Wednesday, November 13, 2019

The Songs of the Fifty States: Ohio

Winter Evening in Lawnfield (c.1887) by Ohio artist De Scott Evans, depicting
Ohioan President James Garfield at home at his Ohio home.



Ohio!

Size: 116,096 km2 (34th)

2018 Population: 11,689,442 (7th)

Population Density (new!): 109/km2 (10th)

Statehood: 1803 (17th), although due to a procedural error Ohio's statehood wasn't formally ratified until 1953.  No, really!

American Human Development Index: 4.78 (36th)

Art Mecca:

I have been in Ohio only three times, never for more than ninety minutes at a stretch, and all three times with the explicit goal of being able to say I had "been in Ohio."  In all three trips, I stopped at a convenience store at least once to make a purchase and thereby really, truly establish that I had been in Ohio, but still I don't feel like I've experienced everything the Buckeye State has to offer.  It is easily my most superficially experienced state.

Meanwhile, we've got longtime friend of the blog Christine M smack dab in the center of the state in Columbus, doing artsy things and working in an artsy job, so I naturally figured the best way to research the Ohio arts scene would be to ask her.  Here's what she said:

I would say the top art museums are the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art and the Cincinnati Art Museum somewhat behind, but nonetheless quite good. Our museum in Columbus is nice, but was not the recipient of robber baron largesse since we had no robber barons at the time. We have Les Wexner now, so we're good with the contemporary art.



Michael 5000's Ohio

First Visited: July 10th, 2005 (45th)
Most Recently Visited: September 9, 2019 (12th)

First Run In: n/a
Best Run: n/a.

Raced In: No.

Have Admired the Visual Arts In: No.
Have Slept Overnight In: No.

Counties Visited: 6/88 (tied for 47th)
% Complete: 6.8% (50th)



Mrs. 5000's Counties Visited: 18/88 (tied for 23rd)
% Complete: 20.5% (39th)
Mrs.5000 First Visited: 1966 (order unclear)
Mrs.5000 Most Recently Visited: August 1990 (approx. 40th)



Atlas of All Roads Traveled




Plans and Aspirations

Obviously at some point I need to get out there and wallow in some Ohioness.

--

Saturday, November 9, 2019

The Ladder of Art -- Week #47


Cast your votes for up to four of these seven artists by Friday November 15.  For clarifications, consult the Ladder of Art FAQ.




Last Week's Results

1. Daubigny: 8
2. Canaletto: 7
2. Holbein: 7
4. Beccafumi: 3
5. Murillo: 2
5. Batoni: 2
7. Judd: 0



This Week's Contest



James Rosenquist
1933 - 2017
American

Tournament Record: Tied for 387th. Defeated Rosselli, lost to Bernini and Rodin. 12 votes for, 21 against (.364).






Perugino
1447ish - 1523
Italian

Tournament Record: Tied for 383rd. Lost to Francis Picabia, beat Max Pechstein, then lost to Piero di Cosimo. 11 votes for, 19 against (.367).







Palma Vecchio
1480ish - 1528
Venetian

Tournament Record: Tied for 383rd. Beat Johann Friedrich Overbeck, then lost to Pannini and Bryan Organ. 11 votes for, 19 against (.367).







Domenico Beccafumi
c.1486 - 1551
Italian

Tournament Record: Placed 391st. Tied with André Beauneveu, lost to Bouguereau and Jasper Johns. 13 votes for, 23 against (.361).
  • Tied for Third in Week #45.
  • Placed Fourth in Week #46.





Hans Holbein
1497ish - 1543
German; worked in Britain

Tournament Record: Tied for 392nd. He, Hans, lost to Winslow Homer and Gerrit van Honthorst. 9 votes for, 16 votes against (.360).
  • Tied for First in Week #44.  
  • Tie for Second in Week #46.






William Merritt Chase
1849 - 1916
American

Tournament Record: Tied for 439th. Beaten by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and Christo. 6 votes for, 14 votes against (.300).
  • Placed Second, Week #26.
  • Tied for First, Week #27.
  • Placed First, Week #29.
  • Placed First, Week #31.
  • Tied for Second, Week #33. 
  • Tied for Second again, Week #34. 
  • Tied for First, Week #35. 
  • Placed First in Week #37. 
  • Placed First in Week #39. 
  • Placed First in Week #41. 
  • Tied for First in Week #43.
  • Placed First in Week #45.





Canaletto
1697 - 1768
Italian (Venetian); also worked in England

Tournament Record: Placed 448th. Beat Robert Campin, then lost to Caravaggio and Alexander Calder. 7 votes for, 17 votes against (.292).
  • Placed First in Week #24. 
  • Placed First again in Week #26. 
  • Placed First again in Week #28. 
  • And again in Week #30. 
  • And again in Week #32. 
  • And again in Week #34.
  • And again in Week #36. 
  • And again in Week #38. 
  • And again in Week #40. 
  • Tied for First in Week #42. 
  • Tied for First again in Week #44.
  • Tied for Second in Week #46.





Cast up to four votes in the comments by Friday morning!

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Ladder of Art -- Week #46


Cast your votes for up to four of these seven artists by Friday November 9.  For clarifications, consult the Ladder of Art FAQ.




Last Week's Results

1. Chase: 8
2. Daubigny: 5
3. Judd: 4
3. Beccafumi: 4
5. Lam: 2
5. Poliakoff: 2
5. Cellini: 2



This Week's Contest



Pompeo Batoni
1708 - 1787
Italian

Tournament Record: Tied for 387th. lost to Jacopo Bassano, beat Georg Baselitz, but fell to Frederic Bazille. 12 votes for, 21 against (.364).





Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
1618 - 1682
Spanish

Tournament Record: Tied for 387th. Defeated Paul Nash, lost to Alphonse Mucha and Arthur Dove. 12 votes for, 21 against (.364).





Domenico Beccafumi
c.1486 - 1551
Italian

Tournament Record: Placed 391st. Tied with André Beauneveu, lost to Bouguereau and Jasper Johns. 13 votes for, 23 against (.361).
  • Tied for Third in Week #45





Hans Holbein
1497ish - 1543
German; worked in Britain

Tournament Record: Tied for 392nd. He, Hans, lost to Winslow Homer and Gerrit van Honthorst. 9 votes for, 16 votes against (.360).
  • Tied for First in Week #44. 







Donald Judd
1928 - 1994
American

Tournament Record: Tied for 405th. Lost to Frida Kahlo, beat Allen Jones, and lost to Gwen John. 13 votes for, 25 votes against (.342).
  • Tied for Second, Week #40. 
  • Placed Fourth, Week #41. 
  • Tied for Fourth, Week #42.
  • Tied for Third, Week #43. 
  • Tied for Third, Week #44. 
  • Tied for Third again, Week #45.





Canaletto
1697 - 1768
Italian (Venetian); also worked in England

Tournament Record: Placed 448th. Beat Robert Campin, then lost to Caravaggio and Alexander Calder. 7 votes for, 17 votes against (.292).
  • Placed First in Week #24. 
  • Placed First again in Week #26. 
  • Placed First again in Week #28. 
  • And again in Week #30. 
  • And again in Week #32. 
  • And again in Week #34.
  • And again in Week #36. 
  • And again in Week #38. 
  • And again in Week #40. 
  • Tied for First in Week #42. 
  • Tied for First again in Week #44.





Charles-François Daubigny
1817 - 1878
French

Tournament Record: Placed 505th.  Lost to Salvador Dali and Aelbert Cuyp. 4 votes for, 26 votes against (.133).
  • Finished First in all of the even-numbered Ladder Weeks #2 - #20.
  • Tied for First, Week #22. 
  • Placed Third in Week #24. 
  • Tied for First, Week #25.
  • Tied for First, Week #27. 
  • Tied for Second, Weeks #29 - #32. 
  • Tied for Second, Week #33.
  • Tied for Second again in Week #34. 
  • Tied for First, Week #35.
  • Tied for Second, Weeks #37 - #40. 
  • Placed Second, Week #41. 
  • Placed Third in Week #42. 
  • Tied for First, Week #43. 
  • Placed Second, Week #45.





Cast up to four votes in the comments by Friday morning!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Saint of the Month: John Wycliffe


John Wycliffe
The Trial of Wyclif by Ford Maddox Brown, the 360th ranked artist of all time.

AKA: Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe, Wickliffe.  He lived before people were too stressed about orthography.
Feast Day: October 30 in North America; December 31 in other Anglican communities.

Really Existed? Sure.  Dude hung out with John of Gaunt.
Timeframe: from the late 1320s to 1384.
Place: England. 

Credentials: Honored as a saint in the Anglican Churches.
Martyrdom: Posthumous only.

Patron Saint of: I don't think Anglican saints have portfolios of patronage.
Symbolism: I don't think they have symbolism, either.

Today is the feast day of John Wycliffe according to the litergical calendar of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church of the United States. In the Church of England and the Episcopal churches of Australia and Brazil, he's honored on New Year's Eve. In Catholicism, for reasons that will become apparent, he's not venerated at all. But that's OK. The concept of sainthood isn't confined to Catholicism, and the Michael5000 Calendar of the Saints is nothing if not ecumenical.  Mind you, an Anglican wouldn't generally pray to a saint and ask them to advocate on their behalf to God, unless they were at the tippy-top of the very most lofty pinnacle of the High Church.  For your average Anglican, a saint is simply a person worthy of respect and contemplation because of their good deeds or character.

If you have a good grounding in British history or traditional Western Civ, the name of John Wycliffe will be at least a little familiar. Within the English-speaking world, he was probably the most important of the religious dissidents of the Middle Ages. As a priest, theologian, and professor of religion at Oxford, he was openly critical of the wealth, worldliness, and ostentation of the clergy. I've read that he was an early forerunner of Protestantism, and I've also read that the ideas of 14th century guys like Wycliffe had nothing to do with Protestantism, and it's a big anachronistic mistake to confuse the two. So yeah, basically he was an early forerunner of Protestantism.

Famously, he oversaw a translation of the Bible into English, and this sounds like a big deal -- the sacred text of Christianity, now available to the common folk! Except, when you think about it, almost none of the common folk could read. Those that could, could usually read in Latin as well as they could in English.  (Nor was this, contrary to what I imagined, the first translation of the Bible into English; turns out there were several already around.)  I suspect that what Wycliffe and his team wanted to do was have Bibles handy that could be read out loud to the common folks who didn't understand Latin.  If I'm right, it almost more of a CD than it was a book, although I may be losing control of my metaphor a bit at this point.

In addition to his belief that the Bible should be available in local languages, Wycliffe believed in predestination and the separation of church and state. This, and his belief that the church should be divested of all its property so that the clergy could be spiritually enriched by poverty, did not universally endear him to the ecclesiastical hierarchy. He likely survived mostly because he was under the protection of some powerful secular leaders, including John of Gaunt, one of the best-connected power brokers in history and the guy who pretty much ran England in the late fourteenth century. Wycliffe's notion that the Church should hand over all of its property to the state -- you can see where this line of thinking would have some appeal to Gaunt.

After he turned fifty, Wycliffe seemed to stop caring much what folks thought of him (it happens!) and began going beyond criticism of clerical excesses. He came out against popular lay practices like the use of holy images and the veneration of saints, and then began to attack even closer-to-the-bone aspects of religious practice like the notion of transubstantiation, the need for the sacraments, and the existence of the Papacy. This was radical stuff indeed.  Although some folks found it thrilling -- enthusiastic followers of the radical Lollard movement that it inspired would be persecuted and executed horribly for generations to come -- the high-placed supporters that had protected Wycliffe began to find him a little too hot to handle.

Remarkably, however, Wycliffe managed to keep out of harm's way for long enough that he could drop dead of a stroke at the end of 1384. Eventually, his books would be burned; indeed, eventually he himself would be posthumously excommunicated, declared a heretic, dug up, and ceremonially put to the flames. The way I see it, though, if you're going to be burned as a heretic, having it happen a few decades after you die takes a lot of the sting out of the experience.

But where are my manners? John Wycliffe was opposed to the veneration of saints, and here I am going on about him in the context of his sainthood. We'll respect the man's sensibility by keeping it brief, and I'll wish you a happy day of his feast. If you like, you can do like John and meditate on the virtues of dissent and reform.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Ladder of Art -- Week #45


Cast your votes for up to four of these seven artists by Friday November 2.  For clarifications, consult the Ladder of Art FAQ.




Last Week's Results

1. Canaletto: 6
1. Holbein: 6
3. Judd: 3
3. Lam: 3
3. Poliakoff: 3
6. Marini: 2
7. Jones: 0



This Week's Contest



Domenico Beccafumi
c.1486 - 1551
Italian

Tournament Record: Placed 391st. Tied with André Beauneveu, lost to Bouguereau and Jasper Johns. 13 votes for, 23 against (.361).






Benvenuto Cellini
1500 - 1571
Florentine

Tournament Record: Placed 390th. Beaten by Cézanne and Philippe de Champaigne. 8 votes for, 14 against (.364).





Serge Poliakoff
1906 - 1969
Russian; worked in France

Tournament Record: Tied for 399th. Lost to Sigmar Polke and Antonio del Pollaiolo. 7 votes for, 13 votes against (.350).
  • Tied for Fourth in Week #42.
  • Tied for Third in Week #43. 
  • Tied for Third in Week #44.





Wifredo Lam
1902 - 1982
Cuban; worked in France

Tournament Record: Tied for 401st. Lost to Frantisek Kupka and Thomas Cole. 8 votes for, 15 votes against (.348).
  • Placed Third in Week #41. 
  • Tied for First in Week #42. 
  • Tied for Third in Week #44.





Donald Judd
1928 - 1994
American

Tournament Record: Tied for 405th. Lost to Frida Kahlo, beat Allen Jones, and lost to Gwen John. 13 votes for, 25 votes against (.342).
  • Tied for Second, Week #40. 
  • Placed Fourth, Week #41. 
  • Tied for Fourth, Week #42.
  • Tied for Third, Week #43. 
  • Tied for Third, Week #44.







William Merritt Chase
1849 - 1916
American

Tournament Record: Tied for 439th. Beaten by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and Christo. 6 votes for, 14 votes against (.300).
  • Placed Second, Week #26.
  • Tied for First, Week #27.
  • Placed First, Week #29.
  • Placed First, Week #31.
  • Tied for Second, Week #33. 
  • Tied for Second again, Week #34. 
  • Tied for First, Week #35. 
  • Placed First in Week #37. 
  • Placed First in Week #39. 
  • Placed First in Week #41. 
  • Tied for First in Week #43.





Charles-François Daubigny
1817 - 1878
French

Tournament Record: Placed 505th.  Lost to Salvador Dali and Aelbert Cuyp. 4 votes for, 26 votes against (.133).
  • Finished First in all of the even-numbered Ladder Weeks #2 - #20.
  • Tied for First, Week #22. 
  • Placed Third in Week #24. 
  • Tied for First, Week #25.
  • Tied for First, Week #27. 
  • Tied for Second, Weeks #29 - #32. 
  • Tied for Second, Week #33.
  • Tied for Second again in Week #34. 
  • Tied for First, Week #35.
  • Tied for Second, Weeks #37 - #40. 
  • Placed Second, Week #41. 
  • Placed Third in Week #42. 
  • Tied for First, Week #43.






Cast up to four votes in the comments by Friday morning!