Arts History Update for early September 2015

24 Aug

Arts History Update for early September 2015 by David Cummins

Google became a holding company named Alphabet and its subsidiaries are Google, Calico, Nest, Google Ventures, Fiber, Google Capital, Google X and Sidewalk Labs. Sixteen years after its founding Alphabet is overseen by co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and chief financial officer Ruth Porat.


Born in 1941 in Tacoma Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965 Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program. In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971 Chihuly co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly led the avant-guarde in the development of glass as a fine art. His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He is the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chihuly created more than a dozen well-known series of works, among them Cylinders and Baskets in the 1970s; Seaforms, Macchia, Venetians, and Persians in the 1980s; Niijima Floats and Chandeliers in the 1990s; and Fiori in the 2000s. He is also celebrated for large architectural installations. In 1986 he was honored with a solo exhibition, Dale Chihuly objets de verre, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre in Paris. In 1995 he began Chihuly Over Venice, for which he created sculptures at glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, then installed them over the canals and piazzas of Venice.

In 1999 Chihuly started an ambitious exhibition Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; more than 1 million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations. In 2001 the Victoria and Albert Museum in London curated the exhibition Chihuly at the V&A. Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. His Garden Cycle began in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Chihuly exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, in 2005. Other major exhibition venues include the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2008; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2011; and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2013.

Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012


Here is information about three new social media platforms Noname, Whisper and Snapchat that people can use to communicate personally but anonymously and with no ability for the recipient or others to trace or identify the communicant. It is the opposite of personal accountability and responsibility and seems to be a growth industry.

App “Noname” ( that was developed by Ben Anor and his app developing company, will help you start a conversation anonymously with someone that you know. No chance that you will be rejected personally, if you start a conversation with a girl that you like. No chance that authorities can trace your chat with another person.

No history, nothing is saved on the servers, no one can trace the source of the messages or see the content of the messages. Phone contacts of users are not saved on the servers as well – Noname creates a database of phones inside a phone of user. Everything is fully anonymous. Noname uses peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, using which nothing leaves traces. “Noname” is being released in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

Noname is a new ideology that people should be able to say anything to their contacts anonymously and also personally. “Noname” has recently been launched and customers are using it today. “Initial tracking shows us that we are experiencing viral success as the number of users is increasing exponentially.” – said Ben Anor – CEO of the company.

Noname” provides a new channel for communication between people who desire to say something personally and stay fully anonymous.


Whisper allows its users to send messages anonymously, and to receive replies. Users post messages like greeting cards, where text is displayed over an image and everyone can see it. The app was launched in March 2012 under the original name WhisperText by CEO Michael Heyward and Brad Brooks, who is the CEO of mobile messaging service TigerText.

Anyone can post in Whisper – an anonymous message as a text overlaid on a picture. When you open the app, you see six such images. Each one has a “secret” on it. You can respond to a message publicly or privately, choosing a public anonymous post or a private pseudonymous chat. Users don’t have a public identity in the app. While they do have persistent handles, there’s no way to contact them except *through* the messages they post.


Snapchat” is a photo messaging application developed by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. In “Snapchat” users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These photographs and videos are called “Snaps”. After 1 to 10 seconds the “Snaps” will be hidden from the recipient’s device and deleted from Snapchat’s servers.

Snapchat” users are sending 700 million photos and videos per day. The company has a valuation of $10-$20 billion.

While Whisper allows communication publicly, “Noname” supports only one-on-one messaging. Noname CEO commented that supporting of group chats demands saving the data on the servers. Thus Noname technically cannot support group chats.

While Whisper raised $60m, Snapchat raised US$485k in its seed round and in June 2013 Snapchat raised $60m in a funding round led by venture-capital firm Institutional Venture Partners. Snapchat also appointed a new high-profile board member Michael Lynton of Sony’s American division.”

Tex Randall (1959) was sculpted in concrete and steel by William “Harry” Wheeler in his high school metals shop [he was the teacher] and placed at US Highway 60 / Hereford Highway on the west side of Canyon Texas. Randall is the county in which Canyon is the county seat, thus the name for a local cowboy could be Tex Randall. Much has happened to the 45 foot high statuary of a slouching cowboy over the years, but Canyon Main Street owns it and announced that this Summer and Fall a renovation / restoration project $350,000 will occur. Rudd-Palmer in Amarillo will perform the work. Here are pictures and the story


Art History Lecture Series on Friday mornings at Texas Tech Museum Jones Auditorium and Sculpture Court begins September 11 and extends through December 4, 2015 and picks up again on January 8 and extends through April 1, 2016 at 10:30 am visiting, coffee and announcements 11:00 am- noon lectures by Christian Conrad Ph.D. The topic for Fall semester is American Impressionism discussing the Armory Show New York City in 1913, Winslow Homer, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Grandma Moses, Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Matthew Brady, Dorothea Lange, Edward Hopper, Thomas Hart Benton, and Norman Rockwell. Price is $40 per semester or $7 per session. If you need to try it out before you spend, the first two sessions each semester are free. This is a project of Museum of Texas Tech University Association comprised of member patrons of the museum

More information about the museum

From what did American impressionism emerge? Abbott Henderson Thayer, Virgin Enthroned (1891) expressed the turn of the century academic oil painting style and the ideals of American womanhood and domesticity. It sold to a private collector for $8,000 and its expression of Gilded Age Americana was featured prominently in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago [World Fair] proclaimed by some as “the best work yet produced by an American artist”. Beginning in the 1890s immigration to the United States peaked and a steady flow of people transformed the nation. Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage (1907) is a photograph that captured the mood and spirit of the times. Both the painting and photograph expressed the American cultural ideal of expressing our identity, who we are. The modern was thought to be who we are now, and to what extent does that differ from who we were then. Enter impressionism.


20th annual Texas Book Festival is in Austin October 17-18 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Saturday 11:00 – 5:00 pm Sunday and a good time is nearly guaranteed Free event but there are many ways to spend money while participating. The Friday Night First Edition Literary Gala at Four Seasons Hotel is one of them at $500 per person. Both readers and the rich and famous can enjoy this one.


Computer maintenance and repair

My laptop computer’s battery began to fail, i.e. it wouldn’t gain 100% charged status and it slowed down the way the computer operated. The good news is that a battery alert dialogue box message came onto the monitor to alert me and gently advise considering a replacement for the battery.

That sent me into search mode for a Dell Inspiron 1525 laptop so I went to the Dell website and found my replacement battery for $169. I thought that exorbitant so studied battery characteristics and discovered standard and extended run time, and that how many cells are in the row within a battery is a differential, six cells being standard and nine cells better, twelve cells quite powerful. Capacity of a battery is measured by mAh or miliampere hours or the total amount of energy a battery can store at any one time measured as one one thousandth of an ampere hour. For what I do with a typical laptop, nine cells is all I need and 6,000 mAh is all I need. Went back to Dell and found it for $169. Then I went online and found a nine cell lithium-ion battery that fits Dell Inspiron 1525 for $75.90. Then I went to a store in Lubbock where computers are custom-built and the gentleman told me that batteries are notorious for occasionally being defective or having a short service life of 3-6 months. He recommended that I purchase online from in Valencia California and that I purchase its own brand battery that it makes in-house. I went online and the six cell standard battery to replace my Dell battery is $30 and the nine cell extended run time replacement battery, voltage 11.1 capacity 6,600 mAh is $34. I purchased it and it was Fed Exed to me and installed it. Am very happy.

My battery charger/recharger device that plugs into a power source is still good so I did not replace it but has one for sale at $21.59. Shopping for high quality lower priced computer parts is worth a portion of my time and effort and perhaps yours.

A safety note about lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, in which the lithium ions move between the anode and the cathode using an intercalated lithium compound as the electrode material. An electrolyte and two electrodes are the constituent components of a lithium-ion battery cell. The electrolyte is flammable and must be kept intact and pressurized, as there is a safety hazard. If the laptop computer is used as normally intended and not bounced around when traveling [most people have a padded case for traveling with a laptop], and when the laptop is disposed of, it is deposited with a firm that knows how to recycle laptops, the risk of harm is minimal to infinitesimal. We should not worry ourselves unnecessarily, especially when we traveled many miles in automobiles with lead-acid batteries that occasionally leaked. We accepted and survived a much higher level of risk when doing that. Today’s automobile batteries are less hazardous but there is a safety hazard there that we manage.

Heda Bloch Margolius Kovaly 1919-2010ály is author of

I Do Not Want to Remember: Auschwitz 1941-Prague 1968 (transl. E. Kohak, Weidenfeld and Nicolsen 1973);

Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941-1968 (transl. Franci Epstein, Plunkett Lake Press 1986) memoir love story Texas Tech Library DB 2211.K68 A3;

The Victors and the Vanquished (transl. E. Kohak, Horizon Press 1973) Texas Tech Library DB 215.5.K69 A3;

Prague Farewell (transl. Franci Epstein, Victor Gollancz 1988)

and then the Czech holocaust memoirist, literary translator, and political exile turned her pen to fiction for Innocence, or Murder on Steep Street (transl. Alex Zucker, Soho Crime 2015) 231 pages Lubbock Public Library FIC KOVA 2 copies $18.35 hardcover $14.16 e-book, $14.95 forthcoming paperback March 2016.

After surviving internment at Auschwitz and learning that her parents with whom she arrived were gassed to death, Heda escaped from a death march and made her way back to Prague and joined an underground resistance group. After the war and a happy marriage her husband Margolius was arrested in the 1952 show trial of Rudolph Slansky and hanged. In 1968 Heda joined her second husband Kovaly in exile in the United States. She worked as a literary translator and in the Harvard Law School Library as a reference assistant librarian. In the early 1980s she wrote a novel Innocence, it was published by a German publisher under a pseudonym, and largely forgotten. She and her husband retired to the Czech Republic in 1996. Posthumously the novel was published in the Czech Republic in 2013 and in English in 2015. The novel is set in 1952 Prague at a cinema named The Horizon and the ordinary lives that are affected by the culture of Stalinism are on display. The author spells them out as she spins them on to their unexpected oblivion.

Hegel the German philosopher told us in Phenomenology of Spirit that actions, even seemingly small, meaningless actions, always reach beyond their intent. The impossibility of foreseeing how the consequences of actions will ripple outwards, does not absolve us of guilt for wrong actions. The author who suffered greatly at the hands of Nazis and Communists, wants us all to know that there is no such thing as innocence.


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