Arts History Update for mid December 2016

11 Dec

Arts History Update for mid December 2016 by David Cummins

The World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize for 2016 was awarded to a restoration team for restoring the Justus van Effen complex of buildings in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The ceremony occurred at the Museum of Modern Art on 56th Street in Manhattan, New York City. The restorers were Molenaar & Co. architects, Hebly Theunissen architects, and Michael van Gessel landscapes, and a representative from each of the firms accepted the award.

Justus van Effen was built in 1922 and its architect was Michiel Brinkman. The project sits in the Dutch city’s Spangen neighborhood [about 100,000 population], surrounded by fairly traditional row-houses, some of which were created around the same time. This year’s award is the fifth WMF/Knoll Modernism Prize, but the first given to a housing project; the first four projects were public facilities: schools, a sanatorium, and a library. That Justus van Effen was and remains a social housing project (fully at first but now only in part) is significant. As built in 1922 Brinkman was given a two-block area for 261 dwelling units and he bundled the blocks together, defining the perimeter through continuous four-story buildings. Portals provide access to the interior of the block, where a central building breaks the block into two and further buildings define smaller outdoor spaces. The creation of these well-scaled, communal spaces was commendable, but what made the building influential in the mid 20th century were the second-floor walkways that rung the whole perimeter on the courtyard side, connecting all of the duplex units atop the buildings (below the duplexes were two floors of single-story units).

Promoted by the liberal elite in Rotterdam, Justus van Effen was created as an experiment in high-density affordable housing and a means of beautifying the city. The project fell into disrepair by 1970 and a restoration of sorts was attempted in the early 1980s to no good end. Most units were occupied by refugees at the time this restoration project began in 2012. It is admirable that Rotterdam officials would determine that it was wise to spend so much money and effort to restore an architectural gem for immediate use by a transient population with few ties to the city or area. As with all projects like this, however, the serious restoration activity spurred the property owners in the Spangen neighborhood to fix up and better maintain their properties and the entire neighborhood is “gentrified” to a better status. Leadership always has a similar effect, some would say leadership creates followership. is a story about the housing project in 2012 when the restoration began and we get a good look at it then. Here are several photos of the buildings in Spangen before and after restoration

Incidentally, Justus van Effen in history was an early 18th century Dutch essayist and journalist. His name was given to this early 20th century building project, now restored in the early 21st century.

Here are some photos of social housing projects in cities around the world


In the recent presidential election year many statements were made about matters important to you, including scare tactics about social security. One of those statements dealt with whether or not a worker will get out of social security what s/he and her/his employers put in. It turns out that most people have been frightened to the point of, if you can believe published polling of people, believing that they won’t or can’t. Here are the facts:

Myth: You’ll never get back all the money you put into the program.


Although 70% of the respondents from our survey thought they might not get back all they money they put in, many will. Everyone’s situation is different. Simply put, if you live a long time, you may or will collect more than you contributed to the system. If you live a short time, you may not or will not collect more than you contributed to the system.

Due to the complexity of claiming strategies and number of variables involved, the Social Security Administration no longer offers a break-even calculator on its website. Social Security is designed to provide a safety net of income for the retired, the disabled, and survivors. The contributions you and your employers make during your working years provide:

  1. Current retirees and other Social Security recipients with payments
  2. A guaranteed income benefit when you reach retirement

While the government does not have a specific account set aside just for you with your FICA [Federal Insurance Contributions Act] contributions (the taxes for Social Security and Medicare paid by you and by your employers), one of the most powerful features of Social Security is that it provides an inflation-protected guaranteed income stream in retirement, ensuring against the risk you will outlive your savings. Even if you live to 100 or more, you continue to receive income every month. And, if you predecease your spouse who was collecting payments based on your work record rather than his/her own, he or she also receives survivor benefits until his or her death.

Social Security: Your contributions vs. potential benefits

Let’s look at a hypothetical case of an American worker, Steve, who reaches his FRA Full Retirement Age in 2016. He’s retiring in December and will begin collecting his Social Security benefit in January 2017 at his FRA (age 67). In Steve’s case, if he lives past age 74, he will receive a larger benefit than he and his employers contributed to the system. There is no standard break-even point, but let’s look at Steve’s situation in more detail.

Steve’s situation:

Steve’s situation

Hypothetical case assumes a final year of wages in 2016 to be $102,000. Using the Quick Calculator on, a rough estimate of benefits was calculated at FRA in today’s dollars. For an estimate using your personal earnings history, go to


Danny Hillis, The Enlightenment is Dead, Long Live the Entanglement, Journal of Design and Science, February 22, 2016 For those who studied the principles and processes of the Enlightenment from the 17th century onward, and wonder whether that’s still ongoing, here is an essay that suggests it’s over and we are now in an Age of Entanglement and we need to understand how to address it and synthesize our creative impulses. Am not endorsing these ideas, just presenting them for analysis and concern.

Here is information on Danny Hillis, author of the essay


Arts History Lecture Series at the Museum of Texas Tech University continues for the Spring semester on Friday mornings January 6, 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17, 24, March 3, 10, 24 and 31, 2017 with visiting coffee and announcements at 10:30 am and a lecture by Christian Conrad Ph. D. in art history at 11:00 am – noon ending well in time for any lunch arrangements one may have at 12:30 pm or later. The visiting etc. occurs on all but the last day March 31 for on that day there is a closing of the academic year luncheon in the Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court. The lectures by Conrad take place in the adjacent Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium. This series is presented by the Museum Association of Texas Tech University, a patron group for the museum. The first two lectures of the semester are free for newcomers to the program. The semester fee is $45 and an individual session fee is $7 payable at the door.

Carol Box is chair of the Arts History Lecture Series Committee and is hostess for the series.


Texas State Historical Association’s 121st Annual Meeting is at the Hyatt Regency Houston at 1200 Louisiana Street March 2-4, 2017 the special rate at the hotel booked by or before February 9 is $159 per night. Registration for the meeting can be made through the website.

The president-elect’s reception will be held at the Houston Public Library’s stunning Julia Ideson Building and if that building looks familiar to you, it is because William Ward Watkin, Houston architect, designed it within two years after designing the Administration building at Texas Technological College in 1923 using the Spanish Colonial Revival building style derived from the earlier Spanish Renaissance building style in Spain.


Effective January 9, 2017 Jim Bret Campbell will be executive director and CEO of the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University. Let’s welcome the new ranch boss to the Red Raider spread.


Hope you didn’t miss Second Friday Downtown Plainview 5:00 – 8:00 pm each month, the theme in December being a Wine/Walk/Downtown Shopping Evening. December 9, 2016, and we’re looking forward to the next offering January 13, 2017.


If popular music by local musicians is your interest, try out some venues on any evening but Thursday seems to be a special time in Lubbock for repeating regular offerings For example, on Thursday December 8, 2016 the lineup was, from early to late evening,

1. West Texas Live Music broadcast on Radio FM 105.3 presented live at Overton Hotel Sports Grill and Bar 6:00 -10:00 pm no cover

2. Junior’s Listening Room at Caprock Winery presents two or three musicians each Thursday $5 cover, reduced price wine on offer and food truck food is available 6:30 – 9:30 pm

3. Live Music at La Diosa Cellars [wine cellars of the goddess] 7:30 -10:00 pm $5 cover with wine and tapas on offer

4. Jazz Alley plays at Jazz: A Louisiana Kitchen from 9:00 pm to midnight no cover, full menu food and bar drinks on offer.

5. Outlier duo plays at Skooners from 10:00 pm – midnight no cover.


Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Massachusetts at 161 Essex Street, formerly the East India Marine Society established in 1799, broke ground Friday December 9 for its 40,000 square foot expansion / new wing that, when completed in 2019, will make it among the 20 largest art museums in the United States museum press release .

Most folks recall the now infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692 resulting in eighteen hangings of alleged witches before the hysteria abated and reason returned. Those trials occurred in Salem Village an agricultural settlement to the west of Salem town [now Salem MA] that was a port city with well to do merchants. The poor rugged settlers on the edge of the forest next to occasionally noticed and feared Indians, were given to superstitions not evident in the town of Salem


Ars longa, vita brevis = art is long, life is short

Tempus fugit, ars brevis = time flies, art is short

These are two different concepts, but what they have in common is that art is linked with our lives. Your correspondent and readers agree.


In our densely populated urban spaces we only imagine “where have all the Indians gone?”. Some were exterminated by disease, by violent attack, and by enslavement but some are among us, all around us. We have to look, ever so closely, for them and for the sites that are historical, cultural and sacred to them. For instance if you lived in Los Angeles where would you go? To University High School in Sawtelle/West Los Angeles on the eastern edge of Santa Monica south of UCLA in Westwood? The Gabrielino/Tongva Indians were the original inhabitants of the Los Angeles basin. Kuruvungna Springs, site of a former Tongva village, is located at the University High School property and a building was constructed there that is now Kuruvungna Springs Cultural Center & Museum. Go on in and learn about the Indians of the Los Angeles basin. 1439 South Barrington Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90025 phone 310-806-2418. Every October there is a free Life Before Columbus Festival at Kuruvungna Springs.

In 1862 the US Army established Fort Wright at the west end of the Round Valley Indian Reservation. In 1863 the United States Government relocated the majority of the Mechoopda Maidu Indians in the Chico area to the Round Valley Reservation [founded 1852] in Mendocino County at Covelo, that today is a place about 14 miles east northeast of Laytonville on US Highway 101. The remaining Mechoopda who were not corralled, about 300 people, fled to the protection of John Bidwell’s ranch in the Chico area and lived there on a Rancheria set aside for them by Bidwell. Covelo is due west of Chico and reached on California Highway 32 and then the Round Valley Road about 109 miles west and a 3 hour 15 minute drive. It is west of the crest of a Pacific Coast Mountain Range.

Other Maidu tribes in the general area of Chico were Maidu Konkau [Concow], Maidu Oroville, Wintun, and Yana but the majority of Indians in the Chico area were Maidu Mechoopda.


At the Covelo or Round Valley location, the various tribal Indians eventually formed Round Valley Indian Tribes a Sovereign Nation of Confederated Tribes, that is federally recognized.


Round Valley has been the heart of the Yuki territory “since time began”. The Yuki have lived on their ancestral homeland (stretching from Humboldt Bay to the upper Russian River area) for over 10,000 years prior to other tribes immigrating into California. The Yuki are thought to be the original Paleo-Indians of California.

Any understanding of the pre-contact history of California must take into account the linguistic history of the area. Many anthropologists believe that the state’s languages were originally introduced by waves of immigrants who entered California, became established in an area, and then expanded into other areas.

[In California 20% of the nearly 500 separate languages spoken in North America were represented here. There were 6 distinct language stocks, 23 language families and isolated languages, making a total of some 90 languages, plus innumerable dialects.]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Berkeley anthropologist, Alfred Kroeber, recognized 104 separate language groups in California, derived from 6 distinct language stocks. The names given today to these stocks are: Hokan, Penutian, Algic, Na Dené, Uto-Aztecan, and Yukian.

Before 6,000 years ago, the population of the state may have been almost entirely Hokan-speaking, except for the North Coast Ranges, where Yukian speakers had already been living for tens of thousands of years. The Hokan-speaking groups are commonly thought to be among the first settlers, partly because their languages show the greatest diversity and possible time depth.

Between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago, there were considerable language shifts, especially among Uto-Aztecan groups in eastern California. In northern California, Penutian speakers may have moved into the marshy lower Sacramento Valley around 4,500 years ago, a movement often associated with the Windmiller Tradition. Over the next few centuries, they spread and diversified, forcing the earlier Hokan-speaking groups to the periphery. In time, Penutian-speaking populations would come to fully occupy the great central valley, as well as expanding westward into the Bay area and southward as far as the Monterey Peninsula.

But, related to no other, Yukian is a language family of it’s own. Anthropologists say that Yukian is among six other language families in the world that are related to no other , all these language families being extremely ancient.

162 years ago, these neighboring tribes were forced into Round Valley. By language family, the confederated tribes of the Round Valley Indian Reservation are:

  • Yuki: Yukian Family
  • Pit River: Hokan Family
  • Pomo: Hokan Family
  • Nomlacki: Penutian Family
  • Concow: Penutian Family
  • Wailacki: Athabascan Family


  • In addition to the above noted linguistic differences between the indigenous population of California, there also seems to be the same anomalies in the mitochondria DNA track studies that have been conducted thus far. Out of the numerous samples taken from Round Valley’s aboriginal population — no matches have been found in the United States, or anywhere else in the world. (Ripen, UC Davis, et al).
  • The Yuki language and the Pamean languages[1] in Mexico have octal systems because the speakers count using the spaces between their fingers rather than the fingers themselves, [2] corresponding to the digits one through eight. There is also linguistic evidence that suggests that the Bronze Age Proto-Indo Europeans (from whom most European and Indic languages descend) might have replaced a base 8 system (or a system which could only count up to 8) with the base 10 system.
  • In regards to basketweaving, the Yuki weave in the opposite direction of other California native weavers.
  • Also, Yuki baskets were the first documented with finished top edges.
  • Unlike most Californian peoples, the Yuki had a war chief and order. They were aggressive and attacked other nearby native peoples on numerous occasions trying to protect their homelands and resources. [Mojave were the only other California warring tribe.]
  • The Yuki are the only California tribe to continuously live on their ancestral homeland.


The Round Valley Indian Tribe is a federally recognized tribe. Beginning as the Covelo Indian Community, RVIT is a confederation of small tribes: the Yuki, Wailacki, Concow, Little Lake Pomo, Nomlacki, and Pit River. They were forced onto the land formerly occupied by the Yuki tribe.

The Round Valley Indian Reservation began in 1856 as the Nome Cult Farm, an administrative extension of the Nome Lackee Reservation located on the Northwestern edge of the Sacramento Valley at Paskenta; one of the five reservations in California legislated by the United States Government in 1852. The system of Indian reservations had a dual purpose: to protect Indians by segregating them from the settlers converging on California in greater and greater numbers, and to free Indian land for the settlers’ use.

When the reservation was established, the Yuki people (as they came to be called) of Round Valley were forced into a difficult and unusual situation. Their traditional homeland was not completely taken over by settlers as in other parts of California. Instead, a small part of it was reserved especially for their use as well as the use of other Indians, many of who were enemies of the Yuki. The Yuki had to share their home with strangers who spoke other languages, lived with other beliefs, and who used the land and its products differently.

Except the Yuki, Indians came to Round Valley as they did to other reservations – by force. The word “drive”, widely used at the time, is descriptive of the practice of “rounding up” Indians and “driving” them like cattle to the reservation where they were “corralled” by high picket fences. Such drives took place in all weather and seasons, and the elderly and sick often did not survive. The Nome Cult Walk is an annual re-enactment of one of these ‘drives’.

From years of intermarriage, a common lifestyle, and a shared land base, a unified community has emerged. In 1936,the descendants of Yuki, Wailacki, Concow, Little Lake Pomo, Nomlacki, and Pit River peoples formed a new tribe on the reservation through the adoption of a Constitution and created the Covelo Indian Community, later to be called the Round Valley Indian Tribes. Our heritage is a rich combination of different cultures with a common reservation experience and history.

[1] Avelino, Heriberto (2006). “The typology of Pame number systems and the limits of Mesoamerica as a linguistic area”. Linguistic Typology 10 (1): 41–60. DOI:10.1515/LINGTY.2006.002

[2] Marcia Ascher. “Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas”. The College Mathematics Journal. Retrieved 2007-04-13.

Language information found at

Last modified: August 12 2013.

Located 1 Mile North of Covelo in Round Valley. 77826 Covelo Road – Covelo, California 95428
Phone: (707) 983-6126 Fax: (707) 983-6128

Here is more history of that reservation including a photograph of the annual Nome Cult Walk, a re-enactment of the 1863 forced walk of Indians from the Chico area to the Covelo area

Maidu Regional Park is located in the east side of Roseville California a suburban city of Sacramento California and includes Maidu Indian Museum & Historic Site


Major federal law affecting Indian communities is: 1. Presidential Executive Order with approval of Congress (e.g. Round Valley Indian Reservation established March 30, 1870 by President Ulysses S. Grant) 2. Dawes Act of 1887 (Allotment Act) and 3. Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. Additional legislation and rulings found here.




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