Several European museum shows in 2018 contain examples or are devoted to American 20th century artists and modernism like the ones curated for the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, the Royal Academy, Tate Modern and British Museum.
Massachusetts loans boast the Edward Hopper painting Manhattan Bridge Loop from the Addison Gallery of Art collection, Phillips Academy, Andover, selected for America’s Cool Modernism at Oxford. Three Hopper etchings (The Cat Boat, Night Shadows, and The Railroad) are on the checklist. Hopper depicted Gloucester in over 110 works of art. Besides Hopper, notable artists and writer with various Gloucester connections selected are: Stuart Davis, Marsden Hartley, e e cummings, and Louis Lozowick.
Forgot the cry of gulls and the deep sea swell
Upcoming at Turner Contemporary – “Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ a major exhibition (Sat 3 Feb – Mon 7 May 2018) considering Eliot’s watershed poem through visal arts, and Margate. I hope they turn to Gloucester and Cape Ann, unspoken in the final poem yet approachable (and specified in excised iterations). From the museum’s press release:
“Presenting artworks from the 19th century to the present, including film, photography and artefacts, the exhibition explores how contemporary and historical art can enable us to reflect on the T. S. Eliot poem, The Waste Land, and its shifting flow of diverse voices, references, characters and places.
If Not, Not (1975-6), R.B. Kitaj, National Galleries of Scotland
In 1921, T.S. Eliot spent a few weeks in Margate at a crucial moment in his career. He arrived in a fragile state, physically and mentally, and worked on The Waste Land. The poem was published the following year, and proved to be a pivotal and influential modernist work. Building on Turner Contemporary’s extensive experience in participation and engagement, the exhibition is being co-curated with a research group of 30 volunteers from the community, supported by the programme team at Turner Contemporary and external curator Professor Mike Tooby. Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ is being funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the John Ellerman Foundation.”
Not surprisingly, the Eliot House writers’ retreat is getting some major ink. Pulitzer Prize winning author, Louis Menand, writes about his visit this past spring, fleshing out some context and the mission of the T.S. Eliot Foundation. I’d tweak the title “one paradox”. Menand has written about Eliot before: his first published book was Discovering Modernism: T. S. Eliot and His Context, 1987.
“…Eliot’s father, Henry, who ran a company that manufactured bricks, took the family to Massachusetts every summer, and in 1896, the year Eliot turned eight, Henry built a big house on Cape Ann, in Gloucester, overlooking the outer harbor. Until Eliot went off to Europe, in 1914, he spent his summers there…”
“…UK-based T.S. Eliot Foundation purchased the home for $1.3 million, announcing its plan to transform the residence into a writers retreat. Two years of planning and construction later, the foundation has made good on its promise, quietly welcoming its first cohort of poets, writers, and editors this summer…”
Link to Malcolm Gay article
Today is the first day of track and field at O’Maley Innovation Middle School. On this 120th anniversary of the first day of the modern Olympics (thanks Google Doodle), may our student athletes be inspired by James Brendan Connolly. Before he was a Harvard spurner, a Veteran, a Gloucester Master Mariner, a sea tales chronicler and beloved writer, James Connolly was one of 14 American athletes (5 were Bostonians) to compete in the international Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece, 1896.Twenty percent of the international competitors were from the United States.
Connolly medalled. Twice. On the first final of the opening day, Connolly won what is now the triple jump and came in 2nd in the high jump. He sailed home a champion, the first Olympic medal winner in 1500 years. This recognition no doubt helped his byline and he rapidly gained a reputation as a fantastic writer. The Boston Globe published his first war correspondence, “Letters from the Front in Cuba” where he served with the Irish 9th Infantry of Massachusetts. His career soars after writing about Gloucestermen from his days working in Gloucester. I’ll let Connolly take it from here, it’s so good:
Continue reading “Today’s Google Doodle has Gloucester Ma connection”
Cat Ryan submits-
As a reminder, there will be 20 temporary mixed media crosswalks throughout downtown by artist, Justin Desilva (Rhode Island School of Design alumnus). Each one features different HarborWalk story moment content. Special thanks to Ben’s Paint.
Here’s the TS Eliot work along the intersection of Washington Street and Main by Tallys. The HarborWalk Story Moment marker #2 featuring TS Eliot is further down on the path by St. Peter’s and Cape Ann Brewing.
Comments included how the images change depending upon where and how one is looking (viewing the images through a lens, or viewfinder, from a distance, or up close).
This man thought it was fun to compare Justin’s ideas and process with Seurat and other Pointillists. The pug is unfazed by the new surface over his frequent path past Joan of Arc. The HarborWalk Joan of Arc story marker is #37. We’ll ask Justin about his ideas in another post.
Today’s intermittent rain slowed down the process, but not the speed of the cars! (Drivers fly past Joan of Arc heading to the Boulevard).
Thanks to Phyllis Cucuru for spending time with us and supplying a barney trash bag. Feeling fortunate that Café Sicillia, Building Center and other businesses are open on Sunday as we had to make a couple of trips. Desilva was planning to complete Hammond Castle and one in tribute to the Dory (on Main Street by Café Sicillia and Short and Main).
Here’s the Hammond Castle site BEFORE looking down to the Boulevard and out to the harbor. There’s also a photo looking back in the direction of the Joan of Arc memorial.
The 2013 Gloucester HarborWalk Public Art Challenge was a competitive, two-stage, open process established and administered by the Committee for the Arts (CFTA) on behalf of the City of Gloucester, and at the direction of Mayor Kirk and the City’s Community Development Department under Sarah Garcia. Funding for the purchase of public art was provided through a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council. The awards reflect discussions, community development, planning and determination to remember and work towards incorporating the creative arts broadly alongside other city efforts. Gloucester hearts art! For further information Gloucester Committee for the Arts
Have an idea? Want to get involved or volunteer? Please email friends of the HarborWalk email@example.com or visit http://www.ghwalk.org
April 19, 2011“April is the cruellest month” from The Wasteland, 1915
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)
Though born in St. Louis , Eliot’s family had New England roots reaching back to the Salem witch trials and deep into Harvard yard. He attended Milton Academy and spent summers on Cape Ann (see The Dry Salvages), later studying at Harvard, Oxford , and the Sorbonne. In later life he renounced both Unitarianism and his American citizenship in favor of Anglicanism and the United Kingdom . Eliot is often cited as the greatest modern poet, and The Wasteland as one of the most important poems, of the 20th century.
PS As far as I can discover, Eliot spelled "cruelest" with two L’s in the original.
Gregory R. Bover