Sentient in San Francisco – 27 August 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 27 August 1935 – Childe Hassam, an American painter: Part I of II.

Below – “Late Afternoon, New York, Winter”; “Rainy Day, Boston”; “Celia Thaxter in Her Garden”; “The Avenue in the Rain”; “The Gorge, Appledore”; “Montauk.”

This Date in Intellectual History: Died 27 August 1963 – W. E. B. Du Bois, an American sociologist, writer, editor, historian, civil rights activist, and author of “The Souls of Black Folk.”

Some quotes from the work of W. E. B. Du Bois:

“Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.”
“Strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.”
“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.”
“One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but only that he was a splendid constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect man and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth.”
“Today I see more clearly than yesterday that the back of the problem of race and color lies a greater problem which both obscures and implements it: and that is the fact that so many civilized persons are willing to live in comfort even if the price of this is poverty, ignorance, and disease of the majority of their fellow men.”
“The chief problem in any community cursed with crime is not the punishment of the criminals, but the preventing of the young from being trained to crime.”
“There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.”

This Date in Art History: Died 27 August 1935 – Childe Hassam, an American painter: Part II of II.

Below – “Summer Sunlight”; “The Victorian Chair”; “April (The Green Gown”; “Improvisation”; “Surf, Isles of Shoals”; “Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme.”

This Date in Entertainment History: Died 27 August 1964 – Gracie Allen, who was, in the words of one writer, “an American vaudevillian, comedienne, and partner and comic foil of husband George Burns, her straight man appearing with her on radio, television, and film as the duo Burns and Allen.”

Some quotes from the work of Gracie Allen

“A friend asked her doctor if a woman should have children after thirty-five. I said, ‘Thirty-five children is enough for any woman.’”
“This recipe is certainly silly. It says to separate two eggs, but it doesn’t say how far to separate them.”
“They laughed at Joan of Arc, but she went right ahead and built it.”
“My mind works so fast. When I think of something I say it. Lots of times I say it even before I think of it.”
“I often put boiling water in the freezer. Then whenever I need boiling water,I simply defrost it.”
“This used to be a government of checks and balances. Now it’s all checks and no balances.”
“When I was born I was so surprised I didn’t talk for a year and a half.
“The President of today is just the postage stamp of tomorrow.”
“I don’t see what difference it makes what side it [your bread] is buttered on. I always eat both sides.”
“Smartness runs in my family. When I went to school I was so smart my teacher was in my class for five years.”
“A platform is something a candidate stands for and the voters fall for.”

Contemporary American Art – Kevin Chupik

Below – “Vaquero”; “King of the Sage”; “Souvenir”; “Gunslinger.”

This Date in Literary History: Born 27 August 1871 – Theodore Dreiser, an American novelist, journalist, and author of “Sister Carrie” and “An American Tragedy.”

Some quotes from the work of Theodore Dreiser:

“I believe in the compelling power of love. I do not understand it. I believe it to be the most fragrant blossom of all this thorny existence.”
“A thought will color a world for us.”
“Art is the stored honey of the human soul, gathered on wings of misery and travail.”
“Let no one underestimate the need of pity. We live in a stony universe whose hard, brilliant forces rage fiercely.”
“Assure a man that he has a soul and then frighten him with old wives’ tales as to what is to become of him afterward, and you have hooked a fish, a mental slave.”
“Our civilization is still in a middle stage, scarcely beast, in that it is no longer wholly guided by instinct; scarcely human, in that it is not yet wholly guided by reason.”
“We are to have no pictures which the puritan and the narrow, animated by an obsolete dogma, cannot approve of. We are to have no theaters no motion pictures, no books, no public exhibitions of any kind, no speech even which will anyway contravene his limited view of life.”

Contemporary American Art – Susann Kinsella

Below – “In the Light”; “Old Barn”; “In the Quiet Cove”; “Still Life with Red Pepper”; “By the Shining Sea”; “Bright Reflections.”

A Poem for Today

“The Freaks at Spurgin Road Field”
by Richard Hugo

The dim boy claps because the others clap.
The polite word, handicapped, is muttered in the stands.
Isn’t it wrong, the way the mind moves back.

One whole day I sit, contrite, dirt, L.A.
Union Station, ’46, sweating through last night.
The dim boy claps because the others clap.

Score, 5 to 3. Pitcher fading badly in the heat.
Isn’t it wrong to be or not be spastic?
Isn’t it wrong, the way the mind moves back.

I’m laughing at a neighbor girl beaten to scream
by a savage father and I’m ashamed to look.
The dim boy claps because the others clap.

The score is always close, the rally always short.
I’ve left more wreckage than a quake.
Isn’t it wrong, the way the mind moves back.

The afflicted never cheer in unison.
Isn’t it wrong, the way the mind moves back
to stammering pastures where the picnic should have worked.
The dim boy claps because the others clap.

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