Fifth Beatle: Stuart Sutcliffe – Gone But Not Forgotten

 

stuart_sutcliffe5_small

Two guys sitting in a bar having a great time and very much intoxicated, they amusingly mimic a girl singing on stage. They are very humored by this form of entertainment while completely suspended from sensibility. Next thing they know one of them is pinned to the ground and gets the beating of his life! His best friend, John Lennon, tries to defend him the best as he could and even gets his wrist broken in the process. Bludgeoned and almost covered in blood, Stuart Sutcliffe gets kicked in the head extremely hard, which many believed is what triggered the brain hemorrhage that lead to his death in 1962. The Beatles will never be the same again.

Born on the 23rd of June, 1940, Stuart Ferguson Victor Sutcliffe was a quiet, good looking, but very shy lad. He had personal charisma and looks comparable to James Dean. He would often reserve away from the female gender, but still would not have any trouble having them as companions. His passion for art was not just a hobby but more of a way of life. Every stroke of paint that he put onto a canvass was an expression of a different aspect of himself. By the age of 19, he was already considered as one of the most promising and talented students at the Liverpool College of Arts. While Sutcliffe was a gifted artist, he also had an interest with music; this was mainly influenced by his friendship with John Lennon. Stu would hang around with John’s group during gigs and rehearsals while doing his work. This almost brought a concern to his fellow artists that he might abandon his first love, painting. But nevertheless, he was still just as interested in art as he always had been.

As Stu and John’s college years progressed, they developed a remarkable friendship that would be envied almost by everyone around at that time (who wouldn’t!) they would rely on each other for anything anytime. Stu would influence John to express his creative side while John on the other hand, would tell Stu to relax a bit more and teach him how to connect with others. Both of them cherished this and became the best of friends. As Stuart further expounded his skills for art he decided to enter some of his paintings for the John Moore exhibition which was regarded as one of the best around for its type. John(Lennon) was so excited for Stu that he even brought his Aunt Mimi to the exhibit to flaunt his best friend’s work. This also caught the attention of the host (John Moore) and even bought one of Stu’s paintings for an unheard sum of 65 pounds! Having received this large sum of money, Stu didn’t exactly knew what to do with it. Sure he had a few debts here and there or maybe he should buy more painting materials to further support his craft, but instead John convinced him to buy a bass guitar (Hofner President) and join his group, Johnny & the Moondogs. Although Stu didn’t really know how to play and had to turn down John a couple of times, he finally decided to give it a go and this would turn out to be one of the most important decisions that he would make in his life. Never mind that he couldn’t play he would eventually pick it up by self-teaching and “with a little help from his friends.”

Years later George (Harrison) would recall in one interview: “Stu had no idea how to play, we all showed him what we could but he really picked it up by coming around with us and playing onstage.” Although it became clear to everyone including John, that Stuart would never be as excellent a musician as he was a brilliant artist. The group would turn his amp off whenever he couldn’t follow a song or was having a difficult time finishing it. Stu on the other hand, would rather turn his back to the crowd during live gigs for them not to notice his flaw.

However because of this, he was able to embody that distinctive sense of style and mystery to the band’s appearance. Shortly after a few gigs in their local area, the boys got an invitation to play in a club somewhere in Hamburg. But before flying-off, they had to undergo a series of modifications of their band’s name; from Johnny & the Moondogs, to the Silver Beetles, until finally Stu came up with just “The Beetles.” Stuart was thinking of a name that would resemble Buddy Holly & the Cricketts since John and Paul (McCartney) were into them at that time.

Later the second “e” was dropped and instead was replaced by an “a” since John had specified that “we’re a beat group.”

Meanwhile back in Hamburg, a couple were having a lover’s quarrel when the guy, Klaus Voorman (who later went on to design the cover of Revolver) decided to walk out and just wander the streets of Hamburg for some fresh air until he found himself walking into a club and heard a performance by a group of musicians from Liverpool. He was also so enthralled by this and ran back to his (then) lover, Astrid Kircherr, to tell her about them. They began to talk to these boys after the performance and right away there was an immediate connection between Stuart and Astrid. Even though there was a huge communication gap, the two fell in love instantly with each other.

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Snow Tiger by YUSEF KOMUNYAKAABY

th - Copy - Copy

Ghost sun half
hidden, where did you go?
There’s always a mother
of some other creature
born to fight for her young.
But crawl out of your hide,
walk upright like a man,
& you may ask if hunger is the only passion
as you again lose yourself
in a white field’s point of view.
In this glacial quiet
nothing moves except—
then a flash of eyes & nerves.
If cornered in your head by cries from a cave
in another season, you can’t forget
in this landscape a pretty horse
translates into a man holding a gun.

Source: Poetry (April 2012).


BIOGRAPHY

In his poetry, Yusef Komunyakaa weaves together the elements of his own life in short lines of vernacular to create complex images of life in his native Louisiana and the jungles of Vietnam. From his humble beginnings as the son of a carpenter, Komunyakaa has traveled far to become a scholar, professor, and prize-winning poet. In 1994, he claimed the Pulitzer Prize and the $50,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his Neon . . .

British pre-Raphaelite barn owl painting discovery

British pre-Raphaelite barn owl painting discovered
William James Webbe (fl.1853-1878), The White Owl, 'Alone and warming his five wits, The white owl in the belfry sits,' signed with monogram and dated '1856' (lower left), oil on board, 17¾ x 10 3/8 in. (45 x 26.3 cm.) © Christie’s Images Limited 2012

From the Huffington Post:

Attic Owl Painting Sells For Nearly $1 Million At Christie’s Victorian Art Sale (PHOTO)

Posted: 12/17/2012 12:31 pm EST  |  Updated: 12/17/2012 12:31 pm EST

Everyone dreams of finding that one priceless item hiding in the corners of a dust-ridden attic. One UK teacher recently experienced the joy of rescuing such a forgotten antique, all thanks to an old owl painting that turned out to be worth nearly a million dollars.

Jane Cordery, an art teacher in Hampshire, discovered the detailed bird portrait in her attic after attempting to clean the space for a plumber. She’d never seen the ornate owl, but the painting’s intricate brushwork caught her eye and she decided to e-mail a photograph of the find to Christie’s auction house. According to the Daily Mail, One look at the owl and art expert Brandon Lindberg knew that that the work was worth much more than anyone suspected.

The auction house determined that the painting, titled “The White Owl,” was created by pre-Raphaelite artist William James Webbe, and experts valued the work at £70,000 ($113,449). Beyond the British masterpiece’s hefty price tag, it was also revealed that the UK’s Royal Society had exhibited the owl in the mid 19th century, exposing the piece to leading art critic, John Ruskin, who described it as “a careful study” with excellent brown wings.

The attic artwork hit Christie’s auction block last week, far outselling its estimated price — the winning bid was £589,250 ($951,050). Cordery maintains that she had never even seen the painting before her impromptu winter cleaning, while her partner, James Ravenscroft, remembers receiving the work as a present from his mother. “It’s a complete shock,” Cordery told the Daily Pioneer after the sale. “We were not imagining that in our wildest dreams.”

The owl depicted in the painting is a barn owl.

The motto of the painting is inspired by this poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson.

Related articles

Re-posted from (dearkitty1.wordpress.com) who nominated this blog for 2012 Best Blog!

Thank You. I am honored by this wonderful blogger! Of course I don't have all six stars, but as you can see by the re-post above why am so appreciative.

Thank You. I am honored by this wonderful blogger! Of course I don’t have all six stars, but as you can see by the re-post above why am so appreciative.

Denise Burge: Original Dirt (May 14 – September 4, 2011)

Denise Burge: Original Dirt (May 14 – September 4, 2011)

Denise Burge, Louise's Tree's, 1999

Denise Burge, Louise’s Tree‘s, 1999

Cincinnati based artist Denise Burge, approaching quilting from a painting background, views the creation of her work as its subject as well as its medium. Using the storytelling tradition learned in her community while growing up in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains, Burge uses her works as a commentary on everything from her family to the natural environment.
The Appalachian region has a history of folk artists concentrating on storytelling featuring aspects of religion, poverty, and the natural resources of the land. By using the quilt as her medium, Burge interprets what, to her, is a nostalgic and functional form of expression. Exploiting patchwork and sewing techniques as a vehicle for ecstatic pattern, Burge seeks to suggest her compositions as and analog to natural patterns of existence. Her work is constructed with a variety of materials and methods, both recycled and new, suggesting aspects of physical growth and renewal through the process. Shredding, slicing, layering, and turning forms and patterns inside-out, the artists sees her creations as a way to reenact and connect with the transformations that the earth constantly undergoes. Her nostalgia leads her to a romanticized conversation about attachment to our landscape. In the Appalachian landscape, people often see the brutality that can be exerted upon the earth, but also become viscerally connected to land and place as a natural resource and source of vitality. Burge uses her work to contemplate this contradiction and question the complexities of our relationship to our natural world.

Elmhurst Art Museum
150 Cottage Hill Ave.
Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
630.834.0202

Object Imprint artist, Denise Burge

Object Imprint artist, Denise Burge (Photo credit: a stitch in the ditch)

Pocahontas (1595?- 1617) –


Pocahontas

English: Pocahontas

English: Pocahontas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pocahontas (1595?- 1617) –

The daughter of a powerful “Tribal chiefIndian Chief in Virginia, she was born in the Tidewater region of Virginia around 1595 and was called Matoaka. However, at an early age she took on the nickname of Pocahontas, meaning “Little-wanton,” for her playful and frolicsome nature, and was considered an “Indian Princess” in pop culture.

Pocahontas probably saw white men for the first time in May, 1607 when the Englishmen landed at Jamestown. One of the first she was to meet was Captain John Smith, who was the leader of the Virginia Colony at Jamestown. Later that year, in December, Smith was leading an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay when the Powhatan Indians took him captive. Smith would live to tell the romanticized story, which would become legendary. The tale would also come under scrutiny many years later by historians, who question its authenticity. But, as Smith tells it, a few days after his capture, he was taken to the official residence of the Powhatan at Werowocomoco, which was 12 miles from Jamestown. There, the great chief, Wahunsunacawh, welcomed him and offered him a feast. However, afterwards, several warriors grabbed him, forced him to stretch out on two large, flat stones and stood over him with clubs, as though ready to beat him to death if ordered. Suddenly, in rushed the chief’s daughter, little Pocahontas, and took Smith’s head in her arms to save him from death. Pocahontas then pulled him to his feet and the chief declared that they were now friends. He then adopted Smith as his son, or a subordinate chief. Actually, this mock “execution and salvation” ceremony was traditional with the Indians, and if Smith’s story is true, Pocahontas’ actions were probably one part of a ritual. Relations with the Indians continued to be generally friendly for the next year, and Pocahontas was a frequent visitor to Jamestown. She delivered messages from her father, accompanied other tribe members food and furs to trade, and spent time visiting with John Smith on her visits. Unfortunately, relations with the Powhatan and the Jamestown settlers deteriorated. Though necessary trading continued, hostilities became more open. Pocahontas’ visits to the fort became much less frequent. In October 1609, a gunpowder explosion badly injured John Smith, forcing him to return to England. When Pocahontas next came to visit the fort, she was told that her friend Smith was dead. In 1610 Pocahontas living with the Patowameke Indians and was either engaged or briefly married to an Indian named Kocoum and lived in Potomac country. But, her relationship with the Englishmen was not over. When a resourceful member of the Jamestown settlement, Captain Samuel Argall, learned where she was, he devised a plan to kidnap her and hold her for ransom. With the help of Japazaws, a lesser chief of the Patowomeck Indians, Argall lured Pocahontas onto his ship. When told she would not be allowed to leave, she “began to be exceeding pensive and discontented,” but, she eventually became calmer and even accustomed to her captivity. Argall sent word to Powhatan that he would return his beloved daughter only in exchange for the English prisoners Powhatan held, some arms and tolls that the Indians had stolen, and some corn. After a while, Powhatan sent part of the ransom and asked that they treat his daughter well. Argall returned to Jamestown in April, 1613 with Pocahontas. Pocahontas was eventually moved to a new settlement, Henrico, which was under the leadership of Sir Thomas Dale. Here, she began her education in the Christian faith and met a successful tobacco planter named John Rolfe in July, 1613. Pocahontas was allowed relative freedom within the settlement, and she began to enjoy her role in the relations between the colony and her people. After almost a year of captivity, Dale brought 150 armed men and Pocahontas into Powhatan’s territory to obtain her entire ransom. Attacked by the Indians, the Englishmen burned many houses, destroyed villages, and killed several Indian men. They finally sent Pocahontas ashore, where she reunited with two of her brothers, whom she told that she was treated well and that she was in love with and wanted to marry the Englishman John Rolfe. The Powhatan Chief gave his consent to this, and the Englishmen departed, delighted at the prospect of the “peace-making” marriage, although they didn’t receive the full ransom. John Rolfe was a very religious man who agonized for many weeks over the decision to marry an Indian, but, finally made the decision once she had been fully converted to Christianity. Pocahontas was baptized, christened by the name Rebecca, and later married Rolfe on April 5, 1614. A general peace and a spirit of goodwill between the English and the Indians resulted from the marriage. Sir Thomas Dale made an important voyage back to London in the Spring of 1616. His purpose was to seek further financial support for the Virginia Company. To ensure spectacular publicity, he brought with him about a dozen Algonquian Indians, including Pocahontas, her husband and their young son, Thomas. Pocahontas probably saw white men for the first time in May, 1607 when the Englishmen landed at Jamestown. One of the first she was to meet was Captain John Smith, who was the leader of the Virginia Colony at Jamestown. Later that year, in December, Smith was leading an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay when the Powhatan Indians took him captive. Smith would live to tell the romanticized story, which would become legendary. The tale would also come under scrutiny many years later by historians, who question its authenticity. But, as Smith tells it, a few days after his capture, he was taken to the official residence of the Powhatan at Werowocomoco, which was 12 miles from Jamestown. There, the great chief, Wahunsunacawh, welcomed him and offered him a feast. However, afterwards, several warriors grabbed him, forced him to stretch out on two large, flat stones and stood over him with clubs, as though ready to beat him to death if ordered. Suddenly, in rushed the chief’s daughter, little Pocahontas, and took Smith’s head in her arms to save him from death. Pocahontas then pulled him to his feet and the chief declared that they were now friends. He then adopted Smith as his son, or a subordinate chief. Actually, this mock “execution and salvation” ceremony was traditional with the Indians, and if Smith’s story is true, Pocahontas’ actions were probably one part of a ritual. Relations with the Indians continued to be generally friendly for the next year, and Pocahontas was a frequent visitor to Jamestown. She delivered messages from her father, accompanied other tribe members food and furs to trade, and spent time visiting with John Smith on her visits. Unfortunately, relations with the Powhatan and the Jamestown settlers deteriorated. Though necessary trading continued, hostilities became more open. Pocahontas’ visits to the fort became much less frequent. In October 1609, a gunpowder explosion badly injured John Smith, forcing him to return to England. When Pocahontas next came to visit the fort, she was told that her friend Smith was dead. In 1610 Pocahontas living with the Patowameke Indians and was either engaged or briefly married to an Indian named Kocoum and lived in Potomac country. But, her relationship with the Englishmen was not over. When a resourceful member of the Jamestown settlement, Captain Samuel Argall, learned where she was, he devised a plan to kidnap her and hold her for ransom. With the help of Japazaws, a lesser chief of the Patowomeck Indians, Argall lured Pocahontas onto his ship. When told she would not be allowed to leave, she “began to be exceeding pensive and discontented,” but, she eventually became calmer and even accustomed to her captivity. Argall sent word to Powhatan that he would return his beloved daughter only in exchange for the English prisoners Powhatan held, some arms and tolls that the Indians had stolen, and some corn. After a while, Powhatan sent part of the ransom and asked that they treat his daughter well. Argall returned to Jamestown in April, 1613 with Pocahontas. Pocahontas was eventually moved to a new settlement, Henrico, which was under the leadership of Sir Thomas Dale. Here, she began her education in the Christian faith and met a successful tobacco planter named John Rolfe in July, 1613. Pocahontas was allowed relative freedom within the settlement, and she began to enjoy her role in the relations between the colony and her people. After almost a year of captivity, Dale brought 150 armed men and Pocahontas into Powhatan’s territory to obtain her entire ransom. Attacked by the Indians, the Englishmen burned many houses, destroyed villages, and killed several Indian men. They finally sent Pocahontas ashore, where she reunited with two of her brothers, whom she told that she was treated well and that she was in love with and wanted to marry the Englishman John Rolfe. The Powhatan Chief gave his consent to this, and the Englishmen departed, delighted at the prospect of the “peace-making” marriage, although they didn’t receive the full ransom. John Rolfe was a very religious man who agonized for many weeks over the decision to marry an Indian, but, finally made the decision once she had been fully converted to Christianity. Pocahontas was baptized, christened by the name Rebecca, and later married Rolfe on April 5, 1614. A general peace and a spirit of goodwill between the English and the Indians resulted from the marriage. Sir Thomas Dale made an important voyage back to London in the Spring of 1616. His purpose was to seek further financial support for the Virginia Company. To ensure spectacular publicity, he brought with him about a dozen Algonquian Indians, including Pocahontas, her husband and their young son, Thomas.

English: Portrait of Pocahontas, wearing a tal...

English: Portrait of Pocahontas, wearing a tall hat, and seen at half-length. Around the oval lettering reads: “”MATOAKA ALS REBECCA FILIA POTENTISS: PRINC: POWHATANI IMP: VIRGINIÆ”. Below oval “Ætatis suæ 21. Ao / 1616.” Engraving by the Dutch and British printmaker and sculptor Simon van de Passe. 170 mm x 117 mm. Courtesy of the British Museum, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pocahontas_by_Simon_van_de_Passe_1616

The arrival of Pocahontas in London was well publicized. She was presented to King James I, the royal family, and the rest of the best of London society. Also in London at the time was Captain John Smith, the old friend she had not seen for eight years and whom she believed was dead. Smith relates that at their meeting, she was at first too overcome with emotion to speak. After composing herself, Pocahontas talked of old time After seven months, Rolfe decided to return his family to Virginia. In March, 1617 they set sail. It was soon apparent, however, that Pocahontas would not survive the voyage home. She was deathly ill from pneumonia or tuberculosis. She was taken ashore, and, as she lay dying, she comforted her husband, saying, “all must die. ‘Tis enough that the child liveth.” She died on March 21, 1617 and was buried in a churchyard in Gravesend, England at the age of 22. Pocahontas played a significant role in American history. As a compassionate little girl, she saw to it that the colonists received food from the Indians, so that Jamestown would not become another “Lost Colony.” She is said to have intervened to save the lives of individual colonists. In 1616 John Smith wrote that Pocahontas was “the instrument to preserve this colony from death, famine, and utter confusion.” Pocahontas not only served as a representative of the Virginia Indians, but also as a vital link between the Native Americans and the Englishmen.

***The Pictures inserted were chosen by HWG—the different contrast in images is an additional history, one that is still unwittingly propagates disingenuous history.

English: Artist depiction of Pocahontas saving...

English: Artist depiction of Pocahontas saving the life of Capt. John Smith. MEDIUM: 1 print : chromolithograph, color. B size. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)http://yanative.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/pocahontas/ (re-Blogged) http://www.legendsofamerica.com/ Related articles:

“Casey At The Bat” – Poem By: Ernest Lawrence Thayer

 

 

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day,
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.

And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.
The rest clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.
They thought, “if only Casey could but get a whack at that.
We’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.”

But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake;
and the former was a hoodoo, while the latter was a cake.

So upon that stricken multitude, grim melancholy sat;
for there seemed but little chance of Casey getting to the bat.

But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all.
And Blake, the much despised, tore the cover off the ball.

And when the dust had lifted,
and men saw what had occurred,
there was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
it rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;

it pounded through on the mountain and recoiled upon the flat;
for Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey’s manner as he stepped into his place,
there was pride in Casey’s bearing and a smile lit Casey’s face.

And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
no stranger in the crowd could doubt t’was Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt.
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.

Then, while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
defiance flashed in Casey’s eye, a sneer curled Casey’s lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
and Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.

Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped –
“That ain’t my style,” said Casey.

“Strike one!” the umpire said.
From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.

“Kill him! Kill the umpire!” shouted someone on the stand,
and it’s likely they’d have killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity, great Casey’s visage shone,
he stilled the rising tumult, he bade the game go on.

He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the dun sphere flew,
but Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, “Strike two!”

“Fraud!” cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered “Fraud!”
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.

They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
and they knew that Casey wouldn’t let that ball go by again.

The sneer has fled from Casey’s lip, the teeth are clenched in hate.
He pounds, with cruel violence, his bat upon the plate.

And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the force of Casey’s blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light.
And, somewhere men are laughing, and little children shout,

but there is no joy in Mudville
mighty Casey has struck out.

 

Pix Before Pixels

 

Original Post From http://www.artnews.com

Altered pictures have been around since photography’s invention. Until now, however, they have mostly been seen as footnotes and oddities in the medium’s history. “Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop,” on view from October 11 through January 27, argues that everything digital
photography does has been done before—in portraits, photo-illustrations, pictures for newspapers and magazines, and novelty photos. “The technology has changed several times in the course of photography’s history, and that’s part of the history of the medium, but there’s no break between analog and digital,” Fineman says. “It’s a continuum.”

That continuum exists in part because the motivations for tweaking images haven’t changed much. Chief among those reasons is that all cameras have shortcomings—there are things they cannot record. Early photographers in particular relied on darkroom techniques and postproduction procedures to make their pictures look like what they saw, or would have liked to see, with their eyes. When Édouard Baldus photographed a monastery courtyard for Cloister of Saint-Trophime, Arles, in 1851, he encountered a complicated angle and dim light, problems familiar to any photographer. His solution was to patch together a salt print from multiple negatives. The finished composite has crisp details in even the shadowy areas and has views in both directions around an ornately carved corner. “He couldn’t get everything in sharp focus and in the right exposure, so he made a lot of paper negatives and fit them together like a jigsaw puzzle,” says Fineman. The result is a “perspective that couldn’t really exist. It looks convincing, but you can tell along the seams.”

The sky was a particular challenge for 19th-century photographers. Since emulsions were more sensitive to blue light than to warmer colors, skies had to be overexposed for the foreground to look correct. One solution was simply to paint out the negative to make the sky smooth and white; another was to combine a negative exposed for the sky with one exposed for the rest of the image. But photographers did not limit themselves to negatives from the same time or place. Gustave Le Gray used the same spectacularly evocative sky for three different seascapes, and Carleton E. Watkins inserted towering fluffy clouds above his view of the Columbia River. The blank sky in Watkins’s untouched image, which also appears in the Met show, is “a much more modern-looking picture,” Fineman says, but to 19th-century audiences “clouds looked better—and sold better.”

Salability has often been a powerful motivator for doctoring photos, and the strange and funny have always attracted attention. Fanciful images on cartes de visite and other kinds of prints were wildly popular. Trick-photography postcards showing oversize produce (an ear of corn so huge it requires its own railroad car, or a watermelon as a house) were a big hit in the United States in the first decade of the 20th century. The European equivalents were more romantic. Women appeared in bubbles or clouds. In one, a man raises a bottle to a hand-colored moon with a smiling female face. Portraits were often enlivened by showing the sitter next to her double—or decapitated. Thousands of headless pictures were made from the 1870s through the early 1900s. A poser could be depicted holding (or, in one case, juggling) his own head. “You could go to a photography studio and get a portrait taken with your head on a platter,” Fineman says.

Read “Original Post”

 

Louvre Museum: Islamic art honored amid cultural clash

 

Panel with hunters. Carved and engraved ivory ...

Panel with hunters. Carved and engraved ivory with traces of paint, 11th–12th century, Egypt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Islamic art honored amid cultural clash

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2012 10:33 am

PARIS, In its boldest development in a generation, the Louvre Museum has a new wing dedicated to Islamic art, a nearly $130 million project that comes at a tense time between the West and the Muslim world.

Louvre curators tout their new Islamic Art department, which took 11 years to build and opens to the public on Saturday, as a way to help bridge cultural divides. They say it offers a highbrow and respectful counterpart to the recent unflattering depictions of the Prophet Muhammad in Western media that have sparked protests by many Muslims.

Still, one of the Louvre’s own consultants acknowledged that some Muslims could be “shocked” by three images of Muhammad with his face exposed in the new wing. Many Muslims believe the prophet should not be depicted at all — even in a flattering way — because it might encourage idolatry.

The galleries provide a needed showcase one of the West’s most extensive Islamic art collections, some 18,000 artifacts that range from the 7th century to the 19th century.

But the wing does not dwell on the old: It is housed under a futuristic, undulating glass roof designed by architects Rudy Ricciotti and Mario Bellini that has garnered comparisons to a dragonfly wing, a flying carpet, even a wind-blown veil. It marks the Louvre’s biggest change since I.M. Pei shook up the famed Paris museum with his iconic glass pyramid in 1989.

France, meanwhile, is bracing for possible disruptions at embassies across the Muslim world on Friday after the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo published lewd caricatures of Muhammad on Wednesday. The publication raised concerns that French interests could face violent protests like the ones targeting the United States over a video produced in California that ridiculed the prophet. Those protests, which continued on Thursday, have left at least 30 people dead.

But could the new museum wing actually be good timing?

The Louvre collection’s mission is to foster understanding between the West and the Islamic world. Instead of highlighting Islam as one united religion, it celebrates the secular, tolerant and cultural aspects of different Islamic civilizations.

Sophie Makariou, head of the Louvre’s Islamic art department, hopes the new wing will teach lessons about tolerance and diversity.

“I like the idea of showing the other side of the coin,” said Makariou, standing at a wall decorated with colorful, flower-patterned tiles from the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. “We are talking about a diverse world that goes from the Atlantic, Spain and Morocco to India. It brings complexity.

“We are suffering from simplistic views on the Islamic world . (Some) would make us believe that there is just one Islam, which is just not true.”

Indeed, an intricately engraved bronze lion from 13th century Spain stands proudly alongside a rare modeled-stucco head of a prince from medieval Iran. The works presented were made not just by Muslims, but by Christian and Jewish artists as well.

In a sign of the political importance of the new collection, French President Francois Hollande attended an opening ceremony Tuesday, calling it a “political gesture in the service of respect for peace.” Saudi Prince Waleed Bin Talal and the president of Azerbaijan accompanied him.

“The best weapons for fighting fanaticism that claims to be coming from Islam are found in Islam itself,” Hollande said. “What more beautiful message than that demonstrated here by these works?”

The Louvre opened a department of Islamic art in 2003, under former President Jacques Chirac, who said he wanted to highlight the contributions of Muslim civilizations to Western culture.

Chirac, who vigorously opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, constantly pushed for the idea of a “dialogue of cultures” to break down misunderstandings between the West and the Muslim world.

The collection’s organizer decided to include images of Muhammad to show the evolution of Islamic art. In one instance, he appears as a veiled character in a 16th century manuscript. And in a multimedia projection, Mohammad is shown in three separate images with his face exposed — something almost unheard-of today.

“I think Muslims will be shocked,” said Charlotte Maury, a historical consultant for the Louvre. “That’s why we put it on the side.”

“We felt we had to use them, to illustrate (Islamic) history the way we see it,” she said.

Maury said Muhammad’s face was only covered up in Islamic art starting in the 15th century, when Muslim scholars decided to interpret the veiled figure as a more respectful image.

The Quran has no direct prohibition against depicting Mohammad, though it does contain verses saying that those who insult him are cursed.

 

We Added A New Member To Our Family!

 

We have just adopted a new dog, and his name is Mika. He’s a West Siberian Laika that we got from a farm in Indiana where the couple that lived there rescued animals to help out the county they live in. He’s registered, and his papers trace his bloodline back a hundred years to Russia. He’s a sweet boy that’s gentle, very loving and full of personality. We could not have asked for a better dog, and we already love him so much!

 

“Cover To Cover” – Song By: Ronnie and Heather Whitley Gibson

upside down hanging from trees
the air that you breathe, your heart won’t skip a beat
the center of paintings that stare
with the rising sun sleepy eyes start to glare

losing my sight walking at night
penetrate the dark with candle light
cover to cover

puffing cigarettes
a moment in time when a man loses his wife
a ham on the table
you think your smart, it is raining outside

one drop of rain, a tear from the sky that’s giving
beautiful, it is the sweet that is forgiving
cover to cover

laying on blankets of grass
wonderful, ugly, and fair
the needle draws the blood
the uncomfortable weight of a stare

not to feel the pain that makes you cry
smoke from a chimney means there’s fire

like a good book read cover to cover
like a good book read cover to cover

Take A Listen To “Cover To Cover”