Category Archives: Francis Schaeffer

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 220 Robert Pirsig, Featured artist is Piet Mondrian

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Image result for robert m. pirsig

I was sad to learn of the death of Robert Pirsig. I wrote him a letter in 2016, but never got a reply.

Francis Schaeffer’s home  L’abri in Switzerland is seen above

Robert M. Pirsig seen below

Robert M. Pirsig below?

The Lachish Relief below

Lachish Relief

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March 27, 2016

Robert Pirsig,

Dear Mr. Pirsig,

I have posted my blog a post about you and it is called, “FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall).” I hope you get a chance to check it out.

I grew up with several heroes and one of them was Francis Schaeffer and he wrote about you in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? (co-authored with C. Everett Koop). Here is what he said:

Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era

The greatest dilemma for those who hold this world-view, however, is that it is impossible to live consistently within it. We saw how this was true of David Hume. Likewise the playwright Samuel Beckett can “say” that words do not communicate anything – and that everything, including language, is absurd – yet he must use words to write his plays, even plays about meaninglessness. If the words that Beckett uses did not convey meaning to his hearers, he could not say that everything, including words, is meaningless.
The list of contradictions can be extended endlessly. The truth is that everyone who rejects the biblical world-view must live in a state of tension between ideas about reality and reality itself.
Thus, if a person believes that everything is only matter or energy and carries this through consistently, meaning dies, morality dies, love dies, hope dies. Yet! The individual does love, does hope, does act on the basis of right and wrong. This is what we mean when we say that everyone is caught, regardless of his world-view, simply by the way things are. No one can make his own universe to live in.
The reason for this, as we have said all along, is that the individual is confronted with two aspects or reality that do not basically change: the universe and its form and the mannishness of man. Humanists argue that everything is finally only matter or energy and end up with no answers to the big questions. They arrive at only meaninglessness, relative morality, relative knowledge. But humanists actually live as if there is meaning and real morality. They act, for example, as if cruelty is not the same as noncruelty, or justice the same as injustice. Also, humanists do have knowledge, knowledge of a world in which causality is real and science is possible.
Exactly the same dilemma exists with the other main alternative to Christianity: the philosophies of the East. Despite their many differences, all of these philosophies flow out of the view that ultimately everything is impersonal. The universe we are experiencing, the Eastern philosophers say, is simply an extension of God, but – and here we need to be careful – they do not mean that God is personal. “God” means the “impersonal everything,” which has no final distinctions. So, within this view, the solution is to say we must get rid of those aspirations that are personal, those things that make us seem to be independent entities, entirely independent selves. Such an idea is maya, that is, “illusion.”
In the Eastern thinking, the only reality is one beyond all distinctions and therefore impersonal: no “male” or “female,” no “you” or “me,” no “good” or “evil.” It is important to note that Eastern thinkers come to exactly the same place as those who begin by saying that everything is matter or energy. At first the two positions sound very different, but they result in the same final position.
And so we ask again: Can a person espousing this Eastern world-view live consistently with it? In his 1974 book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig relates an interesting anecdote. The author, who calls himself Phaedrus in the story, studied philosophy at Benares University for about ten years. He tells how his time there came to an end.
One day in the classroom the professor of philosophy was blithely expounding on the illusory nature of the world for what seemed the fiftieth time and Phaedrus raised his hand and asked coldly if it was believed that the atomic bombs that had dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were illusory. The professor smiled and said yes. That was the end of the exchange.
…Within the traditions of Indian philosophy that answer may have been correct, but for Phaedrus and for anyone else who reads newspapers regularly and is concerned with such things as mass destruction of human beings that answer was hopelessly inadequate. He left the classroom, left India and gave up.88
There are, then, only two main alternative world-views to Christianity, both of which begin with the impersonal. The West has a materialistic view and is nonreligious. The East has an immaterialistic view and is religious. But both are impersonal systems. This is the important point; by comparison, their differences pale into insignificance. The result is that, in both the West and the East, men and women are seen as abnormal aliens to the way things really are. In Eastern terms they are spoken of as maya or illusion; in Western terms, as absurd machines.

ROBERT, I have no idea what your spiritual beliefs are or even if you believe there is an afterlife or not.  However, would you agree that if the Bible is correct in regards to history then Jesus did rise from the grave? Let’s take a closer look at evidence concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

I know that you highly respected Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and he co-authored with Francis Schaeffer the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Below is a piece of evidence from that book.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

In the previous chapter we saw that the Bible gives us the explanation for the existence of the universe and its form and for the mannishness of man. Or, to reverse this, we came to see that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are a testimony to the truth of the Bible. In this chapter we will consider a third testimony: the Bible’s openness to verification by historical study.

Christianity involves history. To say only that is already to have said something remarkable, because it separates the Judeo-Christian world-view from almost all other religious thought. It is rooted in history.

The Bible tells us how God communicated with man in history. For example, God revealed Himself to Abraham at a point in time and at a particular geographical place. He did likewise with Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and so on. The implications of this are extremely important to us. Because the truth God communicated in the Bible is so tied up with the flow of human events, it is possible by historical study to confirm some of the historical details.

It is remarkable that this possibility exists. Compare the information we have from other continents of that period. We know comparatively little about what happened in Africa or South America or China or Russia or even Europe. We see beautiful remains of temples and burial places, cult figures, utensils, and so forth, but there is not much actual “history” that can be reconstructed, at least not much when compared to that which is possible in the Middle East.

When we look at the material which has been discovered from the Nile to the Euphrates that derives from the 2500-year span before Christ, we are in a completely different situation from that in regard to South America or Asia. The kings of Egypt and Assyria built thousands of monuments commemorating their victories and recounting their different exploits. Whole libraries have been discovered from places like Nuzu and Mari and most recently at Elba, which give hundreds of thousands of texts relating to the historical details of their time. It is within this geographical area that the Bible is set. So it is possible to find material which bears upon what the Bible tells us.

The Bible purports to give us information on history. Is the history accurate? The more we understand about the Middle East between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100, the more confident we can be that the information in the Bible is reliable, even when it speaks about the simple things of time and place.

The site of the biblical city called Lachish is about thirty miles southwest of Jerusalem. This city is referred to on a number of occasions in the Old Testament. Imagine a busy city with high walls surrounding it, and a gate in front that is the only entrance to the city. We know so much about Lachish from archaeological studies that a reconstruction of the whole city has been made in detail. This can be seen at the British Museum in the Lachish Room in the Assyrian section.

There is also a picture made by artists in the eighth century before Christ, the Lachish Relief, which was discovered in the city of Nineveh in the ancient Assyria. In this picture we can see the Jewish inhabitants of Lachish surrendering to Sennacherib, the king of Assyria. The details in the picture and the Assyrian writing on it give the Assyrian side of what the Bible tells us in Second Kings:

2 Kings 18:13-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

13 Now in the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 14 Then Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria at Lachish, saying, “I have done wrong. Withdraw from me; whatever you impose on me I will bear.” So the king of Assyria required of Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver which was found in the house of the Lord, and in the treasuries of the king’s house. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord, and from the doorposts which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria.

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We should notice two things about this. First, this is a real-life situation–a real siege of a real city with real people on both sides of the war–and it happened at a particular date in history, near the turn of the eighth century B.C. Second, the two accounts of this incident in 701 B.C. (the account from the Bible and the Assyrian account from Nineveh) do not contradict, but rather confirm each other. The history of Lachish itself is not so important for us, but some of its smaller historical details.

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Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

PS: I have enclosed a small booklet called THIS WAS YOUR LIFE.

Robert M. Pirsig

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Robert M. Pirsig
Pirsig2005 (cropped).jpg

Pirsig in July 2005
Born Robert Maynard Pirsig
September 6, 1928
Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Died April 24, 2017 (aged 88)
South Berwick, Maine, U.S.
Occupation Writer, philosopher
Alma mater University of Minnesota
Banaras Hindu University
University of Chicago
Genre Philosophical fiction
Notable works Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974), Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991)
Spouse Nancy Ann James
(m. 1954; div. 1978)
Wendy Kimball
(m. 1978; his death 2017)
Children 3
Relatives Maynard Pirsig (father)

Robert Maynard Pirsig (September 6, 1928 – April 24, 2017) was an American writer and philosopher. He was the author of the philosophical novels Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (1974) and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991).[1]

Early life[edit]

Pirsig was born on September 6, 1928 in Minneapolis, Minnesota,[2] the son of Harriet Marie Sjobeck and Maynard Pirsig. He was of German and Swedish descent.[3] His father was a University of Minnesota Law School (UMLS) graduate, and started teaching at the school in 1934. The elder Pirsig served as the law school dean from 1948 to 1955, and retired from teaching at UMLS in 1970.[4] He resumed his career as a professor at the William Mitchell College of Law, where he remained until his final retirement in 1993.[4]

Because he was a precocious child with an IQ of 170 at age nine, Pirsig skipped several grades and was enrolled at the Blake School in Minneapolis.[3][5] At 14, in May 1943, Pirsig was awarded a high school diploma from the University of Minnesota’s laboratory school, University High School (now Marshall-University High School) where he edited the school yearbook, the Bisbilla. He then entered the University of Minnesota to study biochemistry that autumn. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, he described the central character, thought to represent himself,[6] as being far from a typical student; he was interested in science as a goal in itself, rather than as a way to establish a career.

While doing laboratory work in biochemistry, Pirsig became greatly troubled by the existence of more than one workable hypothesis to explain a given phenomenon, and that the number of hypotheses appeared unlimited. He could not find any way to reduce the number of hypotheses—he became perplexed by the role and source of hypothesis generation within scientific practice. The question distracted him to the extent that he lost interest in his studies and failed to maintain good grades. Finally, he was expelled from the university.[7]

At 18, Pirsig enlisted in the United States Army in 1946 and was stationed in South Korea until 1948. Upon his discharge from the Army, he returned to the United States and lived in SeattleWashington, for less than a year, at which point he decided to finish the education he had abandoned. Pirsig earned a bachelor’s degree in 1950 from the University of Minnesota.[8] He then attended Banaras Hindu University in India, to study Eastern philosophy and culture. At the University of Chicago, he performed graduate-level work in philosophy and journalism but he did not obtain a degree there. In 1958 he earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.[7][9]

Career[edit]

In 1958, he became a professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, and taught creative writing courses for two years. Shortly thereafter he taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago.[10]

Pirsig’s published writing consists most notably of two books. The better known, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, develops around Pirsig’s exploration into the nature of “Quality”. Ostensibly a first-person narrative based on a motorcycle trip he and his young son Chris took from Minneapolis to San Francisco, it is an exploration of the underlying metaphysics of Western culture. He also gives the reader a short summary of the history of philosophy, including his interpretation of the philosophy of Socrates as part of an ongoing dispute between “cosmologists”, admitting the existence of a Universal Truth, and the Sophists, opposed by Socrates and his student Plato. Pirsig finds in “Quality” a special significance and common ground between Western and Eastern world views.[1][11]

Pirsig’s publisher’s recommendation to his board ended, “This book is brilliant beyond belief, it is probably a work of genius, and will, I’ll wager, attain classic stature.”[12] In his book reviewGeorge Steiner compared Pirsig’s writing to DostoevskyBrochProust, and Bergson, stating that “the assertion itself is valid … the analogies with Moby-Dick are patent”.[13]

In 1974, Pirsig was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to allow him to write a follow-up, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals (1991), in which he developed a value-based metaphysicsMetaphysics of Quality, that challenges our subject-object view of reality. The second book, this time “the captain” of a sailboat, follows on from where Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance left off.[14][15]

Recognition[edit]

On December 15, 2012, Montana State University bestowed upon Pirsig an honorary doctorate in the field of philosophy during the university’s fall commencement. Pirsig was also honored with a commencement speech by MSU Regent Professor Michael Sexson.[16][17] Pirsig was an instructor in writing at what was then Montana State College from 1958–1960.[18] In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Pirsig writes about his time at MSC as a less than pleasurable experience due to the teaching of philosophy at the agricultural college. Pirsig said that this limited his ability to teach writing effectively, as well as to develop his own philosophies and literature. Due to frailty of health, Pirsig did not travel to Bozeman in December 2012 from his residence in Maine to accept the accolade.[19][10]

Personal life[edit]

Robert Pirsig married Nancy Ann James on May 10, 1954. They had two sons — Chris, born in 1956, and Theodore (Ted), born in 1958.[10]

Pirsig suffered a nervous breakdown and spent time in and out of psychiatric hospitals between 1961 and 1963. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and clinical depression as a result of an evaluation conducted by psychoanalysts, and was treated with electroconvulsive therapy on numerous occasions, a treatment he discusses in his book, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Nancy sought a divorce during this time;[20][21] they formally separated in 1976 and divorced in 1978.[10][21]

On December 28, 1978, Pirsig married Wendy Kimball in Tremont, Maine.[21]

In 1979, Chris Pirsig, who figured prominently in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, was fatally stabbed in a mugging outside the San Francisco Zen Center, at the age of 22.[22] Pirsig discusses this incident in an afterword to subsequent editions of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, writing that he and his second wife Wendy Kimball decided not to abort the child she conceived in 1980 because he believed that this unborn child — later their daughter Nell — was a continuation of the life pattern that Chris had occupied.[23]

Pirsig died aged 88, at his home in South Berwick, Maine, on April 24, 2017, after a period of failing health.[1]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up to:a b c Italie, Hillel (April 24, 2017). “‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ author dead”The Kansas City StarAssociated Press. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  2. Jump up^ “Robert M(aynard) Pirsig.” Contemporary Popular Writers. Ed. Dave Mote. Detroit: St. James Press, 1997. Gale Biography in Context. Web. September 1, 2012.
  3. Jump up to:a b “Robert M. Pirsig”It Happened in History. American Society of Authors and Writers. Retrieved 2008-02-25.
  4. Jump up to:a b A Tribute to Dean PirsigUniversity of Minnesota Law School, republished by MOQ.org.
  5. Jump up^ Adams, Tim (November 18, 2006). “The interview: Robert Pirsig”The Guardian.
  6. Jump up^ “Robert Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance author dies aged 88”The Guardian. April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  7. Jump up to:a b Vitello, Paul (April 24, 2017). “Robert M. Pirsig, Author of ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’, Dies at 88”The New York Times.
  8. Jump up^ A Study Guide for Robert Pirsig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”. Gale, Cengage Learning. 13 March 2015. pp. 5–. ISBN 978-1-4103-2079-7.
  9. Jump up^ “Robert Pirsig dies at 88; wrote counterculture classic ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance'”Los Angeles Times. April 24, 2017.
  10. Jump up to:a b c d “Author Robert Pirsig dies at 88”New York Post. Associated Press. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  11. Jump up^ “Robert Pirsig Dies At 88; Motorcycle Trip Inspired Popular ‘Zen’ Book”NPR.org. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  12. Jump up^ Richardson, Mark (September 9, 2008). Zen and Now. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 194.
  13. Jump up^ Steiner, George (April 15, 1974). “Uneasy Rider”The New Yorker. Published online at mrbauld.com. pp. 147–150.
  14. Jump up^ “Robert Pirsig Discusses ‘Lila: An Inquiry into Morals'”National Public Radio. April 21, 2005. Retrieved April 26, 2017. (Subscription required (help)).
  15. Jump up^ “Books of The Times; Novelist Continues A Philosophical Voyage”The New York Times. October 14, 1991. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  16. Jump up^ “[MD] Pirsig’s Honorary Doctorate”moqtalk.org. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  17. Jump up^ “MSU to award honorary doctorate to philosopher Robert Pirsig at December commencement”montana.edu. Montana State University. 2012-11-16. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  18. Jump up^ “MSU to award honorary doctorate to philosopher Robert Pirsig”Bozeman Daily Chronicle. 2012-11-18. Retrieved 2013-07-02.
  19. Jump up^ “MSU to award honorary doctorate to philosopher Robert Pirsig at December commencement”montana.edu. Montana State University. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  20. Jump up^ Adams, Tim (2006-11-18). “The interview: Robert Pirsig”The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  21. Jump up to:a b c Psybertron. “Robert Pirsig Biographical Timeline”psybertron.org. Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  22. Jump up^ “100 Zen Students Keeping Vigil Over Body of Man Slain in Street”The New York Times. San Francisco. Associated Press. November 20, 1979. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  23. Jump up^ Pirsig, Robert (1984). “Afterword”. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1984 ed.). New York: Bantam Books.

External links[edit]

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Featured artist is Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Piet Mondrian
Piet Cornelies Mondrian.jpg
Born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan
7 March 1872
Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died 1 February 1944 (aged 71)
ManhattanNew York, U.S.
Nationality Dutch
Education Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten
Known for Painting
Notable work Evening; Red TreeGray TreeComposition with Red Blue and YellowBroadway Boogie WoogieVictory Boogie Woogie
Movement De Stijlabstract art

Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondriaan, after 1906 Mondrian (/ˈmɔːndriˌɑːnˈmɒn-/;[1] Dutch: [ˈpit ˈmɔndrijaːn], later [ˈmɔndrijɑn]; 7 March 1872 – 1 February 1944), was a Dutch painter and theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.[2][3]He is known for being one of the pioneers of 20th century abstract art, as he changed his artistic direction from figurative painting to an increasingly abstract style, until he reached a point where his artistic vocabulary was reduced to simple geometric elements.[4]

Mondrian’s art was highly utopian and was concerned with a search for universal values and aesthetics. He proclaimed in 1914: Art is higher than reality and has no direct relation to reality. To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual. We find ourselves in the presence of an abstract art. Art should be above reality, otherwise it would have no value for man.[5] His art, however, always remained rooted in nature.

He was a contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which he co-founded with Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neoplasticism. This was the new ‘pure plastic art’ which he believed was necessary in order to create ‘universal beauty’. To express this, Mondrian eventually decided to limit his formal vocabulary to the three primary colors (red, blue and yellow), the three primary values (black, white and gray) and the two primary directions (horizontal and vertical).[6] Mondrian’s arrival in Paris from the Netherlands in 1911 marked the beginning of a period of profound change. He encountered experiments in Cubism and with the intent of integrating himself within the Parisian avant-garde removed an ‘a’ from the Dutch spelling of his name (Mondriaan).[7][8]

Mondrian’s work had an enormous influence on 20th century art, influencing not only the course of abstract painting and numerous major styles and art movements (e.g. Color Field painting, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism), but also fields outside the domain of painting, such as designarchitecture and fashion.[9] Design historian Stephen Bayley said: ‘Mondrian has come to mean Modernism. His name and his work sum up the High Modernist ideal. I don’t like the word ‘iconic’, so let’s say that he’s become totemic – a totem for everything Modernism set out to be.[10]

The Netherlands (1872–1911)[edit]

Piet Mondrian's birthplace in Amersfoort, Netherlands, now The Mondriaan House

Mondrian’s birthplace in Amersfoort, Netherlands, now The Mondriaan House, a museum

Piet Mondrian lived in this house from 1880 to 1892 now the Villa Mondriaan, in Winterswijk

In this house, now the Villa Mondriaan, in Winterswijk, Piet Mondrian lived from 1880 to 1892

Mondrian was born in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, the second of his parents’ children.[11] He was descended from Christian Dirkzoon Monderyan who lived in The Hague as early as 1670.[7] The family moved to Winterswijk when his father, Pieter Cornelius Mondriaan, was appointed head teacher at a local primary school.[12] Mondrian was introduced to art from an early age. His father was a qualified drawing teacher, and, with his uncle, Fritz Mondriaan (a pupil of Willem Maris of the Hague School of artists), the younger Piet often painted and drew along the river Gein.[13]

After a strict Protestant upbringing, in 1892, Mondrian entered the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam.[14] He was already qualified as a teacher.[12] He began his career as a teacher in primary education, but he also practiced painting. Most of his work from this period is naturalistic or Impressionistic, consisting largely of landscapes. These pastoral images of his native country depict windmills, fields, and rivers, initially in the Dutch Impressionist manner of the Hague School and then in a variety of styles and techniques that attest to his search for a personal style. These paintings are representational, and they illustrate the influence that various artistic movements had on Mondrian, including pointillism and the vivid colors of Fauvism.

Piet Mondrain painting Willow Grove: Impression of Light and Shadow in the Dallas Museum of Art

Willow Grove: Impression of Light and Shadow, c. 1905, oil on canvas, 35 × 45 cm, Dallas Museum of Art

Piet Mondrian painting Evening; Red Tree in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Piet Mondrian, Evening; Red Tree(Avond; De rode boom), 1908–10, oil on canvas, 70 × 99 cm, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Piet Mondrian painting Spring Sun (Lentezon): Castle Ruin: Brederode in the Dallas Museum of Art

Spring Sun (Lentezon): Castle Ruin: Brederode, c. late 1909 – early 1910, oil on masonite, 62 × 72 cm, Dallas Museum of Art

On display in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag] are a number of paintings from this period, including such Post-Impressionist works as The Red Mill and Trees in Moonrise. Another painting, Evening (Avond) (1908), depicting a tree in a field at dusk, even augurs future developments by using a palette consisting almost entirely of red, yellow, and blue. Although Avond is only limitedly abstract, it is the earliest Mondrian painting to emphasize primary colors.

Piet Mondrian painting View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg, in the Museum of Modern Art

Piet Mondrian, View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg, 1909, oil and pencil on cardboard, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Mondrian’s earliest paintings showing a degree of abstraction are a series of canvases from 1905 to 1908 that depict dim scenes of indistinct trees and houses reflected in still water. Although the result leads the viewer to begin focusing on the forms over the content, these paintings are still firmly rooted in nature, and it is only the knowledge of Mondrian’s later achievements that leads one to search in these works for the roots of his future abstraction.

Mondrian’s art was intimately related to his spiritual and philosophical studies. In 1908, he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in the late 19th century, and in 1909 he joined the Dutch branch of the Theosophical Society. The work of Blavatsky and a parallel spiritual movement, Rudolf Steiner‘s Anthroposophy, significantly affected the further development of his aesthetic.[15] Blavatsky believed that it was possible to attain a more profound knowledge of nature than that provided by empirical means, and much of Mondrian’s work for the rest of his life was inspired by his search for that spiritual knowledge. In 1918, he wrote “I got everything from the Secret Doctrine”, referring to a book written by Blavatsky. In 1921, in a letter to Steiner, Mondrian argued that his neoplasticism was “the art of the foreseeable future for all true Anthroposophists and Theosophists”. He remained a committed Theosophist in subsequent years, although he also believed that his own artistic current, neoplasticism, would eventually become part of a larger, ecumenical spirituality.[16]

Mondrian and his later work were deeply influenced by the 1911 Moderne Kunstkring exhibition of Cubism in Amsterdam. His search for simplification is shown in two versions of Still Life with Ginger Pot (Stilleven met Gemberpot). The 1911 version [17] is Cubist; in the 1912 version[18] the objects are reduced to a round shape with triangles and rectangles.

Paris (1911–1914)[edit]

Piet Mondrian painting Gray Tree, 1911, in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Gray Tree, 1911, an early experimentation with Cubism[19]

In 1911, Mondrian moved to Paris and changed his name, dropping an ‘a’ from Mondriaan, to emphasize his departure from the Netherlands, and his integration within the Parisian avant-garde.[8][20] While in Paris, the influence of the Cubist style of Picasso and Georges Braque appeared almost immediately in Mondrian’s work. Paintings such as The Sea (1912) and his various studies of trees from that year still contain a measure of representation, but, increasingly, they are dominated by geometric shapes and interlocking planes. While Mondrian was eager to absorb the Cubist influence into his work, it seems clear that he saw Cubism as a “port of call” on his artistic journey, rather than as a destination.

The Netherlands (1914–1919)[edit]

Unlike the Cubists, Mondrian still attempted to reconcile his painting with his spiritual pursuits, and in 1913 he began to fuse his art and his theosophical studies into a theory that signaled his final break from representational painting. While Mondrian was visiting the Netherlands in 1914, World War I began, forcing him to remain in there for the duration of the conflict. During this period, he stayed at the Laren artists’ colony, where he met Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesburg, who were both undergoing their own personal journeys toward abstraction. Van der Leck’s use of only primary colors in his art greatly influenced Mondrian. After a meeting with Van der Leck in 1916, Mondrian wrote, “My technique which was more or less Cubist, and therefore more or less pictorial, came under the influence of his precise method.”[21] With Van Doesburg, Mondrian founded De Stijl (The Style), a journal of the De Stijl Group, in which he first published essays defining his theory, which he called neoplasticism.

Mondrian published “De Nieuwe Beelding in de schilderkunst” (“The New Plastic in Painting”)[22] in twelve installments during 1917 and 1918. This was his first major attempt to express his artistic theory in writing. Mondrian’s best and most-often quoted expression of this theory, however, comes from a letter he wrote to H. P. Bremmer in 1914:

I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…

I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.[23]

Paris (1919–1938)[edit]

Piet Mondrian and Pétro (Nelly) van Doesburg in Mondrian's Paris studio, in 1923

Piet Mondrian and Pétro (Nelly) van Doesburg in Mondrian’s Paris studio, 1923

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting Tableau I, from 1921

Tableau I, 1921

When World War I ended in 1918, Mondrian returned to France where he would remain until 1938. Immersed in the crucible of artistic innovation that was post-war Paris, he flourished in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom that enabled him to embrace an art of pure abstraction for the rest of his life. Mondrian began producing grid-based paintings in late 1919, and in 1920, the style for which he came to be renowned began to appear.

In the early paintings of this style the lines delineating the rectangular forms are relatively thin, and they are gray, not black. The lines also tend to fade as they approach the edge of the painting, rather than stopping abruptly. The forms themselves, smaller and more numerous than in later paintings, are filled with primary colors, black, or gray, and nearly all of them are colored; only a few are left white.

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

During late 1920 and 1921, Mondrian’s paintings arrive at what is to casual observers their definitive and mature form. Thick black lines now separate the forms, which are larger and fewer in number, and more of the forms are left white. This was not the culmination of his artistic evolution, however. Although the refinements became subtler, Mondrian’s work continued to evolve during his years in Paris.

In the 1921 paintings, many, though not all, of the black lines stop short at a seemingly arbitrary distance from the edge of the canvas although the divisions between the rectangular forms remain intact. Here, too, the rectangular forms remain mostly colored. As the years passed and Mondrian’s work evolved further, he began extending all of the lines to the edges of the canvas, and he began to use fewer and fewer colored forms, favoring white instead.

These tendencies are particularly obvious in the “lozenge” works that Mondrian began producing with regularity in the mid-1920s. The “lozenge” paintings are square canvases tilted 45 degrees, so that they have a diamond shape. Typical of these is Schilderij No. 1: Lozenge With Two Lines and Blue (1926). One of the most minimal of Mondrian’s canvases, this painting consists only of two black, perpendicular lines and a small blue triangular form. The lines extend all the way to the edges of the canvas, almost giving the impression that the painting is a fragment of a larger work.

Although one’s view of the painting is hampered by the glass protecting it, and by the toll that age and handling have obviously taken on the canvas, a close examination of this painting begins to reveal something of the artist’s method. The painting is not composed of perfectly flat planes of color, as one might expect. Subtle brush strokes are evident throughout. The artist appears to have used different techniques for the various elements.[citation needed] The black lines are the flattest elements, with the least amount of depth. The colored forms have the most obvious brush strokes, all running in one direction. Most interesting, however, are the white forms, which clearly have been painted in layers, using brush strokes running in different directions. This generates a greater sense of depth in the white forms so that they appear to overwhelm the lines and the colors, which indeed they were doing, as Mondrian’s paintings of this period came to be increasingly dominated by white space.

Schilderij No. 1 may be the most extreme extent of Mondrian’s minimalism. As the years progressed, lines began to take precedence over forms in his painting. In the 1930s, he began to use thinner lines and double lines more frequently, punctuated with a few small colored forms, if any at all. Double lines particularly excited Mondrian, for he believed they offered his paintings a new dynamism which he was eager to explore.

In 1934–35 three of Mondrian’s paintings were exhibited as part of the “Abstract and Concrete” exhibitions in the UK at Oxford, London, and Liverpool.[24]

London and New York (1938–1944)[edit]

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting "Composition No. 10" from 1939–42

Composition No. 10 (1939–42), oil on canvas. Fellow De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg suggested a link between non-representational works of art and ideals of peace and spirituality.[25]

In September 1938, Mondrian left Paris in the face of advancing fascism and moved to London.[26] After the Netherlands was invaded and Paris fell in 1940, he left London for Manhattan, where he would remain until his death. Some of Mondrian’s later works are difficult to place in terms of his artistic development because there were quite a few canvases that he began in Paris or London and only completed months or years later in Manhattan. The finished works from this later period are visually busy, with more lines than any of his work since the 1920s, placed in an overlapping arrangement that is almost cartographical in appearance. He spent many long hours painting on his own until his hands blistered, and he sometimes cried or made himself sick.

Mondrian produced Lozenge Composition With Four Yellow Lines (1933), a simple painting that innovated thick, colored lines instead of black ones. After that one painting, this practice remained dormant in Mondrian’s work until he arrived in Manhattan, at which time he began to embrace it with abandon. In some examples of this new direction, such as Composition (1938) / Place de la Concorde (1943), he appears to have taken unfinished black-line paintings from Paris and completed them in New York by adding short perpendicular lines of different colors, running between the longer black lines, or from a black line to the edge of the canvas. The newly colored areas are thick, almost bridging the gap between lines and forms, and it is startling to see color in a Mondrian painting that is unbounded by black. Other works mix long lines of red amidst the familiar black lines, creating a new sense of depth by the addition of a colored layer on top of the black one. His painting Composition No. 10, 1939–1942, characterized by primary colors, white ground and black grid lines clearly defined Mondrian’s radical but classical approach to the rectangle.

On 23 September 1940 Mondrian left Europe for New York aboard the Cunard White Star Lines ship RMS Samaria, departing from Liverpool.[27] The new canvases that Mondrian began in Manhattan are even more startling, and indicate the beginning of a new idiom that was cut short by the artist’s death. New York City (1942) is a complex lattice of red, blue, and yellow lines, occasionally interlacing to create a greater sense of depth than his previous works. An unfinished 1941 version of this work uses strips of painted paper tape, which the artist could rearrange at will to experiment with different designs.

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting "Victory Boogie Woogie" from 1942–44

Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–44)

His painting Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942–43) at The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan was highly influential in the school of abstract geometric painting. The piece is made up of a number of shimmering squares of bright color that leap from the canvas, then appear to shimmer, drawing the viewer into those neon lights. In this painting and the unfinished Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–44), Mondrian replaced former solid lines with lines created from small adjoining rectangles of color, created in part by using small pieces of paper tape in various colors. Larger unbounded rectangles of color punctuate the design, some with smaller concentric rectangles inside them. While Mondrian’s works of the 1920s and 1930s tend to have an almost scientific austerity about them, these are bright, lively paintings, reflecting the upbeat music that inspired them and the city in which they were made.

In these final works, the forms have indeed usurped the role of the lines, opening another new door for Mondrian’s development as an abstractionist. The Boogie-Woogie paintings were clearly more of a revolutionary change than an evolutionary one, representing the most profound development in Mondrian’s work since his abandonment of representational art in 1913.

In 2008 the Dutch television program Andere Tijden found the only known movie footage with Mondrian.[28] The discovery of the film footage was announced at the end of a two-year research program on the Victory Boogie Woogie. The research found that the painting was in very good condition and that Mondrian painted the composition in one session. It also was found that the composition was changed radically by Mondrian shortly before his death by using small pieces of colored tape.

Wall works[edit]

When the 47-year-old Piet Mondrian left the Netherlands for unfettered Paris for the second and last time in 1919, he set about at once to make his studio a nurturing environment for paintings he had in mind that would increasingly express the principles of neoplasticism about which he had been writing for two years. To hide the studio’s structural flaws quickly and inexpensively, he tacked up large rectangular placards, each in a single color or neutral hue. Smaller colored paper squares and rectangles, composed together, accented the walls. Then came an intense period of painting. Again he addressed the walls, repositioning the colored cutouts, adding to their number, altering the dynamics of color and space, producing new tensions and equilibrium. Before long, he had established a creative schedule in which a period of painting took turns with a period of experimentally regrouping the smaller papers on the walls, a process that directly fed the next period of painting. It was a pattern he followed for the rest of his life, through wartime moves from Paris to London’s Hampstead in 1938 and 1940, across the Atlantic to Manhattan.

At the age of 71 in the fall of 1943, Mondrian moved into his second and final Manhattan studio at 15 East 59th Street, and set about to recreate the environment he had learned over the years was most congenial to his modest way of life and most stimulating to his art. He painted the high walls the same off-white he used on his easel and on the seats, tables and storage cases he designed and fashioned meticulously from discarded orange and apple-crates. He glossed the top of a white metal stool in the same brilliant primary red he applied to the cardboard sheath he made for the radio-phonograph that spilled forth his beloved jazz from well-traveled records. Visitors to this last studio seldom saw more than one or two new canvases, but found, often to their astonishment, that eight large compositions of colored bits of paper he had tacked and re-tacked to the walls in ever-changing relationships constituted together an environment that, paradoxically and simultaneously, was both kinetic and serene, stimulating and restful. It was the best space, Mondrian said, that he had inhabited. He was there for only a few months, as he died in February 1944.

After his death, Mondrian’s friend and sponsor in Manhattan, artist Harry Holtzman, and another painter friend, Fritz Glarner, carefully documented the studio on film and in still photographs before opening it to the public for a six-week exhibition. Before dismantling the studio, Holtzman (who was also Mondrian’s heir) traced the wall compositions precisely, prepared exact portable facsimiles of the space each had occupied, and affixed to each the original surviving cut-out components. These portable Mondrian compositions have become known as “The Wall Works”. Since Mondrian’s death, they have been exhibited twice at Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art (1983 and 1995–96),[29] once in SoHo at the Carpenter + Hochman Gallery (1984), once each at the Galerie Tokoro in Tokyo, Japan (1993), the XXII Biennial of Sao Paulo (1994), the University of Michigan (1995), and – the first time shown in Europe – at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of The Arts), in Berlin (22 February – 22 April 2007).

Death[edit]

Piet Mondrian died of pneumonia on 1 February 1944 and was interred at the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[30]

On 3 February 1944 a memorial was held for Mondrian at the Universal Chapel on Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan. The service was attended by nearly 200 people including Alexander ArchipenkoMarc ChagallMarcel DuchampFernand LégerAlexander Calder and Robert Motherwell.[31]

The Mondrian / Holtzman Trust functions as Mondrian’s official estate, and “aims to promote awareness of Mondrian’s artwork and to ensure the integrity of his work”.[32]

References in culture[edit]

Mondrian dresses by Yves Saint Laurent shown with a Mondrian painting in 1966

Mondrian dresses by Yves Saint Laurent shown with a Mondrian painting in 1966.

  • The National Museum of Serbia was the first museum to include one of Mondrian’s paintings in its permanent exhibition.[33]
  • Along with Klee and Kandinsky, Mondrian was one of the main inspirations to the early pointillist musical aesthetic of serialist composer Pierre Boulez,[34] although his interest in Mondrian was restricted to the works of 1914–15.[35] By May 1949 Boulez said he was “suspicious of Mondrian,” and by December 1951 expressed a dislike for his paintings (regarding them as “the most denuded of mystery that have ever been in the world”), and a strong preference for Klee.[36]
  • In the 1930s, the French fashion designer Lola Prusac, who worked at that time for Hermès in Paris, designed a range of luggage and bags inspired by the latest works of Mondrian: inlays of red, blue, and yellow leather squares.[37]
  • In 2001–2003 British artist Keith Milow made a series of paintings based on the so-called Transatlantic Paintings (1935–1940) by Mondrian.[38]
  • Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent‘s Fall 1965 Mondrian collection featured shift dresses in blocks of primary color with black bordering, inspired by Mondrian.[39] The collection proved so popular that it inspired a range of imitations that encompassed garments from coats to boots.
  • The La Vie Claire cycling team’s bicycles and clothing designs were inspired by Mondrian’s work throughout the 1980s. The French ski and bicycle equipment manufacturer Look, which also sponsored the team, used a Mondrian-inspired logo for a while. The style was revived in 2008 for a limited edition frame.[40]
  • 1980s R&B group Force MDs created a music video for their hit “Love is a House”, superimposing themselves performing inside of digitally drawn squares inspired by Composition II.[41]
  • Piet is an esoteric programming language named after Piet Mondrian in which programs look like abstract art.[42]
  • Mondrian (programming language) is a programming language named after him.[43]
  • An episode of the BBC TV drama Hustle entitled “Picture Perfect” is about the team attempting to create and sell a Mondrian forgery. To do so, they must steal a real Mondrian (Composition with Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black, 1921) from an art gallery.
  • The Mondrian is a 20-story high-rise in the Cityplace neighborhood of Oak LawnDallas, Texas (US). Construction started on the structure in 2003 and the building was completed in 2005.
  • In 2008, Nike released a pair of Dunk Low SB shoes inspired by Mondrian’s iconic neo-plastic paintings.[44]
  • The front cover to Australian rock band Silverchair‘s fifth and final album Young Modern (2007) is a tribute to Piet Mondrian’s Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow.
  • The cover art of American psychedelic pop indie rock band The Apples in Stereo‘s second album, Tone Soul Evolution (1997), was inspired by Piet Mondrian.
  • The character Data in Star Trek the Next Generation has a copy of Tableau 1 in his quarters.
  • The mathematics book An introduction to sparse stochastic processes[45] by M.Unser and P.Tafti uses a representation of a stochastic process called the Mondrian process for its cover, which is named because of its resemblance with Piet Mondrian artworks.
  • The Hague City Council honored Mondrian by adorning walls of City Hall with reproductions of his works and describing it as “the largest Mondrian painting in the world.”[46] The event celebrated the 100th year of De Stijl movement which Mondrian helped to found.[47]
  • The Jersey Surf Drum & Bugle Corps performed a show based on Piet Mondrian in their 2018 production titled [mondo mondrian] [48]

Commemoration[edit]

From 6 June to 5 October 2014, the Tate Liverpool displayed the largest UK collection of Mondrian’s works, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of his death. Mondrian and his Studios included a life-size reconstruction of his Paris studio. Charles Darwent, in The Guardian, wrote: “With its black floor and white walls hung with moveable panels of red, yellow and blue, the studio at Rue du Départ was not just a place for making Mondrians. It was a Mondrian – and a generator of Mondrians.”[8] He has been described as “the world’s greatest abstract geometrist”.[49]

Partial list of works[edit]

  • Girl Writing/Schrijvend meisje (1892)
  • At Work / On the Land. Aan den arbeid / Opt land (1898)
  • Farm building in Het Gooi, Fence and trees in the foreground (1898–1902)
  • Farm building with bridge (1899)
  • The Factory (1900)
  • Willow Grove: Impression of Light and Shadow (c. 1905), oil on canvas, 35 × 45 cm, Dallas Museum of Art
  • Field with Oak Trees at Dusk (1906)
  • Field with Young Trees in the Foreground (1907), Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Farm building with well in daylight (ca.1907)
  • Molen Mill; Mill in Sunlight (1908) External link.
  • Avond Evening; Red Tree (1908) External link.
  • Rij van elf populieren in rood, geel, blauw en groen; Row of eleven poplars in red, yellow, blue and green (1908), Museum de Fundatie [50]
  • Chrysanthemum (1908) Guggenheim Collection.
  • Chrysanthemum (ca.1908)
  • Windmill by the Water (1908)
  • View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg (1909)
  • Church in Zoutelande (1909)
  • The Red Tree (1909–10)
  • Amaryllis (1910)
  • Summer, Dune in Zeeland (1910) Guggenheim Collection
  • Spring Sun (Lentezon): Castle Ruin: Brederode (c. late 1909 – early 1910) Dallas Museum of Art, oil on Masonite 62 × 72 cm
  • Evolution (1910–11)
  • The Red Mill (1910–11) External link.
  • Horizontal Tree (1911)
  • Gray Tree (1911) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
  • Still Life with Ginger Pot I (Cubist) (1911) Guggenheim Collection
  • Still Life with Ginger Pot II (Simplified) (1912) Guggenheim Collection
  • Apple Tree in Bloom (1912)
  • Eucaliptus (1912)
  • Trees (1912–1913)
  • Scaffoldings (1912–1914)
  • Composition in Line and Color; Composition No. II (1913)
  • Oval Composition (Trees) (1913) [1]
  • Tableau No.2/Composition No. VII (1913) Guggenheim Collection
  • Compositie XIV (1913)
  • Church at Damburg/Kerk te Domburg (1914)
  • Composition 8 (1914) Guggenheim Collection
  • Ocean 5 (1915) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition (1916) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition III with Color Planes (1917)
  • Composition with Color Planes and Gray Lines 1 (1918)
  • Composition with Gray and Light Brown (1918)
  • Composition with Grid VII (1919)
  • Composition Chequerboard, Dark Colors./Compositi (1919)
  • Composition A: Composition with Black, Red, Gray, Yellow, and Blue (1920)
  • Composition with Black, Red, Gray, Yellow, and Blue (1920) External link.
  • DAHLIA (1920)
  • Tableau I (1921)
  • Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray (1921)
  • Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray (1921)
  • Composition with Blue, Yellow, Black, and Red (1922)
  • Composition #2 (1922)
  • Tableau 2 (1922) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, and Grey (1923) Berardo Collection.
  • Lozenge Composition with Red, Black, Blue, and Yellow (1925)
  • Lozenge Composition with Red, Gray, Blue, Yellow, and Black (1925) External link.
  • Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue (1927), Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Fox Trot; Lozenge Composition with Three Black Lines (1929)
  • Composition No. III/ Fox Trot B with Black, Red, Blue and Yellow (1929), Yale University Art Gallery
  • Composition with Yellow Patch (1930)
  • Composition No. 1: Lozenge with Four Lines (1930) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition with Yellow (1930)
  • Composition with Blue and Yellow (1932)
  • Composition No. III Blanc-Jaune (1935–42)
  • Rhythm of Straight Lines (1935–42) Harvard University.
  • Rhythm of Black Lines painting (1935–42)
  • Composition blanc, rouge et noir or Composition in White, Black and Red (1936)
  • Vertical Composition with Blue and White (1936)
  • Abstraction (1937–42)
  • Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue (1937–42)
  • Composition No. 1 with Grey and Red 1938/Composition with Red 1939(1938–1939) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition No. 8 (1939–42)
  • Painting #9 (1939–42)
  • Composition No. 10 (1939–1942)
  • New York City I (1942)
  • Chrysanthemum (1942), Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Trafalgar Square (1939–1943)
  • Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942–43) Museum of Modern Art.
  • Place de la Concorde (1943)
  • Victory Boogie-Woogie (1943–44) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
  • Composition Bleue et Jeune (1957)
  • Foxtrott (1967)

See also[edit]

There is not room in the universe for man

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If you have never read it, you really should take the time to read Francis Schaeffer’s The God Who is There. He discusses the “line of despair” — the inability of modern human thought to both understand the particular and the general; to create a system of thought which incorporates all — including our “manishness” that stuff of us which makes us human and real. There is no way to construct a comprehensive and rational world view which does not rightly incorporate what God has done in Jesus Christ. If that sounds strange, then you should consider Schaeffer’s work.

In the book, he works through philosophy, art, theology and demonstrate how the despair crossed the 20th century. Here is a bit about Mondrian:

Mondrian painted his pictures and hung them on the wall. They were frameless so that they would not look like holes in the wall. As the pictures conflicted with the room, he had to make a new room. So Mondrian had furniture made for him, particularly by Rietveld, a member of the De Stijl group, and Van der Leck. There was an exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in July–September 1951, called “De Stijl,” where this could be seen. As you looked, you were led to admire the balance between room and furniture, in just the same way as there is such a good balance in his individual pictures. But if a man came into that room, there would be no place for him. It is a room for abstract balance, but not for man. This is the conclusion modern man has reached, below the line of despair. He has tried to build a system out from himself, but this system has come to the place where there is not room in the universe for man.

20140331-172112.jpg

Featured artist is Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian Art Documentary. Episode 14 Artists of the 20th Century

Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942-43)

Image result for Piet Mondrian

Francis Schaeffer noted:

Hans Arp (1887-1966), an Alsatian sculptor, wrote a poem which appeared in the final issue of the magazine De Stijl (The Style) which was published by the De Stijlgroup of artists led by Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. Mondrian (1872-1944) was the best-known artist of this school. He was not of the Dada school which accepted and portrayed absurdity. Rather, Mondrian was hoping to paint the absolute. Hand Arp, however, was a Dadaist artist connected with De Stijl. His power “Für Theo Van Doesburg,” translated from German reads:

the head downward
the legs upward
he tumbles into the bottomless
from whence he came

he has no more honour in his body
he bites no more bite of any short meal
he answers no greeting
and is not proud when being adored

the head downward
the legs upward
he tumbles into the bottomless
from whence he came

like a dish covered with hair
like a four-legged sucking chair
like a deaf echotrunk
half full half empty

the head downward
the legs upward
he tumbles into the bottomless
from whence he came

Dada carried to its logical conclusion the notion of all having come about by chance; the result was the final absurdity of everything, including humanity.

The man who perhaps most clearly and consciously showed this understanding of the resulting absurdity fo all things was Marcel Duchamp (1887-1969). He carried the concept of fragmentation further in Nude Descending a Staircase (1912), one version of which is now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art–a painting in which the human disappeared completely. The chance and fragmented concept of what is led to the devaluation and absurdity of all things. All one was left with was a fragmented view of a life which is absurd in all its parts. Duchamp realized that the absurdity of all things includes the absurdity of art itself. His “ready-mades” were any object near at hand, which he simply signed. It could be a bicycle wheel or a urinal. Thus art itself was declared absurd.

Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? noted on pages 200-203:

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) is perhaps the clearest example in the United States of painting deliberately in order to make the statements that all is chance. He placed canvases horizontally on the floor and dripped paint on them from suspended cans swinging over them. Thus, his paintings were a product of chance. But wait a minute! Is there not an order in the lines of paint on his canvases? Yes, because it was not really chance shaping his canvases! The universe is not a random universe; it has order. Therefore, as the dripping paint from the swinging cans moved over the canvases, the lines of paint were following the order of the universe itself. The universe is not what these painters said it is.

John Cage provides perhaps the clearest example of what is involved in the shift of music. Cage believed the universe is a universe of chance. He tried carrying this out with great consistency. For example, at times he flipped coins to decide what the music should be. At other times he erected a machine that led an orchestra by chance motions so that the orchestra would not know what was coming next. Thus there was no order. Or again, he placed two conductors leading the same orchestra, separated from each other by a partition, so that what resulted was utter confusion. There is a close tie-in again to painting; in 1947 Cage made a composition he called MUSIC FOR MARCEL DUCHAMP. But the sound produced by his music was composed only of silence (interrupted only by random environmental sounds), but as soon as he used his chance methods sheer noise was the outcome.

But Cage also showed that one cannot live on such a base, that the chance concept of the universe does not fit the universe as it is. Cage is an expert in mycology, the science of mushrooms. And he himself said, “I became aware that if I approached mushrooms in the spirit of my chance operation, I would die shortly.” Mushroom picking must be carefully discriminative. His theory of the universe does not fit the universe that exists.

All of this music by chance, which results in noise, makes a strange contrast to the airplanes sitting in our airports or slicing through our skies. An airplane is carefully formed; it is orderly (and many would also think it beautiful). This is in sharp contrast to the intellectualized art which states that the universe is chance. Why is the airplane carefully formed and orderly, and what Cage produced utter noise? Simply because an airplane must fit the orderly flow lines of the universe if it is to fly!

(END OF SCHAEFFER QUOTE)

Wikis > Piet Mondrian
Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) black and white photo

Piet Mondrian (1872-1944)

Bio
Born: 03/07/1872
Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died: 02/01/1944
Age: 71
Movements De Stijl, or Neoplasticism
Nationality Dutch
Expertise Painter

Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondrian had a dream of becoming a Realist painter, but instead was responsible for evolving the Neoplasticism movement. His paintings were often sparse and asymmetrical, using only three primary colors.

PERSONAL LIFE

Piet Mondrian had a difficult childhood. His father was a Protestant who devoted his time to church activities, mostly at the expense of his family life, and his mother was very sickly. As a result, he grew up bitter and cynical. He became fascinated with art after his father taught him how to draw. In 1892, Mondrian enrolled in the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten (Royal Academy of Visual Arts) in Amsterdam. He returned home when he fell ill due to pneumonia. While recovering, he painted rural watercolor landscapes. Due to his childhood struggles, he had difficulty maintaining relationships in adult life. He married Greet Heybroek in 1914 and broke up just three years later, never marrying again after that. Mondrian fell ill from an acute pneumonia attack and died in 1944. He left everything to a young artist named Harry Holtzman, disinheriting his siblings. His memorial service was held at the Universal Chapel on Lexington Avenue in New York City and was attended by roughly two hundred people, including many famous artists. He was interred in the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

CAREER

In 1904, Piet Mondrian painted Brabant Farmyard, which reflected his aim to be a Realist painter. The naturalistic characteristics in this painting showed his association with The Hague School. He painted farmyards, depicting landscapes that were sparse and placed close to the viewer. His 1922 paintingComposition embraced Neoplasticism and followed the movement’s principles. In this artwork, he placed the elements in asymmetric order to achieve an unbalanced equilibrium and used only three primary colors. In 1942, his last completed paintingBroadway Boogie Woogie, paid homage to New York City. Critics say it did not reflect the qualities expected of Neoplasticism, which is thought to have been due to his failing health and the shortage of art supplies caused by the war.

FUN FACTS

  • Mondrian’s father was a school principal.
  • He lived in the United States the last four years of his life

Composition C

Image result for Piet Mondrian

_____________

Piet Mondrian
Piet Cornelies Mondrian.jpg
Born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan
7 March 1872
Amersfoort, Netherlands
Died 1 February 1944 (aged 71)
ManhattanNew York, U.S.
Nationality Dutch
Education Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten
Known for Painting
Notable work Evening; Red TreeGray TreeComposition with Red Blue and YellowBroadway Boogie WoogieVictory Boogie Woogie
Movement De Stijlabstract art

Pieter Cornelis “Piet” Mondriaan, after 1906 Mondrian (/ˈmɔːndriˌɑːnˈmɒn-/;[1] Dutch: [ˈpit ˈmɔndrijaːn], later [ˈmɔndrijɑn]; 7 March 1872 – 1 February 1944), was a Dutch painter and theoretician who is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.[2][3] He is known for being one of the pioneers of 20th century abstract art, as he changed his artistic direction from figurative painting to an increasingly abstract style, until he reached a point where his artistic vocabulary was reduced to simple geometric elements.[4]

Mondrian’s art was highly utopian and was concerned with a search for universal values and aesthetics. He proclaimed in 1914: Art is higher than reality and has no direct relation to reality. To approach the spiritual in art, one will make as little use as possible of reality, because reality is opposed to the spiritual. We find ourselves in the presence of an abstract art. Art should be above reality, otherwise it would have no value for man.[5] His art, however, always remained rooted in nature.

He was a contributor to the De Stijl art movement and group, which he co-founded with Theo van Doesburg. He evolved a non-representational form which he termed Neoplasticism. This was the new ‘pure plastic art’ which he believed was necessary in order to create ‘universal beauty’. To express this, Mondrian eventually decided to limit his formal vocabulary to the three primary colors (red, blue and yellow), the three primary values (black, white and gray) and the two primary directions (horizontal and vertical).[6] Mondrian’s arrival in Paris from the Netherlands in 1911 marked the beginning of a period of profound change. He encountered experiments in Cubism and with the intent of integrating himself within the Parisian avant-garde removed an ‘a’ from the Dutch spelling of his name (Mondriaan).[7][8]

Mondrian’s work had an enormous influence on 20th century art, influencing not only the course of abstract painting and numerous major styles and art movements (e.g. Color Field painting, Abstract Expressionism and Minimalism), but also fields outside the domain of painting, such as designarchitecture and fashion.[9]Design historian Stephen Bayley said: ‘Mondrian has come to mean Modernism. His name and his work sum up the High Modernist ideal. I don’t like the word ‘iconic’, so let’s say that he’s become totemic – a totem for everything Modernism set out to be.[10]

The Netherlands (1872–1911)[edit]

Piet Mondrian's birthplace in Amersfoort, Netherlands, now The Mondriaan House

Mondrian’s birthplace in Amersfoort, Netherlands, now The Mondriaan House, a museum

Piet Mondrian lived in this house from 1880 to 1892 now the Villa Mondriaan, in Winterswijk

In this house, now the Villa Mondriaan, in Winterswijk, Piet Mondrian lived from 1880 to 1892

Mondrian was born in Amersfoort in the Netherlands, the second of his parents’ children.[11] He was descended from Christian Dirkzoon Monderyan who lived in The Hague as early as 1670.[7] The family moved to Winterswijk when his father, Pieter Cornelius Mondriaan, was appointed head teacher at a local primary school.[12]Mondrian was introduced to art from an early age. His father was a qualified drawing teacher, and, with his uncle, Fritz Mondriaan (a pupil of Willem Maris of the Hague School of artists), the younger Piet often painted and drew along the river Gein.[13]

After a strict Protestant upbringing, in 1892, Mondrian entered the Academy for Fine Art in Amsterdam.[14] He was already qualified as a teacher.[12] He began his career as a teacher in primary education, but he also practiced painting. Most of his work from this period is naturalistic or Impressionistic, consisting largely of landscapes. These pastoral images of his native country depict windmills, fields, and rivers, initially in the Dutch Impressionist manner of the Hague School and then in a variety of styles and techniques that attest to his search for a personal style. These paintings are representational, and they illustrate the influence that various artistic movements had on Mondrian, including pointillism and the vivid colors of Fauvism.

Piet Mondrain painting Willow Grove: Impression of Light and Shadow in the Dallas Museum of Art

Willow Grove: Impression of Light and Shadow, c. 1905, oil on canvas, 35 × 45 cm, Dallas Museum of Art

Piet Mondrian painting Evening; Red Tree in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Piet Mondrian, Evening; Red Tree(Avond; De rode boom), 1908–10, oil on canvas, 70 × 99 cm, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Piet Mondrian painting Spring Sun (Lentezon): Castle Ruin: Brederode in the Dallas Museum of Art

Spring Sun (Lentezon): Castle Ruin: Brederode, c. late 1909 – early 1910, oil on masonite, 62 × 72 cm, Dallas Museum of Art

On display in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag] are a number of paintings from this period, including such Post-Impressionist works as The Red Mill and Trees in Moonrise. Another painting, Evening (Avond) (1908), depicting a tree in a field at dusk, even augurs future developments by using a palette consisting almost entirely of red, yellow, and blue. Although Avond is only limitedly abstract, it is the earliest Mondrian painting to emphasize primary colors.

Piet Mondrian painting View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg, in the Museum of Modern Art

Piet Mondrian, View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg, 1909, oil and pencil on cardboard, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Mondrian’s earliest paintings showing a degree of abstraction are a series of canvases from 1905 to 1908 that depict dim scenes of indistinct trees and houses reflected in still water. Although the result leads the viewer to begin focusing on the forms over the content, these paintings are still firmly rooted in nature, and it is only the knowledge of Mondrian’s later achievements that leads one to search in these works for the roots of his future abstraction.

Mondrian’s art was intimately related to his spiritual and philosophical studies. In 1908, he became interested in the theosophical movement launched by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in the late 19th century, and in 1909 he joined the Dutch branch of the Theosophical Society. The work of Blavatsky and a parallel spiritual movement, Rudolf Steiner‘s Anthroposophy, significantly affected the further development of his aesthetic.[15] Blavatsky believed that it was possible to attain a more profound knowledge of nature than that provided by empirical means, and much of Mondrian’s work for the rest of his life was inspired by his search for that spiritual knowledge. In 1918, he wrote “I got everything from the Secret Doctrine”, referring to a book written by Blavatsky. In 1921, in a letter to Steiner, Mondrian argued that his neoplasticism was “the art of the foreseeable future for all true Anthroposophists and Theosophists”. He remained a committed Theosophist in subsequent years, although he also believed that his own artistic current, neoplasticism, would eventually become part of a larger, ecumenical spirituality.[16]

Mondrian and his later work were deeply influenced by the 1911 Moderne Kunstkring exhibition of Cubism in Amsterdam. His search for simplification is shown in two versions of Still Life with Ginger Pot (Stilleven met Gemberpot). The 1911 version [17] is Cubist; in the 1912 version[18] the objects are reduced to a round shape with triangles and rectangles.

Paris (1911–1914)[edit]

Piet Mondrian painting "Gray Tree, 1911, in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag

Gray Tree, 1911, an early experimentation with Cubism[19]

In 1911, Mondrian moved to Paris and changed his name, dropping an ‘a’ from Mondriaan, to emphasize his departure from the Netherlands, and his integration within the Parisian avant-garde.[8][20] While in Paris, the influence of the Cubist style of Picasso and Georges Braque appeared almost immediately in Mondrian’s work. Paintings such as The Sea (1912) and his various studies of trees from that year still contain a measure of representation, but, increasingly, they are dominated by geometric shapes and interlocking planes. While Mondrian was eager to absorb the Cubist influence into his work, it seems clear that he saw Cubism as a “port of call” on his artistic journey, rather than as a destination.

The Netherlands (1914–1919)[edit]

Unlike the Cubists, Mondrian still attempted to reconcile his painting with his spiritual pursuits, and in 1913 he began to fuse his art and his theosophical studies into a theory that signaled his final break from representational painting. While Mondrian was visiting the Netherlands in 1914, World War I began, forcing him to remain in there for the duration of the conflict. During this period, he stayed at the Laren artists’ colony, where he met Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesburg, who were both undergoing their own personal journeys toward abstraction. Van der Leck’s use of only primary colors in his art greatly influenced Mondrian. After a meeting with Van der Leck in 1916, Mondrian wrote, “My technique which was more or less Cubist, and therefore more or less pictorial, came under the influence of his precise method.”[21]With Van Doesburg, Mondrian founded De Stijl (The Style), a journal of the De Stijl Group, in which he first published essays defining his theory, which he called neoplasticism.

Mondrian published “De Nieuwe Beelding in de schilderkunst” (“The New Plastic in Painting”)[22] in twelve installments during 1917 and 1918. This was his first major attempt to express his artistic theory in writing. Mondrian’s best and most-often quoted expression of this theory, however, comes from a letter he wrote to H. P. Bremmerin 1914:

I construct lines and color combinations on a flat surface, in order to express general beauty with the utmost awareness. Nature (or, that which I see) inspires me, puts me, as with any painter, in an emotional state so that an urge comes about to make something, but I want to come as close as possible to the truth and abstract everything from that, until I reach the foundation (still just an external foundation!) of things…

I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.[23]

Paris (1919–1938)[edit]

Piet Mondrian and Pétro (Nelly) van Doesburg in Mondrian's Paris studio, in 1923

Piet Mondrian and Pétro (Nelly) van Doesburg in Mondrian’s Paris studio, 1923

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting Tableau I, from 1921

Tableau I, 1921

When World War I ended in 1918, Mondrian returned to France where he would remain until 1938. Immersed in the crucible of artistic innovation that was post-war Paris, he flourished in an atmosphere of intellectual freedom that enabled him to embrace an art of pure abstraction for the rest of his life. Mondrian began producing grid-based paintings in late 1919, and in 1920, the style for which he came to be renowned began to appear.

In the early paintings of this style the lines delineating the rectangular forms are relatively thin, and they are gray, not black. The lines also tend to fade as they approach the edge of the painting, rather than stopping abruptly. The forms themselves, smaller and more numerous than in later paintings, are filled with primary colors, black, or gray, and nearly all of them are colored; only a few are left white.

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow, 1930

During late 1920 and 1921, Mondrian’s paintings arrive at what is to casual observers their definitive and mature form. Thick black lines now separate the forms, which are larger and fewer in number, and more of the forms are left white. This was not the culmination of his artistic evolution, however. Although the refinements became subtler, Mondrian’s work continued to evolve during his years in Paris.

In the 1921 paintings, many, though not all, of the black lines stop short at a seemingly arbitrary distance from the edge of the canvas although the divisions between the rectangular forms remain intact. Here, too, the rectangular forms remain mostly colored. As the years passed and Mondrian’s work evolved further, he began extending all of the lines to the edges of the canvas, and he began to use fewer and fewer colored forms, favoring white instead.

These tendencies are particularly obvious in the “lozenge” works that Mondrian began producing with regularity in the mid-1920s. The “lozenge” paintings are square canvases tilted 45 degrees, so that they have a diamond shape. Typical of these is Schilderij No. 1: Lozenge With Two Lines and Blue (1926). One of the most minimal of Mondrian’s canvases, this painting consists only of two black, perpendicular lines and a small blue triangular form. The lines extend all the way to the edges of the canvas, almost giving the impression that the painting is a fragment of a larger work.

Although one’s view of the painting is hampered by the glass protecting it, and by the toll that age and handling have obviously taken on the canvas, a close examination of this painting begins to reveal something of the artist’s method. The painting is not composed of perfectly flat planes of color, as one might expect. Subtle brush strokes are evident throughout. The artist appears to have used different techniques for the various elements.[citation needed] The black lines are the flattest elements, with the least amount of depth. The colored forms have the most obvious brush strokes, all running in one direction. Most interesting, however, are the white forms, which clearly have been painted in layers, using brush strokes running in different directions. This generates a greater sense of depth in the white forms so that they appear to overwhelm the lines and the colors, which indeed they were doing, as Mondrian’s paintings of this period came to be increasingly dominated by white space.

Schilderij No. 1 may be the most extreme extent of Mondrian’s minimalism. As the years progressed, lines began to take precedence over forms in his painting. In the 1930s, he began to use thinner lines and double lines more frequently, punctuated with a few small colored forms, if any at all. Double lines particularly excited Mondrian, for he believed they offered his paintings a new dynamism which he was eager to explore.

In 1934–35 three of Mondrian’s paintings were exhibited as part of the “Abstract and Concrete” exhibitions in the UK at Oxford, London, and Liverpool.[24]

London and New York (1938–1944)[edit]

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting "Composition No. 10" from 1939–42

Composition No. 10 (1939–42), oil on canvas. Fellow De Stijl artist Theo van Doesburg suggested a link between non-representational works of art and ideals of peace and spirituality.[25]

In September 1938, Mondrian left Paris in the face of advancing fascism and moved to London.[26] After the Netherlands was invaded and Paris fell in 1940, he left London for Manhattan, where he would remain until his death. Some of Mondrian’s later works are difficult to place in terms of his artistic development because there were quite a few canvases that he began in Paris or London and only completed months or years later in Manhattan. The finished works from this later period are visually busy, with more lines than any of his work since the 1920s, placed in an overlapping arrangement that is almost cartographical in appearance. He spent many long hours painting on his own until his hands blistered, and he sometimes cried or made himself sick.

Mondrian produced Lozenge Composition With Four Yellow Lines (1933), a simple painting that innovated thick, colored lines instead of black ones. After that one painting, this practice remained dormant in Mondrian’s work until he arrived in Manhattan, at which time he began to embrace it with abandon. In some examples of this new direction, such as Composition (1938) / Place de la Concorde (1943), he appears to have taken unfinished black-line paintings from Paris and completed them in New York by adding short perpendicular lines of different colors, running between the longer black lines, or from a black line to the edge of the canvas. The newly colored areas are thick, almost bridging the gap between lines and forms, and it is startling to see color in a Mondrian painting that is unbounded by black. Other works mix long lines of red amidst the familiar black lines, creating a new sense of depth by the addition of a colored layer on top of the black one. His painting Composition No. 10, 1939–1942, characterized by primary colors, white ground and black grid lines clearly defined Mondrian’s radical but classical approach to the rectangle.

On 23 September 1940 Mondrian left Europe for New York aboard the Cunard White Star Lines ship RMS Samaria, departing from Liverpool.[27] The new canvases that Mondrian began in Manhattan are even more startling, and indicate the beginning of a new idiom that was cut short by the artist’s death. New York City (1942) is a complex lattice of red, blue, and yellow lines, occasionally interlacing to create a greater sense of depth than his previous works. An unfinished 1941 version of this work uses strips of painted paper tape, which the artist could rearrange at will to experiment with different designs.

Piet Mondriaan abstract painting "Victory Boogie Woogie" from 1942–44

Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–44)

His painting Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942–43) at The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan was highly influential in the school of abstract geometric painting. The piece is made up of a number of shimmering squares of bright color that leap from the canvas, then appear to shimmer, drawing the viewer into those neon lights. In this painting and the unfinished Victory Boogie Woogie (1942–44), Mondrian replaced former solid lines with lines created from small adjoining rectangles of color, created in part by using small pieces of paper tape in various colors. Larger unbounded rectangles of color punctuate the design, some with smaller concentric rectangles inside them. While Mondrian’s works of the 1920s and 1930s tend to have an almost scientific austerity about them, these are bright, lively paintings, reflecting the upbeat music that inspired them and the city in which they were made.

In these final works, the forms have indeed usurped the role of the lines, opening another new door for Mondrian’s development as an abstractionist. The Boogie-Woogiepaintings were clearly more of a revolutionary change than an evolutionary one, representing the most profound development in Mondrian’s work since his abandonment of representational art in 1913.

In 2008 the Dutch television program Andere Tijden found the only known movie footage with Mondrian.[28] The discovery of the film footage was announced at the end of a two-year research program on the Victory Boogie Woogie. The research found that the painting was in very good condition and that Mondrian painted the composition in one session. It also was found that the composition was changed radically by Mondrian shortly before his death by using small pieces of colored tape.

Wall works[edit]

When the 47-year-old Piet Mondrian left the Netherlands for unfettered Paris for the second and last time in 1919, he set about at once to make his studio a nurturing environment for paintings he had in mind that would increasingly express the principles of neoplasticism about which he had been writing for two years. To hide the studio’s structural flaws quickly and inexpensively, he tacked up large rectangular placards, each in a single color or neutral hue. Smaller colored paper squares and rectangles, composed together, accented the walls. Then came an intense period of painting. Again he addressed the walls, repositioning the colored cutouts, adding to their number, altering the dynamics of color and space, producing new tensions and equilibrium. Before long, he had established a creative schedule in which a period of painting took turns with a period of experimentally regrouping the smaller papers on the walls, a process that directly fed the next period of painting. It was a pattern he followed for the rest of his life, through wartime moves from Paris to London’s Hampstead in 1938 and 1940, across the Atlantic to Manhattan.

At the age of 71 in the fall of 1943, Mondrian moved into his second and final Manhattan studio at 15 East 59th Street, and set about to recreate the environment he had learned over the years was most congenial to his modest way of life and most stimulating to his art. He painted the high walls the same off-white he used on his easel and on the seats, tables and storage cases he designed and fashioned meticulously from discarded orange and apple-crates. He glossed the top of a white metal stool in the same brilliant primary red he applied to the cardboard sheath he made for the radio-phonograph that spilled forth his beloved jazz from well-traveled records. Visitors to this last studio seldom saw more than one or two new canvases, but found, often to their astonishment, that eight large compositions of colored bits of paper he had tacked and re-tacked to the walls in ever-changing relationships constituted together an environment that, paradoxically and simultaneously, was both kinetic and serene, stimulating and restful. It was the best space, Mondrian said, that he had inhabited. He was there for only a few months, as he died in February 1944.

After his death, Mondrian’s friend and sponsor in Manhattan, artist Harry Holtzman, and another painter friend, Fritz Glarner, carefully documented the studio on film and in still photographs before opening it to the public for a six-week exhibition. Before dismantling the studio, Holtzman (who was also Mondrian’s heir) traced the wall compositions precisely, prepared exact portable facsimiles of the space each had occupied, and affixed to each the original surviving cut-out components. These portable Mondrian compositions have become known as “The Wall Works”. Since Mondrian’s death, they have been exhibited twice at Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art (1983 and 1995–96),[29] once in SoHo at the Carpenter + Hochman Gallery (1984), once each at the Galerie Tokoro in Tokyo, Japan (1993), the XXII Biennial of Sao Paulo (1994), the University of Michigan (1995), and – the first time shown in Europe – at the Akademie der Künste (Academy of The Arts), in Berlin (22 February – 22 April 2007).

Death[edit]

Piet Mondrian died of pneumonia on 1 February 1944 and was interred at the Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.[30]

On 3 February 1944 a memorial was held for Mondrian at the Universal Chapel on Lexington Avenue and 52nd Street in Manhattan. The service was attended by nearly 200 people including Alexander ArchipenkoMarc ChagallMarcel DuchampFernand LégerAlexander Calder and Robert Motherwell.[31]

The Mondrian / Holtzman Trust functions as Mondrian’s official estate, and “aims to promote awareness of Mondrian’s artwork and to ensure the integrity of his work”.[32]

References in culture[edit]

Mondrian dresses by Yves Saint Laurent shown with a Mondrian painting in 1966

Mondrian dresses by Yves Saint Laurent shown with a Mondrian painting in 1966.

  • The National Museum of Serbia was the first museum to include one of Mondrian’s paintings in its permanent exhibition.[33]
  • Along with Klee and Kandinsky, Mondrian was one of the main inspirations to the early pointillist musical aesthetic of serialist composer Pierre Boulez,[34] although his interest in Mondrian was restricted to the works of 1914–15.[35] By May 1949 Boulez said he was “suspicious of Mondrian,” and by December 1951 expressed a dislike for his paintings (regarding them as “the most denuded of mystery that have ever been in the world”), and a strong preference for Klee.[36]
  • In the 1930s, the French fashion designer Lola Prusac, who worked at that time for Hermès in Paris, designed a range of luggage and bags inspired by the latest works of Mondrian: inlays of red, blue, and yellow leather squares.[37]
  • In 2001–2003 British artist Keith Milow made a series of paintings based on the so-called Transatlantic Paintings (1935–1940) by Mondrian.[38]
  • Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent‘s Fall 1965 Mondrian collection featured shift dresses in blocks of primary color with black bordering, inspired by Mondrian.[39]The collection proved so popular that it inspired a range of imitations that encompassed garments from coats to boots.
  • The La Vie Claire cycling team’s bicycles and clothing designs were inspired by Mondrian’s work throughout the 1980s. The French ski and bicycle equipment manufacturer Look, which also sponsored the team, used a Mondrian-inspired logo for a while. The style was revived in 2008 for a limited edition frame.[40]
  • 1980s R&B group Force MDs created a music video for their hit “Love is a House”, superimposing themselves performing inside of digitally drawn squares inspired by Composition II.[41]
  • Piet is an esoteric programming language named after Piet Mondrian in which programs look like abstract art.[42]
  • Mondrian (programming language) is a programming language named after him.[43]
  • An episode of the BBC TV drama Hustle entitled “Picture Perfect” is about the team attempting to create and sell a Mondrian forgery. To do so, they must steal a real Mondrian (Composition with Red, Yellow, Blue, and Black, 1921) from an art gallery.
  • The Mondrian is a 20-story high-rise in the Cityplace neighborhood of Oak LawnDallas, Texas (US). Construction started on the structure in 2003 and the building was completed in 2005.
  • In 2008, Nike released a pair of Dunk Low SB shoes inspired by Mondrian’s iconic neo-plastic paintings.[44]
  • The front cover to Australian rock band Silverchair‘s fifth and final album Young Modern (2007) is a tribute to Piet Mondrian’s Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow.
  • The cover art of American psychedelic pop indie rock band The Apples in Stereo‘s second album, Tone Soul Evolution (1997), was inspired by Piet Mondrian.
  • The character Data in Star Trek the Next Generation has a copy of Tableau 1 in his quarters.
  • The mathematics book An introduction to sparse stochastic processes[45] by M.Unser and P.Tafti uses a representation of a stochastic process called the Mondrian process for its cover, which is named because of its resemblance with Piet Mondrian artworks.
  • The Hague City Council honored Mondrian by adorning walls of City Hall with reproductions of his works and describing it as “the largest Mondrian painting in the world.”[46] The event celebrated the 100th year of De Stijl movement which Mondrian helped to found.[47]

Commemoration[edit]

From 6 June to 5 October 2014, the Tate Liverpool displayed the largest UK collection of Mondrian’s works, in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of his death. Mondrian and his Studios included a life-size reconstruction of his Paris studio. Charles Darwent, in The Guardian, wrote: “With its black floor and white walls hung with moveable panels of red, yellow and blue, the studio at Rue du Départ was not just a place for making Mondrians. It was a Mondrian – and a generator of Mondrians.”[8] He has been described as “the world’s greatest abstract geometrist”.[48]

Partial list of works[edit]

  • Girl Writing/Schrijvend meisje (1892)
  • At Work / On the Land. Aan den arbeid / Opt land (1898)
  • Farm building in Het Gooi, Fence and trees in the foreground(1898–1902)
  • Farm building with bridge (1899)
  • The Factory (1900)
  • Willow Grove: Impression of Light and Shadow (c. 1905), oil on canvas, 35 × 45 cm, Dallas Museum of Art
  • Field with Oak Trees at Dusk (1906)
  • Field with Young Trees in the Foreground (1907), Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Farm building with well in daylight (ca.1907)
  • Molen Mill; Mill in Sunlight (1908) External link.
  • Avond Evening; Red Tree (1908) External link.
  • Rij van elf populieren in rood, geel, blauw en groen; Row of eleven poplars in red, yellow, blue and green (1908), Museum de Fundatie [49]
  • Chrysanthemum (1908) Guggenheim Collection.
  • Chrysanthemum (ca.1908)
  • Windmill by the Water (1908)
  • View from the Dunes with Beach and Piers, Domburg (1909)
  • Church in Zoutelande (1909)
  • The Red Tree (1909–10)
  • Amaryllis (1910)
  • Summer, Dune in Zeeland (1910) Guggenheim Collection
  • Spring Sun (Lentezon): Castle Ruin: Brederode (c. late 1909 – early 1910) Dallas Museum of Art, oil on Masonite 62 × 72 cm
  • Evolution (1910–11)
  • The Red Mill (1910–11) External link.
  • Horizontal Tree (1911)
  • Gray Tree (1911) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
  • Still Life with Ginger Pot I (Cubist) (1911) Guggenheim Collection
  • Still Life with Ginger Pot II (Simplified) (1912) Guggenheim Collection
  • Apple Tree in Bloom (1912)
  • Eucaliptus (1912)
  • Trees (1912–1913)
  • Scaffoldings (1912–1914)
  • Composition in Line and Color; Composition No. II (1913)
  • Oval Composition (Trees) (1913) [1]
  • Tableau No.2/Composition No. VII (1913) Guggenheim Collection
  • Compositie XIV (1913)
  • Church at Damburg/Kerk te Domburg (1914)
  • Composition 8 (1914) Guggenheim Collection
  • Ocean 5 (1915) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition (1916) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition III with Color Planes (1917)
  • Composition with Color Planes and Gray Lines 1 (1918)
  • Composition with Gray and Light Brown (1918)
  • Composition with Grid VII (1919)
  • Composition Chequerboard, Dark Colors./Compositi (1919)
  • Composition A: Composition with Black, Red, Gray, Yellow, and Blue (1920)
  • Composition with Black, Red, Gray, Yellow, and Blue (1920) External link.
  • DAHLIA (1920)
  • Tableau I (1921)
  • Lozenge Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, Red, and Gray(1921)
  • Composition with Large Blue Plane, Red, Black, Yellow, and Gray (1921)
  • Composition with Blue, Yellow, Black, and Red (1922)
  • Composition #2 (1922)
  • Tableau 2 (1922) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition with Yellow, Black, Blue, and Grey (1923) Berardo Collection.
  • Lozenge Composition with Red, Black, Blue, and Yellow (1925)
  • Lozenge Composition with Red, Gray, Blue, Yellow, and Black(1925) External link.
  • Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue (1927), Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Fox Trot; Lozenge Composition with Three Black Lines (1929)
  • Composition No. III/ Fox Trot B with Black, Red, Blue and Yellow(1929), Yale University Art Gallery
  • Composition with Yellow Patch (1930)
  • Composition No. 1: Lozenge with Four Lines (1930) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition with Yellow (1930)
  • Composition with Blue and Yellow (1932)
  • Composition No. III Blanc-Jaune (1935–42)
  • Rhythm of Straight Lines (1935–42) Harvard University.
  • Rhythm of Black Lines painting (1935–42)
  • Composition blanc, rouge et noir or Composition in White, Black and Red (1936)
  • Vertical Composition with Blue and White (1936)
  • Abstraction (1937–42)
  • Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue (1937–42)
  • Composition No. 1 with Grey and Red 1938/Composition with Red 1939(1938–1939) Guggenheim Collection
  • Composition No. 8 (1939–42)
  • Painting #9 (1939–42)
  • Composition No. 10 (1939–1942)
  • New York City I (1942)
  • Chrysanthemum (1942), Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Trafalgar Square (1939–1943)
  • Broadway Boogie-Woogie (1942–43) Museum of Modern Art.
  • Place de la Concorde (1943)
  • Victory Boogie-Woogie (1943–44) Gemeentemuseum Den Haag.
  • Composition Bleue et Jeune (1957)
  • Foxtrott (1967)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ “Mondrian”Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. Jump up^ Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New – Episode 4 – Trouble in Utopia – 21 September 1980 – BBC.
  3. Jump up^ Blotkamp, Carel (1994) Mondrian: The Art of Destruction. London. Reaction Books Ltd. pp: 9
  4. Jump up^ Gardner, H., Kleiner, F. S., & Mamiya, C. J. (2006). Gardner’s art through the ages: the Western perspective. Belmont, CA, Thomson Wadsworth: 780
  5. Jump up^ Seuphor, Michel (1956) Piet Mondrian: Life and Work. New York: Abrams: 117
  6. Jump up^ “Piet Mondrian”Tate gallery, published in Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery’s Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.532–3. Retrieved 18 December 2007.
  7. Jump up to:a b Michel Seuphor, Piet Mondrian: Life and Work (New York: Harry N. Abrams), pp. 44 and 407.[not in citation given]
  8. Jump up to:a b c “Mondrian and his Studios”. Tate. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  9. Jump up^ Darwent, Charles (2014) Complex Simplicity: The Enduring Influence of Mondrian.
  10. Jump up^ Darwent, Charles (2014) Complex Simplicity: The Enduring Influence of Mondrian.
  11. Jump up^ Deicher (1995), p. 93
  12. Jump up to:a b Milner (1992), p. 9
  13. Jump up^ Milner (1995), pp. 9–10
  14. Jump up^ Deicher (1995), pp. 7–8
  15. Jump up^ Sellon, Emily B.; Weber, Renee (1992). “Theosophy and the Theosophical Society”. In Faivre, Antoine; Needleman, Jacob. Modern Esoteric Spirituality. World Spirituality. 21. Crossroad. p. 327. ISBN 0824514440.
  16. Jump up^ Introvigne, Massimo (2014). “From Mondrian to Charmion von Wiegand: Neoplasticism, Theosophy and Buddhism”. In Noble, Judith; Shepherd, Dominic; Ansell, Robert. Black Mirror 0: Territory. Fulgur Esoterica. pp. 49–61.
  17. Jump up^ Guggenheim Collection – Artist – Mondrian – Still Life with Gingerpot I
  18. Jump up^ Guggenheim Collection – Artist – Mondrian – Still Life with Gingerpot II
  19. Jump up^ Gemeentemuseum Den Haag
  20. Jump up^ Mondriaan, Pieter Cornelis (1872–1944) at http://www.inghist.nl
  21. Jump up^ The Dictionary of Painters. New York, NY: Larousse and Co., Inc. 1976. p. 285.
  22. Jump up^ Mondrian 1986, 18–74.
  23. Jump up^ Jackie Wullschlager, “Van Doesburg at Tate Modern”Financial Times, 2010/6/2
  24. Jump up^ “Mondrian 1930s”. Snap-dragon.com. 1994-05-10. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  25. Jump up^ Utopian Reality: Reconstructing Culture in Revolutionary Russia and Beyond; Christina Lodder, Maria Kokkori, Maria Mileeva; BRILL, Oct 24, 2013
  26. Jump up^ Casiraghi, Roberto “Piet Mondrian – Nike Dunk Low SB – Available!”http://www.englishgratis.com.
  27. Jump up^ “Liverpool Tate to host ‘largest’ UK Mondrian exhibition”. BBC News. 2013-04-19. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  28. Jump up^ (in Dutch) Eerste filmbeelden Mondriaan (NOS Journaal, 28-08-2008, visited: idem)
  29. Jump up^ Museum of Modern Art, New York, Press release, August 1995
  30. Jump up^ October 21, 2010 at Find a Grave
  31. Jump up^ “Piet Mondrian [1872–1944]”New Netherland Institute. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  32. Jump up^ Mission Statement page of The Mondrian / Holtzman Trust website
  33. Jump up^ “National Museum in Belgrade, Another Travel Guide.com, Belgrade, Museums and galleries”. Anothertravelguide.com. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  34. Jump up^ Peter F. Stacy (1987). Boulez and the Modern Concept. Scholar Press. ISBN 0-8032-4183-6.[page needed]
  35. Jump up^ Strauss 1989, 133.
  36. Jump up^ Boulez and Cage 1995, 103, 116–17.
  37. Jump up^ Guerrand 1988, 57.
  38. Jump up^ “Keith Milow – Paintings II”. Keith Milow. Retrieved 18 Feb 2010.
  39. Jump up^ “Yves Saint Laurent: ‘Mondriawen’ day dress (C.I.69.23)”Heilbrunn Timeline of Art HistoryMetropolitan Museum of Art. October 2006.
  40. Jump up^ “Look! It’s 1986! The French frame maker offers a limited edition Mondrian paint scheme”. velonews.com. 8 May 2008.
  41. Jump up^ “Force M.D.s video “Love Is A House” made available on youtube”. 10 June 2010.
  42. Jump up^ David Morgan-Mar (25 January 2008). “Piet”. Retrieved 18 Feb2010.
  43. Jump up^ “Mondrian” (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on April 19, 2012. Retrieved 18 Nov 2012.
  44. Jump up^ Khan, Furqan (26 April 2008). “Piet Mondrian – Nike Dunk Low SB – Available!”, KicksOnFire.com. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  45. Jump up^ “An introduction to sparse stochastic processes”. Retrieved 3 February 2017.
  46. Jump up^ Haag, Gemeente Den (2017-02-07), The largest Mondrian painting in the world – The Hague, retrieved 2017-03-23
  47. Jump up^ France-Presse, Agence (2017-02-03). “Dutch city celebrates Mondrian with sky-high replica on city hall”The GuardianISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-03-23.
  48. Jump up^ “How Piet Mondrian became the world’s greatest abstract geometrist”The Economist. 8 June 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  49. Jump up^ Collection of the Netherlands: Museums, Monuments and Archeology

References[edit]

  • Bax, Marty (2001). Complete Mondrian. Aldershot (Hampshire) and Burlington (Vermont): Lund Humphries. ISBN 0-85331-803-4 (cloth) ISBN 0-85331-822-0 (pbk).
  • Boulez, Pierre, and Cage, John (1995). The Boulez-Cage Correspondence, new edition, edited by Jean-Jacques Nattiez; translated from the French by Robert Samuels. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-48558-4.
  • Cooper, Harry A. (1997). “Dialectics of Painting: Mondrian’s Diamond Series, 1918–1944”. PhD diss. Cambridge: Harvard University.
  • Deicher, Susanne (1995). Piet Mondrian, 1872–1944: Structures in Space. Cologne: Benedikt Taschen. ISBN 3-8228-8885-0.
  • Faerna, José María (ed.) (1997). Mondrian Great Modern Masters. New York: Cameo/AbramsISBN 0-8109-4687-4.
  • Guerrand, Jean R. (1988). Souvenirs cousus sellier: un demi-siècle chez Hermès. Paris: Oliver Orban. ISBN 2-85565-377-0.
  • Janssen, Hans (2008). Mondriaan in het Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. [The Hague]: Gemeentemuseum Den Haag. ISBN 978-90-400-8443-0
  • Locher, Hans (1994) Piet Mondrian: Colour, Structure, and Symbolism: An Essay. Bern: Verlag Gachnang & Springer. ISBN 978-3-906127-44-6
  • Milner, John (1992). Mondrian. London: Phaidon. ISBN 0-7148-2659-6.
  • Mondrian, Piet (1986). The New Art – The New Life: The Collected Writings of Piet Mondrian, edited by Harry Holtzman and Martin S. James. Documents of 20th-Century Art. Boston: G. K. Hall and Co. ISBN 0-8057-9957-5. Reprinted 1987, London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-60011-2. Reprinted 1993, New York: Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-80508-1.
  • Schapiro, Meyer (1995). Mondrian: On the Humanity of Abstract Painting. New York: George Braziller. ISBN 0-8076-1369-X (cloth) ISBN 0-8076-1370-3 (pbk).
  • Strauss, Walter A. (1989). “Stacey Peter F. Boulez and the Modern Concept. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1987″. SubStance 18, no. 2, issue 59:131–34.
  • Welsh, Robert P., Joop J. Joosten, and Henk Scheepmaker (1998). Piet Mondrian: Catalogue Raisonné, translated by Jacques Bosser. Blaricum: V+K Publishing/Inmerc.
  • Larousse and Co., Inc. (1976). Mondrian, Piet. In Dictionary of Painters (p. 285). New York: Larousse and Co., Inc.
  • Busignani, Alberto (1968). Mondrian: The Life and Work of the Artist, Illustrated by 80 Colour Plates, translated from the Italian by Caroline Beamish. A Dolphin Art Book. London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Gooding, Mel (2001). Abstract Art. Movements in Modern Art. London: Tate Publishing; Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 1-85437-302-1 (Tate); ISBN 0-521-80928-2 (Cambridge, cloth); ISBN 0-521-00631-7 (Cambridge, pbk).
  • Hajdu, István (1987). Piet Mondrian. Pantheon. Budapest: Corvina Kiadó. ISBN 963-13-2265-3(in Hungarian)
  • Apollonio, Umbro (1970). Piet Mondrian, Milano: Fabri 1976. (in Italian)
  • Wiegand, Charmion (1943). “The Meaning of Mondrian” (PDF). The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The American Society for Aesthetics. 2 (8 (Autumn, 1943)): 62–70. JSTOR 425946doi:10.2307/425946.

External links[edit]

101 Western painters you should know

A list of the Best Painters of all-time in Western Painting, the 101 most important painters of the history of western painting, from 13th century to 21st century

by G. Fernández – theartwolf.com
Although this list stems from a deep study of the painters, their contribution to Western painting, and their influence on later artists; we are aware that objectivity does not exist in Art, so we understand that most readers will not agree 100% with this list. In any case, theartwolf.com assures that this list is only intended as a tribute to painting and the painters who have made it an unforgettable Art

1. PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973) – Picasso is to Art History a giant earthquake with eternal aftermaths. With the possible exception of Michelangelo (who focused his greatest efforts in sculpture and architecture), no other artist had such ambitions at the time of placing his oeuvre in the history of art. Picasso created the avant-garde. Picasso destroyed the avant-garde. He looked back at the masters and surpassed them all. He faced the whole history of art and single-handedly redefined the tortuous relationship between work and spectator

2. GIOTTO DI BONDONE (c.1267-1337) – It has been said that Giotto was the first real painter, like Adam was the first man. We agree with the first part. Giotto continued the Byzantine style of Cimabue and other predecessors, but he earned the right to be included in gold letters in the history of painting when he added a quality unknown to date: emotion

3. LEONARDO DA VINCI (1452-1519) – For better or for worse, Leonardo will be forever known as the author of the most famous painting of all time, the “Gioconda” or “Mona Lisa”. But he is more, much more. His humanist, almost scientific gaze, entered the art of the quattrocento and revoluted it with his sfumetto that nobody was ever able to imitate

4. PAUL CÉZANNE (1839-1906) – “Cezanne is the father of us all.” This famous quote has been attributed to both Picasso and Matisse, and certainly it does not matter who actually said it, because in either case would be appropriate. While he exhibited with the Impressionist painters, Cézanne left behind the whole group and developed a style of painting never seen so far, which opened the door for the arrival of Cubism and the rest of the vanguards of the twentieth century

5. REMBRANDT VAN RIJN (1606-1669) – The fascinating use of the light and shadows in Rembrandt’s works seem to reflect his own life, moving from fame to oblivion. Rembrandt is the great master of Dutch painting, and, along with Velázquez, the main figure of 17th century European Painting. He is, in addition, the great master of the self-portrait of all time, an artist who had never show mercy at the time of depicting himself

6. DIEGO VELÁZQUEZ (1599-1660) – Along with Rembrandt, one of the summits of Baroque painting. But unlike the Dutch artist, the Sevillan painter spent most of his life in the comfortable but rigid courtesan society. Nevertheless, Velázquez was an innovator, a “painter of atmospheres” two centuries before Turner and the Impressionists, which it is shown in his colossal ‘royal paintings’ (“Meninas”, “The Forge of Vulcan”), but also in his small and memorable sketches of the Villa Medici.

7. WASSILY KANDINSKY (1866-1944) – Although the title of “father of abstraction” has been assigned to several artists, from Picasso to Turner, few painters could claim it with as much justice as Kandinsky. Many artists have succeeded in painting emotion, but very few have changed the way we understand art. Wassily Kandinsky is one of them.

8. CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) – The importance of Monet in the history of art is sometimes “underrated”, as Art lovers tend to see only the overwhelming beauty that emanates from his canvases, ignoring the complex technique and composition of the work (a “defect” somehow caused by Monet himself, when he declared that “I do not understand why everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love”). However, Monet’s experiments, including studies on the changes in an object caused by daylight at different times of the day; and the almost abstract quality of his “water lilies”, are clearly a prologue to the art of the twentieth century.

9. CARAVAGGIO (1571-1610) – The tough and violent Caravaggio is considered the father of Baroque painting, with his spectacular use of lights and shadows. Caravaggio’s chiaroscuro became so famous that many painters started to copy his paintings, creating the ‘Caravaggisti’ style.

10. JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER (1775-1851) – Turner is the best landscape painter of Western painting. Whereas he had been at his beginnings an academic painter, Turner was slowly but unstoppably evolving towards a free, atmospheric style, sometimes even outlining the abstraction, which was misunderstood and rejected by the same critics who had admired him for decades

11. JAN VAN EYCK (1390-1441) – Van Eyck is the colossal pillar on which rests the whole Flemish paintings from later centuries, the genius of accuracy, thoroughness and perspective, well above any other artist of his time, either Flemish or Italian.

12. ALBRECHT DÜRER (1471-1528) – The real Leonardo da Vinci of Northern European Rennaisance was Albrecht Dürer, a restless and innovative genious, master of drawing and color. He is one of the first artists to represent nature without artifice, either in his painted landscapes or in his drawings of plants and animals

13. JACKSON POLLOCK (1912-1956) – The major figure of American Abstract Expressionism, Pollock created his best works, his famous drips, between 1947 and 1950. After those fascinating years, comparable to Picasso’s blue period or van Gogh’s final months in Auvers, he abandoned the drip, and his latest works are often bold, unexciting works.

14. MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564) – Some readers will be quite surprised to see the man who is, along with Picasso, the greatest artistic genius of all time, out of the “top ten” of this list, but the fact is that even Michelangelo defined himself as “sculptor”, and even his painted masterpiece (the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel) are often defined as ‘painted sculptures’. Nevertheless, that unforgettable masterpiece is enough to guarantee him a place of honor in the history of painting

15. PAUL GAUGUIN (1848-1903) – One of the most fascinating figures in the history of painting, his works moved from Impressionism (soon abandoned) to a colorful and vigorous symbolism, as can be seen in his ‘Polynesian paintings’. Matisse and Fauvism could not be understood without the works of Paul Gauguin

16. FRANCISCO DE GOYA (1746-1828) – Goya is an enigma. In the whole History of Art few figures are as complex as the artist born in Fuendetodos, Spain. Enterprising and indefinable, a painter with no rival in all his life, Goya was the painter of the Court and the painter of the people. He was a religious painter and a mystical painter. He was the author of the beauty and eroticism of the ‘Maja desnuda’ and the creator of the explicit horror of ‘The Third of May, 1808’. He was an oil painter, a fresco painter, a sketcher and an engraver. And he never stopped his metamorphosis

17. VINCENT VAN GOGH (1853-1890) – Few names in the history of painting are now as famous as Van Gogh, despite the complete neglect he suffered in life. His works, strong and personal, are one of the greatest influences in the twentieth century painting, especially in German Expressionism

18. ÉDOUARD MANET (1832-1883) – Manet was the origin of Impressionism, a revolutionary in a time of great artistic revolutions. His (at the time) quite polemical “Olympia” or “Déjeuner sur l’Herbe” opened the way for the great figures of Impressionism

19. MARK ROTHKO (1903-1970) – The influence of Rothko in the history of painting is yet to be quantified, because the truth is that almost 40 years after his death the influence of Rothko’s large, dazzling and emotional masses of color continues to increase in many painters of the 21st century

20. HENRI MATISSE (1869-1954) – Art critics tend to regard Matisse as the greatest exponent of twentieth century painting, only surpassed by Picasso. This is an exaggeration, although the almost pure use of color in some of his works strongly influenced many of the following avant-gardes

21. RAPHAEL (1483-1520) – Equally loved and hated in different eras, no one can doubt that Raphael is one of the greatest geniuses of the Renaissance, with an excellent technique in terms of drawing and color

22. JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (1960-1988) – Basquiat is undoubtedly the most important and famous member of the “graffiti movement” that appeared in the New York scene in the early’80s, an artistic movement whose enormous influence on later painting is still to be measured

23. EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944) – Modernist in his context, Munch could be also considered the first expressionist painter in history. Works like “The Scream” are vital to understanding the twentieth century painting.

24. TITIAN (c.1476-1576) – After the premature death of Giorgione, Titian became the leading figure of Venetian painting of his time. His use of color and his taste for mythological themes defined the main features of 16th century Venetian Art. His influence on later artists -Rubens, Velázquez…- is extremely important

25. PIET MONDRIAN (1872 -1944) – Along with Kandinsky and Malevich, Mondrian is the leading figure of early abstract painting. After emigrating to New York, Mondrian filled his abstract paintings with a fascinating emotional quality, as we can se in his series of “boogie-woogies” created in the mid-40s

26. PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA (1416-1492) – Despite being one of the most important figures of the quattrocento, the Art of Piero della Francesca has been described as “cold”, “hieratic” or even “impersonal”. But with the apparition of Berenson and the great historians of his era, like Michel Hérubel -who defended the “metaphysical dimension” of the paintings by Piero-, his precise and detailed Art finally occupied the place that it deserves in the Art history

27. PETER PAUL RUBENS (1577-1640) – Rubens was one of the most prolific painters of all time, thanks in part to the collaboration of his study. Very famous in life, he traveled around Europe to meet orders from very wealthy and important clients. His female nudes are still amazing in our days

28. ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987) – Brilliant and controversial, Warhol is the leading figure of pop-art and one of the icons of contemporary art. His silkscreen series depicting icons of the mass-media (as a reinterpretation of Monet’s series of Water lilies or the Rouen Cathedral) are one of the milestones of contemporary Art, with a huge influence in the Art of our days

29. JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983) – Like most geniuses, Miro is an unclassificable artist. His interest in the world of the unconscious, those hidden in the depths of the mind, link him with Surrealism, but with a personal style, sometimes closer to Fauvism and Expressionism. His most important works are those from the series of “Constellations”, created in the early 40s

30. TOMMASO MASACCIO (1401-1428) – Masaccio was one of the first old masters to use the laws of scientific perspective in his works . One of the greatest innovative painters of the Early Renaissance

31. MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985) – Artist of dreams and fantasies, Chagall was for all his life an immigrant fascinated by the lights and colors of the places he visited. Few names from the School of Paris of the early twentieth century have contributed so much -and with such variety of ideas- to change modern Art as this man “impressed by the light,” as he defined himself

31. GUSTAVE COURBET (1819-1877) – Leading figure of realism, and a clear precedent for the impressionists, Courbet was one of the greatest revolutionaries, both as an artist and as a social-activist, of the history of painting. Like Rembrandt and other predecessors, Courbet did not seek to create beauty, but believed that beauty is achieved when and artist represents the purest reality without artifice

33. NICOLAS POUSSIN (1594-1665) – The greatest among the great French Baroque painters, Poussin had a vital influence on French painting for many centuries. His use of color is unique among all the painters of his era

34. WILLEM DE KOONING (1904-1997) – After Pollock, the leading figure of abstract expressionism, though one of his greatest contributions was not to feel limited by the abstraction, often resorting to a heartbreaking figurative painting (his series of “Women” are the best example) with a major influence on later artists such as Francis Bacon or Lucian Freud

35. PAUL KLEE (1879-1940) – In a period of artistic revolutions and innovations, few artists were as crucial as Paul Klee. His studies of color, widely taught at the Bauhaus, are unique among all the artists of his time

36. FRANCIS BACON (1909-1992) – Maximum exponent, along with Lucian Freud, of the so-called “School of London”, Bacon’s style was totally against all canons of painting, not only in those terms related to beauty, but also against the dominance of the Abstract Expressionism of his time

37. GUSTAV KLIMT (1862-1918) – Half way between modernism and symbolism appears the figure of Gustav Klimt, who was also devoted to the industrial arts. His nearly abstract landscapes also make him a forerunner of geometric abstraction

38. EUGÈNE DELACROIX (1798-1863) – Eugène Delacroix is the French romanticism painter “par excellence” and one of the most important names in the European painting of the first half of the 19th century. His famous “Liberty leading the People”also demonstrates the capacity of Painting to become the symbol of an era.

39. PAOLO UCCELLO (1397-1475) – “Solitary, eccentric, melancholic and poor”. Giorgio Vasari described with these four words one of the most audacious geniuses of the early Florentine Renaissance, Paolo Uccello.

40. WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827) – Revolutionary and mystic, painter and poet, Blake is one of the most fascinating artists of any era. His watercolors, prints and temperas are filled with a wild imagination (almost crazyness), unique among the artists of his era

41. KAZIMIR MALEVICH (1878-1935) – Creator of Suprematism, Malevich will forever be one of the most controversial figures of the history of art among the general public, divided between those who consider him an essential renewal and those who consider that his works based on polygons of pure colors do not deserve to be considered Art

42. ANDREA MANTEGNA (1431-1506) – One of the greatest exponents of the Quattrocento, interested in the human figure, which he often represented under extreme perspectives (“The Dead Christ”)

43. JAN VERMEER (1632-1675) – Vermeer was the leading figure of the Delft School, and for sure one of the greatest landscape painters of all time. Works such as “View of the Delft” are considered almost “impressionist” due to the liveliness of his brushwork. He was also a skilled portraitist

44. EL GRECO (1541-1614) – One of the most original and fascinating artists of his era, with a very personal technique that was admired, three centuries later, by the impressionist painters

45. CASPAR DAVID FRIEDRICH (1774-1840) – Leading figure of German Romantic painting, Friedrich is still identified as the painter of landscapes of loneliness and distress, with human figures facing the terrible magnificence of nature.

46. WINSLOW HOMER (1836-1910) – The main figure of American painting of his era, Homer was a breath of fresh air for the American artistic scene, which was “stuck” in academic painting and the more romantic Hudson River School. Homer’s loose and lively brushstroke is almost impressionistic .

47. MARCEL DUCHAMP (1887-1968) – One of the major figures of Dadaism and a prototype of “total artist”, Duchamp is one of the most important and controversial figures of his era. His contribution to painting is just a small part of his huge contribution to the art world.

48. GIORGIONE (1478-1510) – Like so many other painters who died at young age, Giorgione (1477-1510) makes us wonder what place would his exquisite painting occupy in the history of Art if he had enjoyed a long existence, just like his direct artistic heir – Titian.

49. FRIDA KAHLO (1907-1954) – In recent years, Frida’s increasing fame seems to have obscured her importance in Latin American art. On September 17th, 1925, Kahlo was almost killed in a terrible bus accident. She did not died, but the violent crash had terrible sequels, breaking her spinal column, pelvis, and right leg.. After this accident, Kahlo’s self-portraits can be considered as quiet but terrible moans

50. HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER (1497-1543) – After Dürer, Holbein is the greatest of the German painters of his time. The fascinating portrait of “The Ambassadors” is still considered one of the most enigmatic paintings of art history

51. EDGAR DEGAS (1834-1917) – Though Degas was not a “pure” impressionist painter, his works shared the ideals of that artistic movement. Degas paintings of young dancers or ballerinas are icons of late 19th century painting

52. FRA ANGELICO (1387-1455) – One of the great colorists from the early Renaissance. Initially trained as an illuminator, he is the author of masterpieces such as “The Annunciation” in the Prado Museum.

53. GEORGES SEURAT (1859-1891) – Georges Seurat is one of the most important post-impressionist painters, and he is considered the creator of the “pointillism”, a style of painting in which small distinct points of primary colors create the impression of a wide selection of secondary and intermediate colors.

54. JEAN-ANTOINE WATTEAU (1684-1721) – Watteau is today considered one of the pioneers of rococo. Unfortunately, he died at the height of his powers, as it is evidenced in the great portrait of “Gilles” painted in the year of his death

55. SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989) – “I am Surrealism!” shouted Dalí when he was expelled from the surrealist movement by André Breton. Although the quote sounds presumptuous (which was not unusual in Dalí), the fact is that Dalí’s paintings are now the most famous images of all the surrealist movement.

56. MAX ERNST (1891-1976) – Halfway between Surrealism and Dadaism appears Max Ernst, important in both movements. Ernst was a brave artistic explorer thanks in part to the support of his wife and patron, Peggy Guggenheim

57. TINTORETTO (1518-1594) – Tintoretto is the most flamboyant of all Venetian masters (not the best, such honour can only be reclaimed by Titian or Giorgione) and his remarkable oeuvre not only closed the Venetian splendour till the apparition of Canaletto and his contemporaries, but also makes him the last of the Cinquecento masters.

58. JASPER JOHNS (born 1930) – The last living legend of the early Pop Art, although he has never considered himself a “pop artist”. His most famous works are the series of “Flags” and “Targets“.

59. SANDRO BOTTICELLI (1445-1510) – “If Botticelli were alive now he would be working for Vogue”, said actor Peter Ustinov. As well as Raphael, Botticelli had been equally loved or hated in different eras, but his use of color is one of the most fascinating among all old masters.

60. DAVID HOCKNEY (born 1937) – David Hockney is one of the living myths of the Pop Art. Born in Great Britain, he moved to California, where he immediately felt identified with the light, the culture and the urban landscape of the ‘Golden State’

61. UMBERTO BOCCIONI (1882-1916) – The maximum figure of Italian Futurism, fascinated by the world of the machine, and the movement as a symbol of contemporary times.

62. JOACHIM PATINIR (1480-1524) – Much less technically gifted than other Flemish painters like Memling or van der Weyden, his contribution to the history of art is vital for the incorporation of landscape as a major element in the painting.

63. DUCCIO DA BUONINSEGNA (c.1255/60 – 1318/19) – While in Florence Giotto di Bondone was changing the history of painting, Duccio of Buoninsegna provided a breath of fresh air to the important Sienese School.

64. ROGER VAN DER WEYDEN (1399-1464) – After Van Eyck, the leading exponent of Flemish painting in the fifteenth century; a master of perspective and composition.

65. JOHN CONSTABLE (1776-1837) – John Constable (1776-1837) is, along with Turner, the great figure of English romanticism. But unlike his contemporary, he never left England, and he devoted all his time to represent the life and landscapes of his beloved England.

66. JACQUES-LOUIS DAVID (1748-1825) – David is the summit of neoclassicism, a grandiloquent artist whose compositions seem to reflect his own hectic and revolutionary life.

67. ARSHILLE GORKY (1905-1948) – Armenian-born American painter, Gorky was a surrealist painter and also one of the leaders of abstract expressionism. He was called “the Ingres of the unconscious”.

68. HIERONYMUS BOSCH (1450-1516) – An extremely religious man, all works by Bosch are basically moralizing, didactic. The artist sees in the society of his time the triumph of sin, the depravation, and all the things that have caused the fall of the human being from its angelical character; and he wants to warn his contemporaries about the terrible consequences of his impure acts.

69. PIETER BRUEGEL THE ELDER (1528-1569) – Many scholars and art critics claim to have found important similarities between the works by Hyeronimus Bosch and those by Brueghel, but the truth is that the differences between both of them are abysmal. Whereas Bosch’s fantasies are born of a deep deception and preoccupation for the human being, with a clearly moralizing message; works by Bruegel are full of irony, and even filled with a love for the rural life, which seems to anticipate the Dutch landscape paintings from the next century.

70. SIMONE MARTINI (1284-1344) – One of the great painters of the Trecento, he was a step further and helped to expand its progress, which culminated in the “International Style”.

71. Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) – Church represents the culmination of the Hudson River School: he had Cole’s love for the landscape, Asher Brown Durand’s romantic lyricism, and Albert Bierstadt’s grandiloquence, but he was braver and technically more gifted than anyone of them. Church is without any doubt one of the greatest landscape painters of all time, perhaps only surpassed by Turner and some impressionists and postimpressionists like Monet or Cézanne.

72. EDWARD HOPPER (1882-1967) – Hopper is widely known as the painter of urban loneliness. His most famous work, the fabulous “Nighthawks” (1942) has become the symbol of the solitude of the contemporary metropolis, and it is one of the icons of the 20th century Art.

73. LUCIO FONTANA (1899-1968) – Father of the “White Manifesto”, in which he stated that “Matter, colour and sound in motion are the phenomena whose simultaneous development makes up the new art”. His “Concepts Spatiales” are already icons of the art of the second half of the twentieth century.

74. FRANZ MARC (1880-1916) – After Kandinsky, the great figure of the Expressionist group “The Blue Rider” and one of the most important expressionist painters ever. He died at the height of his artistic powers, when his use of color was even anticipating the later abstraction.

75. PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR (1841-1919) – One of the key figures of Impressionism, he soon left the movement to pursue a more personal, academic painting.

76. JAMES MCNEILL WHISTLER (1834-1903) – Along with Winslow Homer, the great figure of American painting of his time. Whistler was an excellent portraitist, which is shown in the fabulous portrait of his mother, considered one of the great masterpieces of American painting of all time.

77. THEODORE GÉRICAULT (1791-1824) – Key figure in romanticism, revolutionary in his life and works despite his bourgeois origins. In his masterpiece, “The raft of the Medusa”, Gericault creates a painting that we can define as “politically incorrect”, as it depicts the miseries of a large group of castaways abandoned after the shipwreck of a French naval frigate.

78. WILLIAM HOGARTH (1697-1764) – A list of the great portrait painters of all time should never miss the name of William Hogarth, whose studies and sketches could even qualify as “pre-impressionist”.

79. CAMILLE COROT (1796-1875) – One of the great figures of French realism in the 19th century and certainly one of the major influences for the impressionist painters like Monet or Renoir, thanks to his love for “plen-air” painting, emphasizing the use of light.

80. GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963) – Along with Picasso and Juan Gris, the main figure of Cubism, the most important of the avant-gardes of the 20th century Art.

81. HANS MEMLING (1435-1494) – Perhaps the most complete and “well-balanced” of all fifteenth century Flemish painters, although he was not as innovative as Van Eyck or van der Weyden.

82. GERHARD RICHTER (born 1932) – One of the most important artists of recent decades, Richter is known either for his fierce and colorful abstractions or his serene landscapes and scenes with candles.

83. AMEDEO MODIGLIANI (1884-1920) – One of the most original portraitists of the history of painting, considered as a “cursed” painter because of his wild life and early death.

84. GEORGES DE LA TOUR (1593-1652) – The influence of Caravaggio is evident in De la Tour, whose use of light and shadows is unique among the painters of the Baroque era.

85. GENTILESCHI, ARTEMISIA (1597-1654) – One of the most gifted artists of the early baroque era, she was the first female painter to become a member of the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence.

86. JEAN FRANÇOIS MILLET (1814-1875) – One of the main figures of the Barbizon School, author of one of the most emotive paintings of the 19th century: The “Angelus“.

87. FRANCISCO DE ZURBARÁN (1598-1664) – The closest to Caravaggio of all Spanish Baroque painters, his latest works show a mastery of chiaroscuro without parallel among any other painter of his time.

88. CIMABUE (c.1240-1302) – Although in some of his works Cimabue already represented a visible evolution of the rigid Byzantine art, his greatest contribution to painting was to discover a young talented artist named Giotto (see number 2), who changed forever the Western painting.

89. JAMES ENSOR (1860-1949) – Violent painter whose strong, almost “unfinished” works make him a precursor of Expressionism

90. RENÉ MAGRITTE (1898-1967) – One of the leading figures of surrealism, his apparently simple works are the result of a complex reflection about reality and the world of dreams

91. EL LISSITZKY (1890-1941) – One of the main exponents of Russian avant-garde painting. Influenced by Malevich, he also excelled in graphic design.

92. EGON SCHIELE (1890-1918) – Another “died too young” artist, his strong and ruthless portraits influenced the works of later artists, like Lucian freud or Francis Bacon.

93. DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI (1828-1882) – Perhaps the key figure in the pre-Raphaelite movement, Rossetti left the poetry to focus on classic painting with a style that influenced the symbolism.

94. FRANS HALS (c.1580-1666) – One of the most important portraitists ever, his lively brushwork influenced early impressionism.

95. CLAUDE LORRAIN (1600-1682) – His works were a vital influence on many landscape painters for many centuries, both in Europe (Corot, Courbet) and in America (Hudson River School).

96. ROY LICHTENSTEIN (1923-1977) – Along with Andy Warhol, the most famous figure of the American Pop-Art. His works are often related to the style of the comics, though Lichtenstein rejected that idea.

97. GEORGIA O’KEEFE (1887-1986) – A leading figure in the 20th century American Art, O’Keefe single-handedly redefined the Western American painting.

98. GUSTAVE MOREAU (1826-1898) – One of the key figures of symbolism, introverted and mysterious in life, but very free and colorful in his works.

99. GIORGIO DE CHIRICO (1888-1978) – Considered the father of metaphysical painting and a major influence on the Surrealist movement.

100. FERNAND LÉGER (1881-1955) – At first a cubist, Leger was increasingly attracted to the world of machinery and movement, creating works such as “The Discs” (1918).

101. JEAN-AUGUSTE-DOMINIQUE INGRES (1780-1867) – Ingres was the most prominent disciple of the most famous neoclassicist painter, Jacques Louis David, so he should not be considered an innovator. He was, however, a master of classic portrait.

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Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso in 1962

Portrait of Giotto, by Paolo Uccello

Portrait of Giotto, by Paolo Uccello

Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci

Self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci

Self-portrait of Paul Cézanne

Self-portrait of Paul Cézanne

Self-portrait of Rembrandt van Rijn

Self-portrait of Rembrandt van Rijn

Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky

Self-portrait of Claude Monet

Self-portrait of Claude Monet

Self-portrait of William Turner

Self-portrait of William Turner

Self-portrait of Alberto Durero

Self-portrait of Alberto Durero

Self-portrait of Paul Gauguin

Self-portrait of Paul Gauguin

Self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh

Self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh

Self-portrait of Édouard Manet

Self-portrait of Édouard Manet

Self-portrait of Rafael

Self-portrait of Rafael

Self-portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat ©Estate of Jean Michel Basquiat

Self-portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat ©Estate of Jean Michel Basquiat

"Self-portrait in hell", by Edvard Munch

“Self-portrait in hell”, by Edvard Munch

Posible self-portrait by Piero della Francesca

Posible self-portrait by Piero della Francesca

Andy Warhol in 1977

Andy Warhol in 1977

Posible self-portrait by Tomasso Masaccio

Posible self-portrait by Tomasso Masaccio

"The desperate man", self-portrait by Gustave Courbet

“The desperate man”, self-portrait by Gustave Courbet

Self-portrait by Titian

Self-portrait by Titian

Self-portrait by Paul Klee

Self-portrait by Paul Klee

Self-portrait by Francis Bacon ©Estate of Francis Bacon

Self-portrait by Francis Bacon ©Estate of Francis Bacon

Self-portrait by Kazimir Malevich

Self-portrait by Kazimir Malevich

Greco

Posible Self-portrait by El Greco

Self-portrait by Caspar David Friedrich

Self-portrait by Caspar David Friedrich

Posible Self-portrait by Giorgione

Posible Self-portrait by Giorgione

Self-portrait by Edgar Degas

Self-portrait by Edgar Degas

self-portrait by Frida Kahlo

Self-portrait by Frida Kahlo

Salvador Dalí

Salvador Dalí

Self-portrait by Tintoretto

Self-portrait by Tintoretto

Self-portrait by Sandro Botticelli

Self-portrait by Sandro Botticelli

Self-portrait by Umberto Boccioni

Self-portrait by Umberto Boccioni

Self-portrait by John Constable

Self-portrait by John Constable

Self-portrait by Jacques-Louis David

Self-portrait by Jacques-Louis David

Self-portrait by El Bosco

Self-portrait by El Bosco

Posible Self-portrait by Pieter Brueghel

Posible Self-portrait by Pieter Brueghel

Lucio Fontana by Lothar Wolleh

Lucio Fontana by Lothar Wolleh

Portrait of Franz Marc, by August Macke

Portrait of Franz Marc, by August Macke

Self-portrait by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Self-portrait by Pierre Auguste Renoir

Self-portrait by William Hogarth

Self-portrait by William Hogarth

Gerhard Richter in 2005

Gerhard Richter in 2005

Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani

Jean-François Millet

Jean-François Millet

Bust of James Ensor, by Edmond de Valériola

Bust of James Ensor, by Edmond de Valériola

Self-portrait by Egon Schiele

Self-portrait by Egon Schiele

Self-portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi

Self-portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi

Fernand Léger, photo by Carl Van Vechten, 1936

Fernand Léger, photo by Carl Van Vechten, 1936

 

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 219 Leonardo Da Vinci (Feature on artist Laurie Anderson )

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Francis Schaeffer said about Leonardo Da Vinci:

“[Leonardo da Vinci] understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to meaning on the basis of mathematics.  And he knew that having only individual things, particulars, one could never come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics…Everything, including man, is the machine.”

“What is despair?  It arises from the abandonment of the hope of a unified answer for knowledge and life…Modern man has given up his hope of unity and lives in despair – the despair of no longer thinking that what has always been the aspiration of men is at all possible.”

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Tony Bartolucci in his summary of Francis Schaeffer’s HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? notes:

Da Vinci was the epitome of the Renaissance man (he was a genius in so many different fields of
study). But, “He understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to
meaning on the basis of mathematics. And he knew that having only individual things, particulars,
one never could come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics. . .
.everything, including man, is a machine.” [page 113] In the end Da Vinci was an old man in
despondency, pessimism was the natural conclusion of humanism.

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Image result for leonardo da vinci francis schaeffer

Here are Schaeffer’s exact words from HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? about Leonardo Da Vinci:

We now come to another giant great of the Renaissance Leonardo Da Vinci. He was the first modern mathematician. He was a chemist, a physicist, musician, architect, anatomist, botanist, mechanical engineer, and artist. He did studies of the human anatomy some could be still used in today’s textbooks. He was the embodiment of the true renaissance man. He could do almost everything and do it well. He designed war machines of savage atrocity. He designed the ball baring. Leonardo really understood the problem of modern man. In his genius he anticipated where humanism would end. He understood that humanist man beginning with only individual things that is the particulars had no unity by which to give them meaning. He understood that beginning humanistically with mathematics one is left with individual things, and having only individual things one could never come to universals or to meaning instead one is left with mechanics and in this he saw ahead to our own day where even man is viewed as a machine. Then Leonardo thought that perhaps the painter the sensative man could come to meaning so he tried and tried to portray the soul. This is not a soul in the Christian sense rather he was trying to capture visually the universals from the particulars he observed. He failed. 

We are back to Raphael’s School of Athens. Thomas Aquinas’ (1225-1274) teaching led to man’s trying to be independent autonomous and this led to Renaissance humanism. Leonardo in all his brilliance felt the problem and struggled to find universals. Leonardo and all of humanism had been so sure that man beginning only from himself could solve every problem. It’s cry was “I can do what I will. Just give me until tomorrow.” But in his old age Leonardo saw the coming defeat of humanism. As a man thinketh so is he. And humanism had already begun to show its natural conclusion was pessimism. When Francis the First, King of France took Leonardo to France we find Leonardo in despondency.

Anybody that doesn’t feel the beauty of the Renaissance as he walks through Florence I feel is a poor man. I love to go to Florence and walk through the museums and just walk through the streets, but on the other hand one who only sees the beauty and the glory of the Renaissance in which man was increasingly making himself autonomous, if you don’t feel the weakness of this you also don’t understand the Renaissance. Humanism in-veritably ends in despair.  If you begin with that which is finite no matter how far you project it you can never come to an absolute.

In light of the humanist dilemma there is only one real solution to turn to the Bible as truth, not just as an abstract religious thing, but as truth. It doesn’t change. It speaks to the culture of that particular day. It is never old fashion. It speaks to the most current topics, and yet it is always rooted in the same thing: THE EXISTENCE OF THIS INFINITE PERSONAL GOD AND THAT HE HAS SPOKEN, AND THEN OF COURSE, MAN’S PERSONAL NEED IN THE DEATH OF CHRIST FOR HIM.

PUT EVIDENCE OF THE BIBLE’S TRUTH IN HERE!!!!

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Trailer: Season 1 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2001) | Art21

Featured artist is Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson was born in Chicago in 1947. One of eight children, she studied the violin and played in the Chicago Youth Symphony. She graduated in 1969 from Barnard College in New York, and went on to study at Columbia University, working toward a graduate degree in sculpture. The art scene of the early 1970s fostered an experimental attitude among many young artists in downtown New York that attracted Anderson, and some of her earliest performances as a young artist took place on the street or in informal art spaces. In the most memorable of these, she stood on a block of ice, playing her violin while wearing her ice skates. When the ice melted, the performance ended.

Since that time, Anderson has gone on to create large-scale theatrical works which combine a variety of media—music, video, storytelling, projected imagery, sculpture—in which she is an electrifying performer. As a visual artist, her work has been shown at the Guggenheim Museum, SoHo; as well as extensively in Europe, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She has also released seven albums for Warner Brothers, including Big Science, featuring the song “O Superman,” which rose to number 2 on the British pop charts. In 1999, she staged Songs and Stories From Moby Dick, an interpretation of Herman Melville’s 1851 novel. She lives and works in New York City.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 216 Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821). Featured artist is Janine Antoni

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Francis Schaeffer noted:

In the French Revolution, human reason was made supreme and christianity was pushed aside. In 1789, with the French Revolution at its height, the members of the National Assembly swore to establish a constitution: The Declaration of the Rights of Man. To make their outlook clear, the French changed the calendar and called 1792 the “year one,” and destroyed many of the things of the past, even suggesting the destruction of the cathedral at Chartres. They proclaimed the goddess of Reason in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and in other churches in France, including Chartres. In Paris, the goddess was personified by an actress, Demoiselle Candeille, carried shoulder high into the cathedral by men dressed in Roman costumes.
 Like the humanists of the Renaissance, the men of the Enlightenment pushed aside the Christian base and heritage and looked back to the old pre-Christian times. When the French Revolution tried to reproduce the English conditions without the Reformation base, but rather on Voltaire’s humanistic base, the result was a bloodbath and a rapid breakdown into the authoritarian rule of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821).

Image result for Napoleon Bonaparte
 In Sept. 1792 began the massacre in which some 1,300 prisoners were killed. Before it was all over, the government and its agents killed 40,000 people, many of them peasants. Maximilien Robespierre (1758-1794), the revolutionary leader, was himself executed in July 1794. This destruction came not from outside the system; it was produced by the system.
 The influence of the Declaration of the Rights of Man, as seen within the context of the French Revolution, can hardly be overestimated. Within a period of two years, an extreme form of democracy had been established and all titles of privilege abolished. In subsequent decades, based on the achievements of the revolution, political theorists began suggesting even more dramatic changes in government–changes that in the 20th century are called socialism, Communism, and anarchism. It is no exaggeration to say that subsequent revolutions in Europe, especially the Russian Revolution of 1917, had their antecedent in the ideas and practices that were spawned by the French Revolution.

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December 09, 2007

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Janine Antoni: Milagros | “Exclusive” | Art21

Janine Antoni

Janine Antoni was born in Freeport, Bahamas, in 1964. She received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in New York, and earned her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1989. Antoni’s work blurs the distinction between performance art and sculpture. Transforming everyday activities such as eating, bathing, and sleeping into ways of making art, Antoni’s primary tool for making sculpture has always been her own body. She has chiseled cubes of lard and chocolate with her teeth, washed away the faces of soap busts made in her own likeness, and used the brainwave signals recorded while she dreamed at night as a pattern for weaving a blanket the following morning.

In the video, Touch, Antoni appears to perform the impossible act of walking on the surface of water. She accomplished this magician’s trick, however, not through divine intervention, but only after months of training to balance on a tightrope that she then strung at the exact height of the horizon line. Balance is a key component in the related piece, Moor, where the artist taught herself how to make a rope out of unusual and often personal materials donated by friends and relatives. By learning to twist the materials together so that they formed a rope that was neither too loose nor too tight, Antoni created an enduring life-line that united a disparate group of people into a unified whole.

Antoni has had major exhibitions of her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; S.I.T.E. Santa Fe; and Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. The recipient of several prestigious awards, including a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in 1998 and the Larry Aldrich Foundation Award in 1999, Janine Antoni currently resides in New York.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 215 Edmund R. Leach Featured artist is Edgar Arceneaux

An interview of the anthropologist Sir Edmund Leach

Uploaded on Oct 2, 2010

Interviewed by Sir Frank Kermode on 26 May 1982 and originally shown on the BBC. Sir Edmund Leach worked in Burma and Sri Lanka and was Provost of King’s College, Cambridge

All revenues to World Oral Literature Project

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

 

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

 

 

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

 

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

 

 

Today I am going to look at  Edmund R. Leach and also mention the British humanist H.J. Blackham.

Edmund Leach

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Edmund Leach (British Army officer).
Sir Edmund Ronald Leach
Born 7 November 1910
Sidmouth, England
Died 6 January 1989 (aged 78)
Cambridge, England
Nationality British
Fields social anthropology
Institutions Burma Army
London School of Economics
Cambridge University
Alma mater Cambridge University
Doctoral advisor Bronisław Malinowski
Raymond Firth
Known for Ethnographic work in Sarawakand Burma
Theories of social structure and cultural change
Kinship as ideal systems
Disagreement with French structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss[1]
Influences Claude Lévi-Strauss
Notable awards Provost of King’s College (1966–1979)
Chairman of Association of Social Anthropologists (1966–1970)
President of the Royal Anthropological Institute (1971–1975)
President of British Humanist Association (1970)
Knighted (1973)
Trustee of the British Museum(1975–1980)[2]

Sir Edmund Ronald Leach (7 November 1910 – 6 January 1989) was a British social anthropologist of whom it has been said:

“It is no exaggeration to say that in sheer versatility, originality, and range of writing he was and still is difficult to match among the anthropologists of the English speaking world”.[2]

Personal and academic life[edit]

Leach was born in Sidmouth, Devon, the youngest of three children and the son of William Edmund Leach and Mildred Brierley. His father owned and was manager of a sugar plantation in northern Argentina. Leach was educated at Marlborough and Clare College, Cambridge where he graduated with honours in Engineering in 1932.

After leaving Cambridge University Leach took a four-year contract in 1933 with Butterfield and Swire in China. He found out after his contract expired that he did not like the business atmosphere and never again was going to sit on an office stool. On his way home he stopped and spent some time among the Yami of Botel Tobago, an island off the coast of Formosa. Here he took ethnographic notes and made drawings of the Yami.

Back in London Raymond Firth introduced him to Bronisław Malinowski. Leach went to Iraq to study the Kurds, but he abandoned this and went back to London. He wrote: “I’ve got an enormous amount of ability at almost anything, yet so far I’ve made absolutely no use of it… I seem to be a highly organized piece of mental apparatus for which nobody else has any use” (D.N.B. 258). In 1939 he was going to study the Kachin Hills of Burma, butWorld War II intervened. Leach then joined the Burma Army, where he achieved the rank of Major.

In 1940 Leach married Celia Joyce who was a painter and also published two novels. They had a daughter in 1941 and a son in 1946. After he left the Army in 1946, he became a lecturer in social anthropology at the London School of Economics. In 1947 he received a Ph.D. in anthropology at the London School of Economics. In 1953, he became a lecturer at Cambridge University, later being promoted to reader, and in 1972 receiving a personal Chair. He was elected provost of King’s College, Cambridge in 1966 and retired in 1979; President of the Royal Anthropological Institute (1971–1975); a Fellow of the British Academy (from 1972) and was knighted in 1975.

His first book was Political Systems of Highland Burma (1954); it challenged the theories of social structure and cultural change. His second work was Pul Eliya, a Village in Ceylon (1961), where he directed his attention totheories of kinship as ideal systems. Leach applied his ability of kinship to his disagreement with French structuralist Claude Lévi-Strauss introducing his work into British social anthropology. His book Lévi-Strauss was translated into six languages and ran three editions. His turn of phrase produced memorable quotes, such as this on Lévi-Strauss:

“The outstanding characteristic of [Lévi-Strauss’s writing], whether in French or English, is that it is difficult to understand; his sociological theories combine baffling complexity with overwhelming erudition. Some readers even suspect that they are being treated to a confidence trick”.[3]

Leach’s work on Lévi-Strauss is often relied on by other authors. For example, in Richard Wrangham‘s (2009) book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, he relies on Leach in describing Lévi-Strauss’s analysis of cooking in relation to human culture.[4]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Political systems of highland Burma: a study of Kachin social structure (Harvard University Press, 1954)
  • Rethinking anthropology (Robert Cunningham and Sons Ltd., 1961)
  • Pul Eliya: a village in Ceylon (Cambridge University Press, 1961)
  • A runaway world? (London: BBC, 1968)
  • Genesis as myth and other essays (Jonathan Cape, 1969)
  • Lévi-Strauss (Fontana Books, 1970)
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss (Viking Press, 1970)
  • Culture and communication: the logic by which symbols are connected (Cambridge University Press, 1976)
  • Social anthropology (Oxford University Press, 1982)
  • The essential Edmund Leach (Yale University Press, 2001, 2 vols.)

Literature[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Noel Annan
Provost of King’s College, Cambridge
1966-1979
Succeeded by
Bernard Williams
Edmund LeachEdmund Leach in China, c. 1934

The Archive of the month for February looks at the life and photography of the anthropologist Sir Edmund Leach (1910-1989).

Leach studied Engineering at Clare College, Cambridge, but after several years working for a trading company in China he developed an interest in anthropology. He returned to university and eventually became a Reader in Anthropology at Cambridge and Provost of King’s College.

The Archive of the month shows photos Leach took as part of his field work in Burma (Myanmar) and on Botel Tobego (an island off Taiwan).

See the February Archive of the month.

The literary critic Frank Kermode interviewed Leach in 1982 and you can watch the interview on alanmacfarlane.com. Alan Macfarlane is himself an anthropologist and a Fellow of King’s.

Posted: Monday 4 February 2013 | News | News archive

 

An Analysis Of Francis Schaeffer’s “The Church At The End Of The 20th Century”

 

Francis Schaeffer has been characterized as an Elijah to the late twentieth century. Though not as inspired in the same direct sense as his Biblical forebears, Francis Schaeffer did articulate a vision of the future remarkable in its accuracy and a message startling in its relevancy. Schaeffer was able to accomplish this by extrapolating from the cultural situation of the late 1960′s and early 1970′s and projecting these trends into the future where the implications of these assumptions would have the time necessary to fester over into a comprehensive dystopian milieu. Schaeffer’s “The Church At The End 20th Century”, from a standpoint a tad less than nearly a half century in the past, explored a world not unlike our own where Western society has abandoned its Judeo-Christian foundations and stands poised to lose not only its order but also its liberty as a consequence.

Throughout the corpus of his life’s work, Francis Schaeffer categorized ideas as the primary force motivating history. Richard Pierard in “Reflections On Francis Schaeffer” says regarding Schaeffer’s philosophy of history, “People’s world views or presuppositions determine the direction of their political and social institutions and their scientific endeavors (199).” “The Church At The End Of The 20th Century” attempts to show how such distorted thinking comes to impact the structures of civilized existence such as the institutions of government and culture.

Francis Schaeffer concluded that the confusion and chaos rampant at the end of the twentieth century were traceable to the rejection of the Judeo-Christian foundations upon which Western civilization once sat. However, as a result, modern man has not drifted along as before, blissfully unencumbered by the burdens classical theism strove to address. Instead the whole world has pretty much started falling apart. In the first chapter titled “The Roots Of The Student Revolution”, Schaeffer provides a summary of the streams of thought he saw as establishing the backdrop of the contemporary world drama.

Having abandoned the Judeo-Christian worldview, modern man has also forfeited many of the benefits inherent to that particular body of thought. Being the God of both the physical realm and its order as well as the realm of the spirit and its yearning for freedom, those turning their backs on the God of the Bible inevitably end up losing an essential balance between these two pillars of existence.

Much of the social confusion characterizing the contemporary world is understandable in terms of these extremes dancing unfettered across America’s cultural landscape. In the mind of Schaeffer, philosophies and perspectives seemingly light-years apart to the casual observer were in the final analysis interconnected in that they stemmed from the same root problem.

A number of thinkers who have abandoned Judeo-Christian principles have attempted to find ultimate answers in an understanding of science construed though their materialistic philosophy excluding life’s spiritual component. Schaeffer referred to this approach as “modern modern science” (13).

Schaeffer deliberately distinguished between modern science and modern modern science in an attempt to emphasize the difference between the two epistemological approaches. Schaeffer stressed that modern science in fact arose amidst a Christian framework. The methodology’s earliest practitioners believed that one could understand the operation of the physical universe since it had been imbued with a sense of orderliness by its rational creator.

However, modern modern science would step beyond the confines of such a paradigm to exclude the role of God by arguing that the universe is a closed system complete in itself. But by eliminating the need for a personal Creator, modern modern science also eliminates those aspects of man transcending the sum of his material parts or those qualities Schaffer cleverly referred to as “the mannishness of man”.

When the cosmos is reduced to mere matter, man can no longer be seen as possessing those qualities that distinguish him from the proverbial furniture of the universe. Instead of arising as responses to metaphysical verities, things such as emotions, thoughts, and acts of creativity are reduced to nothing more than responses to electro-chemical biological stimuli. The aspirations the Declaration of Independence gives rise to become no different than the reaction to the gastrointestinal conditions sparking heartburn and may in fact possibly be interrelated.

The hypothesis of man as little more than an empty bag of mostly water, as the infamous Crystalline Entity put it on one episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, does not fit the data or provide much comfort on a cold night when we consider the aspects of existence seeming to rise above the immediacy of our biological functions. Such inadequacy no doubt provokes a response from those not willing to accept how divine revelation fills in these blanks but who realize that the cold scientism of Mr. Spock does not quite cut it either.

Schaeffer pointed out that assorted brands of mysticism are often, surprisingly, the children of scientism’s ultimate consequences. With rationalism found wanting, modern man feels he must step beyond reason and make what Schaeffer refers to as “a leap upstairs” in order to find meaning in nonrational experience.

Writing along similar lines, James Sire says of existentialism in “The Universe Next Door”, “….against the absurdity of the objective world, the authentic person must revolt and create value (100).” Values are not arrived at in a rational manner through contemplation upon transcendent criteria but through an intuitive choice based upon feeling much more akin to a mystical experience whether we decide to embrace New Age pantheism or various forms of political activism.

In such a situation, one is reminded of the famous statement in “The Charge Of The Light Brigade”: “Ours is not reason why. Ours is but to do or die.” The human heart realizes that there are things worth valuing beyond the concrete material universe even if it cannot justify the basis for this belief. However, when rational standards are abandoned, chaos of some sort is usually bound to follow.

Perhaps the most ironic thing of this entire discussion is that, the further each alternative gets from the Judeo-Christian standard, the more allegedly objective rationalism and subjective romanticism come to resemble one another. Schaeffer argued that, without some kind of transcendent reference point, even the imposing intellectual monolith of contemporary science breaks down into personal preference and social utility.

Schaeffer illustrated this by highlighting how Cambridge Anthropologist Edmund Leach preferred a theory of evolution whereby all human races descended from one common ancestor rather than arising separately from one another (92). Leach based such a conclusion on no other criteria than that the theory of a single common ancestor fit better with the notions of racial harmony.

No longer are scientific decisions to be made in light of the facts or data available at the time but in reference to the same kind of subjective criteria by which we would decide whether to wear a red or blue tie to work tomorrow. Right answers and wrong answers become predicated on their usefulness to society or at least to those wielding power. One might say objectively that objectivity is not quite what it use to be.

Things might not be so bad if adherents of these worldviews sat in a corner and kept quiet amongst themselves. Yet the ironic thing is that those convinced that no objective truth exists seem the most bent on inflicting their version of it upon everyone else in the attempt to remold society in their own image. Regarding the application of secularist perspectives, Schaeffer was perceptive in realizing that —- as in the realm of thought —- these non-Biblical approaches to social organization end up in the same place as well.

Schaeffer elaborates upon what he sees as three alternatives to a society built upon Christian foundations. Despite the differences in these systems, each bears a striking similarity.

The first alternative Schaeffer warns about is hedonism, defined as each doing their own thing. The second alternative is what Schaeffer refers to as “the dictatorship of 51%” or what social scientists and political theorists classify as pure democracy where there are no absolutes or standards beyond what is determined by the electorate, in a focus group, or by a committee. The third possibility Schaeffer foresaw was some kind of dictatorship, either in the form of one-man rule or by an elite technocratic bureaucracy.

As with scientism and the subjectivism from which the aforementioned approaches to politics and social organization derive their foundations, it would seem on the first view that anarchism and the various forms of authoritarianism would have little in common. But once again, closer investigation reveals that each shares a startling degree of similarity.

Anarchy promises liberation through the abolition of all traditional standards and institutions. This is either an empty promise or the proponents of this particular outlook do not fully realize what they are advocating.

Without eternal standards through which rights and property are respected, freedom rests on a most precarious foundation. For while the adherents of the various form of Leftism claim to stand for freedom and rights, this concern extends only to those professing an ideology similar to their own or pursuing related ends. Schaeffer illustrates this in the case of one student radical in Paris who told a caller to radio program, “…you just shut up — I’ll never give you a chance to speak (Schaeffer, 32).”

So much for freedom of expression. One cannot argue that such incidents merely reflect the heat of the moment and do not represent the true sentiments of those advocating total social revolution. Similar sentiments have been expressed by the very theoreticians of this movement as normative operating procedure.

Herbert Marcuse is quoted in “Left Of Liberal” as saying, “Certain things cannot be said, certain things cannot be expressed…which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination (Bouscaren, 13).” In other words, those seeking a world of absolute decentralization in terms of morals just as much as politics would set themselves up as an elite imposing their own arbitrary standards with the same radical rigor they employed in their conflict to rend asunder the traditional order. Francis Fukuyama, author of the acclaimed “The End Of History & The Last Man” noted in a May 22, 2000 Time magazine article titled “Will Socialism Make A Comeback” that a socialistic anarchism will come to exert influence over the world of the twenty-first century without having to assume the formal reins of government by orchestrating disruptive protests like those that now regularly taken place during global financial summits in an attempt to alter world policy.

Francis Schaeffer has been with the Lord since the early 1980′s. Yet the thought of this visionary Presbyterian continues to provide considerable insight into a world tottering on the edge of chaos and encouragement for Evangelicals having to navigate a variety of perplexing issues. Schaeffer realized that one could not avoid the dangers of the contemporary world by simply ignoring arenas such as politics and other forms of social engagement since such forces have the power to impact all facets of existence in a mass society. Schaeffer addressed the impact of worldviews upon different aspects of culture in the chapter “Modern Man The Manipulator”.

Particularly startling is the accuracy of Schaeffer’s predictions regarding technological development. Schaeffer warned, “Very soon, all of us will be living in an electronic village hooked up to a huge computer, and we will be able to know what everybody else in the world thinks. The majority opinion will become law in that hour (97).”

Today, this prediction finds itself on the verge of fulfillment. Leaders such as Newt Gingrich and as far back as Ross Perot have suggested that the networking capability of the Internet be utilized for the purposes of referenda in order to decide major issues facing the nation. However, Schaeffer correctly warned of the manipulation likely to result from the use of this technology by and against individuals not adequately grounded in the truths that do not change regardless of the latest digital innovations. The Information Superhighway can take the websurfer either to the accumulated knowledge of mankind or the electronic equivalent of a red-light district.

Some will dismiss Schaeffer’s injunctions as Evangelical eschatological hysteria, especially when he speculates about the bio-electronic manipulation of individuals in reference to a May 22, 1970 International Herald Tribune article about monkey controlled by radio receivers implanted into their brains (98). That is until one reads the May 22, 2000 edition of Time Magazine predicting that prison guards may someday be obsolete thanks to implantable biochips that could be used to modify inmate behavior. Then one realizes that Francis Schaeffer’s understanding of human nature is truly holistic, comprehending the present in light of the past and the future in relation to the present.

It would not be much of an overstatement to say that Francis Schaeffer played a primary role in awakening Evangelicals to the precarious state of the world around them. One cannot discount the influence of Schaeffer upon the contemporary Evangelical mind. Regarding Schaeffer’s influence, Clark Pinnock writes in “Reflections On Francis Schaeffer”, “He [Schaeffer] enlisted in this task fundamentalists like Jerry Falwell and Tim LaHaye who, although they were world-denying dispensationalists at first, quickly became culture-reclaiming activists (Pinnock, 179).” In other words, Schaeffer helped Evangelicalism realize that the world and human endeavor possessed value beyond the number of souls that could be saved, central though individual salvation may be.

Schaeffer in no way sought to undermine the centrality of the individual, but rather hoped to expand Evangelical concerns to encompass all areas of thought and creation since the God the Christian served was the master of these as well. It was out of this sanctity for the individual created in the image of God that Schaeffer believed it was imperative for believers to engage in these other areas. Key to accomplishing this mission, Schaeffer believed each individual must take stock of their personal beliefs. Schaeffer often lamented that most people caught their presuppositions like they would the measles —- quite haphazardly.

Such reflection was just not to be a Sunday school exercise. Schaeffer saw it as groundwork for intensive apologetic conflict and engagement with a decaying world. Though himself a Presbyterian minister and evangelist, Schaeffer hoped to inspire Christians to get involved as salt and light in all academic disciplines and intellectual pursuits. Schaeffer said that the best thing a Christian scientist could do would be to invent a computer for the individual designed to counter the centralizing tendency of intrusive databases (Schaeffer, 99). No where did he conclude that learning was off limits to the believer since it had often been employed for questionable purposes.

I Chronicles 12:32 praises the children of Issachar for understanding the times in which they lived. Our own era stands witness to a rate of change unprecedented in the pages of history. Like the men of Issachar, Francis Schaeffer will be remembered as one of the few capable of rising above the confusion of the moment to determine the overall place of our times in relation to God’s providence and the consequences that will result from ignoring it.

By Frederick Meekins

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H. J. Blackham lived to the age of 105 and died in 2009. During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know the Bible is True,” “The Final Judgement,” “Who is Jesus?” and the message by Bill Elliff, “How to get a pure heart.” I would also send them printed material from the works of Francis Schaeffer and a personal apologetic letter from me addressing some of the issues in their work. After reading Francis Schaeffer’s book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? I was interested in corresponding with H.J. Blackham because of a very powerful and revealing quote of his in Schaeffer’s book. I wrote him in 1994 and sent him the cassette tape mentioned early but never got a response back. Below is the Blackham quote as given by Schaeffer:

The humanist H. J. Blackham had this same message that On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Actually this one quote alone from Blackham made me want to share the message that Christ does provide a lasting meaning to our lives, and that is why I started writing several leading atheists in the 1990’s. In my letters I demonstrated that  there is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not a philosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplified intellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pill because Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art and culture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about them because they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaof a cautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts and they have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where our western society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youth enthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decades because of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Origins of the Universe (Kalam Cosmological Argument) (Paul Kurtz vs Norman Geisler)

Published on Jun 6, 2012

Norm Geisler argues via Kalam Cosmological Argument for the origins of the universe with the Second Law of Thermodynamics. No matter how much evidence Geisler gave, Paul Kurtz refused to fully acknowledge the implications of it, while NEVER giving evidence for his own interpretation of the universe’s beginning.

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(Paul Kurtz pictured above)

Paul Kurtz  teamed up with H.J.Blackham and put together the Humanist Manifesto II which they both signed in 1973. I wrote back in 2012 when Paul Kurtz passed away that he was a fine gentleman that I had a chance to correspond with and I read several of his books (Forbidden Fruit was his best effort). One thing I vividly remember from the writings of Paul Kurtz was his love of life and his love for others. However, how can a materialist like Kurtz stay optimistic about his future when he did not believe in God or an afterlife? At the time when I was reading his writings that question kept popping up in my mind.

It is truly ironic to me that a truly outstanding person such as the British Humanist H.J. Blackham who lived such a long and interesting life would make the statement that “…On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing…” In fact, when Norman Geisler quoted this from Blackham in his famous debate with Paul Kurtz on the John Ankerberg Show, Kurtz said he knew Blackham and he was surprised that he would say such a thing, but that had been my contention that a secularist humanist worldview would logically lead to nihilism such as the nihilism that King Solomon discussed in Ecclesiastes (more on that later). How did humanist man get to that pessimistic conclusion? Francis Schaeffer has shed some light on that in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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Following is the first few pages of the chapter “The Basis for Human Dignity” which is found in the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer.

Introduction
So far in this book we have been considering an evil as great as any practiced in human history. Our society has put to death its own offspring, millions upon millions of them. Our society has justified taking their lives, even claiming it a virtue to do so. It has been said that this is a new step in our progress toward a liberated humanity.
Such a situation has not come out of a vacuum. Each of us has an overall way of looking at the world, which influences what we do day by day. This is what we call a “world-view.” And all of us have a world-view, whether we realize it or not. We act in accordance with our world-view, and our world-view rests on what to us is the ultimate truth.

Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era

What has produced the inhumanity we have been considering in the previous chapters is that society in the West has adopted a world-view which says that all reality is made up only of matter. This view is sometimes referred to as philosophic materialism, because it holds that only matter exists; sometimes it is called naturalism, because it says that no supernatural exists. Humanism which begins from man alone and makes man the measure of all things usually is materialistic in its philosophy. Whatever the label, this is the underlying world-view of our society today. In this view the universe did not get here because it was created by a “supernatural” God. Rather, the universe has existed forever in some form, and its present form just happened as a result of chance events way back in time.
Society in the West has largely rested on the base that God exists and that the Bible is true. In all sorts of ways this view affected the society. The materialistic or naturalistic or humanistic world-view almost always takes a superior attitude toward Christianity. Those who hold such a view have argued that Christianity is unscientific, that it cannot be proved, that it belongs simply to the realm of “faith.” Christianity, they say, rests only on faith, while humanism rests on facts.
Professor Edmund R. Leach of Cambridge University expressed this view clearly:
Our idea of God is a product of history. What I now believe about the supernatural is derived from what I was taught by my parents, and what they taught me was derived from what they were taught, and so on. But such beliefs are justified by faith alone, never by reason, and the true believer is expected to go on reaffirming his faith in the same verbal formula even if the passage of history and the growth of scientific knowledge should have turned the words into plain nonsense.78
So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere. The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

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Notes
78. “When Scientists Play the Role of God,” London Times, November 16, 1978.
79. H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Francis Crick was in agreement with both Leach and H.J.Blackham’s materialistic views and he concluded, “The Astonishing Hypothesis is that you—your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules” What if all this is true? What if the cosmos and the chemicals and the particles really are all that there is, and all that we are?

“If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” —Francis Schaeffer in The God Who Is There

“Eventually materialist philosophy undermines the reliability of the mind itself-and hence even the basis for science. The true foundation of rationality is not found in particles and impersonal laws, but in the mind of the Creator who formed us in His image.” —Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds “Can man live without God? Of course he can, in a physical sense.

Can he live without God in a reasonable way? The answer to that is No!” Then there is the problem the longing for satisfaction that every person feels. This is the same question that Solomon asked 3000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He knew there was something more.

The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen somthing else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brillant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them. __________

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions that Francis Schaeffer said you will face if you choose to live without God in the picture. Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun” in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1)
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today people try to find satisfaction in education, alcohol, pleasure, and their work and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiates to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

“All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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Both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

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Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of H.J. Blackham.

Livgren wrote:

All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

The humanist H. J. Blackham had this same message that

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Preview: Edgar Arceneaux in Season 8 of ART21 “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2016)

Featured artist today is

Edgar Arceneaux

Edgar Arceneaux was born in Los Angeles in 1972. He investigates historical patterns through drawings, installations, and multimedia events, such as the reenactment of Ben Vereen’s tragically misunderstood blackface performance at Ronald Reagan’s 1981 Inaugural Gala. In the artist’s work, linear logic is abandoned in favor of wordplay and visual associations, revealing how language, technology, and systems of ordering produce reality as much as describe them. Seemingly disparate elements—such as science fiction, civil rights era speeches, techno music, and the crumbling architecture of Detroit—find a new synchronicity in the artist’s hands, ultimately pointing to larger historical forces such as the rise of the surveillance state.

Arceneaux’s installations have taken the form of labyrinths, libraries, multi-channel videos, and drawn landscapes that change over the course of an exhibition, only ever offering a partial view of the whole at any given moment. This fragmentation extends to the artist’s use of historical research in his work, such as FBI documents concerning civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., where redacted passages are presented on mirrors that reflect the viewer’s curious gaze.

Edgar Arceneaux attended the California Institute of the Arts (MFA, 2001), Fachhochschule Aachen (2000), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (1999), and Art Center College of Design (BFA, 1996). Arceneaux’s awards and residencies include the Malcolm McLaren Award from Performa (2015), Rauschenberg Residency (2013), United States Artists Fellowship (2007), ArtPace Residency (2006), Joyce Award (2005), and a Creative Capital Grant (2005). Arceneaux has had major exhibitions at MIT LIST Center for Contemporary Art (2016); Performa (2015); Biennale de Montreal (2014); Shanghai Biennale (2014); MoCA Detroit (2011); Bienal de São Paulo (2011); and the Whitney Biennial (2008). Arceneaux lives and works in Pasadena, CA, USA.

Links:
Artist’s website

Related posts:

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 214 The Humpback Roman bridge illustration (Feature on artist Charles Atlas)

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Image result for francis schaeffer roman bridge

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Image result for francis schaeffer roman bridge

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Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why it fell. It fell because of inward problems. We have many of these same problems today in the USA.

The late Francis Schaeffer wrote of the significance of one’s world view, which, in the final analysis, represents one’s doctrinal perspective about God and life:

There is a flow to history and culture. This flow is rooted and has its wellspring in the thoughts of people. People are unique in the inner life of the mind—what they are in their thought world determines how they act. This is true of their value systems and it is true of their creativity …

People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By presuppositions we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic world view, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and their basis for their decisions.

“As a man thinketh, so is he,” is really most profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world …

Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of what world view is true …

It is important to realize what a difference a people’s world view makes in their strength as they are exposed to the pressure of life. That it was the Christians who were able to resist religious mixtures, syncretism, and the effects of the weakness of Roman culture speaks of the strength of the Christian world view. This strength rested on God’s being an infinite-personal God and his speaking in the Old Testament, in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, and in the gradually growing New Testament. He had spoken in ways people could understand. Thus the Christians not only had knowledge about the universe and mankind that people cannot find out by themselves, but they had absolute, universal values by which to live and by which to judge the society and the political state in which they lived …1

Apathy was the chief mark of the late Empire. One of the ways the apathy showed itself was in a lack of creativity in the arts. One easily observed example of the decadence of officially sponsored art is that the fourth-century work on the Arch of Constantine in Rome stands’ in poor contrast to its second-century sculptures which were borrowed from monuments from the period of Emperor Trajan. The elite abandoned their intellectual pursuits for social life. Officially sponsored art was decadent, and music was increasingly bombastic. Even the portraits on the coins became of poor quality. All of life was marked by the predominant apathy.

As the Roman economy slumped lower and lower, burdened with an aggravated inflation and a costly government, authoritarianism increased to counter the apathy. Since work was no longer done voluntarily, it was brought increasingly under the authority of the state, and freedoms were lost. For example, laws were passed binding small farmers to their land. So, because of the general apathy and its results, and because of oppressive control, few thought the old civilization worth saving.

Rome did not fall because of external forces such as the invasion by the barbarians. Rome had no sufficient inward base; the’ barbarians only completed the breakdown — and Rome gradually became a ruin.

It is important to realize what a difference a people’s world view makes in their strength as they are exposed to the pressure of life. That it was the Christians who were able to resist religious mixtures, syncretism, and the effects of the weaknesses of Roman culture speaks of the strength of the Christian world view. This strength rested on God’s being an infinite-personal God and his speaking in the Old Testament, in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, and in the gradually growing New Testament. He had spoken in ways people could understand. Thus the Christians not only had knowledge about the universe and mankind that people cannot find out by themselves, but they had absolute, universal values by which to live and by which to judge the society and the political state in which they lived. And they had grounds for the basic dignity and value of the individual as unique in being made in the image of God.

Perhaps no one has presented more vividly to our generation the inner weakness of imperial Rome than has Fellini (1920-) in his film Satyricon. He reminds us that the classical world is not to be romanticized, but that it was both cruel and decadent as it came to the logical conclusion of its world view.

A culture or an individual with a weak base can stand only when the pressure on it is not too great. As an illustration, let us think of a Roman bridge. The Romans built little humpbacked bridges over many of the streams of Europe. People and wagons went over these structures safely for centuries, for two millennia. But if people today drove heavily loaded trucks over these bridges, they would break. It is this way with the lives and value systems of individuals and cultures when they have nothing stronger to build on than their own limitedness, their own finiteness. They can stand when pressures are not too great, but when pressures mount, if then they do not have a sufficient base, they crash-just as a Roman bridge would cave in under the weight of a modern six-wheeled truck. Culture and the freedoms of people are fragile. Without a sufficient base, when such pressures come only time is needed and often not a great deal of time-before there is a collapse.

E P I S O D E 1

ROMAN AGE

I. Introduction

A. Problem: dilemma of social breakdown and violence leading to authoritarianism which limits freedom.

B. We are, however, not helpless. Why?

C. Answer approached through consideration of the past.

D. Any starting point in history would be good; we start with Rome because it is direct ancestor of modern West.

II. Rome: The Empire Triumphant

A. Size and military strength of Empire.

B. Imperial sway evoked by Aventicum (Avenches), Switzerland.

III. Rome: Cultural Analysis

A. Greece and Rome: cultural influences and parallels.

1. Society as the absolute, to give meaning to life.

2. Finite gods as ground of accepted values.

B. Problems arising from Roman culture.

1. No infinite reference point as base for values and society.

2. Collapse of civic ideals therefore inevitable.

C. Results of collapse of ideals.

1. Dictatorship of Julius Caesar a response to civil disorder.

2. Firmly established authoritarian rule of Augustus.

D. Characteristics of regime introduced by Augustus.

1. Claim to give peace and the fruits of civilization.

2. Care to maintain facade of republican constitution.

3. People ready to accept absolute power in return for peace and prosperity.

4. Religious sanction for emperor-dictators: the emperor as God.

E. Christian persecution

1. Religious toleration in the Empire.

2. Christians persecuted because they would worship only the infinite-personal God and not Caesar also. They had an absolute whereby to judge the Roman state and its actions.

F. Viability of presuppositions facing social and political tension.

1. Christians had infinite reference point in God and His revelation in the Old Testament, the revelation through Christ, and the growing New Testament.

2. Christians could confront Roman culture and be untouched by its inner weakness, including its relativism and syncretism.

3. Roman hump-backed bridge, like Roman culture, could only stand if not subjected to overwhelming pressures.

IV. Rome: Eventual Decline and Fall

A. Growth of taste for cruelty.

B. Decadence seen in rampant sexuality and lust for violence.

C. General apathy, as seen in decline in artistic creativity.

D. Economic decline, more expensive government, and tighter centralization.

E. Successful barbarian invasions because of internal rot.

V. Conclusion

There is no foundation strong enough for society or the individual life within the realm of finiteness and beginning from Man alone as autonomous.

Questions

1. Dr. Schaeffer claims that, through looking at history, we can see how presuppositions determine events. Does his discussion bear this out and, if so, how?

2. How can a survey of Roman history in one-half hour be either useful or responsible? Discuss.

3. “History does not repeat itself.” —The parallels between the history of Rome and the twentieth century West are many and obvious.” How may these statements be reconciled?

Key Events and Persons

Julius Caesar: 100-44 B.C.

Augustus Caesar (Octavian): 63 B.C.-A.D. 14

Declared Pontifex Maximus: 12 B.C.

Diocletian: (Emperor) A.D. 284-305

Further Study

Here, as in succeeding suggestions for further study, it will be assumed that if you want to devote a great deal of time to a topic you can consult a library or a good bookstore. Suggestions given below are made on the basis of relevance to the text, readability, and availability.

Not all the books will necessarily agree at all—or in all details—with Dr. Schaeffer’s presentation. But as in the general conduct of life, so in matters of the mind, one must learn to discriminate. If you avoid reading things with which you disagree, you will be naive about what most of the world thinks. On the other hand, if you read everything—but without a critical mind—you will end up accepting by default all that the world (and especially your own moment of history) thinks.

J.P.V.D. Balsdon, Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome (1969).

E.M. Blaiklock, The Christian in Pagean Society (1956).

Samuel Dill, Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire (1962).

E.M.B. Green, Evangelism in the Early Church (1970).

Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans: A Selection (1972).

Virgil, The Aeneid (1965).

Film: Fellini, Satyricon (1969).

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? “The Roman Age”  (Feature on artist…)

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000 years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.

Here are some of the key events and people in the arts and culture that are in Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?:

 

episode 10 “Final Choices,”, Paul’s speech in Athens: c. A.D. 53,Paul’s Epistle to the Romans: c. A.D. 60,J.K. Galbraith: 1908-2006,Francis Crick: 1916-2004,Daniel Bell: 1919-2011,The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society: 1973 Robert Theobald: 1929-1999s” ,

 

episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence,”,Oliver Wendell Holmes: 1841-1935 Herbert Marcuse: 1898-1979 Alexander Solzhenitsyn: 1917- Hungarian Revolution: 1956,Free Speech Movement: 1964 Czechoslovakian repression: 1968,Woodstock and Altamont: 1969,Radical bombings: 1970,Supreme Court abortion ruling: 1973 Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago: 1973-74

 

episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation,” ,

Impressionists:Monet, Renoir, Pissaro, Sisley, and Degas.Post Impressionists:Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Seurat.

Also Picasso: 1881-1973, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon:

1906-7 Marcel Duchamp: 1887-1969, Nude Descending a Staircase: 1912: John Cage: 1912-1992, Music for Marcel Duchamp: 1947
Jackson Pollock: 1912-1956,Beethoven’s last Quartets: 1825-26 Claude Monet: 1840-1926,Poplars at Giverny, Sunrise: 1885 Paul Cézanne: 1839-1906, The Bathers: c.1905: Claude Debussy: 1862-1918 Wassily Kandinsky: 1866-1944 Arnold Schoenberg: 1874-1951:T.S. Eliot: 1888-1965,The Wasteland: 1922:Karlheinz Stockhausen: 1928-2007:Sartre’s Nausea: 1938,Beauvoir’s L’Invitée: 1943,Camus’ The Stranger: 1942,Camus’ The Plague: 1947,Resnais’ The Last Year at Marienbad: 1961 Bergman’s The Silence: 1963 Fellini’s Juliet of the Spirits: 1965 Antonioni’s Blow-Up: 1966,Bergman’s The Hour of the Wolf: 1967 Buñel’s Belle de Jour: 1967

 

episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason,”,Rousseau: 1712-1778,Kant: 1724-1804,Marquis de Sade: 1740-1814 The Social Contract: 1762 Hegel: 1770-1831 Kierkegaard: 1813-1855,Paul Gauguin: 1848-1903,Whence, What Whither?: 1897-1898 Albert Schweitzer: 1875-1965,Quest for the Historical Jesus: 1906 Karl Jaspers: 1883-1969,Paul Tillich: 1886-1965,Karl Barth: 1886-1968,Martin Heidegger: 1889-1976 Aldous Huxley: 1894-1963,J.P. Sartre: 1905-1980,Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper: 1967.

 

episode 6 “The Scientific Age,”Copernicus: 1475-1543, Francis Bacon: 1561-1626,Novum Organum Scientiarum: 1620,Galileo: 1564-1642,Pascal: 1623-1662,Isaac Newton: 1642-1727,Principia Mathematica: 1687,Michael Faraday: 1791-1867
Charles Darwin: 1809-1882,Origin of Species: 1859,Herbert Spencer: 1820-1903,Albert Einstein: 1879-1955,Russel Lee: 1895-,Heinrich Himmler: 1900-1945,B.F. Skinner: 1904-1990,Arthur Koestler: 1905-1983,Kenneth B. Clark: 1914-2005,Murray Eden: 1920-,Kermit Kranty: 1923-2007,,Skinner’s Beyond Freedom and Dignity: 1971
 

 

episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age,” Calvin: 1509-1564
Samuel Rutherford: 1600-1661 Rutherford’s Lex Rex: 1644John Locke: 1631-1704John Wesley: 1703-1791Voltaire: 1694-1778,Letters on the English Nation: 1733 George Whitefield: 1714-1770 John Witherspoon: 1723-1794 John Newton: 1725-1807,John Howard: 1726-1790 Jefferson: 1743-1826,Robespierre: 1758-1794 Wilberforce: 1759-1833,Clarkson: 1760-1846,Napoleon: 1769-1821,Elizabeth Fry: 1780-1845,Declaration of Rights of Man: 1789,National Constituent Assembly: 1789-1791,Second French Revolution and Revolutionary Calendar: 1792 The Reign of Terror: 1792-1794,Lord Shaftesbury: 1801-1855,English slave trade ended: 1807,Slavery ended in Great Britain and Empire: 1833
Karl Marx: 1818-1883,Lenin: 1870-1924,Trotsky: 1879-1940,Stalin: 1879-1953,February and October Russian Revolutions: 1917,Berlin Wall: 1961,Czechoslovakian repression: 1968

 

episode 4 “The Reformation,”Erasmus: c. 1466-1536 Dürer: 1471-1528,Lucas Cranach: 1472-1553 Martin Luther: 1483-1546 Farel: 1489-1565,Johann Walther: 1496-1570,Calvin: 1509-1564,Erasmus’ Greek New Testament: 1516 Luther’s 95 Thesis: 1517,Reform at Zürich: 1523 Wittenberg Gesangbuch: 1524 England breaks with Rome: 1534 Calvin’s Institutes: 1536,Geneva Psalter: 1562 Rembrandt: 1606-1669,Raising of the Cross: 1633,Bach: 1685-175,

 

 episode 3 “The Renaissance, Dante: 1265-1321, The Divine Comedy: 1300-1321 Giotto: c. 1267-1337,Brunelleschi: 1377-1446,Jan van Eyck: 1380-1441 Masaccio: 1401-1428, Fouquet: 1416-1480, Duomo, Cathedral of Florence: 1434 Leonardo da Vinci: 1452-1519 Michelangelo: 1475-1564 Michelangelo’s David: 1504,Francis I of France: 1494-1547”,

 

and the first two episodes:episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”,and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,”

 

Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? (Full-Length Documentary)

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Today you will notice that Rome fell from within because of postmodernism. Here is the example that Schaeffer gives in the film:

A culture or an individual with a weak base can stand only when the pressure on it is not too great. As an illustration, let us think of a Roman bridge. The Romans built little humpbacked bridges over many of the streams of Europe. People and wagons went over these structures safely for centuries, for two millennia. But if people today drove heavily loaded trucks over these bridges, they would break. It is this way with the lives and value systems of individuals and cultures when they have nothing stronger to build on than their own limitedness, their own finiteness. They can stand when pressures are not too great, but when pressures mount, if then they do not have a sufficient base, they crash-just as a Roman bridge would cave in under the weight of a modern six-wheeled truck. Culture and the freedoms of people are fragile. Without a sufficient base, when such pressures come only time is needed and often not a great deal of time-before there is a collapse.

Francis Schaeffer and Postmodernism

by Chad Brand | Dec 01 2012 | Published in Uncategorized

For me, the ‘Seventies were virtually bookended by Francis Schaeffer. I read The God Who Is There for the first time in 1972 and my intellectual life was transformed. Though I struggled with some of the ideas in the book and at times I wished the author might have given a bit more background material to explain his assessments, I had the overwhelming sense that I had crossed over into a new world. Then in 1978 I spent ten successive Thursday nights going to a church in Ft. Worth, Texas, to view the successive installments of the film series, “How Should We Then Live?” At the time it was a tour de force in Christian film production, and it convinced me that it was possible not only to make a credible case for Christianity, but that it might also be done in an attractive and compelling format.

Schaeffer was the first apologist I ever read, and his impact on my thinking was profound. But he is more than that. Hegel reminded us that the Owl of Minerva flies at dusk, and if this is so, then one might surmise that the real jolt of Schaeffer’s work would not be felt until after he was gone. I personally believe this to be the case. As helpful as he was as a teacher to me when I was eighteen years old, now I read him as a prophet.
Schaeffer was one of the first evangelical thinkers to take note of rising postmodernity, though that term was not au courant in his time, and to recognize it for what it was, not what it claimed to be. His criticisms of Samuel Beckett and Mondrian, for example, show that though these postmodern cultural icons claim to be critiquing any possibility for objective truth claims, the fact is that they offer their own tacit affirmations about truth.

He labored as an evangelist. Schaeffer’s work might be seen as the reverse of the strategy exercised by postmodern critics such as Herbert Marcuse and Theodore Adorno in the early ‘Sixties. These members of the Frankfurt School launched a very caustic critique of all claims to knowledge and truth that stood in the heritage of classical antiquity, of the Christian worldview, or even of modernity. However it may seem to the casual reader of books like One-Dimensional Man, though, the goal of these iconoclasts was not the rejection of outmoded forms of discourse so that marginalized speech might finally have its place in cultural life. These men had political ends in view—they wanted to take over the state. In order to do that, of course, they needed to gain a mass following. Knowing that it was highly unlikely that their intellectual concerns would find a sympathetic hearing among either the working class or the bourgeoisie, these left-wing intellectuals turned to university students to obtain a pool of disciples. Marcuse and company knew full well that their stance of negativity toward prevailing institutions and truth claims would find a ready hearing among the disaffected youth of the (mostly) middle class. The result was the student protest movement in places such as Paris, Columbia University, and Berkeley.

Schaeffer’s work was an antidote to all of this in two ways. First, in his radical demythologizing of the (post)modern and existentialist myths, Schaeffer lifted the lid off of prevailing ideologies and demonstrated that non-Christians cannot give a unified account of reality. This is especially true of the intellectual traditions of the last century, in which thinking persons, under the spell of Kant, Hegel, and Kierkegaard, have slipped below the “line of despair.” Feeling self-conscious about the disarray in their worldview, such persons have thrown a blanket over the chaos to hide it from view, and then have assumed a Protean stance, like James Cagney standing atop a burning building and crying, “I’m on top of the world.” American youth in particular had fallen prey to the notion that nihilism was innocuous, a sort of playful exercise. Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, and Frank Sinatra all made hit recordings of the song, “Mack the Knife,” a song about a serial murderer, sung to a sprightly tune, putting a sort of happy face on nihilism. (The full version of the song, from Brecht’s “Three Penny Opera” is more explicit than the American version.) Schaeffer sought to remove the blanket and let the daylight come streaming in to reveal the fractured character of these newly canonical epistemologies. Without diminishing the lure of relativism and nihilism or downplaying the genuine angst of young people in the contemporary world, Francis Schaeffer displayed the vacuity of the postmodern and existentialist “cures.” For me, reading Camus, Nietzsche, and Kafka through the decade of the ‘Seventies, Schaeffer’s sermons kept ringing back: “These men have fallen below the line of despair—they are of no final help to you.”

Second, Schaeffer wanted to tell these young persons who have been steeped in Marcuse, Sartre, and Nietzsche that they do not have to sell their souls to the devil of a fractured metaphysic. The answer to the human condition lies not in nihilism, but in the Infinite-Personal God of biblical revelation. This God seeks a relationship with humans through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ. Though the church has often obscured the essence of the faith through its traditions, biblical Christianity understood in terms of the Reformation traditions provides the real solution to the human dilemma. We can know that this message is true both because it rings true in our lives and because it is presented in a Book that is absolutely trustworthy. Again, though my own approach to apologetics may not be completely Schaeferrian any more, his approach helped me work through issues related to presuppositionalism, evidentialism, and the classical approach.

Francis Schaeffer the prophet points us the way through the maze of postmodernity. Like other prophets to postmodernity, such as Solzhenitsyn and Alvin Gouldner, he reminds us that the advocates of existentialism and postmodernism are not disinterested, objective observers of the contemporary situation. They rather have adopted a discourse of radical suspicion for the purposes of transforming the moral condition of this world into something more fitting with their own rejection of Judeo-Christian values. Further, in their defense of marginalized discourses, though they appear to be the Robin Hoods of postmodern culture, taking from the bourgeoisie and their intellectual hired guns, in fact, beneath the mask they really are the Sheriff of Nottingham, with political goals of their own. Postmodernity is a power play by humanistic intellectuals for the purposes of intellectuals, and we ought not to be deluded into thinking otherwise.

Chad Owen Brand

__

Francis Schaeffer takes a look at Rome and why it fell. It fell because of inward problems. We have many of these same problems today in the USA.

The late Francis Schaeffer wrote of the significance of one’s world view, which, in the final analysis, represents one’s doctrinal perspective about God and life:

There is a flow to history and culture. This flow is rooted and has its wellspring in the thoughts of people. People are unique in the inner life of the mind—what they are in their thought world determines how they act. This is true of their value systems and it is true of their creativity …

People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By presuppositions we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic world view, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay a grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and their basis for their decisions.

“As a man thinketh, so is he,” is really most profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world …

Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society the way a child catches measles. But people with more understanding realize that their presuppositions should be chosen after a careful consideration of what world view is true …

It is important to realize what a difference a people’s world view makes in their strength as they are exposed to the pressure of life. That it was the Christians who were able to resist religious mixtures, syncretism, and the effects of the weakness of Roman culture speaks of the strength of the Christian world view. This strength rested on God’s being an infinite-personal God and his speaking in the Old Testament, in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, and in the gradually growing New Testament. He had spoken in ways people could understand. Thus the Christians not only had knowledge about the universe and mankind that people cannot find out by themselves, but they had absolute, universal values by which to live and by which to judge the society and the political state in which they lived …1

Apathy was the chief mark of the late Empire. One of the ways the apathy showed itself was in a lack of creativity in the arts. One easily observed example of the decadence of officially sponsored art is that the fourth-century work on the Arch of Constantine in Rome stands’ in poor contrast to its second-century sculptures which were borrowed from monuments from the period of Emperor Trajan. The elite abandoned their intellectual pursuits for social life. Officially sponsored art was decadent, and music was increasingly bombastic. Even the portraits on the coins became of poor quality. All of life was marked by the predominant apathy.

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As the Roman economy slumped lower and lower, burdened with an aggravated inflation and a costly government, authoritarianism increased to counter the apathy. Since work was no longer done voluntarily, it was brought increasingly under the authority of the state, and freedoms were lost. For example, laws were passed binding small farmers to their land. So, because of the general apathy and its results, and because of oppressive control, few thought the old civilization worth saving.

Rome did not fall because of external forces such as the invasion by the barbarians. Rome had no sufficient inward base; the’ barbarians only completed the breakdown — and Rome gradually became a ruin.

It is important to realize what a difference a people’s world view makes in their strength as they are exposed to the pressure of life. That it was the Christians who were able to resist religious mixtures, syncretism, and the effects of the weaknesses of Roman culture speaks of the strength of the Christian world view. This strength rested on God’s being an infinite-personal God and his speaking in the Old Testament, in the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, and in the gradually growing New Testament. He had spoken in ways people could understand. Thus the Christians not only had knowledge about the universe and mankind that people cannot find out by themselves, but they had absolute, universal values by which to live and by which to judge the society and the political state in which they lived. And they had grounds for the basic dignity and value of the individual as unique in being made in the image of God.

Perhaps no one has presented more vividly to our generation the inner weakness of imperial Rome than has Fellini (1920-) in his film Satyricon. He reminds us that the classical world is not to be romanticized, but that it was both cruel and decadent as it came to the logical conclusion of its world view.

A culture or an individual with a weak base can stand only when the pressure on it is not too great. As an illustration, let us think of a Roman bridge. The Romans built little humpbacked bridges over many of the streams of Europe. People and wagons went over these structures safely for centuries, for two millennia. But if people today drove heavily loaded trucks over these bridges, they would break. It is this way with the lives and value systems of individuals and cultures when they have nothing stronger to build on than their own limitedness, their own finiteness. They can stand when pressures are not too great, but when pressures mount, if then they do not have a sufficient base, they crash-just as a Roman bridge would cave in under the weight of a modern six-wheeled truck. Culture and the freedoms of people are fragile. Without a sufficient base, when such pressures come only time is needed and often not a great deal of time-before there is a collapse.

 

E P I S O D E 1

ROMAN AGE

I. Introduction

A. Problem: dilemma of social breakdown and violence leading to authoritarianism which limits freedom.

B. We are, however, not helpless. Why?

C. Answer approached through consideration of the past.

D. Any starting point in history would be good; we start with Rome because it is direct ancestor of modern West.

II. Rome: The Empire Triumphant

A. Size and military strength of Empire.

B. Imperial sway evoked by Aventicum (Avenches), Switzerland.

III. Rome: Cultural Analysis

A. Greece and Rome: cultural influences and parallels.

1. Society as the absolute, to give meaning to life.

2. Finite gods as ground of accepted values.

B. Problems arising from Roman culture.

1. No infinite reference point as base for values and society.

2. Collapse of civic ideals therefore inevitable.

C. Results of collapse of ideals.

1. Dictatorship of Julius Caesar a response to civil disorder.

2. Firmly established authoritarian rule of Augustus.

D. Characteristics of regime introduced by Augustus.

1. Claim to give peace and the fruits of civilization.

2. Care to maintain facade of republican constitution.

3. People ready to accept absolute power in return for peace and prosperity.

4. Religious sanction for emperor-dictators: the emperor as God.

E. Christian persecution

1. Religious toleration in the Empire.

2. Christians persecuted because they would worship only the infinite-personal God and not Caesar also. They had an absolute whereby to judge the Roman state and its actions.

F. Viability of presuppositions facing social and political tension.

1. Christians had infinite reference point in God and His revelation in the Old Testament, the revelation through Christ, and the growing New Testament.

2. Christians could confront Roman culture and be untouched by its inner weakness, including its relativism and syncretism.

3. Roman hump-backed bridge, like Roman culture, could only stand if not subjected to overwhelming pressures.

IV. Rome: Eventual Decline and Fall

A. Growth of taste for cruelty.

B. Decadence seen in rampant sexuality and lust for violence.

C. General apathy, as seen in decline in artistic creativity.

D. Economic decline, more expensive government, and tighter centralization.

E. Successful barbarian invasions because of internal rot.

V. Conclusion

There is no foundation strong enough for society or the individual life within the realm of finiteness and beginning from Man alone as autonomous.

Questions

1. Dr. Schaeffer claims that, through looking at history, we can see how presuppositions determine events. Does his discussion bear this out and, if so, how?

2. How can a survey of Roman history in one-half hour be either useful or responsible? Discuss.

3. “History does not repeat itself.” —The parallels between the history of Rome and the twentieth century West are many and obvious.” How may these statements be reconciled?

Key Events and Persons

Julius Caesar: 100-44 B.C.

Augustus Caesar (Octavian): 63 B.C.-A.D. 14

Declared Pontifex Maximus: 12 B.C.

Diocletian: (Emperor) A.D. 284-305

Further Study

Here, as in succeeding suggestions for further study, it will be assumed that if you want to devote a great deal of time to a topic you can consult a library or a good bookstore. Suggestions given below are made on the basis of relevance to the text, readability, and availability.

Not all the books will necessarily agree at all—or in all details—with Dr. Schaeffer’s presentation. But as in the general conduct of life, so in matters of the mind, one must learn to discriminate. If you avoid reading things with which you disagree, you will be naive about what most of the world thinks. On the other hand, if you read everything—but without a critical mind—you will end up accepting by default all that the world (and especially your own moment of history) thinks.

J.P.V.D. Balsdon, Life and Leisure in Ancient Rome (1969).

E.M. Blaiklock, The Christian in Pagean Society (1956).

Samuel Dill, Roman Society in the Last Century of the Western Empire (1962).

E.M.B. Green, Evangelism in the Early Church (1970).

Plutarch, Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans: A Selection (1972).

Virgil, The Aeneid (1965).

Film: Fellini, Satyricon (1969).

In about A.D. 60, a Jew who was a Christian and who also knew the Greek and Roman thinking of his day wrote a letter to those who lived in Rome. Previously, he had said the same things to Greek thinkers while speaking on Mars Hill in Athens. He had spoken with the Acropolis above him and the ancient marketplace below him, in the place wherethe thinkers of Athens met for discussion. A plaque marks that spot today and gives his talk in the common Greek spoken in his day. He was interrupted in his talk in Athens, but his Letter to the Romans gives us without interruption what he had to say to the thinking people of that period.

He said that the integration points of the Greek and Roman world view were not enough to answer the questions posed either by the existence of the universe and its form, or by the uniqueness of man. He said that they deserved judgment because they knew that they did not have an adequate answer to the questions raised by the universe or by the existence of man, and yet they refused, they suppressed, that which is the answer. To quote his letter:

The retribution of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which is known of God is evident within them [that is, the uniqueness of man in contrast to non-man], for God made it evident to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived by the things that are made [that is, the existence of the universe and its form], even his eternal power and divinity; so that they are without excuse. [Roman 1:18ff.]

Here he is saying that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man speak the same truth that the Bible gives in greater detail. That this God exists and that he has not been silent but has spoken to people in the Bible and through Christ was the basis for the return to a more fully biblical Christianity in the days of the Reformers. It was a message of the possibility that people could return to God on the basis of the death of Christ alone. But with it came many other realities, including form and freedom in the culture and society built on that more biblical Christianity. The freedom brought forth was titanic, and yet, with the forms given in the Scripture, the freedoms did not lead to chaos. And it is this which can give us hope for the future. It is either this or an imposed order.

As I have said in the first chapter, people function on the basis of their world view more consistently than even they themselves may realize. The problem is not outward things. The problem is having, and then acting upon, the right world view — the world view which gives men and women the truth of what is.

___

Charles Atlas

Charles Atlas was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1958. Atlas is a filmmaker and video artist who has created numerous works for stage, screen, museum, and television. Atlas is a pioneer in the development of media-dance, a genre in which original performance work is created directly for the camera. Atlas worked as filmmaker-in-residence with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company for ten years.

Many of Atlas’s works have been collaborations with choreographers, dancers, and performers, including Yvonne Rainer, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Diamanda Galas, John Kelly, and Leigh Bowery. Television Dance Atlas—the artist’s critically acclaimed prime-time event on Dutch television—was a four-hour montage of original and found footage incorporating dance styles as varied as ballet, burlesque, and figure skating. Atlas also creates video installation works. The Hanged One—a work inspired by symbolism from the Tarot and foot-fetish culture—incorporated numerous video elements as well as rotoscopes, motorized mannequins, and theatrical lighting. Atlas is the recipient of three Bessie (New York Dance and Performance) Awards. His feature-length film Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance won the Best Documentary Award at Dance Screen 2000 in Monaco.

His work has been shown at international institutions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Atlas acted as Consulting Director for “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (Seasons 2 through 5), creating the original opening programs for each hour-long segment of Season 2, as well as supervising the “Stories,” “Loss and Desire,” “Memory,” “Play,” “Protest,” and “Paradox” episodes. Charles Atlas lives and works in New York City and Paris.

________

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 213 H. L. Mencken (Feature on artist Karen Karnes )

________

_______

Image result for h.l. mencken

Top Ten Quotes Of H. L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken Interview

Published on Aug 1, 2013

Finally, H. L. Mencken is interviewed

H. L. Mencken

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
H. L. Mencken
H-L-Mencken-1928.jpg

H. L. Mencken in 1928
Born Henry Louis Mencken
September 12, 1880
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Died January 29, 1956 (aged 75)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Occupation Journalist, satirist, critic
Notable credit(s) The Baltimore Sun
Spouse(s) Sara Haardt
Relatives August Mencken, Jr.
Brother
Family August Mencken, Sr.
Father

Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and scholar of American English.[1] Known as the “Sage of Baltimore”, he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the “Monkey Trial”, also gained him attention.

As a scholar, Mencken is known for The American Language, a multi-volume study of how the English language is spoken in the United States. As an admirer of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, he was a detractor of religion, populism and representative democracy, which he believed was a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors.[2] Mencken was a supporter of scientific progress, skeptical of economic theories and critical of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine.

Mencken opposed American entry into World War I and World War II. His diary indicates that he was a racist and privately used coarse language and slurs to describe various ethnic and racial groups.[3] Mencken also at times seemed to show a genuine enthusiasm for militarism, though never in its American form. “War is a good thing,” he once wrote, “because it is honest, it admits the central fact of human nature… A nation too long at peace becomes a sort of gigantic old maid.”[4]

Mencken’s longtime home in the Union Square neighborhood of West Baltimore was turned into a city museum, the H. L. Mencken House. His papers were distributed among various city and university libraries, with the largest collection held in the Mencken Room at the central branch of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Early life[edit]

Mencken was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 12, 1880. He was the son of Anna Margaret (Abhau) and August Mencken, Sr., a cigar factory owner. He was of German ancestry and spoke German in his childhood.[5] When Henry was three, his family moved into a new home at 1524 Hollins Street facing Union Square park in the Union Square neighborhood of old West Baltimore. Apart from five years of married life, Mencken was to live in that house for the rest of his life.[6]

In his best-selling memoir Happy Days, he described his childhood in Baltimore as “placid, secure, uneventful and happy.”[7]

When he was nine years old, he read Mark Twain‘s Huckleberry Finn, which he later described as “the most stupendous event in my life”.[8] He became determined to become a writer and read voraciously. In one winter while in high school he read Thackeray and then “proceeded backward to Addison, Steele, Pope, Swift, Johnson and the other magnificos of the Eighteenth century”. He read the entire canon of Shakespeare and became an ardent fan of Kipling and Thomas Huxley.[9] As a boy, Mencken also had practical interests, photography and chemistry in particular, and eventually had a home chemistry laboratory in which he performed experiments of his own devising, some of them inadvertently dangerous.[10]

He began his primary education in the mid-1880s at Professor Knapp’s School, located on the east side of Holliday Street between East Lexington and Fayette Streets, next to the Holliday Street Theatre and across from the newly constructed Baltimore City Hall. The site today is the War Memorial and City Hall Plaza laid out in 1926 in memory of World War I dead. At fifteen, in June 1896, he graduated as valedictorian from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. BPI was a mathematics, technical and science-oriented public high school, founded in 1883, which was then located on old Courtland Street just north of East Saratoga Street. This location is today the east side of St. Paul Street in St. Paul Place and east of Preston Gardens.

He worked for three years in his father’s cigar factory. He disliked the work, especially the sales aspect of it, and resolved to leave, with or without his father’s blessing. In early 1898 he took a class in writing at one of the country’s first correspondence schools, the Cosmopolitan University.[11] This was to be the entirety of Mencken’s formal education in journalism, or in any other subject. Upon his father’s death a few days after Christmas in the same year, the business reverted to his uncle, and Mencken was free to pursue his career in journalism. He had applied in February 1899 to the Morning Herald newspaper (which became the Baltimore Morning Herald in 1900) and had been hired as a part-timer there, but still kept his position at the factory for a few months. In June he was hired as a full-time reporter.

Career[edit]

Mencken served as a reporter at the Herald for six years. Less than two and a half years after the Great Baltimore Fire, the paper was purchased in June 1906 by Charles H. Grasty, the owner and editor of The News since 1892, and competing owner and publisher Gen. Felix Agnus, of the town’s oldest (since 1773) and largest daily, The Baltimore American. They proceeded to divide the staff, assets and resources of The Herald between them. Mencken then moved to The Baltimore Sun, where he worked for Charles H. Grasty. He continued to contribute to The Sun, The Evening Sun (founded 1910) and The Sunday Sun full-time until 1948, when he stopped writing after suffering a stroke.

Mencken began writing the editorials and opinion pieces that made his name at The Sun. On the side, he wrote short stories, a novel, and even poetry, which he later revealed. In 1908, he became a literary critic for The Smart Set magazine, and in 1924 he and George Jean Nathan founded and edited The American Mercury, published by Alfred A. Knopf. It soon developed a national circulation and became highly influential on college campuses across America. In 1933, Mencken resigned as editor.

Personal life[edit]

Marriage[edit]

In 1930, Mencken married Sara Haardt, a German American professor of English at Goucher College in Baltimore and an author eighteen years his junior. Haardt had led efforts in Alabama to ratify the 19th Amendment.[12] The two met in 1923, after Mencken delivered a lecture at Goucher; a seven-year courtship ensued. The marriage made national headlines, and many were surprised that Mencken, who once called marriage “the end of hope” and who was well known for mocking relations between the sexes, had gone to the altar. “The Holy Spirit informed and inspired me,” Mencken said. “Like all other infidels, I am superstitious and always follow hunches: this one seemed to be a superb one.”[13] Even more startling, he was marrying an Alabama native, despite his having written scathing essays about the American South. Haardt was in poor health from tuberculosis throughout their marriage and died in 1935 of meningitis, leaving Mencken grief-stricken.[14] He had always championed her writing and, after her death, had a collection of her short stories published under the title Southern Album.

H.L. Mencken, All American Cynic

Great Depression, war and after[edit]

Mencken photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1932

During the Great Depression, Mencken did not support the New Deal. This cost him popularity, as did his strong reservations regarding US participation in World War II, and his overt contempt for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He ceased writing for the Baltimore Sun for several years, focusing on his memoirs and other projects as editor, while serving as an adviser for the paper that had been his home for nearly his entire career. In 1948, he briefly returned to the political scene, covering the presidential election in which President Harry S. Truman faced Republican Thomas Dewey and Henry A. Wallace of the Progressive Party. His later work consisted of humorous, anecdotal, and nostalgic essays, first published in The New Yorker, then collected in the books Happy Days, Newspaper Days, and Heathen Days.

Last days[edit]

On November 23, 1948, Mencken suffered a stroke, which left him aware and fully conscious but nearly unable to read or write and able to speak only with difficulty. After his stroke, Mencken enjoyed listening to European classical music and, after some recovery of his ability to speak, talking with friends, but he sometimes referred to himself in the past tense, as if he were already dead. During the last year of his life, his friend and biographer William Manchester read to him daily.[15]

Legacy[edit]

Preoccupied as Mencken was with his legacy, he organized his papers, letters, newspaper clippings and columns, even grade school report cards. After his death, these materials were made available to scholars in stages in 1971, 1981, and 1991, and include hundreds of thousands of letters sent and received; the only omissions were strictly personal letters received from women.

Death[edit]

Mencken died in his sleep on January 29, 1956.[16] He was interred in Baltimore’s Loudon Park Cemetery.[17]

Though it does not appear on his tombstone, during his Smart Set days Mencken wrote a joking epitaph for himself:

If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.[18]

The man of ideas[edit]

In his capacity as editor and man of ideas, Mencken became close friends with the leading literary figures of his time, including Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Hergesheimer, Anita Loos, Ben Hecht, Sinclair Lewis, James Branch Cabell, and Alfred Knopf, as well as a mentor to several young reporters, including Alistair Cooke. He also championed artists whose works he considered worthy. For example, he asserted that books such as Caught Short! A Saga of Wailing Wall Street (1929), by Eddie Cantor (ghost-written by David Freedman) did more to pull America out of the Great Depression than all government measures combined. He also mentored John Fante. Thomas Hart Benton illustrated an edition of Mencken’s book Europe After 8:15.

Mencken also published many works under various pseudonyms, including Owen Hatteras, John H Brownell, William Drayham, WLD Bell, and Charles Angoff.[19] As a ghost-writer for the physician Leonard K. Hirshberg, he wrote a series of articles and (in 1910) most of a book about the care of babies.

Mencken admired German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche—he was the first writer to provide a scholarly analysis in English of Nietzsche’s views and writings—and Joseph Conrad. His humor and satire owe much to Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain. He did much to defend Dreiser, despite freely admitting his faults, including stating forthrightly that Dreiser often wrote badly and was a gullible man. Mencken also expressed his appreciation for William Graham Sumner in a 1941 collection of Sumner’s essays, and regretted never having known Sumner personally. In contrast, Mencken was scathing in his criticism of the German philosopher Hans Vaihinger whom he described as “an extremely dull author” and whose famous book Philosophy of ‘As If’ he dismissed as an unimportant “foot-note to all existing systems.”[20]

Mencken recommended for publication libertarian philosopher and author Ayn Rand‘s first novel, We the Living, calling it “a really excellent piece of work”. Shortly after, Rand addressed him in correspondence as “the greatest representative of a philosophy” to which she wanted to dedicate her life, “individualism”, and later listed him as her favorite columnist.[21]

Mencken is fictionalized in the play Inherit the Wind (a fictionalized version of the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925) as the cynical sarcastic atheist E. K. Hornbeck (right), seen here as played by Gene Kelly in the Hollywood film version. On the left is Henry Drummond, based on Clarence Darrow and portrayed by Spencer Tracy.

For Mencken, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was the finest work of American literature. Much of that book relates how gullible and ignorant country “boobs” (as Mencken referred to them) are swindled by con men like the (deliberately) pathetic “Duke” and “Dauphin” roustabouts with whom Huck and Jim travel down the Mississippi River. These scam-artists swindle by posing as enlightened speakers on temperance (to obtain the funds to get roaring drunk), as pious “saved” men seeking funds for far off evangelistic missions (to pirates on the high seas, no less), and as learned doctors of phrenology (who can barely spell). Mencken read the novel as a story of America’s hilarious dark side, a place where democracy, as defined by Mencken, is “the worship of jackals by jackasses.”

Such turns of phrase evoked the erudite cynicism and rapier sharpness of language displayed by Bierce in his darkly satiric Devil’s Dictionary. A noted curmudgeon,[22] democratic in subjects attacked, Mencken savaged politics,[23] hypocrisy, and social convention. Master of English, he was given to bombast, once disdaining the lowly hot dog bun’s descent into “the soggy rolls prevailing today, of ground acorns, plaster of paris, flecks of bath sponge and atmospheric air all compact.”[24]

As a nationally syndicated columnist and book author, he commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements, such as the temperance movement. Mencken was a keen cheerleader of scientific progress, but very skeptical of economic theories and critical of osteopathic/chiropractic medicine.

As a frank admirer of Nietzsche, Mencken was a detractor of populism and representative democracy, which he believed was a system in which inferior men dominated their superiors.[2] As did Nietzsche, he also spoke out against religious belief (and as a fervent nonbeliever, against the very notion of a deity), particularly Christian fundamentalism, Christian Science and creationism, and against the “Booboisie,” his word for the ignorant middle classes.[25][26][27] In the summer of 1925, he attended the famous Scopes “Monkey Trial” in Dayton, Tennessee, and wrote scathing columns for the Baltimore Sun (widely syndicated) and American Mercury mocking the anti-evolution Fundamentalists (especially William Jennings Bryan). The play Inherit the Wind is a fictionalized version of the trial, and, as noted above, the cynical reporter E.K. Hornbeck is based on Mencken. In 1926, he deliberately had himself arrested for selling an issue of The American Mercury that was banned in Boston under the Comstock laws.[28] Mencken heaped scorn not only on the public officials he disliked, but also on the contemporary state of American elective politics itself.

In the summer of 1926, Mencken followed with great interest the Los Angeles grand jury inquiry into the famous Canadian-American evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. She was accused of faking her reported kidnapping and the case attracted national attention. There was every expectation Mencken would continue his previous pattern of anti-fundamentalist articles, this time with a searing critique of McPherson. Unexpectedly, he came to her defense, identifying various local religious and civic groups which were using the case as an opportunity to pursue their respective ideological agendas against the embattled Pentecostal minister.[29] He spent several weeks in Hollywood, California, and wrote many scathing and satirical columns on the movie industry and the southern California culture. After all charges had been dropped against McPherson, Mencken revisited the case in 1930 with a sarcastically biting and observant article. He wrote that since many of that town’s residents acquired their ideas “of the true, the good and the beautiful” from the movies and newspapers, “Los Angeles will remember the testimony against her long after it forgets the testimony that cleared her.”[30]

In 1931 the Arkansas legislature passed a motion to pray for Mencken’s soul after he had called the state the “apex of moronia.”[31]

In the mid 1930s Mencken feared Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal liberalism as a powerful force. Mencken, says Charles A. Fecher, was, “deeply conservative, resentful of change, looking back upon the ‘happy days’ of a bygone time, wanted no part of the world that the New Deal promised to bring in.”[32]

Damn! A Book of Calumny, Satire Audiobook, by H. L. Mencken

Views[edit]

The striking thing about Mencken’s mind is its ruthlessness and rigidity … Though one of the fairest of critics, he is the least pliant. … [I]n spite of his skepticism, and his frequent exhortations to hold his opinion lightly, he himself has been conspicuous for seizing upon simple dogmas and sticking to them with fierce tenacity … true skeptics … see both truth and weakness in every case.

— Literary critic Edmund Wilson (1921)[33]

Theology: An effort to explain the unknowable by putting it into terms of the not worth knowing

— H. L. Mencken[34]

Racism and elitism[edit]

In addition to his identification of races with castes, Mencken had views about the superior individual within communities. He believed that every community produced a few people of clear superiority. He considered groupings on a par with hierarchies, which led to a kind of natural elitism and natural aristocracy. “Superior” individuals, in Mencken’s view, were those wrongly oppressed and disdained by their own communities, but nevertheless distinguished by their will and personal achievement, not by race or birth.

External video
Booknotes interview with Charles Fecher on The Diary of H.L. Mencken, January 28, 1990, C-SPAN

In 1989, per his instructions, Alfred A. Knopf published Mencken’s “secret diary” as The Diary of H. L. Mencken. According to an Associated Press story, Mencken’s views shocked even the “sympathetic scholar who edited it,” Charles A. Fecher of Baltimore.[35] There is a club in Baltimore called the Maryland Club which had one Jewish member, and that member died. Mencken said, “There is no other Jew in Baltimore who seems suitable,” according to the article. The diary also quoted him as saying of blacks, in September 1943, that “it is impossible to talk anything resembling discretion or judgment to a colored woman. They are all essentially child-like, and even hard experience does not teach them anything.”

However, Mencken opposed lynching. For example, he had this to say about a Maryland incident:

Not a single bigwig came forward in the emergency, though the whole town knew what was afoot. Any one of a score of such bigwigs might have halted the crime, if only by threatening to denounce its perpetrators, but none spoke. So Williams was duly hanged, burned and mutilated.

Mencken also wrote: “I admit freely enough that, by careful breeding, supervision of environment and education, extending over many generations, it might be possible to make an appreciable improvement in the stock of the American Negro, for example, but I must maintain that this enterprise would be a ridiculous waste of energy, for there is a high-caste white stock ready at hand, and it is inconceivable that the Negro stock, however carefully it might be nurtured, could ever even remotely approach it. The educated Negro of today is a failure, not because he meets insuperable difficulties in life, but because he is a Negro. He is, in brief, a low-caste man, to the manner born, and he will remain inert and inefficient until fifty generations of him have lived in civilization. And even then, the superior white race will be fifty generations ahead of him.”[36]

Democracy[edit]

Rather than dismissing democratic governance as a popular fallacy or treating it with open contempt, Mencken’s response to it was a publicized sense of amusement. His feelings on this subject (like his casual feelings on many other such subjects) are sprinkled throughout his writings over the years, very occasionally taking center-stage with the full force of Mencken’s prose:

Democracy gives [the beatification of mediocrity] a certain appearance of objective and demonstrable truth. The mob man, functioning as citizen, gets a feeling that he is really important to the world—that he is genuinely running things. Out of his maudlin herding after rogues and mountebanks there comes to him a sense of vast and mysterious power—which is what makes archbishops, police sergeants, the grand goblins of the Ku Klux and other such magnificoes happy. And out of it there comes, too, a conviction that he is somehow wise, that his views are taken seriously by his betters—which is what makes United States Senators, fortune tellers and Young Intellectuals happy. Finally, there comes out of it a glowing consciousness of a high duty triumphantly done which is what makes hangmen and husbands happy.

This sentiment is fairly consistent with Mencken’s distaste for common notions and the philosophical outlook he unabashedly set down throughout his life as a writer (drawing on Friedrich Nietzsche and Herbert Spencer, among others).[37]

Mencken wrote as follows about the difficulties of good men reaching national office when such campaigns must necessarily be conducted remotely:

The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.

The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.[38]

H. L. Mencken: Confessions of a Believing Critic

Science[edit]

Mencken supported biology and the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin but spoke unfavorably of physics and mathematics. In Charles Angoff’s record, Mencken said:

[Isaac Newton] was a mathematician, which is mostly hogwash, too. Imagine measuring infinity! That’s a laugh.[39]

In response, Angoff said: “Well, without mathematics there wouldn’t be any engineering, no chemistry, no physics.” Mencken responded: “That’s true, but it’s reasonable mathematics. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, division, that’s what real mathematics is. The rest is baloney. Astrology. Religion. All of our sciences still suffer from their former attachment to religion, and that is why there is so much metaphysics and astrology, the two are the same, in science.”[39]

Elsewhere, he spoke of the nonsense of higher mathematics and “probability” theory, after he read Angoff’s article for Charles S. Peirce in the American Mercury. “So you believe in that garbage, too—theories of knowledge, infinity, laws of probability. I can make no sense of it, and I don’t believe you can either, and I don’t think your god Peirce knew what he was talking about.”[40]

Mencken also repeated these opinions multiple times in articles for the American Mercury. He said mathematics is simply a fiction, compared with individual facts that make up science. In a review for Vaihinger’s The Philosophy of “As If”, he said:

The human mind, at its present stage of development, cannot function without the aid of fictions, but neither can it function without the aid of facts—save, perhaps, when it is housed in the skull of a university professor of philosophy. Of the two, the facts are enormously the more important. In certain metaphysical fields, e.g. those of mathematics, law, theology, osteopathy and ethics—the fiction will probably hold out for many years, but elsewhere the fact slowly ousts it, and that ousting is what is called intellectual progress. Very few fictions remain in use in anatomy, or in plumbing and gas-fitting; they have even begun to disappear from economics.[41]

Mencken repeatedly identified mathematics with metaphysics and theology. According to Mencken, mathematics is necessarily infected with metaphysics because of the tendency of many mathematical people to engage in metaphysical speculation. In a review for A. N. Whitehead’s The Aims of Education, Mencken remarked that despite his agreement with Whitehead’s thesis and approval of his writing style, “now and then he falls into mathematical jargon and pollutes his discourse with equations”, and “[t]here are moments when he seems to be following some of his mathematical colleagues into the gaudy metaphysics which now entertains them”.[42] For Mencken, theology is characterized by the fact that it uses correct reasoning from false premises. Mencken also uses the term “theology” more generally, to refer to the use of logic in science or any other field of knowledge. In a review for both A. S. Eddington’s The Nature of the Physical World and Joseph Needham’s Man a Machine, Mencken forcefully ridiculed the use of reasoning to establish any fact in science, because theologians happen to be masters of “logic” and yet are mental defectives:

Is there anything in the general thinking of theologians which makes their opinion on the point of any interest or value? What have they ever done in other fields to match the fact-finding of the biologists? I can find nothing in the record. Their processes of thought, taking one day with another, are so defective as to be preposterous. True enough, they are masters of logic, but they always start out from palpably false premises.[43]

Mencken also wrote a review for Sir James Jeans’s book, The Mysterious Universe, in which he said that mathematics is not necessary for physics. Instead of mathematical “speculation” (such as quantum theory), Mencken believed physicists should just directly look at individual facts in the laboratory like chemists:

If chemists were similarly given to fanciful and mystical guessing, they would have hatched a quantum theory forty years ago to account for the variations that they observed in atomic weights. But they kept on plugging away in their laboratories without calling in either mathematicians or theologians to aid them, and eventually they discovered the isotopes, and what had been chaos was reduced to the most exact sort of order.[44]

In the same article which he later re-printed in the Mencken Chrestomathy, Mencken primarily contrasts what real scientists do, which is to simply directly look at the existence of “shapes and forces” confronting them instead of (such as in statistics) attempting to speculate and use mathematical models. Physicists and especially astronomers are consequently not real scientists, because when looking at shapes or forces, they do not simply “patiently wait for further light”, but resort to mathematical theory. There is no need for statistics in scientific physics, since one should simply look at the facts while statistics attempts to construct mathematical models. On the other hand, the really competent physicists do not bother with the “theology” or reasoning of mathematical theories (such as in quantum mechanics):

[Physicists] have, in late years, made a great deal of progress, though it has been accompanied by a considerable quackery. Some of the notions which they now try to foist upon the world, especially in the astronomical realm and about the atom, are obviously nonsensical, and will soon go the way of all unsupported speculations. But there is nothing intrinsically insoluble about the problems they mainly struggle with, and soon or late really competent physicists will arise to solve them. These really competent physicists, I predict, will be too busy in their laboratories to give any time to either metaphysics or theology. Both are eternal enemies of every variety of sound thinking, and no man can traffic with them without losing something of his good judgment.[44]

Mencken also ridiculed Einstein’s theory of general relativity, saying “in the long run his curved space may be classed with the psychosomatic bumps of Gall and Spurzheim”.[45] In his private letters, he said:

It is a well known fact that physicists are greatly given to the supernatural. Why this should be I don’t know, but the fact is plain. One of the most absurd of all spiritualists is Sir Oliver Lodge. I have the suspicion that the cause may be that physics itself, as currently practised, is largely moonshine. Certainly there is a great deal of highly dubious stuff in the work of such men as Eddington.[46]

Anglo-Saxons[edit]

Mencken countered the arguments for Anglo-Saxon superiority prevalent in his time in a 1923 essay entitled “The Anglo-Saxon”, which argued that if there was such a thing as a pure “Anglo-Saxon” race, it was defined by its inferiority and cowardice. “The normal American of the ‘pure-blooded’ majority goes to rest every night with an uneasy feeling that there is a burglar under the bed and he gets up every morning with a sickening fear that his underwear has been stolen.”[47]

Jews[edit]

In the 1930 edition of Treatise on the Gods, Mencken wrote:

The Jews could be put down very plausibly as the most unpleasant race ever heard of. As commonly encountered, they lack many of the qualities that mark the civilized man: courage, dignity, incorruptibility, ease, confidence. They have vanity without pride, voluptuousness without taste, and learning without wisdom. Their fortitude, such as it is, is wasted upon puerile objects, and their charity is mainly a form of display.[48]

That passage was removed from subsequent editions at his express direction.[49]

Author Gore Vidal later deflected claims of anti-Semitism against Mencken:

Far from being an anti-Semite, Mencken was one of the first journalists to denounce the persecution of the Jews in Germany at a time when The New York Times, say, was notoriously reticent. On November 27, 1938, Mencken writes (Baltimore Sun), “It is to be hoped that the poor Jews now being robbed and mauled in Germany will not take too seriously the plans of various politicians to rescue them.” He then reviews the various schemes to “rescue” the Jews from the Nazis, who had not yet announced their own final solution.[50]

As Germany gradually conquered Europe, Mencken attacked President Roosevelt for refusing to admit Jewish refugees into the United States and called for their wholesale admission:

There is only one way to help the fugitives, and that is to find places for them in a country in which they can really live. Why shouldn’t the United States take in a couple hundred thousand of them, or even all of them?[51]

However, Jewish historian Michael Kazin accused Mencken of being “a lifelong anti-Semite with a reverence for German culture so strong it blinded him to the menace of Nazism.”[52]

Inheriting Mencken

Published on Dec 24, 2007

H.L. Mencken was a Baltimore journalist who wrote with wit and passion about the encroaching monopoly state, the suffocation of American liberty under the smothering breasts of Big Mother. In this clip from Inherit the Wind, Gene Kelly gives a charming portrayal of Mencken

Memorials[edit]

Home[edit]

Mencken’s home at 1524 Hollins Street in Baltimore’s Union Square neighborhood, where he lived for sixty-seven years before his death in 1956, was bequeathed to the University of Maryland, Baltimore on the death of his younger brother, August, in 1967. The City of Baltimore acquired the property in 1983, and the H. L. Mencken House became part of the City Life Museums. It has been closed to general admission since 1997, but is opened for special events and group visits by arrangement.

Papers[edit]

Shortly after World War II, Mencken expressed his intention of bequeathing his books and papers to Baltimore‘s Enoch Pratt Free Library. At his death, it was in possession of most of the present large collection. As a result, his papers as well as much of his personal library, which includes many books inscribed by major authors, are held in the Library’s Central Branch on Cathedral Street in Baltimore. The original third floor H. L. Mencken Room and Collection housing this collection was dedicated on April 17, 1956. The new Mencken Room, on the first floor of the Library’s Annex, was opened in November 2003.

The collection contains Mencken’s typescripts, newspaper and magazine contributions, published books, family documents and memorabilia, clipping books, large collection of presentation volumes, file of correspondence with prominent Marylanders, and the extensive material he collected while he was preparing The American Language.

Other Mencken related collections of note are at Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, and Yale University. In 2007, Johns Hopkins acquired “nearly 6,000 books, photographs and letters by and about Mencken” from “the estate of an Ohio accountant.”[53]

The Sara Haardt Mencken collection at Goucher College includes letters exchanged between Haardt and Mencken and condolences written after her death. Some of Mencken’s vast literary correspondence is held at the New York Public Library. “Gift of HL Mencken 1929” is stamped on the Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Luce 1906 edition of William Blake, which shows up from the Library of Congress online version for reading.

Works[edit]

Books[edit]

  • George Bernard Shaw: His Plays (1905)
  • The Philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (1907)
  • The Gist of Nietzsche (1910)
  • What You Ought to Know about your Baby (Ghostwriter for Leonard K. Hirshberg) (1910)
  • Men versus the Man: a Correspondence between Robert Rives La Monte, Socialist and H. L. Mencken, Individualist (1910)
  • Europe After 8:15 (1914)
  • A Book of Burlesques (1916)
  • A Little Book in C Major (1916)
  • A Book of Prefaces (1917)
  • In Defense of Women (1918)
  • Damn! A Book of Calumny (1918)
  • The American Language (1919)
  • Prejudices (1919–27)
    • First Series (1919)
    • Second Series (1920)
    • Third Series (1922)
    • Fourth Series (1924)
    • Fifth Series (1926)
    • Sixth Series (1927)
    • Selected Prejudices (1927)
  • Heliogabalus (A Buffoonery in Three Acts) (1920)
  • The American Credo (1920)
  • Notes on Democracy (1926)
  • Menckeneana: A Schimpflexikon (1928) – Editor
  • Treatise on the Gods (1930)
  • Making a President (1932)
  • Treatise on Right and Wrong (1934)
  • Happy Days, 1880–1892 (1940)
  • Newspaper Days, 1899–1906 (1941)[54]
  • A New Dictionary of Quotations on Historical Principles from Ancient and Modern Sources (1942)
  • Heathen Days, 1890–1936 (1943)
  • Christmas Story (1944)
  • The American Language, Supplement I (1945)
  • The American Language, Supplement II (1948)
  • A Mencken Chrestomathy (1949)

Posthumous collections

  • Minority Report (1956)
  • On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe (1956)
  • Cairns, Huntington, ed. (1965), The American Scene.
  • The Bathtub Hoax and Blasts & Bravos from the Chicago Tribune (1958)
  • Lippman, Theo jr, ed. (1975), A Gang of Pecksniffs: And Other Comments on Newspaper Publishers, Editors and Reporters.
  • Rodgers, Marion Elizabeth, ed. (1991), The Impossible HL Mencken: A Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories.
  • Yardley, Jonathan, ed. (1992), My Life As Author and Editor.
  • A Second Mencken Chrestomathy (1994)
  • Thirty-five Years of Newspaper Work (1996)
  • A Religious Orgy in Tennessee: A Reporter’s Account of the Scopes Monkey Trial, Melville House Publishing, 2006.

Chapbooks, pamphlets, and notable essays[edit]

  • Ventures into Verse (1903)
  • The Artist: A Drama Without Words (1912)
  • The Creed of a Novelist (1916)
  • Pistols for Two (1917)
  • The Sahara of the Bozart (1920)
  • Gamalielese (1921)
  • “The Hills of Zion” (1925)
  • The Libido for the Ugly (1927)

See also[edit]

In Note 49, Marion Elizabeth Rodgers’ first name is incorrectly given as “Mary”. It is correctly given as “Marion” in your Bibliography section.

Top 20 H. L. Mencken Quotes (Author of A Mencken Chrestomathy)

Bibliography[edit]

 

Francis Schaeffer

I remember like yesterday hearing my pastor Adrian Rogers in 1979 going through the amazing fulfilled prophecy of Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of the city of Tyre. In 1980 in my senior year (taught by Mark Brink) at Evangelical Christian High School, I watched the film series by Francis Schaeffer called WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Later that same year I read the book by the same name and I was amazed at the historical accuracy of the Bible and the many examples from archaeology that Schaeffer gave and recently I have shared several of these in my current series on Schaeffer and the Beatles. The reason I did that was because many people in the 1960’s had taken non-rational leaps into such areas as communism, the occult, drugs, and eastern mysticism,  but sitting right there in front of them was the historical accurate Bible which contained sufficient evidence to warrant trust.

(Adrian Rogers met with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.)

____

(This was the average sanctuary crowd when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis)

______________________________________

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that politically Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were my heroes. Spiritually my heroes have been both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. An interesting fact about both of these two men and that is they both believed the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Both men defended the historical accuracy of the Bible even though both of the religious denominations they belonged to started to shift to the liberal view that the Bible contains errors in it.

H. L. Mencken
H l mencken.jpg

J. Gresham Machen

J. Gresham Machen

Francis Schaeffer’s battle on this issue came in the 1930’s when he got to know Dr. J. Gresham Machen was involved in a battle with  the Presbyterian Church USA over their leftward shift in theology. Francis Schaeffer observed:

H.L. Mencken died when I was a young man and I read some of the stuff he wrote and he came at just the point of the total collapse of the American consensus back in the 1930’s or a little before. H.L.Mencken was very destructive to the American consensus and he was way out. It is he who said the famous thing about Dr. J. Gresham Machen. Dr. Machen was the man who was fighting the battle for historic Christianity against the liberals in the big denominations and expressly the Presbyterian denomination and the liberals were trying to laugh Machen out of court. But H.L. Mencken said a remarkable thing, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.” This is wonderful. This is exactly where the battlefield is. When you take Christianity and chip away at it like the liberals wanted to do then you don’t have anything left. This is no halfway war. If you are going to be a Christian you have to be a biblical Christian. Machen and Mencken understood this and this is my position too.  

Adrian Rogers also was that type of Christian too. Recently a relative told me that his Bible Study Teacher at the church he started attended recently started a series on Genesis and he said on the front end that evolution is true. I encouraged my relative to ask the simple question: DO YOU BELIEVE IN A LITERAL “ADAM AND EVE?” I sent him the sermon on Evolution by Adrian Rogers and here is a portion of it below:

H.G. Wells

H. G. Wells, the brilliant historian who wrote The Outlines of History, said this—and I quote: “If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, and no Paradise, and no Fall. If there had been no Fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells says—and, by the way, I don’t believe that he did believe in creation—but he said, “If there’s no creation, then you’ve ripped away the foundation of Christianity.”

Now, the Bible teaches that man was created by God and that he fell into sin. The evolutionist believes that he started in some primordial soup and has been coming up and up. And, these two ideas are diametrically opposed. What we call sin the evolutionist would just call a stumble up. And so, the evolutionist believes that all a man needs—he’s just going up and up, and better and better—he needs a boost from beneath. The Bible teaches he’s a sinner and needs a birth from above. And, these are both at heads, in collision.

What is evolution? Evolution is man’s way of hiding from God, because, if there’s no creation, there is no Creator. And, if you remove God from the equation, then sinful man has his biggest problem removed—and that is responsibility to a holy God. And, once you remove God from the equation, then man can think what he wants to think, do what he wants to do, be what he wants to be, and no holds barred, and he has no fear of future judgment.

Francis Schaeffer & the SBC

Actually Francis Schaeffer’s good friend Paige Patterson talked Adrian Rogers into running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 and the liberal shift was halted. In the article “Francis Schaeffer ‘indispensable’ to SBC,” (Thursday, October 30, 2014,)  David Roach wrote:

The late Francis Schaeffer was known to pick up the phone during the early years of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence. Paige Patterson knew to expect a call from Schaeffer around Christmas with the question, “You’re not growing weary in well-doing are you?”

Patterson, a leader in the movement to return the SBC to a high view of Scripture, would reply, “No, Dr. Schaeffer. I’m under fire, but I’m doing fine. And I’m trusting the Lord and proceeding on.”

To some it may seem strange that an international Presbyterian apologist and analyst of pop culture would take such interest in a Baptist controversy over biblical inerrancy.

But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense.

He believed churches were acquiescing to the world, abandoning their belief that the Bible is without error in everything it said. A watered-down theology left the SBC with decreased power to battle cultural evils. To Schaeffer the convention was the last major American denomination with hope for reversing this “great evangelical disaster,” as he put it.

Thirty years after Schaeffer’s death, Baptist leaders still remember how he took time from his speaking, writing and filmmaking schedule to quietly encourage Patterson; Paul Pressler, a judge from Texas with whom Patterson worked closely during the conservative resurgence; Adrian Rogers, a Memphis pastor who served three terms SBC president; and others.

By the early 1990s, conservatives had elected an unbroken string of convention presidents and moved in position to shift the balance of power on all convention boards and committees from the theologically moderate establishment. But at the time of Schaeffer’s annual calls, the outcome of the controversy was still in doubt.

(Paige Patterson)

“I strongly suspect that he was afraid I would not hold strong,” Patterson, now president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, told Baptist Press. “He had seen so many people fold up under pressure that he assumed we probably would too. So he would call and ask for a report.”

Schaeffer’s interest in engaging culture made him particularly appealing to Southern Baptist conservatives. He helped provide them with a “battle plan” to fight cultural evils and what they perceived as theological drift in their denomination, Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told BP.

Along with theologian Carl F.H. Henry, Schaeffer was the key intellectual influence on leaders of the conservative resurgence, Land said. When conservatives started to be elected as the executives of Baptist institutions, Henry spoke at Land’s inauguration at the Christian Life Commission (the ERLC’s precursor), R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Timothy George’s at Beeson Divinity School in Alabama.

“If Schaeffer had still been alive, we would have had him come,” Land said. He noted that Schaeffer was “close” to Rogers and “admired” by Bailey Smith, two conservative SBC presidents. Edith Schaeffer and Patterson’s wife Dorothy were close friends and traveled together in the early 1980s speaking on the importance of the home.

Clark Pinnock, a former New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor who mentored conservative resurgence leaders before taking a leftward theological turn in his own thinking, served on Schaeffer’s staff at L’Abri.

(ADRIAN ROGERS, chairman of the committee that drafted changes to the Baptist Faith & Message, joins Al Mohler, Chuck Kelley and Richard Land in a news conference shortly after the new statement of faith was adopted by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando, Fla)

Mount Sinai is one of the most important sites of the entire Bible. It was here that the Hebrew people came shortly after their flight from Egypt. Here God spoke to them through Moses, giving them directions for their life as newly formed nation and making a covenant with them.

The thing to notice about this epochal moment for Israel is the emphasis on history which the Bible itself makes. Time and time again Moses reminds the people of what has happened on Mount Sinai:

Deuteronomy 4:11-12New International Version (NIV)

11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fireto the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the Lordspoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;there was only a voice.

Moses emphasized that those alive at the time had actually heard God’s voice. They had received God’s direct communication  in words. They were eyewitnesses of what had occurred–they saw the cloud and the mountain burning with fire. They saw and they heard. Moses says, on the basis of what they themselves have seen and heard in their own lifetime, they are not to be afraid of their present or future enemies.

On the same basis too, Moses urges them to obey God: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen…” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Thus the people’s confidence and trust in God and their obedience to Him are alike rooted in truth that is historical and open to observation…The relationship between God and His people was not based on an upward experience inside their own heads, but upon a reality which was seen and heard. They were called to obey God not because of a leap of faith, but because of God’s real acts in history. For God is the LIVING GOD….”Religious Truth” according to the Bible involves the same sort of truth which people operate on in their everyday lives. If something is true, then its opposite cannot also be true.

From the Bible’s viewpoint, all truth finally rests upon the fact that the infinite-personal God exists in contrast to His not existing. This means that God exists objectively. He exists whether or not people say He does. The Bible also teaches that God is personal.
Much of the Bible is in the sphere of normal existence and is observable. God communicated himself in language. This is not surprising for He  was the creator of people who use language in communicating with other people.
In the Hebrew (and biblical) view, truth is grounded ultimately in the existence and character of God and what has been given us by God in creation and revelation. Because people are finite, reality cannot be exhausted by human reason.
It is within this Judeo-Christian view of truth that, by its own insistence, we must understand the Bible. Moses could appeal to real historical events as the basis for Israel’s confidence and obedience into the future. He could even pass down to subsequent generations physical reminders of what God had done, so that the people could see them and remember.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Faith, Seeing & Believing

John 21:1-14New International Version (NIV)

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

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The resurrected Christ stood there on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. Before the disciples reached the shore, He had already prepared a fire with fish cooking on it for them to eat. It was a fire that could be seen and felt; the fire cooked the fish, and the fish and bread could be eaten for breakfast.

When the fire died down, it left ashes on the beach; the disciples were well fed with bread and fish and Christ’s footprints would have been visible on the beach…

Thomas, Christ tells us,  should have believed the ample evidence given to him of the physical evidence of the resurrection by the other apostles. Christ rebuked him for not accepting this evidence.He at that time and we today have the same sufficient witness of those who have seen and heard and were able to touch the resurrected Christ and were able to observe what He had done.

Because Thomas insisted on seeing and touching we have a more sure witness than we otherwise would have  had. In the testimony of those who saw and heard we have a sure witness and this includes Thomas’ doubt and his personal verification which removed that doubt. WE SHOULD BOW BEFORE THE TOTAL WITNESS OF THE RECORD WHICH WE HAVE  IN THE BIBLE, OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE AND IT’S FORM AND THE UNIQUENESS OF MAN. IT IS ENOUGH! BELIEVE HE HAS RISEN.

John 20:24-29New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

 

Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

Tim Brister —  July 26, 2006 — 6 Comments

In the appendix of his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, Francis Schaeffer wrote a little piece called “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?” Schaeffer explains that, “To modern man, and much modern theology, the concept of propositional revelation and the historic Christian view of infallibility is not so much mistaken as meaningless” (345). The 20th century came with many challenges to theological formulation, not the least of which was the assault on propositional truth and revelation. Such camps as existentialists and logical positivists attempted to remove religious truth from the reason and revelation while others sought to justify meaning, reality, and truth with other criterion of verification such as experience and perception. However, center to the Christian faith is the belief that God has spoken and revealed himself in the written Word of God. In this revelation, God used language as the medium to carry and convey biblical truths and realities. This is not to say that God has revealed himself exhaustively, but it does mean that he has revealed himself truly and definitively. Schaeffer makes two points which I would like to mention here:

  1. Even communication between one created person and another is not exhaustive; but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true.
  1. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unthinkable for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise, as a finite being, the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point.

Schaffer makes some salient points here that deserve to be brought up in the 21stcentury. While we do not disagree that revelation is also personal, we cannot flinch on the assault on propositional revelation. God has revealed himself to us, his nature and his acts, through propositional revelation (i.e. the Bible), and the implications of this truth is that we do not have the rights to reinvent or rename the God Who Is There. If we do not begin with God and his revelation, Schaeffer is correct to conclude that there are many things we could not know about God based on such a limited, finite reference point as ourselves. It is no coincidence that, at the time of Schaeffer’s publishing of this book (1972), John Hick was advancing his pluralistic hypothesis which argued for the ineffability of the “Real” which argued that one cannot know anything about God as he is (ding an sich).Adapting the Kantian model of the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, Hick argues that God (“Real”) has not and cannot reveal himself truly and definitely; furthermore, it is impossible to know anything at all about the Real (except that it is ineffable and that it exists which is something he claims to know). The result when God is not the beginning, the reference point, the apriori grounds of knowledge and revelation, then knowing and defining God is a free-for-all to anyone who wants to postulate their phenomenological interpretations as religious truth. Schaeffer concludes his little article with this important paragraph in which he said:

“The importance of all this is that most people today (including some who still call themselves evangelical) who have given up the historical and biblical concept of revelation and infallibility have not done so because of the consideration of detailed problems objectively approached, but because they have accepted, either in analyzed fashion or blindly, the other set of presuppositions. Often this has taken place by means of cultural injection, without their realizing what has happened to them” (349, emphasis added).

In the days ahead, I hope to share how propositional truth is foundational to personal truth and give a few examples of the redefinition of revelation in contemporary contexts.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Hebrews 1:1-2

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The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Featured artist is Karen Karnes

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Mark Shapiro: The Ceramic Art of Karen Karnes (at 11 min mark discusses Black Mountain College) 

Published on May 23, 2012

Mark Shapiro gave a presentation about the life and work of ceramic artist Karen Karnes at the 2012 American Craft Council Baltimore Show.
http://www.craftcouncil.org

Smithsonian Oral History Interview: Karen Karnes

Oral history interview with Karen Karnes, 2005 Aug. 9-10, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Karnes, Karen, b. 1925, Potter, Morgan, Vt.

An interview of Karen Karnes conducted 2005 Aug. 9-10, by Mark Shapiro, for the Archives of American Art’s Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist’s home and studio in Morgan, Vt.

Karnes discusses her childhood in Brooklyn and the Bronx as the daughter of Russian and Polish immigrants working in the garment industry; living in a cooperative housing project built especially for garment workers and their families; attending the High School of Music and Art, New York City; going on to Brooklyn College, and fortuitously landing in the class of Serge Chermayoff, who taught primarily in the Bauhaus style; meeting her first husband, David Weinrib, with whom she eventually moved to Pennsylvania; David bringing home a slab of clay for her to work with, her first experience with the material; traveling to Italy and working in a ceramics factory there; attending a summer session at Black Mountain College in North Carolina and taking a class with Josef Albers; moving to Stony Point, in Rockland County, N.Y., to start Gatehill Community; her first gallery relationship, with Bonniers, New York City; the birth of her son Abel in 1956; the first time she used a salt kiln, while at the Penland School of Arts and Crafts, Penland, NC, in 1967, and its effect on the character of her work; her relationship with the Hadler-Rodriguez Galleries, New York City; the pottery show in Demarest, New Jersey; her teaching philosophy and methods…meeting her life partner, Ann Stannard, in 1970; Ann’s home in Wales, and living there before settling in Vermont; the fire that destroyed their home and studio in 1998; the issues of privacy and isolation in an artists life; her expectations about her career, especially as a Jewish woman; and her feelings on the work of contemporary potters.

Karnes also recalls John Cage, Soetsu Yanagi, Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Charles Olsen, Marguerite Wildenhain, Paul and Vera B. Williams, Mary Caroline Richards, Goren Holmquist, Paul J. Smith, Mikhail Zakin, Jack Lenor Larsen, Isamu Noguchi, D. Hayne Bayless, Zeb Schactel, Warren Mackenzie, Garth Clark, Joy Brown, Robbie Lobell, Paulus Berensohn, and others.

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Featured artist is Karen Karnes

Many Paths: A Legacy of Karen Karnes

Catalog essay for the show that Mark curated at the Penland Gallery, March 22–May 8, 2011.

show announcement

People often ask whether I was a student of Karen Karnes. It is always somehow awkward to answer. I first say no, explain that she doesn’t really teach, that I have gotten to know her over the years, that her work and place in the world are deeply important to me. That she is a mentor even though I never actually studied or worked with her.

My hunch is that many potters feel this way. The thirteen artists whose work is represented in Many Paths: A Legacy of Karen Karnes certainly do. In fact, Karnes’s outstanding career of over sixty years has touched several generations of potters. She has inspired many young potters to pursue their unlikely vocation, and artists of her own generation—even those working in other fields—to take up clay. Her influence derives mostly from her quiet personal magnetism, integrity, and the uncanny power of her work. An encounter with Karnes is often a transformational event.

Unlike many of the well-known figures of the studio pottery movement, Karnes never taught for any length of time at a university, influencing students as they passed through. Nor did she have apprentices working in her studio to internalize her attitudes and protocols and carry them forward, nor books extending her following. Many of the prominent mentors in modern ceramics have arisen out of such contexts. For example, the British potters Bernard Leach and his apprentice Michael Cardew not only influenced the many apprentices who worked in their studios, but their seminal writings reached thousands of readers. University professors such as Karnes’s contemporary, Warren MacKenzie (who himself apprenticed with Leach), have had important impacts on younger potters [1].

In the Studio

Karnes has preferred to work in the quiet privacy of her studio, rarely employing assistants, and never directly on her work. Though she did share her studio at several points over her career—at Black Mountain College in 1952–4 with her then-husband sculptor, David Weinrib; and for several years with Weinrib and the poet, painter, and scholar M.C. Richards at the Gate Hill Cooperative in Stony Point, New York—she did so in the spirit of cooperative engagement with partners and peers. (She shared a studio again two decades later when she formed a life-partnership with Ann Stannard, an accomplished educator and artist, this time for a decade or so until Ann’s interests moved on to other areas.) But generally, Karnes fiercely protected the privacy of her studio and worked alone.

Growing up, McKenzie Smith was an occasional visitor to Gate Hill, where Karnes had her studio for 25 years, and Smith’s aunt, Johanna Vanderbeek, was also a resident. He recalls Karnes’s formidable presence, amidst the wildness and freedom of the scene at Gate Hill in the late 1960s—“flat-out naked hippieville,” it seemed to him, in contrast to his more conventional Florida upbringing. Karnes stood apart, literally, as her studio was separated from two clustered hillside quadrangles, and in her serious and disciplined persona. She might indulge the band of roving boys McKenzie was tearing around with by giving them each a small lump of clay, but after a brief time she would indicate clearly that it was time for them to move on so that she could return to work.

Her studio solitude only shifted as she entered her 80s and welcomed Normandy Alden, a student she’d met teaching with me at Haystack School in 2005, to share her studio in northern Vermont. By then Karnes was producing much less work and needed help maintaining her studio and rural homestead.

The Question of Teaching

Karnes is sometimes erroneously described as having been on the faculty at Black Mountain College, but actually she and Weinrib were artists-in-residence and did not officially teach. Curious faculty and students would visit the pot shop; M.C. Richards, for example, began working more seriously in clay there with the couple’s encouragement.

Later, at Gate Hill, after she and Weinrib split up and MC moved back into the city, Karnes taught some classes in her studio, but she strictly limited her teaching to one afternoon a week and stopped when her pots sold more reliably. It was in these studio classes, though, that Mikhail Zakin, who had been working in jewelry and sculpture, took up pottery; eventually she helped Karen build her salt kiln. Zakin, five years Karnes’s senior, might be said to be the earliest and longest bearer of her influence.

In the 1960s, as workshop teaching opportunities expanded with the growth of the craft movement, Karnes taught sporadically, twice at Haystack School and, notably, once here at Penland, where in 1967 she first salt-glazed, a career-changing event. From then on her primary material vocabulary turned to salt surfaces and her work for the next dozen years took on the iconic orange-peel texture and rich tonality that we associate with classic Karnes. But though many studio potters became regulars on the workshop circuit, Karnes did not. She was simply too absorbed with the private pleasures and demands of the studio, now irresistible as she was finding her voice—and market—with this new approach.

Still, one workshop she gave at the Wesleyan Potters studio in Connecticut broke the pattern. It was so compelling that the students arranged to continue meeting every few months on an ongoing basis. The “Continuum,” as they called it, met periodically in different studios over half a dozen years until 1979, mainly under Karnes’s leadership, but also under guest presenters such as British potters Mick Casson and David Leach. It was as a peripheral participant in this group that Malcolm Davis first encountered Karnes.

Old Church

The institution, however, most associated with Karnes’s legacy is the annual pottery show at the Art School at Old Church Cultural Center, in Demarest, New Jersey, just north of Manhattan. The weekend show, which she has curated since 1974, each year features 25 potters from around the country. Potters donate a third of their sales to benefit the art school, which Zakin had founded in an old abandoned church. For years, the show was the main fundraising event for the school. When Zakin originally came to Karnes with the idea of the show, Karnes accepted her curatorial role on condition that the potters be “really treated well”: the school would provide them with housing, food, and prepared display spaces, take care of sales and packing so they could enjoy each other, mingle with the customers, and maybe even spend an afternoon in the city. This was to be a show by potters forpotters. And the potters, Karnes was adamant, would be promptly paid. The atmosphere would be celebratory and coalesce around a festive potter’s dinner on Saturday night. The idealism with which the show was conceived is consistent with Karen’s early history of communitarian self-sufficiency, and reflects the values of mutual aid among the tradespersons living in the Bronx “Coops,” the first worker-owned housing project in New York City, where she grew up with her parents, who were garment workers and socialist union activists.

Each year, Karnes introduces younger potters among the regulars who rotate in and out of the show. A few participants enjoy a kind of tenured status—Zakin, who has participated from the beginning; Rob Sieminski, since 1977; Scott Goldberg since 1980; and Malcolm Davis a few year later. All of the potters in Many Paths (with the exception of Alden, who is currently in graduate school, and Paulus Berensohn, who worked in other media and did not produce pots in quantity) have shown multiple times at Old Church. They all remember feeling honored and encouraged by Karen’s belief in their work, and especially grateful for the sustaining sense of community that she fostered.

For many, the show was their first national professional venue, a chance to put work next to peers and senior practitioners in the field and in front of a savvy public. The event has been a rite of passage for many, myself included. Malcolm Davis’s first experience of the show is typical. As he was just beginning to make pots seriously, Karnes responded to something incipient in his forms, and invited him to exhibit, though he didn’t feel his work yet merited it. “She saw something in my pots and opened a door to professionalism and gave me courage. It was a huge stroke.”

Karnes and Zakin set up the show to give concrete economic support to the potters. Not only did it connect potters to enthusiastic buyers each December, but the invitations dependably went out considerably in advance, and first-time potters were given a several-year commitment. All this meant that the show could be part of a longer-term plan, giving potters a respite from the uncertainties of juried craft shows. Rob Sieminski, knowing he could count on an income stream every December, felt greater freedom to take bolder risks in his work because of this and the sense of Karnes’s unqualified support for his creativity. As he says, “pots with nails fired into them” (a feature of his work for a number of years) “weren’t exactly an obvious popular direction.”

In the case of Robbie Lobell, Karnes’s support extended to the sharing of her pioneering formula for making flameware—low-expansion clay and glazes that could be put directly over a burner. These were the basis of Karnes’s famous line of casseroles that sold so well over almost four decades. Lobell felt the practical intent of Karnes’s generous gesture. “She always talked about how hard it is to be a potter. She was handing me something that would allow me to make a living.”

Bob Briscoe notes, “Karen proved that there is strong support for functional ceramics in the general public. By recognizing and nurturing this support, Karen has shown that it is possible for numerous potters to make their living doing what they love.” In fact, the show has become a model for several others around the country, notably the Northern Clay Center’s American Pottery Festival, which Bob Briscoe and Mathew Metz initiated after brainstorming on their long drive back to Minnesota after participating in Old Church in 1998 [2].

The Woman over Time

From very early on, Karnes was a strong and successful woman, making her living by selling her wares independently and on her own terms, without the backup of a professional spouse’s income. She built her own kiln (with Zakin) and began firing with salt at a time when such activities were quite male-dominated. Mary Barringer and Aysha Peltz, whose sights as young potters were set on making a living from studio production, were particularly encouraged by Karnes’s example as a successful independent craftswoman. Barringer’s words speak for scores of women who encountered Karnes as they were thinking about making a life in clay: “I visited Karen at her Stony Point studio, and I can still recall the impact that seeing her in her own working space had upon me. Seeing with my own eyes the evidence of a working woman potter opened a door in my mind that I had not realized was closed. Karen’s example sent me forth into my working life.”

Karnes’s vitality, continued productivity, and constant creative growth well into her 80s is one of her most admired qualities, remarked on by many but particularly meaningful to younger women. Regardless of the limitations of her body, she has never ceased to make new work, experimented with different firings as a guest in colleague’s kilns—and last year even building a new salt kiln. And she has continued her role as Old Church curator. “As a woman aging in a physically demanding field, Karen is a hero for me,” says Silvie Granatelli. Working alongside Karnes in her Morgan, Vermont, studio, encouraged Normandy Alden to “look expansively at my own life in clay and consider how I might prepare for an aging body that inevitably comes.” Gail Kendall hopes to “match her vigor and engagement in the field over time. She is always changing, growing, and exploring.”

Life and Art

Karnes seems to have achieved an almost perfect merging of life and art, perhaps any artist’s highest aspiration. As Scott Goldberg puts it, “Karen has devoted her life to her work. Through the years, she steadily, self-confidently, invents, and holds to ideals that express exquisite, subtle form and meticulous craftsmanship. Her unwavering approach to the merging of the crafts of life and art has been an inspiration to me.” This seemingly effortless representation of her whole being in her work, the way it encompasses her environment, body image, all the rhythms of her days is truly remarkable. Peltz sees this fluid and peaceful integration of experience and expression at the heart of Karnes’s accomplishment, “her self, sources, and experiences are present in her work with an organic ease that few potters achieve.”

This resonates with my sense of Karnes as an embodiment of the complete artist, one confidently in pursuit of a transformative vision, in harmony with the world, at peace with her refusal of its distractions, organically and inexorably moving with her work into new places. As she says in one of her rare pronouncements about her creative process, “The pots kind of grow from themselves—it’s a feeling. The forms will extend themselves—or contract. I feel my forms live in my body, on my breath.” It is this somatic integration of her creativity, her beautiful embodiment of it that makes her so compelling.

Even her very physical presence carried Karnes’s art. Maren Kloppman remembers the “magical moment” she met Karnes during a thunderstorm. Karnes’s “keen eye and gentle honest criticism inspired ambition and possibility in me,” says Kloppman. For Paulus Berensohn, the encounter was fateful. He was a young New York dancer, was attending an annual picnic at Gate Hill, when he wandered off from his hosts and happened to see Karnes at her wheel—no surprise that she was hard at work even during such an event—through the window of her studio, facing away from him. As he describes it, “she was seated throwing a cylinder her back long straight and beautiful. She reached a graceful arm toward the slip bucket and without for a second taking her eyes off the spinning pot, picked up the waiting sponge. I just had to learn that dance.”

The graceful confidence that she exudes physically flows in part from how completely she is at peace with her choices and accepts their moral implications. She rejects compromise of her artistic intent for worldly gain and eschews any distraction from her muse. I am reminded of a dealer who, knowing of the demand for Karnes’s classic large-scale work, her need for funds, and the limitations of her aging body, suggested that she hire a young thrower to make her forms. Karnes, baffled, responded, “Why would I ever do that?” Zakin sums it up eloquently: “Karen is somebody who lives with total integrity to her value system. That has been the great lesson for me—that it can be done, that you can live that way.”

Mentors and Patrons

These stories focus on Karnes’s influence on and mentorship of other artists, but it seems important to circle back to her early days as an artist, her own experience starting out. I have mentioned how Karnes’s conditions for curating the Old Church show reflected the ameliorative engagement of her childhood milieu, a commitment to helping others that is in her blood. This instinct was also nurtured by mentors and patrons who played different supportive roles in her early career.

As a student in the 1940s, her creative gift was recognized by Serge Chermayeff, the Chechen-born modernist architect and designer who headed the art department at Brooklyn College. Chermayeff believed in her strongly and encouraged her to apply to Harvard in architecture. Though she declined, she is one of the only former students he singles out in his Chicago Architects History Project interview (1986) in which he calls her pot an example of the “brilliant… awfully good” students he taught at Brooklyn [3]. He later arranged for her full fellowship at Alfred University in Charles Harder’s studio. She was again recognized during her stay in the Italian pottery town of Sesto Fiorentino when her work caught the eye of leading designer Gio Ponti. Ponti was so taken with her work that he featured it in his prestigiousDomus magazine. Chermayeff and Ponti were both masters in fields somewhat peripheral to Karnes’s chosen one, and were in positions to offer avenues of advancement to the young Karnes.

At Black Mountain College, Karnes experienced a different kind of a transformational teaching when she encountered a master working in her own material, the legendary Japanese potter, Shoji Hamada, who along with Bernard Leach, Soetsu Yanagi, and Marguerite Widenhain came to the college to give a seminar the first summer of her residence. She describes “breathing in” his spirit as he quietly worked, uncomplaining, with the available clay while Leach went on and on about proper clay, plasticity, etc. She says that whenever she had any doubts about throwing pots in front of a group she would recall Hamada’s peaceful undistracted presence.

At the college she also enjoyed the support of the college’s rector, poet Charles Olsen. While in the 1950s, pottery was somewhat marginal to the heady abstract discourse of the students, Olsen wanted to move the college toward a curriculum based on his “institute model” where students would study consecutively four of bodies of knowledge that would begin with crafts, with pottery enjoying parity with weaving, architecture, and graphics. As he stated in a 1952 letter to Wildenhain (who he tried to recruit to the college before Karnes signed on), “…it damn well interests me as an act, (pots do)” [4].

Finally, the architect Paul Williams extended generous patronage to Karnes (and the other residents at Gate Hill Cooperative), building her house and studio and even providing a VW bug for the community to use, enabling Karen to pursue her passion at a time when she had few material resources at her disposal. The consistent support Karnes has extended to others over her long career, then, is a reciprocation rooted in the legacies and support from which she herself benefited.

The diversity and excellence of the work of the multigenerational assembly of artists in Many Paths and their connections to Karnes and to one another is testimony itself to Karnes’s rich legacy. Though the space here at the Penland Gallery has limited this group to a baker’s dozen, many more in the Penland community and around the country also carry her as a touchstone of excellence and a model of commitment, community, and integrity. Potters everywhere have been transformed by the fierce beauty of her life and work. Karnes is not just essential to the many paths taken by the artists in this show; her presence runs through generations of American ceramists.

Acknowledgments

I am grateful to Karen Karnes for being the inspiring artist and person she is; to Kathryn Gremley at the Penland Gallery for encouragement and putting the exhibition together; to the Penland School for funding this essay; and to the thirteen artists in the show, for their work and their thoughts about Karnes’s influence that are at the heart of Many Paths. Finally I am indebted to my wife Pam Thompson for her incisive editing and unwavering support.

Notes

1 MacKenzie exemplifies this model of mentorship. From his position at the University of Minnesota, he created a vibrant ceramic culture and taught many students, notably an exceptional group of potters in the late 1960s, including Michael and Sandy Simon, Mark Pharis, Randy Johnston, Wayne Branum, and Jeff Oestreich.

2 The highly successful St. Croix Pottery Tour has since extended this legacy. The Tour, a circuit of six host studios north of the Twin Cities, hosts an additional three dozen guest potters and includes social events that reflect the community spirit that Karnes nurtured at Old Church.

3 Serge Chermayeff, interview by Betty J. Blum. Wellfleet, MA, 23–4 May 1985. Chicago Architects Oral History Project. (Chicago: Ernest R. Graham Study Center for Architectural Drawings. Department of Architecture, The Art Institute of Chicago) 26.

4 Charles Olsen, letter to Bernard Leach. 24 May 1952. Black Mountain College Papers, II. 25.

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John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 1

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]

John MacArthur: Fulfilled prophecy in the Bible? (Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of Tyre, video clips)

Prophecy–The Biblical Prophesy About Tyre.mp4 Uploaded by TruthIsLife7 on Dec 5, 2010 A short summary of the prophecy about Tyre and it’s precise fulfillment. Go to this link and watch the whole series for the amazing fulfillment from secular sources. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvt4mDZUefo ________________ John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled […]

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2)

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2) I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry […]

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1)

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1) I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry […]

Adrian Rogers: “Why I believe the Bible is true”

Adrian Rogers – How you can be certain the Bible is the word of God Great article by Adrian Rogers. What evidence is there that the Bible is in fact God’s Word? I want to give you five reasons to affirm the Bible is the Word of God. First, I believe the Bible is the […]

The Old Testament is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy by Jim Wallace

Is there any evidence the Bible is true? Articles By PleaseConvinceMe Apologetics Radio The Old Testament is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy Jim Wallace A Simple Litmus Test There are many ways to verify the reliability of scripture from both internal evidences of transmission and agreement, to external confirmation through archeology and science. But perhaps the […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part M “Old Testament prophecy fulfilled?”Part 3(includes film DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE)

  I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is […]

Evidence for the Bible

Here is some very convincing evidence that points to the view that the Bible is historically accurate. Archaeological and External Evidence for the Bible Archeology consistently confirms the Bible! Archaeology and the Old Testament Ebla tablets—discovered in 1970s in Northern Syria. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 212 Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen (Dr. Bloembergen told me that he knew Michael Polanyi’s son John from graduate school) Featured artist is El Anatsui

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Image result for nicolaas bloembergen

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen on September 5, 2017, and I have spent several posts concentrating on him. I always enjoyed corresponding with him during the last three decades. He brought up the issue of Religious wars to me in 1995 which I responded to back then, and also he discussed the issue of abortion with me. I also took time to write him back concerning that issue too.  Then on July 1, 2016, I was honored to get a call from Dr. Bloembergen, and we discussed several issues such as his abandonment of his childhood faith that he was brought up in, and I mentioned that Charles Darwin had gone through a similar situation. He seemed to know a lot about Darwin’s background.

On July 3, 2016, I responded to our phone call with an email that basically recapped several things that Dr. Bloembergen and I had discussed in our phone discussion 2 days before. I pointed out to him on the phone that day that each religion was different and that in recent history it was Islam fanatics that were guilty of so much killing, and he seemed to resist that by saying that MUSLIMS ARE NOT getting treated very well. I addressed this in my email of July 3rd.

On June 11, 2016 I sent him a letter and a CD of Francis Schaeffer discussing an article by  Michael Polanyi, called LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967. This prompted Dr. Bloembergen to call me on the phone on July 1, 2016. Dr. Bloembergen told me that he knew Michael Polanyi’s son John from GRADUATE  school I believe he said.   The CD discussed Polanyi’s criticisms of Watson and Crick’s bold assertions concerning their 1953 discovery of DNA.

Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility…

Image result for francis schaeffer

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James Watson (1928-) and Francis Crick  (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004)

Michael PolanyiFRS[1] (11 March 1891 – 22 February 1976)

John Charles Polanyi,  (born 23 January 1929)

 

Nicolaas “Nico” Bloembergen (March 11, 1920 – September 5, 2017) was a DutchAmerican physicist and Nobel laureate, recognized for his work in developing driving principles behind nonlinear optics for laser spectroscopy.[1] During his career, he was a professor at both Harvard University and later at the University of Arizona.

In  the first video below in the 9th clip in this series are his words and will be responding to them in the next few weeks, but today I just wanted to pause and look at this life. I was privileged to be able to correspond with him since the 1990’s and he even called me on the phone. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Nicolaas Bloembergen, Winner of Nobel Prize in Physics, Dies at 97

Photonics.com
Sep 2017

TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 13, 2017 — Dutch-born optics pioneer and Nobel Prize winner Nicolaas Bloembergen died at home on Sept. 5 in Tucson, Ariz. He was 97. The cause of death was cardiorespiratory failure.Dr. Nicolaas BloembergenBloembergen, who spent more than 40 years on the faculty at Harvard University, made lasting contributions to the development of the laser and was a pioneer in the fields of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and nonlinear optics.Bloembergen shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physics with Arthur L. Schawlow of the U.S.and Kai M. Siegbahn of Sweden. He was cited by the Swedish Academy for his work in the field of nonlinear optics, and was considered the father of nonlinear optics.Bloembergen was born March 11, 1920, in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. He enrolled at the University of Utrecht in 1938, where he received the Dutch equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in 1941 and the equivalent of a master’s degree in 1943, just before the Nazis shut down the institution. After graduation he continued his studies while in hiding, surviving the “hunger winter” of 1944 by eating tulip bulbs to fill his stomach.After the Allied forces liberated the Netherlands in 1945, Bloembergen moved to the U.S. and enrolled at Harvard, where he worked in the lab of  Edward M. Purcell on nuclear magnetic resonance. He returned to the Netherlands in 1948 to earn his doctoral degree from the University of Leiden, then returned to the U.S. In 1958, he became a U.S. citizen.Bloembergen became a professor at Harvard in 1951 and remained at Harvard until 1990, when he moved to Tucson and became a professor emeritus at the University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences.In 1974, he received the National Medal of Science from President Gerald R. Ford.Bloembergen is survived by his wife of 67 years, Huberta Deliana Brink Bloembergen; a son, Brink Bloembergen; two daughters, Antonia Bloembergen and Juliana Dalton; and two grandchildren.

Nicolaas Bloembergen – Biographical

My parents, Auke Bloembergen and Sophia Maria Quint, had four sons and two daughters. I am the second child, born on March 11, 1920, in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. My father, a chemical engineer, was an executive in a chemical fertilizer company. My mother, who had an advanced degree to teach French, devoted all her energies to rearing a large family.

Before I entered grade school, the family moved to Bilthoven, a residential suburb of Utrecht. We were brought up in the protestant work ethic, characteristic of the Dutch provinces. Intellectual pursuits were definitely encouraged. The way of life, however, was much more frugal than the family income would have dictated.

At the age of twelve I entered the municipal gymnasium in Utrecht, founded as a Latin school in 1474. Nearly all teachers held Ph.D. degrees. The rigid curriculum emphasized the humanities: Latin, Greek, French, German, English, Dutch, history and mathematics. My preference for science became evident only in the last years of secondary school, where the basics of physics and chemistry were well taught. The choice of physics was probably based on the fact that I found it the most difficult and challenging subject, and I still do to this day. My maternal grandfather was a high school principal with a Ph.D. in mathematical physics. So there may be some hereditary factor as well. I am ever more intrigued by the correspondence between mathematics and physical facts. The adaptability of mathematics to the description of physical phenomena is uncanny.

My parents made a rule that my siblings should tear me away from books at certain hours. The periods of relaxation were devoted to sports: canoing, sailing, swimming, rowing and skating on the Dutch waterways, as well as the competitive team sport of field hockey. I now attempt to keep the body fit by playing tennis, by hiking and by skiing.

Professor L.S. Ornstein taught the undergraduate physics course when I entered the University of Utrecht in 1938. He permitted me and my partner in the undergraduate lab, J.C. Kluyver (now professor of physics in Amsterdam) to skip some lab routines and instead assist a graduate student, G.A. W. Rutgers, in a Ph.D. research project. We were thrilled to see our first publication, “On the straggling of Po-a-particles in solid matter”, in print (Physica 7, 669, 1940).

After the German occupation of Holland in May 1940, the Hitler regime removed Ornstein from the university in 1941. I made the best possible use of the continental academic system, which relied heavily on independent studies. I took a beautiful course on statistical mechanics by L. Rosenfeld, did experimental work on noise in photoelectric detectors, and prepared the notes for a seminar on Brownian motion given by J.M.W. Milatz. Just before the Nazis closed the university completely in 1943, I managed to obtain the degree of Phil. Drs., equivalent to a M.Sc. degree. The remaining two dark years of the war I spent hiding indoors from the Nazis, eating tulip bulbs to fill the stomach and reading Kramers’ book “Quantum Theorie des Elektrons und der Strahlung” by the light of a storm lamp. The lamp needed cleaning every twenty minutes, because the only fuel available was some left-over number two heating oil. My parents did an amazing job of securing the safety and survival of the family.

I had always harbored plans to do some research for a Ph.D. thesis outside the Netherlands, to broaden my perspective. After the devastation of Europe, the only suitable place in 1945 appeared to be the United States. Three applications netted an acceptance in the graduate school at Harvard University. My father financed the trip and the Dutch government obliged by issuing a valuta permit for the purchase of US$ 1,850. As my good fortune would have it, my arrival at Harvard occurred six weeks after Purcell, Torrey and Pound had detected nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in condensed matter. Since they were busy writing volumes for the M.I.T. Radiation Laboratory series on microwave techniques, I was accepted as a graduate assistant to develop the early NMR apparatus. My thorough Dutch educational background enabled me to quickly profit from lectures by J. SchwingerJ.H. Van Vleck, E.C. Kemble and others. The hitherto unexplored field of nuclear magnetic resonance in solids, liquids and gases yielded a rich harvest. The results are laid down in one of the most-cited physics papers, commonly referred to as BPP (N. Bloembergen, E.M. Purcell and R.V. Pound, Phys. Rev. 73, 679, 1948). Essentially the same material appears in my Ph.D. thesis, “Nuclear Magnetic Relaxation”, Leiden, 1948, republished by W.A. Benjamin, Inc., New York, in 1961. My thesis was submitted in Leiden because I had passed all required examinations in the Netherlands and because C.J. Gorter, who was a visiting professor at Havard during the summer of 1947, invited me to take a postdoctoral position at the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratorium. My work in Leiden in 1947 and 1948 resulted in establishing the nuclear spin relaxation mechanism by conduction electrons in metals and by paramagnetic impurities in ionic crystals, the phenomenon of spin diffusion, and the large shifts induced by internal magnetic fields in paramagnetic crystals.

During a vacation trip of the Physics Club “Christiaan Huyghens” I met Deli (Huberta Deliana Brink) in the summer of 1948. She had spent the war years in a Japanese concentration camp in Indonesia, where she was born. She was about to start her pre-med studies. When I returned to Harvard in 1949 to join the Society of Fellows, she managed to get on a student hospitality exchange program and traveled after me to the United States on an immigrant ship. I proposed to her the day she arrived and we got married in Amsterdam in 1950. Ever since, she has been a source of light in my life. Her enduring encouragement has contributed immensely to the successes in my further career. After the difficult years as an immigrant wife, raising three children on the modest income of a struggling, albeit tenured, young faculty member, she has found the time and energy to develop her considerable talents as a pianist and artist. We became U.S. citizens in 1958.

Our children are now independent. The older daughter, Antonia, holds M.A. degrees in political science and demography, and works in the Boston area. Our son, Brink, has an M.B.A. degree and is an industrial planner in Oregon. Our younger daughter, Juliana, envisages a career in the financial world. She has interrupted her banking job to obtain an M.B.A. in Philadelphia.

In this family setting my career in teaching and research at Harvard unfolded: Junior Fellow, Society of Fellows 1949 – 1951; Associate Professor 1951- 1957; Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics 1957 – 1980; Rumford Professor of Physics 1974 – 1980; Gerhard Gade University Professor 1980 present. While a Junior Fellow, I broadened my experimental background to include microwave spectroscopy and some nuclear physics at the Harvard cyclotron. I preferred the smaller scale experiments of spectroscopy, where an individual, or a few researchers at most, can master all aspects of the problem. When I returned to NMR in 1951, there were still many nuggets to be unearthed. My group studied nuclear quadrupole interactions in alloys and imperfect ionic crystals, discovered the anisotropy of the Knight shift in noncubic metals, the scalar and tensor indirect nuclear spin-spin coupling in metals and insulators, the existence of different temperatures of the Zeeman, exchange and dipolar energies in ferromagnetic relaxation, and a variety of cross relaxation phenomena. All this activity culminated in the proposal for a three-level solid state maser in 1956.

Although I was well aware of the applicability of the multilevel pumping scheme to other frequency ranges, I held the opinion – even after Schawlow and Townes published their proposal for an optical maser in 1958 – that it would be impossible for a small academic laboratory, without previous expertise in optics, to compete successfully in the realization of lasers. This may have been a self-fulfilling prophesy, but it is a matter of record that nearly all types of lasers were first reduced to practice in industrial laboratories, predominantly in the U.S.A.

I recognized in 1961 that my laboratory could exploit some of the new research opportunities made accessible by laser instrumentation. Our group started a program in a field that became known as “Nonlinear Optics”. The early results are incorporated in a monograph of this title, published by W. A. Benjamin, New York, in 1965, and the program is still flourishing today. The principal support for all this work, over a period of more than thirty years, has been provided by the Joint Services Electronics Program of the U. S. Department of Defense, with a minimum amount of administrative red tape and with complete freedom to choose research topics and to publish.

My academic career at Harvard has resulted in stimulating interactions with many distinguished colleagues, and also with many talented graduate students. My coworkers have included about sixty Ph.D. candidates and a similar number of postdoctoral research fellows. The contact with the younger generations keeps the mind from aging too rapidly. The opportunities to participate in international summer schools and conferences have also enhanced my professional and social life. My contacts outside the academic towers, as a consultant to various industrial and governmental organizations, have given me an appreciation for the problems of socio-economic and political origin in the “real” world, in addition to those presented by the stubborn realities of matter and instruments in the laboratory.

Sabbatical leaves from Harvard have made it possible for us to travel farther and to live for longer periods of time in different geographical and cultural environments. Fortunately, my wife shares this taste for travel adventure. In 1957 I was a Guggenheim fellow and visiting lecturer at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, in 1964 – 1965 visiting professor at the University of California in Berkeley, in 1973 Lorentz guest professor in Leiden and visiting scientist at the Philips Research Laboratories in the Netherlands. The fall of 1979 I spent as Raman Visiting Professor in Bangalore, India, and the first semester of 1980 as Von Humboldt Senior Scientist in the Institut für Quantum Optik, in Garching near Munich, as well as visiting professor at the College de France in Paris. I highly value my international professional and social contacts, including two exchange visits to the Soviet Union and one visit to the People’s Republic of China, each of one-month duration. My wife and I look forward to continuing our diverse activities and to enjoying our home in Five Fields, Lexington, Massachusetts, where we have lived for 26 years.

Honors
Correspondent, Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam, 1956
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1956
Member, National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D. C., 1959
Foreign Honorary Member, Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, 1978
Associé Étranger, Académie des Sciences, Paris, 1980
Guggenheim Fellow, 1957
Oliver Buckley Prize, American Physical Society, 1958
Morris E. Liebman Award, Institute of Radio Engineers, 1959
Stuart Ballantine Medal, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, 1961
National Medal of Science, President of the United States of America, 1974
Lorentz Medal, Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam, 1979
Frederic Ives Medal, Optical Society of America, 1979
Von Humboldt Senior Scientist, 1980

From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1981-1990, Editor-in-Charge Tore Frängsmyr, Editor Gösta Ekspong, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1993

This autobiography/biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures. To cite this document, always state the source as shown above.

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1981

 

Addendum, 1991

In June 1990 I retired from the faculty of Harvard University and became Gerhard Gade University Professor Emeritus. During the past decade I was also a visiting professor or lecturer for extended periods at the California Institute of Technology, at Fermi Scuola Nationale Superiore in Pisa, Italy, and at the University of Munich, Germany.

In 1991 I serve as President of the American Physical Society. I became an honorary professor of Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, and received honorary doctorates from Laval University, Quebec, the University of Connecticut and the University of Hartford. In 1983 I received the Medal of Honor from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

My research in nonlinear optics continued with special emphasis on interactions of picosecond and femtosecond laser pulses with condensed matter and of collision-induced optical coherences. My personal life and professional activities during the past decade have been a natural continuation of what I described in my autobiographical notes in 1981.

 

Nicolaas Bloembergen passed away on 5 September 2017.

Video interview with Nicolaas Bloembergen

Published on Aug 26, 2010

Nicolaas Bloembergen celebrated his 90th birthday in March 2010 with a scientific symposium and reception at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences, attended by three other Nobel laureates: Roy J. Glauber, John L. Hall, and Charles H. Townes.

Bloembergen received the Nobel Prize in 1981 for his contributions to the field of nonlinear optics and to the development of laser spectroscopy. He was a corecipient with Arthur Schawlow of the United States and Kai Manne Borje Siegbahn of Sweden of the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physics for their revolutionary spectroscopic studies of the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter. Bloembergen made a pioneering use of lasers in these investigations. His research has included nuclear and electronic magnetic resonance, solid state masers and lasers, and nonlinear optics and spectroscopy. His work on proton spin relaxation times in water and aqueous solutions, carried out in 1946 and 1947 under the guidance of his PhD thesis advisor, Edward M. Purcell, later became the basis for the medical diagnostic technique of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

In his autobiography on the Nobel Prize website, Bloembergen stated, “I held the opinion — even after Schawlow and Townes published their proposal for an optical maser in 1958 — that it would be impossible for a small academic laboratory, without previous expertise in optics, to compete successfully in the realization of lasers. This may have been a self-fulfilling prophesy, but it is a matter of record that nearly all types of lasers were first reduced to practice in industrial laboratories, predominantly in the U.S.A.”

Bloembergen first came to the United States in 1945, after spending World War II “hiding indoors from the Nazis, eating tulip bulbs to fill the stomach and reading Kramers’ book Quantum Theorie des Elektrons und der Strahlung by the light of a storm lamp.” He received his PhD at the University of Leiden in 1948, after doing research at Harvard, then finally emigrated to the U.S. (and returned to Harvard) in 1949. He and his wife Deli moved to Arizona, and he has been on the UA College of Optical Sciences faculty since 2001.

He was interviewed at his birthday celebration by Daniel Stolte of the UA University Communications office, and this video is courtesy of the University of Arizona.

 

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Featured artist is El Anatsui

El Anatsui was born in Anyanko, Ghana in 1944. Many of Anatsui’s sculptures are mutable in form, conceived to be so free and flexible that they can be shaped in any way and altered in appearance for each installation. Working with wood, clay, metal, and—most recently—the discarded metal caps of liquor bottles, Anatsui breaks with sculpture’s traditional adherence to forms of fixed shape while visually referencing the history of abstraction in African and European art.

The colorful and densely patterned fields of the works assembled from discarded liquor-bottle caps also trace a broader story of colonial and postcolonial economic and cultural exchange in Africa, told in the history of cast-off materials. The sculptures in wood and ceramics introduce ideas about the function of objects (their destruction, transformation, and regeneration) in everyday life, and the role of language in deciphering visual symbols.

El Anatsui received a BA from the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana (1969) and since 1975 has taught at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. His works are in the public collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Indianapolis Museum of Art; British Museum, London; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, among many others. Major exhibitions of his work have appeared at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown (2011); Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2010); National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka (2010); Rice University Art Gallery, Houston (2010); Venice Biennale (2007); and the Biennale of African Art, Senegal (2006). El Anatsui lives and works in Nsukka, Nigeria.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 211 Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen (Body count much higher for atheistic leaders) Featured artist is David Altmejd

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Over the years many of the letters I wrote to Dr. Bloembergen included quotes from Francis Schaeffer and this discussion below was also prompted by this too.

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen. Today I will be looking back at some of my interaction with him  and I will continue this in a few more posts in future weeks.

Image result for nicolaas bloembergen

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In  the first video below in the 9th clip in this series are his words and will be responding to them in the next few weeks.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Died at 97 Dutch American physicist Nicolaas Bloembergen

Published on Sep 8, 2017

Nicolaas “Nico” Bloembergen was born on March 11, 1920 and died on September 5, 2017. He was a Dutch-American physicist and Nobel laureate, recognized for his work in developing driving principles behind nonlinear optics for laser spectroscopy.During his career, he was a professor at both Harvard University and later at the University of Arizona.

 

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Nicolaas Bloembergen

I wanted to share with you a correspondence I had with Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen of Harvard. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1981 and was born in Dordrecht, the Netherlands on March 11, 1920. He spent the last two years of World War II hiding from the Nazis. I found his story very interesting.

In his September 6, 1995 letter to me he wrote:

Less zealotry and more compassion for those who have different concepts of the world from yours would help make this world more livable.

I RESPONDED IN AN EARLIER POST WITH WHAT I RESPONDED WITH IN 1995. Below are some more thoughts on this issue.

Is religion the cause of most wars?
March 28, 2016 by Lane
atheism, Religion, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, wars 0 Comment

Is religion the cause of most wars? Well, according to Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins, avowed proponents of the New Atheism (nothing new about the substance, just voiced in a new and vitriolic tone), the answer is yes, religion is the cause of most wars. Harris states that religion is, “the most prolific source of violence in our history” (The End of Faith page 27). Not to be outdone, Richard Dawkins offers the claim that, “There’s no doubt that throughout history religious faith has been a major motivator for war and for destruction.” When one hears such ‘truth’ claims being propounded, a simple, but yet, profound question must be asked, “is that true?” Sad to say, most people don’t take the time to ask this simple three word question when hearing such supposed truth claims.

I thought it would be interesting to take Harris and Dawkins’ claims, and ask the question, “but is that true?” and then follow the evidence were it leads. The following are a list of facts (not rhetoric) that help to bring Harris and Dawkins supposed truth claim out of the darkness and into the light:

 In 5 millennia worth of wars—1,763 total—only 123 (or about 7%) were religious in nature (according to author Vox Day in the book The Irrational Atheist).  If you remove the 66 wars waged in the name of Islam, it cuts the number down to a little more than 3%.  A second scholarly source, The Encyclopedia of War edited by Gordon Martel, confirms this data, concluding that only 6% of the wars listed in its pages can be labelled religious wars.  William Cavanaugh’s book, The Myth of Religious Violence, exposes the “wars of religion” claim.  a recent report (2014) from the Institute for Economics and Peace further debunks this myth.  A strong case can be made that atheism, not religion, and certainly not Christianity, is responsible for a far greater degree of bloodshed. Indeed, R.J. Rummel’s work in Lethal Politics and Death by Government has the secular body count at more than 100 million…in the 20th century alone.

Atheist and anthropologist, Scot Atran, in his book, God and the Ivory Tower, offers the following summary on the issue, “Moreover, the chief complaint against religion—that it is history’s prime instigator of intergroup conflict—does not withstand scrutiny. Religions issues motivate only a small minority of recorded wars. The Encyclopedia of Wars surveyed 1,763 violent conflicts across history; only 123 (7 percent) were religious. A BBC-sponsored “God & War” audit, which evaluated major conflicts over 3,500 years and rated them on a 0-5 scale for religious motivation (Punic Wars=0 Crusades=5), found that more than 60% had no religious motivation. Less than 7% earned a rating greater than 3. There was little religious motivation for the internecine Russian and Chinese conflicts or the world wars responsible for history’s most lethal century of international bloodshed.”

The conclusion: between 6-7% of all wars have been religious in nature. (the Islamic dynamic set aside) When you consider that the body count that has been tallied in the 20th century under atheist/naturalist/Darwinian evolution promoting governments has come to over 100 million, one has to ask, “what ideology is truly the driving force behind the vast majority of wars waged by humanity?” The evidence does seem somewhat conclusive, doesn’t it?

There is no arguing that religion has been the cause of war and violence on occasion, but it is a gross overstatement, exaggeration and distortion of the facts to say that “the most prolific source of violence in our history” has been “religious faith.” Obviously, Harris and Dawkins are not historians, nor have they consulted the experts in the field of history.

The Bible is specific as to the cause of war, that of the “lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life,” which James sums up in his epistle: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” James 4:1-3

Jesus gave us the antidote to lust, and as such, wars: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:38-45 ESV)

Religion & War–Dr. Ravi Zacharias New Atheist proponents often condemns and points the finger at religion for the suffering of the earth, and in particular, as being the cause of most of the wars and suffering that results. Ravi Zacharias deals with this alleged truth claim head on in the following video clip.

Dr Ravi Zacharias: Religion & War

Published on Jun 1, 2013

Atheism often condemns and points the finger at religion for the suffering of the earth. Christianity has never been the cause of war. only the false followers. however, evolutionists, such as Hitler have murdered many more people in over a short span of time, because in his moral view, he decided that a certain group of people weren’t fit for survival. so the religious variable is simply out of the question, when dealing with morality.

Other Resources: “Religion Causes Wars”–Tom Price, here Stand to Reason radio podcast, “Christianity the cause of most wars? Nope,” by Greg Koukl–found, here Resource for the above article: Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars?–Brett Kunkle–article, here

David Altmejd: Assistants | “Exclusive” | Art21

Featured artist is David Altmejd

David Altmejd was born in Montreal, Canada in 1974. With an almost childlike fascination for objects that grow, transform, and reshape themselves, Altmejd creates sculptures, suffused with ornament, that blur distinctions between interior and exterior, surface and structure, representation and abstraction. Meaning, for Altmejd, does not exist in advance of the work in process. His interest lies in the making—the building of an object that will generate meaning. Using armatures in the forms of giants and angels that convey both human and supernatural energies, he abandons standard narrative conventions in favor of an exploration of materials, processes, and structures.

In diorama-like tableaux, Altmejd pairs objects laden with symbolism—crystals, gold chain, bondage gear, and taxidermy birds and animals—with virtuosic applications of materials such as plaster, glitter, thread, minerals, mirrors, and Plexiglas. In dazzling displays of active sculpting—holes and passages pushed through forms to drive matter “somewhere else”—Altmejd’s work expresses the intense flow of energy traveling through space and teeters between investigations of sexuality, decay, spirituality, death, and—always—life.

David Altmejd received a BFA from the Université du Québec à Montréal (1998) and an MFA from Columbia University (2001). His work has appeared in major exhibitions at the Brant Foundation Art Study Center (2011); Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels (2010); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2010); New Museum (2010); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2010); P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center (2009); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009); Liverpool Biennial (2008); Fundació La Caixa Museum, Barcelona (2007); Venice Biennale (2007); and the Whitney Biennial (2004), among others. David Altmejd lives and works in New York City.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 210 Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen (My last email to Dr. Bloembergen on 7-3-16) Featured artist is Alejandro Almanza Pereda

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I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen. Today I will be looking back at some of my interaction with him  and I will continue this in a few more posts in future weeks. At the end of this post is the email I sent him right after he talked with me on the phone.

Image result for nicolaas bloembergen

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Nicolaas “Nico” Bloembergen (March 11, 1920 – September 5, 2017) was a DutchAmerican physicist and Nobel laureate, recognized for his work in developing driving principles behind nonlinear optics for laser spectroscopy.[1] During his career, he was a professor at both Harvard University and later at the University of Arizona.

In  the first video below in the 9th clip in this series are his words and will be responding to them in the next few weeks.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Laser-spectroscopy pioneer Nicolaas Bloembergen dies at 97

Nicolaas Bloembergen, the Dutch–American physicist who shared the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physics, has died at the age of 97. Bloembergen died on 5 September following complications arising from a heart attack.

Born in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, on 11 March 1920, Bloembergen studied physics at the University of Utrecht. He graduated in 1943 with a Phil. Drs degree – equivalent to an MSc – just before the occupying German forces closed the university during the Second World War.

Although he was not Jewish, Bloembergen spent two years in hiding from the Nazis. He later told the Nobel Foundation that during this time he ate tulip bulbs to fill his stomach and read the Dutch physicist Hendrik Kramers’s book Quantum Theorie des Elektrons und der Strahlung by the light of a storm lamp that needed cleaning every 20 minutes.

In 1945 Bloembergen moved to Harvard University. Two years later he returned to the Netherlands to the University of Leiden, where he was awarded a PhD in physics in 1948 for his work on nuclear magnetic resonance. In 1949 he went back to Harvard, where he remained for the rest of his career.

In the 1960s Bloembergen began to develop the theory of nonlinear optics in which photons interact with each other through some mediating material, such as transparent crystal. A common nonlinear optical phenomenon is “four-wave mixing” where three waves are sent into a nonlinear medium and the exchange of energy and momentum between the waves results in the production of a fourth wave. This method made it possible to generate laser light in both the infrared and the ultraviolet, extending the range of wavelengths that could be used for laser spectroscopy.

Bloembergen shared half of the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physics with Stanford University physicist Arthur Schawlow “for the development of laser spectroscopy”. The other half went to Kai Siegbahn from Uppsala University in Sweden for his work on high-resolution electron spectroscopy. In 1991 he served as president of the American Physical Society.

About the author

Michael Banks is news editor of Physics World

Died at 97 Dutch American physicist Nicolaas Bloembergen

Published on Sep 8, 2017

Nicolaas “Nico” Bloembergen was born on March 11, 1920 and died on September 5, 2017. He was a Dutch-American physicist and Nobel laureate, recognized for his work in developing driving principles behind nonlinear optics for laser spectroscopy.During his career, he was a professor at both Harvard University and later at the University of Arizona.

 

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 This was emailed on July 3, 2016

July 3, 2016

Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen, c/o College of Optical Sciences

The University of Arizona
1630 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210094
Tucson, AZ 85721-0094

Dear Dr. Bloembergen,

It was such a privilege to get a telephone call from you on July 1, 2016 because I know your time is very valuable. Since you said writing letters and mailing them was difficult for you I have chosen to email you this time around.

I told you on the phone that the last time we corresponded was way back on September 6, 1995  and at that time you responded in a letter to me with these words, “Less zealotry and more compassion for those who have different concepts of the world from yours would help make this world more livable.” On the phone you commented, “Yes the religious people are fighting among themselves often.” At that point I kidded you that it is the Muslims and not the Christians who seem to be on the warpath these days and you responded, “I think the Muslims get too much blame. Today’s political situation is all [messed up.]”

Let me agree with you that the majority of Muslims in the USA are lovers of freedom. Here in Arkansas we have family friends who are Muslims and they were personally troubled by the recent attacks by Muslims on unarmed civilians.

That brings me to another point. Christianity is different than every other religion for two reasons according to Francis Schaeffer:

In every other religion we have to do something–everything from burning a joss stick to sacrificing our firstborn child to dropping a coin the collection plate–the whole spectrum. But with Christianity we do not do anything; God has done it all: He has created us and He has sent His Son; His Son died and because the Son is infinite, therefore He bears out total guilt. We do not need to bear our guilt, nor do we even have to merit the merit of Christ. He does it all. So in one way it is the easiest religion in the world….

In the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, and especially in the extensive notes of fifth chapter [shows] the way the Bible measures up to history. Once we say that, this is very exciting. It is very exciting because other religions are not founded in history, they are “out there” somewhere, or you can think of them as inside your own head–whichever way you are looking at it. On the other hand, the Bible claims to rooted in history. 

Taking a look at the holy books of Islam and Mormonism and  you find many historical inaccuracies.  For instance, the Book of Mormon was wrong about horses, cows, steel, honey bees and barley existing in North America 2000 years ago. Furthermore, in 2012 during the Presidential Race Harry Kroto also asked why no one seemed to ask Mitt Romney if he actually believed that Christ visited North America 2000 years ago as the Book of Mormon claimed.

Blaise Pascal asserted, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”  In other words, the spiritual answers your heart is seeking can be  found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Let me close by talking to you about the ROMAN ROAD TO CHRIST.

  1. Rom. 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one . . . “
  2. Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  3. Rom. 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
  4. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  5. Rom. 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  6. Rom. 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  7. Rom. 10:13, “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Thanks for your time. Again it was such an honor to get to talk to you. I hope you enjoy the CD’s on Michael Polanyi. He was a very wise man and his son John is a very outstanding man too.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

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Alejandro Almanza Pereda Escapes from New York | ART21 “New York Close Up”

Featured artist is Alejandro Almanza Pereda

Alejandro Almanza Pereda was born in 1977 in Mexico City. He formerly worked in New York, and currently lives and works between the United States and Mexico, maintaining his practice in both locales.

Searching out vintage objects in flea markets and thrift stores, Almanza Pereda integrates mundane materials into large-scale sculptures that challenge both the durability of the objects and his ability to create a stable structure. His frequent use of neon light-tubes, for instance, is due in part to his interest in the simultaneous fragility and strength of these objects that are easily shattered but, in some positions, can withstand significant pressure.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

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Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 209 Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen (Discussing Michael Polanyi) Featured artist is Natalia Almada

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Image result for nicolaas bloembergen

The letter I sent to Dr. Bloembergen in 2016 that prompted him to call me on the phone is below at the end of this post!!

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen on September 5, 2017, and I wanted to spend time on several posts concentrating on him. I always enjoyed corresponding with him during the last three decades.

He brought up the issue of Religious wars to me in 1995 which I responded to back then, and also he discussed the issue of abortion with me. I also took time to write him back concerning that issue too.  Then on July 1, 2016, I was honored to get a call from Dr. Bloembergen, and we discussed several issues such as his abandonment of his childhood faith that he was brought up in, and I mentioned that Charles Darwin had gone through a similar situation. He seemed to know a lot about Darwin’s background.

Today I want to discuss the letter I sent to Dr. Bloembergen that prompted me to call me in July of 2016.

 

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Nicolaas “Nico” Bloembergen (March 11, 1920 – September 5, 2017) was a DutchAmerican physicist and Nobel laureate, recognized for his work in developing driving principles behind nonlinear optics for laser spectroscopy.[1] During his career, he was a professor at both Harvard University and later at the University of Arizona.

In  the first video below in the 9th clip in this series are his words and will be responding to them in the next few weeks, but today I just wanted to pause and look at this life. I was privileged to be able to correspond with him since the 1990’s and he even called me on the phone. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Nicolaas Bloembergen in 1995. (Harvard University)
 September 9
Nicolaas Bloembergen, a Dutch-born American scientist who ate tulip bulbs to survive during World War II and went on to win the Nobel Prize in physics, died Sept. 5 at a retirement community in Tucson. He was 97.His son, Brink Bloembergen, who confirmed the death, said the cause was cardiorespiratory failure.Over a much-honored career that included 40 years on the faculty of Harvard University, Dr. Bloembergen became a pioneer and major contributor in three significant areas of physics, all of which have significant applications in daily life.He was one of the pioneers in the development of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques, which have become invaluable to modern medicine for creating images of the tissues of the body.A paper published by Dr. Bloembergen and co-authors on the subject of NMR was said for many years to be one of the most quoted articles in the physics literature. Published in the Physical Review, it was by Dr. Bloembergen, Edward M. Purcell and Robert V. Pound and relied heavily on Dr. Bloembergen’s doctoral thesis.

In physicists’ shorthand the paper was known as “BPP.”

Dr. Bloembergen was also recognized for making important advances in the development of the maser, a device similar to the laser but that amplifies microwaves rather than light waves.

He was one of three physicists awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981, along with Kai M. Siegbahn of Sweden and Arthur L. Schawlow of the United States. The Swedish Academy cited Dr. Bloembergen for his work in nonlinear optics. Of all his accomplishments, it appeared that Dr. Bloembergen was proudest of his pioneering work in nonlinear optics. The field has important applications in modern optical communications, among other areas.

Dr. Bloembergen, who once described physics as the science that explains “the how and why of things,” can be seen as part of a generation of scientists trained in Europe before World War II who later came to the United States. Many arrived before the war. Their contributions helped put the United States at the forefront of scientific discovery.

Nicolaas Bloembergen was born March 11, 1920, in Dordrecht, the Netherlands. His father was a chemical engineer and executive. His maternal grandfather was a high school principal with a doctorate in mathematical physics.

Dr. Bloembergen began to concentrate on physics not because he found it easy but because he considered it “the most and difficult and challenging subject.”

He enrolled at the University of Utrecht in 1938 and obtained the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (in 1941) and master’s degree (in 1943) before the Nazis shut down the institution. He later went into hiding and endured such privation that he recalled the winter of 1944 as the “hunger winter.”

Concealed from the Nazis, with food almost impossible to find, he ate tulip bulbs. They required long preparation and provided little nourishment, he recalled. But they staved off the worst hunger pangs by filling his stomach.

After the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, Dr. Bloembergen was accepted into graduate school at Harvard, where he worked on NMR under Purcell, one of his two co-authors on the often-cited 1948 Physical Review paper, and a 1952 Nobel laureate.

Certain laboratory techniques, he said, he found difficult to master. But he once wrote, “I found that many abilities can be acquired by perseverance.”

Dr. Bloembergen received his PhD in physics at the University of Leiden in his home country in 1948. This was said to have come about because he had completed preliminary qualifications there. The next year, he returned to Harvard, where he remained on the faculty until retiring in 1990.

He was said to have never missed a class in his four decades on the faculty at Harvard, where he was known for his kindness towards students. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1958.

In later years, he joined the faculty of the University of Arizona.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, the former Huberta Deliana Brink of Tucson; and three children.

The title of Dr. Bloembergen’s PhD thesis was “Nuclear Magnetic Relaxation.” In this context, relaxation refers to a change in the energy state of a magnetic system composed of the spins of atomic nuclei. The spins of electrically charged particles, such as protons in the nucleus, create circulating electric currents, permitting individual nuclei to be treated as subatomic magnets.

In the process of relaxation, these nuclear magnets, which line up with or against a fixed magnetic field return to their original positions. In NMR spins that have lined up in one direction may flip to the opposite direction in response to an oscillating electromagnetic field.

The frequency at which the nuclei respond is the resonant frequency. It can be used to find out about atoms, molecules and the substances they compose and the environments in which they exist.

Edward Purcell was one of the first to demonstrate NMR in certain materials, and at Harvard, Dr. Bloembergen became his first graduate student. “It was my good fortune to arrive at the right time at the right place,” Dr. Bloembergen later said of coming to Harvard. .

Following his NMR work, Dr. Bloembergen devoted his attention to the amplification of microwave energy and the device for producing this effect, the maser. The word is the acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

The device was a forerunner of the better-known and more widely used laser, in which the L stands for light.

With the ability to create extremely intense light beams, it was possible to open up the barely known areas of nonlinear optics and nonlinear spectroscopy.

In nonlinear processes, the consistent correspondence between signal and response breaks down. An increase in the intensity of one no longer creates an equivalent increase in the other. One of Dr. Bloembergen’s major contributions was enabling these nonlinear effects to be understood.

If for any of his scientific accomplishments, his son said, he wanted to be remembered as the father of nonlinear optics.

Despite the seriousness with which he approached his work, Dr. Bloembergen was not without wit and humor. After his retirement at Harvard, he was made professor emeritus. He described his change in status this way: “A professor can do as he pleases, but a professor emeritus can do as he damn well pleases.”

 

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 The letter I sent to Dr. Bloembergen in 2016 that prompted him to call me on the phone!!!

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Francis Schaeffer (30 January 1912 – 15 May 1984[1])  and his wife Edith  (November 3, 1914 – March 30, 2013)

James Watson (1928-) and Francis Crick  (8 June 1916 – 28 July 2004)

Michael Polanyi, FRS[1] (11 March 1891 – 22 February 1976)

John Charles Polanyi,  (born 23 January 1929)

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John Scott Haldane (2 May 1860 – 14/15 March 1936)

J. B. S. Haldane
J. B. S. Haldane.jpg

Haldane in 1914

(5 November 1892 – 1 December 1964)

Maurice Wilkins (15 December 1916 – 5 October 2004)

Erwin Schrödinger (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961)

Sir Peter Medawar ( 28 February 1915 – 2 October 1987)

Barry Commoner (May 28, 1917 – September 30, 2012)

Enjoy the pictures of an amazing life

dadnmeinboat jpg

Harry Kroto with his father above

Marg and Steve and David

Margaret with David and Stephen

Image21 (2)
leaving Liverpool for Canada 1964

Kroto and his wife, Margaret.

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June 11, 2016

Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen, c/o College of Optical Sciences

The University of Arizona
1630 E. University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210094
Tucson, AZ 85721-0094

Dear Dr. Bloembergen,

I had the privilege of corresponding with you about 20 years ago when you were at Harvard and I was always impressed with your responses to me since you took time out of your busy schedule to give a thoughtful response. I was very sad to learn of the passing of the great scientist Harry Kroto. Judging from comments of his close friends, Kroto was not only a great scientist but an even better man personally.

Tim Logan, chair of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State“What always brought out the best in Harry was his wife, Margaret. Margaret and Harry were always together, until the end of Harry’s life. She served as his business manager, scheduling his many speaking engagements around the world, organizing the travel, and supporting him in many, many ways. What I found so remarkable is that even after 57 years together, they were so obviously in love. Harry would include photos and sketches he made of her in his lectures, and he always acknowledged her as his moral compass.” 

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY I WAS PROMPTED ORIGINALLY TO WRITE YOU? It was because Harry Kroto took the time in 2014 to correspond with me. After I wrote him in  the spring and summer of 2014 he emailed me twice and then sent me a letter in November of 2014. In that letter he referred me to a film series  Renowned Academics talk about God that featured your comments. 

Furthermore, your full interview appears on the VEGA website which Kroto founded, and he was so proud of your interview that he featured a clip from it during his speech at  a BEYOND BELIEF CONFERENCE (he actually spoke there in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and all those speeches are on You Tube). I have always been fascinated by brilliant individuals and recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi, LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. ISN’T IT AMAZING THAT JUST LIKE KROTO’S FAMILY POLANYI HAD TO FLEE EUROPE BECAUSE OF HITLER’S INSANE GRUDGE AGAINST THE JEWS!!!!I know you don’t believe in God or the Devil but if anyone was demon-possessed it had to be Hitler.

Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I am sending you this two CD’s of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner.

Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

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Preview: Natalia Almada in Season 8 of ART21 “Art in the Twenty-First Century” (2016)

Featured artist is Natalia Almada

Natalia Almada was born in Mexico City in 1974. The great-granddaughter of Mexico’s controversial 40th president Plutarco Elías Calles, she makes intimate films that delve into the tragedies of her Mexican-American family’s personal history as well as the Sinaloa region’s violent present. Ranging from documentary to fiction to experimental narrative, Almada’s films portray a world filtered through recollection and constructed by diverging points of view. Whether chronicling the daily lives of Mexican drug smugglers, immigrants, corrido musicians, or government bureaucrats, Almada’s camera acts a witness to lives ensnared by violence and power struggles.

What comes into view is a portrait of society, both its political history and collective memory, as told through individual experiences. Her lyrical films adopt non-linear and multilayered approaches to storytelling, advancing the narrative through arresting images, poetic observations, and meditative scenes that unfold in real time. Almada’s own presence—sympathetic yet questioning—pervades each film through her role as director, cinematographer, editor, narrator, and at times autobiographical subject of the work.

Natalia Almada attended the Rhode Island School of Design (MFA, 2001) and the College of Santa Fe (BFA, 1995). Her awards and residencies include the Headlands Center for the Arts (2015), MacArthur Fellowship (2012), Alpert Award (2011), MacDowell Colony Fellowship (2011), United States Artists Fellowship (2010), Sundance Directing Award for Documentary (2009), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2008). Almada’s films have screened at New Directors/New Film, Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Documenta, Munich International Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and as part of the POV series on PBS. Natalia Almada lives and works between Mexico City, Mexico, and San Francisco, CA, USA.

Links:
Artist website

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