Archive | March, 2016

Arts History Update for early April 2016

26 Mar

Arts History Update for early April 2016 by David Cummins

Elmgreen & Dragset sculptural artists in Berlin Germany were commissioned to emplace Van Gogh’s Ear (2016) at the entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue at W. 49th Street in New York City. The sculpture is a 1950s style swimming pool emplaced vertically on a pedestal. The installation will be up from April 13 to June 3, 2016.

This spring, artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset will transform the Fifth Avenue entrance to the Channel Gardens at Rockefeller Center with a large-scale new work. Van Gogh’s Ear is a sculpture, which takes the form of a swimming pool sitting upright.

Elmgreen & Dragset’s 9-meter (30-foot) high, empty swimming pool stands upright on its shortest side, supported by a visible construction on its backside. It appears almost like a ready-made, displayed as if “for sale in a showroom.” A century after Marcel Duchamp began working with ready-mades, Elmgreen & Dragset continue this practice by isolating a common object from its functional context. The sense of isolation is magnified due to the scarcity of personal pools in a densely populated city like New York, as opposed to the West Coast. By repositioning a pool in an unlikely place like the prominent Rockefeller Plaza, right at Fifth Avenue, the artists achieve a simple displacement of the kind for which they are well known, challenging our associations and expectations of a particular setting. The pool—re-positioned into the surroundings of urban life, tourists, skyscrapers, and businesses—seems like a foreign object that has somehow landed there in the plaza. The sculptural qualities of the object itself, from the curves created by different depths and the overall shape of the pool, to the protruding diving board, become apparent when it is singularly presented in this upright position, rather than dug down into the ground. Like Elmgreen & Dragset’s previous projects such as Prada Marfa (a Prada store located in the middle of the Texan desert), the swimming pool creates a feeling of alienation, and brings attention to its context by its very otherness.

Through April 17 they have an exhibit The Well Fair at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing China.

Their Prada Marfa (2005) is astride U.S. Highway 90 about 26 miles northwest of Marfa Texas and many a car has sped past, then slowed down and turned around and returned to see this iconic recreation of an Italian shoe store sitting in a West Texas desert. If one didn’t think art was strange before, we know for sure that it has the power to make us stop and think, especially about disjunction and context and association with our environment or displacement from it. What is alien? To what are we alienated? Why?

Here are the permanent murals and sculpture at Rockefeller Center My favorite is a mosaic mural Intelligence Awakening Mankind surely a hoped for outcome that is a work in progress by our planet.


The Wreck Hunger Graduate & International Student Food Pantry is being started at Texas Tech by graduate level students and they are looking for donations of food, household items like cleaners and laundry detergent, baby items and personal hygiene products It’s only a single meal at a time but it’s possible to be a host family for an international student and invite him/her to your house for an occasional meal. I have done this and can testify that the host gets as much or more out of this relationship as the hosted international student. Contact Jane Bell at International Affairs for information on hosting an international student phone 806-742-3667 e-mail


A book discussion group member recently chose a private investigator or detective mystery for the group to read. I dutifully read D. D. VanDyke, Loose Ends (Cal Corwin Private Investigator Series Book # 1) (David VanDyke/Smashwords Edition 2015) formatted as an electronic book on OverDrive or Adobe EPUB eBook at 1.3MB. The author’s website is

It was set in San Francisco California where a former female police officer is now a private investigator with an office in the Mission District.

It was easy to read, and interesting because I knew the geography of San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay and communities like San Rafael, Tiburon, Richmond and districts within “the city by the bay”, and they were well described. The activities of the private investigator were not believable, most notably the car chase scenes at the speeds described, much too dangerous to survive for long. Mystery man Thomas, who eliminated the bad guys and set a bomb to destroy the warehouse property and make the cache of illegal drugs go away, and thereby create a problem for “Houdini” and his criminal organization, made it even less believable. He was the savior figure or white knight who comes riding in from over the hill to save the day and give the bad guys their justly deserved comeuppance.

White collar investors who rode the spine of illegal drug merchandising, was an interesting phenomena or plot device, and the concept that they can make investment money profits whichever way the on the ground drug cartel activity fares, was fascinating. The reality is that SEC licensed securities dealers and salesmen stay employed with licensed brokerages, where they are observable and observed, or their licenses are suspended and they must reapply attached to another licensed brokerage in order to regain active investment capabilities.

Private investigators in reality, investigate, i.e. they ask a lot of questions and go over the ground where something unexplained by law enforcement has occurred. They do not participate in ongoing criminal activities by bad guys, acting as the intervention for a just outcome. This Lone Ranger scenario with Tonto as a dysfunctional computer hack back at the pad, seemed bizarre.

One looks at three more of the books in this series In a Bind, When a blackmail victim walks into Cal Corwin’s P. I. agency, she quickly throws herself into the investigation, but with each new clue she finds the case gets murkier, its web of lies more tangled. When murder rears its ugly head, it becomes clear more is at stake than money, and Cal must watch her own back even as she tries to find the culprit. ‘In a bind’ is the second book in the new P.I. mystery series from D.D. VanDyke, though they can be read in any order. Set against the rich backdrop of the San Francisco Bay Area, Cal Corwin novels brim with intrigue and fully fleshed characters from cops and criminals to hit men, oddball family and unexpected allies. Sequel to: Loose ends. Slip Knot, and Off The Leash, imagines the formulaic, and plans not to read them.

The genre is immensely popular, however, over a sustained period of time, and in fact is growing in numbers of readers. I was intrigued to discover what’s happened. Some answers are provided by John Walton, The Legendary Detective: The Private Eye in Fact and Fiction (University of Chicago Press 2015) at 232 pages $25 hardcover $10.49 e-book.

In the 19th century railway age there was no federal policing across state lines so the railways hired private cops and once the railways and other industries were established, the moguls that operated them hired private cops to enforce the monopolies and oligopolies. The private cops were salaried by big business one step removed. Pinkerton National Detective Agency employed more than 1,000 agents who were used mostly to subdue the restless among the client’s work force, those people asking for better wages and working conditions.

In 1892 Carnegie Steel Corporation imposed a reduction in wages, workers struck, and Carnegie employed Pinkerton that employed 300 “guards” on company property. Pinkerton’s guns and ammunition carried the day and four workers died in the stand-off.

In the Cripple Creek Miners Strike of 1903 Pinkerton agents bombed the railroad depot killing 13 strikers. Federal Laboratories, a private company, sold tear gas and Thompson sub-machine guns to the Pinkerton agency that employed such warfare weapons against the exploited workers. The bill was paid by the mining companies and Pinkerton’s other employers.

One Pinkerton employee was Dashiell Hammett 1894-1961 who achieved a reputation for strike-breaking and surveillance during his employment 1915-1922.

After leaving its employ he turned to writing and produced Red Harvest (1929) describing the labor conflict and local corruption in “Poisonville” based on Hammett’s experience as a Pinkerton employee stationed in Butte Montana. He knew the scenario well because he participated in the 1920 miners’ strike on behalf of his employer Pinkerton Detective Agency.

Hammett left school at age 14 without a high school diploma but developed a pungent earthy lucid way of describing events. The fictional detective in Red Harvest was Continental Op, an agent and narrator that might be compared with a Pinkerton agent.

Hammett published The Maltese Falcon (Gale 1929) describing the political sleaze, industrial relations violence and everyday routine of a “private cop”. He introduced a private investigator Sam Spade, a lone detective with a singular code of ethics. This was fantasy and Hammett knew it. It also was a gold mine. He would become golden mining the reading public’s imagination in an ironic twist of fate. Lubbock Public Library 4 copies in MYSTERY. John Huston made a film The Maltese Falcon in 1941 starring Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade. The rest, as they say, is history. Hammett lived through The Great War, a conflict with global consequences, and saw the breakdown of hierarchy, the villainy of absolutism, and he saw the rise of individualism. He invented Sam Spade a lone operator with just the right balance of cynicism and moral sensibilities. Spade became “a poor man’s sociologist”. Hammett began to show through his novels how characters could fight through a valueless world. It was a winning prescription. When John Huston put Mary Astor opposite Humphrey Bogart and turned up the angst and eroticism, the deal was sealed. All fantasy, all golden.

Nathan Ward, The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett (Bloomsbury Press 2015) at 214 pages Texas Tech Library PS3515.A4347 Z92

Raymond Chandler 1888-1959 wrote The Big Sleep (1939), Farewell, My Lovely (1940) and other novels based on earlier published short stories that chronicled the cases of down-on-their-luck private detectives Philip Marlowe, John Dalmas or Steve Grayce. They were incorruptible knights with little armor that walked the “mean streets” of urban America. This hard-boiled crime fiction carried on the Hammett legacy. The Simple Art of Murder (Houghton Mifflin 1950) is both crime fiction and literary criticism from Raymond Chandler. Forty five years later we’re still talking about this. Joyce Carol Oates, The Simple Art of Murder, The New York Review of Books, December 21, 1995 reviewing the Library of America’s newly published Stories and Early Novels 1,199 pages and Later Novels and Other Writings 1,076 pages by Raymond Chandler both edited by Frank MacShane and each available for $30 hardcover The World of Raymond Chandler: In His Own Words (ed. Barry Day, Alfred A. Knopf 2014) 250 pages Texas Tech Library PS3505.H3224 Z46 $20.37 hardcover $15.37 paperback $12 e-book.

Walter Mosley adapted the genre for the character Easy Rawlins, an African-American war veteran in the Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins Mysteries

Michael Connelly adapted the genre for the character Hieronymous Bosch, a Los Angeles Police Department detective, and in another series for Mickey Haller, a criminal defense attorney whose office is the back seat of his aging Lincoln automobile, usually on the streets of Los Angeles

The femme fatale in some of the detective fiction gradually became the private investigator, as in 2015’s Loose Ends referred to above. Fantasy and escapism are reading refuges in this era of bad actions by the powerful and wealthy. Who will make it right for us? That’s a difficult question unless we realize that it’s our own task and individualism is not an answer but we must gather strength in numbers and collectively rise up not in anger but in wisdom and compassion.


A migrant swap is an example of nations sitting down and negotiating some difficult matters. A group of migrants are stranded in Greece, a European Union nation whose economy is teetering, barely able to provide public services to its citizens. Other EU nations stepped in and negotiated with Turkey that now agrees to take one for one, a migrant stranded in Greece, for a Syrian refugee located in a Turkish refugee camp, gaining admission to a more prosperous EU nation.

The scorecard is: Greece and its citizens are better off. Turkey and its citizens are about in the same situation except that the migrants in their camps will be more diverse than just Syrians. Wealthy EU nations can accommodate the Syrians and incorporate them into their economies. The migrants in Greece will get markedly better treatment and be assured of survival. The Syrian refugees will get safe transport to a wealthy EU nation and immediate processing and reception, avoiding the perils of being unwelcome travelers in a foreign sometimes hostile country.

This is as clear a win-win outcome as can occur on our planet at the moment. Congratulations to the EU and Turkish negotiators in Brussels.


Nancy Graves, Wax Works IX (1987) is a sculpture representing the detritus of industrial America. The variegated patina on the work that she created by using colored wax, is fascinating. The aura of milled metal now obsolete and unuseful taking on a biological bulbous natural quality evokes a reference to the Biblical passage “from dust to dust” regardless of the waystations. Graves 1939-1995 died early with ovarian cancer Her studio was in Beacon New York Duchess County 60 miles north of New York City 90 miles south of Albany on the Hudson River at historic Fishkill Landing.

The Fort Worth Art Museum organized Nancy Graves: a Sculptural Retrospective that traveled to the Smithsonian’s Hirschorn Museum & Sculpture Garden February 19-April 26, 1987, focused on her later works

Eva Hesse, Metronomic Irregularity II (1966) was a piece that inspired Graves. It inspires all of us Eva Hesse was an artist trailblazer


Humanities Texas is a state affiliate of The National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington DC, and is a non-profit educational organization supported by appropriations from Congress and the Texas Legislature and by gifts and grants from citizens and private entities. The governor appoints six of the members of the board of directors and the other 22 members are appointed for terms by the board itself, so it is a volunteer service organization that is self-perpetuating. One of the current board members is from Lubbock. He is Sean P. Cunningham, associate professor of history and department chair of history at Texas Tech University.

The National Endowment helps to prepare exhibits that travel across the nation and some of those exhibits are seen by Texans.

Visually, The March of Humanity (1957- 1971) by David Alfaro Siqueiros 1896-1974 is a huge mural that envelops the idea of how much humanity might cover or include. It is located at the Forum Universal in Mexico City “La Marcha de la Humanidad”.


Stony Island Arts Bank was reopened in October 2015 after a major renovation of the former savings bank constructed in 1923 that has been a public library in the south side of Chicago for many years at 6760 South Stony Island Avenue, Chicago IL. This is one of those libraries that is very much a center of the African-American community where it is located.

It is a gallery for displaying a host of items, not just art. It is a research library as well as a lending library, focused on topics for which there is a huge digital database to which the Arts Bank can access to service its customers. It is a media archive of audio and video collections because so many people want to watch or listen as forms of communication. And of course it is a community center and can host small or rather large gatherings of people with adequate facilities like a wet bar and service kitchen.


At a recent art history lecture series talk Christian Conrad introduced the audience to three female artists many of us had not known about. Alice Kellogg Tyler 1862-1900 was a granddaughter of the Kellogg Cereals Company scion Will Keith Kellogg and one of five daughters of a wealthy Chicago physician. She and her sister Mabel both studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She died age 37 from diabetes when at the top of her artistic form. She had exhibited in the Columbian World Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. She married Orno Tyler a wealthy businessman the following year 1894 and painted in earnest thereafter including her impressionism style painting of the Kellogg family 70 acre farm-site in Evergreen Park now a southern suburb of Chicago. She and her sisters had grown up there and Alice donated the painting House in a Landscape (1896) to Mabel.

Paula Becker later known as Paula Modersohn-Becker 1876-1907 was an important early painter in the German Expressionism style. She died age 31 only 19 days after a successful birth of her first child Mathilde, from an embolism in her leg. She was born Paula Becker in Dresden and her family moved to Bremen when she was 12 years of age. She studied art there and admired the painters who displayed at Kunsthalle Bremen [Hall of Art in Bremen]. In 1900 she moved to and studied art at Academie Colarossi in Paris France that accepted female students. She married Otto Modersohn in 1901 and was stepmother for his two children, but soon went back to Paris and painted in the style of Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and the Fauvists (wild beasts). Her Becker family home in Bremen is now an art gallery and small museum of art biography and images

Leonora Carrington: The Celtic Surrealist was an exhibit September 18, 2013 – January 26, 2014 at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in the Kilmainhan district of Dublin Ireland The 176 page catalogue for the exhibit is at Texas Tech Library ND 497.C376 A4 (2013)

Carrington 1917 – 2011 was born to a British father and Irish mother in Lancashire England, and died in Mexico City Mexico age 94. From 1936 she painted with the surrealists Andre Breton, Max Ernst and others in France. She escaped or was released from an asylum in 1941 and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Mexico where she lived the remainder of her life. Her Irish mother happened to be in Lancashire of course, because of the earlier Irish Potato Famine that led to a substantial Irish population in Lancashire.

Here are 28 paintings by Leonora Carrington many of which were shown to us by Christian Conrad during his presentation. We are glad for her leaving the asylum and removal to Mexico and freedom, but looking at the paintings makes us wonder how much of the asylum stayed with her in her mind and artistic expression.

An American impressionist, a German expressionist, and a runaway Anglo-Irish surrealist makes for an interesting variety of artists to consider.


Adela Andea, Primordial Garden (2016) is a sculpture hanging from the ceiling at El Centro Room, College of Human Sciences, Texas Tech University. The formal dedication took place on Friday March 25, 2016. It is part of the university’s one percent for public art program and is comprised of led lighted multicolor plastic rods and plexiglass lighted forms that are bio-morphic in nature, reminding us but not representing animal or bird or sea life as they are suspended above us in the El Centro Room. Andea is a Romanian American artist. The first three images in her website gallery are the installation at Texas Tech

Here is a speeded up in time video of the installation process at Texas Tech

She had previously done a Primordial Garden installation exhibit at Cora Stafford Gallery at University of North Texas at Denton Texas in 2012, so the ideas for the Texas Tech installation have been refined over time. Click on Adela Andea primordial garden on

Arts History Update for late March 2016

16 Mar

Arts History Update for late March 2016 by David Cummins

Ludwig Wittgenstein 1889-1951 was an Austrian secular Jew, and widely acknowledged during his lifetime as a genius in many pursuits, best known for his two books one published during his lifetime Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (German 1921 English transl. 1923) and the other published posthumously as a collection of his essays and other writings on a variety of topics Philosophical Investigations (1953). The latter supplants and replaces the former as these later works differ in significant ways from the Tractatus and reflect his mature thought.

It is rare for a philosopher’s life to equal his thought, but Wittgenstein’s life and experiences were so unusual and significant that one must conclude that his philosophy was an outgrowth of his life experiences. To put it succinctly he was an over-bright tormented individual, and he was such a charismatic dynamo that he tormented anyone who came in contact with him. The love/hate relationship that so many Brits had with him is reflected by their writings and memoirs describing him as perfectly awful and marvelous, mostly at the same time.

Those descriptions by others have been collected in two volumes at 1,138 pages Portraits of Wittgenstein (Ian Ground & Francis Asbury Flowers III editors, Bloomsbury Academic Press 2015 updating expanding and revising the earlier 1999 edition) $408.75

Portraits of Wittgenstein is a major collection of memoirs and reflections on one of the most influential and yet elusive personalities in the history of modern philosophy, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Featuring a wealth of illuminating and profound insights into Wittgenstein’s extraordinary life, this unique collection reveals Wittgenstein’s character and power of personality more vividly and comprehensively than ever before.

With portraits from more than seventy-five figures, Portraits of Wittgenstein brings together the personal recollections of philosophers, students, friends and acquaintances, including Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, F. R. Leavis, A. J. Ayer, Karl Popper, Friedrich von Hayek, G. H. von Wright, Rush Rhees, Freeman Dyson, G. E. M. Anscombe, Iris Murdoch, Mary Midgley and Mary Warnock. These authors testify to the life-long influence Wittgenstein had on the lives of those he met. Their fascinating memoirs, reflections and commentaries, often at odds with each other, reveal Wittgenstein’s kindness, and how much genuine friendship meant to him, as well as his suffering and despair. They show too how the philosopher’s ruthless honesty and uncompromising integrity often resulted in stern advice and harsh rebukes to friends and foes alike.

Now revised and updated, Portraits of Wittgenstein includes new selections, revised contributions, photographs, maps and introductory overviews that provide historical context to Wittgenstein’s relationships with his intellectual and social circle. This collection of valuable and hard-to-find material is an indispensable resource for scholars and students of the life and work of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Son of a wealthy Austrian industrialist in iron and steel, he had three older sisters and four older brothers. Three of those brothers would commit suicide and the fourth was a concert pianist who lost his right arm in The Great War and commissioned works for left hand piano by Ravel, Prokofiev, Hindemith and Korngold. Ludwig studied engineering in Berlin Germany and Manchester England and was interested in airplane propellers. His passion was mathematics and he studied Bertrand Russell and Gottlob Frege. He visited Frege at University of Jena at Jena Germany, who advised him to visit Russell in Cambridge England. Ludwig showed up at Russell’s office in October 1911 [age 22] where they discussed philosophy for several months. Russell wrote of the experience saying the Austrian engineer was “rather good” but “very argumentative and tiresome”. Another quote by Russell is “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts”. Ludwig’s father died in 1913 and Ludwig inherited a fortune that he gave away in the next several years.

When the War began in 1914 Ludwig enlisted in the Austrian Imperial Army and fought on the eastern front in Galicia [not Spain’s Galicia but the Galicia that extended from Krakow Poland in the west to Lviv or Lwow in western Ukraine in the east] and in Italy where he was captured and served time as a prisoner of war. During his days in the POW camp he worked on the Tractatus later published in 1921 after the war ended. Ludwig returned to Vienna in 1918 and worked to prepare himself for a career as a primary grades school teacher. He was teaching in a rural school in Lower Austria when a British philosophy professor Frank Ramsey came by one day. They talked. Ludwig hit a student one day and was dismissed from employment in 1926 so he went back to Vienna and designed and built a house for one of his sisters Haus Wittgenstein (Stonborough House). The house is a Modernist masterpiece and is currently owned by the Bulgarian government used as an embassy building that allows visitors to walk through.

In 1929 Ludwig age 40 returned to Cambridge England and was advised that he needed credentials to be admitted or employed. He submitted the published Tractatus and it was read with astonishment. He was granted a Ph.D and employed on the Cambridge faculty. He would ultimately resign in 1947, contract cancer in 1949, and die in 1951.

During his tenure at Cambridge he was never happier than when he was absent for long periods writing and thinking in remote spots in Norway and Ireland. He was a social relic separated forever from the turn of the 20th century Viennese society boyhood/young adulthood that didn’t any longer exist for anyone. Lady Ottoline Morrell 1873-1938 was the wife of a Liberal Party Member of Parliament and she was a literary and political hostess and patron of writers and artists including Wittgenstein, who met other patrons and supporters through her.

Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (1953 English translation reissue 2004) Texas Tech Library B3376.W563 P53275 (transl. Gertrude Elizabeth Margaret Anscombe, 4th revised ed. Wiley-Blackwell 2009 German and revised English translation facing each other) $27.81 hardcover. Lubbock Public Library 193.9 W831P Adult Non-Fiction

At Investigations section 133 Wittgenstein says “The real discovery is the one that enables me to break off philosophizing when I want to. The one that gives philosophy peace, so that it is no longer tormented by questions which bring itself into question. Instead, a method is now demonstrated by examples, and the series of examples can be broken off. Problems are solved (difficulties eliminated), not a single problem”.

Peter Michael Stephen Hacker, philosophy professor emeritus at University of Kent interprets this passage of Wittgenstein as follows: “We are told that once this discovery is made, philosophy will no longer be tormented by questions that bring itself into question. That discovery will enable a philosopher like Wittgenstein or you or me to break off doing philosophy when s/he wants to. Why is that significant? Because foundationalist conceptions of philosophy are always vulnerable. If the task of philosophy is to demonstrate that all knowledge rests on indubitable foundations [as Descartes said] then any discovery of knowledge that is independent of such foundations will bring the whole enterprise crashing down. If the task of philosophy is to disclose the metaphysical structure of the world, the enterprise will collapse if the very idea that the world has a metaphysical structure is shown to be chimerical. If philosophy aims to show how synthetic a priori propositions are possible [as Kant thought], it is called into question if the notion of a synthetic a priori proposition is indefensible. In the great system-building philosophies of the past, nothing could be validated until everything was validated. So the philosopher could never rest from his/her labors and could never settle anything permanently. Now, Wittgenstein declares, a new method has been found, a method that will enable one to solve philosophical problems piecemeal and to put their solutions in the archives. When such problems have been solved, the philosopher can break off philosophizing secure in his/her knowledge that the problems have been settled.”

Wittgenstein wanted us to subject a problem to rigorous conceptual scrutiny and analysis. He wanted us to strip away confusions by our conceptualizing and analyzing. His style is often referred to as analytical philosophy or philosophy of mind.

Wittgenstein (1993) film directed by Derek Jarman.


Lilla Cabot Perry, From the Garden of Hellas: Translations Into Verse From the Greek Anthology (John W. Lovell Company 1891) 142 pages $28.95 used hardcover $10.57 paperback new (Forgotten Books Classic Reprint Series 2015). Here are 80 paintings online by Lilla Cabot Perry who lived 1848-1933 to age 85. Google Books has it online

Lilla Cabot Perry, Impressions: A Book of Verse (Copeland and Day 1898) 81 pages online at

Portrait of Kahlil Gibran (1899) when Gibran was only 16 years of age. The Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer would write The Prophet in 1923 and become known to the planet. Those of us who’ve read those poetic essays have never forgotten them. Gibran was an emigre from Lebanon when that country suffered a tragedy, so often was repeated in the Middle East region to this very day.

The Poacher (1907)

Mrs. Henry Lyman [Elizabeth Cabot Lyman] (1910)

Meditation (? in a private collection)

Portrait of Colonel David Perry, 9th U.S. Army Cavalry Regiment by Robert Henri (1907) Colonel Perry was a member of Lilla’s husband’s family Of course that family goes back to Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry 1785-1819, the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812 who famously said “don’t give up the ship” and “we have met the enemy and they are ours”.

She was a Cabot, a Brahmin family in Boston Massachusetts so esteemed that it was said the Lowells speak only to the Cabots who speak only to the Lodges who speak only to God a reference to Boston snobbery.

The Athenaeum has 86 painting online by Lilla Cabot Perry

Lilla Cabot Perry’s mixture of social realism and impressionism is remarkable.

There was a retrospective exhibition of her work at Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester New Hampshire September 6 – October 5, 1969, then at Hirschl and Adler Galleries, New York City October 10 – 25, 1969, then New Jersey State Museum November 29 – January 11, 1970, catalogue 28 pages

Another retrospective was held at the Mongerson Gallery in Chicago October 12 – November 30, 1984. catalgoue 12 pages.

A catalogue by Meredith Martindale, Lilla Cabot Perry: An American Impressionist (National Museum of Women in the Arts 1990) 164 pages Texas Tech Library ND 237.P375 A4 accompanied an exhibition there September 1990 – January 1991. National Museum of Women in the Arts opened in 1981 Perry’s page


The Whitney Museum of American Art that opened in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan, New York City last year, has a fifth floor gallery space that has an open glass wall to the west overlooking the Hudson River, and to the east looking inward to the city scape. There are no interior columns or rooms or room dividers. It is an open space intended as such for temporary exhibits and installations. The Open Plan exhibit February 26 – March 13, 2016 was Andrea Fraser’s Down The River, an audio sound installation recorded at Sing Sing Prison northward on the Hudson River.


The Whitney Museum is New York’s newest architectural landmark, enjoying a high-visibility location along the Hudson River and at the end of the High Line. Its glass-walled lobby welcomes the public with a promise of transparency and access. Inside, visitors find airy, light-filled spaces and terraces opening out to endless views. Public spaces share glass walls with offices, exposing functions often hidden from view. Yet, nowhere is the openness of the museum more dramatically constructed than this 18,200-square-foot space.

Thirty-two miles to the north, in the town of Ossining, Sing Sing Correctional Facility is also located on the Hudson River. It is surrounded by thick, high walls topped with razor wire and movement into, out of, and within the maximum-security prison is strictly controlled. Inside, inmates serve sentences of up to life without parole in six-by-nine-foot cells. Sing Sing’s A Block, almost six hundred feet long and with six hundred cells, is one of the largest prison housing units in the world.

Since the 1970s, the United States has experienced a boom in both museum and prison expansion, with the number of each institution tripling nationwide. During the same period, studies estimate that museum attendance has grown by a factor of ten while the prison population has exploded by 700 percent, making the United States the world’s largest jailor. Beyond this parallel growth, museums, and in particular art museums, would seem to share nothing with prisons. Art museums celebrate freedom and showcase invention. Prisons revoke freedom and punish transgression. Art museums collect and exhibit valued objects. Prisons confine vilified people. Art museums are designed by renowned architects as centerpieces of urban development. Prisons are built far from affluent urban areas, becoming all but invisible to those not directly touched by incarceration.

And yet, despite (or perhaps because of) their extreme differences, art museums and prisons can be seen as two sides of the same coin in an increasingly polarized society where our public lives, and the institutions that define them, are sharply divided by race, class, and geography. The gulf that separates art museums and prisons, and our exposures to them, is a product of this polarization and may also help to perpetuate it. Down the River brings ambient sound recorded in Sing Sing’s A Block to the Whitney’s fifth floor to link museums and prisons across this social and geographical divide.”
—Andrea Fraser


The Blue Angels U.S. Navy/Marine Corps Pilots Air Shows in 2016 include April 23-24 Naval Air Station Fort Worth Texas Air Power Expo and October 22-23 Wings Over Houston Air Show


Once the home of James B. Duke, his wife Nanaline and daughter Doris Duke, the mansion on Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile is now the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University at 1 East 78th Street. [Central Park is bordered on the east by Fifth Avenue and on the west by Central Park West from 59th Street to 110th Street].The exhibit Mental Earth by Charles Simonds goes up April 1 – May 13, 2016 in The Great Hall of the IFA. This sculpture, pictured in another setting was a challenge because the James B. Duke building is a land-marked building and nothing can hang on the walls or from the ceiling. Professor J.J. Lou, a professor in NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering was brought in to to solve the problem that large-scale artworks present, a risk to the viewing public because they need to be properly supported, braced, and/or anchored while at the same time blended into the environment for the art. That meant suspending a 500 pound ceramic

sculpture from the edge of a second floor balcony without interfering with the land-marked building in any way. The sculpture floats effortlessly out and over the middle of The Great Hall. On opening day April 1 at 6:00 pm the artist Charles Simonds will talk with art professor Richard Shiff followed by a reception.

Yes you guessed it, Lou created a self-correcting balanced counterweight on the balcony, self-correcting because if the tension cable shifts or air movement shifts the sculpture, the counterweight must adjust immediately lest the sculpture becomes unbalanced and crashes down into The Great Hall or the counterweight crashes through the floor of the balcony.

The Museum Mile begins north of the Institute of Fine Arts NYU with The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Neue Gallerie New York 1048 Fifth Avenue at 86th Street, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Avenue at 88th Street, National Academy Museum and School 1083 Fifth Avenue at 90th Street, Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum 2 East 91st Street, The Jewish Museum 1109 Fifth Avenue at 93rd Street, Museum of the City of New York 1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, and El Museo del Barrio 1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street. That’s the Upper East Side district.

The Upper West Side district is anchored by The American Museum of Natural History between West 77th and West 81st Streets on Central Park West, and by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (1961 onward) two blocks west of Central Park at West 66th Street and Broadway. Lincoln Center includes Avery Fischer Hall, Metropolitan Opera House, David Rubenstein Atrium, David H. Koch Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Julliard School, Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center and Samuel B. and David Rose Building. Performance spaces within this complex and at nearby associated spaces abound.

American Folk Art Museum is at 2 Lincoln Square. Nicholas Roerich Museum is at 319 West 107th Street, Children’s Museum of Manhattan is at 212 West 83rd Street, and New York Historical Society Museum & Library is at 170 Central Park West at West 77th Street.

North of that is Columbia University at Morningside Heights with the main entrance at West 116th Street and Broadway bounded on the west by Riverside Park [adjacent to Hudson River] and on the east by Morningside Park that extends from West 110th Street to West 123rd Street East of Morningside Park is Harlem.

Back in the day when I was a student at New York University, it had its original campus in the Bronx in the University Heights district between W. 180th Street and W. 183rd Street, between University Avenue on the east and the Harlem River on the west. Bronx Community College, City University of New York, now operates on that campus. Fordham University was a short distance east between E. 190th Street and E. 198th Street, east of Webster Avenue and west of New York Botanical Garden in Bronx Park. There is a University Heights Bridge that crosses the Harlem River from Upper Manhattan into West Fordham Road in the Bronx.

West of the University Heights Bridge is Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson River and The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, obtained from an endowment and land grant by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

For those new to the city Fifth Avenue is the dividing line between West and East numbered Streets. Rockefeller Center is on the west side of Fifth Avenue at W. 49th Street in midtown but the building across the avenue to the east is on E. 49th Street.


West Texas Watercolor Society Spring Membership Show is at the Buddy Holly Center Fine Arts Gallery 1801 Crickets Avenue Lubbock from Friday March 18 – Sunday April 24, 2016 Tue-Sat 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Sun 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm The juror is Lindy Cook Severns from Fort Davis Texas and here is some of her work

West Texas Watercolor Society website is


Arts History Update for mid March 2016

9 Mar

Arts History Update for mid March 2016 by David Cummins

On Thursday March 3 it was announced that there are now 18 confirmed cases of Vika virus infection in Texas. As mosquito season begins in a couple of months there will be many more cases. The Governor’s Task Force on Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response meets March 9 in Austin. Texas Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Act of 1989, codified at Texas Health & Safety Code Annotated Title 2 Subtitle D Chapter 81, was amended by the Texas Legislature in 2015 to provide for this advisory task force. Texas Health & Safety Code Sections 81.401-81.409 (2016). 


DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency within the U.S. Department of Defense is developing emerging technologies for use by the military. Are you ready for this? Here is a Robotics Challenge


The Armory Show in 1913 showcased avant-garde works of art by European artists previously unseen in America. Most would say it brought Modern Art to New York, the art capital of America. The location was the New York Army National Guard 69th Regiment Armory (1906) at 68 Lexington Avenue between E. 25th and E. 26th Streets in the Rose Hill district of midtown. It was later the home of the 165th Infantry Regiment so that name is chiseled above the main entrance to the building. It would seem odd to visitors that the 69th Regiment Armory had 165th Regiment chiseled above the main entrance if one didn’t know the military history of the place. Military units are still headquartered there today. Here is a picture of the interior of the Armory as it looks today It’s a Beaux-Arts style with mansard top story and roof line so popular in Paris France since the 1870s.

Today the location would be in the northeast part of the Flatiron District, to the west is the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company building, then west of that is Madison Square Park that is just north of the fabled Flatiron Building, a landmark triangular 22 story building whose address is 175 5th Avenue at 23rd Street between 5th Avenue and Broadway. Daniel Burnham was the architect of that building completed in 1902.

New Yorkers take their buildings and the maelstrom of life lived within them, quite seriously. Many buildings including the Armory have so much history that real estate developers and their dangling of bags of cash are simply ignored. Where else will you find a top story to the Armory building that is the French mansard style of the 1870s in Paris? Hunt & Hunt architects in New York City had studied at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Paris France. A 1929 addition to the building added a second top story blended into the mansard style.

The 2016 Armory Show March 3-6, 2016 was in two venues, both on the city’s west side at Pier 92 hosting the Modern Art pieces and Pier 94 hosting the contemporary pieces by living artists. Piers 92 and 94 are located at West 55th Street and the West Side Highway

Hudson River Park now extends from Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan to West 59th Street so Piers 92/94 are within the northern section of the River Park.


On Saturday March 5 Nick C. Parker, Ph.D. gave a talk in Lubbock about The Hydrogen Highway. He told about the ability to reform pure hydrogen from natural materials like water, biomass, etc. Then he told about introducing pure hydrogen into an energy cell with an inside plate in between the spaces to which oxygen on the other side of the plate interacts to produce energy when hydrogen is introduced, a fascinating example of producing electrical power. That hydrogen energy cell can then be placed into a car, a forklift in a warehouse, a furnace to heat a building, or a power line to provide electricity to a building, etc.

It’s simpler to get hydrogen from water than from biomass, but what is yielded when biomass is heated without oxygen [the gasification process] is basically biological oil [a liquid] that can then be separated into several usable products one of which is pure hydrogen [a gas] but the others are usable and salable and either use or a sale would offset the cost of the biomass reduction process. A local busybody David Cummins recommended to Lubbock Power & Light that it acquire its desired additional 600,000 megawatts of power by opening several well-positioned biomass reduction process plants across the South Plains, thus revitalizing small communities in the area and using the nearby ground for growing Johnson grass or switch grass or other weeds as the biomass raw material, another cash crop for area farmers, then upload the electrical energy into the already existing power grid and sell the other produced products like hydrogen for energy cell use or other uses. Incidentally there is a constant market locally for propane which is liquefied petroleum gas. Hydrogen gas is more efficient, cleaner, and would be less costly if produced from biomass reduction plants in the area. It would be a win-win substitute for propane users.

The executive director of LP&L and the Mayor did not respond to me. A member of the Board of Directors and a Councilman told me a natural gas powered plant had been decided upon but not yet announced to the public. To date all LP&L has done publicly is to join the statewide power grid supplier cooperative ERCOT Electric Reliability Council of Texas that will definitely increase the cost of power to users in the LP&L service area. Austin recently went just the opposite way needing the same amount of additional power and constructed a solar collection plant.

We recall the 1970s when NASA launched rockets and then manned space ships on the tip of a rocket, with liguid hydrogen as the rocket fuel. Later on in the flight, the pure hydrogen gas was used to power the console equipment and aerospace-technology devices inside the space ship and then mixed with oxygen, i.e. reformed, to produce the water that spaceship occupants used to drink and clean. The basic science of reforming pure hydrogen and reforming water H2O from hydrogen and oxygen, has been known for a long time.

The electrical properties of an energy cell to which pure hydrogen and oxygen are introduced at opposite poles, was not well discussed on March 5, but the outcome, an energy cell that holds its constant flow of electrical power long enough and strong enough to propel a car for 250 or more miles, was clear enough.

Fascinating stuff. Nick Parker Ph.D. was the presenter. His website is Nick Parker Consulting

Nick Parker Consulting

Nick Parker’s website

Nick is encouraging farmers in the area to consider using their groundwater supply in the manner of placing water into an electrolyzer six pack machine from which three things will be produced; viz. hydrogen gas, oxygen gas, and heat. He proposes using the heat to operate a greenhouse in which the farmer would grow crops, and to place the two gases into their respective tanks. Hooked up to energy cells they produce constant thrust reliable electrical energy to power whatever machine into which the hydrogen fuel cells are emplaced.

Now shift your attention to the state of California that has four automakers Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai that are commercializing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. FirstElement Fuel received a grant in 2014 from a state agency California Energy Commission and received a grant from Toyota to build 19 hydrogen fuel cell refueling stations in the San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles areas and at remote locations to those areas so that vehicles can drive the length and breadth of the state.!why-we-exist/c22mj Black & Veatch is doing the engineering and construction design work. Air Products is supplying the hydrogen and dispensing equipment. Bennett Pump Company is providing the dispenser station units. Here is the map of FirstElement Fuel’s hydrogen fuel cell refueling stations as of March 2016!maps/c103q Contact for more information is FirstElement Fuel
Dr. Shane Stephens, 949-922-3456
Chief Development Officer

If you lived in California you could go ahead and purchase an all electric hydrogen fuel cell powered car for in-state driving. However, the next fueling station east of the Golden Bear state is in Columbia South Carolina and the next is up the east coast in Connecticut and another in Massachusetts.

By comparison Elon Musk’s Tesla cars are all electric battery powered cars and there are recharging and battery exchange stations in California and elsewhere to service those vehicles. There is an eight unit recharging station in Amarillo and a six unit recharging station in Shamrock Texas so driving across the Panhandle of Texas on Interstate Highway 40 is supported. From Oklahoma City one can drive south to a recharging station at Ardmore Oklahoma, and Denton, Corsicana, Bellmead, San Marcos, Victoria, Columbus, Huntsville and Houston Texas. Of course the car can be plugged in to a normal alternating current electrical connection and recharged but it’s slow, very slow, and essentially ends the trip in the car for that day. Long-distance driving in west Texas isn’t possible right now for a Tesla owner. I would imagine one could purchase a high output portable generator, carry it in the car, and one could travel anywhere and plug the generator into an electrical outlet and attach it to the car and get a quick recharge. That would permit driving without long stops for recharging despite lack of a “supercharger” recharging station.

The future of clean, renewable energy, low carbon footprint motoring, is now. The question we need to ask is, are we ready to get on board?

If one’s building roof or side yard had solar panels, they could be connected to a wall-mounted Tesla Battery called a Power Wall and it would store energy produced by the sun during the day for usage at evening or over-night. Small buildings could go off the grid entirely. The Power Wall is currently available for $3,500 but the price will come down as Tesla’s Gigafactory version 1 in Nevada is finished and comes online.

Hannover Messe Group exhibit on Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Batteries is April 25-29, 2016 at Hannover Germany

In March 2016 the state of Oregon passed a statute that phases out coal as a power generation source in stages  by the year 2030 and requires utilities to provide half of their generated power by renewable energy sources by the year 2040.




Burt and Elizabeth “Lucy” Harwood moved from Paris France to Taos New Mexico in 1916 fleeing from The Great War. He was a wealthy American expatriate and an excellent photographer and painter albeit not in the style of the Taos Society of Artists that was forming. Burt died in 1922 and his widow Lucy converted the local estate into The Harwood Foundation that persisted from 1923-1935 when it was donated to the University of New Mexico that operated it to the end of World War II as a foundation and thereafter as The Harwood Museum of Art

Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West is an exhibit that opens May 22 through September 11, 2016 at The Harwood If one misses the exhibit at Taos, it travels to Albuquerque October 29 – January 22, 2017, and then to Buffalo New York March 10 – May 28, 2017 at the city from which Mabel Dodge Luhan emigrated to Taos. The catalogue publication will be available in late April before the opening of the exhibit.


Here is a picture of the interior at Musee D’Orsay in Paris France A mini-revolt is brewing there as six of the 30 curators wrote a letter to the daily newspaper Le Monde and claimed that the museum president’s management would bring it to collapse.

Approaching the end of his second three-year term and about to begin his third, Guy Cogeval, current president of the Musée D’Orsay, is facing resistance from his own staff, reports Le Monde. After suffering a stroke in 2014, Cogeval has seen his capability to fulfill his responsibilities questioned, predominantly by museum employees. Earlier this year, six out of thirty of the museum’s curators anonymously contacted the French newspaper Le Monde, claiming that his presidency would bring the museum to the edge of collapse. Cogeval responded to this attack by defending his achievements in a letter addressed to the newspaper. In past years the president organized a series of successful exhibitions and recently announced a donation of 141 works by Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard from the estate of the recently deceased collector Jean-Pierre Marcie-Rivière.

According to a museum spokesperson, the criticism of Cogeval’s presidency represents only a small minority of the museum’s staff. As an example of overall internal stress faced by the institution, the spokesperson points out that the institution has also had to contend with the loss of other important staff, such as Sylvie Patry, the former head of the department of Impressionism and post-Impressionism who recently became chief curator at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Most would say it’s never a good thing to take intra-institutional quarrels to the city’s newspaper, even if one is willing to brush off the resume and move. It’s hard to remove a new stain on old gloss. Whatever was awry internally seems to exponentially go catawampus in the hands of the press, ever alert to cats that are lost but indifferent to the many cats thriving in loco parentis of their human masters.