American Art – Part I of IV: Nat Mayer Shapiro
Born 2 June 1919 – Nat Mayer Shapiro, an American visual artist.
American Art – Part II of IV: Scott E. Bartner
Pulitzer Prize – Part I of II: Carl Sandburg
2 June 1919 – The Pulitzer Prize in Poetry is awarded to Carl Sandburg for “Cornhuskers.”
From “Cornhuskers”: “River Roads”
Let the crows go by hawking their caw and caw.
They have been swimming in midnights of coal mines somewhere.
Let ’em hawk their caw and caw.
Let the woodpecker drum and drum on a hickory stump.
He has been swimming in red and blue pools somewhere hundreds of years
And the blue has gone to his wings and the red has gone to his head.
Let his red head drum and drum.
Let the dark pools hold the birds in a looking-glass.
And if the pool wishes, let it shiver to the blur of many wings, old swimmers from old places.
Let the redwing streak a line of vermillion on the green wood lines.
And the mist along the river fix its purple in lines of a woman’s shawl on lazy shoulders.
Here is Indian painter Suchitra Bhosie describing how the death of her father proved to be the impetus for her artistic career: “He was a hobbyist painter, and growing up we had lovely art books in our home, and I was always taken to the best art shows. And the moment he passed away was an awakening call for me.”
Pulitzer Prize – Part II of II: Eugene O’Neill
2 May 1920 – The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is awarded to Eugene O’Neill for “Beyond the Horizon.”
“Suppose I was to tell you that it’s just beauty that’s calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell which lures me, the need of freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on—-in quest of the secret which is hidden over there—-beyond the horizon?” – From “Beyond the Horizon”
Here is one critic describing the artistry of Hungarian painter Laszlo Feher: “László Fehér’s paintings have a subtly stark innocence. Again and again one sees the same care image, as though witnessed by an inner eye – a vision slowly brought into focus as it emerges from the unconscious: transparent, almost invisible figures – often only one, a child – reduced to their contours, and alone in a fiat void, usually black and gray, that is, colorless, but sometimes, ironically, bright yellow, as though the deserted scene was bathed in the light of a sun that would never set. The image is grim, yet it is also oddly comical: the figures are ghosts in a barren landscape – an ironic Elysian field – but do ordinary things in an innocent way. They are altogether relaxed and unself-conscious. Little good their innocence does them: it is threatened by their bleak environment. They may be unaware of it, but it holds them in its deadly grip.”
Peruvian painter Joselito Sabogal (born 1971) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts “Macedonio de la Torre” in Trujillo.
From the Music Archives: Andres Segovia
“The piano is a monster that screams when you touch its teeth.” – Andres Segovia, Spanish classical guitarist, father of modern classical guitar, and one of the greatest guitarists of all time, who died 2 June 1987.
From the American History Archives: Pontiac’s Rebellion
2 June 1763 – During Pontiac’s Rebellion, Native Americans capture Fort Michilimackinac from a British garrison. In the words of one historian, “a group of Ojibwe staged a game of baaga’adowe (a forerunner of modern lacrosse) outside the fort as a ruse to gain entrance. After gaining entrance to the fort, they killed most of the British inhabitants and held the fort for a year before the British retook it with the provision to offer more and better gifts to the native inhabitants of the area.”
“If a way to the Better there be, it exacts a full look at the Worst.” – Thomas Hardy, English novelist, poet, and author of “Jude the Obscure,” who was born 2 June 1840.
The publication of the grimly realistic “Jude the Obscure” was met with so much public outrage that Hardy stopped writing novels and turned his attention to poetry.
Another quote from the work of Thomas Hardy:
“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”
And a Poem:
That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day
And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,
The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, “No;
It’s gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:
“All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.
“That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them’s a blessed thing,
For if it were they’d have to scour
Hell’s floor for so much threatening….
“Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).”
So down we lay again. “I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,”
Said one, “than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!”
And many a skeleton shook his head.
“Instead of preaching forty year,”
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
“I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.”
“Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.” – Vita Sackville-West, English poet, author, gardener, and two-time recipient of the Hawthornden Prize (1927, 1933), who died 2 June 1962.
In the words of one critic, Vita Sackville-West “was known for her exuberant aristocratic life, her passionate affair with the novelist Virginia Woolf, and Sissinghurst Castle Garden, which she and her husband, Sir Harold Nicolson, created at their estate.”
From “The Land”
She walks in the loveliness she made,
Between the apple-blossom and the water–
She walks among the patterned pied brocade,
Each flower her son, and every tree her daughter.
Japanese Art – Part I of II: Ogata Korin
Born 2 June 1716 – Ogata Korin, a Japanese painter.
Japanese Art – Part II of II: Oda Mayumi
Born 2 June 1941 – Oda Mayumi, an artist known as the “Matisse of Japan.”
She lives and works in Hawaii.
“Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.” – Edwin Way Teale, American naturalist, photographer, writer, author of the four-part series “American Seasons” (“North with the Spring,” “Journey Into Summer,” “Autumn Across America,” and “Wandering Through Winter”), and recipient of both the 1943 John Burroughs Medal for distinguished nature writing(for “Near Horizons: The Story of an Insect Garden”) and the 1966 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction (for “Wandering Through Winter”), who was born 2 June 1899.
“North with the Spring”: Whereas Henry David Thoreau was content to remain in the vicinity of Walden Pond and record the glories of Spring as they washed over him, Edwin Way Teale and his wife Tillie rode its verdant wave northward. In the words of one critic, “Starting in the Everglades, the Teales drove a widely zigzagging route all the way to Maine. From February to the summer solstice in June, they ‘witnessed the defeat of winter, in twenty-three states, and put 17,000 miles on their Buick. . .Each chapter is a snapshot of a time and a place, all revolving around nature and the way human lives were interacting with it at midcentury.”
Some quotes from the work of Edwin Way Teale:
“It is those who have compassion for all life who will best safeguard the life of man. Those who become aroused only when man is endangered become aroused too late. We cannot make the world uninhabitable for other forms of life and have it habitable for ourselves. It is the conservationist who is concerned with the welfare of all the land and life of the country, who, in the end, will do most to maintain the world as a fit place for human existence.”
“How strangely inaccurate it is to measure length of living by length of life! The space between your birth and death is often far from a true measure of your days of living.”
“Nature is shy and noncommittal in a crowd. To learn her secrets, visit her alone or with a single friend, at most. Everything evades you, everything hides, even your thoughts escape you, when you walk in a crowd.”
“Time and space – time to be alone, space to move about – these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow.”
“The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web.”
“It is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it is not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.”
“Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life and the labors of life reduce themselves.”
“Those who wish to pet and baby wild animals ‘love’ them. But those who respect their natures and wish to let them live normal lives, love them more.”
“The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues–self-restraint. Why cannot I take as many trout as I want from a stream? Why cannot I bring home from the woods a rare wildflower? Because if I do, everybody in this democracy should be able to do the same. My act will be multiplied endlessly. To provide protection for wildlife and wild beauty, everyone has to deny himself proportionately. Special privilege and conservation are ever at odds.”
American Art – Part III of IV: Ahren Hertel
In the words of one critic, “Ahren Hertel was born in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1979. Ahren received his BFA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2002. After graduating, he moved to Reno, Nevada where he later received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Reno where he now teaches painting and drawing as an adjunct professor. Ahren’s new series is a visualization of the everyday damage we do to the environment.”
A Poem for Today
“An Afternoon at the Beach,”
By Edgar Bowers
I’ll go among the dead to see my friend.
The place I leave is beautiful: the sea
Repeats the winds’ far swell in its long sound,
And, there beside it, houses solemnly
Shine with the modest courage of the land,
While swimmers try the verge of what they see.
I cannot go, although I should pretend
Some final self whose phantom eye could see
Him who because he is not cannot change.
And yet the thought of going makes the sea,
The land, the swimmers, and myself seem strange,
Almost as strange as they will someday be.
American Art – Part IV of IV: Natasha Dikareva
Artist Statement: “As an artist, I am poised between two worlds; one is the tangible reality I experience on my way to the studio, and the other is the world of possibility in which my sculptures live. I travel between the two, between the physical present and the imaginative future, bringing dreams down to earth, shaping unfamiliar creatures to life. I am a channel, guided by unseen forces of my environment and personal relationships, as well as formal aesthetic concerns. My sculptures use me as a vehicle, communicating their need to grow in a certain direction through my hands.
They become like landmarks, artifacts of another universe, memorabilia from a vacation to another dimension. At times, I imagine my sculptures are visiting us, taking in our sights to bring back to their home planet, carrying the most scenic views on their shells as proof they had seen it. We are just another dimension, another version of reality, another galactic attraction to visit and explore. They notice and record events and places we overlook, adding and recombining imagery on their surfaces as we do in dreams. In the alternate Pompeii, a language of pictures communicates the subconscious on the surface so that these shell-dwelling creatures never struggle to explain their experience. Out of the things we take for granted, a new story emerges.
My influences range from ancient Greek mythology to Eastern philosophies of spiritual transformation. I am interested in depicting the human experience using charged symbolism through which anyone can immerse themselves into a myriad of metaphorical possibilities. Through the back door of the subconscious, I find escape routes from the mundane. I tap the origin of my dreams to extract the elixir of a new understanding and a bright future.”