Studio notes from the contemporary painter Gregg Chadwick
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Ken Burns is a National Treasure Along with our National Parks
"In America, magnificence is a common treasure.... We own together the most magnificent places on the continent." Carl Pope - The Sierra Club
In 1872 the United States Government created the first National Park on the globe: Yellowstone National Park. Ken Burns has created a new series of documentary films, The National Parks - America's Best Idea , that celebrates this landmark achievement.
Thomas Moran Yellowstone watercolor on paper from Ken Burns' The National Parks - America's Best Idea
The first installment in the series, The Scripture of Nature, tells the history of Yellowstone and the inspiration for a National Parks system that sprung out of the collection of "artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and tourists" that found beauty and worth in the stunning natural world of Yosemite in California and Yellowstone in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
Albert Bierstadt Yosemite Valley oil on canvas from Ken Burns' The National Parks - America's Best Idea On June 30, 1864 President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to preserve Yosemite.
John Muir was inspired by the majesty of the American landscape and became the voice for the preservation of our spectacular wilderness. Ken Burns' series on the National Parks is ever so timely as cynicism seems to be our new national voice. I highly recommend this series of documentaries and am convinced that those who pay attention to Burns' films will come away changed and inspired.
American Indian at Yosemite from Ken Burns' The National Parks - America's Best Idea Ken Burns points out that in the American Indian language of the region, Yosemite means "people who should be feared, they are killers."
Ken Burns is an American treasure. My son and I were fortunate to meet him and thank him for the amazing work he has done to bring history to the forefront of public consciousness. We are lucky to have him and his art.
"Here, she recounts Germany conquering Ukraine in the second world war. She brings calm, then conflict. A couple on a bench become a woman's face; a peaceful walkway becomes a conflagration; a weeping widow morphs into an obelisk for an unknown soldier. Simonova looks like some vengeful Old Testament deity as she destroys then recreates her scenes - with deft strokes, sprinkles and sweeps she keeps the narrative going. She moves the judges to tears as she subtitles the final scene : "Ty vsegda ryadom" -- "You'll always be near." James Donaghy, The Guardian
Deo Gratias for Luke - The composer Johannes Ockeghem's canon, Deo Gratias, is sung by nine choirs of four voices each. The formal structure of the work is intricate yet creates an incredibly haunting musical space.
Johannes Ockeghem was born in 1410 in Saint-Ghislain (now in Belgium) and died in Tours, France in 1497.
Magritte's Painting Olympia Stolen During Armed Robbery at Belgian Museum
Magritte Olympia oil on canvas 1948 Musée Magritte
Olympia painted in 1948 by Belgian surrealist René Magritte was stolen today by gun wielding thieves in a daylight heist at the Musée Magritte. The museum is housed in Magritte's former residence just outside Brussels and is dedicated to Magritte's art and life.
The Times online interviewed Johan Berckman’s, a policeman at the scene, who said: “At 10.10am this morning (24 Sept 2009) someone rang the bell of the museum asking if they could visit. He was let in and when he was inside he pulled out a pistol and ordered the woman to go back to the door to let a second person come inside.
“There were three museum workers inside at the time and two Japanese tourists. All five of them were ordered out the back and told to keep quiet by the man with the gun.
“In the museum the other person stole the painting and they both made good their escape. They seemed to know which painting they wanted to steal - they took the whole painting off the wall, including the frame.”
Fortunately no one was injured in the theft. But the loss of Olympia is a crushing blow for the small museum and the cultural patrimony of Belgium.
Last night was the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Artists for a New South Africa. I was honored to be there and painted this small work as a gift for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who unfortunately was not able to make the event.
Alfre Woodard at Jabulani! Artists for a New South Africa
We were treated to stirring speeches by Ahmad Kathrada, Barbara Hogan, Alfre Woodard, and a videotaped message from Archbishop Tutu. Jason White & the West Angeles Church Mass Choir got the hall rocking. And Corey Chisel and Jackson Browne provided soulful sets of inspiring music.
Jackson Browne and band played a stirring rendition of Little Steven's I am a Patriot. (Here's a Youtube version from Browne's performance from Soundstage 2008 Window to the World Studios, Chicago October, 14th, 2008)
New York, N.Y. (Sept. 15, 2001) -- A tired search dog finds time to rest as rescue efforts at the World Trade Center in New York City continue just a few feet away. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres. (RELEASED)
Just came across this image today after 8 years. Touching..
"To Save, and to Serve, and to Build." September 11, 2009: Full Remarks by President Obama at Pentagon Memorial
"Once more we pause, once more we pray, as a nation and as a people. We read their names. We press their photos to our hearts. . . . We recall the beauty and meaning of their lives."
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary ________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release September 11, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT WREATH-LAYING CEREMONY AT THE PENTAGON MEMORIAL
The Pentagon Arlington, Virginia
9:34 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen and members of the Armed Forces, fellow Americans, family and friends of those that we lost this day -- Michelle and I are deeply humbled to be with you.
Eight Septembers have come and gone. Nearly 3,000 days have passed -- almost one for each of those taken from us. But no turning of the seasons can diminish the pain and the loss of that day. No passage of time and no dark skies can ever dull the meaning of this moment.
So on this solemn day, at this sacred hour, once more we pause. Once more we pray -- as a nation and as a people; in city streets where our two towers were turned to ashes and dust; in a quiet field where a plane fell from the sky; and here, where a single stone of this building is still blackened by the fires.
We remember with reverence the lives we lost. We read their names. We press their photos to our hearts. And on this day that marks their death, we recall the beauty and meaning of their lives; men and women and children of every color and every creed, from across our nation and from more than 100 others. They were innocent. Harming no one, they went about their daily lives. Gone in a horrible instant, they now "dwell in the House of the Lord forever."
We honor all those who gave their lives so that others might live, and all the survivors who battled burns and wounds and helped each other rebuild their lives; men and women who gave life to that most simple of rules: I am my brother's keeper; I am my sister's keeper.
We pay tribute to the service of a new generation -- young Americans raised in a time of peace and plenty who saw their nation in its hour of need and said, "I choose to serve"; "I will do my part." And once more we grieve. For you and your families, no words can ease the ache of your heart. No deeds can fill the empty places in your homes. But on this day and all that follow, you may find solace in the memory of those you loved, and know that you have the unending support of the American people.
Scripture teaches us a hard truth. The mountains may fall and the earth may give way; the flesh and the heart may fail. But after all our suffering, God and grace will "restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." So it is -- so it has been for these families. So it must be for our nation.
Let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act and who plot against us still. In defense of our nation we will never waver; in pursuit of al Qaeda and its extremist allies, we will never falter.
Let us renew our commitment to all those who serve in our defense -- our courageous men and women in uniform and their families and all those who protect us here at home. Mindful that the work of protecting America is never finished, we will do everything in our power to keep America safe.
Let us renew the true spirit of that day. Not the human capacity for evil, but the human capacity for good. Not the desire to destroy, but the impulse to save, and to serve, and to build. On this first National Day of Service and Remembrance, we can summon once more that ordinary goodness of America -- to serve our communities, to strengthen our country, and to better our world.
Most of all, on a day when others sought to sap our confidence, let us renew our common purpose. Let us remember how we came together as one nation, as one people, as Americans, united not only in our grief, but in our resolve to stand with one another, to stand up for the country we all love.
This may be the greatest lesson of this day, the strongest rebuke to those who attacked us, the highest tribute to those taken from us -- that such sense of purpose need not be a fleeting moment. It can be a lasting virtue.
For through their own lives –- and through you, the loved ones that they left behind –- the men and women who lost their lives eight years ago today leave a legacy that still shines brightly in the darkness, and that calls on all of us to be strong and firm and united. That is our calling today and in all the Septembers still to come.
May God bless you and comfort you. And may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
END 9:40 A.M. EDT
A Moment of Silence at the White House September 11, 2009
Metropolitan Museum of Art Discovers A New Velázquez In Its Own Collection: Is the Painting a Self Portrait?
Portrait of A Man (Self Portrait?) Velázquez oil on canvas circa 1634-35 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York photo by Angel Franco/ New York Times
Portrait of A Man (Self Portrait?) detail Velázquez oil on canvas circa 1634-35 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Years of discolored varnish and overpainting have a revealed a fresh new face in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 17th Century Spanish Collection. Carol Vogel has an informative article in today's New York Times: An Old Master Emerges From Grime Vogel interviewed Keith Christiansen, the Met’s newly appointed chairman of European paintings:“It’s bugged me for 25 years. The quality has always been there. And I had a hard time believing that a work of quality was the product of a generic workshop.”
Keith Christiansen had Velázquez expert Jonathan Brown look at the restored painting. Vogel reports his response: "“One glance was all it took,” Mr. Brown said, adding later, “The picture had been under my nose all my life. It’s a fantastic discovery. It suddenly emerges Cinderella-like.”
Velázquez The Surrender of Breda (Las Lanzas) detail 1634-35 Oil on canvas, 307 x 367 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid
Velázquez Las Meninas or The Family of Philip IV (detail) 1656-57 Oil on canvas, 318 x 276 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid From the Prado's site:"On the left in the painting, dark and calm, the painter himself can be seen standing with brush and palette in front of a tall canvas."
The Metropolitan Displays Restorers Tools photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
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