Archive | July, 2015

Arts History Update for late July 2015

19 Jul

Arts History Update for late July 2015 by David Cummins

Is too much of a good thing still a good thing, or is it just too much? In 1965 a hotly debated political struggle ended with the establishment of a Landmarks Preservation Commission for New York City. Fast forward 50 years and this unique city has 1,300 individual landmarks, 114 historic districts, and 33,000 land-marked properties. These include 100 lamp posts, seven cast-iron sidewalk clocks, three Coney Island amusement park rides, and a magnifloria grandiflora tree planted in Brooklyn in 1885 from which a novel arose Betty Smith, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn: A Novel (Harper 1947). It also includes Pieter Claesen Wyckoff House, a wooden frame structure built in 1652 and the city’s oldest structure in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn. What it doesn’t include is Pennsylvania Station that was razed to the ground in 1963-1965 and precipitated the public and political outcry that brought forward the landmark preservation law.

The Museum of the City of New York exhibit Saving Place: 50 Years of New York City Landmarks is on view from April 21-September 13, 2015 and tells a remarkable story. Preservation activities helped spawn an architecture community of professionals who are expert in renovating and re-purposing historic or landmarked properties so that they remain historic but are perfectly useful and valuable in today’s market and society. Also, these professionals learned how to construct new buildings within an historic district so as not to clash with or displace or alter what is historic about the district. Smart architecture and smart technology is the best kind today.


The Robert Bruno Steel House will be available for public viewing and walk through on Sunday October 4, 2015 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm admission $10 at 91 E. Canyon View Drive in Ransom [Rescate] Canyon. This 35 year project by the late Robert Bruno is an art and architectural masterpiece even if not livable for a contemporary nuclear family. That day and time is also the 2015 Art Show for the Ransom Canyon Property Owners Association and payment of the viewing fee at the Steel House is also the admission fee for the Art Show at the Ranch House down below lakeside where art is exhibited and sold. Since several of the residents and former residents are accomplished artists, this show is surprisingly good for many first timers. No surprise for those who’ve attended in previous years. For more information call Jackie De Vore Lindsey 806-543-7089 or e-mail Ranch House manager is Ron Bornick phone 806-407-0510 and the new Ranch House is bookable as an event center.


Noted iconographer, Peter Pearson, is returning to Lubbock!

The class will be held September 15-19, at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Lubbock. Class will meet Tuesday to Friday nights from 6:00-9:00pm, and Saturday morning 9:00am-12:00 noon.

Cost is $300. All supplies will be provided.

To reserve a place please send a check for $50.00 to St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, 2807 42nd, Lubbock, Texas 79413. Please include your contact information and email address.

For questions, please contact:

Tom Hicks



Vendor Market is Saturday July 18 from 11:00 – 5:00 pm at 1108 Main Street downtown. The location is two blocks southeast of Mahon Library, one block west of the County Courthouse and in the block north of Broadway on Avenue J. There will be live demonstrations of crafts and creating art pieces, hot food, cold beverages, and more than fifteen artists have booths with creations for sale.

Julio Gonzalez is owner of United We Art at 1108 Main Street and Nikki Uriegas is owner of Lion and Owl at the same address Here is the lowdown Welcome to Lion & Owl, home of a selection of eclectic notions from the collections of artisans, salvagers, and fashionistas in the Lubbock, Texas area. Lion & Owl is located at 1108 Main St in downtown Lubbock. We are open by appointment only, during First Friday Art Trail, and during our monthly Vendor Market Event. For more details contact!


Nelly Arcan 1973-2009 [name at birth Isabelle Fortier] was a Quebecois who worked in Montreal as a prostitute and was obsessed with beauty, distressed by its passing, and committed suicide at age 36. Surprisingly for many people she was an accomplished writer and her semi-autobiographical novels marked her descent and demise Whore: A Novel (2001, transl. Bruce Benderson, Black Cat 2004), Hysteric: A Novel (2004, transl. David and Jacob Homel, Anvil Press 2014), Breakneck: A Novel (2007, transl. David & Jacob Homel, Anvil Press 2014), and Exit: A Novel (2009, transl. David Scott Hamilton, Anvil Press 2014). Soon after finishing this last novel she took her life by hanging.

Her collected non-fiction pieces are published posthumously in Nelly Arcan, Burqa of Skin (transl. Melissa Bell, Anvil Press 2014) Texas Tech Library PQ 3919.3.A78 B8713 the title refers to the author’s belief that in some parts of the world when women come of age they must be veiled while in the western world they cover themselves with a burqa of skin. Arcan wrote “Shame begets an endless lineage of women that strings together in hangmen’s nooses’ birth knots which lump, one after the next, like a snake that eats its tail, digesting itself and regenerating, self-sufficient, neither starving nor quenched.” The raw pain in that single sentence is expressed throughout her writings. Arcan’s philosophical wrestlings with humanity and in particular her revulsion from male power are seen from a “society is broken” perspective rather than an “all men are inherently evil” perspective. Would that she could have realized that the commercial buy/sell paradigm on view in urban daily life is not society but rather what so many people in society do to put bread on the table. She was obviously remarkably intelligent, always trying to second guess how and why a woman should be, and she found death the only answer to her predicament. The titles of her novels Whore, Hysteric, Breakneck and Exit succinctly and poignantly summarize the short life and hard won philosophy of this exceptional writer.


Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House (1921) for Aline Barnsdall in Los Angeles was just lovingly restored and re-opened to the public. Here are two dozen photographs of the masterpiece that is now available for tours at only $7 per person 4800 Hollywood Blvd as a central feature of the Barnsdall Art Park.


Landwer-Manicapelli House at Buddy Holly Recreation Area astride Conquistador Lake the northwesterly and first of the Jim Bertram Canyon Lakes System of six lakes, was re-opened July 18, 2015 at 10:00 am with a formal ribbon-cutting after a $750,000 renovation by City of Lubbock.

Dr. and Mrs. Milton Fredric Landwer built the house in Spanish Mission revival style in 1936 the year he and Virginia married. They had no children. Dr. Landwer was a zoology professor at Texas Technological College from 1927 until his retirement in 1966. His wife Virginia taught biology at Lubbock High School. At that time Yellowhouse Draw was an active creek and Landwer put in an earthen dam to create a pond or small lake adjoining their home. Their neighbor was Boles Dairy operated by George B. Boles. Dr. Landwer 1897-October 17, 1980 age 83. Virginia Landwer 1916-November 22, 1996 age 80. Endowed scholarships were bequeathed for needy Texas Tech students.

Joseph and Mrs. Manicapelli bought the house in 1947 and thereafter extended it to the south and to the north putting in an additional fireplace in the north extension to add to the two fireplaces in the Landwer house. Steel casement windows were used in the extensions. Joseph died April 9, 1963 and his widow sold the house to the City of Lubbock in 1972. In 1980 the City spent $100,000 to renovate the House and in 1982 it was designated as a historical landmark. It was thereafter used as a rental or party house until the roof collapsed in 2008 and it was closed. By 2012 the City committed to spend $414,000 to renovate it, eventually spending $750,000 prior to its reopening in Summer 2015.

The City currently leases the House to Fiestas del Llano Inc. that will rent out the House for events. For booking call Sam Harper at 806-789-5013. Fiestas del Llano Inc is a Texas non-profit corporation # 0101005901 federal employer identification number 75-1943892 registered address P.O. Box 94814 Lubbock TX 79493-4814 registered agent Sam R. Harper 5701 County Road 6170 Lubbock TX 79415 and annually produces a Fiestas Patrias [patriotic party celebrating Mexican Hispanic heritage] in Lubbock, typically the weekend prior to September 16 Mexican Independence Day in 1821. Here is the schedule for 2014


A Taste of Terry County Vineyard Festival is Saturday August 1, 2015 in and near Brownfield Texas it includes a viticulture and wine exposition at American Legion Hall 1021 South 8th Street in Brownfield 8:00 – 5:00 pm free admission, a tour of Texas Custom Crush Wine Works at 1823 Terry County Road # 460 Brownfield and three vineyards outside of town beginning at 9:00 am $15 per person, and a concluding Food and Wine Event at the Senior Center 1201 Tahoka Highway $35 per person.

Terry County is now officially the Wine Grape Capital of Texas [since June 17, 2015 by Governor Abbott signing a legislative document] and unofficially the “Napa Valley” of Texas. Texas Custom Crush Wine Works is the hub for the burgeoning industry. If you collar Dusty Timmons he is the founder of Twin T Vineyards and a viticulture expert. His brother Andy Timmons is owner of Lost Draw Vineyard. If you run into Mike Sipowicz he is an enologist wine producer. The Brownfield Chamber of Commerce is the sponsor of all these good times, call 806-637-2564 for more information.

Here is an incomplete list of Texas High Plains vineyards


Arts History Update for mid July 2015

10 Jul

Arts History Update for mid July 2015 by David Cummins

The stiff traditions at Wimbledon bring out my scholarly inclinations to do some research into the history of tennis. We know that a variation was played by royals and courtiers in the age of King Henry VIII of England in the 16th century but they were late arrivals to the game as it was played elsewhere in Europe in Sweden, Holland, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium in the 15th century. Turns out that tennis is not an eccentric survival of an elite pastime but rather was within the mainstream of European sport. In Vetulonia Italy it was played five to a side with the hand rather than a racket in the main square of the town, scored 15-20-40 advantage, and the territorial chase system was obtained by chalk marking-off of base and side lines and fault lines. In Friesland [Dutch Province] it was called kaatsen, in Gotland [Sweden] parkspel, in Belgium balle-pelote or balle au gant, in Valencia Spain it was called raspall, and in France it was called balle a la main or balle au tamis or longue paume.

Even in the 15th century women played, such as Margot of Hainaut who played so well and became so accomplished in Brussels that she took her game on the road to Paris where she accepted challenge and exhibition matches and won prizes and money, eventually retiring back to the Abbey of Soleilmont, Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance discussion at Roger Morgan, Tennis: The Development of the European Ball Game (Ronaldson 1995) 259 pages hardcover ABE Books very good condition $55.13; Heiner Gillmeister, Tennis: A Cultural History (New York University Press 1998) tracing the game to medieval times 452 pages Texas Tech Library GV 1002.95.E85 G5613 $29.50 new and ABE Books $12.35 good condition.


It was bound to happen and now it has. Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino Apache have thrown out the clock and are now open 24/7 one had hoped that urban customs would never enter the pristine Sacramento Mountains of the southern Rockies. Is this Geronimo’s revenge?


Camp Marfa and thereafter Fort D. A. Russell has always been hallowed ground on the southwest side of the town of Marfa Texas. Recently the deteriorating buildings on the former fort’s hospital grounds were razed and it is now a construction site. Before picture is above. Chinati Foundation headquarters is on the lower post portion of the former fort. It is the upper portion where the former hospital buildings stood in a state of deterioration but I very much enjoyed walking through the area and dreaming about soldiers who convalesced and healed in those quarters.

After picture is here

The AmVets/USO building on the former fort was restored and renovated in 2011 and became the City of Marfa Tourist Information and Convention Center. AmVets is short for American Veterans of Foreign Wars and USO is the acronym for United Services Organization that was present in many communities to host dances, movies, social gatherings of all sorts, and provide a taste of civilian life for soldiers and sailors who were far from home. A petition was filed to restore the old name AmVets/USO name to the building and another to rename it for a recent mayor of the town

There is another Fort D.A. Russell near Cheyenne Wyoming so be careful to focus on the Fort D.A. Russell at Marfa Texas. Here’s a picture of the latter’s cavalry troops parading in Marfa Texas “back in the day” and the story of Camp Marfa 1911-1930 and Fort D.A. Russell 1930-1946. Cavalry was decommissioned in 1933 to become mechanized infantry and tank battalions and that proved to be a wise decision when World War II erupted. A field artillery unit arrived to replace the cavalry troops in 1935. Claes Oldenburg & Coosje van Bruggen, Monument to the Last Horse (1991) in Marfa on lower post.

Marfa is sixty miles north of Presidio Texas on the border and across the Rio Grande from Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mexico and you will recall the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to throw out the long-serving dictator Porfirio Diaz, and Mexico didn’t settle down until 1921 after the end of the first World War. Now you see the context and need for a southern US Army installation at Marfa. Pancho Villa commanded the revolutionary Army of the North and was always of concern to American military decision-makers

The Presidio Ojinaga area is known as La Junta de los Rio because the Mexican river Rio Conchos runs into the Rio Bravo [Mexican name] Rio Grande [American name] at this point. Fort Leaton State Historic Site is just east of Presidio but Fort Leaton was never a US Army post but rather a fortified trading post


When Spaniards were finally able to elect a republican form of government sworn to redistribute land and power away from the wealthy right-wing clerical elite that had kept most Spaniards living in poverty for centuries, nationalist rebels under the command of General Francisco Franco attacked and overthrew the fragile new republican government in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939. Franco adopted a fascist creed and made pacts with Hitler’s Germany going so far as to invite German bombers to use Spanish stong-holds of republican opposition as target practice. This included Guernica that was bombed by Nazi aircraft and the artist Picasso would later paint the scene of horror suffered by the loyalist republicans. Guernica is in northern Spain near Bilbao on the Bay of Biscay. Franco’s Nationalists won the civil war and Franco ruled Spain autocratically until his death in 1975.

The classic contrast between a socialist Spanish Second Republic 1931-1939 and a fascist nationalist military, caused outside powers Germany Portugal and Italy to support Franco and the Soviet Union and Mexico to support the loyalists of the Second Republic. International Brigades were made up of foreigners bent on supporting the loyalist republicans and they flocked to Valencia and Barcelona and other republican strongholds for recruitment into the war. Ernest Hemingway was a war correspondent for an American newspaper in 1937 during the Spanish Civil War. For Whom The Bell Tolls (1940) is Hemingway’s story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a loyalist republican military unit. He is a dynamiter and is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the City of Segovia.

Julian Casanova & Gil Andres, Twentieth Century Spain: A History (Cambridge University Press 2014) 377 pages $85 hardcover $27 paperback $14.60 e-book

Javier Tusell, Spain: From Dictatorship to Democracy: 1939 to the Present (Blackwell Pub’ns 2007) 494 pages Texas Tech Library DP 270.T835


A retired college professor continues to explore the practices and potential of higher education.

The Aims of Higher Education: Problems of Morality and Justice (eds. Harry Brighouse & Michael S. McPherson, University of Chicago Press 2015) essays that demonstrate that higher education raises profound moral and philosophical issues and encourages faculty and students to be more conscious of the importance of those issues and to become more prepared to intellectually and personally confront them. 174 pages hardcover $85 paperback $25.46 $22 e-book

Suzanne Mettler, Degrees of inequality: How the Politics of Higher Education Sabotaged the American Dream (Basic Books 2014) 261 pages $19.44 hardcover $ 14.57 e-book Texas Tech Library LC 173.M48

Joel Best & Eric Best, The Student Loan Mess: How Good Intentions Created a Trillion Dollar Problem (University of California Press 2014) 233 pages $22.80 hardcover $14.55 e-book Texas Tech Library electronic download

William Zumeta et al., Financing American Higher Education in the Era of Globalization (Harvard Education Press 2012) 255 pages $30 paperback $19 e-book Texas Tech Library LB 2342.F56

William G. Bowen & Eugene M. Tobin, Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Government of Higher Education (Princeton University Press 2015) 380 pages $19 hardcover $16.17 e-book Texas Tech Library electronic download. Bowen is a former president of Princeton University and Tobin a former president of Hamilton College.

Elizabeth A. Armstrong & Laura T. Hamilton, Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality (Harvard University Press 2013) 326 pages $14.82 paperback $23 e-book Texas Tech Library electronic download

Andrew Delbanco, College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be (Princeton University Press 2012) 229 pages $14.19 paperback $10 e-book

Richard Arum & Josipa Roksa, Aspiring Adults Adrift: Tentative Transitions of College Graduates (University of Chicago Press 2014) 246 pages $13.36 paperback $10 e-book only one chapter provides the authors’ plan for change and it’s unsatisfying. The authors don’t admit that the world into which the matriculating graduate enters is economically, socially and politically adrift and replete with cross and counter currents. If the graduates weren’t adrift they’d have to be recluses. The real question is to what extent if at all are these graduates better able to deal and cope with the lives they enter upon? You can’t measure that by macro employment statistics.

My own experience with students and graduates from a graduate school / professional school is that their values, and their social interactions and awareness of challenges and opportunities were excellent, and they were comfortable and proud of their newly acquired competence within a profession. They were employed and employable to the extent they wished to be, and they performed well and managed their lives well or poorly and determined their own fates.

It was true then and still is true today that I noticed the adjacent undergraduate campus to be a location for a shocking amount of mindless “airhead” behaviors that embraced non-attendance at classes, academic performance at the lowest level acceptable on projects and assignments, reckless sexual activities, reckless alcohol consumption, and unethical sports fan activities. At the same time there were thousands of diligent motivated students who had to be well aware of the alternate activities but who chose to maximize their college experience. I thought the administration and faculty did a reasonably good job of promoting and supporting the latter while dealing responsibly and humanely with irresponsible student behaviors by the former group. In this free society graduates from high school are capable of making adult decisions and are allowed to do so, and when they make poor decisions they are held to account for them, and become responsible for their own behaviors, just like the rest of us. Good decisions and industrious academic pursuits yield admissions to graduate schools and employment opportunities. These life lessons were and still are on offer and in public view on campuses everywhere.

————————– This is a presentation to the March 2015 meeting of the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents by Michael Molina vice chancellor for facilities construction and planning. You will see drawings and photographs of proposed and recent art installations.

Arts History Update for early July 2015

1 Jul

Arts History Update for early July 2015 by David Cummins

Denison Dam (1943) on the Red River creates Lake Texoma, a very large reservoir. When the lake is full as it currently is, the US Army Corps of Engineers opens sluices or floodgates at the bottom of the dam, and that creates on the surface of the lake one or more vortexes or swirling holes in the surface water that direct water down to the bottom of the lake and dam where it is sluiced through downstream of the dam.

The entire area where this vortex effect takes place is off limits to boats and people, and is marked off with buoys and signs, as it would be disastrous if a boat or person were sucked into and under the surface of the lake.


The Architecture League of New York, Thirty Years of Emerging Voices: Idea, Form, Resonance (Princeton Architectural Press July 7, 2015) 304 pages $55 by publisher $41.25 hardcover at


At its triennial general convention on June 27, 2015 the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America elected Bishop Michael Curry, Bishop of North Carolina, as its next Presiding Bishop or primate within the Anglican Communion and chief executive of the nation’s Episcopal Church. He will take office on November 1, 2015 succeeding Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori who was the first female primate in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Curry is the first African-American presiding bishop. He will serve a nine year term of office.

Jefferts-Schori’s election by the House of Bishops confirmed by the House of Deputies in 2006 shocked many in the United States, and many will be shocked by Bishop Curry’s election in 2015, but liberalism persists and thrives in America and around the world, the best person at the present time for the particular position being chosen by open hearts and minds.

This of course is not the “liberalism” spoken of recklessly in political rhetoric by manipulators of the electoral process seeking and maintaining power and authority over others, mostly for their own well-being and prosperity.


A patriotic concert God Shed His Grace on Thee: An American Festival will occur Thursday July 2 at 6:30 pm performed by First United Methodist Church Chancel Choir and Westwinds Brass Band at First United Methodist Church 1411 Broadway Street downtown. A free event followed by hot dogs and ice cream in the parlor.


Pre-historic Indian peoples in the Panhandle of Texas

From the New Mexico border east to Tascosa are two “pueblo” ruins south of the Canadian River. Tascosa and Old Tascosa are on the south bank of the Canadian. Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument near Fritch Texas is on the south bank of Lake Meredith and ruins of an ancient Indian culture are there. Alibates Ruin # 28 is identified at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon Texas. Antelope Creek enters the Canadian River from the south a mile east and downstream of Sanford Dam that creates Lake Meredith. That area is east of Fritch and was explored by Floyd V. Studer during his 1930s excavations and includes Antelope Creek Ruin # 22 and # 32 that are preserved at Panhandle Plains Historical Museum. The ruins are permanent structures for people who were not nomadic but they lack characteristics of the pueblo culture in northern New Mexico.

North of the Canadian River in southeast Ochiltree Country is The Buried City ancient Indian ruins of a plains culture that is clearly not pueblo, on Wolf Creek not far from Wolf Creek County Park. and that site is still subject to occasional archeology digging see also supported in part by the current owner of the land Kirk Courson. Carbon dating indicates the habitations were present from 1100 CE to 1500 CE.


Variations (2015) by Aaron Stephan is a public art installation across 9th Street on the north side at Indiana Avenue on the Texas Tech campus from the new Bayer Crop Science laboratories and greenhouses building formally named Bayer Crop Science Seeds Innovation Center Research & Development The brushed aluminum poles in various shapes and contortions will sway in the wind and be particularly interesting at dusk and after dark since led lighting is imbedded in the poles.


University of Texas at Austin is opening a medical school which they are calling Dell Medical School and Travis County taxpayers are paying $35 M per year for it and related programs. Seton Health Care will operate four teaching hospitals for training of medical students enrolled at Dell Medical School. They are Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, University Medical Center Brackenridge to be replaced in 2017 by Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, Seton Medical Center Austin [the largest hospital in the area], and Seton Shoal Creek Hospital


Clinton Correctional Facility is a New York State maximum security prison in the Village of Dannemora in northern New York’s Adirondack Mountains 15 miles west of Plattsburgh New York on Lake Champlain.

On June 6, 2015 inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat, both serving sentences for murder, escaped from the prison. Two prison employees, Joyce Mitchell and Gene Palmer, were charged with aiding the escape. On June 26, 2015 inmate Richard Matt was shot and killed by a Vermont Border Patrol Agent in the town of Malone New York. Two days later inmate David Sweat was shot by a New York State Trooper and captured near Constable New York just two miles from the border with Quebec Canada. Malone and Constable are at a lower elevation in the Saint Lawrence River Valley so the inmates were leaving the mountains and heading toward the River Valley and another country, smart choices for guys on the lam.


Putting On The Dog: Dogs Without Borders is a photographic exhibition at Texas Tech University International Cultural Center through August 25, 2015. The opening reception is Friday July 10 from 5:00 – 6:30 pm. During the reception there will be two showings of a 30 minute animated film by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger animation filmmakers Still Life With Animated Dogs (2001) that won a Peabody Award in 2002, in the ICC Auditorium at 5:30 and again at 6:00 pm. Free event. Philadelphia newspaper review of the film is here as shown on PBS-TV bio of the Fierlingers is here that tells the story of how they became AR&T Associates Inc. animated films in a Philadelphia suburb and indicates much of their work for television.