Sentient in San Francisco – 6 May 2019

This Date in Art History: Born 6 May 1880 – Winifred Brunton, an English-South African painter, illustrator, and Egyptologist.

Below – “Pepi I”; “Hatshepsut”; “Queen Tetisheri”; “Narmer”; “Akhenten”; “Seti I.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 6 May 1919 – L. Frank Baum, an American writer and author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Some quotes from the work of L. Frank Baum:

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?”
“I believe that dreams – day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing – are likely to lead to the betterment of the world.”
“In all this world there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child.”
“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.”
“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with!”
“I think the world is like a great mirror, and reflects our lives just as we ourselves look upon it. Those who turn sad faces toward the world find only sadness reflected. But a smile is reflected in the same way, and cheers and brightens our hearts. You think there is no pleasure to be had in life. That is because you are heartsick and – and tired, as you say. With one sad story ended you are afraid to begin another – a sequel-feeling it would be equally sad. But why should it be? Isn’t the joy or sorrow equally divided in life?”
“Never give up. No one knows what’s going to happen next.”


This Date in Art History: Born 6 May 1880 – Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, a German-Swiss painter.

Below – “Marzella”; “Street, Berlin”; “Davos in Summer”; “Archers”; “Bathers at Moritzburg.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 6 May 1949 – Maurice Maeterlinck, a Belgian-French playwright, poet, essayist, and recipient of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Some quotes from the work of Maurice Maeterlinck:

“Happiness will never be any greater than the idea we have of it.”
“Nothing in the whole world is so athirst for beauty as the soul, nor is there anything to which beauty clings so readily.”
“At every crossroad on the way that leads to the future, each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand men appointed to guard the past.”
“Do we not all spend the greater part of our lives under the shadow of an event that has not yet come to pass?”
“Many a happiness in life, a many a disaster, is due to chance alone; but the peace within us can never be governed by chance.”

This Date in Art History: Died 6 May 1939 – Konstantin Somov, a Russian-French painter and illustrator.

Below – “Open door into a garden”; “Portrait of a Woman”; “Autumn”; “Bathers”; “Echo of Bygone Days”; “Evening”; “Lady at the Mirror.”


This Date in Music History: Born 6 May 1945 – Bob Seger, an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and member of the Silver Bullet Band.

This Date in Art History: Died 6 May 2014 – Maria Lassnig, an Austrian painter.

Below – “Der Frank und die Frankfurterin”; “Portrait of a Woman”; “Landscape with three Scooters”; “Collector-couple”; Untitled; “View from the artist’s atelier in New York.”


This Date in Literary History: Died 6 May 1862 – Henry David Thoreau, an American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, transcendentalist, and author of “Walden, Or, Life in the Woods” and
“Civil Disobedience.”

Some quotes from the work of Henry David Thoreau:

“Simplify your life. Don’t waste the years struggling for things that are unimportant. Don’t burden yourself with possessions. Keep your needs and wants simple and enjoy what you have. Don’t destroy your peace of mind by looking back, worrying about the past. Live in the present. Simplify!”
“It’s the beauty within us that makes it possible for us to recognize the beauty around us. The question is not what you look at but what you see.”
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things..”
“The only people who ever get anyplace interesting are the people who get lost.”
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

Contemporary Polish Art 0 Agnieszka Nienartowicz: Part I of II.

Below – “The Oval Portrait.”


A Poem for Today

“Red Balloon Rising”
by Laurel Blossom

I tied it to your wrist
With a pretty pink bow, torn off
By the first little tug of wind.
I’m sorry.

I jumped to catch it, but not soon enough.
It darted away.

It still looked large and almost within reach.
Like a heart.

Watch, I said.
You squinted your little eyes.

The balloon looked happy, waving
Good-bye.

The sky is very high today, I said.
Red went black, a polka dot,

Then not. We watched it,
Even though we couldn’t

Spot it anymore at all.
Even after that.

Contemporary Polish Art 0 Agnieszka Nienartowicz: Part II of II.

Below –  “Allegory of Justice.”

This Date in Literary History: Died 6 May 2014 – Farley Mowat, a Canadian writer, environmentalist, and author of “Never Cry Wolf.”

Some quotes from the work of Farley Mowat:

“We have doomed the wolf not for what it is, but for what we deliberately and mistakenly perceive it to be –the mythologized epitome of a savage ruthless killer – which is, in reality, no more than a reflected image of ourself.”
“On my 70th birthday, I was asked how I felt about mankind’s prospects. This is my reply: We are behaving like yeasts in a brewer’s vat, multiplying mindlessly while greedily consuming the substance of a finite world. If we continue to imitate the yeasts, we will perish as they perish, having exhausted our resources and poisoned ourselves in the lethal brew of our own wastes. Unlike the yeasts, we have a choice. What will it be?”
“We’re under some gross misconception that we’re a good species, going somewhere important, and that at the last minute we’ll correct our errors and God will smile on us. It’s delusion.”
“The wolf never kills for fun, which is probably one of the main differences distinguishing him from man.”
“Whenever and wherever men have engaged in the mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.”
“Truth I have no trouble with, it’s the facts I get all screwed up.”
“It is in our nature to travel into our past, hoping thereby to illuminate the darkness that bedevils the present.”

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