Archive | November, 2015

Arts History Update for mid December 2015

30 Nov

Arts History Update for mid December 2015 by David Cummins

Rescuing Eden: Preserving America’s Historic Gardens (The Monacelli Press 2015) 224 pages, photography by Curtice Taylor, text by Caroline Seebohm in hardcover $50 publisher $33.82 Twenty-eight visit-worthy gardens include:

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site garden

Cornish NH,

William Paca House and Garden, Annapolis MD

Florence Griswold Museum and Gardens, Old Lyme CT home of Old Lyme Art Colony that developed American Impressionism art

Historic Deepwood Estate and Gardens, Salem OR

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, Crestwood KY

Pearl Fryer Topiary Garden, Bishopville SC

Each garden has been specially photographed by noted landscape and garden photographer Curtice Taylor, and introduced with authoritative and engaging text from design historian Caroline Seebohm, encouraging readers to appreciate the landscapes that serve not only as windows on American history, but living, flourishing pleasure grounds for botanists, horticulturalists, and nature lovers throughout the United States.

One of the joys of crossing the pond [Atlantic Ocean] is to wander through gardens in Europe. The City of London England has many such spaces. Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, The London Square: Gardens in the Midst of Town (Yale University Press 2012) 334 pages with great illustrations. Texas Tech Library OVERSZ SB466.G75 L645. $59.18 hardcover at Most of these gardens are available to the public free, some with modest admission prices, some by appointment only, and some take a bit of sleuthing to even locate them. Of course many historic and wonderful gardens no longer exist as they gave way to real estate development in this metropolis. This book is within the series The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

Victoria Summerly, Great Gardens of London (Frances Lincoln 2015) photographs by Marianna Majerus and Hugo Rittson Thomas, 208 pages $34.36 hardcover at

London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust publishes a periodical The London Gardener, or The Gardener’s Intelligencer The Trust offices are located at Duck Island Cottage in St James’ Park.

Regent’s Park, Kew Gardens, Rectory Garden of St Anne’s, Limehouse, and others are in this list

Texas Gardens

Texas Discovery Gardens at Fair Park, Dallas Texas

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden 8525 Garland Road

Fort Worth Botanic Garden 3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard

Clark Gardens Botanical Park between Weatherford and Mineral Wells address 567 Maddux Road Weatherford

The Earle-Harrison House and Pape Gardens at 1901 North 5th Street Waco Texas

Amarillo Botanical Gardens 1410 Streit Drive

Lubbock Memorial Arboretum and Botanical Garden at K.N. Clapp Park, 93 acres at 4111 University Avenue, Lubbock first tree planted in 1962, a 501(c)(3) entity created in 1964. Includes Hodges Rose Garden, Perennial Garden, Sensory Garden, Wildflower Garden, and Memorial Gardens.

Horticultural Gardens and Greenhouse operated by Texas Tech University Department of Plant & Soil Science at 1204 Hartford Avenue north of United Supermarket Arena off Main Street northwest of Student Recreation Center. The gardens are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk.

A garden is a place you venture into with hope, energy, excitement, enchantment and the greatest of expectations. We return because we are so satisfied.


Writing can never fully do justice to visual art, but writers seem compelled to try including Flaubert, Braque, Proust, Degas, Henry James, John Updike and others. Include Julian Barnes on that list. Julian Barnes, Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art (Alfred A. Knopf 2015)

“An extraordinary collection– hawk-eyed and understanding– from the Booker Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Sense of an Ending and Levels of Life. As Julian Barnes explains: “Flaubert believed that…great paintings required no words of explanation. Braque thought the ideal state would be reached when we said nothing at all in front of a painting … But it is a rare picture that stuns, or argues, us into silence. And if one does, it is only a short time before we want to explain and understand the very silence into which we have been plunged.” This is the exact dynamic that informs his new book. Barnes, in his 1989 novel A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, had a chapter on Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa, and since then he has written about many great masters of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art, including Delacroix, Manet, Fantin-Latour, Cezanne, Degas, Redon, Bonnard, Vuillard, Vallotton, Braque, Magritte, Oldenburg, Howard Hodgkin, and Lucian Freud. The seventeen essays gathered here are adroit, insightful and, above all, a true pleasure to read ”

288 pages

—————————- Poet and visual artist Ashraf Fayadh has been in jail in Saudi Arabia for two years and is now sentenced to death by beheading for apostasy or abandoning the Islamic faith. Fayadh is a Palestinian currently [before the arrest in August 2013] living in Saudi Arabia where he was born 35 years ago. Sharia law was applied to his alleged blasphemous remarks made orally and in poetry. An earlier judgment was four years in prison and 800 lashes [permanent injury], but upon appeal he was ordered to be put to death. Human rights and cultural institutions are protesting these harsh punishments regardless of whether he did or did not say something offensive. Before the arrest he had curated an art exhibit titled Mostly Visible in Jeddah Saudi Arabia, a port city on the Red Sea west of Mecca, that went up February 25-March 25, 2013

Books, whether they be novels, non-fiction, poetry or other genres, were “edge tools” as the Victorian English called them, like knives and other weapons, and were habitually subject to state control by authoritarian regimes. They were heavily censored and punishments were severe. More significantly, reading when done well is an act of self-definition. It helps us define ourselves. It is a solitary vice. One reads and dreams, alone. The state doesn’t know what’s happening or how or when or by whom, but it knows who caused that, and it knows the harmful consequences to its authority, so it punishes the author and publisher severely. The poet and artist Fayadh has been in prison for two years three months and is now told that he will lose his head to the knife.


Coney Island Christmas (2012) by Donald Margulies is a play Coney Island Christmas introduces us to Shirley Abramowitz, a young Jewish girl who (much to her immigrant parents’ exasperation) is cast as Jesus in the school’s Christmas pageant. As Shirley, now much older, recounts the memorable story to her great-granddaughter, the play captures a timeless and universal tale of what it means to be an American during the holidays. based on a short story The Loudest Voice by Grace Paley Taking a cue from “The Princess Bride,” great grandma Shirley (Angela Paton) tells little Clara (Grace Kaufman) all about her Depression childhood in southern Brooklyn, back when every grocery shelf displayed Wheaties and Shredded Wheat; every radio played Jack Benny and FDR; and Native Americans were called Indians whenever the first Thanksgiving was retold. Young Shirley (Isabella Acres) is blessed with a loving grocer papa (Arye Gross) and stiff-necked, demanding mama (Annabelle Gurwitch). Think Tevye and Golde, and you’ve nailed them.

Conflict brews when drama teacher Mr. Hilton (John Sloan) casts Shirley as Jesus in the Nativity story over parental objections (“a shonda for the goyim”). But if you expect Mama Abramowitz won’t have a change of heart and the show won’t go on, you probably thought George Bailey was going to end up in jail for embezzlement. No, on the 1935 boardwalk under the shade of the Cyclone roller coaster, with detailed facade by Takeshi Kata, it’s very much a wonderful life. Neighbors are nosy but lovable (“Oy vey”) and all ethnicities coexist without clashing


Margulies is a playwright and professor of English and Theater Studies at Yale University. He was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Trump Village, a Coney Island housing project built by Donald Trump’s father. Margulies’ play Dinner With Friends won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2000. He also wrote the play Brooklyn Boy.

Lubbock Community Theater presents Coney Island Christmas December 4-6 and 11-13, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm $15 adults, children under 12 $10 at 4230 Boston Avenue Lubbock. J.T. and Margaret Talkington Foundation and Helen DeVitt Jones Foundation sponsor the production. Alan Winner directs.

This is social realism theater and a fine example is the recently concluded debut performance of Nicola Wilson’s Plaques and Tangles (2015) at Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court Theatre, London England. The play is about a younger woman/wife without Alzheimer’s Disease and the older same woman/wife with early onset Alzheimer’s. But of course she isn’t the same, not at all, and the family deals with her both as she is and how she was, at the same time. The title of the play is derived from the medical profession as it describes the process of cell death in the brain. Plaques are clumps of sticky protein fragments that may block transmission between cells. Tangles are twisted protein fibrils that grow in dying cells and purse a destructive journey through the brain. The blockages and strangulations that take place in the Alzheimer’s brain have their obvious analogue in the outside world, no more poignantly than in the family.

The disorienting and distancing effect of Alzheimer’s is depicted on stage and the audience reacts with a protective withdrawal from the scene, realizes what it is doing, and is mesmerized. At one point the four characters young and older husband and wife are all on stage together in a dramatic depiction of conflated time experienced by a patient but not by the rest of us, until now.

Nicola Wilson


Poets & Writers Live in Austin Texas on January 9, 2016 from 8:00 am – 6:00 pm at Blanton Museum of Art, 200 East Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard $75 until December 6 $125 per person thereafter. Celebrated authors editors and agents will be on panels with some individual presentation events


The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles MOCA replaced the controversial director Jeffrey Deitch in early 2014 with Philippe Vergne and his new exhibits are rare, extremely hip and chic, and worth noticing. He obviously is well-connected to the latest in quality contemporary art artists and gets them into one or the other of the three locations: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA at 152 North Central Avenue in the Little Tokyo district, MOCA Grand Avenue at 250 South Grand Avenue near West 2nd Street, or MOCA Pacific Design Center at 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood.

Paris France born Vergne’s wife is the Los Angeles born gallerist Sylvia Chivaratanond who is co-curator of the exhibit The Art of Our Time that went up August 15 – April 30, 2016 Vergne had previously been at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis as chief curator and deputy director.

The Art of Our Time at MOCA Grand Avenue looks quite intriguing.

At The Geffen Contemporary Matthew Barney, River of Fundament 2014 is on view to January 18, 2016 and it is more than intriguing.

Lest you wonder if this museum is too edgy for your taste, or perhaps just a recent invention of upscale coffee shop chatter, its own collection pieces that are currently on view to the public include:

Andy Warhol, Telephone 1961

Jasper Johns, Map 1962

Cy Twombly, Untitled 1967

Mark Rothko, Black on Dark Sienna on Purple 1960, Dark Over Light Earth/Violet and Yellow on Rose 1954, Purple Brown 1957, No. 301 1959

Jackson Pollock, Number 3 1948

and other certifiable master works of modern art.


Body of Art (Phaidon Press Limited 2015) 440 pages $39 hardcover at publisher and at Texas Tech Library OVERSZ N7625.5 B62 (2015) explores, inter alia, performance art that uses the human body as a medium. The book demonstrates versatility, emotional impact, and sheer strangeness about the use of the human body. Some of the static and art performances transgress reasonable limits of safety, sanity and decency, all in the name or prism of aesthetics. Don’t let children near this tome.

Arts History Update for early December 2015

23 Nov

Arts History Update for early December 2015 by David Cummins

Robert Rauschenberg: Art and Life in Real Time is an exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum August 29 – July 4, 2016

Robert Hughes, My Friend Robert Rauschenberg, The New York Review of Books, November 14, 2015

Explore the Life and Work of Robert Rauschenberg 1925-2008, a presentation by Christian Conrad Ph.D. occurred on Saturday November 21 at 11:30 am – 1:00 pm at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in the Firehouse Theater, 511 Avenue K downtown Lubbock, a free event focusing on his pioneering work with assemblages and collages. It was marvelous. Look for more presentations by Conrad at LHUCA.


Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots is an exhibit at Dallas Museum of Art November 20 – March 20, 2016, formerly at Tate Liverpool in England June 30 – October 18, 2015 Art News article

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots
November 20, 2015 to March 20, 2016
Chilton I Gallery

Requires a $16.00 special exhibition ticket.

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots is only the third major U.S. museum exhibition to focus solely on the artist hailed as “the greatest painter this country has ever produced.” On November 20, the Dallas Museum of Art will present what experts have deemed a “once in a lifetime” exhibition, organized by the DMA’s Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Gavin Delahunty: the largest survey of Jackson Pollock’s black paintings ever assembled. This exceptional presentation, which critics hailed as “sensational,” “exhilarating,” “genius,” “revelatory,” and “revolutionary” on its UK premier at Tate Liverpool, will receive its sole US presentation in Dallas and include many works that have not been exhibited for more than 50 years.

Jackson Pollock: Blind Spots offers critical new scholarship on this understudied yet pivotal period in the artist’s career and provides radical new insights into Pollock’s practice. With more than 70 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints, the exhibition will first introduce audiences to Pollock’s work via a selection of his classic drip paintings made between 1947 and 1950. These works will serve to contextualize the radical departure represented by the black paintings, a series of black enamel paintings that Pollock created between 1951 and 1953. An unprecedented 31 black paintings will be included in the DMA presentation. Exhibiting works from the height of the artist’s celebrity set against his lesser known paintings will offer the opportunity to appreciate Pollock’s broader ambitions as an artist, and to better understand the importance of the “blind spots” in his practice


Also in Dallas is The McKinney Avenue Contemporary The MAC that is currently shuttered since June 27 after twenty years in the uptown location and will reopen in 2016 south of downtown Dallas in the Cedars neighborhood. Look for that event.

Meadows Museum at Southern Methodist University 5900 Bishop Boulevard is another Dallas museum.


The Nobel Prize for Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich, a Belarusian [White Russia] author and this is her website Born in western Ukraine in 1948 she grew up in Minsk the capital of Belarus. She uses a journalistic approach and interviews many people to tell stories about life and culture in the Soviet and post-Soviet periods. She calls her recent books Voices of Utopia or Big Utopia. Her story about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the toll it wrought on people will be published in English as Time Second Hand (2016). Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster (transl. Keith Gessen, Dalkey Archive Press 2005)

Timothy Snyder, Svetlana Alexievich: The Truth in Many Voices, The New York Review of Books, October 15, 2015


Diane Lewis, Open City: Existential Urbanity: The Architecture of the City Studio 2001-2014 (Charta 2015) 368 pages hardcover $49.


An exhibit A Train Story: Original Watercolors from the Award-Winning Children’s Book goes up Friday December 4 at 10:00 am and comes down Sunday January 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm at Buddy Holly Center, 1801 Crickets Avenue in downtown Lubbock.’s-book The illustrator of the enchanting book is Nathan Jensen of Portland Oregon. The book was written by Dolores Mosser of Lubbock, formerly of Slaton and a train spotter [whatever that is] published by Adrian Street Productions in 2009 and Adrian Street Books in 2011 $17 at hardcover 40 pages. Copies are able to be read at Lubbock Public Library E MOSS and at Texas Tech University Southwest Collection 42.2 M913 T768.


An annual event enjoyed by many is South Plains Nativity Exhibit at Lubbock Texas Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 7016 Frankford Avenue, a free event. Thursday December 3 through Wednesday December 9 from 1:00 – 9:00 pm daily. Evening concerts from 7:00 – 8:00 pm will be performed live Thursday through Saturday December 3-5


Joan Jonas, Shawl (2016) is available for $640 as a hand printed and signed shawl with a drawing by the artist, edition of 160 with signed certificate of authenticity shipped from Italy news article


Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan, The Dust Bowl: An Illustrated History (Chronicle Books 2012) $25 Texas Tech Library F595.D93 also DVD (2012) $15


Capitol Steps will play the Amarillo Civic Center-Globe News Center stage on Friday January 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at $42 and $28 with surcharge website

I have seen this lively musical comedic parody on the news of the day, and it is well worth a trip to Amarillo to enjoy.


NADA Miami Beach Art Fair 2015 is December 3-5, 2015 at 4441 Collins Avenue Miami Beach Florida at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. NADA is New Art Dealers Alliance a collection of professionals working with contemporary art.

The location is less than 3 miles from the main Art Basel in America, Miami Beach on December 3-6, 2015 at Miami Beach Convention Center from which there is a shuttle bus to take patrons to the nineteen art fairs in Miami and Miami Beach during the first week of December 2015. Daily tickets at the Convention Center are $47 or $30 for seniors see

Here is the map for the week of art and art related events

The other annual Art Basel art fairs are located in Basel Switzerland in June and Hong Kong China in March.

The 56th Venice Italy La Biennale International Art Exhibition just closed on November 22 after a run from May 9, 2015 logging 501,502 visitors.


Arts History Update for late November 2015

15 Nov

Arts History Update for late November 2015 by David Cummins

15th Annual High & Dry Photograph Exhibit where the subject is the people and places in the world’s dry lands/semi-arid or arid lands, is at Texas Tech University International Cultural Center November 24 – January 14, 2016 at 6th Street & Indiana Avenue The opening reception is Friday December 4 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm including a short talk by juror Miguel Gandert delivering his impressions of the 72 images and what struck him about the winners.


What to do in Lubbock? Many calendars or event listings are online. Here’s a lineup. A caution is that sometimes, rarely but sometimes, you will see conflicting information. To commit to something it’s best to telephone ahead to discover if the advertised event is actually happening. Example: One of these calendars says that Outlier is playing at Mean Woman Grill on a weekly gig but if you go to Outlier’s website you discover that it is in San Antonio doing a residency in November and not playing in Lubbock. KLBK-TV Today In The LBK Texas Tech Events Calendar Texas Tech TechAnnounce Daily Announcements of Events/Activities Select a Seat upcoming events and tickets All Events In Lubbock Lubbock Events Calendar Lubbock In The Loop Events Calendar Lubbock Arts Alliance Visitor Center, Lubbock Economic Development Alliance LEDA Texas Tech School of Music events calendar Lubbock Fun Club Lubbock Christian University campus events South Plains College calendars


Marion Weiss & Michael A. Manfredi, Public Natures: Evolutionary Infrastructures (Princeton Architectural Press 2015) 376 pages $50 publisher 373 color illustrations $32.48 hardcover Texas Tech Architecture Library NA737.W398 A4 (2015)

new terms, conditions, and models that insist architecture must evolve to create more productive connections between landscape, infrastructure, and urban territories. Public Natures is both monograph and projective manifesto and suggests a new paradigm for infrastructure that is distinctly public in nature.”


Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye exhibit is November 8, 2015 – February 14, 2016 at Kimbell Art Museum Renzo Piano Pavilion, Fort Worth Texas


Private Foundations created by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Joan Mitchell, Andy Warhol and Helen Frankenthaler are a new force in cultural philanthropy and artistic heritage stewardship. The Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative and The Clark Art Institute presented a public panel discussion examining the factors that are shaping this important phenomenon.

AEFI’s National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, the first research effort to examine this small but fast-growing field, has documented more than 360 foundations, many created in the past two decades, holding $3.5 billion in assets, including $2 billion in artworks and intellectual property. These organizations make grants to nonprofits, artists and scholars. They steward art collections, operate study centers, conduct scholarship, contribute artwork to museums, manage artist residency facilities and administer art education programs. Some focus solely in the arts while others also address social issues, such as HIV/AIDS and the environment. In 2010, artist-endowed foundations expended $132 million for charitable purposes. The Study Report may be viewed online at

Panelists include:

  • Christa Blatchford, CEO, the Joan Mitchell Foundation
  • Elizabeth Smith, Executive Director, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation
  • Nancy Mowll Mathews, Senior Curator Emerita, Williams College Museum of Art
  • Stephen K. Urice, Professor of Law, University of Miami School of Law
  • Christine J. Vincent, Project Director, The Aspen Institute’s Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative/AEFI

The panel was held in July at Williamstown Massachusetts, site of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, and here is the link for the report issued by the Artist Endowed Foundations Initiative

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute website is 160 miles west of Boston and close to the Vermont border off US Highway 7.
Mary Wollstonecraft 1759-1797 [died age 38] or Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin [due to her brief marriage to Williams Godwin at the end of her life March 29, 1797 to September 10, 1797 when Mary died in childbirth of Mary Godwin who would later write as Mary Shelley wife of Percy Bryce Shelley] was an English author and political theorist who is known by current standards as the mother of the feminist movement. That status is due to her writing of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) preceded by her A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790).

She wrote these works in response to Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) in which he defended constitutional monarchy, the aristocracy, and the established Church of England. He was an absolute power theorist and was on the right of the political spectrum. Mary Wollstonecraft and her circle of friends were on the political left that sought freedom for the people and thus praised both the American Revolution and the French Revolution. She even moved to Paris France in December 1792 just a month before King Louis XVI was guillotined. She and her circle on the left were divided between liberalism and republicanism, the former [liberals] seeking freedom of the people to do as they wished or freedom of choice, and the republicans seeking freedom of the people from being subject to the will of someone else, what most people called oppression, dependency or worse, servility.
Mary Wollstonecraft was a republican. Lena Halldenius, Mary Wollstonecraft and Feminist Republicanism; Independence, Rights and the Experience of Unfreedom (Pickering and Chatto 2015) 192 pages $150 hardcover $40 e-book.
We know her status from her novels and especially her second novel published by her husband Godwin posthumously Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798).
William Godwin was besotted with his capable, proud, independent wife and author, and devastated by her passing in childbirth. He wrote Memoirs of the Author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1798) and the public responded by shunning Wollstonecraft’s writings due to, in the public’s view, too libertine a lifestyle including her birth of Fanny Imlay out of wedlock in 1794.
.Thoughts on the Education of Daughters: With Reflections on Female Conduct, in the More Important Duties of Life. London: Joseph Johnson, 1787.

Charlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley (Random House April 28, 2015)s

Romantic Outlaws is the first book to tell the story of the passionate and pioneering lives of Mary Wollstonecraft – English feminist and author of the landmark book, The Vindication of the Rights of Women – and her novelist daughter Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein.

Although mother and daughter, these two brilliant women never knew one another – Wollstonecraft died of an infection in 1797 at the age of thirty-eight, a week after giving birth. Nevertheless their lives were so closely intertwined, their choices, dreams and tragedies so eerily similar, it seems impossible to consider one without the other.

Both women became famous writers; fell in love with brilliant but impossible men; and were single mothers who had children out of wedlock; both lived in exile; fought for their position in society; and thought deeply about how we should live. And both women broke almost every rigid convention there was to break: Wollstonecraft chased pirates in Scandinavia. Shelley faced down bandits in Naples. Wollstonecraft sailed to Paris to witness the Revolution. Shelley eloped in a fishing boat with a married man. Wollstonecraft proclaimed that women’s liberty should matter to everyone.

Not only did Wollstonecraft declare the rights of women, her work ignited Romanticism. She inspired Coleridge, Wordsworth and a whole new generation of writers, including her own daughter, who – with her young lover Percy Shelley – read Wollstonecraft’s work aloud by her graveside. At just nineteen years old and a new mother herself, Mary Shelley composed Frankenstein whilst travelling around Italy with Percy and roguish Lord Byron (who promptly fathered a child by Mary’s stepsister). It is a seminal novel, exploring the limitations of human nature and the power of invention at a time of great religious and scientific upheaval. Moreover, Mary Shelley would become the editor of her husband’s poetry after his early death – a feat of scholarship that did nothing less than establish his literary reputation.

Romantic Outlaws brings together a pair of visionary women who should have shared a life, but who instead shared a powerful literary and feminist legacy. This is inventive, illuminating, involving biography at its best.

Lubbock Public Library BIO WOLL


Ballet Lubbock has committed to an $8.6 million campaign to fund Ballet Lubbock Dance Center in the northeast wing of the future Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences to be built at the juncture of Avenue K and Mac Davis Lane in downtown Lubbock north of Lubbock Memorial Civic Center a project of LEPAA Lubbock Entertainment and Performing Arts Association

Ballet Lubbock website

LEPAA website


Filing period for candidates for office in the Republican Party and Democratic Party primary elections on March 1, 2016 begins Saturday November 14 and continues through Monday December 14, 2015. Unregistered voters must register to vote in those primary elections on or before February 1, 2016. Early voting in the primary elections is February 16-February 26.

Last day for a registered voter to apply to receive a primary elections ballot that the voter can complete and mail in to the voting registrar, is February 19 but I would encourage old/disabled/plan to be absent from the county on election day voters to apply well before that date at Lubbock County Elections Office 1303 Crickets Avenue Lubbock phone 806-775-1339. If you apply on the basis of age [65 or older] or disability, and you actually vote by mail, you will continue to receive a ballot by mail automatically for each succeeding election so long as you continue to use that procedure to vote. For some people that’s a nice service and they don’t have to be alert to changeable early voting locations or changeable election day locations or make a trip on a specific day.

There are 153,449 registered voters in Lubbock County Texas.


Arts History Update for mid November 2015

5 Nov

Arts History Update for mid November 2015 by David Cummins

Religion and the Origins of

American Landscape Art

…as pertaining to the work apparent in the TTU Museum exhibit “Ansel Adams: American Master. Selections from the David H. Arrington Collection”

A Presentation by

Mark Stoll

Professor of Environmental History

Texas Tech University

Dr. Stoll is the author of Inherit the Holy Mountain:Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Saturday, November 7, 3:00-4:00 PM

Helen Devitt Jones Auditorium

Museum of Texas Tech University


In many ways the Royal Navy was more of a meritocracy then British Society. Captain George Vancouver was an example of this in that he joined the Royal Navy in 1772 at the age of 13 as an able seaman and was able to work his way up to become a Captain by 1792. After Cook, Vancouver was the greatest British explorer and cartographer to sail the Pacific. He learned many of his skills and gained much knowledge from his experience with Captain Cook in 1775 on the HMS Discovery. It was during this voyage that Vancouver was promoted to midshipman.

In 1780 Vancouver passes his Lieutenants exam and is sent to the Mediterranean where he sees a considerable amount of action against the French who were allied with the Americans. Vancouver’s rise in rank proceeds quickly during his service on the HMS Europa while serving in the Caribbean. He is promoted from 3rd Lieutenant to 2nd Lieutenant and then to 1st Lieutenant which put him second in command of the ship. It was during this period that he served with many of the men that he would later take with him to the Pacific Northwest such as Joseph Baker, (Mount Baker Named after him) Peter Puget, (Puget Sound named after him, Zachary Mudge, (Cape Mudge named after him) and Joseph Whidbey (Whidbey Island named after him)

In 1792 Vancouver was chosen as the Captain to lead an expedition to the Pacific Northwest. He was assigned 3 objectives by the admiralty and was expected to act as a diplomat as well as an explorer. He was to meet with the Spaniard Bodega y Quadra on the west coast of the Island that was to bear his name, Vancouver Island. The exact location for this meeting was  Nootka Sound where the Nootka Indians inhabited the shoreline and the Spanish had built a fort. By the terms of the Nootka Convention which both Spain and England had agreed to, England was to settle damage claims that the Spanish had claimed. Vancouver was also to chart the coastline in the Pacific Northwest from 30 degrees North to Cook’s Inlet in Alaska. This was not done in any detail with Cook because he was primarily looking for a passage to the Atlantic. The third objective was to look for that elusive passage which Cook had not found. The discovery of this passage would give the British a huge advantage in this area of the world with direct access via the arctic to the Northern Pacific.

Vancouver meet with the Spanish and he and Quadra became friends in the course of the negotiations. The Spanish recognized the primacy of the British in the area. Vancouver also completed the second task with charts that were so accurate they could be used today. He mapped the intricate, roughed coastline and met with many of the native groups along the coast. His third objective was a relatively impossible  due to the fact that the great Northwest passage that he and many others were looking for over the centuries was only open at the height of the summer around the Northern tip of Alaska and only during some summer seasons.

Vancouver returned to Britain in 1795 and in 1798 his journals “A Voyage of Discovery to the Pacific Ocean and Round the World in the Year 1790 – 1795: were published posthumously. Vancouver had died on May 12, 1798.

His voyages and the cross continent  journey by Alexander Mackenzie which brought him to the West Coast on July 20th, 1793, were the two actions which opened up the Northern Pacific for the British. Coincidentally, Mackenzie and Vancouver missed each other on the West Coast by just 6 weeks.


Aberdeen Scotland is known as Granite City because much of downtown was built using granite from nearby Rubislaw Quarry that closed in 1971 after three centuries use. The quarry lays neglected, filled with water, a man-made lake within the city limits. Occasionally there are schemes to turn the location into some money-making venture

Granite City Illinois is just across the river from St Louis Missouri, only six miles away The former quarry at St Cloud Minnesota is now a lake and park in the city


Dear Veterans and Active Military,

We would like to honor you at our upcoming concerts on Nov. 6-7 as we perform Gershwin and Beethoven.  We are proud to live in a country with freedoms you and others before you have fought for so bravely.

Tickets are $15 each, although we won’t turn anyone away for financial hardship.  Please call the office at 806-762-1688 and we will help you with your tickets!

Mary Jones Saathoff, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Lubbock Symphony Orchestra
601 Avenue K
Lubbock, TX  79401
806-762-1688  Office
806-239-1688  Cell


Texas Sate Historical Association occasionally puts on free webinars on Texas History. Here is one on Bernardo de Galvez 1746-1786 in whose honor Galveston Bay, Galveston Island, the city of Galveston and the large old hotel Hotel Galvez (1911) were named

In case you missed the webinar session, or in case you’d like to watch it again, here’s the link to the replay video:


Title: Texas Talks with Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm
Description: Bernardo de Galvez and the Impact of the American Revolution on Texas

Host: TSHA presenter

Date: Monday, 2 November 2015
Time: 06:00 pm Central Time (US and Canada), GMT -6

Enjoy the replay!

The video is excellent. You can sign up for future webinars here

Here are my notes on the topic: Bernardo de Galvez 1746-1786 nephew of Jose de Galvez 1720-1787, a lawyer in the court of King Carlos III of Spain 1759-1788, was trained as a soldier. His uncle Jose, a lawyer for the crown, and he went from Florida to California across the continent in 1768-1769. Why, we might ask? Because after France lost the French & Indian War in 1763 the linked Bourbon monarchies in France and Spain passed the French lands in the south of North America to Spain so Spain controlled that southern strip from Florida to California, including Louisiana. In 1770 Bernardo was based in Chihuahua [northern New Spain] when he brought his men to the Pecos River in Texas on a quest for the raidiing Apache Indians, forced a crossing of the Pecos at Horsehead Crossing, and engaged and defeated the Apache. He brought captives back to Chihuahua, learned their language, and wrote an essay for the crown on How To Treat the Apache Indians. At age 29 in 1776 he was made governor of New Orleans and in support of the American Revolution against the hated British, he caused supplies to be sent north up the Mississippi River to George Rogers Clark to help take the fight to the British in the interior. Bernardo fought and won battles against the British at Bayou Manchac, at Baton Rouge, and at Natchez on the Mississippi River, and at Mobile and Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico, and fully neutralized the British capacity to encircle the Americans. He became Viceroy of Mexico at Mexico City and was the highest rank general one could be and a count, except that he died one year later in 1786 in Mexico City.

During an exploratory voyage of the Gulf of Mexico Galveston Bay and Island were located and named for Bernardo de Galvez as Galveston and the first big hotel on the island was Hotel Galvez. It’s now Hotel Galvez & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Hotel. His portrait painting hangs in the national Capitol Building as a hero of the American Revolution. Jose Rodulfo Boeta, Bernardo de Galvez (Publicaciones Espanolas 1977) 144 pages in English Texas Tech Library 33 G182 R697


7:00 – 8:30 PM Wednesday, November 4, 2015
at the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium
West Entrance, Texas Tech University Museum


The Italian Renaissance in American visual culture, from the 1890s
to the present.

Luciano Cheles, University of Poitiers, France.

Cheles will discuss the influence of Renaissance artist Pierro della Francesca on American artists including Tom Lea, Peter Hurd, and others.  He is an Italian Renaissance scholar and professor of art history at the University of Poitiers, France.  He received a fellowship from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.  to study Francesca’s influence on American artists, with special emphasis on Tom Lea.

The Future Belongs To Those Who Prepare For It”—The Peter Hurd Fresco 
Cameron Saffell, Texas Tech University

Saffell who will discuss the Peter Hurd –“The Future Belongs To Those Who Prepare For It”— the 16’ x 46’ curved fresco depicting a ranch scene was created in 1952 and, recently moved from Houston to Artesia, New Mexico, where Hurd once owned a studio.  Saffell is assistant director for museum operations at the Museum of Texas Tech.

Following the lecture’s there will be a discussion and tour of the Peter Rogers mural inside the Tech museum.

Saffell also will lead a discussion of Hurd’s 1,300-square-foot mural in the rotunda at Holden Hall on the Tech campus. Completed by Hurd in colorful, classic fresco, the mural was dedicated in 1954.

The event is open to the public and sponsored by the Hockley County Historical Commission and the Texas Tech University Museum.

Peter Hurd, The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare for It (1952) fresco mural on curved wall in lobby of Prudential Tower built by Prudential Insurance Co for a headquarters building in Houston Texas. Prudential Tower was eventually sold to M.D. Anderson Medical Center and slated for demolition. The Yates family in Artesia New Mexico stepped up in 2011 to purchase and remove the mural, restore it, and insert it into a newly constructed Artesia Public Library in Artesia New Mexico. It’s unique for many reasons, in part because it’s a fresco [paint on wet plaster technique similar to the Italian Renaissance style] on a curved wall and is quite large at 47 feet long and 14-1/2 feet high. Peter Hurd 1904-1984 at one time had an art studio in Artesia and lived at Sentinel Ranch in the Hondo River Valley in eastern New Mexico.

Here is a picture of the mural inside the new library and the library from the exterior Nearby places to visit include Ocotillo Performing Arts Center [once a movie theater] and Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center. Artesia is exceptionally vibrant for a city of 12,000 people.

Peter W. Rogers is a son in-law of Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth Hurd. When Texas Tech University Museum was being constructed President Grover Murray invited Peter Hurd to paint a mural in the lobby of the new building, since Hurd had painted the Pioneer Mural in the rotunda of Holden Hall in 1954 when that location was the university’s museum and that mural is iconic to Texas Tech. Hurd said thanks but he is too old to perform mural and scaffolding painting, and he suggested his son in-law Peter Rogers. Murray employed Rogers who did a gorgeous India ink mural in 1974 of a rural watercourse scene near San Patricio New Mexico. or It is now iconic to Texas Tech.

Tom Lea is, well ……….. Tom Lea 1907-2001 an El Pasoan whose murals and other art pieces and writings are part of the fabric of American and Southwest culture.


Can we talk about The Oregon Trail? It is said to have been established in 1840 but let’s look at earlier travels to Oregon Country as it was then known, after which it became Oregon Territory, and eventually carved into states or parts of states Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington.

First let’s get the geography settled. Start at Independence Missouri near present day Kansas City Missouri. Then to Topeka and Marysville Kansas, then Fairbury, Hebron, Hastings, Fort Kearny [Platte River] and Scott’s Bluff [North Platte River] Nebraska, then Fort Laramie, Casper, South Pass [7,550 feet over the Continental Divide and headwaters of the Sweetwater River that runs east into the North Platte River] and Kemmerer Wyoming, then Pocatello, Fort Hall, Burley, Twin Falls, Buhl and Glenns Ferry Idaho, then Ontario [leaving the Snake River at Farewell Bend outside Ontario], Baker City, Pendleton and Milton-Freewater Oregon, then Walla Walla Washington, then downriver from where the Snake River merges into the Columbia River to western Oregon, Fort Vancouver Washington [across the Columbia River from present day Portland Oregon at the confluence of the Willamette River into the Columbia].

Everything west of South Pass Wyoming was Oregon Country, later Oregon Territory, and ultimately broken up and allocated to one of four states. Just west of South Pass was what fur traders, trappers and Indians used as the Upper Green River Rendezvous and nearby is Father Pierre Jean de Smet S.J. [Society of Jesus or Jesuit] Monument commemorating the Sunday July 5, 1840 celebration of the Eucharist for the first time in the Rocky Mountains. Here is a picture Salish Indians in Montana had traveled to St Louis Missouri and asked for a “black robe” missionary to come to them. South of Kemmerer and west of Green River Wyoming is Fort Bridger Historic Site where Jim Bridger, trapper, fur trader and mountain man, set up Fort Bridger as a trading post on the Oregon Trail in 1842 This trading post became an offshoot of the Oregon Trail to cross the Wasatch Mountains into the Great Salt Lake Basin and became known as The Mormon Trail.

Wilson Price Hunt’s Astorians on behalf of the Pacific Fur Company founded by John Jacob Astor, traveled to and then some returned from Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River and headed for St. Louis Missouri from Oregon Country in 1811. They considered Union Pass but traversed South Pass. In 1824 William Ashley discovered South Pass and that year was the first of the annual rendezvous 1824-1840 by fur traders, trappers and Indians in the Upper Green River Valley. In 1835 a missionary to the annual rendezvous, Dr. Marcus Whitman, successfully removed a spearhead or arrowhead that had been lodged in Jim Bridger’s shoulder for the preceding three years. He and by extension other missionaries were thereafter much admired.

Fort Hall (1834) and Fort Vancouver (1824) were Hudson Bay Company trading posts as well as military posts and the factors at those posts would be instrumental in supplying settlers and identifying settlement lands. Fort Laramie [initially called Fort John] was an American Fur Company trading post as well as a military post. It is not the site of the present day city of Laramie Wyoming but is on the North Platte River into which the Laramie River flows, north of the city of Cheyenne and east of Casper Wyoming.

The California Trail was a variant of the Oregon Trail about 50 miles southwest of Fort Hall, where the route to California broke off and continued to the southwest into Great Basin Country [western Utah and Nevada] while the Oregon Trail continued west along the Snake River.

In 1836 Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa Whitman, and Henry
Spalding and his wife Eliza Spalding, passed over the Oregon Trail to a mission site six miles west of present day Walla Walla Washington. The mission was to the Cayuse Indians who later turned on and massacred the Whitmans in 1847, and the Spaldings went on east to settle a mission to the Nez Perce Indians on the Clearwater River near present day Lapwai Idaho. Narcissa and Eliza were the first two white women to appear in the Oregon Country. On March 14, 1837 Alice Clarissa Whitman was born to Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, said to be the first white child born in Oregon Country. She died age two.

In 1840 the Joel Walker expedition made an Oregon Trail trek with an American Fur Company brigade to South Pass and onward to western Oregon guided by mountain man Robert Newell. Later in 1840 the Joseph Meek expedition made an Oregon Trail trek also guided by Robert Newell from South Pass onward. Joseph Meek was a mountain man turned settler who signed on with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1829 and spent the next eleven years trapping and trading. He became a farmer and civic leader in the Willamette River Valley of western Oregon.

Bob Drury & Tom Clavin, The Heart of Everything That Is: The Life and Times of Red Cloud, The Greatest Warrior Chief of the West (Simon & Schuster 2013) ABE Books good condition $5.16 incl s&h, new at $12, republished in England as Red Cloud: The Greatest Warrior Chief of the American West (The Robson Press 2013) reviewed at Ari Kelman, Lies and Steals, London Times Literary Supplement, February 13, 2015 at page 7 Lubbock Public Library BIO REDC. Texas Tech Library E99.O3 D78.

It is praised “The word ‘epic’ is overused these days. Not here. This is big, blazing history, writ large on the High Plains.” Samuel C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon, who continues “An absorbing and evocative examination of the endgame in the three-hundred-year war between Native Americans and settlers of European descent.”

Charles Frazier, National Book Award-winning author of Cold Mountain “Clavin and Drury spin us a ripping, though at times gruesome, tale full of adventure.”

It is just that, a tale told well by journalist authors similar to Gwynne, who are not historians and gathered sources but did not check them for verity, so some of the details are inaccurate but the overall story is readable and reliable.

Context is important. Westward expansion beyond the Mississippi River imperiled Southern planters who used slaves on plantation farms and they demanded that slavery be acceptable in those new territories and states. After the war with Mexico 1846-1847 there was both a northern trail for settlement, The Oregon Trail, and a southern trail, The Santa Fe Trail. Both crossed Indian controlled lands, and gold discoveries in California Colorado and Montana became a source of economic wealth to expand and settle the American west and fund the Washington DC government. During the Civil War the Confederacy sought to occupy and control New Mexico Territory and control the Santa Fe Trail.

March 26-28, 1862 the Battle of Glorieta Pass New Mexico Territory was the decisive Civil War event in the West. Colonel John P. Slough and Union troops marched south from Denver over Raton Pass to Fort Union and on to Glorieta Pass to engage and defeat the 2nd, 5th and 7th Texas Mounted Rifles Major John M. Chivington was promoted to colonel after the victory.

A camp of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians was located on the edge of a reservation at Sand Creek [presently Big Sandy Creek] in southeast Colorado Territory near the Santa Fe Trail and the people had been told to stay put by a Bureau of Indian Affairs agent when, on the morning of November 29, 1864, Colonel Chivington led 700 soldiers into the camp, killed more than 150 Indians, mostly women children and elderly, and the soldiers disgraced themselves by combing the killing field for trophies such as scalps, fingers, genitalia and more. Later, in Denver, the trophies were displayed at a theater for the audience’s enjoyment. After an investigation in Washington DC the Army and Congress labeled it a massacre and deplored the event. Before he could be court-martialed Colonel Chivington resigned his commission and fled.

Sand Creek Massacre Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, National Park Service

Ari Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard University Press 2013) Lamar Colorado is the present day city near Big Sandy Creek and the Amtrak Railroad train passes through Lamar on the Old Santa Fe Trail route to La Junta, Trinidad, Raton Pass, Las Vegas New Mexico, Lamy [gateway shuttle to Santa Fe] and Albuquerque continuing on to Los Angeles California. Big Sandy Creek flows into the Arkansas River east of Lamar Colorado.

This event in 1864 began the Plains Indians War that ended with another massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. Survivors of Sand Creek found common ground with other Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux tribes and commenced Red Cloud’s War 1865-1868 about which the book under discussion was written.

In 1865 federal agents sought to negotiate a treaty over the Powder River Country [north central Wyoming] with the Ogallala Lakota Sioux but Red Cloud rejected the offer saying “the white man lies and steals”. He chose battle.

On December 21, 1866 Red Cloud and his warriors attacked a wagon train that had passed Fort Phil Kearny near present day Banner Wyoming on the Bozeman Trail opened in 1863 [it left the Oregon Trail at the North Platte River near Fort Laramie and went northwest across Wyoming Territory to Bozeman and Virginia City Montana]. The fort commander sent Lieutenant Colonel William Fetterman commanding 80 troopers to drive off the Indians. He did so but as he was herding them away the trap was sprung and 1,000 Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho surrounded Fetterman and his men and all were killed in what was called The Fetterman Massacre. That decisive and well-executed victory over the Army let it know how Red Cloud’s War would ensue. The Bozeman Trail ran directly through Powder River Country, westerly sacred lands for the Ogallala Lakota Sioux Indians extending east to the Black Hills of Dakota Country. The United States government backed down and signed The Laramie Treaty in 1868 banning settlers from the Bozeman Trail and shutting down the forts on the Bozeman Trail. Red Cloud won the day.

Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act in 1871 ending the status of tribes as sovereign nations.

A change of mind in Washington DC reopened the Plains Indians War in 1874 and George Armstrong Custer went to the Black Hills. Custer then went to the Big Horn in Powder River Country in 1876 and did not return. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull fought and lost the Lakota War of 1876-1877. Red Cloud resided on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Dakota Country until his death in 1909, a wise and elder statesman. In 1876 the Bozeman Trail was reopened to settlers under military protection

Dee Brown, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Holt Rinehart & Winston 1971) Texas Tech Library E81.B75 Lubbock Public Library 970.5 BROW Adult Non-fiction (reissued 2007 paperback $11.86, 2009 hardcover $39, 2012 e-book $8.54) ABE Books good condition paperback $3.48

Francis Parkman, The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (1847) was for long the definitive work read by the public concerning the Oregon Trail, although it only dealt with the first third of the journey. It is still in print today after many editions.

Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (Simon & Schuster 2015) this is non-fiction, a story of brothers who chose to presently re-enact the emigrant experience with a Conestoga wagon and mules. The Oregon Trail was rarely used after 1910 because railroad access to western lands was by then extensive. A significant period in American history ended. Re-enacting occurred within a few years but is very difficult to do today over any but short stretches because of private ownership and obstructions on the land. Lubbock Public Library 3 copies 978 BUCK.