Archive | July, 2016

Arts History Update for mid August 2016

26 Jul

Arts History Update for mid August 2016 by David Cummins

Socrates Sculpture Park New York City is an outdoor museum and public park where artists can create and exhibit sculptures and multi-media installations. It’s in Queens across the East River from Manhattan in Long Island City. Open daily free admission 10:00 am to sunset Notice the wide variety of activities that take place there.

This is the third Summer that LIC [Long Island City] Art Bus has operated a free shuttle bus service on weekends May 7-September 11. It stops at MoMA PS1, Sculpture Center, The Noguchi Museum, Socrates Sculpture Park and of course the major transit hub in Long Island City at Court Square. Chamber of Commerce says

Integral to Long Island City’s rapid growth is its transit connectivity to Midtown Manhattan and Northern Brooklyn. With 8 subway stations, 13 bus lines, 2 Long Island Railroad stations and an East River ferry terminal, LIC is a multi-modal transit hub and an ideal location for a variety of businesses.

MoMA PS1 is a large non-profit contemporary art institution allied with the Museum of Modern Art, New York City in Manhattan

Sculpture Center is a contemporary art museum in Long Island City

The Noguchi Museum is a contemporary sculpture and ceramics museum reflecting the artistry of the famous Japanese-American artist

One can walk or bicycle across the Queensborough Bridge between Long Island City and Manhattan. The walking and bicycling lanes are separate [on the northern side of the bridge] from vehicle lanes so no worries there. It would be a 25-30 minute walk or 40 minute stroll and a 10 minute bike ride. Great views of Roosevelt Island in the East River and northern Manhattan and Queens. I’ve been at both ends of that bridge and always opted to take the subway perhaps anticipating that I’d have enough walking after crossing the bridge, and didn’t require the thrill of the high wire experience. The bridge ends in Long Island City at Queensboro Plaza and the transit hub for going north south or farther east. That’s half a mile inland from the East River.

A tip for the traveler. Great restaurants and eateries in Long Island City, not less expensive than Manhattan but local and tasty. A short walk north to Astoria yields more great restaurants and eateries.


Bob Brier, Cleopatra’s Needles: The Lost Obelisks of Egypt (Bloomsbury Academic 2016) 238 pages $20.23 hardcover $14.39 e-book ABE Books new $23.47 incl s&h

Henry Honeychurch Gorringe 1841-1885 was a U.S. Navy officer who attained national acclaim for successfully completing the removal of a Cleopatra’s Needles obelisk from Alexandria Egypt and transporting it to Central Park, Manhattan, New York City. The obelisk of Thutmosis III constructed about 1,5000 B.C.E. in Heliopolis was removed to Alexandria in 12 B.C.E. and was one of two that were located in Alexandria and both were referred to as Cleopatra’s Needles, referring to Cleopatra VII of Egypt in the Ptolemy dynasty who died by her own hand in 30 B.C.E. yielding to Roman control of Egypt. In the late nineteenth century both obelisks were laying prostrate on the ground as ruins.

The other obelisk was removed from Alexandria in 1878 and taken to the Thames River Victoria Embankment in London England near the Golden Jubilee Bridge. In 1879 Gorringe put in an application to William H. Vanderbilt to remove the remaining obelisk and in August 1879 was awarded the contract for $75,000. He overcame many obstacles and departed Alexandria with the obelisk on June 12, 1880 arriving at the Staten Island shipyards on July 20. From there it was taken to Central Park and erected January 22, 1881. He then wrote a book Egyptian Obelisks (self-published at 32 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village 1882) digitized here He resigned from the Navy in 1883 and died in 1885.

The obelisk is west of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1000 5th Avenue at E. 83rd Street


The next election locally is the Lubbock Independent School District Tax Rate Rollback election on August 30, 2016. Early voting is August 18-26 Here is what the District says

Tax Ratification Election (TRE)…

On August 30, voters will decide whether to allow Lubbock ISD to shift two cents from their current debt service tax rate to their maintenance and operations tax rate and access additional state funding. The shift will keep the tax rate at the same $1.235 level, while generating more than $5.5 million annually into LISD coffers to pay cash for things like technology and priority facility / instructional needs. is a Fact Sheet issued by LISD.

LISD will conduct public forums for voters on this issue Thursday August 4 at 6:00 pm in Monterey High School cafeteria 3211 47th Street, Tuesday August 9 at 6:00 pm in Estacado High School auditorium 1504 E. Itasca Street, and Tuesday August 16 at 6:00 pm in Coronado High School cafeteria 4910 29th Drive.


The Abraham Art Gallery is in the Atrium level of the Mabee Learning Resource Center building, Wayland Baptist University, Plainview Texas phone 806-291-3710 and is open Mon – Thur 10:00 am – 5:00pm Friday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday 2:00 – 5:00 pm free admission. The current exhibition is the annual American Watercolor Society Awards Exhibition a traveling exhibit July 15-September 18.


Houston Art Fair is September 29 – October 2, 2016, a contemporary art fair at Silver Street Event Space, 2000 Edwards Street, Houston Texas in the Washington Avenue Arts District. and The producer of the fair is Urban Expositions This is the sixth annual Houston Art Fair.

Another choice that weekend is the 28th Annual Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival and Balloon Fiesta Show at Expo New Mexico, Albuquerque NM September 30 – October 2 and the following weekend October 9 – 11.


Texas Tech University Press warehouse is in the Grantham Building 608 North Knoxville Avenue # 120 at Erskine Street north of the Rawls Golf Course Lubbock Texas and its administration and bookstore is downtown at Urban Tech, 1120 Main Street Lubbock on the second floor. It is a member of Association of American University Presses so will participate in the annual University Press Week that is November 14-19, 2016. Mark your calendars.

The reason the warehouse location is news, is that it was for several years in Chicago and the University of Chicago Press performed the warehousing and distribution of TTU Press books that were sold

What this change means is that TTU Press is centralizing its production, marketing and distribution of product in Lubbock. The director of the Press Courtney Burkholder is responsible to Dean Bella Gerlich, Dean of Libraries at Texas Tech University

The upside potential for the University Press is enormous but this is a time when publishers of all stripes, commercial, big names and publishing houses with various imprints each having a cache, smaller specialty and independent publishers, and even self-publishing support organizations like CreateSpace, are having difficulties. Much of it comes from not comfortably meshing with the digitizing of reading material and marketing to an electronic reading audience as a discrete and separate section of the market, and some discomfort comes from being outflanked by Jeff Bezos and his team of innovators.

A nimble adept press would digitize each new publication at the front end in addition to producing the hardcover or paperback version, and market the electronic version separately from the physical book. Its warehouse and distribution staff should study and experiment with the range of shipping and handling modalities and begin to match’s capabilities in that regard, getting away from the reputation that shipping fees from a university press are higher than commercial companies. For books that are produced by or for academia, the press marketers should learn from those disciplines the folks to whom the book is directed, identify those markets, and determine how best to reach them. Until that is accomplished, academes will use the press only when the discipline’s commercial and trade publishers refuse to publish the manuscript. Ultimately a university press can become a trade publisher for many disciplines when it has served them well in the past.

Other bookish stuff in November is the annual Texas Book Festival in Austin Texas November 5-6


Archives of American Art at Smithsonian Institution will make its 2016 Awards on October 25, 2016 at 583 Park Avenue, Manhattan, New York City. Steve Martin and Catherine Opie will receive the Archives of American Art Medal and Thomas Crow the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence in the field of American Art History


E. Jay Matsler Trust for Historic Preservation created by Jay’s bequest of $348,000 creates grants that are made by Community Foundation of West Texas for projects in Hale and/or Lubbock counties. This round of grant applications is due by September 1, 2016 contact Denise Oviedo e-mail

Jay regularly attended Arts History lectures and other events at Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium and Sculpture Court in Texas Tech Museum and is fondly and respectfully remembered.


In the mail today Bank of America, the nation’s second largest bank, sent an invitation to own its VISA credit card. At the bottom in bold print it had a PRESCREEN & OPT-OUT NOTICE that advised one to telephone 1-888-567-8688 to avoid any future offers like this. I telephoned but the recording’s second step asked me to provide my social security account number. I ended the call immediately. This is a SCAM in the form of inviting the diligent to take steps to avoid SCAMS.

The Privacy Act of 1974 as amended to date including The Patriot Act clearly provides that you aren’t legally required to provide your SSAN to businesses unless one of the following is true:

You’ll be engaging in a transaction that ultimately requires some notification to the Internal Revenue Service; or

You’re initiating a financial transaction subject to federal Customer Identification Program rules. These are the rules.

Neither transaction is happening so this OPT-OUT scheme is trolling for Social Security Numbers and you may be sure that the obtained numbers will only be used against your best interests.

What is sad is that large, even mega large successful companies like Bank of America are so uninterested in the welfare of their customers or potential customers, that they participate in marketing plans that contain such SCAMS. We get notices from our banks and other financial institutions to be careful about security, and yet they allow themselves to be used as agents for placing our security in peril.

If you want to hector the people at Bank of America or it is your bank and you want it to perform better, refer in your complaint to the offer of a VISA card Source Code: VACGZM PO Code: N7 dated July 12, 2016.





Arts History Update for early August 2016

16 Jul

Arts History Update for early August 2016 by David Cummins

The Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee Alabama and Mississippi is 444 miles of automobile highway and hiking paths that parallel and in some places overlay the Old Natchez Trace used by Native Americans, “Kaintucks”, settlers, pioneers, future presidents and others. It is called a 1,000 year old road but it’s difficult to find any recorded history or archaeology to support or refute that claim.

There is nearby camping, fishing, horseback riding, bicycling, hiking, and of course an opportunity to explore all the historic sites along the route.

From west to east, not the way the settlers would have arrived, Natchez to Jackson MS mileposts 1-113, Jackson to Tupelo MS mileposts 108-236, Tupelo to the general area of the Alabama/Tennessee line mileposts 230-341, and Alabama/Tennessee line to Nashville TN mileposts 336-444.

A recent memoir by a South Carolina writer is Andra Watkins, Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444 Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace (Word Hermit Press 2015) 252 pages

The Grand Village of the Natchez Indians outside of Natchez is a preservation of three mounds built by the mound-builder Mississippian pre-historic Indians, and should be one of those historic sites one visits as one begins the trek. It does put things into perspective. It made me feel small, insignificant and a late late-comer.

The city of Natchez and its surrounding area is itself a destination

Jonathan Daniels, The Devil’s Backbone: The Story of the Natchez Trace (McGraw-Hill 1962) Lubbock Public Library XR S0U.7 DAN in Genealogy section at Mahon Library.


The Contemporary Austin is a community art museum and art school that exhibits both at its Laguna Gloria twelve acre site on Lake Austin and its downtown Jones Center building in Austin Texas. A patron Suzanne Deal Booth just funded a new $100,000 prize for an artist biennially. It is named the Booth Prize.


COR Cellars Winery, 151 Old Highway 8, Lyle, Washington is in the Columbia River Gorge that separates the states of Oregon and Washington and has recently been identified as a notable wine-making region in America. The new winery building was designed by goCstudio architects of Seattle Washington on money the winery made from producing award-winning wines. Click your way through thirteen images of the winery and its architectural design.

Small business success through making original high quality products is a story in and of America that cannot be retold too often.

Old Highway 8 is two miles north of Washington State Highway 14 titled Lewis and Clark Scenic Byway that hugs the north side of the Columbia River while Interstate Highway 84 hugs the south side going through the Gorge. The city of The Dalles Oregon is to the east and the cities of White Salmon Washington and Hood River Oregon are to the west. Lyle is 75 miles east of Vancouver Washington that is across the Columbia River from Portland Oregon. The crest of the Cascade Mountains is west of Hood River at about Cascade Locks on the Columbia River [just east of Bonneville Dam]. The Pacific Crest Trail [hiking trail] crosses the Columbia River at Bridge of the Gods [steel truss cantilever bridge] at Cascade Locks and

There are forty wineries in the Columbia River Gorge area

Thunder Island Brewing Co is a valued craft brewery in Cascade Locks There are nine other breweries in the Gorge area so this is both a beer and wine destination.

On the Washington side of the river are Backwoods Brewing Co at 1162 B Wind River Highway, Carson WA, Everybody’s Brewing at 151 East Jewett Blvd, White Salmon WA, and Walking Man Brewing at 240 1st Street, Stevenson WA. The other seven and the freeway are in Oregon.

Craft brewers are experimenting and it tastes that way. Everybody’s Brewing makes a barrel-aged Sour Cherry Saison [seasonal or session beer] Belgian style pale Ale that is 6.9% alcohol by volume sold only in 22 ounce bottles on site. I’ll go all in only if you split it with me. Eleven ounces of this is all one needs to remember a trip to the Pacific Northwest off the beaten path.


Visit Lubbock currently features four Lubbock artists, Joey Martinez, Kathryn Thomas, Baron Batch and Dirk Fowler and suggests that art lovers visit around town

Martinez’s murals adorn the LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts campus that was the location for three ribbon cuttings Wednesday July 13 at 4:00 pm. It was over 100 degrees but we survived. One was CASP Charles Adams Studio Project new Foundry now available for aluminum and bronze pours. It is immediately north of the Printmaking Studio, School of Art Satellite Gallery and the Metals Studio. North of the Foundry are four new Work Studios that abut the property line and overlook on the Marsha Sharp Freeway. The ribbon was cut for the Work Studios. Finally, the Texas Commission for the Arts issued a grant for concrete sidewalks and platform spaces for outdoor sculpture, and a metal shade structure on 5th Street in front of CASP, what is now being called 5th & J Courtyard. That ribbon was also cut.

The expansion of the LHUCA campus and CASP are a tremendous asset for the South Plains, a place where many aspiring artists may feel the creative air under their wings.

Incidentally, while attending the event we viewed a homelessness art exhibit at the School of Art Satellite Gallery. It is stunning and sobering at the same time.


Dan Cooper or D.B. Cooper jumped out of a Boeing 727 commercial passenger airplane somewhere between Seattle WA and Reno NV on the evening of November 24, 1971. He was wearing a parachute and strapped-on a valise with $200,000 cash he had demanded in Seattle as ransom for the passengers and crew of the aircraft flown from Portland to Seattle. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since. A nine year old boy Brian Ingram found a stash of $5,850 cash in 1980 that was rotting and weathering and it matched the ransom money serial numbers. It was found where Brian was digging a fire pit in the sand at Tena Bar on the Columbia River west [downstream] of Washougal Washington. No other credible evidence of the event came to light and the Federal Bureau of Investigation closed its file 44 years after the event

Did he get away? Or fall to the ground hurt and not survived or fall to his death? Did animals and birds remove the evidence of his remains? We don’t know.

The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981) is a film starring Robert Duvall and Treat Williams. Five novels were written about him, imagining his life after the airplane event. Television shows did the same including The Ballad of D.B. Cooper wherein he takes on something of a mythical and less criminal figure. In many scenarios a character by another name admits near the end of the novel, television show, etc. that he is actually D.B. Cooper.

While law enforcement would rather him be impaled on a tree never to see another Thanksgiving Day, many romanticist folks would rather he lived a free-wheeling life as the dare-devil rogue who got away.


Building of the Year 2015 at the World Architecture Festival was The Interlace by OMA/Buro Ole Scheeren architecture firm. It is a residential complex of interconnected buildings in Singapore

The winner for 2016 will be announced in Berlin Germany in November. This is a completed building competition not “what might have been”.

VIA 57 West at 625 West 57th Street at 11th Avenue in New York City by BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group architects, is a candidate, wouldn’t you agree? and It is a residential apartment building.

Another candidate is Writers Theater in Glencoe Illinois designed by Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang Architects and another by the same architect is Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College Michigan

The Barack Obama Presidential Center and Library announced its architect as Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects of New York City and as its partner the local Chicago firm Interactive Design Architects IDEA. The location of the Center and Library is the south side of Chicago.

Douglas House (1973) in Harbor Springs Michigan by Richard Meier, architect, was just added to the National Register of Historic Places and


Brexit and the way forward. When Prime Minister Cameron announced post-plebiscite that he would resign in October, I thought he would provide as his legacy a marvelous political risk-free management of the transition to a new status outside the European Union. It was a tremendous opportunity for him. Sadly, he just announced his early resignation in favor of the Home Secretary Theresa May. She took office Wednesday July 13, 2016 after meeting with Queen Elizabeth II. David Cameron came a cropper and is a cropper. Too bad, for him and the nation.

British businesses are in reaction mode. Capital markets globally have lost a trillion or so in British assets, the pound sterling is at a low point relative to the euro and dollar, and the international banking hub at London will soon decamp for Amsterdam. That said, flux and shifting economic conditions are a blessing as well as a curse. Some will repeatedly mutter “uncertainty is bad for business” yet that really applies to those businesses that want to keep trudging along in the same worn trench. Those people may even cut back on existing and cancel new projects altogether as a cautionary management strategy, the worst thing they could possibly do. That provides even a clearer opportunity for the brave and bold upstarts to make inroads and “carpe diem” seize the day. Adversity is the mother of invention and inventiveness.

If your grandmother was Irish now is the day to apply for an Irish passport and be the Brit who moves forward daringly into the European Union market and be a citizen of a wider world as well as a denizen in retrenchment Britain.

Pundits both wiser and more prescient than I state that Brexit is an event that precedes the un-raveling of the United Kingdom, pointing out that Northern Ireland is a beneficiary of financial support from the European Union without which it would be decimated, and so may parley with Dublin for incorporation of Ulster the six northeast counties into the Republic of Ireland. They further state that Scotland will revisit its recent independence referendum election and vote for independence and then petition to enter a European Union that would gladly accept the Scots. No like prediction is made for Wales.

If these events were to happen we would then need to review the history of the island beginning with the Celts and their inability to fend off the invading Romans, then the piracy and invasion by Jutes, Angles and Saxons followed by the piracy and invasions by Norse, Danes and Vikings, followed by the unification of Anglo-Saxon leadership by Alfred the Great and his grandson Athelstan, followed by the Norman Conquest [Scandinavians in Normandy led by William the Conqueror] and the succession of dynasties including the current House of Windsor an adopted name to mask the central Germany House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha origins of the royalty lineage yielding Queen Elizabeth II.


Here is a very fine essay, with pictures that illustrate the points made in the essay, Understanding the Avant-Garde by Angie Kordic and three other authors.


Abdul Sattar Edhi, humanitarian in Karachi Pakistan, died July 8, 2016 age 88 His programs, so essential for so many lives in a teeming metropolis, continue.


Art Walk in Mission Plaza Shopping Center is a free event at 3501 50th Street at Joliet Avenue Lubbock sponsored by Timeless Custom Frames & Art Gallery. Event is 4:00 – 8:00 pm Saturday July 23, 2016. Junior Vasquez will provide live music 4:00-7:00 pm, Robert Garza will perform live figure drawing from 4:00-6:00 pm and Mike Corrales will perform live mural painting from 5:00–8:00 pm. Artists are invited to sign up for space to display their work, free to them and they pay no commission on any piece sold. It’s a likely and lively place for South Plains artists to meet the public who admire art in various styles and media. Come on out.

Arts History Update for late July 2016

9 Jul

Arts History Update for late July 2016 by David Cummins Marcel Duchamp, Portrait of Chess Players (1911) is a Cubist painting depicting four chess players or perhaps only two players but there are four identifiable faces. The chess pieces are floating in undetermined space, and the entire canvas is the chess board, so the players are both within and above the chess board. A limited palette of colors was used, only earth tones so an other-worldliness aspect of the abstraction is presented, helping us pull out something within the painting that we appreciate without it having to have any pre-conceived relationship in time or space with anything else in the painting. It was painted in angles and we can decode it in angles of observation.

Compare this piece with the first Cubist painting Georges Braque, Still Life, Violin and Candlestick (1910) and one realizes that Duchamp embraced and extended the style dramatically from the very beginning. He was both Cubist and Futurist at once. The movement and speed for which the Italian Futurists would be well known, was first presented by Duchamp.

He followed this masterpiece with The King and Queen Surrounded By Swift Nudes (1912) and Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2 (1912) that was rejected by the Salon of the Independents in Paris in the Spring, was exhibited in Paris in the Fall, and then was shown in February 1913 at the historic Armory Show in Manhattan New York City where it was sold to a San Francisco art dealer for $300. It was resold in 1927 to a Philadelphia collector and Duchamp patron Walter and Louise Arensberg and is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art worth many millions of dollars.

Bicycle Wheel (1913) was Duchamp’s first ready-made sculpture where he attached a bicycle wheel to a kitchen stool and watched the wheel spin after he stroked it. Version three of that sculpture was fashioned by Duchamp at the request of Museum of Modern Art New York City in 1951 and is in the permanent collection there

Bicycle Wheel. “In 1913,” recalled Marcel Duchamp, “I had the happy idea to fasten a bicycle wheel to a kitchen stool and watch it turn.” The result, Bicycle Wheel, is the first of Duchamp’s ready-mades—objects (sometimes manufactured or mass-produced) selected by the artist and designated as art.

Fountain (1917) under the pseudonym R. Mutt, was a ready-made sculpture by Duchamp that was rejected by the exhibition for the Society of Independent Artists and sparked a discussion about the nature of art. The selection of the pseudonym was related both to a comic strip character and to the fact that the porcelain urinal was manufactured by J.L. Mott Ironworks Company.

An eight year project was the painting of two large panes of glass The Large Glass (1912-1923 off and on totaling eight years of work) The bottom pane was The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even and discussed at great length in the art world.

Marcel Duchamp 1887-1968.

Christian Conrad’s lecture on Duchamp at LHUCA Firehouse Theater on Saturday July 9 went well beyond these items and was extraordinarily informative. His next will be on Salvador Dali, the Spanish surrealist on Saturday July 23 at 11:30 am – 1:00 pm. A free event but priceless in quality.


Design, comfort and luxury arrive at a price, but if you’re willing to travel in style these new hotels will more than suffice.

1. Hotel Emma, San Antonio Texas –restored Pearl Brewery brewhouse

2. South Congress Hotel, Austin Texas – a jewel in the SoCo neighborhood—%20ALL

3. The Lumen, Dallas Texas – a leaner, cleaner design-savvy boutique hotel—%20ALL

4. The Henry Howard Hotel, New Orleans Louisiana – a former Greek Revival mansion is an an 18 room hotel in the Big Easy.—%20ALL

5. Hotel Zeppelin, San Francisco California – has a rock’n roll vibe and an edgy bohemian style—%20ALL

6. Mystic Hotel, San Francisco California – sensitive restoration of a 1906 post-earthquake and fire building so it seems like a pre-world wars apartment accommodation—%20ALL

There are more new hotels and that website will take you to the city or location of your choice.

Re-purposed buildings that are now stylish hotels include:

The High Line Hotel, 180 Tenth Avenue at West 21st Street, New York City, formerly General Theological Seminary, a Gothic style hotel in Chelsea, quite unique

The Liberty Hotel, 215 Charles Street, Beacon Hill, Boston MA is the former Charles Street Jail

Titanic Hotel, Liverpool England was formerly a colossal warehouse on Stanley Dock. It’s a decidedly contemporary lodging for the friends and guests of Liverpudlians At Liverpool the River Mersey enters the Irish Sea. There are many Merseyside lodgings such as Heywood House Hotel that was once a Georgian architectural style bank two minute walk to James Street Rail and away you go exploring greater Liverpool home of The Beatles.


Wimbledon Grand Slam Tennis Tournament ends July 10 and the quality and excitement of the tennis have been “smashing” as Brits would say. I write this mid-second week as there are only eight men and eight women singles players left in a 128 person draw. The tournament is winding down to the quarterfinals, semifinals and final matches. To keep ourselves balanced and avoid a “tennis frenzy” state of mind, perhaps we should divert our attention from play on the courts to the AELTC All England Lawn Tennis Club.

The corners of the outside courts are marked by several Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple) small deciduous trees. They exhibit grace, beautiful deep copper-purple foliage and have an exciting autumnal color burst. The delicate leaves flutter in the wind with a lacy appeal. Its shallow fibrous root system will not tolerate competition from other plants so they must not be planted close by an Acer. It must be given its space in the garden and grounds. Other handsome plants and flowers at AELTC are hydrangea magical amethyst, Boston ivy, petunias, box cones, alium, roses, euonymous, salvia amistad and foxglove. The garden and grounds are distinctive and encourage a calm respectful demeanor in recognition of a cared for space. That space is Wimbledon all year round, not just two weeks in midsummer when The Championships are played on the tennis courts.

———————————– Over-connected with electronic devices? Here are some tips for how to balance your life and increase your health and personal relationships by reducing “screen time”. These are just self-management tools but they work.


Susan Fletcher, Let Me Tell You About a Man I Knew (Virago Press 2016) 265 pages historical novel about Jeanne Trabuc wife of the warden at Saint Paul Asylum, Saint Remy France where Vincent Van Gogh took refuge in 1889. Her interactions with the painter during his last madly frenzied paintings, change her life. ABE Books new hardcover $14.38 including s&h

What if you or I were in the presence of a disturbed creative person who was unknown and unaccepted in the world, and we were privy to his creating works of art? Would we appreciate those pieces for their future assignment as masterpieces? Would we let ourselves be influenced by such a person at all, much less let him influence our private life? Would we ignore or dismiss such a person as the detritus of a life lived badly?

Major Francois Trabuc had forbidden his wife Jeanne to meet or interact with the inmates of the asylum, surely a wise injunction. What drew her to spurn that injunction? What would draw us? Jeanne Lafuye Trabuc 1834-1903 was 55 years of age when she posed for Van Gogh’s painting Portrait of Madame Trabuc (September 1889) that is owned by and on display at The Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia. Van Gogh’s letter to his brother Theo said of her “She is an unhappy, faded, and quiescent woman, so inconsequential and unnoticeable that I felt an acute wish to paint on canvas this dusty blade of grass”.


Do you want another sport to keep track of? How about Major League Lacrosse MLL? The All Star Game is Saturday July 9 at 6:00 pm in Orange County at Titan Stadium Fullerton California. There are currently nine teams but western expansion is happening with the addition of the newly announced LA Riptide and San Francisco Dragons joining the existing Denver Outlaws. The season will end with the Championship Game on August 20, 2016 at 6:00 pm CDT at Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Kennesaw State University near Atlanta Georgia.

Here are the Rules.

There is a Lacrosse Museum in Baltimore Maryland that spans Native American origins to contemporary times.

How do you access lacrosse? CBS Sports Cable Network has been broadcasting high school, college and professional lacrosse games. The All Star Game is Saturday July 9 at 6:00 pm CDT TV-CBS SPORTS channel 1643 in high definition on AT&T U-Verse.


A sniper Micah Johnson of Mesquite Texas fired on Dallas police officers wounding seven and killing five before Johnson was pinned down by return fire and a robot bomb was detonated at his location killing him. This happened Thursday evening at dusk July 7, 2016. The sniper was located at a parking garage near El Centro College in downtown Dallas.

Arts History Update for mid July 2016

2 Jul

Arts History Update for mid July 2016 by David Cummins

An exhibit Respiration (2016) by Karen Chekerdjian, a Lebanese-Armenian sculptor and furniture and product designer, is on view at the Paris France Institut du Monde Arabe [Institute of the Arab World] through August 28. It is stunning. Her website is and


Ken Perenyi, Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger (Pegasus Books 2012) 368 pages $20 hardcover $15 paperback $4 e-book Lubbock Public Library 364.163 PERE Adult Nonfiction. It was written by the forger after the statute of limitations had run on his crimes.


Charles Moore et al., The Place of Houses (Holt Rinehart and Winston 1974) reissued (University of California Press 2000) Texas Tech Library NA7125.M66. Charles Moore 1925-1993 an architect whose designs for houses have been followed and expanded upon by many. The book triggers the potential owner’s awareness of what a house is or may be, and what is possible. $30.55 paperback. ABE Books good condition $3.02 incl s&h.

This is the house he designed and built for himself in Orinda California in 1962

Donlyn Lyndon & Jim Alinder, The Sea Ranch: Fifty Years of Architecture, Landscape, Place and Community on the Northern California Coast (Princeton Architectural Press 2004 2d edition 2013) $45 hardcover Texas Tech Library OVERSZ NA735.S437 (2004). Charles Moore was the architect. ABE Books very good condition $30.47 incl s&h.


In a referendum in Great Britain on Thursday June 23 the vote was BREXIT for the British to leave the European Union and it will reduce from 28 member countries to 27. The majority for exiting was 52% and for staying 48%.There are 32 voting areas in Scotland and in every single voting area the majority vote was to stay in the European Union. Such staunch support for the European Union in Scotland raises questions about the Scots revisiting their 2014 referendum on independence from Great Britain.

David Cameron, Great Britain’s Prime Minister, staked his tenuous hold on political leadership, on his campaign to stay in the European Union, and many say his political career is now over. That remains to be seen or unseen. The very next day Cameron spoke from 10 Downing Street and said that he would step down by October just four months hence. The pound sterling is in flux, capital markets are also, and the unexpected event is having repercussions in Great Britain and the world. The continental banking system headquarters in London will probably decamp for Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Over 95% of the Dutch speak English as a second language and it meets other requirements for an English speaking banking system headquarters. It will probably not decamp to Brussels or Strasbourg major European Union cities or Frankfurt, Germany’s financial capital city.


An art installation that seeks to capture the color of water in the Hudson River over an 11 hour period of photographing it by Spencer Finch, and then transforming representative pixels into windows at Chelsea Market in Manhattan at the beginning of The High Line is The installation began in 2009 and will come down in Summer 2016. Many will miss it, thinking of it as a permanent feature of this singular area. Spencer Finch, The River That Flows Both Ways, Manhattan (2009)

Here is the New York Times review of May 2009 on the new art installation Carol Vogel, Seeing The Hudson River Through 700 Windows, The New York Times, May 21, 2009.


Texas Taxidermy Association’s annual convention was in Lubbock this year and 150 items were on display in the Banquet Hall at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center through Sunday June 26 A strutting turkey permanently caught in strut was admired.


Santa Fe was founded in 1610 as La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis [The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi]. When the Spanish ruled it on the northern frontier of New Spain, they did not tolerate Americanos dropping by. The English French and Americans in the interior were all regarded as enemies or potential enemies. Americanos were jailed, their possessions taken, and ordered or taken out of the province. Zebulon Montgomery Pike was so treated. He set out in 1806 from Belle Fontaine Missouri with twenty-one men, to the Republican River, then the Arkansas River, then the South Platte River, and then went south to the Rio Grande River where a patrol of 100 Spanish soldiers took them into custody and marched them to Santa Fe. Their expeditionary papers were confiscated. Pike was taken to Chihuahua for questioning, then escorted to Natchitoches Louisiana in 1807 and told not to come west again, having been a prisoner for five months. Natchitoches was the oldest permanent settlement in the Louisiana Purchase Territory, now bounded on the east by the Red River and on the west by Interstate Highway 49 between Alexandria and Shreveport Louisiana .

Not until 1821 when Mexico took over from Spain were Americano traders welcomed at Santa Fe, William Becknell being the first to cross Raton Pass and proceed south to Santa Fe. He traded and returned in 1822 to Franklin Missouri with saddlebags full of Mexican silver. On his next foray with loaded wagons he pursued the Cimarron Cutoff to avoid Raton Pass, heading southwest from far southwest Kansas across panhandle Oklahoma territory to northeast New Mexico and then near Clayton NM toward a crossing of the Canadian River near contemporary Springer then to Watrous or Fort Union and the Old Santa Fe Trail.

From 1824 that Cutoff was the primary route of the Santa Fe Trail. Kit Carson arrived in Santa Fe in 1826, a runaway from a Franklin Missouri saddle maker David Workman to whom Carson was indentured. He was sixteen years of age. On May 27, 1831 famous mountain man-fur trapper-explorer Jedediah Smith was killed by Comanche traveling on this Cimarron Cutoff headed for Santa Fe

The city of Los Angeles was founded in the 1770s by Spanish explorers, its name El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles meant The Town of the Queen of Angels. The church at that historic plaza in the 1770s was La Iglesia Nuestra Senora Reina de los Angeles meaning Church of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels. These are of course references to the Virgin Mary mother of Jesus the Christ. She was often referred to as Queen of the Angels.

Newly founded places by the Spanish in North America usually had three basic locations, a presidio or fort for military protection, a mission or church from which the residents and natives could be ministered and taught, and a pueblo/ville or town in which the residents would live and conduct commerce. The comandante would lead the presidio, the Fray Superior or Friar Minor in Charge [superior brother or superior padre at a location] would lead the mission, and the alcalde would lead the pueblo/ville. There were 146 Franciscan Friars Minor in alta [upper] California during the Spanish viceroy [royal] control period prior to 1821.

A friar is a member of a religious order, especially of the four mendicant [uncloistered members who live out with the people to whom they minister] orders Augustinians, Carmelites, Dominicans and Franciscans.They were never allowed to congregate alone but always at least in pairs if not more. The Father-Presidente of all the mission clergy in alta California was the overall leader of the mission program. Junipero Serra was the first Father-Presidente from 1769-1784 over fifteen years and is widely credited with the commencement of the mission program. He took direction from the Franciscan leadership in Spain, it having secured a royal blessing for the endeavor.

The Spanish settlement from 1792 if not before, that would later become San Francisco, was originally named Yerba Buena [good herb] Pueblo referring to the yerba buena or hierba buena aromatic herb plants that grew wild in that area. It wasn’t until after Mexico ceded alta California in 1846 that the area at the mouth of San Francisco Bay was named San Francisco. Later other things were named Yerba Buena such as an island in San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland through which Interstate Highway 80 passes. On Yerba Buena Island is Treasure Island Road that leads across an isthmus to Treasure Island, a larger island in the Bay.


Juanita Pahdopony and her husband Harry Mithlo were in Burnet, Texas recently for a presentation. Both Juanita and Harry are active artists.

Harry Mithlo and Juanita Pahdopony-Mithlo spoke about their lives as Chiricahua Apache and Comanche educators and artists on May 12th in Burnet. The free event began with refreshments at 1:30 PM. The presentation began at 2:00 PM. The program was part of the Herman Brown Free Library’s author series, Coffee Talks.

In the talk the couple explored how their art is rooted in the life of their families and tribes. A poet, storyteller, artist, filmmaker and a citizen of the Comanche nation, Pahdopony combines tribal traditions with contemporary artistic approaches. Pahdopony is a member of Quanah Parker’s band of the Comanche, the Kwahadi [antelope-eaters]. Mithlo’s mother was Peneteka [honey-eaters] Comanche and his father Chiricahua Apache, a young member of Geronimo’s band. Mithlo paints traditionally, tells stories, and has written a memoir of his father’s life as an Apache prisoner of war in Florida and Oklahoma.

Through their lives Pahdopony and Mithlo have combined other careers with their art. An art educator, Pahdopony taught in public schools and universities and at the first tribal college in Oklahoma, Comanche Nation College a two year community college in Lawton Oklahoma where she served first as faculty and later as Dean of Academic Affairs and interim president. Maintaining a high profile as an artist, she exhibits in galleries regionally and nationally. She frequently presents or tells stories for schools and community groups.

As part of Pahdopony’s museum work, she served as a trustee for the U.S.Department of the Interior Southern Plains Indian Museum at Anadarko Oklahoma . She has curated or been part of exhibits on the lives of Comanche women and children at several museums. She brought copies of a book created for an exhibit on cradle making at the University of Oklahoma, which includes her writing. Making a cradle for a child, she explains, was a way of “honoring a new individual coming into the family.” Her family design, a bird pattern outlined in colors, appeared in the exhibit, and she was happy to share it because the exhibit gave “a name to these people who are long gone…a name to our artists.” Gifts of Pride and Love: Kiowa and Comanche Cradles was available for signing and purchase at the talk, as were some of Pahdopony’s painting.

Pahdopony’s art merges the traditional with the contemporary. She creates modern-day equivalents of Plains shields from polished hub caps and dangling springs, paints a history of the Comanche tribe in images on a buffalo hide, uses bold colors to paint a acrylic portrait of a Comanche elder in a bright green vest and subdued oils to recreate the historic feel of photographs of her great-grandmother Wehrehre Parker Tahmakera and of her great-great grandfather Quanah Parker.

The poetry in her thought is evident in her painting When Comanche Women Could Fly, which shows a woman floating over mountains under the moon. Her writing sometimes shows this same light-hearted fantasy. Stories may come, she says, “from questions and dreams.”

Subject of a documentary film and a film maker herself, Pahdopony is a technical advisor for an upcoming AMC television series based on Phillip Meyer’s book The Son. The series is in active production, and she says, “We are already receiving prep schedules.”

A Viet Nam veteran who served in the Army and Navy, Harry Mithlo is retired from high school teaching and coaching at Riverside Indian School and from his work as a radiologic technologist at the Anadarko Indian Clinic. He presently raises cattle and serves the Comanche Nation as a member of the Comanche Business Committee. Mithlo’s paintings draw directly on Apache tradition, as does his role as a singer in the family’s annual Mountain Spirit dance, held in honor of his father Watson Mithlo. Mithlo’s biography of his father’s experience as a P.O.W. with others of Geronimo’s band, is being considered for publication.

The biography tells how members of the Chiricahua band—Geronimo and his fighters and families with ties to them–were imprisoned by the U.S. military. Originally promised a two-year internment, they were held for 27 years, first in Fort Marion in Florida, then in Alabama, and eventually at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Mithlo’s father was one of the youngest members of the group.

Coffee Talks take place the second Thursday of each month in the meeting room of the library. The event starts at 1:30 PM with refreshments, followed at 2:00 PM by an hour-long presentation and questions.

This was the final talk of the season. Coffee Talks will begin again in the fall. The series is made possible by support from The Friends of the Library and the Coffee Talks hostesses and volunteers. Coffee was provided by Michelle Devaney of Hey Diddle Diddle Catering

Henry Chappell, Bone of Conciliation, Orion Magazine (2008) is a wonderful essay establishing the connection made between scholars at Texas Tech University and Comanche Nation College at Lawton Oklahoma. Vivid discussion of the Tule Creek campaign of Colonel Ranald Mackenzie in 1874 during which more than a thousand Comanche horses were taken and most slaughtered. The cache of food and supplies at the winter lodges in Palo Duro Canyon were destroyed and the Kwahadi Comanche were rendered horseless wandereres without provisions who eventually made their way in 1875 to Fort Sill and the Indian Reservation reserved for them.





Seattle Art Fair is August 4-7, 2016 at CenturyLink Field Event Center. The Fair was founded by Paul G. Allen, Microsoft co-founder with Bill Gates. Operated by an Allen corporation Vulcan Inc. the Fair is a seminal event in the American art world.

Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection is a traveling exhibit of 39 pieces in Allen’s collection It will be at the Minneapolis Institute of Art from July 10-September 18, 2016


Texas Contemporary Art Fair is September 29-October 2, 2016 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston Texas


The exhibit at Texas Tech Museum Photographic Artifacts of Rick Dingus has been extended to July 31, 2016. It’s appealing, remarkably original, distinctive photography worth exploring and ruminating about.


Garrison Keillor’s last Prairie Home Companion show is “in the can” live at Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Saturday July 2. He’s retired. This is what he has to say for himself and all those years

“Dear Friends,

I come from serious taciturn people and grew up in a separatist religious sect that believed that every word and deed should be to the glory of God and here I am winding up forty-two years of talking my head off, much of it silliness, and portraying a private eye and a cowboy. This was not supposed to happen. As Robert Frost did not write:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And, sorry I could not travel both,
I chose the one with the galloping hooves and the barking spiders
And now I’m trying to figure out why.

I am a writer who got tangled up with Minnesota Public Radio and A Prairie Home Companion and not because I was ambitious or had aptitude, but simply through a series of coincidences. I was like a kid in Port-au-Prince who’s never seen ice and whose family is too poor to travel but he reads a book about Antarctica and is fascinated and eventually becomes captain of the Haitian Olympic hockey team. He’s not a great player but he’s pretty good for a Haitian. That’s my story. And now, as retirement nears, it’s a revelation to be accosted by people who want to say: Your show has meant a lot to me. Some of them have been tuned in for most of their lives. It’s very sweet. Also confusing, since I never was a big fan of the show myself. I enjoyed doing the show — it was the only social life I had — but the show was never as good as I wanted it to be, and that’s just a fact.

I’m 73, in good shape for a writer, working on a memoir and a Lake Wobegon screenplay, writing a weekly column for the Washington Post, planning to take brisk walks and start reading books again and rediscover the pleasures of the Weekend. Meanwhile, I am grateful beyond grateful for the people I’ve met along the way, Richard Dworsky, Tim and Sue and Fred, the ladies I’m singing with, Sara and Sarah and Aoife and Heather, and Suzanne Weil who was the first person to ever put me on a stage. She is here tonight and it is all her fault, every bit of it. Had it not been for Suzanne, I would be preaching every night at the Union Gospel Mission on Skid Row and all my friends would be old drunks. Millions of people would never know about Lake Wobegon or Powdermilk Biscuits or the power of rhubarb to ease shame and humiliation. But in the course of fifty years of preaching, I would’ve brought three, possibly four, men to eternal salvation. I will have to make peace with this myself. Meanwhile, thank you for listening to the show.”