August 19, 2017

At the Questionable Artwork Café...

P1140484

... you can write about anything — this is a café post — but I am inviting you to consider whether this painting is deplorable.(Double click the image to enlarge and see details much more clearly.)

Does it deserve a place of honor or is this something that good citizens should pressure the museum to store in its basement along with other disreputable junk from America's shameful past?

And if these proddings amuse you, encourage me by using The Althouse Amazon Portal.

ADDED: Here's the wall card for that painting (at the Indianapolis Museum of Art):

Not very informative — politically — is it? Why did Thomas Hart Benton lead "Regionalists" and why did these people "favor images of America, especially the rural Midwest"? It's 1942. It's WWII. It's the year FDR relocated Japanese Americans to internment camps. Why so hot to show us the America of the rural Midwest where farmers still plow with a horse? Isn't this the kind of image Hitler would have enjoyed? Hitler too objected to the abstract art of the Modernists. He himself painted rural scenes. For example:
And yet, what a difference between Hitler's rural scene and Benton's. Benton had everything rolling and flowing, pulsating with life. Hitler doesn't even have a person or an animal, and there's no activity in his inanimate things. Hitler's painting looks like a snapshot of a real place — a boring place not even worth photographing. Benton's painting refers to reality, but everything is transformed. He takes the most humble subject and pumps it up into the mythic, heroic, and phantasmagoric.

But who knows? Maybe that's what Hitler meant to do too, and he was too crappy a painter to achieve the intended effect. And more importantly, similarity/difference to Hitler is not a good enough political test, especially for art.

209 comments:

1 – 200 of 209   Newer›   Newest»
glenn said...

The horse should be black or brown not white.

Saint Croix said...

I see woman in the clouds and woman in the land. Curvy woman. Curvy, curvy woman. Curvy woman is everywhere.

And the man is telling the horse, "We're surrounded by curvy women. Stay calm, you big stud. Don't get excited."

Paddy O said...

I like the relationships. I mean, each character has his own story. The puppy is a bit too much, but you have to over look things like that in these kinds of paintings. The way he's looking at her... it's almost... filthy. I mean, he's about to kiss her and she's pulling away. The way the leg's sort of smashed up against her... Phew... Look how he's painted the blouse sort of translucent. You can just make out her breasts underneath and it's sort of touching him about here. It's really... pretty torrid, don't you think? Then of course you have the onlookers peeking at them from behind the doorway like they're all shocked. They wish. Yeah, I must admit, when I see a painting like this, I get emotionally... erect.

mockturtle said...

Not deplorable but innocuously hideous.

john said...

Will USC be forced to kill the horse, or will it be abducted and killed?

It's head will be smuggled into the WH bedroom.

mccullough said...

The blade is in the limp position and the open barrel is dry

Ann Althouse said...

Huge vagina symbol in foreground.

Empowering for women or insulting?

Horse is big phallic symbol, but far from adequate to that huge vagina. Also the harnessing of the horse is emphasized. Is that empowering for women?

HT said...

FYI: There is not art tag on the posting about the painting hotel lobby from three days ago.

I hope-assume you are kidding about this particular painting.

SayAahh said...

Onion rings

Hagar said...

Edward Hopper it ain't.

Birkel said...

"Shameful past" is not how I see it. It's past and I wasn't there.

Let's talk about agency again.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Even a non-believer can apply some lessons.

William said...

Lots of phallic aspiration in the painting, but it's pointed towards the heavens and not the earth. Per aspera, ad astra.....It was painted at a time when Freud's thinking on sublimation were in effect. But, nowadays, two, four six, eight, we don't want to sublimate. The picture would be stronger and more aesthetically balanced if a naked woman was leading the horse.

Hagar said...

Or is this a youthful, less successful example?

madAsHell said...

Huge vagina symbol in foreground.

I've spent a lot of time contemplating vaginas, and I ain't seeing it. All I see is hard work, and providence.

Ann Althouse said...

Freud thought a hat was a vagina symbol.

Ann Althouse said...

That suggests that when a man is having sex with a woman, he's wearing her.

Not wearing her out. Wearing her like she's a very elaborate hat.

Beth Donovan said...

I'm a farmer, and I like it.

CWJ said...

Well there are pussy hats after all.

CWJ said...

For Althouse -

"Baby take off your coat
Real slow
And take off your shoes
I'll take off your shoes
Baby take off your dress
Yes yes yes

You can leave your hat on
You can leave your hat on
You can leave your hat on"

Big Mike said...

So feminists university professors (including professors with emeritus status) view every eroded gully as a vagina symbol? Good to know.

buwaya said...

It is a leftover of the cultural obsession on the part of the intelligentsia with the travails of the common people, their simple lives and their environment, by parts harsh and noble, which was typical Romanticism, socially conscious department.

This one is on a continuum with, say, Millet, and continued, in the US, into the hippie days when there was a bit of a cult of the hillbilly. Hence granny dresses and urban cowboys and the like, all of which was still visible when I came here 30 years ago.

This sort of thing is no longer au courant. The commoners and especially the peasantry are no longer objects of condescension, but class enemies.

Howard said...

Anti-capitalist depression-era commie art.

ddh said...

A painting obviously influenced by Thomas Hart Benton, WPA murals, and a touch of socialist realism.

madAsHell said...

Freud thought a hat was a vagina symbol.

All men are dickheads? I guess that explains the neck-tie that keeps the foreskin from rolling up over my ears.

stever said...

If you don't want to be offended, don't take offense. Called growing up.

tcrosse said...

Reading this painting is ever so much more sophisticated than reading tea leaves, palms, or goat entrails.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Howard said...
Anti-capitalist depression-era commie art.

8/19/17, 12:05 PM

Ah, but Howard, times have changed. Those poor white farmers the Commies used to sing folk songs about are now Nazis and deplorables.

Of all songs, I heard The Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" on the radio last night.

"He was just 18 proud and brave, but a Yankee laid him in his grave..." sung by a Canadian band and by noted conservative Joan Baez.

How deplorable. Ban it!

buwaya said...

Yes indeed, there is a great deal of WPA art here in San Francisco (in the old Art Deco Post Office, Coit Tower, City College, etc) that depicts the old working class, the pioneers, industrial workers, the salt of the earth.
It wont be too long before questions are raised.
These are after all ideoligically fascist - there IS quite a lot of fascist art that is very similar. And for that matter Soviet art.

jwl said...

exiledonmainstreet

A few years ago The State broadcaster (cbc) here in Canada did a list of one hundred top Canadian bands of all time and The Band were not even on the list. I normally don't get wound up by matters of taste but this outrage made me write a few angry emails to let them know that The Band is in top three best Canadian bands of all time.

Also, was that you who provided link to Frank Turner song yesterday about arguing communists? I had never heard of him before and I enjoyed it, thanks for link.

Kevin said...

No need to even look closely. Deeming it deplorable puts me above the work which enhances my self-esteem.

This oppressive piece of crap must be destroyed or the Nazis trying to oppress me win.

If you object, you are a Nazi.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, could you tell us who painted it? I have to agree with ddh upthread about the style (though I am reluctant to take a position after failing to recognize what impasto looks like up close on that other post).

Michael K said...

Holman Jenkins has an excellent column on Charlottesville and the story behind it.

The city is a Democratic town, run by a Democratic machine. Its elections are typically settled in a Democratic primary. The GOP is a non-factor. Of the three City Council members who voted in February to remove a Robert E. Lee statue from a town park, two who thereafter faced re-election are now gone.

One chose not to run. The other lost in a landslide. The lone remaining anti-statue vote, who did not face re-election, was Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, who recently had to leave his high-school teaching job over a history of bigoted, antiwhite tweets. He is assumed to have no political future either. Notably, Mayor Mike Signer, who declared Charlottesville a “capital of resistance” shortly after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, voted to keep Lee’s statue.


Pretty interesting piece about people behind all this.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Paddy O's painting sounds much more interesting.

Anonymous said...

but I am inviting you to consider whether this painting is deplorable.

He looks like he would have been a Trump voter.

Does it deserve a place of honor or is this something that good citizens should pressure the museum to store in its basement along with other disreputable junk from America's shameful past?

Well now that you suggest it I am picking up an Ed Gein vibe.

Go find his grave stone there in Madison before they remove it.

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5089170

Apparently it was removed and placed in a museum.

Ed Gein, Performance Artist, Ladykiller.

Howard said...

With all of you Trumpsters winning and winning and winning, Wednesday, why so much butt-hurt whining? You people are easily triggered snowflakes bitterly clinging to your safe spaces.

Fernandinande said...

The puppy is a bit too much

They usually are.

Our neigh-bors (get it?) recently got a horse which comes up to our back fence when we're sitting outside. Since I'm scared shitless of horses, I've been trying to chase it away by aggressively gesturing at it with carrots and apples. So far the only result is that the one dog has overcome his aversion to fruits and vegetables, because, by "Bob", he's gonna get some of whatever that horse gets.

walter said...

Must be "kinda rapey" somehow...

Michael K said...

"You people are easily triggered snowflakes bitterly clinging to your safe spaces."

Says the loser.

The Jenkins column is interesting in showing who these Red Guards types are.

But it was popular with a handful of activist groups. One is Showing Up for Racial Justice, a specifically white group led by a local lawyer, Pam Starsia, and her husband, Joe, son of a famous local college lacrosse coach. SURJ is avowedly modeled on “Antifa” principles—i.e., anyone judged to be a fascist or racist does not have free-speech rights.

I'm sure you are fine with that.

Fernandinande said...

Horse is big phallic symbol

A horse is a horse, of course of course.

Really. It's a picture of a horse, not a picture of a dick.

walter said...

Blogger Howard said...With all of you Trumpsters winning and winning and winning, Wednesday, why so much butt-hurt whining? You people are easily triggered snowflakes bitterly clinging to your safe spaces.
--
Just push-back against continued collusion of Lefty media and (actually deplorable) organizers.
Careful with that phrase "butt-hurt". You might offend your folk.

chickelit said...

@Ingy: If you're out there and reading -- here's my suggestion for a new avatar: link (any one of the new "pin-up series").

Birkel said...

The most interesting comment on this thread is that of Howard. It fits a pattern I have seen. Leftists keep trying to reappropriate words that used effectively against the Left. There is quite a game afoot to stop use of the terms "butt hurt", "snowflake(s)", "triggered", and "safe spaces" from the Right.

The only conclusion that seems reasonable is that the Left realizes they are the less energized and less appealing option. Therefore, this effort to steal the language is an admission of the low standing the Left has. Similarly, efforts to remove statues are not the acts of a strong organization but the public spectacles necessary to keep afloat a dying brand.

Further, it's plain that the four words/terms above are inflicting real harm to the Leftist cause. Nobody tries to steal a word that doesn't have great power.

Anybody else notice this trend? I think it's a trend worth watching.

walter said...

Birkel,
I posted in a Bannon thread here that the last two days I received pretty much the same Keith Ellison pitch to generate petitioning for continued Trump admin purge of racists.
That email list I'm on doesn't repeat things that often.
Methinks they might not have umm..garnered..adequate response the first time.

Daniel Jackson said...

I am confused. Does DEPLORABLE refer to the painting or the subject? I could see that this might be a painting depicting a what some well-heeled New Yorkers might call a Deplorable. I mean it is clear that this clearly NOT in Westchester County.

As a work of art, it is magnificent and a person who felt otherwise would clearly be Deplorable in both their lack of taste and art education.

The capture of light in its saturated chromatic form is incredible, with a hint of an advancing thunder storm to the left (how apt in today's political climate) countered by the open barrel on the lower right metaphorically describing the economic condition of Depression Era farms: a large hole into which one throws money.

I think Benton's choice to leave New York and capture the life and spirit of the working class of the Mid West was proper; we are all the better for it.

marybeth said...

Picture from a visit to the Indianapolis Museum of Art?

Michael K said...

" I think it's a trend worth watching."

There are many trends worth watching. The city council people who wanted the statue taken away lost the election in a Democrat town.

The party is shifting even further left and the voters may not be. The ANTIFA alliance may be a big mistake.

The experience of 1968 has been forgotten.

How effective will Perez and Ellison be running the party? Russia has vanished as an issue no matter what Inga thinks.

The black activists are alienating whites and probably Asians.

Is there a good reason to be demanding segregation be revived ?

Interesting times, certainly.

Michael K said...

How about that Hopper ? I've never seen a rural Hopper painting before.

Big Mike said...

Thank you marybeth.

AllenS said...

The picture makes absolutely no sense, except if you wanted to make fun of rural people.

Laslo Spatula said...

Once you realize the empty barrel in the foreground is an asshole the rest all makes sense.

Of course it does.

I am Laslo.

Jupiter said...

By what right does that human hold that proud, beautiful animal in bondage? This isn't art, it is slavery porn.

Sean Gleeson said...

When judging a painting for political correctness, the work cannot be judged per se; it must be seen in the context of who created it. The artist, Thomas Hart Benton, was a cisgender heterosexual white man who was largely uninterested in politics. This makes the painting extremely problematic. Also, in some of his works, he portrayed persons of color engaging in arduous manual labor, which is straight-up racism. Even worse, many of the rest of his works, such as this specimen, portray arduous manual labor being done by whites, which is also straight-up racism. These facts taint Benton's entire output, and they must perforce be removed from public display.

Big Mike said...

@AllenS, Thomas Hart Benton painted it in 1942 or thereabouts. Factories were converted to war production so if a farmer didn't already own a tractor it was going to be very hard to get one. Gasoline was rationed. But farmers mostly had horses, so used them in daily work.

The identity of the artist answers Althouse's question. No midwestern art museum would decline to hang a Thomas Hart Benton if they had one.

SukieTawdry said...

The Trumps will not be attending the Kennedy Center Honors this year (nor will they host the traditional White House reception--two of the "honorees" had already said they would not attend). The Kennedy Center has released the following statement:

In choosing not to participate in this year’s Honors activities, the administration has graciously signaled its respect for the Kennedy Center and ensures the Honors gala remains a deservingly special moment for the honorees. We are grateful for this gesture.

I'm infuriated by this. The man is the president. Watching Bill and Hillary and Barack and Michelle basking in the reflected glow at this annual "gala" never exactly thrilled me, but so what. They were rightfully there. How about if the Kennedy Center instead graciously signals its respect for the office by asking this president and First Lady to reconsider their decision and assume their traditional roles just like every other president and First Lady?

Is this the way it's going to be for the next 3.5 years? What other traditional events will the First Couple be locked out of because their name is Trump??

David said...

1. That may be a tobacco barn. Smoking is evil.
2. The horse looks overworked to me. Animal cruelty.
3. Obviously a poor farmer but represented as white. (With a white horse no less.) Disrespectful to poor and oppressed black farmers.
4. Whenever it was painted, ignores the emerging (or entrenched) urban poor, especially minorities. Also exceptionalist because clearly American.
5. The object lower right could be a siege mortar rather than an asshole. (Sorry Lazlo.) Right wing racist militia.

How am I doing so far?

Note to self: Review cultivation practices for environmental threat.

David said...

"Is this the way it's going to be for the next 3.5 years?"

Or 7.5. Take your pick.

MountainMan said...

So NPR/PBS conducted a poll on the removal of Confederate monuments. Goes right along with Michael K's information on the Charlottesville city council. Democrats would have been smart to have never brought this up. I am not sure now who is dumber, the Dims or the GOPe.

--

A poll conducted by The Marist Poll, in collaboration with NPR/PBS NewsHour, says that 62 percent of Americans say statues honoring Confederate leaders should remain as a historical symbol.

Here's a breakdown of those who say the statues should stay:

44 percent of Democrats
86 percent of Republicans
61 percent of Independents

The poll found 27 percent said that Confederate monuments should be removed because they are offensive to some people, and 11 percent say they are unsure.

Here's a breakdown of those who say the statues should be removed:

47 percent of Democrats
6 percent of Republicans
27 percent of Independents

Here's a breakdown of those who are unsure:

9 percent of Democrats
8 percent of Republicans
12 percent of Independents

The poll was conducted on Aug. 14 and 15, and 1,125 adults age 18 and older participated. Of the 1,125 adults that participated in the survey, 859 were registered voters.

David said...

Also:

Flyover art. Who gives a shit about flyover art?

David said...

"How about if the Kennedy Center instead graciously signals its respect for the office by asking this president and First Lady to reconsider their decision and assume their traditional roles just like every other president and First Lady?"

You are kidding, right?

The fun part is going to be seeing what Trump does that night.

SukieTawdry said...

The horse is white signalling white supremacy. The horse is in harness signalling human speciesism. The race/ethnicity of the farmer is unclear but white is assumed therefore signalling white privilege. The whole scene conjures up past transgressions against Americans of color because the freed slaves never got their 40 acres and a mule.

MountainMan said...

And there was a Facebook Live broadcast earlier today from the town square of nearby Gainesville, GA, north of Atlanta. For those who don't know, Gainesville was the final home and burial place of James Longstreet. There is the typical Confederate soldier monument in the town square. They call him "Old Joe." Except he is not quite typical; unlike most of the soldiers on these pedestals he "at the ready" and is wearing Spanish-American War gear, not CSA. No matter, he was a bargain, he only cost $2500.

The protest was supposed to start, I think, at 11:30AM. I checked in about noon to see what was going on. It took a while, but I think I eventually saw about 3 people there. Not sure if they were bystanders or if they were protesters, it was hard to tell.

John said...

First look I was sort of Meh. I couldn't see anything wrong or deplorable but it didn't do much for me.

Then I expanded it and stared at it for a minute or two trying to figure out what I was missing that made it deplorable.

I see nothing deplorable but the more I look the more I like.

I don't know if I would go out and buy it but if it were mine I would probably hang it in my living room next to my original Gibson Girls.

John Henry.

John said...

JWL,

How many people think of The Band as a Canadian band?

I'm a fan but I had to think about it for a minute. I always think of them as an upstate NY band.

John Henry

Birches said...

I'd love if you gave these specific PC artwork cafes a tag. They are very clever and I might want to come back to them later.

John said...

Sukie,

Agree completely. President Trump MUST attend the Kennedy Center honors. By not attending he is yielding to the Hecklers veto.

He needs to show up, give a speech or whatever the president normally does at these things. If he gets heckled, give them the finger.

Well, I am not so sure about the last part but he definitely needs to show up and do whatever Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc do at these things.

DO NOT GIVE IN!

But it looks like he already has. Maybe Bannon was right.

John HEnry

n.n said...

In the age of "=", the colors are all wrong. White should be dissected into its constituent parts, a sort of Planned Spectrum a la Planned Parenthood. Also, there is no black in the rainbow spectrum.

The lack of color diversity is clearly a tribute to color supremacy which is color diversity's progressive trans-sister.

Bob Ellison said...

It has the bien pensance of "The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire", but none of the insouciance of Rothko's masterpieces.

Fernandinande said...

David said...
3. Obviously a poor farmer but represented as white.


I thought he might be the White Horse Souse

SukieTawdry said...

77 Democratic House members have sponsored a resolution to censure the president because of, in Nancy Pelosi's words, his repulsive defense of white supremacists. The resolution also urges the president to fire any and all White House advisors who have urged him to cater to the white supremacist movement in the United States and specifically calls out Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka.

Two of the whereases state:

Whereas President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country;

Whereas President Donald Trump has provided encouragement and little to no denunciation of white supremacist groups and individuals who promote their bigoted, nationalist ideology and policies;


I've seen the conflate of "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" quite a lot lately. Are they now synonymous terms? I have always considered myself a nationalist believing as I do that nations have a right to sovereignty and self-determination, well-defined, protected borders and immigration policies that serve the domestic population. I also believe there are national identities. Are such views no longer acceptable? Are nationalists now automatically labeled bigots, racists, anti-Semites and xenophobes just as the supremacists always have been? Or is it only when the qualifying adjective "white" is added?

Censuring and condemning President Donald Trump

Jason said...

"That suggests that when a man is having sex with a woman, he's wearing her."

MILAN KUNDERA YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD!!!

Birches said...


The fun part is going to be seeing what Trump does that night.


Agreed. The Kennedy Center might think it's saving their gala by not having Trump attend. In reality, they will show that no one cares anymore. What Trump does will get far more attention. Same as the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Birches said...

Haha Paddy O.

HT said...

Agreed. The Kennedy Center might think it's saving their gala by not having Trump attend. In reality, they will show that no one cares anymore. What Trump does will get far more attention. Same as the White House Correspondents Dinner.

And? It's the Kennedy Center, not the Oscars. Most everything else will be getting more attention. Even in DC. That's no measure of anything.

SukieTawdry said...

John, the president does not speak at the actual event. He has no role in it other than to be seated next to the honorees. He does, however, traditionally host a reception in the White House prior to the gala where he pays personal tribute. There was a lot of hate out there for GW Bush, but even he wasn't treated like this (although Laura did finally have to cancel her poetry series because the poets started declining her invitations due to their opposition to her husband's policies).

Greg Hlatky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Hlatky said...

Trump should not only not attend the Kennedy Center awards, he should end the ceremony completely. All that's needed is a press release with the names of the awardees and a low-level staffer to mail them their silly baubles.

Adults neither seek not accept awards.

SukieTawdry said...

To the contrary, HT, the Kennedy Center Honors is quite a big deal in DC. The audience is stuffed with luminaries from government and the arts. And politically at least, it's pretty much a bi-partisan crowd.

HT said...

Not among those I hang with. It's really not.

SukieTawdry said...

I have always enjoyed the Kennedy Center Honors because normally the recipients are worthy (although this year it's a rather lackluster group) and the tributes are heart-felt and can be quite moving and often quite spectacular (in recent memory, the tribute by Heart to Led Zeppelin was nothing short of flat-out amazing). One of the best parts is that there's never a political or ideological note to be heard. Until this year. Who will be sitting in the seats usually occupied by the First Couple? Will they remain empty? Either way, those two seats will overshadow everything else.

SukieTawdry said...

And not among most of those I hang with. So what. That's not the point.

KittyM said...

@SukieTawdry "I've seen the conflate of "white supremacist" and "white nationalist" quite a lot lately. Are they now synonymous terms?"

In my opinion, I think on the whole people would use these terms interchangeably. That's just the way the language has developed over the past years.

"I have always considered myself a nationalist believing as I do that nations have a right to sovereignty and self-determination, well-defined, protected borders and immigration policies that serve the domestic population."

What you believe in sounds perfectly reasonable and something upon which most people could agree (though you could imagine arguments at the edges, as to for example which immigration policies serve the domestic population best, or whether there is a limit to sovereignty when for example genocide is committed inside a national border, or whatever.)

But although that is how you define the term "nationalist" for yourself, that is not what others will think when you use the term "nationalist", especially together with the adjective "white".

I also believe there are national identities." Sorry, not sure what you mean by that, exactly.

"Are such views no longer acceptable?" The views you spell out above (right to sovereignty etc) are I think perfectly acceptable and indeed, probably accepted by most. Do you not find that? But as I said above, I don't think those particulate reasonable-sounding views are what people will associate with the term "nationalist".

"Are nationalists now automatically labeled bigots, racists, anti-Semites and xenophobes just as the supremacists always have been?"

I think yes, probably. Nationalist is a loaded term now, thanks to the KKK and others on the extreme right. Similar to how non-Trump supporters on this site are often tarred with the antifa brush even though they might feel that they have little in common with those people, so I think if you call yourself a white nationalist, you will find that many associate you with for example the marchers in Charlottesville from the right, even though you might personally not be at all racist.

"Or is it only when the qualifying adjective "white" is added?" I think "white nationalist" is of course the more loaded term; but if a white person these days says, "I'm a nationalist", the assumption would be that you mean "white nationalist" = extreme racist right-winger.

Just my views.

Kevin said...

To the contrary, HT, the Kennedy Center Honors is quite a big deal in DC. The audience is stuffed with luminaries from government and the arts. And politically at least, it's pretty much a bi-partisan crowd.

Yes, because it was about the arts and wasn't supposed to be political. Now that it has become political, people will be forced to take sides. Now that the President has chosen not to attend, not just for this year, but the following three as well I'm sure, it becomes just another event for the elites to elite themselves.

Trump is right. Do something else that night. Do something that honors cops, or firefighters, or veterans. And let the rest of DC sit there in their tuxes looking like self-absorbed morons.

Every time an event is politicized, Trump declines the invitation, and the left squeals with glee just goes to show they have no idea what's really going on.

SukieTawdry said...

It's not within the president's purview to end the Kennedy Honors, Greg.

SweatBee said...

It looks like something you'd find at Home Goods.

I wouldn't put it in a museum, but I wouldn't cringe if I saw it in someone's house, either.

Marc Puckett said...

I also find it (figuratively, anyway) infuriating, the Kennedy Center nonsense. The Congress ought to enact a law, that Mr Trump should sign, appointing another forty members of the Board of Trustees-- pack the board! and fire the Rutters et alii who have been unable to cogently argue to the people involved that the Honors aren't a political struggle.

Greg Hlatky said...

Now that it has become political, people will be forced to take sides.

Only one side is acceptable. Anything else is literally fascism.

glenn said...

Actually I think all the paintings that reference a rural lifestyle need to be hidden away. That way in the unlikely but possible event that the Mexican economy gets its stool together and the Mexicans stay home the hard rural life won't be a shock to the snowflakes until they are actually plowing and sowing and reaping.

KittyM said...

The Kennedy Center issue stems from Trump's handling of Charlottesville. Three of the event’s five honorees — singer Lionel Richie, dancer Carmen de Lavallade and television producer Norman Lear — said they would boycott White House reception for the event because they were upset by and disapproved of his response to Charlottesville. That surely is their right. And it is his right to attend or nor attend in response. He has chosen not to attend.

I do think that even those who liked what Trump said, or personally agree with what he said, must agree that it has had consequences. Many Americans were upset by that. You may feel: "Good! They should be!" But obviously then you have to accept that some will do things like boycott events with the President.

rehajm said...

Boston survived the leftie protest/other leftie counter protest march.

The Lincoln blow job statue still standing proud.

KittyM said...

@ Marc "I also find it (figuratively, anyway) infuriating, the Kennedy Center nonsense. The Congress ought to enact a law, that Mr Trump should sign, appointing another forty members of the Board of Trustees-- pack the board! and fire the Rutters et alii who have been unable to cogently argue to the people involved that the Honors aren't a political struggle."

I think you misunderstood the situation. As I said above, some honorees decided not to attend, in protest at the President's handling of the situation in Charlottesville. He doesn't like being snubbed so he would rather not go.

I'd hate to live in a country where the Head of State "packs the board" with his cronies and only non-critical voices are supported. That would be quite sinister.

KittyM said...

@rehajm "Boston survived the leftie protest/other leftie counter protest march."

Yep. They seemed to be mostly ordinary, liberal people, protesting racists, rather than a violent scary revolutionary mob.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

Kennedy Center = monument to Camelot Legend.
Ergo big fucking deal for whoever accepts government patronage of arts is appropriate in America.
First move in separation of Arts and State.
Hopefully.

Bay Area Guy said...

Tear it down! oops sorry, wrong thread. O

tcrosse said...

Yep. They seemed to be mostly ordinary, liberal people, protesting racists, rather than a violent scary revolutionary mob.

This presumes that the rally they were protesting against was actually racist.

KittyM said...

@tcrosse "This presumes that the rally they were protesting against was actually racist."

No, it doesn't. The counter-demonstrations used the occasion to make a more general anti-racism, anti-Trump point.

rcocean said...

I wonder what would happen to anyone who said they LIKED Hitler's paintings?

The death penalty?

I like some of Benton's paintings. But others I find Cartoonish.

I'd probably like something more realistic - but "Pulsating with LIfe"

Maybe Mussolini would agree with me.

dugans said...

It reminded me of this Grant Wood mural in the ISU library:

When Tillage Begins

I later saw the drawing that served as the model in an exhibit at the Whitney Museum branch in Stamford, Connecticut.

The curator was unaware of the mural aspect. I also pointed out that the mural itself was in three dimensions -- that the pieces of wood which divided the drawing (literally pieces of wood, similar to the frame, not an image) was where the corners were in the mural.

As to the image itself, it is of course very Jeffersonian.

Note that all of the above is pre-internet.

From a quick search just now, I see what I saw at the Whitney here
("pencil chalk and graphite on paper"), and that a new Wood retrospective organized by the Whitney Museum is scheduled to open in March 2018 .

rcocean said...

As for the Kennedy's honors? Does anyone except the liberal elite give a shit?

I don't think the "arts" mean anything to the average college-educated person anymore. You got 320 million Americans. if 3.2 million like artist X, they can make a lot of $$$ and get lots of awards. Even though 99% of Americans don't give a shit.

KittyM said...

@rcocean. Wow. So bleak.

tcrosse said...

No, it doesn't. The counter-demonstrations used the occasion to make a more general anti-racism, anti-Trump point.

So it was a coincidence.

rcocean said...

BTW, if anyone wants to tear down the FDR monument, give me a call. He was a white racist.

Same thing with Jackie O. A complete racist.

rcocean said...

"@rcocean. Wow. So bleak."

Sometimes, its a cultural desert. Case in point: the USSR and Mao's China.

HT said...

As for the Kennedy's honors? Does anyone except the liberal elite give a shit?

As a proud member of the liberal elite, mostly no, and that's a little sad. This is especially true for those under 40-45. People over 60 think it's a HUGE deal. And it probably should be.

KittyM said...

@tcrosse "So it was a coincidence."

Don't be silly. You know that's not what I meant. I give you more credit than that.

There was a "Free Speech" right-wing demo announced and a lot of people who find that offensive and found the Nazis in Charlottesville obnoxious took this opportunity to march together and show their solidarity for victims of racism and generally make it clear that they disagree with the very extreme right-wing.

Unknown said...

Sometimes a man unhitching a horse is just a man unhitching a horse.

KittyM said...

@rcocean "Sometimes, its a cultural desert. Case in point: the USSR and Mao's China."

OMG. Dark. Is the USA like the USSR and Mao's China, in your opinion? (I may be missing your point; sorry if that is the case)

SukieTawdry said...

Narayanan Subramanian said...Kennedy Center = monument to Camelot Legend.
Ergo big fucking deal for whoever accepts government patronage of arts is appropriate in America.
First move in separation of Arts and State.
Hopefully.


While I would discontinue the National Endowment to the Arts and all public patronage of NPR and PBS, I have no problem with having a national orchestra, ballet company, theater and opera. Such is SOP in all nations and we can be very proud of ours. The Kennedy Center was built in tribute to President Kennedy. So what. I toured the center on one of my trips to DC. It's filled with gifts from virtually every nation in the world (the Waterford chandelier from Ireland is spectacular). Even the smallest, poorest nations paid their respects with modest gifts. I consider it a national treasure. There are many forms of artistic expression native to the US, Jazz, rock & roll, country & western, musical theater among them. Why shouldn't we celebrate such things as a nation? We're not entirely a country of lowbrows, you know. (PS. John Kennedy hated classical music. Many of Jackie's soirees were torture for him.)

Unknown said...

Maybe it's just a ditch.

KittyM said...

@ SukieTawdry While we disagree on funding for the arts, thank you so much for your heartfelt defence of the Kennedy Center. I totally agree and you put it very well.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Riley said...

I may be wrong but, to me, that looks more like a mower than a plow.

traditionalguy said...

Wait, I see it: clearly a picture honoring a White Supremacist Stallion. and everyone knows that is the horse of a masked night rider going around Texas to terrorize indigenous Comanche and escaped black slaves. He took a theme song about a Lucerene Switzerland man who abused a child by shootng an arrow at him.

An abomination.

SukieTawdry said...

The main critique is that the awards should be about a lifetime achievement. Not 10 years of millions in royalty checks and you are in. You get to wear the "homosexual flag" they issue at the awards.

First of all, it's not an "award," it's an "honor." There is a difference. Second: Marian Anderson, Tennessee Williams, Beverly Sills, Dizzy Gillespie, Jacques d'Amboise, Charleton Heston, Van Cliburn, Quincy Jones, Leonard Bernstein, Agnes DeMille, Fred Astaire, Yo-Yo Ma, Kander & Ebb, Shirley Temple, Isaac Stern, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Clint Eastwood, Buddy Guy, Georg Solti, Barbara Cook, Billy Wilder, Marilyn Horne, Steven Spielberg. That's a partial list of honorees through the years. Not one "10 years of millions in royalty checks and you are in" among them.

John Constantius said...

The painting, I kind of like it. I'm not getting the vagina thing Althouse mentions, but often I fail to Fully Appreciate Art.

On the Kennedy Center, if anyone had refused to attend because they objected to something Obama had done (Libya? Iran? If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor?) the fallout for them would have been epic.

I'm glad Trump has brought back an America where the President is just another guy and you're allowed to disrespect him the way you would anyone else. America needs more of that after 8 years of magic black Jesus (and what would have been magic vagina Hillary). Just gives me another reason to vote for him in 3.5 years.

Fabi said...

"I'd hate to live in a country where the Head of State "packs the board" with his cronies and only non-critical voices are supported."

Did you forget the sarcasm tag?

rehajm said...

Yep. They seemed to be mostly ordinary, liberal people, protesting racists, rather than a violent scary revolutionary mob.

Funny how hey all seemed comfortable self describing as counter protesters while the other group claimed to be speaking out for free speech. These ordinary liberal people oppose free speech then?

Some of the ordinary liberal people around my home were protesting President Trump.

And the parade goers were overwhelmingly white despite the march from Roxbury and the claims of BLM marching. Are all the ordinary black liberal people on Marthas Vineyard this weekend?

Birkel said...

I've been to the Kennedy Center a few times and the Awards once.
It's boring and contrived like every other award show ever.
Much more rewarding to attend your local kindergarten award show.
The 5 year old kids care.

rcocean said...

OMG. Dark. Is the USA like the USSR and Mao's China, in your opinion? (I may be missing your point; sorry if that is the case)

Yeah, I suppose you're going to come back with "Hey, what about X, that's pretty good [insert painting/movie/TV show/novel/etc.]"?

You can make a case that TV drama - at the highest level at least - is better than ever. And there are a *few* good movies. But literature? Poetry? Drama? Painting? Music?

Maybe its just as "great" as it ever was, but now it only appeals to a small, elite, minority. But then what "great art" has ever done that?

But who knows, maybe I just can't see the "greatness".

Big Mike said...

I see that KittyM is back. Let's see what we have here.

You may feel: "Good! They should be!" But obviously then you have to accept that some will do things like boycott events with the President.

As Peggy Noonan put it, we're being lectured by our inferiors.

The counter-demonstrations used the occasion to make a more general anti-racism, anti-Trump point.

So you buy into the meme that Trump is a racist? Does the depths of your ignorance have no lower bound?

Yep. They seemed to be mostly ordinary, liberal people, protesting racists, rather than a violent scary revolutionary mob.

Or perhaps they were aware that the police would enforce orderliness this time, and they backed down lest they be matching their clubs against the cops' nightsticks. FWIW one eyewitness to the event said that at one point the police were concerned enough to escort the speakers away in patrol cars, and some of your "ordinary, liberal people" tried to block the cars.

Wow. So bleak.
OMG. Dark.

If you're trying to convince us that you're one of those over-credentialed, under-educated, ignorant of history millennials, you're doing just fine.

I'd hate to live in a country where the Head of State "packs the board" with his cronies and only non-critical voices are supported. That would be quite sinister.

You seem to overlook that for eight years -- January 2009 to January 2017 -- this was precisely what was happening. The goal of the Democrats was to set people at each other's throats (under the rubric of "identity politics") as a means of gaining and holding office. That blew up last November. Nevertheless the left is doubling down, and adding "Trump is a racist" and "Trump is an anti-Semite" memes that they know to be false, but which the airheads among us will fall for.

Birkel said...

rcocean:
I would add plays to that too.

KittyM said...

@rehajm "Funny how hey all seemed comfortable self describing as counter protesters while the other group claimed to be speaking out for free speech. These ordinary liberal people oppose free speech then?"

No they don't. The discrepancy that you notice comes from the fact that the right-wing group labelled their protest the "Free Speech" demo.

"Some of the ordinary liberal people around my home were protesting President Trump. "

Yes, that's what I wrote. It is definitely the case that many (most? all?) the people on that march were anti-Trump. Whatever side of the political divide you are, you must admit that he is a very divisive president.

"And the parade goers were overwhelmingly white despite the march from Roxbury and the claims of BLM marching."

Yeah. That is true. It's an issue.

AllenS said...

The painting is stupid. Where is the farmer going to put the horse, after the harness is removed? Through the open door in the barn which has a wooden floor? The land isn't tillable, look at that back field which looks like it was plowed. No one horse is going to pull a plow up that hill. When you plow, you can go north to south, then you have to turn around and go south to north. Over, and over. Can we says erosion? Yes we can. That is a sickle mower, which doesn't look like it's been used to put up hay for the horse to eat. Plus, is has no seat for the farmer to sit on. What's up with that wagon? Manure spreader? In the back ground with it's wheel off to the side.

Birkel said...

Trump is divisive in the same way Romney gave a woman cancer.

KittyM said...

@BigMike. Oh great. Here you are again to tell me how stupid i am. That gets old quickly.

"we're being lectured by our inferiors."
"Does the depths of your ignorance have no lower bound?"
"...over-credentialed, under-educated, ignorant of history..."

Please read the Althouse comment rules: "Don't make personal attacks on other commenters"

Daniel Jackson said...

Well, as long as we are in the mood of tearing down racist statues with a Large Horse motif, how about the statue of Teddy Roosevelt outside the American Natural History Museum: https://www.google.fr/maps/@40.7809205,-73.9727137,3a,75y,262.38h,115.83t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sAF1QipO9gvzS_aUA8BbIjHQpE2xbo_jeE7qne8pmQsdg!2e10!3e11!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipO9gvzS_aUA8BbIjHQpE2xbo_jeE7qne8pmQsdg%3Dw203-h100-k-no-pi-0-ya119.39459-ro-0-fo100!7i8704!8i4352

The Rough Rider sits astride his War Horse with a Black and a Native American on each side clinging to his stirrups. Talk about boot licking lackies, I have always found this statue an absolute horror not only on artistic grounds but the explicit message of The Great White Man with his Burdens.

The fact that it guards the ANHM speaks volumes.

Marc Puckett said...

KittyM, No, I quite understood. I read the Times and the Post when it suits me to do so. :-)

If the Kennedy Center people didn't obtain undertakings from the proposed laureates that included not introducing politics into the Honors event, then they ought to be replaced. I don't find that to be any more sinister-- even were it to involve 'packing the Board of Trustees'-- than much of what else that happens in DC. I should think that those three ought to be a bit ashamed about treating the Kennedy Center and the Nation it represents with such disrespect. On the other hand, since they are willing to do this, I don't suppose any prior understandings would have prevented any one of them or the lot from turning the Awards stage itself into a tribune for their personal political manifestos-- so perhaps we've been spared the spectacle of the President and Mrs Trump having to leave their box during the ceremony itself, or of the Nation's First Gentleman shouting back and forth with Norman Lear about 'racism'. 

I value the Kennedy Center and its constituent companies as highly as anyone outside the DC metro area does but it seems to me that the politicisation of the fine arts is the perfect opposite of what is needed in order to draw new audiences. 

In any case, there's three months or so between now and the event: who knows what may happen between now and then.

Bob Ellison said...

What happened in Boston today was a few dozen people gathered today to affirm freedom of speech on the Boston Commons.

Then 15,000 people marched on them as "counter-protesters".

Amazing coincidence. 15,000 Bostonians got up in the morning and heard NPR, and said, well, hey, I'd better get to the Commons.

No. This is a coordinated attack. Those liddle middle-aged ladies waving their "fuck the Nazis" signs did not just wake up this morning.

This is going to get worse, and the left is making it worse every hour, every day.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

Wife and I used to go to the Kennedy Center a lot. She educated me about classical music, probably better than any professor teaching music appreciation ever could have. Parking always was an issue -- for some reason the architects assumed that the audience would mostly, or at least largely, come by city bus. Yeah, right, take city buses to attend an opera or a symphony. Su-u-u-u-re.

Big Mike said...

@KittyM, don't write foolish things.

mockturtle said...

Well, as long as we are in the mood of tearing down racist statues with a Large Horse motif, how about the statue of Teddy Roosevelt outside the American Natural History Museum

Anyone who pulls down a statue of Teddy Roosevelt will have to answer to ME!!!

Big Mike said...

Or do you think Trump really is a racist and an anti-Semite?

rehajm said...

No they don't. The discrepancy that you notice comes from the fact that the right-wing group labelled their protest the "Free Speech" demo.

Mayor Mahhty Walsh and the Globe and the local TV all calling them counter protesters. Not one single leftie cooridanated their preferred labels with these people? I doubt it.

tcrosse said...

Forget it, Jake. it's Boston.

I Callahan said...

This is why I'm not an artist. I see a barn, horse, some rusty implements and a nice sky. Artists are frigging weirdos.

Henry said...

One of the most interesting connections in the arts is that Benton taught Jackson Pollock briefly when both intersected at The Art Student's League in NYC.

KittyM said...

@Bob Ellison "Amazing coincidence. 15,000 Bostonians got up in the morning and heard NPR, and said, well, hey, I'd better get to the Commons."

What? No. I was in Boston early last week and was told by someone that they knew that the extreme right were planning a demo and that there would be a counter-demonstration.

Which part of that don't you get?

"No. This is a coordinated attack. Those liddle middle-aged ladies waving their "fuck the Nazis" signs did not just wake up this morning."

If by coordinated, you mean planned, then as I say, yes it was. So what?

KittyM said...

@BigMike "Or do you think Trump really is a racist and an anti-Semite?"

I cannot look into the heart and mind of any man or woman and neither can you. So I cannot know what is in his heart - and neither can you.

But I define many of his statements and actions as racist - not just since he was President but long before that - and I find his recent handling of the Charlottesville day to be in part at least a defence of anti-semites.

That was me answering your questions. Please let's not start a back and forth about this particular thing because I have read the transcript, you have read the transcript, you think what he said was fine, I don't...blah, blah, blah. Agree to disagree on this one?

I Callahan said...

KittyM - that rule is selectively enforced, as TTR's comments prove.

Tari said...

Apparently Hitler couldn't paint people. Or at least, that's one of the things I learned from watching Justified.

We had a small protest today here in Houston. No one hit anyone, no one was arrested - it was a typical Houston event (we had our last race riot in 1917). The cops the Chronicle interviewed basically said "everyone has a right to express their opinion - that's why we're here" and kept both groups a safe distance from one another. Why can't more places be like this?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I am so farking bored with all these rent-a-mob protests from the left. Yes. See the Craigslist ads for those. All of the hoo hah about white supremacists. I've met exactly 2 and both of them had mental issues. This segment of American life is minuscule.

Bored bored bored. The media is tedious. The commentariat repeating the same arguments over and over, back and forth ad nauseum, is tedious. Post after post trying to elicit more tedious, boring conversation is boring.

ON to something new and exciting. Well not actually new since it has been going on for millions of years....the eclipse. I plan to watch the big eclipse from my back deck starting at about 9am. We should have a really good view facing the rising sun. By maximum 89% coverage in our area it will be 10:20 ish. I'm interested in the reaction of all the birds and the cattle grazing down below us. Yah!!! we get to see it early and take all the new off of it. It will be old news by the time it happens on the East Coast.

Meanwhile back to boring....fake news, fake rallies, and the destruction of civilization. Like THAT hasn't been done before....and by people on horses wearing funny fur hats and all. Ask the Romans. Oh...wait...they are dead. Nevermind.

KittyM said...

@I Callahan "that rule is selectively enforced, as TTR's comments prove."

I didn't think any of those rules are actually enforced. I was just reminding BigMike that those reflect the atmosphere of the blog according to the host and that his many many comments to me are therefore against the spirit of the place.

dustbunny said...

Thomas Hart Benton was Jackson Pollack's teacher and mentor.

KittyM said...

@Mary Strangely enough, I went dancing yesterday evening and suddenly mid-movement felt something "snap" like a rubber band in my calf and since then I am indeed housebound!

Birkel said...

Can somebody give me a definition of "extreme right" and "extreme left" so I can understand what the fuck KittyM is talking about?

KittyM said...

@Birkel. Really? Honestly?

Sometimes you guys are so sweet and funny (without knowing it I guess).

FullMoon said...

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans held a press conference to address the media in the aftermath of a counter-protest against a conservative free speech rally.

“We basically wanted them separated. I’m sorry to report that we did have some bottles thrown at our officers that did have urine in it. A couple of our officers were hit with that. They were hit with a lot of stuff today,” Evans said at the press conference.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/08/19/boston-police-chief-our-officers-were-hit-with-bottles-of-urine/

Birkel said...

Define the two sides that you find extreme or don't. I don't give one good God damn. I know the working definition is "things I don't like" and you're all set to make sure people aren't able to effectively exercise their civil rights under the constitution. You'll applaud the IRS working to suppress rights. Maybe if you outsource the hatred it won't cause other people to notice the who, whom distinctions.

Mark said...

I don't think parking is too much of an issue -- unless you are looking for free street parking.

What is most annoying about the Kennedy Center is that there are so few restaurants within walking distance. That, and they schedule so many performances to begin at 7 p.m., which means you need to be in your seat by 6:45. And those restaurants that are within walking distance, many do not open for dinner service until 5:30 or later. So it is a rush.

Come on. It's where most of the national-Broadway plays and musicals are performed, and it's the home of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Opera. You'd think the area would be booming with restaurants. Not really. There are a few in Georgetown and up around the West End and Dupont Circle area, but that's beyond walking distance, meaning you have to park, walk to the restaurant, walk back to your car, drive and then park again. Annoying.

Birkel said...

FullMoon

Did the Boston Globe bother to report from which side the thrown objects came? If not we can be quite sure which side it was.

Reading Pravda and Izvestia is tiresome. But if you know how to read between the lines, you know Americans are so rich they have special food for their cats.

Feste said...

The world, "about 1942," Eisenhower eulogized a little later as forever gone, and with it, the opportunity to beat our swords back into plowshares, only vaguely warning, “beware.”

Fabi said...

Don't be silly, Birkel -- you know there's no such thing as the extreme left!

Mark said...

The media is tedious. The commentariat repeating the same arguments over and over, back and forth ad nauseum, is tedious

And yet, a week after Charlottesville, we still don't know exactly how many protestors were there, and how many counter-protesters, and how many bystanders. It has still to be reported who actually comprised the protesters, how many were white supremacist or neo-Nazi or how many were just history buffs. We still have yet to hear what was actually said by the speakers at the Charlottesville event to deserve the racist label put on it.

A week of talk, talk, talk, talk and talk -- with non-stop ugly rage -- and precious few facts.

Robt C said...

If what Althouse says about sex and hats is true, it give a whole new meaning to Oliver Sacks' book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
https://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Mistook-His-Wife-ebook/dp/B00BBMNEA4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1503185034&sr=1-1&keywords=the+man+who+mistook+his+wife+for+a+hat

Mark said...

“We basically wanted them separated. I’m sorry to report that we did have some bottles thrown at our officers that did have urine in it. A couple of our officers were hit with that. They were hit with a lot of stuff today,” Evans said at the press conference.

Notice that there is no mention of who (what side) threw the human waste at the police -- the mob of thousands of raging people from the left, or one of the 30 or so people who were part of the Free Speech Rally.

Jim at said...

"Yep. They seemed to be mostly ordinary, liberal people, protesting racists, rather than a violent scary revolutionary mob."

Yeah. That would certainly explain why the Boston PD requested your precious 'ordinary people' stop throwing rocks and water bottles at the cops.

You act like we don't see the shit that's going on by your side.
But, we do.

You can deny it all you want, but it's happening.
Own it.

Birkel said...

Jim at:

It's not just the politically active who notice. Regular people who vote started noticing in 2009. 1000+ Democrats have lost their elected offices because normal people are not fooled. The wisdom of crowds is no small thing.

Democrats have yet to recognize their plight. The money will not flow as freely if they pull back from their extreme Left positions. The moneyed interests on the coasts demand fealty.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Like THAT hasn't been done before....
-------------

I was talking about the destruction of civilization. Nothing lasts forever and it has been done before...many times. This won't be the last either.

psst. We had an eclipse exactly like this one back in 1978 or '79.

Not exactly. The path was different then. And not having a lear jet to fly to the total eclipse area I missed out.

Were you snoozing through that one, and so this is the first time for you?

Nah. I've seen several partial eclipses. I just don't feel motivated enough to go to the totality area. Fortunately, I don't have to move to get the 'almost' effect. Not going to change my life if I it is only 89% instead of 100%. I can deal with it.

buwaya said...

Re cultural deserts -
Mao's China is perhaps an example of one, but this is uncertain due to the fact that very little of modern Chinese culture has been successfully exported. For all we know there were modern classics created in spite of the Red Guards, or before and after them.
The Soviet Union certainly didnt start out as a cultural desert, it was in fact remarkably prolific, if on a substantially lower level than in the last years of the Tsars, which was a golden age by any standard. Communism suppressed the urge to creation eventually, until there was arguably such a desert by the 1970's. The fall of communism, notably, has not brought back the furious rate of creation of the 1910s.

FullMoon said...

More reports coming of leftist violence in Boston. The usual, ganging up on any real or imagined Trump supporter, punching women, pepper spray.

FullMoon said...

Courageous leftist man punches grey haired lady and runs away
http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/08/19/older-woman-holding-american-flag-dragged-boston

David Kutzler said...

I think the "plow" is actually a sickle bar mower for cutting hay. Here's an image of a modern version. https://www.everythingattachments.com/5-Foot-Sickle-Bar-Mower-p/uni-fsbm-5.htm

Feste said...

Mao’s China as cultural desert (playing along - not believing it) then was exactly the desert into which John the Baptizing-Nixon would fete in Nixonian uncertainty while Mao played the intuitive, or maybe Bayesian-advised, player in the game of international insecurity, Mao waiting coy for commercial Nixon awhoring to shop the fair desert fare.

FullMoon said...

Leftists clash with Boston Police after rally

https://www.cbsnews.com/videos/protesters-clash-with-police-after-free-speech-rally-in-boston/

Birkel said...

FullMoon

Isn't it great that no human agency was involved in those "clashes with police"?

wild chicken said...

Gahhh...pastor went off on alt right at mass tonight, nothing about antifa, but with oh yeah "Barcelona" dropped in here and there nonsensically. This is the dumb pastor, reciting a canned homily hot off the presses of the uccb. With much feelz.

The smart pastor would not be quite so blatant.


glenn said...

This tearing down statues thing isn't a one way street.

Henry said...

1942 is late in Benton's career.

He proclaimed regionalism in the 20s, facing down such giants as Arthur Dove and John Marin.

All three were important artists, but we're still talking about American Art in the 1920s -- a parochial place in art history.

Henry said...

Funny. All the American Artists favored American themes. Stieglitz shot photographs of New York City. Marin painted Cape Code. The Precisionists painted the U.S. industrial landscape. We all know about Hopper.

It's funny that when a curator writes "American Themes" they mean something different than those examples. Imagine a curator characterizing Matisse as painting "French Themes" or Picasso painting Spanish Themes (which could both be argued).

On the other hand, I think Benton would be proud of painting American Themes, which makes the description apt.

Sydney said...

I know you are all just joking around about the painting, but I like it. And the Hitler painting? With a little more practice, he could have been Andrew Wyeth.

Feste said...

A petite mal of questionable artwork, this sexualized triumph-over-little-Trump, hoisting Bezos statuary as larger “in every dimension” than jealous-petite-Trump, except in physical stature (Bezos is only 5'9" - suffering no small-man complex, but dwarfing Trump’s smallness otherwise), and why Trump can’t just shut up, and keeep his Bezos-envy within, and with Bloomberg in the background, his silent and invisible statuary approving, it's more foreplay than climax, The Real Reason Jeff Bezos Grinds Trump's Gears: He’s the opposite of Trump in nearly every dimension.

Quip comment by Bezos about his own wife as "hot," plus Bezos knew her hot SAT scores too, and a poke in the poke at the statuary-public-display uses by Trump of Melania.

Tank said...

I'd like to see it in person; makes all the difference.

Fabi said...

The Hitler painting is decent, but I couldn't find the hidden vagina.

Khesanh 0802 said...

I've always thought of Benton as contrived in his paintings and sort of in the school of government art - American, but similar to the Russians' industrial art. I find Hopper much cleaner and more expressive.

dustbunny said...

Sydney, it would have taken a LOT of practice to have even approached Wyeth's mastery, not to mention the possession of a very different sensibility.

AllenS said...

The sickle mower shown is ground driven. Which is what you'd need if using horses. One horse couldn't pull it. I have a John Deere No 5 sickle mower, and it is powered by the pto of a tractor.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

You know, it's probably monstrous of me, but I've always liked Hitler's little paintings of buildings and places. They have an appealing modesty about them. Just think what could have been avoided if they had accepted him into art school in Vienna. I wonder if any of the admissions people lived long enough to see the horrific shit Hitler wrought.

Big Mike said...

@KittyM, sorry to have been away for a while. I had work to do around the house.

I've been a regular commentator on Althouse's blog since before she married Meade. (And congratulations to Meade on winning the prize.) She's chewed me out now and again, but her cruel neutrality extends to letting miscreants like me back on the blog. It may happen again. No promises to her nor to myself. Besides, she gets to laugh at someone who doesn't recognize what Van Gogh's impasto style looks like from really close up.

Why am I so hard on you, you might well ask. Well, first of all, for all your posture about wanting to exchange thoughts and maybe learn something, I don't see that that's true at all. You may believe it to be true, but you're only lying to yourself. When you write that you "cannot look into the heart and mind of any man or woman" and then tell me I can't either, well, that's true as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far. What one can do -- and you don't do! -- is examine my assumptions and look for information that challenges my assumptions. I do not think that a racist would use the famous (infamous?) Omarosa Manigault as a key aide, nor would he have dated a black woman at one point. I don't think a racist would pal around with black celebrities, do you? I don't a racist would have defied the upper crust of Palm Beach to open his golf course to blacks and Jews.

You wrote that you "... define many of his statements and actions as racist - not just since he was President but long before that - and I find his recent handling of the Charlottesville day to be in part at least a defence of anti-semites [sic]." Now look at that objectively. Should I, Donald Trump, or anyone else care what you define? Doesn't that look like circular reasoning -- Trump must be a racist because no matter what he does, if I personally disapprove of it then he must indeed be racist?

And you add the anti-Semite label, without considering that he allowed his daughter to marry an Orthodox Jew and convert to his religion. Do you think an anti-Semite would allow a Jew -- and an Orthodox Jew at that! -- to be a key advisor? An anti-Semite might fly to Saudi Arabia but would not break precedent by flying directly from there to Israel, would he?

But if you want to see which party has a leader that is a hardcore anti-Semite, you might want to look at the ties between Keith Ellison, deputy director of the DNC, and Louis Farrakhan. You might look at which party pushes BDS. Just sayin'

I get that you don't want to "start a back and forth about this particular thing," because I will force you to think and to consider contrary evidence (or try to, because I'll probably fail), and it can be painful. But give it a go.

You see, I've been accused of being a racist and an anti-Semite myself. And I though, WTF? Me? All the bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs I've attended? The Jewish weddings I've been invited to? The Orthodox Jew whose need to be home on Friday before sundown I accommodated. The guy who recruited blacks for his projects, and who arm-wrestled the twits in HR because one of those black engineers was exceeding superlatively well but was graded and being paid way below the level he was working at on my project. Hence he needed an out of cycle raise and promotion. I think it would surprise my Jewish friends and the black people who worked with me and for me that I'm a racist anti-Semite. But you and many other lefty trolls on this blog assume that if I'm a Republican and I support Trump -- who is clearly not a racist nor and anti-Semite -- then I must be a racist and an anti-Semite. And you don't care and the lefty trolls don't care and I care more about the fact that you don't care than I ought to.

And it's the last point which really pisses me off.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I must have Hitlerian traits. While it's not hard to prefer Thomas Hart Benton, Hitler's schtick I actually find quaint (at least here) - almost along the lines of something that might have been illustrated to accompany a J.R.R. Tolkien or turn-of-the-century architectural depiction. I guess I don't mind it as much as a should.

If you want a really cool cityscape check out Van Gogh's Boulevard de Clichy.

Big Mike said...

Back to art.

It seems to me that styles come and go, and without the aid of an art historian I don't know whether Hitler's choice of subject was merely typical for the time or hopelessly antiquated. He didn't take art in a new direction, that's for sure, but it doesn't look all that bad to me.

People really are hard, unless you are John Singer Sargent, and you have Lady Agnew of Lochnaw sitting for you.

But what do I know? I thought the farm painting looked sort of like a Thomas Hart Benton, but wasn't certain and I failed to recognize Van Gogh's impasto style really up close. Hopeless. I'm utterly hopeless.

Birkel said...

Tongue-in-cheek, TTR makes an excellent joke and an interesting point. Well done.

buwaya said...

For a peak of cultural creation it seems that the best system is a modernizing ancient monarchy.

And this continues, for a time, after the end of the monarchy, until the old habits of the aristocracy and gentry are erased.

Modern democratic capitalism, and worse, modern undemocratic corporatism, are uncreative dead ends.

Thats the pattern I think.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I don't know why people make so much of HItler's art, or apparently non-art, as it were. Anyone can have a hobby or an avocation that they're less than impressive in. I think the only use to looking at HItler's "art" is to show how functional and distant and utilitarian it is - not as a critique in itself but to contrast it utterly against the realists and impressionists of the time, and how his contrasts against modern art movements reflect a similar backlash within his psychology and the social and political movements he led against the liberalism of the day and the cultural freedom and expressive experimentalism it carried with it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Admit it, Birkel. Hitler's "art" feels safe to you. It's like a warm cozy neat little cabin you can curl up into without worrying about all those brash colors and weird shapes. It hearkens back to a wondrous time when little cabins were just little cabins - and we didn't have to worry about the freakish forms these other artists saw in them. When everything was in its right place and the things we knew were safe for what they were.

You love it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I see my 9:18 comment was basically the same point of the BBC piece. Sorry.

buwaya said...

Hitlers backlash, if you take him at his word (in Mein Kampf) was much less at or about art than it was against the consequences of the industrial revolution. It was the condition of the Austrian peasant turned industrial worker, that part is quite clear. He blamed a lot of people for this, but especially Jews.

The communists had a different set of villains to blame, but was the same cause that set them off. And so also all the various social democrats and socialists and Catholic worker types. It was class war, and they were all on the side of the same class, just in competition.

He went on to add art and international politics to his cultural complaints but this came later.

Mein Kampf is very worthwhile.

Big Mike said...

Oh, gosh, I agree with Toothless -- I need a drink.

Toothless writes "[a]nyone can have a hobby or an avocation that they're less than impressive in." I think Churchill turned out to be a better painter than Hitler (compare the sample provided by Althouse in this post with Churchill's "Goldfish Pool at Chartwell." OTOH, if I say that I don't like George W. Bush's paintings of people at all, will they revoke my GOP membership? I can live with that if they stop sending me requests for campaign donations.

buwaya said...

I like Goya personally.

He had a way of throwing you out of balance, even that which is not grotesque. His people are real, and simultaneously delightful and disturbing as only real people are. But it is that Spanish thing to appreciate that edge of the grotesque, which is the intrusion of reality into fantasy.

On my office walls I have bullfight advertising posters of my childhood hero, El Cordobes. Rather less rough than Goya. That stuff is perhaps too disturbing for this society, but I can indulge myself in that small way.

mockturtle said...

Oh, gosh, I agree with Toothless -- I need a drink.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Big Mike said...

You know, if you took the Hitler painting, darkened the sky a little and had light streaming out the windows, you'd have a Kincaid. Hitler missed his chance to get rich!

Bay Area Guy said...

Yes, Hitler was a nationalist. But he was also a socialist. Therefore, if you support socialism, you support Hitler ... or something like that.

JMW Turner said...

Well, there is a White Horse in the painting...White farm animal privilege?

Birkel said...

Oh, TTR, you were boring and predictable after making a good joke. #sad

JMW Turner said...

It is a shame, for the sake of humanity, that Hitler wasn't talented, perhaps if he was, he would have pursued art instead of utter destruction...

Big Mike said...

Oops. I meant Thomas Kinkade. I apologize for the misspelling.

However if you like paintings that have been "described as maudlin and overly sentimental," you can buy one from Amazon via the Althouse Portal. She won't know who you are.

Earnest Prole said...

“A barrel, a plow, and a cart indicate farm work” = water is wet.

David Baker said...


Benton's "Persephone" was described as pornography. And so salacious its Wiki page won't show it. But don't run off to look, because it's so tame it doesn't even move the Titillation Meter.

tim in vermont said...

Therefore, if you support socialism, you support Hitler ... or something like that.

No, the way it seems to have gone in these past couple weeks at a high crescendo is "either you support international socialism or you support Hitler." Since those are the only two options that lefties can even understand exist. Given it's pathetic track record, it's amazing to me that anybody supports either version of socialism.

But lefties are well documented to have extreme difficulty understanding arguments that it is not in their political interest to understand.

tim in vermont said...

his contrasts against modern art movements reflect a similar backlash within his psychology and the social and political movements he led against the liberalism of the day

Of course he defined "liberalism" as free market economics and personal freedom, two things that he brought under control with his socialism. Mussolini made this point quite clear. It's kind of funny how many modern liberals think that they were talking about some abstraction of modern "liberalism," which is almost completely different in that it is mostly about coercing some people to support politically favored people, and to impose their cultural norms on the rest of society, and to believe in "complete" freedom as long as whatever you want to do is acceptable within their cultural norms.

dustbunny said...

There is a pretty good movie from 2002 called 'Max' that addresses the 'what if Hitler had pursued art instead of world domination'. John Cusak as an art dealer and NoahTaylor as a very intense and nervous young Hitler

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 209   Newer› Newest»