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.





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