American Art – Part I of II: Robert Motherwell
“Art is an experience, not an object.” – Robert Motherwell, an American painter, printmaker, and editor, who died 16 July 1991.
Died 16 July 1827 – Josiah Spode II, an English artist who continued his father’s tradition of producing exquisite pottery.
Some quotes from Anita Brookner:
“Nobody grows up. Everyone carries around all the selves that they have ever been, intact, waiting to be reactivated in moments of pain, of fear, of danger. Everything is retrievable, every shock, every hurt. But perhaps it becomes a duty to abandon the stock of time that one carries within oneself, to discard it in favour of the present, so that one’s embrace may be turned outwards to the world in which one has made one’s home.”
“Good women always think it is their fault when someone else is being offensive. Bad women never take the blame for anything.”
“Dr Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.”
“Problems of human behavior still continue to baffle us, but at least in the Library we have them properly filed.”
“I suppose what one wants really is ideal company and books are ideal company.”
“The essence of romantic love is that wonderful beginning, after which sadness and impossibility may become the rule.”
“In real life, of course, it is the hare that wins. Every time. Look around you.”
“Real love is a pilgrimage. It happens when there is no strategy, but it is very rare because most people are strategists”
“For once a thing is known, it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten.”
“That sun, that light had faded, and she had faded with them. Now she was as grey as the season itself.”
“I could not, somehow, make contact with any familiar emotion. As I lingered in front of a lighted window, apparently beguiled by a pair of burgundy leather shoes, I could only identify a feeling of exclusion. I felt as if the laws of the universe no longer applied to me, since I was outside the normal frames of reference. A biological nonentity, to be phased out. And somewhere, intruding helplessly and to no avail into my consciousness, the anger of the underdog, plotting bloody revolution, plotting revenge.”
“No man is free of his own history.”
“They sat islanded in their foreignness, irrelevant now that the holiday season had ended, anachronistic, outstaying their welcome, no longer necessary to anyone’s plans. Priorities had shifted; the little town was settling down for its long uninterrupted hibernation. No one came here in the winter. The weather was too bleak, the snow too distant, the amenities too sparse to tempt visitors. And they felt that the backs of the residents had been turned on them with a sigh of relief, reminding them of their transitory nature, their fundamental unreality. And when Monica at last succeeded in ordering coffee, they still sat, glumly, for another ten minutes, before the busy waitress remembered their order.”
“’Homesick,’ said Edith finally. ‘Yes.’ But she thought of her little house as if it had existed in another life, another dimension. She thought of it as something to which she might never return. The seasons had changed since she last saw it; she was no longer the person who could sit up in bed in the early morning and let the sun warm her shoulders and the light make her impatient for the day to begin. That sun, that light had faded, and she had faded with them. Now she was as grey as the season itself. She bent her head over her coffee, trying to believe that it was the steam rising from the cup that was making her eyes prick. This cannot go on, she thought.”
From the Music Archives: The Three Tenors
16 July 1994 – “The Three Tenors” – Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Jose Carreras – perform together in Los Angeles.
From the American History Archives: Trinity
16 July 1945 – The culmination of the Manhattan Project and the beginning of the Atomic Age: At 5:29:45 a.m. local time, the first detonation of a nuclear device took place on the White Sands Proving ground near Socorro, New Mexico. Having the code name “Trinity,” the bomb exploded with an energy equivalent of around 20 kilotons of TNT, though predictions made by the scientists involved in its construction ranged from zero (a complete dud) to ignition of the atmosphere and incineration of the entire planet.
Italian Art – Part I of II: Francesco Ciusa
“I am a clown…and I collect moments.” – Heinrich Boll, German writer and recipient of the 1972 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his writing which through its combination of a broad perspective on his time and a sensitive skill in characterization has contributed to a renewal of German literature,” who died 16 July 1985.
Some quotes from Heinrich Boll:
“An artist is like a woman who can do nothing but love, and who succumbs to every stray male jackass.”
“One ought to go too far, in order to know how far one can go.”
“When I got the Nobel Prize I said to myself that it had made me neither smarter nor more stupid.”
“A family without a black sheep is not a typical family.”
“Humor is really one of the hardest things to define, very hard. And it’s very ambiguous. You have it or you don’t. You can’t attain it. There are terrible forms of professional humor, the humorists’ humor. That can be awful. It depresses me because it is artificial. You can’t always be humorous, but a professional humorist must. That is a sad phenomenon.”
Italian Art – Part II of II: Pietro Consaga
From the Cinema Archives: Ginger Rogers
“My mother told me I was dancing before I was born. She could feel my toes tapping wildly inside her for months.” – Ginger Rogers, American actress, Academy Award winner (Best Actress for her performance in “Kitty Foyle”), singer, and dancer best known as the partner of Fred Astaire in ten Hollywood musicals, who was born on 16 July 1911.
The epitome of grace:
“I Think Continually of Those Who Were Truly Great”
I think continually of those who were truly great.
Who, from the womb, remembered the soul’s history
Through corridors of light where the hours are suns,
Endless and singing. Whose lovely ambition
Should tell of the Spirit, clothed from head to foot in song.
And who hoarded from the Spring branches
The desires falling across their bodies like blossoms.
What is precious, is never to forget
The essential delight of the blood drawn from ageless springs
Breaking through rocks in worlds before our earth.
Never to deny its pleasure in the morning simple light
Nor its grave evening demand for love.
Never to allow gradually the traffic to smother
With noise and fog, the flowering of the Spirit.
Near the snow, near the sun, in the highest fields,
See how these names are feted by the waving grass
And by the streamers of white cloud
And whispers of wind in the listening sky.
The names of those who in their lives fought for life,
Who wore at their hearts the fire’s centre.
Born of the sun, they travelled a short while toward the sun
And left the vivid air signed with their honour.
“Go to the country: The muse is in the woods.” – Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, French painter and printmaker, who was born 16 July 1796.
Below – “Landscape with Lake and Boatman”; “Woman Reading”; “Reclining Nymph”; “Seascape with Figures on Cliffs”; “The Roman Campagna, with the Claudian Aqueduct”; “The Artist’s Mother.”
From the American Old West: Ned Buntline
Died 16 July 1886 – Edward Zane Carroll Judson, Sr., better known by his pseudonym Ned Buntline, an American publisher, writer, journalist, and publicist best known for his dime novels and the Colt Buntline Special he is alleged to have commissioned from Colt’s Manufacturing Company.
In the words of one writer, Canadian painter Yvette Moore “was born and raised on her family farm in the rural community of Radville, Saskatchewan. Her career as an artist began in her early years when she developed an appreciation and an intrigue in the details surrounding her. Growing up on a farm cultivated an understanding of the way things work, evolve and grow—giving Yvette a unique style of hyper-realism of details often overlooked or taken for granted in everyday life.”
A Poem for Today
By Michael Klein
I wept in a stable.
I found money in the dirt.
I reenacted a car accident in the tack room.
I asked a horse van driver to let me off where the bridle path stopped.
I looked at the jockey for what he was dreaming.
I told him he was wrong about making things happen.
He couldn’t make things happen.
I couldn’t make things happen anymore.
There is exactly not enough money in the world.
Magical thinking got me where I am today.
Animals are warriors of time.
I stopped keeping things hidden.
That wasn’t a horse we saw in the winner’s circle.
I can’t stop horses as much as you can’t stop horses.
American Art – Part II of II: Louise Peabody