Archive | November, 2014

Arts History Update for early December 2014

29 Nov

Arts History Update for early December 2014 by David Cummins

Kara Cooney, The Woman Who Would Be King: Hatshepsut’s Rise to Power in Ancient Egypt (Crown Publishers Group 2014) 320 pages is a portrait of the longest-reigning woman pharaoh by a UCLA professor Egyptologist who uses artifacts to trace in conversational style the rise of a royal family woman to power. In earlier works some writers viewed Hatshepsut as a power hungry witch who seized her nephew’s crown for herself. In fact she was the daughter of a ruler and was groomed to marry the next pharaoh, her brother, but he was a sickly teenager and they hadn’t yet produced a child. However, he did have a baby with another wife/concubine and Hatshepsut out-maneuvered that woman into becoming the baby king Thutmose III’s regent after the baby’s father died. Gradually she amassed power as priest, regent, co-pharaoh and finally had herself declared a man and became pharaoh. She ruled wisely and built many edifices in the 18th Dynasty. hardcover $20.93 e-book $11.84 ABE Books new $19.66

Dr. Kara Cooney was co-producer of a Discovery Channel television series Out of Egypt and here she is introducing that series


2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament found Texas Tech earning a # 3 seed in its quarter and hosting a sub-regional [64 teams] in Lubbock on November 14 where it defeated Prairie View A&M 8-0. The team then traveled to Donald R. Dizney Stadium in Gainesville Florida and on Friday November 21 it defeated Auburn 2-1 to gain a Sweet Sixteen position. It meets Florida 16-4-1 the host of the regional on Sunday November 23 at 1:00 pm CST in Pressly Stadium. Texas Tech is 16-3-2 on the season. The winner is a quarter-finalist. The semifinals December 5 and final December 7 are at Fau Stadium, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton Florida. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State lost in first round sub-regionals and Texas lost in a regional to Notre Dame 2-1 so Texas Tech is the only Big XII team in the Sweet Sixteen. Go Raiders.

Florida won 3-2 on Sunday November 23 so Tech’s season ended 16-4-2 The other quarter-finalists are Stanford, Penn State, Texas A&M, Florida State, South Carolina, UCLA and Virginia and they play on Friday and Saturday November 28 and 29. Florida State 22-1-1 and Virginia 21-2-0 are semifinalists.

The championships in fall sports played outdoors, are often in a southern climate.

In the Big XII Championships on Wednesday November 5 in Kansas City Missouri # 16 in the nation Texas Tech lost a heart-breaker to Texas, officially a draw. Tied 1-1 after 90 minutes regulation, it remained tied 1-1 after two overtime periods. The teams then made penalty kicks and Texas made more 6-5 so it advanced. West Virginia won the championship.

Jane Bell, director of Outreach and Operations for International Cultural Center at Texas Tech University writes:

On Dec. 5 from 5:00-7:00 pm (come & go) the International Cultural Center will hold an opening reception and juror’s talk to celebrate the 14th annual juried photo competition “High and Dry: Peoples and Places of the World’s Dry Lands.”
Here is the link to the online invitation:

Seventy-five photographers from across the United States have work in this year’s show, and several photographers from out-of-state plan to attend the reception. Many local photographers have photos in the exhibit. Jean Caslin, founding partner of Caslin Gregory & Associates (Consultants to Arts and Culture) and the former Executive Director and Curator of Houston Center for Photography was this year’s juror. She will give a talk in the ICC auditorium at 6:00 pm on the night of the reception.

Images must be from an arid or a semiarid region. As long as the work reflects some aspect of the arid/semiarid theme (be it people, animals, or landscapes), the choice of subject is up to the photographer. The exhibition was started to feature the work done by the International Center for Arid and Semiarid Land Studies (ICASALS), a center founded in 1966 by former TTU President Dr. Grover Murray to foster interdisciplinary research and education concerned with improving the quality of life in arid and semiarid regions of the world. At the present time, ICASALS’ activities are focused on water resources and water-related topics.

The talk by Jean Caslin is at 6:00 pm in the ICC Auditorium so there is plenty of time thereafter to attend First Friday Art Trail displays around town.


CATS was performed November 20-23 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre produced by Lubbock Moonlight Musicals from an occasionally performing national cast. It was a dance opera production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award winning musical theatre production. It included Todrick Hall as Run Tum Tugger cat. Todrick is an Arlington Texas star and a local singer Ann Marie Nichols as Grizabella cat, another Mike Morgan as Asparagus cat, local dancer Joey Rodriguez as Skimbleshanks cat, another dancer Kyle van Swol as Swing cat, another dancer McKenna Winders as Etcetera cat, another dancer Olivia Marberry as Electra cat, another dancer NaTalia Johnson as Exotica cat, and a Texas Tech theatre department alumnus Jeff M. Smith as Munkustrap cat who fans will recall from his Maedgen Theatre performances and Lubbock Moonlight Musicals performances at Mackenzie Park’s Wells Fargo Amphitheatre.

Professional quality musical theatre in Lubbock is rare and non-existent when produced locally so that current and former Lubbock talent can participate, until Lubbock Moonlight Musicals made it happen.

Where did the idea of a community of cats come from? T.S. [Thomas Stearns] Eliot 1888-1965 wrote Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats in 1939. Lubbock Public Library 821 TE420 in 46 pages and Texas Tech Library PS3509.L43 O55, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS video is at the Texas Tech Library Digital Media Studio PN1997.L383 (2000)


In the run-up to Christmas people often assess their computing needs and look at the current options. In the computer tablet world Google Nexus 9 tablet with 8.9 inches display and an Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system is $480 with 32 GB and $400 with 16 GB. The top of the line is Apple iPad Air 2 tablet with 9.7 inches display, and an Apple iOS 8 operating system that is $610 with 64 GB. Smaller tablet versions of these are available at lesser prices.


13th Annual Texas Art Fair and Symposium by CASETA is April 24-26, 2015 at University of Houston University Center. CASETA is Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art


J.P. Bryan Art Collection has over 70,000 items. Mr. Bryan purchased the Galveston Orphans Home [1902 – 1984] in October 2013 and it is being renovated to open in Spring 2015 as The Bryan Museum. Curator of the Collection and Museum is Andrew Gustafson.

A book is Visions of the West: Art and Artifacts From the Private Collections of J. P. Bryan, Torch Energy Advisors Inc., and Others (ed. Melissa Baldridge, Gibbs Smith 1999) Texas Tech Library N6503.V65 (1999) used $22 ABE Books good condition $4.69 incl s&h.


Anthony Flint, Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow (New Harvest 2014) 256 pages $25 hardcover $19.08 and $5.39 e-book ABE Books very good condition $9.24 incl s&h

Synopsis: From the award-winning author of Wrestling with Moses comes a fascinating, accessible biography of the most important architect of the twentieth century.
Modern Man is a riveting biography of Le Corbusier a man who invented new ways of building and thinking. Modern Man is a penetrating psychological portrait of a true genius and constant self-inventor, as well as a sweeping tale filled with exotic locales, sex and celebrity (he was a lover of Josephine Baker), and high-stakes projects. In Flint’s telling, Corbusier isn’t just the grandfather of modern architecture but a man who sought to remake the world according to his vision, dispelling the Victorian style and replacing it with something never seen before. His legacy remains controversial today, as the world grapples with how to house its skyrocketing urban population and the cult of the “starchitect” continues to grow.
Modern Man is for readers fascinated by the complex personal lives and outsized visions of both groundbreaking artists and dazzling, charismatic innovators like Steve Jobs.
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris 1887-1965 gave himself the pseudonym Le Corbusier [The Raven in French] in 1917 when he moved from the French portion of Switzerland to Paris where he admired the Cubists but wanted to go beyond them. Le Corbusier & Amedee Ozenfant, After Cubism (1920) (reissued 2001 by Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and he co-established a journal The New Spirit [L’Esprit Nouveau] [Essential Le Corbusier: L’Esprit Nouveau Articles (Architectural Press 1998)] Texas Tech Architecture Library NK1390.L39213. He was painting but also doing architecture and experimenting with the new reinforced concrete process as a structural frame that could support buildings designed in a more open and functional manner. Le Corbusier, Toward a New Architecture (1923 English 1927) Texas Tech Architecture Library NA2520.J413 (2007). He designed Maison Citrohan as a “machine for living” in 1922 and built a workers city of 40 houses at Pessac near Bordeaux, Quartiers Modernes Fruges named for the French industrialist who commissioned them. The Radiant City [La Ville Radieuse] (1924 plan revised 1935 as a social reform ideal) and Le Corbusier, The Radiant City: Elements of a Doctrine of Urbanism to be used as the Basis of our Machine Age Civilization (Orion Press 1967) Texas Tech Architecture Library OVERSZ NA9030.J4213
Le Corbusier, The Complete Architectural Works (eight volumes, Thames & Hudson 1964) $761 at

Steven Park, Le Corbusier Redrawn: The Houses (Princeton Architectural Press 2012) $23.94 Le Corbusier Redrawn presents the only collection of consistently rendered original drawings (at 1:200 scale) of all twenty-six of Le Corbusier’s residential works. Using the original drawings from the Le Corbusier Foundation’s digital archives, architect Steven Park has beautifully redrawn 130 perspectival sections, as well as plans, sections, and elevations of exterior forms and interior spaces. These remarkable new drawings, which combine the conceptual clarity of the section with the spatial qualities of the perspective, not only provide information about the buildings, they also Grhelp students experience specific works spatially as they learn to critically examine Le Corbusier’s works. Texas Tech Architecture Library NA2707.L4P37


The newest national monument is Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument 500,000 acres that rings Las Cruces in Dona Ana County, New Mexico
For nearly ten years, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance led the charge for conservation in Doña Ana County. On May 21, 2014, President Barack Obama established the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. The new monument possesses a rich diversity of Chihuahuan Desert wild lands and unique Pre-American, New Mexican, and American history including training sites for the Apollo Space Mission, the Butterfield Stagecoach Trail, Billy the Kid’s Outlaw Rock, Geronimo’s Cave, World War II aerial targets, and thousands of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs.

Grab a copy of Day Hikes and Nature Walks $13 and head out. Here is a letter from Ysleta del Sur Pueblo requesting the monument. Pueblo facts


A fourth century fragment of papyrus possibly a Gnostic gospel or Coptic gospel document, has Jesus referring to “my wife” Mary Magdalene. Karen King website

Reza Aslan, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (Random House 2013) portrays Jesus from a historical perspective as an insurgent capable of and urging violence rather than a peaceable carpenter. Lubbock Public Library 232.901 ASLA Texas Tech Library BT301.3.A85

What does new evidence of a historical Jesus, that is contrary to the Biblical based image of Jesus taught in Christian churches and schools, mean for Christians?


A grand jury in St Louis County Missouri refused to indict police officer Darren Wilson for shooting to death Michael Brown Jr age 18. Riots and protests in many cities ensued. If those activities spur lawmakers, mayors and other executives to improve policing methodologies, that’s all to the good. Brown is no poster boy for any movement. He and his buddy Dorian Johnson stole cigarillos from a convenience store where Brown assaulted the store owner. They were walking on the sidewalk with the swag when Officer Wilson pulled his car to the sidewalk and asked them to talk with him. They evaded him. Wilson got more information on his radio phone and their clothing matched and the swag matched so he brought his car up alongside again. Brown flew into a rage and assaulted Wilson while in his car. Two shots were fired by Wilson and Brown fled. Wilson got out of his car and pursued. Brown did not surrender but instead came toward Wilson who shot him to death on August 9, 2014. Theft, assault on store owner, resisting arrest, assault on a police officer during the performance of his duties, are the serious crimes Michael Brown committed in Ferguson Missouri that evening. When that kind of person, six feet six inches 290 pounds of young enraged African-American man who’s just committed four crimes, is coming at the officer and not surrendering, deadly force was justified, used and it killed Michael Brown. It’s not a surprise to objective onlookers that no indictment [charges of criminal misconduct] was made against Wilson.

A federal investigation into these events continues. Don’t expect a federal indictment of Wilson.

Arts History Update for late November 2014

22 Nov

Arts History Update for late November 2014 by David Cummins

Lubbock Arts Alliance has a new website calendar feature at check it out for events in the measured Cultural District of Lubbock


An International Gift Market will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Saturday December 6 between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at 4600 48th Street at Salem Avenue, Lubbock Ten Thousand Villages is a fair trade retailer.

St. John Neumann Catholic Church Cowboy Christmas Bazaar is also Saturday December 6 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm at 5802 22nd Street Lubbock west of Frankford Avenue.!events/c1xu8

The annual Greek Pastry Bake Sale is Saturday December 6 from 9:00 am-2:00 pm at St Andrew Greek Orthodox Church in Lubbock at 6001 81st Street at
Homestead Avenue. The sale is an activity of the local St Anna Philoptochos Society, a ladies auxiliary of the Greek Orthodox Church [philoptochos means friend of the poor and St Anna refers to the legend that Anna – Hebrew Hannah – was the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus] Do not bring a calorie counter to this event. If you can’t hang out with Zorba, this is a gastronomical alternative. While traveling in Greece I entered a church during a service and stood with the rest of the people. There was a bench up against the wall for the really infirm but for the congregation the custom is to stand during the service. The good news is that people simply drop in and out at will, so at about 45 minutes I was able to depart the experience. At St Andrew in Lubbock there are comfortable pew seats for attendees, proving that we can honor traditions without repeating them.

Holiday Craft Bazaar at Copper Rawlings Community Center on Saturday December 6 at 213 40th Street at Avenue B east of Interstate Highway 27 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.


Recycled, Re-Seen is the title of the exhibit at Buddy Holy Center Fine Arts Gallery 1801 Crickets Avenue [former Avenue G] from December 5 – February 22, 2015 The exhibit contains new work by five artists George D. Gray, Pat Maines, Larry Prcin, Chad Plunket and Jonathan Whitfill and on Sunday December 7 from 2:00 – 3:30 pm these artists will each discuss their work in this exhibit and interact with patrons. It’s always special to hear and watch an artist discuss his/her work that is on display. On Saturday January 10 from 10:00 am – noon Pat Maines will conduct a workshop for young people to help them take an assortment of “junk” or “treasures” and make a miniature room.

George D. Gray Ironmonger Artworks

Pat Maines

Larry Prcin butterfly from found objects

Chad Plunket

Jonathan Whitfill


The Myth of Galicia is an exhibit at the International Cultural Centre in Krakow, Poland October 10 – March 8, 2015. The exhibit will later travel to Vienna Austria.

Galicia and Lodomeria is an historical area in southern and southeast Poland and far western Ukraine that was one of fifteen crown provinces/lands of the Austria-Hungary Empire. The Krakow Uprising of February 1846 seeking Polish Independence was put down by Empire troops in nine days. Thereafter the Galician Peasant Uprising of 1846 against Polish nobles resulted in the slaughter of 1,000 noblemen and destruction of 500 manor houses. It was a revolt against serfdom that was abolished two years later in 1848. In 1879 Polish became the official language as there were insufficient Germanic residents to insist upon German as the official language and the Pan-Slavist Ruthenians in what is now Ukraine were mostly peasants. At the end of World War I in 1918 the Empire collapsed and parts of Galicia were absorbed; i.e. Romania took in sections of Transylvania from Hungary and took Bukovina and a southeastern part of Galicia, Poland took in western Galicia with Krakow on the Vistula River as the former northern boundary of Galicia, Ukraine took in eastern Galicia as part of a Soviet Socialist Republic.

For the better part of 800 years Galicia and Lodomeria was the area immediately north of the Carpathian Mountains. South of the Carpathians were Slovaks, Hungarians, Romanians, and Moldovans. There were few Austrians or German speakers in Galicia and Lodomeria so the area was always regarded as agricultural borderlands. From a Viennese perspective Galicians were called half-Asian to indicate a barbaric place inhabited by strange people of questionable personal hygiene.

Today Galicia is a land from which so many emigrated in the late 19th and early and mid 20th centuries, and Galicia is part of the central Polish identity, and the search for a European Ukrainian identity.

His Holiness Saint Pope John Paul II 1978-2005 was born Karol Jozef Wojtyla in Wadowice Poland 31 miles southwest of Krakow in the region known as Lesser Poland Malopolske. The region immediately east is Subcarpathia Podkarpackie and was once central Galicia. On maps of Galicia it extended west to Moravia which is west of Wadowice in the current Czech Republic so Pope John Paul II was born in an area of historic Galicia. His parents’ names are ethnic Polish names Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska and to my recollection he always referred to himself as Polish, not Galician. He was born in 1920 two years after the collapse of the Austria-Hungary Empire.

The southern slopes of the Carpathian Mountains have their own distinctive heritage, particularly the heavily wooded area of Transylvania in Romania bordering remote sections of Hungary and Serbia, an area into which the nearly extinct European bison has been reintroduced and now roams as Europe’s largest mammal Armenis Romania is closer to Belgrade Serbia and Szeged Hungary than it is to Bucharest the Romanian capital.

There is another Galicia in the northwestern part of the Iberian Peninsula and it is pronounced differently. These Galicians speak either or both Gallego or Castilian Spanish. The seven Celtic nations are Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Brittany France and Galicia Spain. Lugo the capital city of this autonomous region in Spain [name derived from Celtic Irish deity Lugh or Lug ] is just 61 miles from Coruna on the coast. South of Coruna is Santiago de Compostela the Cathedral of Saint James at Compostela, terminus of the vigil trek from southern France called El Camino de Santiago [The Way of Saint James] Manuel Alberro, Celtic Legacy in Galicia, Journal of Interdisciplinary Celtic Studies, volume 6 at pages 1005-1034, January 6, 2008 Table of contents for volume 6 devoted to Celts in the Iberian Peninsula is The journal is published by the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Center for Celtic Studies.


George F. Will, syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group wrote a thoughtful column A Murderer’s Warped Idealism, November 14, 2014 that appeared in more than 200 newspapers nationwide, one of which is the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Thursday November 20, 2014 at page A4 under a headline written by the A-J Eichman Book Looks At A Murder’s Warped Idealism and the headline was passed through the Copy Desk for editing if such a thing still exists at the A-J. While the headline is just another A-J error, the content of the column bears consideration.

Adolf Eichman was the organizer and manager of industrialized efficient murder of millions of people during the Nazi regime in Germany during World War II. He was found in Argentina after the War by Israeli agents who arrested him and brought him to Israel where he was tried convicted and executed for crimes against humanity in 1961-1962.

Of the many thousands of books and articles about Eichman, Will referred to four.

Hannah Arendt, Eichman in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil (Viking Press 1963) Texas Tech Library DD247.E5

Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (Harper Collins 1992) Texas Tech Library D804.3.B77

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (Alfred A. Knopf 1996) Texas Tech Library D804.3.G648

Bettina Stangneth, Eichman Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer (2011) (transl. Ruth Martin, Alfred A. Knopf 2014) Texas Tech Library DD247.E5 S7313 This is the book George F. Will read and caused him to write the column. Reviewed by Steven Aschheim, SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer (Retired), The New York Times, September 4, 2014.


Wall Street Journal
“It is difficult to imagine a more timely book than Gerard Russell’s Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East (Basic Books 2014) 320 pages with maps and illustrations. Equal parts travelogue and history, Mr. Russell’s meticulously researched book takes readers into some of the region’s least-known minority communities: the Mandaeans of Iraq, the Copts of Egypt, the Zoroastrians, the Samaritans, and, yes, the Yazidis.” It also includes the Druze and Kalasha. Russell is a former British diplomat who is sensitively documenting pockets of rarely observed historic faiths. $21 e-book $14.99 ABE Books very good condition $19.50 incl s&h.

Mandaeans self-described Gnostics who revere John the Baptist but not Jesus of Nazareth. Known by some as marsh people of southern Iraq.

Yazidis a photograph of Yazidis in 1920 in the Kurdish dominated area of the new country named Iraq by the British and French who were drawing maps of former Ottoman ruled lands. These Yazidis in the photograph are on the same mountain from which their descendants were expelled by Sunni Muslim ISIS forces in August 2014.

Zoroastrianism or Zarathustraism the official religion of the Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanian Empires on the Iranian plateau.

Druze a branch of Ismaili within Shia Islam, it incorporates elements of Judaism, Christianity, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism and Pythagoreanism in a Unitarian monotheistic approach. The owners of Lite Bite Mediterranean Cafe on 50th Street in Lubbock are Druze emigres from Lebanon.

Samaritans in Israel and the West Bank. The book jacket cover has a photo of Samaritans praying before the Holy Rock on Mount Gerizim.

Copts of Egypt are a large Christian group, most belong to the Coptic Orthodox Christian Church of Alexandria Egypt but some are Coptic Catholics or Coptic Protestants.

Kalasha of the Chitral District of far northwest Pakistan bordering Afghanistan [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa North West Frontier]. Some Kalash claim to be descended from the Macedonian, Alexander the Great, who visited 2300 years ago. Chitral, the city, is at the base of Tirich Mir the highest peak in the Hindu Kush at 25,289 feet. The elevation in the valley is 3,700 feet but for nearly six months a year people cannot get through high mountain passes due to snow and are cut off from Peshawar Pakistan. An easier route downriver is an exit but that way goes to the border and into Afghanistan. Christian Caryl, The Small Sects Under Fire, The New York Review of Books, December 4, 2014 at page 32


New 165 page booklet titled Public Art Collection at Texas Tech University System is now published. It includes nine maps of walking tours on the Tech campus to visit specific pieces of art. You can pick up a booklet free by visiting the Facilities Planning and Construction office on the second floor of the Texas Tech Plaza Building 19th Street and University Avenue southeast corner. If that’s a problem, call me and I will deliver a copy to you.


Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musee d’Orsay is currently on exhibit at Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth Texas in the Renzo Piano Pavilion through January 25, 2015.


Arts History Update for mid November 2014

12 Nov

Arts History Update for mid November 2014 by David Cummins

The first of ten Inspector Armand Gamache mystery novels by Louise Penny is now a film on a DVD disc Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery (2013 made for television movie, directed by Peter Moss starring Nathaniel Parker as Gamache) $21.49 and here is the trailer The movie was released in Canada and France but to my knowledge not yet in the United States so that may occur in the future, so be alert for it to show up on a television channel or in a cinema house.

The book (St Martin’s Press 2006) at is $28.79 hardcover $13.32 paperback $7.19 mass market paperback $2.99 e-book and is at Lubbock Public Library FIC PENN in the Mystery section. ABE Books good condition mass market paperback is $3.46 incl s&h. Texas Tech Library only has A Trick of the Light (2011) her seventh novel in this series PR9199.4.P464 T75

I have traveled in the Eastern Township section of Quebec province and read the book so I can attest that the literary environment is believable and Penny is an award-winning author so most readers have been very satisfied.


10th annual Flatland Film Festival is November 13-15 at LHUCA Firehouse Theatre with numerous offerings at various times. Consult


Colonel Thomas Munsey assumed command as Fort Bliss Texas Garrison Commander on June 20, 2014, was suspended on October 10 amid charges of misconduct, and on November 3 was relieved of duty as commander by Major General Stephen Twitty. “Due to the Privacy Act and Army policy, the exact allegations of misconduct and details of the investigation will not be released.” Look for this career officer to announce his retirement soon or for the Army to begin an Article 32 investigation under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


Norwegian Country Christmas can be experienced in Clifton Texas 37 miles northwest of Waco Texas. In 1854 a small group of Norwegian immigrants settled in a nearby area now known as the Norse Historic District in Bosque County Texas. This celebration is the first Saturday of December or this year December 6 $10 from 9:00 – 5:00 pm for a tour of locations where one learns a great deal, can purchase from vendors and can eat a Norwegian lunch for another $10. Part of the tour will take you to St. Olaf’s Kirke (1886) [Church] or The Old Norse Church or the Old Rock Church on County Road 4145, as well as Bosque Arts Center located in a former Lutheran College. Heritage House is in the Armory in Clifton City Park. Clifton is the Norwegian Capital of Texas. Clifton Chamber of Commerce phone 254-675-3720 Scandinavians in Texas and

A lead-up event is the 65th annual Norse Smorgasbord on November 12 and 13 with two servings each evening limited to 120 persons per serving at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (1869) [9.7 miles west of Clifton] where servers will be dressed in Hardanger peasant costumes The event started in 1949 and is thriving $18 per person reservations by mail back in September as this is an annual sellout

No one ever had a bad time at a folk or ethnic festival whether or not one is part of that tribe.

Texas Scottish Heritage Festival is May 8-10, 2015 at University of Texas at Arlington’s Maverick Stadium with entertainment tents, highland dancing, bagpipe competitions, fireworks, whisky tasting, Gaelic language events, military living history, Scottish breed dog show, and Scottish ale brewing competition, inter alia. This newsletter tells the story of the 2014 Festival


If you participate in a book club or book discussion group and would like to increase the quality of your discussions, the Great Books Foundation has just revised its handbook and it is down-loadable into EPUB or PDF free and a phone call will get you a printed copy.


The chair of the photography department at the School of Visual Arts in New York at 209 E. 23rd Street between First and Second Avenues on Manhattan’s East Side near Bellevue Hospital, Stephen Frailey also champions the medium as the founder and editor-in-chief of Dear Dave, a magazine devoted to up-and-coming photographers. Here is a collection of exceptional examples of the medium that he curated on Artspace. These pictures suggest photography as a theatrical event that intersects with several photographic genres and processes. As individual images, their sense of festivity is equal to their visual clarity and elegance, exploring some of the more playful aspects of our collective experience.
Richard Learoyd, Agnes to the Left (2011) camera obscura lifochrome photograph

Philip-Lorca diCorcia, W, November 2007 # 6 (2007) Polaroid staged scene photography

Naoya Hatakeyama, Blast # 14117 (2007) a limestone quarry explosion is caught in a silent freeze-frame that tells us much about how we radically alter the natural landscape


Urban Tech Architecture students are designing a new facility for Tent City at 13th Street and Avenue A, a homeless facility in Lubbock possibly the only mid-term or long-term such facility


An International Market using fair trade principles will be conducted by the junior class of All Saints Episcopal School on campus in the Kirby Commons on Thursday and Friday November 13-14 between 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at 3222 103rd Street, Lubbock.

An International Gift Market will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Saturday December 6 between 1:00 – 3:00 pm 48th Street and Salem Avenue, Lubbock.


Arts History Update for early November 2014

3 Nov

Arts History Update for early November 2014 by David Cummins

Vincent Van Gogh 1853-1890 left Paris in February 1888 for Arles in the Provence [just north of the Carmague on the Mediterranean]. He immediately painted landscapes but also still life such as Shoes (1888). Shoes depicts the flooring of the Yellow House in Arles where Gauguin was living at the time and Vincent spent many hours At an earlier time in Paris he painted A Pair of Shoes (1885) that is now in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This painting has been variously called Boots With Laces, Old Shoes With Laces or simply Shoes. It is an intellectual masterpiece as well as an art masterpiece, generating many conversations.

Lesley Chamberlain writes “Boots With Laces radiates a conceptual persona, extending painting into philosophy. Like Cervantes Don Quixote and Dostoyevsky’s Idiot and Kierkegaard’s Seducer, The Shoes does not just exist as a work of art but creates a special plane of thinking within their space”. Lesley Chamberlain, A Shoe Story: Van Gogh, the philosophers, and the West (Harbour Books Ltd 2014) ABE Books $18.29 incl s&h

The pair of worn work boots is painted in the dull brown of his Nuenen palette set against a fresh background of gold, thick paint with distinct brush strokes in the foreground and a cross-hatch pattern in the back so the surface has as much importance as his subject. The boots are highly charged moral and symbolic objects. Chamberlain says “I think it has the conceptual persona to open up a space in which we feel the products of more than a century’s profound reflection on work, and reason, and truth, and happiness ….”

Martin Heidegger 1889-1976 wrote a short treatise The Origin of the Work of Art based on a series of lectures he gave in 1935-1936 first published in German in 1950 after the War, and often reprinted (transl. Zygmunt Adamczewski, University of Waterloo 1963 at 71 pages). He spoke of the shoes painted by Van Gogh as belonging to a peasant woman who works in the fields. They are her equipment. He said “This equipment belongs to the earth, and it is protected in the world of the peasant woman. From out of this protected belonging the equipment itself rises to its resting-within-itself”. Heidegger was interested in how human beings struggled to feel at home in their skins, having written a masterpiece of philosophy Being And Time (1927).

Meyer Schapiro 1904-1996 an art historian wrote The Still Life as a Personal Object – A Note on Heidegger and Van Gogh (1968) that appeared in his book Theory and Philosophy of Art: Style, Artist and Society: Selected Papers (George Braziller 1994) Texas Tech Library N66.S345. Here is the Note on Heidegger and Van Gogh in 21 pages the professional art historian dissected the famous philosopher’s speculations while entirely missing the point or thrust of the philosopher’s message.

Enter Jacques Derrida 1930-2004 in 1977 at Columbia University with Meyer Schapiro in the audience, saying “What does Schapiro do? This is an investigation that smells of the police”. Jacques Derrida, The Truth in Painting (transl. Geoff Bennington & Ian McLeod, University of Chicago Press 1987) Texas Tech Library BH39.D4513. We would do well to recall that it was Cezanne who replied to an inquiry by saying “I will provide the truth in painting”, and said no more. The inquirer did not understand and thought Cezanne stopped short of doing what he said he would. Cezanne obviously thought each of his paintings provided the truth in painting.

We would all do well to look at art and do what Heidegger was doing which is to release things from their status as commodities and to internalize our appreciation of the thing by making it a part of our journey in life.


Funkadesi is the musical sound of a future global village by a Chicago group of musicians, Friday November 7 at 7:00 pm Texas Tech University Student Union Building Allen Theatre $18 by Presidential Lecture & Performance Series and


At Arts History Lecture Series in the Texas Tech Museum Jones Auditorium Dr. Christian Conrad suggested that the late paintings by J.M.W. Turner 1775-1851 anticipated Impressionism and the Modernist movement. A book J.M.W. Turner Painting Set Free (eds. David Blayney Brown, Amy Concannon & Sam Smiles, Getty Publications November 2014) agrees.

The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free is at Tate Britain in London England September 10 – January 25, 2015 and covers the period 1835-1851 when his peers judged him harshly and thought him indulgent and overly dramatic. Those may have been misjudgments.

Dr. Conrad did two lectures on Edouard Manet 1832-1886 and in the second discussed a time [1874] when Manet, Monet and Renoir were all outside of Paris to the northwest on the Seine River at Argenteuil. Willibald Sauerlander, Manet Paints Monet: A Summer in Argenteuil (transl. David Dollenmayer, Getty Publications December 2014) available for pre-order.

Faces of Impressionism: Portraits From the Musee d’Orsay exhibition is at the Renzo Piano Pavilion of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth Texas from October 19 through January 25, 2015 catalogue $45 hardcover $29.95 softcover 272 pages with 170 color illustrations

Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity exhibition was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from February 26 – May 27, 2013

Intimate Impressionism from the National Gallery of Art exhibition was at the de Young Legion of Honor Fine Art Museums of San Francisco March 29 – August 3, 2014

The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Institute exhibition was at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from December 22, 2013 – May 4, 2014

Overview of impressionism


Nothing but the Clouds Unchanged: Artists in World War I (eds. Gordon Hughes & Philipp Blom, Getty Research Institute November 2014 hardcover 192 pages) the physical and psychological devastation of the war altered the course of art history. available for pre-order.


Texas Cowboys’ Christmas Ball is a 19th century dance reenactment at Pioneer Hall in Anson Texas north of Abilene
December 18-20, 2014 at 8:00 pm – midnight $10 tickets with the Muddy Creek House Band performing. Or read about it Paul H. Carlson, Dancin’ in Anson: A History of the Texas Cowboys’ Christmas Ball (Texas Tech University Press November 15, 2014) pre-order at $22.17 n the 1880s, there wasn’t much in Anson, Texas, in the way of entertainment for the area’s cowhands. But Star Hotel operator M. G. Rhodes changed that when he hosted a Grand Ball the weekend before Christmas. A restless traveling salesman, rancher, and poet from New York named William Lawrence Chittenden, a guest at the Star Hotel, was so impressed with the soiree that he penned his observances in the poem “The Cowboys’ Christmas Ball.”
      Reenacted annually since 1934 based on Chittenden’s poem, the contemporary dances attract people from coast to coast, from Canada, and from across Europe and elsewhere. Since 1993 Grammy Award-winning musical artist Michael Martin Murphey has played at the popular event. 
      Far more than a history of the Jones County dance, Paul Carlson analyzes the long poem, defining the many people and events mentioned and explaining the Jones County landscape Chittenden lays out in his celebrated work. The book covers the evolution of cowboy poetry and places Chittenden and his poem chronologically within the ever-changing western genre.
      Dancin’ in Anson: A History of the Texas Cowboys’ Christmas Ball is a novel but refreshing look at a cowboy poet, his poem, and a joyous Christmas-time family event that traces its roots back nearly 130 years.

The poem was set to music in 1910 listen up Chittenden published the poem in Ranch Verses (1893) and its 15th edition is free at Google Books, scroll down to pages 12-17 for the poem

Candlelight at the Ranch is December 12-13 at the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University where volunteers in period costume re-create pioneer/ranching holiday scenes from 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

WRCA Working Ranch Cowboys Association 19th Annual World Championship Ranch Rodeo is November 6-9 at Amarillo Civic Center and Rules of the Rodeo are different from professional rodeo and stress teamwork rather than individual achievement. Events are Bronc Riding, Stray Gathering (four person team) Branding (four person team) Penning (four person team) and Wild Cow-Milking (four person team) the latter a curious event that hails from the need to check cows on the range with the capacity for milk to sustain calves. Sandhill Cattle Company from Earth Texas [62 miles northwest of Lubbock] won the top rodeo team twice over the years, most recently in 2013.

Cowboy Up!


On Tuesday October 21 jury selection began in the trial of Thomas Dixon, MD for the July 11, 2012 killing of Joseph Sonnier III, MD chief pathologist for Covenant Medical Center, in his Lubbock home. Sonnier was shot and stabbed. David Neal Sheppard pled guilty to the killing in August 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison. He said that Dr. Dixon paid him to perform the killing. Trial began Monday October 27. with Matt Powell Sunshine Stanek and Zach Johnson conducting the prosecution and Dan Hurley and Frank Sellers representing the defendant. Opening statement by the prosecution was as expected, for the first time publicly identifying Richelle Shetina as Dixon’s former girlfriend and Sonnier’s present girlfriend at the time of the murder. Defense opening statement revealed its strategy laying the blame for the killing entirely on the demented mind of David Neal Sheppard and attempting to cast him as unreliable in his current stance of naming Dixon as his employer.

Murder for hire is a rarity in these parts so this matter has attracted much attention.


October 12 has long [since 1937] been celebrated nationally as Columbus Day in honor of the Italian sailor Christopher Columbus 1451-1506 who explored for the Spanish Crown and discovered something that was named America [in honor of Amerigo Vespucci], was thought then to be the East Indies and the people he found were named Indians, but was actually the Bahamas and Cuba and Hispaniola [Haiti and Dominican Republic today]. He was not so much an explorer as he was a conqueror, seeker of wealth and colonizer using the Native people as slaves and causing hundreds of thousands to die. He made two more voyages to the Caribbean Sea area. The Carib “Indians” were decimated by the conditions of slavery. It is difficult to find a Carib today. The federal government continues to recognize Columbus Day holiday on the second Monday of October, but the states of Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, California and Washington, states with substantial populations of Native Americans, no longer recognize a Columbus Day holiday. In October 2014 the City of Seattle replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day and the City of Bellingham Washington replaced it with Coast Salish Day in honor of the Salish “Indians” who still live there. I have a ceramic piece of art in my home made by a Salish artist but he is an inland [Bitterroot Mountains] Salish who lives in the confederated tribes area in western Montana the Flathead Reservation of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

The City of Minneapolis Minnesota took the lead and in April 2014 designated the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day. Seattle and Bellingham followed a few days ago. We can probably expect more of this in the future. Berkeley California was first to proclaim Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992 Italian-Americans who traditionally enjoy celebrating Columbus Day are offended but they may celebrate as they wish.

Artist Gregg Deal expresses disgust by Native Americans, depicting Columbus Day as a day of false discovery, conquest by the sword, and a skull emblazoned with a Christian cross to recognize the scourge of death brought by the conqueror.

Columbus sailed for the “new world” three times 1492-1504, only on his third voyage finding the Orinoco River of modern Venezuela and recognizing that it was a large land mass and not an island. He continued to believe he had found an approach to the East Indies.

For the record Amerigo Vespucci 1454-1512 was a Florentine sailor who made four voyages 1497-1504 to the “new world” and established by his 1501 voyage to Brazil and the West Indies that these lands were part of a separate continent [now two continents North and South America] and were not Asia’s easterly outskirts. He was a navigator and cartographer and the land mass was named America for him, later divided into North America, Central America and South America.


If you’ve heard those snippets of information on national public radio titled Texas Originals, you may wish to access them at your leisure and focus on specific persons in whom you have an interest. Humanities Texas sponsored them and they were produced at KUHF Public Radio of Houston Eighty two are available for listening as podcasts.


CIROBE – the Chicago International Remainder & Overstock Book Exposition is October 27-30 at Hilton Chicago Hotel 720 S. Michigan Avenue. Attendees buy bargain books for resale, believing that they can sell what wasn’t sold by publishers and book retailers. Texas Tech University Press has a booth and is offering some of its non-selling books.


Azizah Al-Hibri, The Islamic Worldview: Islamic Jurisprudence – An American Muslim Perspective (American Bar Association Book Publishing 2014 at 241 pages $99)


Lubbock Artists Local Color Studio Tour is Saturday and Sunday November 8 and 9. Ten to 6:00 pm Saturday noon – 6:00 pm Sunday where 49 artists in ten studio locations will be present and selling their original art at reasonable prices. A map is online or at any of the studios. One of the more popular locations will be a famous 19th Street home across from Texas Tech currently owned by Dede and Paul Rider at 3017 19th Street. Rider is a 1968 Tech graduate and now his daughter is also. The home was owned by Texas Tech and used as a home for its Chancellor John Montford from 1999-2008. It was built in 1938 for a prosperous Lubbock family.

This is the 18th annual Lubbock Artists Local Color Studio Tour.