This Week’s Various

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has just been promised approximately 190 works of self-taught art by Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, collectors with what is considered one of the nicest groupings of that genre.  In the spring of 2013, the museum will have an exhibition and catalog of the works.

…focus on American artists active between the 1930s and 1980s, many of whom are African American, and will feature works by such iconic figures as William Edmondson, Bill Traylor, and Martín Ramírez, as well as by somewhat lesser-known but widely respected artists such as James Castle, Howard Finster, William Hawkins, and Elijah Pierce.

Among the highlights of the Bonovitz collection are six works by William Edmondson (1874-1951), including the stone sculpture Horse. A retired janitor from Nashville, Tennessee, Edmondson took up carving tombstones and outdoor stone ornaments in his mid to late fifties, sometime in the early 1930s. Over the next decade and a half he filled his back yard with small figures of birds, animals, and people, which he sculpted from found chunks of limestone using an old railroad spike for a chisel. Masterful in their simplification of form, pared down to the barest essentials, minimally articulated as to surface and texture, and almost geometric in their near abstraction, these works are today considered among the finest achievements of self-taught art in the United States.

Bill Traylor’s works consist of flattened, simplified, and silhouetted images that are drawn with great skill and ingenuity on often-irregular paper or cardboard surfaces, as seen in House with Two Men, Dog, and Bird, one of a dozen superb works by the artist in the collection. People, birds, and animals are in constant action in Traylor’s work, running, climbing, shooting, fighting, yelling, drinking, poking, chasing, pointing, or sitting, often within or on top of strange, unidentifiable geometric structures. Born a slave, Traylor (c. 1853-1949) spent most of his life as a farmhand; however, for a few years in the late 1930s and early 1940s, homeless and in his late eighties, he drew pictures in pencil, colored pencil, and poster paint on found pieces of cardboard, making his art on a sidewalk in downtown Montgomery, Alabama.

…said Sheldon Bonovitz. “With our gift, we are helping the Museum build recognition across a wide audience for the remarkable contributions of self-taught artists. We thank the Museum for recognizing the importance of self-taught artists within the broader field of contemporary art and hope that it will encourage other donors to help us further this important mission.”

Do you watch Ted?  At least once or twice a week, I try to go to their site: ‘Riveting Talks by Remarkable People, Free to the World’ and watch something that winds us as always entertaining and makes me feel a little bit smarter.  This week, algorithms are *so* interesting.  Seriously.

Oh the deliciousness that is architecture in Treme, and the T-P gives us more pics than usual.  Also lately in the paper: smothering (food) = flavor, and ‘Organ and Labyrinth‘ — interesting!

How do people change in twenty years, living in the same town?  Oxford Project.

CNN hosts a religion blog, and one of the best posts lately has been: ‘Actually, that’s not in the Bible‘ — like “cleanliness is next to G-dliness” and “G-d works in mysterious ways”.  One passage from the post:
“Most people who profess a deep love of the Bible have never actually read the book,” says Rabbi Rami Shapiro, who once had to persuade a student in his Bible class at Middle Tennessee State University that the saying “this dog won’t hunt” doesn’t appear in the Book of Proverbs.

Earlier this year Av and I went to see Joel Hoffman give a speech at Southside Baptist in conjunction with TEE in B’ham about Bible translations (he’s written several books and his blog is called ‘G-d Didn’t Say That‘), and that was fantastic.  This is his latest book.

It might be a good time to start growing pecans.

The NYT tells people ‘You Are Making Your Biscuits Wrong‘ and gives two recipes, but neither recipe is the one I’ve had with best results — dropped by spoon in a super-hot, preheated cast iron skillet.

Friends, I must pray twenty times a day.  Sometimes purposefully at a set time and place, and sometimes just a tiny, tiny message, a sentence, to the Almighty while walking down the hall or setting the table.  If you can make one more prayer tonight, will you please do it for this sweet three year old boy, grandson of someone I know?  Thank you.
(Donations: Fifth Third Bank, in the name of Jamie Wynberry or Keaton von Buchler Memorial Fund)

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