Arts History Update for late February 2015

8 Feb

Arts History Update for late February 2015 by David Cummins

Third annual International Arts and Cultural Symposium is Saturday February 28 from 10:30 am – 5:00 pm at Texas Tech Museum Jones Sculpture Court. The theme is coming of age within a culture, focused on Native American, Ghanaian, Jewish, and Korean cultures The public is welcome.


Ronald K. Fierstein, A Triumph of Genius: Edwin Land, Polaroid, and the Kodak Patent War/Battle of the Century (American Bar Association Publishing Co 2015) $35 hardcover $25.82 e-book $7.99 ABE Books new $24.45 incl s&h at 644 pages it tells the back stories of inventiveness, the Polaroid Corporation, and Eastman Kodak Corporation trials and appellate litigation.
Steve Jobs outspokenly admired Edwin Land, the creator of Polaroid’s instant photography. Jobs revered Land as “a national treasure,” and modeled much of his career after his. Neither had a college degree, but both men built highly successful, innovative organizations. Both were perfectionists, micromanagers with fanatic attention to detail, consummate showmen and marketers. In many ways, Edwin Land was the original Steve Jobs. This riveting biography from the American Bar Association visits the spectacular life of Edwin Land, breakthrough inventor. At the time of his death he stood third on the list of our most prolific inventors, behind only Thomas Edison and one of Edison’s colleagues. Land’s most famous achievement of course, was the creation of a revolutionary film and camera system that could produce a photographic print moments after the picture was taken. The book takes you behind the scenes of his discoveries, his triumphs, and also the defeats of this reclusive genius.

You’ll learn details of Land’s involvement over four decades with top secret U.S. military intelligence efforts during World War II and through the Cold War in the service of seven American presidents. Additionally, you’ll thrill to the compelling firsthand look at one of our nation’s most important legal battles over intellectual property—Polaroid versus Kodak. This corporate and legal struggle is a story of almost operatic dimension. What began as a cooperative and collegial relationship ended in Kodak’s betrayal. The conflict led to an epic legal battle, a dramatic event for Land who, from the witness stand, personally starred in a compelling courtroom drama.

More than a simple biography, this fascinating book is a biographical legal thriller that is not to be missed.
More Light! More Light! (1964) a poem by Anthony Hecht 1923-2004 from Collected Early Poems (Alfred A. Knopf 1990)
We move now to outside a German wood.
Three men are there commanded to dig a hole
In which the two Jews are ordered to lie down
And be buried alive by the third, who is a Pole.

Not light from the shrine at Weimar beyond the hill
Nor light from heaven appeared. But he did refuse.
A Lüger settled back deeply in its glove.
He was ordered to change places with the Jews.

Much casual death had drained away their souls.
The thick dirt mounted toward the quivering chin.
When only the head was exposed the order came
To dig him out again and to get back in.

No light, no light in the blue Polish eye.
When he finished a riding boot packed down the earth.
The Lüger hovered lightly in its glove.
He was shot in the belly and in three hours bled to death.

No prayers or incense rose up in those hours
Which grew to be years, and every day came mute
Ghosts from the ovens, sifting through crisp air,
And settled upon his eyes in a black soot.

Anthony Hecht, “ ‘More Light! More Light!’ ” (1964) from Collected Earlier Poems. Copyright © 1990 by Anthony Hecht. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
Source:Collected Earlier Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1990)
The poet had been in the American Army that liberated a concentration/prison camp at Klausenberg Germany in the Rhineland-Palatinate in 1945 and saw the detritus of humanity the Nazis had left.
Jan Jarboe Russell, The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II (Scribner 2015) 400 pages $30 hardcover $22.44 e-book $14.99 ABE Books new $20.73 incl s&h reviewed by Michelle Newby at Lone Star Literary Life: Texas Books for Texas Readers published by Lubbock’s Kay Ellington at MediaGarden, 1923 29th Street, Lubbock TX 79411

Crystal City Texas is 45 miles east of Eagle Pass Texas that is on the border and on the Rio Grande River, reached by US Highway 83 south, Farm To Market Road 191 west, and US Highway 277 west. Crystal City is the county seat of Zavala County and has a population of 7,800 people. Here is the sign marking the location of the former Camp
Annual Splash of Red Exhibit and Show by West Texas Watercolor Society includes 60 paintings, all for sale, plus jewelry crafted by Linda Adkins and Jackie DeVore, beginning February 9 Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm ending March 6 at YWCA Legacy Event Center 14th Street and Avenue O, Lubbock. Free admission.
Opening event for this exhibit and show is Friday February 6 from 5:30 – 8:00 pm at Legacy Event Center as part of First Friday Art Trail.
Beyond the Border is a four part award-winning journalism piece by Melissa del Bosque for Texas Observer Magazine that humanizes the desperate and dangerous immigrant border crossings into Texas. Part 1 Into the Wilderness part 2 This Is Our Home part 3 A Cemetery For Our People and part 4 Lawman’s Burden. It focuses upon a US Border Patrol checkpoint near Falfurrias [military folks would call it a chokepoint on one of two main highways that leave the Rio Grande River border area] in Brooks County Texas on US Highway 281 some 80 miles north of the border at Hidalgo on the River and the forced walk by immigrants led by a people smuggler/”coyote” in the Texas shrub mesquite around that checkpoint. That walk is arduous and lethal. US Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
All this brings to mind the book Luis Alberto Urrea, The Devil’s Highway: A True Story (Little Brown 2004) Lubbock Public Library 4 copies 304.873072 URRE Adult Nonfiction, Texas Tech Library 2 copies JV6475.U77 in which Urrea describes the crossing by immigrants of the Arizona border’s Sonoran Desert. This book was used several years ago at Texas Tech University for incoming freshmen/women to read in advance of attending their core curriuclum courses and Professor Urrea arrived from Chicago to speak at Texas Tech with many freshmen/women who had read his book. I was present for one of his talks and had read this book.

Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman (Harper Collins 2015) will be published this Summer. Lee is 88 years of age. When she wrote this novel and squirreled it away, is unknown but it was written before To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) and the scene is set 20 years after the scene in Mockingbird when Scout Finch, the 12 year old narrator in Mockingbird, is an adult woman Jean Louise who returns home to South Alabama after living and working in New York City Lee and her sister Alice lived together for many years in Monroeville but Alice died recently and Lee continues to live in an assisted living facility near that same family house, alone. She is blind, deaf, and infirm. It is said that her [actually a partner of her late sister Alice who was a lawyer] lawyer found the manuscript and her literary agent [but then she didn’t have a literary agent, did she, because she steadfastly refused to publish] processed it for publication by Harper Collins. The lawyer won’t talk and the literary agent is un-named so the news of future publication has an unbelievable quality to it. Hopefully, these folks are not hoodwinking an aged one-novel author who hasn’t the cognitive ability to know what’s happening and stop it. Elder abuse happens too often in America. We’re all curious.

What makes one dubious is that millions of people have read Mockingbird and so a hitherto unknown sequel will be purchased by millions. Why would a reportedly blind deaf and infirm 88 year old author who steadfastly refused to publish this manuscript for more than fifty years, now be willing to publish? What evidence of that willingness exists?;_ylt=A0LEVxoUqtJUxosAttxXNyoA Is publication of this manuscript low-hanging-fruit or dollars to line the pockets of the lawyer, agent and publisher while defying the long-expressed wishes of Harper Lee not to publish this manuscript? Why the rush when the author is obviously aged and frail? Is the rush “required” because Harper Lee’s will expressly requires destruction and non-publication of the manuscript, and therefore these people are creating a sham approval to avoid the consequences of her will? The is just one possible elder abuse scenario. I am not accusing anyone, only asking for clear evidence of her voluntary reversal of position and willingness to publish. That should be forthcoming prior to, not after publication, and prior to, not after her death.

Harper Lee and her father lived in Monroeville Alabama and he was a lawyer and member of the state legislature from 1926-1938. Go Set a Watchman is a novel about a 32 year old Southern woman returning home to south Alabama and discovering that what she knew and believed about her father is untrue. He is in fact a racist rather than an ethical role model and hero. It’s a novel about fallen idols and disillusionment, about growing up and “killing the Buddha” and so having to invent one’s own world view without the guidance of an elder or mentor. If Mockingbird was the novel of the century as heroic mythology, perhaps Watchman is the reality check and Mockingbird’s actual hero is the young Black man erroneously charged with rape not Atticus Finch his defender. It is all very clear why Harper Lee, after publishing Mockingbird to acclaim, knew she could not and should not publish the previous manuscript Go Set a Watchman. A golden egg must not be cracked by the hen.


The French Club is sponsoring a talk on Henri Matisse and Fauvism on Tuesday March 10 at 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm in the Qualia Room in the basement of the Foreign Languages Building, Texas Tech Building. Contact Carla Burrus for the identity of the speaker Images of the work of Matisse 1869-1954


TEDx Texas Tech University second annual Conference is Saturday February 28 beginning at 8:00 am at the Allen Theatre in the Student Union Building at Texas Tech University. The format is sixteen or more talks each at 18 minutes or less describing something that is cutting edge and innovative. Each of the speakers is a Texas Tech University System faculty staff or student. Registration $40 students $10 available through February 21 online. Here is the description from last year’s conference TEDxTexasTechUniversity – 02/08/14
by TEDx Talks
17 videos
Last updated on Mar 5, 2014
TEDxTexasTechUniversity is aimed toward increasing human connectivity and shared innovation in and around the Texas Tech University System and local communities. The inaugural event was held February 8, 2014, in the Mark and Becky Lanier Center at the Texas Tech University School of Law. This was an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, and community members to learn about the exciting research, innovation, and idea generation taking place within the Texas Tech University System.

The program included 17 speakers with backgrounds in a vast range of areas, including art, science, music, and research. The theme for the inaugural event was Open Skies, Open Minds, representative of the wide open skies of West Texas and the innovations at Texas Tech. Visit us online at:

and here are the presentations from last year’s conference on the Texas Tech You Tube Channel Registration includes a light breakfast and lunch. However, if you cannot or are unwilling to pay $40 and commit many hours to this endeavor, you can wait until perhaps a month or two later when the talks will go up on the Texas Tech You Tube Channel and you can watch individual talks a few minutes at a time at your leisure/convenience and free.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso is founder of New Kadampa Tradition Tibetan Buddhism in 1991 headquartered at Ulverston [South Lakeland district, Cumbria shire or county, on northwest coast] England where he resides, age 84 having been born 1931 in Tibet and was part of the 1959 exodus to India. It is called Manjushri Kadampa Meditation Centre. In 1982 Gyatso became a British citizen. He wrote books while meditating at Tharpaland in southern Scotland and Tharpa Publications is his longtime publisher. He defers to and involves the protective deity Dorje Shugden and meditational deity Yidam and demanded that Buddhist recruits study only with him, thus causing controversy within Tibetan Buddhism and unkind words were exchanged with the Dalai Lama and other revered Tibetan Buddhism figures. Gyatso was formally expelled August 22, 1996 from his Sera Je Monastery where he trained as a youth.

Temples have been built at Manjushri Centre in 1998 and Kadampa Meditation Center New York at Glen Spey New York in 2005 Kadampa Meditation Centre New York is 11 miles north of Port Jervis New York that is on Interstate Highway 84 astride the Delaware River and a junction of the borders of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.

The formal name of New Kadampa Tradition Buddhism is NKT-IKBU or New Kadampa Tradition-International Kadampa Buddhist Union. A local chapter is Bodhichitta Kadampa Buddhist Center at 6701 Aberdeen Avenue, Suite 4, Lubbock Texas 79424 phone 806-787-2499 led by resident teacher Kelsang Chondzin, a Buddhist nun and the Lubbock chapter is affiliated with Kadampa Meditation Center of Texas in Arlington Texas

Tibetan Buddhism in the West

There are other Tibetan Buddhism temples, retreat and meditation centers, and monasteries in Western countries. Karma Triyana Dharmachakra – KTD is located at 335 Meads Mountain Road above Woodstock New York in the Catskill Mountains This lineage venerates the 17th Karmapa, His Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa Ogyen Trinley Dorje. He is 29 years of age and left Tibet at age 14 for India where he resides in Tergar Monastery in the city of Bodhgaya, northeast India in Bihar state. The city contains two Buddhist pilgrimage sites, the stupa at the place where the first Buddha was enlightened, and the Bodhi Tree under which he sat while meditating. The Karmapa visited the Woodstock New York KTD in 2008 and revisited the United States in 2011. I have been to this facility and witnessed an impressive Green Tara ceremony. KTD affiliates [chapters] around the country include centers in Austin, Corpus Christi, Irving, Houston and San Antonio Texas. The 14th Dalai Lama and 17th Karmapa are in close communication in India where they both reside.


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