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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Bastien-Lepage: Forgotten Influential
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- For many years, casual students of art history have been shown the thundering Main Line locomotive of 19th century Western painting passing through Classicism (David), Romanticism (Delacroix) and then, most importantly, Impressionism before crossing into the 20th century and the enlightened highlands of Modernism. Academic art was the Manichean evil against which the heroic Impressionists struggled, but only a few especially ridiculous examples were shown to get the point across. And the non-Academic, non-Impressionist painting that didn't conveniently fit the narrative was sidetracked to footnote status. That was the situation around 1960, anyhow. Today, brief histories of painting still tend to follow this simple scheme. However, over the last several decades, art historians, museum curators and publishers of art books have been making more and more room for serious studies of Academic painters along with other non-Impressionists whose reputations plunged around the time of the Great War. For example, it's not hard to find books about Lawrence Alma-Tadema and J.M. Waterhouse, the latter's work even being calendar fodder these days. Pre-Raphaelite artists, especially Rossetti and Burne-Jones, have regained much of the esteem they lost following their deaths. Sargent and Whistler are back big-time. Still missing in action, below the radar -- pick your favorite metaphor -- are artists lumped into the juste-milieu (loosely translated as "middle of the road") category. Actually this category isn't very useful because it has been applied to more than one 19th century setting; the extremes defining the middle differing over time. Morever, the term implies what the art is not and tells one nothing about what it is. For now, I'll focus on a man whose work influenced this amorphous group in the 1870s and 80s. This is Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-84). He deserves a modern biography, but one has yet to appear. Material about him is sketchy, dispersed, or out-of-print. Such sources as there are nearly all agree that he was highly influential to important non-Academics and non-Impressionists. Here are highlights of Bastien-Lepage's life. He was born in Damvillers in the Meuse département and first studied art in Verdun. Showing great talent he went to Paris and gained admission to the École des Beaux-Arts and studied under Alexandre Cabanel. He fought in the Franco-Prussian War and received a severe chest wound. Returning to his studies he placed second in a quest to win the prestigious Prix de Rome. This near-miss so discouraged him that he returned to Domvillers to paint local scenes. He also painted portraits and an historical work (see below), being widely exhibited in France and Britain. His health was weak following the war and he died young, in Paris, of cancer of the stomach (according to one source). Roger Billcliffe in his book "The Glasgow Boys" explains Bastien-Lepage's influence on the Glasgow Boys, a group of (initially) non-establishment painters whose main work (of this school) appeared in the period 1875-95. Other artists of the time were similarly influenced. After mentioning the Hague School and the Barbizon... posted by Donald at February 11, 2006 | perma-link | (13) comments

Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * As a third grader, OuterLife learned his IQ score, and nothing has been simple for him since. Great line: "My reward? More tests. Harder tests. It’s like I keep winning pie eating contests, but the prize is more pie." * Searchie sips some of that good Polish tea and finds herself doing some real writing again. She also comes up with an excellent reason to love "Piss Christ." * It's been decades since I've followed an Olympics, but I got a big kick out of reading Steve Sailer's human-biodiversity take on the Games anyway. * French bloggers often have a very different conception of what blogging is good for than American bloggers do. Zut alors: Why not see blogging as a stylish-casual performance art? Here's a very charmante French blogger who does us the favor of blogging in English. * Terry Teachout's reflections about the recently-deceased playwright Wendy Wasserstein say a lot about how reputations are often arrived-at in the cultural world. Short version: Wasserstein wasn't much good, but she was liked, she was lucky, and she was connected. * Kung-fu champ! Er, chimp. * Jen finds that her new gym-going habit has made her physically fit but has also left her vacuous and uninteresting. * Tyler Cowen cheerfully takes on that fraught old question: What is the great American novel? Lots of fun and unusual contributions from visitors too. (Part one, part two, part three.) Tyler also notices that classical music is doing pretty well at the iTunes music store. * Mr. Tall has the figures: If all humans lived as smooshed-together as the people in Hong Kong do, 99.8% of the planet would be without human presence at all. Mr. Tall's very extensive blog/website, which he co-does with Mr. Balding and which by and large concerns life in Hong Kong, is a witty and perceptive delight. * Moms and daughters, eh? It's like they're inside each others' minds ... Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 11, 2006 | perma-link | (5) comments

Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- There's an even-better-than-usual array of rich-and-quirky postings up from the gang at Querencia. Reid Farmer brings news of a whale attack and a gang of mushroom thieves, Steve Bodio defends the sport of sighthound coursing, and Matt Mullenix recalls the world of New Orleans music. Querencia gets my vote in the category of Best (and Broadest) Range of Interests ... Happily reading, er, blog-surfing, Michael... posted by Michael at February 11, 2006 | perma-link | (1) comments

Friday, February 10, 2006

How to Read
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- The London Times' Carol Sarler writes that any interest she might have had in reading great books was beaten out of her by over-pushy, over-serious schoolteachers. These days, she may be a professional writer, but she doesn't read many books at all. I was luckier. Although my mom was rigid in many ways, where her kids and reading were concerned she was open and permissive. "It doesn't matter what they read so long as they're reading" -- that was her attitude. She got me reading very young and then set me loose. I read often, I read for fun, and I read in order to pursue my interests. The whole "school is about books/books are about school" complex was never a problem for me. Neither was the tendency to see books as something sacred -- as something other than one medium among many. I'm perplexed by people who view books reverentially, and who see the reading of books as a kind of sacramental act: "Books are good for you. You must, you simply must, read books. If you don't, then you are failing." Where does such an attitude come from? God forbid that a book should be merely fun, useful, or interesting. No, for these people the very act of handling a book confers ... Well, I don't know what exactly. But, where books are concerned, it sure does seem that some people can get awfully solemn. How did you get hooked on reading? Do you feel any sense of moral obligation towards books? Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 10, 2006 | perma-link | (22) comments

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Steering Left, Right -- or Center
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- It all seems so logical. Except to the hyper-logical French. In countries such as the USA where cars are driven on the right side of the road, cars have steering wheels on the left (center line) side. And steering wheels are mounted on the right in Britain and Japan where cars drive on the left side of the road. In France, cars drive on the right side of the road. So as René Bellu reported in "Toutes Les Voitures Française 1937: Salon 1936" (Automobilia Hors-Serie No. 3, p. 5): DIRECTION: 42 modèles ont un volant à gauche, 66 restent fidèles au volont à droite, un seul est livrable au choix avec volant à gauche ou à droite, 2 présentent l'originalité d'avoir un volant central. There you have it. More than half the models offered by the French automobile industry for 1937 were right-hand drive. Well, maybe "numbers don't lie" but they sometimes fib. Those 66 models where the driver sits on the right were mostly luxury cars (Delage, Delahaye, Talbot, etc.) where production was tiny. High-volume models from Renault, Citroën and Peugeot came with left-hand drive, so most 1937 model-year French cars that hit the rues were in synch with road regulations. Then there's the fact that driving on the right side of the road has been the rule in France since Revolutionary times. So why did Thirties luxury cars have right-hand drive? I don't know, though here are two possibilities (someone please post the facts in Comments): (1) the luxury trade harkened back to pre-Revolutionary times, and (2) French luxury car makers took their cue from Rolls-Royce. (The second speculation gets iffy if one realizes that France was far ahead of England in the early days of automobiling: why should they imitate unless it was a snob thing?) Enough of this left-right stuff. The real topic of this post is French cars where the steering wheel was mounted in the center. In particular, I want to highlight the Panhard "Dynamic" model introduced in mid-1936. The firm Panhard et Lavassor was one of the oldest car-makers, introducing the système-Panhard of front-engine, rear-drive that quickly dominated the industry. By the mid-1930s Panhard was a high-priced-car maker trying to make headway in a stormy economy. A few years earlier it introduced Panoramiques -- cars with small, curved windows where the front corner posts normally were (they had two smaller corner posts instead). The Dynamic (interestingly an English spelling) was much more radical. For one thing, it had a "monocoque" or "unit" body where the chassis and the body were integral, not separate. This is nearly universal today, but rare in the Thirties. The engine lacked normal poppet valves, being a "sleeve valve" motor -- unheard-of today and rare back then. Its styling was an attempt at streamlining. Finally, the steering wheel was placed on the car's center-line. Here is an advertisement announcing the Dynamic. Panhard Dynamic advertisement. And here is a photo of the car. Panhard... posted by Donald at February 9, 2006 | perma-link | (4) comments

Cellphones and Economists
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Terrible news for those who detest electronic chirps and one-side-only conversations: Cellphone use is invading the New York City subway system and may sometime soon be permitted on airplanes. James Katz, director of a center for communications studies, volunteers that studies have demonstrated a reason why so many people find other people's cellphone conversations aggravating: "Research shows cell phones become annoying because the human brain is uncomfortable listening to just one half of a conversation. 'Without that other part of the conversation, our brain constantly thinks we're being tickled to be involved,' [Katz] said." But -- dismayed though I am by the news -- what this has all really got me musing over is economics. Specifically a handful of questions: What's the economic worth of being able to be alone with my thoughts while I stand on the subway platform? What's the value of my peace-and-calm while aboard an airplane? And: Will I be reimbursed once these goods are forcibly taken from me? Here's the underlying thought. There are many things that we enjoy and value but that we don't recognize as valuable until after they've been taken from us. We all know this in a common-experience way. But do economists recognize it as a basic fact of life? Economists, after all, measure things, try to detect patterns in what they measure, reach conclusions based on these patterns -- and then give the rest of us advice. What I'd like to know is, How much allowance do economists make for what they miss, for what they can't measure, and for what it would never occur to anyone to recognize as valuable until after it has already been destroyed? Daniel Drezner supplies some real thinking about what he refers to as the "dark matter" problem in economics. So far as cellphones, subways, and airplanes are concerned: Unless those of us who enjoy undisturbed peace are reimbursed, these developments strike me as a flat-out landgrab. After all, our undisturbed peace -- something quite valuable -- will be forcibly taken from us. Who can I sue? I'm also left wondering if we shouldn't maybe take the statements and conclusions -- let alone the advice -- of economists with the same kind of skepticism we grant to the contributions of the health-advice industry ... Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 9, 2006 | perma-link | (8) comments

Intuition and the Arts
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- I was following an especially interesting commentsfest on a Razib posting over at GNXP when I found the following contribution leaping out of me. Not elegantly-put, to say the least. And certainly semi-off-topic where Razib's posting was concerned. (Sorry, Razib.) But I think I stand by it anyway. Actually I'm pleased with it -- it can be great fun to converse with hyper-smart people who have had little experience of the culture-game! It forces you to explain yourself in very basic terms while still respecting the overwhelming mass of IQ points in the room. So I'm treating myself to a little copying-and-pasting. Here's hoping others don't find my efforts a complete waste of time. The general topic -- so far as I was concerned, anyway -- were the questions: "What can be hoped-for from the social sciences?", and "Are intuition and folk psychology our friends or our enemies"? Here's my scribble: Am I sensing a general hostility towards intuition around here? If so: Not that intuition can't mislead us. But why view it as the enemy? Intuitions are often right, or at least helpful, god knows. And I'll take issue with the idea that they result entirely from experience. What experience has suggested to me is that intuitions often arise from some pre-experiential layer. BTW, aren't scientists often using their intuition and calling on their instincts? If not, then that's really scary. But I'll speak up for folk psychology and common sense too. They may be something to contend with and be wary of where advancing-science is concerned. But where leading-a-rewarding-life is concerned, they're often far more helpful than science is. I mean, it's nice to get your inoculations and your dental work done, etc. I like heating and air-conditioning too. But you also need to know how to deal with your boss, who to avoid on the street, what your wife may be up to, when it's time to change jobs, etc. And there's little that science can do to help you with any of that. And, since 90% of humanity is more interested in leading a rewarding life than in advancing-science, why not view intuition, folk psychology, and common sense in a more friendly and appreciative fashion? Perhaps they've evolved for good and understandable reasons, after all. They may be your enemies in the lab, but that doesn't mean they're "bad" in the abstract. It also doesn't mean they aren't often hyper-useful outside the lab. I like Razib's idea of "constraining the sample space" where the social sciences are concerned. That seems useful, as well as semi-possible. The prob with the social sciences is really the whole human factor. We aren't just wet machines. And so building probabalistic wiggle room into the equations, while better than not doing so, still misses a big part of life: the whole will/desire thang. We aren't just slightly-less-predictable ants, after all. We're actually out there making choices, taking conscious action, and altering contexts by doing so.... posted by Michael at February 9, 2006 | perma-link | (16) comments

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Low-Fat Begone
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- So maybe a high-fat diet doesn't contribute to cancer or heart disease after all. (Link thanks to Shannon Love, who supplies a nice line: "Low-fat diets appeal to puritanical moralists of all stripes.") A Berkeley statistician is quoted: "We, in the scientific community, often give strong advice based on flimsy evidence." I'll say. Do you suppose the time will ever come when the health-tips industry learns a little modesty? Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 8, 2006 | perma-link | (14) comments

Strange Hybrid
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Only in Scandinavia: Curling goes heavy metal. Rock on, noble Vikings! Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 8, 2006 | perma-link | (1) comments

J.T. Redux
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- Susie Bright and Dennis Cooper blog about what it was like to be taken in by "J.T. Leroy." Filmbrain pans a movie that Asia Argento -- who once claimed to be carrying J.T. Leroy's baby -- has made from some J.T. Leroy material. I raved (in a semi-but-not-really-ironic way) about Asia's beyond-narcissistic "Scarlet Diva" here. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 8, 2006 | perma-link | (2) comments

The Fur Flies
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- When feminists have at each other, perhaps the only sane thing to do is step back and dodge the claws, the hair-pulling, and the carnage. Thanks to Steve Sailer, who points out this wild-swinging Germaine Greer attack on -- er, make that "recollection of" -- Betty Friedan. Germaine seems to have found Betty egocentric and insufficiently revolutionary. Steve himself has recently been ripping Malcolm Gladwell a new one, and setting forth a doctrine of his own -- which he calls "citizenism" -- that I find very appealing. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 8, 2006 | perma-link | (3) comments

Group Differences 7
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * A Swiss study finds that the Italian-Swiss bond tightly with their families, while the German-Swiss tend to "keep a safe distance from their relatives." * Susan Crain Bakos has discovered that she has the hots for black men, and for reasons that probably won't surprise you. * In "Boy Vey!", her advice book for Christian gals dating Jewish guys, Kristina Grish reveals that Jewish guys like to make jokes, are germophobic, have scarily powerful mothers, can often be found in law and medical offices, are warm and eager-to-please in the sack, and kvetch a lot. Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 8, 2006 | perma-link | (7) comments

Dance Moves
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- * When he was a young dude, Friedrich von Blowhard had a happy-bear dancing style that was along these jolly lines. * As for me, I suspect that I've been guilty of more than a few of these hilariously clueless white-boy dance moves. * Christine isn't a resourceful dancer either, but it's hard to imagine anyone complaining. (PG-13, but still probably unwise at work.) Best, Michael... posted by Michael at February 8, 2006 | perma-link | (3) comments

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

For the Price of a Face Lift...
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- can have a second wedding. So says The Fiancée. She was in Seattle last week, dashing around lining up a preacher, a DJ, a harpist, the cake, flowers, invitations, a rehearsal dinner site and other items requiring a few months' lead-time. The wedding site itself was nailed down a while ago. Meanwhile I, the prospective bridegroom, stand by with buzzing head awaiting my prize-bull moment when they insert the ring-with-chain into my nose in anticipation of my rôle as photo-prop for the beautiful bride. Back when I was young [sound of cane thwacking computer] even first weddings weren't so elaborate. Not in the Pacific Northwest, anyhow. When my fraternity brothers got married the whole thing took an hour or two, max. The wedding would be a simple church ceremony followed by a reception in the church's social hall where guests were treated to wedding cake, coffee, mixed nuts and maybe ice cream if we were lucky. Roman Catholic weddings took longer because of the Mass, but receptions also tended to be brief. There were some weddings that included dinner and dancing, but those involved the social élite or perhaps ethnic groups where fancy weddings were the norm. The practice of dinner-dancing receptions back in the early 1960s seemed to be more of an East Coast thing, as best I could tell at the time. Things have changed. Whether due to improved mass-communications or in-migration to the region, Pacific Northwest weddings nowadays strike me as being just as elaborate as those I witnessed years ago in Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Even though The Fiancée and I have previous marriages, she wants it to be a big blast with few compromises. One difference is that there won't be a bunch of bridesmaids and such -- a sorority sister will be Matron of Honor and I'll have a cousin as Best Man. And she won't have a fancy wedding gown, opting instead for a simpler dress of some kind (which I am not permitted to view). We kicked around the matter of what I should wear, and for the moment it looks like I'll get my wish and simply wear a dark suit (she was leaning towards a dinner jacket). Speaking of wedding attire, I notice that bridal outfits are a lot more glam than I recall. I mean, they used to have sleeves and even halfway modest necklines. Now most of them seem to be like white, strapless evening gowns with puffy skirts. I have no idea how long wedding fashions have been this way -- haven't been to a first wedding in years. Our biggest departure from custom is the honeymoon: there won't be any. In part this is because seasonal duties at work (in late May) prevent me from taking more than a couple days off. Also, we do a lot of travel as is, so a honeymoon would not be anything special. Finally, she wants to hang around to make sure that out-of-town... posted by Donald at February 7, 2006 | perma-link | (11) comments

Jane Jacobs
Michael Blowhard writes: Dear Blowhards -- We Blowhards and many of our fine visitors make frequent reference to "the great Jane Jacobs." I really have nothing to add to the chorus of admiring hosannas but my own hosanna. Hey, I think she's great too! But there's always the chance that a few visitors might not be familiar with the great Jane Jacobs or with her work. So it occurred to me: Why not provide an EZ, if half-assed and scattershot, intro? Jacobs, who turns 90 this year, is -- IMHO, but I ain't alone -- one of the most remarkable of the go-it-her-own-way critic-intellectuals of the past century, a proud amateur and generalist from an era that was moving ever more in the direction of professionalism and specialization. Jacobs was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the daughter of a doctor. Soon after high school, she moved to New York City. During the '30s and '40s, she lived a catch-as-catch-can Greenwich Village life: working at this and that, beginning to write, exploring the city, and taking occasional courses at Columbia University. When the post-war years came along, America went into pave-the-country-over hyperdrive. Sorry to say this about the Greatest Generation -- all due honor paid to them, of course -- but: What in God's name were they thinking of? In short order, steel-and-glass towers were being thrown up all over the country; the 1956 Federal-Aid Highway Act was signed into law, leading to the biggest engineering feat in the country's history; and the atrocity known as "urban renewal" was set in train. Plow it under! Build it anew! (Small sidebar: I'm forever tinkering with, and never quite finishing, a posting about urban renewal. Major themes: what a horror it was, and how underknown it is today. I'm not entirely sure of my judgment in the matter, but I suspect that urban renewal may have been a self-inflicted American disaster on a par with the Vietnam War. Before laughing at me, consider the tally. Thousands of communities were destroyed. Millions of people were forcibly relocated. So many of these people were black that black people joked about urban renewal, bitterly calling it "Negro removal." Tens of billions of dollars were spent in an almost entirely destructive fashion. We did this to ourselves -- can you imagine? Anyway, we're still living in the shadow of this gigantic mistake, just as we're still living in the shadow of Vietnam.) Has anyone ever fully explained what was going on in people's minds during those Le Corbusier-besotted/big-project/top-down years? As far as I can tell, the country was high on its victory in World War II, was thrilled to be done with the Depression, was delighted by the new and the shiney, couldn't have liked automobiles better, and was feeling even more can-do than usual. Still, is that enough to explain how far things went? What a crazy time. Planners and bureaucrats were determined to "rationalize" everything they could get their hands on. Where cities were concerned, this... posted by Michael at February 7, 2006 | perma-link | (30) comments

Monday, February 6, 2006

Unbelievable Bernie (Fuchs)
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- It was nearly three months late, but I didn't complain. I grabbed a copy and, cash in hand, practically ran to the cashier. Originally scheduled for November, Issue 15 of Illustration magazine finally appeared on a news stand. So what's the big deal? It is an entire issue devoted to Bernie Fuchs, who is my candidate for the title of greatest illustrator in the second half of the Twentieth Century. The Web site for Illustration is here. And here is a page with thumbnail page views from the issue (caution: this downloaded slowly on a computer attached to a fast line). David Apatoff did the write-up and claims (correctly, as best I can tell) that this is the first real biography of Fuchs. Apatoff has a nice blog on illustration and related art here; please give it a test-drive. I was astounded the first time I saw Fuchs' work back in the days I was a commercial art student. He was only seven years older than me but already unapproachably more advanced. (Moreover, Apatoff tells us that Fuchs lost three fingers from his drawing hand before he had gotten very far in his already belated art training. I doubt his work would have been better had he the use of all five.) Some artists I respect. Others I study. Bernie Fuchs is just about the only one whose work I worship. By all means get a copy of the magazine and see why. Gallery Unfortunately, most of Fuchs' really good stuff can't be found on the Internet: that's why I urge you to buy the magazine. Below are some examples that, I hope, will give you a hint as to why I'm raving. Sketch of John F. Kennedy. "Ferrara" "Ship in Green Water" "Dancing at the Wheel" "Pensive Moment" illustration, 1981. I have my private collection of Fuchs' illustrations. It's comprised of pages I ripped out of magazines in the late 1950s and mid-1960s. They're getting a bit yellowed and faded, but I never threw them away. Nor do I plan to. UPDATE: I should mention that Illustration has spotty news stand distribution, so you might consider ordering a copy directly from the publisher. The Web site has a mailing address if you prefer to sent a check; otherwise, you can order on-line. Later, Donald... posted by Donald at February 6, 2006 | perma-link | (7) comments

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Should First be Best?
Donald Pittenger writes: Dear Blowhards -- Ever hear the gripe that news media cover political campaigns and elections like horseracing or other sports? You know: who's ahead and by how much -- that sort of thing. Complaints about the practice center on how important things such as positions on issues get shortchanged in reports. While ignoring or downplaying issues might make for bad civics, it's impossible to ignore the fact that political campaigns and sporting events are both forms of competition. I'm not quite willing to claim that competition is part of human nature (mostly because I haven't given the matter enough thought), but it certainly is pervasive here in what's left of Western Civilization. Consider science. Scientific kudos are awarded for being the first to discover/explain/create something or other. This has been going on for centuries, if the Newton-Leibnitz controversy over who invented the calculus is any guide. James Watson's famous book The Double Helix deals with scientific competition as much as it does with scientific subjects. Not that there's anything wrong with being a beloved science teacher or well-paid pharmaceutical researcher. But if it's scientific glory you seek, you need to be first. Nothing less will do. They'll never hand out a Nobel Prize to the third guy to make an anti-gravity machine. That's also how the history of science is written. It's a string of names such as Lavoisier, Gauss, Pasteur, Roentgen, Einstein and Bohr. It seems to be the same for art history -- but should it? When I took a year-long art history class in college (way back at the end of the 50s) the instructor did a very 20th Century thing, casting western art as a progression interrupted by a few hiccups such as the Dark Ages. Once we reached late mediaeval times the course became a chronicle of improvements related to faithful depiction of the world. Matters treated included linear perspective, atmospheric perspective and human anatomy. Where possible, the artists who kicked the various cans down the road to reality were identified and celebrated for their achievements. Upon reaching the 1860s, the pointer shifted to the direction of Abstract Expressionism, the dominant field of painting at the time the class was given -- the narrative according to Albert Barr (of MoMA) and friends. Given that Post-Modernism was still in embryo, this made for a tidy presentation of everything from Lascaux to West 8th Street. All-in-all the art history narrative was pretty much like the scientific history narrative, right down to the controversies: Was it Picasso or Braque who invented Cubism? I wonder if this business of assigning precedence and glory affected -- perhaps even created -- PoMo art. Assume that most young artists since the mid-1950s have taken an art history course and that the content of the course wasn't drastically different from the one I took (for events up to about 1960, anyway). Lesson likely learned: you can become famous if you innovate. And take it as given that once painting became... posted by Donald at February 5, 2006 | perma-link | (11) comments