Arts History Update for mid May 2015

10 May

Arts History Update for mid May 2015 by David Cummins

The new Whitney Museum of American Art http://whitney.org/ opens in the meatpacking district of New York City on May 1 at 290 Park Avenue South at 23rd Street and here is a set of slide show pictures at an invited walk through before the opening https://www.flickr.com/photos/archidose/sets/72157652148045095/show/ The architect for the nine story building is Renzo Piano.

Various views of the Whitney http://archidose.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-new-whitney.html

http://news.yahoo.com/american-art-gets-home-opening-whitney-museum-ny-213150250.html;_ylt=AwrTHQZOBztVMCsAN7lXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEzOGVwMXNwBGNvbG8DZ3ExBHBvcwMyBHZ0aWQDVklQNTc4XzEEc2VjA3Nj Alicia Powell, Reuters, April 23, 2015.

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The Corcoran Gallery of Art with its 17,000 piece collection worth $2 billion was given to The National Gallery of Art http://www.nga.gov in 2014 and the collection will be reopened to view later in 2015 as the Corcoran Collection within the second floor display space. The buildings and School of Art & Design were given to George Washington University http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corcoran_Gallery_of_Art The deal was a structured one with court approval http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/corcoran-gallery-george-washington-university-and-national-gallery-close-deal-to-transform-corcoran/2014/05/15/4ddba908-dc4a-11e3-b745-87d39690c5c0_story.html The Corcoran Foundation and Endowment goes out of existence.

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The Last Book Store 3203 34th Street phone 806-792-8858 is closing and is now liquidating its inventory specializing in used books, vinyl records, audio cassette tapes, CDs, and DVDs. Hours are 10:00 am-6:00 pm Mon-Thur close at 8:00 pm Fri-Sat and 1:00 – 6:00 pm Sunday. Lane Anderson operated the book store for many years and his photography studio http://www.laneandersonphotography.com/ is adjacent d/b/a Cloudstone Photography http://www.cloudstonephotography.com/

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Can we talk innovation? California State Polytechnic University at Pomona California, commonly referred to as Cal Poly Pomona, http://www.cpp.edu/~aboutcpp/index.shtml includes a Center for Training, Technology and Incubation within its Innovation Village. Within the Center is Innovation Brew Works located on campus at 3650 W. Temple Avenue, Pomona CA 91768 phone 909-979-6197. http://www.ibrewworks.com/index.shtml It is a brewery and brewpub that is also a cafe and is open to the public. It brews craft beer and students at Cal Poly work in the brewery and brewpub. They experience applied propagation of custom yeast strains, and the nitrogenation and carbonation process, and the development of unique hop and malt blends. Pomona, while in Los Angeles County, is east of the city and has always been agriculture-oriented and annually holds the Los Angeles County Fair in September at the Fairgrounds. http://www.lacountyfair.com/

The similar characteristics with Lubbock and the South Plains are obvious.

Why couldn’t Texas Tech University do something similar? Its College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources CASNR already has a thriving enology [wine-making] and viticulture [wine grape vineyard operations] program. http://www.itc.ttu.edu/Toolbox/ViticultureEnology.pdf Why couldn’t hops, grains, malting process, yeast cultures, and brewing be another academic program?

Texas Tech could start by getting involved with a local home brew supplies company that wants to be a licensed brewery but hasn’t the capital to do so. It brews excellent beer it can’t sell. Yellowhouse Canyon Brew Works http://www.yellowhousecanyonbrewworks.com/ at 601 North University Avenue Lubbock TX 79415 phone 806-744-1917 e-mail brewer@yhcbrewworks.com operates in a former cotton delinting plant building on a service road headed west from North University Avenue just north of the Clovis Highway and railroad tracks.

Bill Hardy and his son Tim Hardy enrolled in The World Brewing Academy Master Brewer Program https://www.siebelinstitute.com/courses-a-programs/courses-in-english/courses/eventsperyear/1-Master%20Brewer%20Program and spent eight weeks in Chicago at Siebel Institute of Technology https://www.siebelinstitute.com/ and twelve weeks in Munich Germany at Doemens Academy. https://www.doemens.org/en/home.html Bill’s wife and Tim’s mother Cindy Hardy stayed home and is the office manager.

Craft Beer production can be a technological cutting edge process. Schlafly Beer in St Louis Missouri uses the Siemens BRAUMAT Compact system http://www.siemens.com/schlafly and http://www.industry.usa.siemens.com/services/us/en/industry-services/case-studies/Documents/Schlafly_CS%202011.pdf

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You Tube videos by Christian Conrad Ph.D., instructor for the Arts History Lecture Series at Texas Tech Museum Jones Auditorium https://www.youtube.com/user/conradmerz/videos are here.

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July 8-12 are the dates for the 18th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in Okemah Oklahoma, his birthplace and boyhood before he moved to Pampa Texas to rejoin his father http://www.woodyguthrie.com A single day pass is $30, three day pass by May 13 is $50, and $60 thereafter. Daytime performances are mostly at The Crystal Theater and evening performances at Pastures of Plenty. Other venues are Brick Street Cafe, Rocky Road Tavern, and Okemah History Center. Okemah is east of Oklahoma City off Interstate Highway 40 and south of Tulsa, population about 3,500.

Woody Guthrie wrote the lyrics and music for Pastures of Plenty so the venue was named for that song. In contemporary music The Flatlanders wrote and perform Homeland Refugee http://www.musictory.com/music/Flatlanders/Homeland+Refugee in which the lyrics say:

“I’m leaving California for the dust bowl, They took it all, There’s nowhere else to go, The pastures of plenty are burning by the sea, And I’m just a homeland refugee”. CD is Hills & Valleys (2009) http://www.musictory.com/music/Flatlanders/Album/Hills+%5Band%5D+Valleys

Woody Guthrie Center is at 102 E., Mathew B. Brady Street, Tulsa Oklahoma http://www.woodyguthriecenter.org

Woody Guthrie Folk Music Center is at 320 South Cuyler Street, Pampa Texas http://www.woodyguthriepampatx.com in the location that once was the Harris Drug Store where Woody worked as a boy and learned to play the guitar.

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie 1912-1967 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woody_Guthrie discography http://www.discogs.com/artist/285789-Woody-Guthrie

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George Bernard Shaw, The Intelligent Woman’s Guide to Socialism and Capitalism (1928, reissued and revised with chapters on Sovietism and Fascism in 1937) Texas Tech Library HX 246.S53 was written in response to a letter of request by his sister in-law Mary Stewart Payne-Townsend nee Mrs. Hugh Cholmondeley in 1924

“You will think me a dreadful bore when I tell you that I want you to send me a few of your ideas on Socialism. Unfortunately the “Study Circle” to which I belong have got hold of the fact that you are my brother in-law, so I promised I would write to you. We want to know so many things. One is – when frightful class warfare results from Socialism how would that be averted – Also, one human being is clever, intelligent, pushing and his neighbor is exactly the reverse; how could they be on an equal footing, how could we all be equally poor or equally rich for more than a week; the money might be divided to a penny between us all but you know the pushing ones would get it all from their idle brothers in a month or two, then what would you do? Then, the equality: you put me into a dress maker’s establishment but I do not know how to make a dress therefore I must work under a supervisor who orders me about, tells me how to the dress and pays me for my work. Where is the equality? – And so on, and so on. Will you answer my questions quite plainly and forgive this letter? Yours Sissy.”

The fact is that Hugh [Colonel, later Brigadier General] and Sissy Cholmondeley were members of the fox-hunting landed gentry, a group many Socialists would see as representative of the enemy. Shaw’s plays and his friendships were often at odds with the dogmatism of his political writings, to the extent that some said the latter were intended to be a “send-up” rather than serious. Shaw’s ends always seemed to justify any means to achieve them, and he failed to appreciate that a means that is brutal can become an indispensable component of the ends. That occurred in the Soviet and Chinese revolutions.

G.B. Shaw 1856-1950 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Intelligent_Woman%27s_Guide_to_Socialism_and_Capitalism

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New York Islanders, a National Hockey League team, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Islanders has been playing at Nassau Coliseum http://nassaucoliseum.com/ in Uniondale New York [Hempstead Long Island area in Nassau County] for many years, but the ice has been put down and taken up for the last time on April 25 and next season it will play at Barclays Center Arena/Stadium 620 Atlantic Avenue http://www.barclayscenter.com/ in Brooklyn New York. The New York Rangers hockey team’s home ice is Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, New York New York http://rangers.nhl.com/index.html The Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team also plays at Barclays http://www.landofbasketball.com/teams/brooklyn_nets.htm

Ebbets Field Dodgers may be long gone to some heathen location in southern California, but there’s plenty of fine athleticism in Brooklyn and the New York Mets baseball team is only a bus ride away in Queens, still a distance away from Manhattan or The Bronx, home of the New York Yankees in their new Yankee Stadium.

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Joe Queenan, Museums, It’s Time to Sell those Duds on the Walls: Purists May Squawk But Museums Are Loaded with Crummy Paintings, Why Not Sell Them Off?, Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2015 http://www.wsj.com/articles/museums-its-time-to-sell-those-duds-on-the-walls-1431097977

What’s your opinion? Mine is distinctly an answer to a different question than asked by a newspaper given over to the glorification of money and owned by a person well-known to be megalomaniac and controlling of editorial and opinion content.

Even a “dud”, and of course that’s a conclusion that is a matter of artistic opinion and taste, is quite instructive and influential on the patrons who see it “on the wall” so I think the question is wrongly asked. What might have been asked is what should be done with the art in the basement or other storage that rarely if ever is displayed where patrons can see it?

If the museum has a program whereby a distinct group or sub-group of its patrons does in fact have access to it “in the basement or other storage” then that may be reason enough and justification enough to retain rather than dispose of un-displayed art. Texas Tech Museum is part of an academic Museum Science program under which bachelor’s degree and master’s degree candidates do explore the basement collections and use them in writing their papers and in understanding their curatorial significance. Moreover, when I was on the Museum’s Art Collection Committee we pressed the managers of the Museum to regularly “bring up from the basement” the very art we were spending foundation grant money to acquire, and not let it be consigned to be un-enjoyed. Gradually we made headway and today the Museum at most times in the year has one or more “Up From the Basement” displays for the general public to enjoy, and Museum managers have found that its patrons enjoy seeing those items and are pleased that they were acquired.

Gaining and exploiting the value of museum collections by better practices at the museum is key to valuing and using the collection sensibly and to its maximum potential. Selling off is a last resort option after all else has failed for a museum. Museum managers can use their patrons appreciation for the accessible collection to leverage those patrons financial support for the museum and the institution or foundation should plan for and budget for roof maintenance, repair and replacement in the normal course of building operations. Let’s not create false dichotomies or rush to judgment about selling off collections when a budget becomes unbalanced or badly performed/executed. Let’s balance the budget and improve the management of operations.

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