins (1938,
Vintage Press 1989 $13.83). Duke University Press also recently published James’s 1932 biography The Life of Captain Cipriani: An Account of British Government in the West Indies (2014) $18.80 and a biography C.L.R. James in Imperial Britain (2014) $20.99 by Christian Hogsbjerg.

If you hadn’t heard of James, be supported in that Texas Tech Library contains none of the above works. James however has a Facebook page in his honor that include videos showing him in his later years.


Florence Bean James & Jean Freeman, Fists Upon a Star: A Memoir of Love, Theatre, and Escape from McCarthyism (University of Regina Press 2013) 359 pages hardcover $26.96. James 1892-1988 was a pioneering American theater director who first put Jimmy Cagney on stage, and founded the Negro Repertory Theater and Seattle Repertory Playhouse. After being cited by the Congressional Un-American Activities Committee and two trials, she fled to Saskatchewan Canada.

TV-PBS ART 21 Art in the Twenty-First Century television series season 7 will be broadcast on four Fridays October 24, 31, November 7, 14 featuring twelve artists, three per one hour episode. Local broadcast times may differ.


Becky Taylor, Another Darkness, Another Dawn: A History of Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (Reaktion Books 2014) 272 pages $39 by publisher, $31.88 ABE Books new $29.59 incl s&h
If there was ever any people within the homeland of other people, who were more despised and discriminated against and feared, and forced to travel on, somewhere, anywhere, but get away from here, it’s the Romani. The leadership in some European countries has recently made a place for Romani within the geography of their countries, and some Romani are now settling down, owning property, and gradually becoming citizens. As they interact with the citizenry of the country and become members of a larger society as well as members of their Romani clans, an assimilation will occur and an ugly period in European history will be history of an ugly period.

Jennifer L. Weber, Copperheads: The Rise and Fall of Lincoln’s Opponents in the North (Oxford University Press 2006) 304 pages $13.13 e-book $8.79 Texas Tech Library E458.8 W43 and electronic download
Review: If Civil War battlefields saw vast carnage, the Northern home-front was itself far from tranquil. Fierce political debates set communities on edge, spurred secret plots against the Union, and triggered widespread violence, such as the New York City draft riots. And at the heart of all this turmoil stood Northern anti-war Democrats, nicknamed “Copperheads.” Now, Jennifer L. Weber offers the first full-length portrait of this powerful faction to appear in almost half a century. Weber reveals how the Copperheads came perilously close to defeating Lincoln and ending the war in the South’s favor. Indeed, by the summer of 1864, they had grown so strong that Lincoln himself thought his defeat was “exceedingly likely.” Passionate defenders of civil liberties and states’ rights – and often virulent racists – the Copperheads deplored Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus, his liberal interpretation of the Constitution, and, most vehemently, his moves toward emancipation. Weber reveals how the battle over these issues grew so heated, particularly in the Midwest, that Northerners feared their neighbors would destroy their livestock, burn their homes, even kill them. Indeed, some Copperheads went so far as to conspire with Confederate forces and plan armed insurrections, including an attempt to launch an uprising during the Democratic convention in Chicago. Finally, Weber illuminates the role of Union soldiers, who, furious at Copperhead attacks on the war effort, moved firmly behind Lincoln. The soldiers’ support for the embattled president kept him alive politically in his darkest times, and their victories on the battlefield secured his re-election. Disgraced after the war, the Copperheads melted into the shadows of history. Here, Jennifer L. Weber illuminates their dramatic story. Packed with sharp observation and fresh interpretations, Copperheads is a gripping account of the fierce dissent that Lincoln called “the fire in the rear”.

I am looking forward to reading this book. It comes perilously close to my personal situation. Before President Bush took us into a war in Afghanistan in 2002 I was strongly opposed to doing that and spoke for just sending CIA/ DOD teams into the country to get Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist compatriots, but leave the Afghans alone and let them deal with their current Taliban government. Once war was started I am a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve and gratefully receiving a pension from my government for more than twenty years of service, so I stopped opposing a potential war and started favoring limited objectives for the existing war that included flushing out Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist compatriots. The following year in March 2003 President Bush took the nation into a war in Iraq, and prior to that event I strongly opposed doing so and spoke for dealing with Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction in a more artful manner. Once our nation was at war I again started favoring limited objectives for the existing war, assuring the absence of such weapons of mass destruction and assisting in a regime change conducted by Iraqis for Iraq, and an early departure for our troops. I thought then and hoped that I could be loyal and supportive and follow the flag in wartime and encourage the best of outcomes for our nation and the Afghans and Iraqis, and not be a Copperhead even though I had earlier opposed going into war. More recently, when Syrians revolted against the Alawite Shia dictatorial regime of the Assad family, I opposed sending in American troops and spoke for limited logistical support for oppositional Syrians. President Obama selected that path so war by America was avoided.

Looking back into our history, I can appreciate how keenly Southerners and southern states wished to continue their agricultural based economies and their slave-based crop production methods, and how exhausted they were by the endless debates from the 1820 Missouri Compromise onward, so the election of Lincoln to the presidency was the final straw in the haystack, and South Carolina would secede within days of his inauguration. At that point there was a fierce and appropriate soul-searching that must have occurred by all Northerners and Southerners. If I had lived then and were a Southerner I might have been like Sam Houston and thought secession and war a poor choice, but stepped aside since the vast majority wanted it. If I were a Northerner I might have proposed that our nation befriend the Confederacy and seek to be good neighbors with it as an independent nation. One cannot fully place oneself into another time, but the point is that there were options not taken. Good loyal citizens may have preferred those options and wanted to avoid a Civil War. I am sympathetic for those Northerners and Southerners who preferred other options, but were swept along into secession and a war to either preserve a union or achieve independence for a separate Confederacy Republic.
It is to President Lincoln’s credit that, after re-election in 1864 and some important victories by the Army in the field, that he made plans to not prosecute Copperheads for treason or their violent actions toward their neighbors but rather forgive them and move on, and those plans were respected and carried out by President Johnson and Congress.
As a soldier in the Army that fought the Vietnam War, at the very moment that Jane Fonda was in Hanoi visiting with Ho Chi Minh, I forgave her as I think Abe Lincoln would have also. I’m glad she was not prosecuted or harassed. Long after that war ended I read a biography of Ho’s life and imagined how ironic and even amusing he must have found the Hollywood actress’s visit. His perspective was to keep his nation free from the mega-beast China on his northern border and from the French colonialists and American hegemonyists. He did so and Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City and he occupies a father of his country status.


Simon Winchester, The Men Who United the States: America’s Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible (Harper Collins 2013) $22.22 hardcover $12.99 paperback e-book $1.99 for a short time, Lubbock Public Library 973 WINC Texas Tech Library E178.W8
Winchester is a Brit who wrote several books while visiting and resident in America and recently dropped United Kingdom citizenship and become an American, so this is a paean or encomium for his newly adopted country.


Harold Dow Bugbee 1900-1963 was a Texas painter, illustrator and curator of art for the Panhandle Plains Historical Society operating from his family’s ranch near Clarendon Texas. An exhibit of his art on loan from the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon Texas is on view from July 19, 2014 at National Ranching Heritage Center, Texas Tech University, Lubbock Texas. The exhibit is curated by Michael Grauer, Curator of Art and Western Heritage at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum who will speak at the opening reception on July 19 at 1:30 pm.
Bugbee was only 14 years of age when his family moved from Lexington Massachusetts to Clarendon Texas where his father’s cousin T. S. Bugbee owned a ranch outside of town. By age 21 Harold graduated from the Cumming School of Art & Design in Des Moines Iowa [operated from 1900-1954] and his career commenced. Harold would return to and live on that ranch throughout his career so his art was informed by his ranch experiences in the Panhandle Plains.
He was a notable art teacher West Texas State Normal College, a teacher’s college, [now West Texas A&M University] offered classes in the applied or practical arts, from its inception in 1910. Among the steady stream of art instructors at WT were Georgia O’Keeffe who was in Canyon from 1916 to 1918, although had yet to decide if teaching or painting was her life’s direction. However, a provision in O’Keeffe’s contract with WT required her to take classes from Arthur Wesley Dow at the Art Students League in New York City. Dow was the leading proponent of Modern Art in the United States at the time. For a school traditionally considered one of the most conservative in Texas, in one of the most conservative parts of Texas, this requirement to teach Modern art tenets is simply amazing for the time.
Under the direction of Isabel Robinson, WT sponsored the Palo Duro School of Art during the summers from 1936 through 1943. The PDSA brought instructors in from all over the United States to teach in the Palo Duro Canyon, including Texans Adele Brunet, A. W. Mack, Amy Jackson, and H. D. Bugbee. Students lived in tents or in stone cabins built under the New Deal Civilian Conservation Corps program and painted from Coronado Lodge on the rim or down in the Canyon bottom. World War II suspended the PDSA, which the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum may resurrect. Lloyd Albright, a ticket agent for the Rock Island railroad at Dalhart, spent much of his spare time painting at Taos in the 1930s. Albright also offered some classes in oil and china painting, as well as design and furniture making. Maurice Bernson at Canadian and Russel Vernon Hunter at Farwell Texas and Texico New Mexico, also achieved acclaim outside the Panhandle and offered some art instruction.
Lissa Bell Walker, a Frank Reaugh student, taught in the art department of Wayland Baptist College at Plainview in 1912, two years after the school opened. At Brownfield, Ima Sawyer Lewis held private art classes in 1916 and Mado M. Prideaux taught art privately there from 1917 to 1923. At Lubbock, Lubbock High School formed its first art instruction in 1915. When Texas Technological College opened in 1925, it offered drawing courses through the school of engineering. Two years later a school of applied arts had been organized by Marie Delleney, later of Texas Women’s University, and the school expanded its offerings to include design, life drawing, watercolor, and art history taught by A. W. Mack, and others. Florian Kleinschmidt headed the new Texas Technological College Art Museum in 1935 which offered children’s classes under Floy Hooper. In 1937, the museum became the Texas Technological College Art Institute.
Fourteen years later the South Plains Art Guild was formed for: “the promotion of the creative arts within the South Plains area by means of exhibitions, lectures, classes in arts and crafts, and the elevation of the level of art appreciation by educational means. The Guild sponsored a series of workshops in the 1950s and 1960s, held by numerous Texas artists such as Manuel Acosta, Emilio Caballero, Bror Utter, Deforrest Judd, and Dorothy Bryan, and New Mexico artists such as Peter Hurd, John Meigs, and Carl Redin.

On January 9-31, 2009 at William Reaves Fine Art Gallery, 2313 Brun Street, Houston Texas there was an exhibit Painting West Texas 35 Artists/100 Years is the catalogue. Michael Grauer made the gallery talk for that event titled A History of Art Making in the Texas Out-Back


Arts History Update for early July 2014

1 Jul

Arts History Update for early July 2014 by David Cummins


July is National Ice Cream Month and when the sun is beating down all day every day, you know why a cool-off is needed. If you’re a Texan you want a parlor that’s local, like Sweet Firefly in Richardson, Old Town Creamery in Plano, Amy’s in Austin since 1984 or Amy Simmons’ competitor Lick Ice Creams at 2032 South Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Hank’s in Houston, Beth Marie’s on the Courthouse Square in Denton, La King’s Confectionery in Galveston, Blue Bell Creameries in Brenham, or Holly Hop Ice Cream Shoppe 3404 34th Street in Lubbock.


Ask about the new and cool flavors like Cilantro Lime or Grapefruit with Champagne Marshmallows or Mexican Vanilla with Habaneros [chile peppers].


Chain stores are okay in this have it your own way environment, like Cold Stone Creamery or Marble Slab Creamery in Lubbock. Don’t be too old-fashioned or snobby and try out a custard, sorbet, gelato or frozen yogurt shop.


Custard – in Lubbock Sheridan’s Lattes and Frozen Custard or Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Sorbet – in Lubbock try Holly Hop Ice Cream Shoppe

Gelato – in Lubbock Cold Corner Gelato & Smoothie Shop in Student Union Building Texas Tech University

Frozen yogurt – in Lubbock Red Mango Frozen Yogurt and Smoothies, Yofresh Yogurt Cafe and Spoonful Frozen Yogurt


Amy’s Ice Cream is served in Lubbock at The Arrogant Texan 1113 University Avenue. Blue Bell is served in many shops as well as for sale at supermarkets.




Lubbock in the Loop website will keep you up to date on rumors and hard information about new businesses and happenings in town. For instance, are you prepared for Dawnstar Cheesecake Bakery and Cupcake Shop soon to open at Cactus Alley # 5 at 2610 Salem Avenue? If not, rattle its telephone for opening day information 806-786-3056.




Food Trucks in Lubbock. The City Council is balking, requiring at the moment that they can only sell from a private property location and one where the owner/tenant in possession has granted permission for sales by a food truck. Have you noticed these trucks … Twist’d Texan, Crusty’s Wood Fired Pizza, La Picosita, Raspados Colima, Potbelly Slims, Blue Oasis Italian Ices, Street Eats, Jody’s Texas Pit BBQ. A petition drive for signatures to open up the city for street-side sales is being held Sunday June 29 at Garden Ridge parking lot 4304 West Loop 289 [old Sam’s Store before it moved] from 12:30 – 3:00 pm offering free food samples for those who sign the petition. Even if you’re not sure you would wish to sign the petition, why not come by and talk to food truck operators and ask them what they would like to do, and how would that be a fair or appropriate usage of streets and grounds.


One perspective is that food trucks are a public health issue, but why can’t the city inspect and regulate trucks like they do restaurants? If they exist and are unregistered and “not within the tent” they will be rogue trucks and uninspected and unregulated for public health issues. It would seem that bringing them within a regulated food industry system is the best result.


Another perspective is that food trucks are free-riders competing against restaurants without paying rent, but in reality they are stand up can’t sit down mobile restaurants and we shouldn’t allow one form of business to use government restrictions to keep another form of business from existing and competing. Free trade allows all forms of business and competition for the custom of customers. Historically, in urban areas there were food cart vendors on city streets, usually push-carts where a man pushed his own cart to a street-side location and hoped to sell apples, pastries, etc. A century ago or longer, the food cart might have been a wagon hauled by a horse to a street-side location. The phenomena today is a new form of an old format.


Another perspective is street-side parking of food trucks prevents street-side parking of visitors and customers to the nearby locations, but other visitors and customers do the same since there are a finite number of street-side parking locations. The answer is to regulate duration of any one person’s usage of street-side parking whether it be a visitor, a customer, or a food truck, an old story of sharing the limited street-side parking that is available. There are signs today that limit some parking to 30 minutes, to an hour, and to two hours, in order to create an equitable sharing of limited numbers of parking spaces. Current city regulations forbid a business utility vehicle to park street-side unattended overnight in residential districts, thus forcing them onto private property with permission granted. Attended food trucks would rarely go to residential districts because of low contacts with customers, so their presence will be largely at commercial areas where there are masses of people who are invited and attracted.


I would like to know more about this industry and what real problems exist and how best they might be addressed.





Andrei Platonov 1899-1951 was a writer who was 18 years of age when the Bolshevik Revolution took place and lived his entire life, a writing life, in a crippled Tzarist Russia or the Soviet Union. Igor Sats 1903-1980 befriended Platonov and as editor of Literaturny Kritik published Platonov’s literary criticism and fiction. Andrei Platonov, Soul and Other Stories (transl. Robert Chandler & Elizabeth Chandler, New York Review of Books Classic 2008) collection of eight short stories is in Texas Tech Library PG3476.P543 A2 is a review of this book of stories.

Andrei Platonovich Platonov, The Foundation Pit (Pushkin House 1987 but unpublished at time of author’s death, written between 1926-1930 and held because it would have garnered persecution and possibly death if it were published and the author known) (transl. Robert Chandler & Olga Meerson, New York Review of Books 2009) categorized as non-fiction 224 pages at Lubbock Public Library 891.7342 PLAT it is in fact a historical novel set in an agricultural area that is being collectivized and is an early 20th century dystopia novel. The Soviet regime would not have liked itscollectivization program satirized as a dystopia

Translated from the Russian by Robert & Elizabeth Chandler and Olga Meerson
With notes and an afterword by Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson

In Andrey Platonov’s The Foundation Pit, a team of workers has been given the job of digging the foundation of an immense edifice, a palatial home for the perfect future that, they are convinced, is at hand. But the harder the team works, the deeper they dig, the more things go wrong, and it becomes clear that what is being dug is not a foundation but an immense grave.

The Foundation Pit is Platonov’s most overtly political book, written in direct response to the staggering brutalities of Stalin’s collectivization of Russian agriculture. It is also a literary masterpiece. Seeking to evoke unspeakable realities, Platonov deforms and transforms language in pages that echo both with the alienating doublespeak of power and the stark simplicity of prayer.

This English translation is the first and only one to be based on the definitive edition published by Pushkin House in Moscow. It includes extensive notes and, in an appendix, several striking passages deleted by Platonov. Robert Chandler and Olga Meerson’s afterword discusses the historical context and style of Platonov’s most haunted and troubling work.


Platonov’s reputation as one of Russia’s most important twentieth-century writers is confirmed by this new translation of his novel, The Foundation Pit. In a small town shortly after the revolution, workmen and low-level bureaucrats work on the foundation for an enormous building intended to house the entire town. They strive to finish it despite continual interruptions due to new and contradictory Communist Party requirements and assignments. Several of them get sent off to supervise collectivizing the surrounding region’s agriculture and in the process destroying the kulaks or “rich peasants” Platonov ruthlessly depicts how resentment underlay this purge of people whose only crime, often enough, was modest success. A brilliant satire of the Stalinist cultural revolution, the short novel also parodies the type of literature that was produced on command to glorify it, for Platonov uses a semi-literate, ironically folkish style that yet lets him give vent to melancholy asides. Platonov wrote this essential addition to twentieth-century world literature at a time when its discovery would have meant certain imprisonment and probable death, and he left it unpublished when he died in 1951. Its mere existence bespeaks a man of integrity and courage. ~–John Shreffler

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. Platonov moved from central Russia to Moscow in 1927 and became a professional writer but by 1931 was sternly censored and often regarded as anti-totalitarian [against the regime]. Later his 15 year old son would be arrested and sent to a gulag where he contracted tuberculosis and then would be sent home where Andrei would nurse him, contract the disease himself, and die early in 1951.

Sheila Fitzpatrick went to Moscow and studied with Igor Sats in 1966-1967 learning much about the deceased Platonov and reading unpublished manuscripts of his including The Foundation Pit. She would return to England and write, essentially extensions of Platonov in Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times, Soviet Russia in the 1930s (Oxford University Press 1999), is a review of her Spy in the Archivesrecent book.

Here is a pioneering account of everyday life under Stalin, written by one of our foremost authorities on modern Russian history. Focusing on urban areas in the 1930s, Sheila Fitzpatrick shows that with the adoption of collectivization and the first Five-Year Plan, everyday life was utterly transformed. With the abolition of the market, shortages of food, clothing, and all kinds of consumer goods became endemic. It was a world of privation, overcrowding, endless queues, and broken families, in which the regime’s promises of future socialist abundance rang hollow. We read of a government bureaucracy that often turned everyday life into a nightmare, and of the ways that ordinary citizens tried to circumvent it, primarily by patronage and the ubiquitous system of personal connections known as blat. And we read of the police surveillance that was ubiquitous to this society, and the waves of terror, like the Great Purges of 1937, that periodically cast this world into turmoil. Fitzpatrick illuminates the ways that Soviet city-dwellers coped with this world, examining such diverse activities as shopping, traveling, telling jokes, finding an apartment, getting an education, landing a job, cultivating patrons and connections, marrying and raising a family, writing complaints and denunciations, voting, and trying to steer clear of the secret police.


Sheila Fitzpatrick, Stalin’s Peasants: Resistance and Survival in the Russian Village after Collectivization (Oxford University Press 1994) TTU Library HD1492.S65 F58 and other works. Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution (Oxford University Press 1982) 181 pages Lubbock Public Library non-fiction 947.0841 F559R Texas Tech Library DK265.F48

Sheila Fitzpatrick, Tear Off The Masks!: Identity and Imposture in 20th Century Russia (Princeton University Press 2005)

When revolutions happen, they change the rules of everyday life – both the codified rules concerning the social and legal classifications of citizens and the unwritten rules about how individuals present themselves to others. This occurred in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, which laid the foundations of the Soviet state, and again in 1991, when that state collapsed. Tear Off the Masks! is about the remaking of identities in these times of upheaval. Sheila Fitzpatrick here brings together in a single volume years of distinguished work on how individuals literally constructed their autobiographies, defended them under challenge, attempted to edit the “file-selves” created by bureaucratic identity documentation, and denounced others for “masking” their true social identities.

Marxist class-identity labels–“worker,” “peasant,” “intelligentsia,” “bourgeois”–were of crucial importance to the Soviet state in the 1920s and 1930s, but it turned out that the determination of a person’s class was much more complicated than anyone expected. This in turn left considerable scope for individual creativity and manipulation. Outright imposters, both criminal and political, also make their appearance in this book. The final chapter describes how, after decades of struggle to construct good Soviet socialist personae, Russians had to struggle to make themselves fit for the new, post-Soviet world in the 1990s – by “de-Sovietizing” themselves.

Engaging in style and replete with colorful detail and characters drawn from many sources, Tear Off the Masks! offers unique insight into the elusive forms of self-presentation, masking, and unmasking that made up Soviet citizenship and continue to resonate in the post-Soviet Russian and Russian-influenced world.




Philip Short, Mitterand: A Study in Ambiguity (Bodley Head 2013) 692 page biography of Francois Mitterand published by a British press, but Philip Short, A Taste For Intrigue: The Multiple Lives of Francois Mitterand (Henry Holt 2013) 620 pages published in the United States and reviewed by Yascha Mounk, Francois Mitterand Was An Elusive Shape-Shifter Whose Goals Remained Unknown Even To His Closest Aides, Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2014 . The British version was reviewed at Sudhir Hazareesingh, Skilled at a Distance, London Times Literary Supplement, May 30, 2014 and the reviewer’s steely grasp of what the author mis-characterized or left out about the narcissistic Francois Mitterand is wonderful.

By reading both reviews you know enough not to read the book. “And so all other considerations were subordinated to his personal ambition. As Justice Minister at the height of the Algerian war, he remained silent as thousands of Algerian patriots were tortured and murdered by the French Army – the only reason being his hope that he might be appointed Prime Minister. He became a Socialist not out of ideological principle or moral conviction, but because he realized this was his only viable path to the French presidency. He did not hesitate to facilitate the rise of Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National (by introducing proportional representation for the parliamentary elections of 1986) because he hoped the extreme Right would split the conservative vote, and thus allow him to retain a majority in the National Assembly. Once socialism became an obstacle to his retention of power in the mid-1980s, he discarded it without so much as an afterthought (Short’s claim that Mitterrand had a lifelong commitment to “social justice” is almost comical; the gap between rich and poor in France grew wider after his fourteen years in office). He left the Socialist party bereft of any doctrine, weighed down by political and financial scandals, and in the hands of a cynically technocratic leadership fixated only with capturing national power. In this essential respect, there is little room for ambiguity: Mitterrand destroyed the soul of the French socialist movement, and it is still struggling to recover from his toxic legacy.” I would agree with this view and warn readers of the book that occasionally the author falls into a paean or encomium [song of praise or tribute] for his subject.

Texas Tech Library DC423.S553 Some Americans regard Mitterand 1916-1996 as a Communist because he was briefly or often mis-labeled as such by the American media. Of course he wasn’t. He declared himself a Socialist and after he came to power within the Socialist Party he embraced the Communists in order to gain a political ally but he wasn’t a Communist. Indeed, during the late 1930s he ran with a fascist and anti-semitic crowd and upon Germany’s occupation Mitterand joined the Vichy and was decorated for Vichy service by Petain. Only in 1943 did he eschew the Vichy and join the Resistance but not the Communist resistance, an early contradiction in stance that he would repeat often throughout his life. What we now know is he was not even a Socialist although that was the party label under which he ran and won election to public office. He was deeply conservative in many ways. What he believed in, and his only consistent and retained belief, was the political survival of himself Francois Mitterand. Everything else was sacrificed sooner or later.

The Mitterand Years: Legacy and Evaluation (ed. Mairi Maclean, Palgrave Macmillan 1998) Texas Tech Library DC423.M578



San Francisco Giants are atop the West Division 46 wins 33 losses of the National League in Major League Baseball and Oakland Athletics are atop the West Division 49 wins 30 losses of the American League. Could we have a Bay Bridge World Series?





Mike and Pat Maines home at 9005 Memphis Drive is predictably handsome, with two artists resident within, and its exterior has undergone a painting of the double garage door by John Chinn, a well-known artist whose day job is Instructor in Design at the College of Architecture at Texas Tech University


If the address is unclear, from 82nd Street south to 87th Street, and from 93rd Street south to 98th Street, Memphis Avenue is a north south grid street. Between 87th and 93rd Streets it loops east around Charles Guy Park and Premier Sportsplex and is known as Memphis Drive while it’s looping.


A garage door mural is private art that is viewable by the public from a city street. It’s gorgeous.




Is it art if no one is there to witness it’s being made, and it’s temporary so it disappears before anyone can discover it? What sound does a tree make falling in the forest if no one is there to hear it?



Ai Weiwei and Bert Benally Create Pull of the Moon Through an Unprecedented International Art Collaboration

Targeted News Service (USA) – Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SANTA FE, N.M., June 20 – The New Mexico Arts issued the following news release:

Ai Weiwei, internationally acclaimed Chinese dissident artist, and Navajo artist Bert Benally through a remarkable collaboration, will create Pull of the Moon, a temporary, site-specific art installation in a remote part of Coyote Canyon on the Navajo Nation. Pull of the Moon is part of Navajo TIME (Temporary Installations Made for the Environment), a unique partnership between New Mexico Arts and the Navajo Nation Museum. The installation will feature earth-based drawings using sand.

Bert Benally said of Pull of the Moon, “The concept is based on Navajo aesthetics, the idea that for the Navajo, art is more about the process rather than the finished product.”

The installation will be created on Saturday June 28, 2014. Due to the remoteness and lack of facilities, this event is not open to the public. A limited amount of media passes are available on a first come, first serve basis. Members of the media wishing to obtain access should contact Chuck Zimmer at (505) 476-0523 or (505) 699-6496.

A free and public launch event for Pull of the Moon will take place on July 16, 2014, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in Santa Fe, at Alan Houser Park, and will feature a live performance by German sound artist Robert Henke and Bert Benally based on sounds captured at Coyote Canyon during the installation.

A documentary film entitled The Making of Pull of the Moon by Daniel Hyde and Blackhorse Lowe highlighting the collaboration between Ai Weiwei and Bert Benally at Coyote Canyon opens at MoCNA on July 16, from 5:00-7:00 p.m., and runs through October 16. A 3D modeling digital landscape has also been created by xRez Studio Inc. and can be viewed in either 2D or 3D formats at MoCNA from July 16-October 16, 2014.

An exciting immersion full dome experience of this digital landscape based on Pull of the Moon is not to be missed at Museum Hill in Santa Fe on Friday, July 18 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. and Saturday, July 19 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. New Mexico Arts intends to tour the dome around the state. All events at MoCNA and Museum Hill are free and open to the public.

“Cultural landscape is very important to this project. That is why Coyote Canyon was chosen with its rich history and traditions. When it is travels to different locations it will carry the power of the initial place with it. One of the objectives of this project is to connect art with cultural landscape,” said Navajo Nation Museum Director Manuelito Wheeler.

Pull of the Moon signifies the transformative power of art through international collaboration and is a reminder of the immense challenges faced by many cultures and the capacity for growth and healing from very impactful events. Despite being unable to travel outside of China, Ai Weiwei’s boundless spirit and creativity still touch many around the globe. Pottery shards from his Dropping the Vase series have been ground down to a fine powder that will be used in the installation at Coyote Canyon. “The shards were intentionally placed there as evidence of the powder’s origin,” explained Ai Weiwei, “I think this is an interesting idea because we can only see ourselves, our past, through material evidence such as these shards. It is important to pass on to future generations where we are from and to give a glimpse of the mind and soul of the people living in that time.”

“I am very excited about this unparalleled partnership between the State of New Mexico, Navajo Nation and Ai Weiwei that we have been able to create,” said Chuck Zimmer, Deputy Director and Public Art Manager of New Mexico Arts. “From the beginning our intention has been that the land itself be the starting point, a blank canvas for artists to transform through their creative process into something larger, something that can bring healing and harmony to the land and to the community. With this as our goal, I cannot think of more appropriate artists to create this installation than Bert Benally and Ai Weiwei.”

From the above we now know that we can hear sounds and view a documentary film of the making of the art installation on July 16 in Santa Fe at the named museum, and thereafter through October 16 in the exhibit about the installation. It’s clear that Navajo don’t want the public to go trapsing into Coyote Canyon so they will bring an event in the Canyon to the public in Santa Fe. What a project! Here is information about Coyote Canyon It is located north of Gallup New Mexico traveling on US Highway 491 about 16 miles then turn east on Navajo Service Route 9 for another 9 miles.


After you watch this 28 minute video of jeep style all-terrain vehicles despoiling Coyote Canyon you will appreciate why the location is not inviting visitors who bring disrespect to a sacred space a place of return in 1868 from The Long Walk to the Bosque Redondo near Fort Sumner in New Mexico Territory.





Are you familiar with this Rocky Mountain outdoor landscape painter? Helen Henderson Chain 1849-1892 operated Denver’s first book store, stationery shop, art supplies shop, art gallery, art school, and publishing house here she is at her easel in 1882 Her paintings were exhibited in New York City at the National Academy of Design in her day. She and her husband were touring in the Orient when their ship went down during a typhoon in the South China Sea October 10, 1892.


Denver Public Library’s Western History Art Gallery has an exhibit on her that is up through August 17




Willard Spiegelman, Great Art Behind Bars, The Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2014 is a story about the Old Jail Art Center in Albany Texas north of Abilene From 1877 to 1929 it was an operating jail, then vacant, and then used as a private space until donated for use as a museum since 1980, on the rolling plains south of historic Fort Griffin an important US Army post 1867-1881 on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River. Stone ruins of some buildings and recreated structures now exist at Fort Griffin State Historic Site


In medieval history Albany is that part of Scotland north of the firths of Clyde and Forth. The firth of Clyde is the bay or estuary into which the Clyde River and its tributaries empties, the principal city being Glasgow, and the firth of Forth is the same on the east coast, the principal city being Edinburgh. The Dukes of Albany were royal lineage people. It is said that Scottish-American Presbyterians founded the town of Albany naming it for their former homeland, and one of the very oldest buildings in town is a Presbyterian Church, the Scots would say a kirk If there’s any place in Texas where Bloody John Knox presbyter is still a hero, it might be Albany.


Isn’t it wonderful when a national newspaper like The Wall Street Journal notices and remarks favorably on an art center in a small West Texas town? For this instance the stereotypical Texan image was not portrayed but rather something quite different and distinct, as we who live here know is often the case in our daily lives. We know that Texas with 27 million people has grown into a quite diverse pluralistic society with cross-sections of religious cultural and societal values and approaches. That side of Texas is not often expressed by our politicians or government so those of us who welcome and embrace the diversity are seen by politicians as progressives or even radicals and labeled as such despite the fact that some of us are deeply conservative in a non-political use of that term. Wide distinctions in use of language exist today so some of us just turn off the political usage and go back to the etymology of language and use terms as they would have been used a century or even several centuries ago.