December 05, 2007

Confederate Monument

Recently the Confederate monument on the grounds of the state Capitol in Montgomery was vandalised, and some of the faces and hands spray painted black.

While the Southern Poverty Law Center is saying that it is not a hate crime, those representing Confederate veterans couldn't disagree more, and the representatives of the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are asking for an investigation into the matter. They're also offering a $1,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the vandalism.

The commander of the Capitol police said that they have no evidence that it was anything more than vandalism by misguided people, but I know that there are a lot of people who would adamantly disagree.

Here's a letter written to my down-home newspaper, by Roger K. Broxton, President of the Confederate Heritage Fund.

Gov. Bob Riley should receive much of the blame for the recent vandalism at the Confederate Monument in Montgomery.

The governor’s false claim in his annual Confederate History Proclamation that Lincoln’s Tax War (mistakenly called the Civil War) was caused by slavery helped create an atmosphere of hatred for our Confederate veterans.

Abraham Lincoln made the following statement in his first inaugural speech, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”

Lincoln then endorsed a constitutional amendment recently passed by the U.S. Congress, preventing the U.S. government from ever interfering with or abolishing slavery in any state, thereby eliminating slavery as any possible cause for the war.

Also in this same speech, Lincoln promised there would be no invasion of the South, except to collect taxes, now raised to 40 percent from 20 percent.

One month later, Lincoln started the war by ordering the illegal invasion of Charleston Harbor, S.C., with 11 armed warships to fortify Fort Sumter, a tax collection fort.

Riley has no official historical proof to support his false statement about slavery.

I challenge Riley to produce irrefutable proof or remove his false slavery language from the proclamation and help end this atmosphere of hatred for our Confederate veterans.

Roger K. Broxton, PresidentConfederate Heritage Fund Andalusia

Sherri Shepherd Thinks the World is Flat

I know that I am smarter than this!

Grandma Moses

Her name came up in conversation with a friend, and since I have been an admirer of her work for as long as I can remember, I thought I would share this article from Encyclopedia Britannia. She was born Mary Ann Robertson, on September 7, 1860, in Greenwich, New York, and died December 13, 1961.

"Anna Robertson had only sporadic periods of schooling during her childhood. At age 12 she left her parents' farm and worked as a hired girl until she married Thomas Moses in 1887. They first farmed in the Shenandoah Valley near Staunton, Virginia, and in 1905 moved to a farm at Eagle Bridge, New York, near her birthplace. Thomas died in 1927, and Anna continued to farm with the help of her youngest son until advancing age forced her to retire to a daughter's home in 1936.

As a child the artist had drawn pictures and coloured them with the juice of berries and grapes. After her husband died she created worsted-embroidery pictures, and, when her arthritis made manipulating a needle too difficult, she turned to painting. At first she copied illustrated postcards and Currier & Ives prints, but gradually she began to re-create scenes from her childhood, as in Apple Pickers (c. 1940), Sugaring-Off in the Maple Orchard (1940), Catching the Thanksgiving Turkey (1943), and Over the River to Grandma's House (c. 1944). Her early paintings were given away or sold for small sums. In 1939 Louis Caldor, an engineer and art collector, was impressed when he saw several of her paintings hanging in a drugstore window in Hoosick Falls, New York. He drove to her farm and bought her remaining stock of 15 paintings. In October of that year three of those paintings were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in a show titled “Contemporary, Unknown Painters.”
Making Apple Butter, oil on canvas by Grandma Moses, 1958; in The Art Institute of Chicago.
Gift of Mrs. Ignatius Jelinski, 1976.428/The Art Institute of Chicago

From the beginning Grandma Moses's work received favourable criticism. In October 1940 a one-woman show of 35 paintings was held at Galerie St. Etienne in New York. Thereafter her paintings were shown throughout the United States and Europe in some 150 solo shows and 100 group exhibits. Throughout her lifetime Grandma Moses produced about 2,000 paintings, most of them on masonite board. Her naive style (labeled “American Primitive” by art historians) was acclaimed for its purity of colour, its attention to detail, and its vigour. Her other notable paintings include Black Horses (1942), Out for the Christmas Trees (1946), The Old Oaken Bucket (1946), From My Window (1949), and Making Apple Butter (1958). From 1946 her paintings were often reproduced in prints and on Christmas cards. Her autobiography, My Life's History, was published in 1952."

*Naïve Art is the work of artists in sophisticated societies who lack or reject conventional expertise in the representation or depiction of real objects. Naïve artists are not to be confused with hobbyists, or “Sunday painters,” who paint for fun. The naïve creates with the same passion as the trained artist but without the latter's formal knowledge of methods.