I feel like I've just stepped into a time warp.
...anything but ordinary...
I heard on the local news of my NPR station that a group of local concerns attempting to maintain a Philadelphia home to Thomas Eakins' famous paintint, The Gross Clinic, has raised about one-third of the $68 million needed to keep the painting in Philadelphia. They look to prevent Thomas Jefferson University's sale of the painting to a partnership of the National Gallery and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, slated to be open in 2009, in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Tax-deductible donations to the Fund for Eakins' Masterpiece can be made online at:The Philadelphia Museum of Art (a fabulous institution, I might add) offers the following information about tax-deductible donations to the Keep Eakins Fund:
Checks payable to the Fund for Eakins' Masterpiece may be sent to:
Fund for Eakins' Masterpiece
c/o the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Box 7646, Philadelphia, Pa.
There is also a Fund for Eakins' Masterpiece hotline for information at:
If the efforts to acquire the Eakins masterpiece are unsuccessful, we will contact you to find out if you wish to have your contribution returned or if you would be willing to have your contribution used to keep other significant works of art in the Philadelphia region for public enjoyment and education.Here's why I think this is important and why I will be making a small contribution after I'm done writing this post.
"Brother Bronislaus Luszcz of the Franciscan Missionary Brothers started in 1938 and spent 22 years building the Black Madonna Shrine and Grottoes."Brother Bronislaus built walls of broken bits of crockery, stones and cement and decorated them with pieces of glass, costume jewelry, tiny ornaments, seashells. I am not Catholic. I appreciate some of their rituals but most of Catholicism sticks in my craw. Yet I loved the Black Madonna Shrine. It spoke to me of the intensely personal relationship one can have with God. It preached inner peace and the joy that brings and the opening of the heart to the world that results from meditation on the divine.
Here comes a bitchy post because I'm premenstrual and bitchy as hell and just because I can. Nyah.
I read this in Thursday's Philly Inquirer and am totally psyched about it. It seems scientists have been able to withdraw amniotic fluid, extract the stem cells and use them to grow heart valves in vitro. The idea is to use a fetus's own cells to create these valves so they are ready (they grow in 4-6 weeks) for use in a newborn with congenital heart valve anomolies.
As I suspected might happen, there is a movement afoot in Philadelphia, spurred by local art and civic organizations, to keep Thomas Eakins' The Gross Clinic here in the city. Two major influences behind this move are the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where Eakins studied.
I haven't had a terribly keen interest in blogging recently. Life was busy for a while before the election and I've been spending a lot of time reading political stuff since then. I've had even less interest in looking at the blog stats here. But today I went to Technorati to check links to NOP and found a new one, from Phawker. There's no "about" that I can find on the site but this seems to be a Philly-based journalist. There are some interesting items there...politics, culture, news, media...many of the things I hold near to my heart.
This is a painting entitled The Gross Clinic which was painted by Philadelphia's own Thomas Eakins in 1875. The painting has been the property of Thomas Jefferson University in downtown Philly since its purchase in 1878. It has been prominently displayed at the university since the alumni association bought it for $200. At some points, it has been displayed so it was visible from the street. It has never been permanently housed outside of Philadelphia since it was painted here.
Egalia has posted an article by Paul Krugman over at Tennessee Guerilla Women about populism in the recent election. I love it! Here's (imho) the best part:
Ever since movement conservatives took over, the Republican Party has pushed for policies that benefit a small minority of wealthy Americans at the expense of the great majority of voters. To hide this reality, conservatives have relied on wagging the dog and wedge issues, but they’ve also relied on a brilliant marketing campaign that portrays Democrats as elitists and Republicans as representatives of the average American.Fabulous! We are tired of the very few rich getting richer and the many, many poor sinking further down into the abyss! It's about time someone started talking seriously about raising the minimum wage and reining in the immense power of the big drug companies!
This sleight of hand depends on shifting the focus from policy to personal style: John Kerry speaks French and windsurfs, so pay no attention to his plan to roll back tax cuts for the wealthy and use the proceeds to make health care affordable.
This year, however, the American people wised up.
I found a wonderful letter to the editor of the New York Times this morning. I couldn't have said it any better. I wonder if Ken has a blog?...
tags: 2006 election / US politics
To the Editor:
Now that our electorate has finally woken from its stupor, we should ask ourselves why it took six years to recognize the incompetence and demagogy of this administration and the responsibility of the Republican leadership that blindly followed its lead.
The damage done is enormous, in Iraq, in the United States and around the world. Years have been squandered while the critical issues of our time have gone unattended.
How and why were we fooled?
We have a fascination with personalities instead of policy, a desire to be entertained rather than enlightened, and a need to have an enemy to define us and give our lives meaning.
Thankfully, our democracy is still functioning, though we will not see really meaningful progress until we can disconnect the electoral and legislative processes from the flow of corporate cash.
Let’s not forget that the Senate voted to give President Bush authority to start a war in Iraq. Our euphoria should be short-lived, and our vigilance should be redoubled.
Pound Ridge, N.Y., Nov. 8, 2006