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The Selected Letters of Fairfield Porter
The publication of Porter's letters marks an occasion for a renewed celebration of his painting and an appreciation of his quirky, indeed ornery, personality. Porter was a feisty correspondent, who fearlessly entered the intellectual discourse of his time. ---From the introduction by David Lehman "In this lifetime of letters, Fairfield Porter reveals the complexity and passion of a protagonist in a novel by Dostoevsky or Henry James." ---Jane Freilicher Fairfield Porter (1907-75) has been called by poet John Ashbery "perhaps the major American artist of the century." He was also known as a gifted art critic. Beyond shedding light on his personal views, this collection of Fairfield Porter's letters demonstrates his profound contribution to American art and literature and displays his acumen as a political critic. The letters tell the story of a reserved artist and intellectual, torn between the tensions and pressures he felt among politics, family life, and painting-a man who forged a painting style outside the politically correct artistic perceptions of both left and right. The collection includes letters from Porter's early travels to the Soviet Union, including a description of an interview with Trotsky, as well as some of his later letters to close friends, including Frank O'Hara, Kenneth Koch, Rod Padgett, Larry Rivers, and James Schuyler, among others. While the letters reveal many sides of the brilliant and independent-minded Porter, they also provide a cultural context for the time period and the circle of artists and poets with whom Porter associated. The letters not only tell a story of the artist himself but are also valuable documents of the political and artistic upheavals of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. This rich collection is introduced by poet and critic David Lehman and includes notes by Justin Spring, author of Porter's biography.
A Magician in Search of Myth
Surrealist artist Max Ernst defined collage as the "alchemy of the visual image." Students of his work have often dismissed this comment as simply a metaphor for the transformative power of using found images in a new context. Taking a wholly different perspective on Ernst and alchemy, however, M. E. Warlick persuasively demonstrates that the artist had a profound and abiding interest in alchemical philosophy and often used alchemical symbolism in works created throughout his career. A revival of interest in alchemy swept the artistic, psychoanalytic, historical, and scientific circles of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Warlick sets Ernst’s work squarely within this movement. Looking at both his art (many of the works she discusses are reproduced in the book) and his writings, she reveals how thoroughly alchemical philosophy and symbolism pervade his early Dadaist experiments, his foundational work in surrealism, and his many collages and paintings of women and landscapes, whose images exemplify the alchemical fusing of opposites. This pioneering research adds an essential key to understanding the multilayered complexity of Ernst’s works, as it affirms his standing as one of Germany’s most significant artists of the twentieth century.
An Artist's Journey
Phillip Hofstetter first visited Yucatán in 1987 and was entranced, as much by the sheer physical beauty of the region as by the enduring character of the Maya people still inhabiting the region. For more than twenty years he has been documenting his travels in Yucatán and his professional collaboration with archaeological excavation projects there. His reflections on the Maya culture emphasize survival and adaptation, while images of ancient sites, the churches of the Franciscan mission period, and the ruined haciendas of the henequen period serve as physical reminders of the enduring ways in which the Maya have shaped the landscape of Yucatán over millennia.
Architecture and Communications in New York City
With a unique focus on corporate headquarters as embodiments of the values of the press and as signposts for understanding media culture, Media Capital: Architecture and Communications in New York City demonstrates the mutually supporting relationship between the media and urban space. Aurora Wallace considers how architecture contributed to the power of the press, the nature of the reading public, the commercialization of media, and corporate branding in the media industry. Tracing the rise and concentration of the media industry in New York City from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, Wallace analyzes physical and discursive space, as well as labor, technology, and aesthetics, to understand the entwined development of the mass media and late capitalism._x000B_
Built primarily for public religious exercises, New England’s wood-frame meetinghouses nevertheless were closely wedded to the social and cultural fabric of the neighborhood and fulfilled multiple secular purposes for much of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As the only municipal building in the community, these structures provided locations for town and parish meetings. They also hosted criminal trials, public punishments and executions, and political and religious protests, and on occasion they served as defensive forts, barracks, hospitals, and places to store gunpowder. Today few of these once ubiquitous buildings survive. Based on site visits and meticulous documentary research, Meetinghouses of Early New England identifies more than 2,200 houses of worship in the region during the period from 1622 to 1830, bringing many of them to light for the first time. Within this framework Peter Benes addresses the stunning but ultimately impermanent blossoming of a New England “vernacular” tradition of ecclesiastical/ municipal architecture. He pinpoints the specific European antecedents of the seventeenth-century New England meetinghouse and traces their evolution through the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries into Congregational, Presbyterian, and Baptist churches heavily influenced by an Anglican precedent that made a place of worship a “house of God.” Undertaking a parish-by-parish examination, Benes draws on primary sources—original records, diaries, and contemporary commentators—to determine which religious societies in the region advocated (or resisted) this evolution, tying key shifts in meetinghouse architecture to the region’s shifting liturgical and devotional practices.
Boundaries of the Self in Ancient Literature
Ancient literature features many powerful narratives of madness, depression, melancholy, lovesickness, simple boredom, and the effects of such psychological states upon individual sufferers. Peter Toohey turns his attention to representations of these emotional states in the Classical, Hellenistic, and especially the Roman imperial periods in a study that illuminates the cultural and aesthetic significance of this emotionally charged literature. His probing analysis shows that a shifting representation of these afflicted states, and the concomitant sense of isolation from one's social affinities and surroundings, manifests a developing sense of the self and self-consciousness in the ancient world. This book makes important contributions to a variety of disciplines including classical studies, comparative literature, literary and art history, history of medicine, history of emotions, psychiatry, and psychology. Peter Toohey is Professor and Department Head of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Calgary, Canada.
Lebanese history is often associated with sectarianism and hostility between religious communities, but by examining public memorials and historical accounts Lucia Volk finds evidence for a sustained politics of Muslim and Christian co-existence. Lebanese Muslim and Christian civilians were jointly commemorated as martyrs for the nation after various episodes of violence in Lebanese history. Sites of memory sponsored by Maronite, Sunni, Shiite, and Druze elites have shared the goal of creating cross-community solidarity by honoring the joint sacrifice of civilians of different religious communities. This compelling and lucid study enhances our understanding of culture and politics in the Middle East and the politics of memory in situations of ongoing conflict.
Using the analytical perspectives of architecture, comparative literature, and cultural studies, the essays in Memory and Architecture examine the role of memory in the creation of our built environment.
The Quiet in the Land
With their distinctive head coverings, plain dress, and quiet, unassuming demeanor, the Mennonites are a distinctive presence within the often flamboyant and proud people of Texas. If you have seen them at a gas station, in a grocery store, or even at the Dallas–Fort Worth airport, you have probably taken note and wondered how they came to be there. In this photographic tour of two Texas Mennonite communities, separated by almost 450 miles, Laura L. Camden and Susan Gaetz Duarte introduce you to the Beachy Amish Mennonites of Lott, a small community of approximately 160 people in Central Texas, and the very different Mennonites of Seminole, a West Texas farming community of more than five thousand residents and five separate congregations, several of which still speak the Mennonite Low German. Spending more than a year getting to know the families, participating in day-to-day activities, and photographing the unique culture of the communities, Camden and Gaetz Duarte developed deep insight into not just the religious beliefs but the family relationships, role expectations, and daily routines of these people. Through their camera lenses, they offer others a touchingly intimate view of a unique lifestyle seldom experienced by outsiders. In a foreword, former governor Ann Richards identifies the book as part of both the long photographic tradition in Texas and the tradition of cultural and religious diversity in the state. Mark L. Louden’s introduction provides the historical backgrounds of Mennonites in Europe, their core beliefs, and their development into branches in North America. Dennis Carlyle Darling offers insightful comments on the photography that allows an intimate, respectful view of the people, their lifestyle, and their culture.
Trade and Architecture in an Indian Ocean Port
Gaining prominence as a seaport under the Ottomans in the mid-1500s, the city of Mocha on the Red Sea coast of Yemen pulsed with maritime commerce. Its very name became synonymous with Yemen's most important revenue-producing crop -- coffee. After the imams of the Qasimi dynasty ousted the Ottomans in 1635, Mocha's trade turned eastward toward the Indian Ocean and coastal India. Merchants and shipowners from Asian, African, and European shores flocked to the city to trade in Arabian coffee and aromatics, Indian textiles, Asian spices, and silver from the New World.