Remembering a Writer on the Date of Her Birth: Born 30 July 1818 – Emily Bronte, an English novelist, poet, and author of “Wuthering Heights.”
Some quotes from the work of Emily Bronte:
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
“A person who has not done one half his day’s work by ten o clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone.”
“If I could I would always work in silence and obscurity, and let my efforts be known by their results.”
“I will walk where my own nature would be leading.”
“I have dreamed in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas; they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.”
Below – “Moonshine Sonata”; “Space II”; “Blue Transition”
Musings in Summer: Pablo Picasso
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
This Date in Art History: Born 30 July 1898 – Henry Moore, an English sculptor.
Below – “Recumbent Figure”; “Reclining Woman”; “West Wind”; “Family Group”; “Draped Reclining Woman”; “Oval with Points.”
For Your Information: 30 July is National Cheesecake Day in the United States.
Below – “Brigitte Bardot with Sean Connery”; “The Mamas and the Papas”; “Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood”; “Jodie Foster”; “Lee Marvin”; “Tina Turner.”
Remembering a Scholar on the Date of His Death: Died 30 July 2013 -Robert Neelly Bellah, an American sociologist and author.
Some quotes from the work of Robert Bellah:
“Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves.”
“We never get to the bottom of ourselves on our own. We discover who we are face to face and side by side with others in work, love and learning.”
“We have to treat others as part of who we are, rather than as a ‘them’ with whom we are in constant competition.”
“That happiness is to be attained through limitless material acquisition is denied by every religion and philosophy known to mankind, but is preached incessantly by every American television set.”
“We have to understand ourselves as a part of the narrative of evolution. And evolution never stops. The notion that human evolution at some point stopped and ‘history’ took over is absurd, though it is widespread among various social scientists and humanists.”
“Hinduism, Confucianism, and Buddhism are huge traditions of enormous importance, and they aren’t monotheistic. Again, this reflects the fact that our preconceptions about what religion is are so influenced by Protestantism – either real Protestantism or the secularized Protestantism that dominates our culture – and its assumption that beliefs are the most important thing.”
“‘Nothing is ever lost’ means that what we are now goes all the way back through natural history. We are biological organisms and not simply computerized brains. By focusing totally on the present, thinking only about science and computers, and forgetting four billion years of life on this planet, we are losing perspective on who and what we are.”
This Date in Art History: Born 30 July 1956 – Soraida Martinez, an American painter.
Below – “When Money Gets Ugly”; “Vieques: Hello USA, Are You There?”; “Speaking to the Labeled Kids”; “Women Working Together”; “Battle of Rice and Beans”; “Disbelief.”
Worth a Thousand Words: Ama Dablam, a mountain in the Himalaya range of eastern Nepal.
American Art – Michael Knigin (1942-2015): Part I of II.
In the words of one writer, “Michael Knigin was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1942. After graduating college in 1966, Knigin started teaching at the Pratt Graphic Center in Manhattan, an extension of the Pratt Institute, devoted to fine arts and graphic prints. There he started a fine art lithography workshop.”
Below – “Romeo’s Paradise”; “Fiery Idol”; “Finest Hope”; “Loyal to Me”; “Majestic Manner”; “Lovers, After Harunobu.”
Remembering an Influential Writer on the Date of His Death: Died 30 July 1771 – Thomas Gray, an English poet.
Note: I suppose that I was destined to become an English major the moment when, as a boy, I read the opening stanza of Gray’s “Elegy.”
“Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard”
by Thomas Gray
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow’r
The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand’ring near her secret bow’r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree’s shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould’ring heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
The swallow twitt’ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor.
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow’r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e’er gave,
Awaits alike th’ inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If Mem’ry o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where thro’ the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour’s voice provoke the silent dust,
Or Flatt’ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway’d,
Or wak’d to ecstasy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
Rich with the spoils of time did ne’er unroll;
Chill Penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathom’d caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow’r is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country’s blood.
Th’ applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o’er a smiling land,
And read their hist’ry in a nation’s eyes,
Their lot forbade: nor circumscrib’d alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin’d;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind,
The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
With incense kindled at the Muse’s flame.
Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray;
Along the cool sequester’d vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
Yet ev’n these bones from insult to protect,
Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.
Their name, their years, spelt by th’ unletter’d muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die.
For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e’er resign’d,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing, ling’ring look behind?
On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
Some pious drops the closing eye requires;
Ev’n from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
Ev’n in our ashes live their wonted fires.
For thee, who mindful of th’ unhonour’d Dead
Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely contemplation led,
Some kindred spirit shall inquire thy fate,
Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
“Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the dews away
To meet the sun upon the upland lawn.
“There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noontide would he stretch,
And pore upon the brook that babbles by.
“Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
Mutt’ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, woeful wan, like one forlorn,
Or craz’d with care, or cross’d in hopeless love.
“One morn I miss’d him on the custom’d hill,
Along the heath and near his fav’rite tree;
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood was he;
“The next with dirges due in sad array
Slow thro’ the church-way path we saw him borne.
Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay,
Grav’d on the stone beneath yon aged thorn.”
Here rests his head upon the lap of Earth
A youth to Fortune and to Fame unknown.
Fair Science frown’d not on his humble birth,
And Melancholy mark’d him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
Heav’n did a recompense as largely send:
He gave to Mis’ry all he had, a tear,
He gain’d from Heav’n (’twas all he wish’d) a friend.
No farther seek his merits to disclose,
Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
(There they alike in trembling hope repose)
The bosom of his Father and his God.
American Art – Michael Knigin (1942-2015): Part II of II.
In the words of one writer, “After a year and a half he opened his own publishing company, Chiron Press, and added a silkscreen printing facility. This was the first facility in the United States that combined lithography and screen-printing. The shop remained in existence for over seven years, printing and publishing editions for the most renowned contemporary artists, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Paul Jenkins.”
Below – “Woman Playing a Poppin, After Utamaro”; “Graceful Touch”; “East River Dance”; “Woman with Umbrella, After Buncito”; “Crimson Beau”; “Special Bird II.”