American Art – Part I of V: Nassos Daphnis
In the words of one art historian, “Nassos Daphnis, born in 1914 in the village of Krokeai near Sparta (died 2010), arrived in the United States in January 1930. He had been drawing and carving since childhood, and getting beaten for it by the village schoolmaster. In Manhattan he went to work in his uncle’s flower shop, and attended night school to learn English. He worked at his drawings during odd hours until a chance meeting in the New York City flower market with another florist’s assistant, Michael Lekakis, turned his life around. When Lekakis saw some of Daphnis’s drawings, he offered him the use of his studio and a model for a few days each week until Daphnis could find a space for himself. Eventually, Daphnis bought paints and rented a studio for ten dollars a month. His uncle exclaimed, ‘Whoever heard of an artist from Krokeai?’”
American Art – Part II of V: Karl Albert Buehr
In the words of one writer, “Karl Albert Buehr (1866-1952)
was born in Feuerbach – near Stuttgart. He was the son of Frederick Buehr and Henrietta Doh (Dohna?). He moved to Chicago with his parents and siblings in the 1880s. In Chicago, young Karl worked at various jobs until he was employed by a lithograph company near the Art Institute of Chicago. Introduced to art at work, Karl paid regular visits to the Art Institute, where he found part-time employment, enabling him to enroll in night classes. Later, working at the Institute as a night watchman, he had a unique opportunity to study the masters and actually posted sketchings that blended in favorably with student’s work. Having studied under John H. Vanderpoel, Buehr graduated with honors, while his work aroused such admiration that he was offered a teaching post there, which he maintained for many years thereafter.”
“We are human, and nothing is more interesting to us than humanity.” – Meyer Howard Abrams, American literary critic known for his works on Romanticism, particularly the brilliant “The Mirror and the Lamp” and “Natural Supernaturalism,” who was born 23 July 1912.
In the words of one historian, “Under Abrams’ editorship, the ‘Norton Anthology of English Literature’ became the standard text for undergraduate survey courses across the U.S. and a major trendsetter in literary canon formation.”
A few quotes from the work of Meyer Abrams:
“We are human, and nothing is more interesting to us than humanity. The appeal of literature is that it is so thoroughly a human thing — by, for and about human beings. If you lose that focus, you obviate the source of the power and permanence of literature.”
“It’s amazing how, age after age, in country after country, and in all languages, Shakespeare emerges as incomparable.”
“If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem.”
“If you learn one thing from having lived through decades of changing views, it is that all predictions are necessarily false.”
“The survival of artistic modes in which we recognize ourselves, identify ourselves and place ourselves will survive as long as humanity survives.”
Born 23 July 1851 – Peder Severin Kroyer, a Norwegian-Danish painter.
Below – “Hip, Hip, Hurrah!”; “The Benzon Daughters”; “Summer Evening on the Skagen Southern Beach with Anna Ancher and Marie Kroyer”; “In the Store When There Is No Fishing”; “Summer Evening on Skagen’s Beach: The Artist and His Wife”; “Self-Portrait.”
From the Cinema Archives: Philip Seymour Hoffman
“Acting is not something you can do by the numbers. It changes from part to part. Day to day. Hour to hour. Some days I don’t feel like it’s that hard at all. Some days I don’t want to do it for the life of me.” – Philip Seymour Hoffman, American actor and director, who was born 23 July 1967.
“The New York Times” called Hoffman “perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation.”
In the words of one writer, “In 2005, Hoffman portrayed the author Truman Capote in ‘Capote,’ for which he won multiple acting awards including the Academy Award for Best Actor.”
American Art – Part III of V: Mischa Askenazy
Om the words of one critic, “(Mischa Askenazy was) born near Odessa, Russia on Feb. 22, 1888 (died 1961). At age four Askenazy arrived in NYC where he spent his childhood. Opting for an art career, he studied at the NAD under Jones, Volk, and Maynard; upon winning a scholarship, he traveled in France and Italy for two years. During the 1920s he averaged $50,000 per year as a portraitist to the wealthy. A portrait commission brought him to Montecito, CA in 1925 and, charmed by the climate, he decided to settle in Los Angeles.”
“Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.” – Eudora Welty, American author of short stories and novels and recipient of the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction (for “The Optimist’s Daughter”), who died 23 July 2001.
Some quotes from the work of Eudora Welty:
“Children, like animals use all their senses to discover the world. Then artists come along and discover it the same way…Or now and then we’ll hear from an artisit who’s never lost it.” “But how much better, in any case, to wonder than not to wonder, to dance with astonishment and go spinning in praise, than not to know enough to dance or praise at all; to be blessed with more imagination than you might know at the given moment what to do with than to be cursed with too little to give you — and other people — any trouble.”
“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily–perhaps not possibly–chronological. The time as we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.”
“All serious daring starts from within.”
“Art, though, is never the voice of a country; it is an even more precious thing, the voice of the individual, doing its best to speak, not comfort of any sort, but truth. And the art that speaks it most unmistakably, most directly, most variously, most fully, is fiction; in particular, the novel.”
“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.”
“It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them — with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them.”
“One place understood helps us understand all places better”
“It is our inward journey that leads us through time – forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us is moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover, we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. Our living experience at those meeting points is one of the charged dramatic fields of fiction.”
“There is absolutely everything in great fiction but a clear answer.”
“It doesn’t matter if it takes a long time getting there; the point is to have a destination.”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Dutch painter Herman Tulp (born 1955): “In recent years the female nude has played a central role in his paintings. The models he portrays radiate both strength and gentleness and are often situated in dreamy spaces.
His repertoire also includes houses, trains, cows and landscapes.”
American Art – Part IV of V: Jessie Rebik
“At The Un-National Monument Along The Canadian Border,”
By William Stafford
This is the field where the battle did not happen,
where the unknown soldier did not die.
This is the field where grass joined hands,
where no monument stands,
and the only heroic thing is the sky.
Birds fly here without any sound,
unfolding their wings across the open.
No people killed – or were killed – on this ground
hallowed by neglect and an air so tame
that people celebrate it by forgetting its name.
American Art – Part V of V: Anne Abgott
Canadian-born American artist Anne Abgott maintains studios in Cortez, Florida and Linville, North Carolina. In the words of one critic, “Anne is the past President of the Florida Watercolor Society and the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society and is a long time member of the Board of Directors of Art Center Manatee in Bradenton, Florida and chairs their Education Department.”