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Meaning in Art--"Subject" or "Content"? by Michelle Marder Kamhi and Louis Torres. On the distinction between primary subject matter and ultimate meaning in art. Adapted from "'Art and Sense of Life,'" Chapter 5 of What Art Is: The Esthetic Theory of Ayn Rand, a forthcoming book by the authors.
A Brief History of Brookgreen Gardens by Robin R. Salmon. On the world's largest outdoor collection (in South Carolina) of figurative sculpture--devoted to nineteenth- and twentieth-century American work.
Readers' Forum: On "Jack Schaefer, Teller of Tales." Letters from Don Koestner, Art Smith, Stefan Herpel, Joseph Epstein, Marc Simmons, Michael Platt, Ricardo Quinones, Eugene Rowley, Richard Wheeler, Gerald Haslam, and Fred Erisman--with a reply from the author.
Brief Notes: www.aristos.org (on the new Aristos web site); Joseph Epstein and The American Scholar.
Jack Schaefer, Teller of Tales (Part II) by Louis Torres. On the work of one of America's finest writers, the critically neglected author of the classic novel Shane--his first work of fiction. Monte Walsh; The Critical Literature; The "Myth" of the West; An Ultimate Faith in Mankind; Granting Schaefer His Due. [special 8-page issue]
Jack Schaefer, Teller of Tales (Part I) by Louis Torres. On the work of one of America's finest writers, the critically neglected author of the classic novel Shane--his first work of fiction. The Years before Shane; Shane; Other Tales of Youth; Tales of Old Age; "Kittura Remsberg"; Other Stories and Short Novels; Company of Cowards. [special 8-page issue]
Against the Dehumanization of Art by Mark Helprin. An incisive refutation of Ortega y Gasset's defense of modernism in The Dehumanization of Art (1925); an eloquent argument for humanistic values and standards in art, as in life; and for the consideration of abstract painting as design, not art. (Originally presented as a lecture under the auspices of the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., in May 1994.)
Kandinsky and His Progeny by Michelle Marder Kamhi. On the insanity of postmodernism, as exemplified by the multimedia "installations" of Bruce Nauman, and its roots in the false premises of Vasily Kandinsky's abstract paintings and of his treatise Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1911), a seminal text of modernism.
Homo Artisticus by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. About the earliest artists, and the psychological inspiration for their work--occasioned by the recent discovery of a major group of prehistoric paintings in southern France. [illust.]
Revaluing the Liberal Arts by Michelle Marder Kamhi and Louis Torres. What "liberal education" means and why it is in jeopardy today; the place of the fine arts in the liberal arts tradition; and the efforts of the nascent American Academy for Liberal Education to restore meaningful standards to undergraduate education.
Of Men and Music by Deems Taylor (1885-1966). Two chapters reprinted from a book of observations by this respected composer and critic, who early opposed the attempts of Stravinsky and other modernists to alter the fundamental nature of music.
Yes . . . But Is It Art?--Morley Safer and Murphy Brown Take on the Experts by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. The fraudulence and pretension of today's fashionable art world mocked by "60 Minutes" and the popular sit-com "Murphy Brown."
Brief Notes: [Jacques] Barzun Prize in Cultural History; Art and Self-Esteem; "We the Living" Video.
Robert Payne--Uncommon Guide to the World of Art by Michelle Marder Kamhi. A survey of painting and sculpture from prehistoric time to the modern era by Robert Payne (1911-1983), a sensitive and eloquent observer.
Brief Notes: Novelist Kay Nolte Smith (1932-1993); To Save the Liberal Arts [on the American Academy for Liberal Education]; Lecture [by Aristos co-editors] on Ayn Rand's Esthetic Theory.
The Relentless Cult of Novelty--How It Ruined Twentieth-Century Art by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. An emphatic condemnation of the avant-garde, its rejection of craftsmanship, and its erosion of moral values (reprinted from the New York Times Book Review).
Readers' Forum: On "Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Art." Letters from John Hospers, R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Douglas Den Uyl, Mary Sirridge, Norris Clarke, S.J., Stephen Cox, Ronald Merrill, and Randall Dipert--with a reply from the authors.
Brief Notes: Esthetics Colloquium [on Ayn Rand's theory]; A Weighty Periodical [Magazines for Libraries review of Aristos]; Diamond in the Mountains [on American composer David Diamond].
Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Art--A Critical Introduction (Part VI & Conclusion) by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. A recapitulation of Rand's principal insights into the nature of art; a critique of the literature on her theory; and an analysis of the reasons for its neglect, as well as a brief concluding assessment. [special 8-page issue]
Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Art--A Critical Introduction (Part V) by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. A consideration of Rand's fourth and final essay on the nature of art, "Art and Cognition." which identifies the major branches of art and analyzes their relationship to human perception and cognition. [special 8-page issue]
Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Art--A Critical Introduction (Parts III & IV) by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. An analysis of Rand's essays "Philosophy and Sense of Life" and "Art and Sense of Life"--in which she develops her concept of sense of life as the integrating factor in both the creation of and the response to art.
Ayn Rand's Philosophy of Art--A Critical Introduction (Parts I & II) by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. A brief overview of the intellectual context for Rand's esthetic theory; and a detailed examination of her essay "The Psycho-Epistemology of Art," which includes her definition of art.
Blurring the Boundaries at the NEA by Louis Torres. On the widespread disdain for definitions in today's art world, and its destructive impact on arts education through programs supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Impressionism and the Decline of Painting by R.H. Ives Gammell. How the achievements of the early Impressionists were misunderstood and inadequately conveyed by succeeding generations of painting instructors, whose impoverished teaching methods dissipated a once-high art form (adapted from a chapter of Gammell's recently reissued Twilight of Painting, first published in 1946). [illust.]
R.H. Ives Gammell by Michelle Marder Kamhi. On the life and work of this influential painter, teacher, and writer, who was dedicated to perpetuating the high tradition of Western painting.
On Drawing by Harold Speed. Reflections on draftsmanship and art from the opening chapters of The Science and Practice of Drawing (1917), a treatise for artists and art lovers by an accomplished British painter and teacher. [illust.]
Letters from the Editors. Is Photography Art?; Site-Specific Art?; The Utne Reader on "Postmodernism"; A "Play" without Words. Published and unpublished letters by Aristos co-editors to the editors of the New York Times, the Utne Reader, and the Tony Awards Administration Committee.
Commentary: "The National Endowment for the Arts." Censure of both Congress and the NEA for federal support of non-art.
Intelligibility in Music--Heinrich Schenker's Theory of Musical Coherence by William Clark. Brief nontechnical introduction to the vast contribution of Schenker (1868-1935) in elucidating the structure of great music.
A Children's Classic Evoked in Bronze. About a recent sculpture for Boston's Public Garden inspired by Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings. [illust.]
On Responsible Criticism: Film Version of "We the Living." Disparate views in letters by Michelle Marder Kamhi and New York Times Cultural News Editor.
Exhibition: "The Figure in Sculpture" reviewed by Louis Torres. On recent gallery exhibition and catalogue of small-scale works by nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American and European sculptors. [illust.]
Ayn Rand's "We the Living"--New Life in a Restored Film Version by Michelle Marder Kamhi. About a newly released film (the re-edited and subtitled version of a film made in Italy in 1942), as well as about the book on which it is based, Rand's anti-totalitarian novel set in post-revolutionary Russia. [illust.]
Readers' Forum: On "The Child as Poet." Letters from Myra Cohn Livingston, Jacques Barzun, and others in response to the January 1988 cover article--with a reply by Louis Torres.
Today's "Public Art"--Rarely Public, Rarely Art by Michelle Marder Kamhi. Critical examination of "new directions in public art" in the twentieth century, particularly of problems inherent in current government programs. [illust.]
Two Public Monuments a Century Apart by Thomas Schlotterback. Comparison of the conception, creation, installation, and public reception of a nineteenth-century Civil War monument and a twentieth-century abstract "sculpture."
A Little Matter of Sense--Thoughts on the Language of Criticism by Jacques Barzun. Censure of the obscure, pretentious verbiage of today's art critics, who have abandoned their proper craft in favor of the trappings of poetry and science (reprinted from the New York Times Book Review).
Anna Hyatt Huntington's Joan of Arc by Michelle Marder Kamhi. About an outstanding equestrian monument of the early twentieth century, newly restored to its former splendor. [illust.]
Editorial: "The Courage to Say So." On the impossibility of making critical sense out of artistic nonsense--with note taken of current "artist" members of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and praise for Jacques Barzun's exposure of the nonsense in modern criticism.
The Child as Poet--An Insidious and Injurious Myth by Louis Torres. On poet Myra Cohn Livingston's The Child as Poet: Myth or Reality (1984), a critical study of opposing approaches to teaching children how to write and appreciate poetry.
Reflections on Poetry and Children by Judson Jerome. A poet's musings on introducing children to poetry, and his evaluation of two very different anthologies (reprinted from Writer's Digest).
Readers' Forum: "Children, Values, and Art"--art educator Charles Wieder's views on artistic creativity in children; "Real Poetry"--a critique of Jane Greer's "The Sounding" (Aristos, December 1986).
Lamenting the Lost Classics--The Poverty of Modern Primers by Diane Ravitch. On the fundamental differences between modern reading textbooks and readers used during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (reprinted from the New York Times Book Review).
Exhibition: "Victorian Childhood." Paintings from the Forbes Magazine Collection briefly reviewed by Michelle Marder Kamhi. [illust.]
Readers' Forum: On "Boswell's Johnson--Branden's Rand." An expanded section of letters to the editor--with author's reply--on the May 1987 cover article.
Editorial: "Our Literary Heritage." Why literary classics ought to be restored to the reading curriculum.
Boswell's Johnson--Branden's Rand: "The Passion of Ayn Rand" in Historical Perspective by Louis Torres. Barbara Branden's biography of Rand examined in the context of earlier prototypes for life-relationship biography, in particular, James Boswell's classic Life of Samuel Johnson.
Editorial: "Boswell on Johnson." Excerpts from Boswell's biography of Johnson pertaining to Johnson's character and the writing of his life.
Victorian Treasures--Paintings from the McCormick Collection by Michelle Marder Kamhi. Salient qualities of Victorian art seen through works from an outstanding private collection. [illust.]
Editorials: "A Wall of Fire"--reminder that the making of true art is hard work, not child's play; "Rostand's 'Chantecler'"--notice of Kay Nolte Smith's inspiring new translation of Romantic fantasy-drama about a rooster-hero.
Commentary: "A Jaundiced Eye--Modern Scholarship on Victorian Painting" by Louis Torres. Modernist bias as a barrier to the full appreciation of traditional nineteenth-century art.
Profile: "Edmund J. And Suzanne McCormick--Uncommon Collectors" by Michelle Marder Kamhi.
Amadeus--Theatrical Triumph at the Cost of Essential Truth by Paul Henry Lang. A critique of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus for its distortion of the life and character of both Mozart and Salieri (reprinted from Opus).
Editorials: "The Essential Mozart." The composer's artistic sensibilities contrasted with Shaffer's boorish characterization of him; "The Aristos Foundation."
Poem: "The Sounding" by Jane Greer
Plains Poetry Journal reviewed by Louis Torres. Praise for a "little" journal, edited by Jane Greer, devoted to contemporary poetry that employs the principal poetic means of the past.
Profile: "Richard W. Whitney" by Louis Torres and Michelle Marder Kamhi. On a contemporary painter of the Boston school. [illust.]
The Misreading of Literature--Context, Would-Be Censors, and Critics by Michelle Marder Kamhi. "Aliteracy" in American culture--how inattention to the author's context, both fictional and historical, leads "censors" and defenders alike to misinterpret literature.
Editorial: "The Statue of Liberty--America's Classical Icon."
Exhibition Catalog: Liechtenstein: The Princely Collections. Note on the lavish catalogue issued in connection with a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. [illust.]
The New Dawn of Painting by Louis Torres. On Realism in Revolution: The Art of the Boston Painters, an illustrated manifesto in defense and celebration of traditional values in painting by a group of realist artists opposing the tide of modernism. [illust.; see also Vol. 5 No. 1, devoted to R. H. Ives Gammell, teacher of Richard Lack (author of Bouguereau's Legacy, Vol. 1 No. 2) and of other painters represented in this book.]
Editorial: "A Unique Perspective on the Arts." A much-revised and expanded statement of the editorial philosophy of Aristos set forth in the premier issue.
Exhibition Catalogue: The Amasis Painter and His World. On a master of Attic black-figure vase painting, one of the supreme creations of Greek antiquity. [illust.]
On Responsible Arts Criticism: Letter to American Artist by Louis Torres. About editorial misuse of the terms "fine art" and "sculpture."
Threats to Rationalism--John Fowles, Stanislaw Lem, and the Detective Story by Frank Occhiogrosso. The unprecedented admission of the "Essentially Mysterious" into the genre of mystery fiction.
Editorial: "Things Substantial, Beautiful, and Enduring."
On Responsible Arts Criticism: Letters to the New York Times by Louis Torres. Comments on distorted Bouguereau review and on Times critics' insulation from readers' letters "To the Editor." [illust.; shortly thereafter, the Sunday Times "Arts and Leisure" section instituted its current practice of publishing readers' letters on a regular basis.]
Harriet Whitney Frishmuth--Lyric Sculptor by Beatrice Gilman Proske. The exuberance, vitality, and beauty of the youthful female form embodied in the bronzes of this early twentieth-century American sculptor. [illust.] [See also brief biography of Frishmuth.]
Books: Sculptured Hyacinths by Charles N. Aronson. A personal pictorial tribute to Frishmuth's life and work by her principal collector - Reviewed by Louis Torres
Desha--Artist's Model. Photographs of Frishmuth's favorite model, the dancer Desha--and with her sister and her husband, also dancers--posing in the nude.
Theater: Brief review of Royal Shakespeare Company's Much Ado about Nothing and Cyrano de Bergerac.
The Illusion of Progress by Kenyon Cox. Historical perspective on the major art forms and a proposition on the fundamental prerequisite for great art.
Making the Future Real--The Science Fiction of Robert Heinlein by Gary McGath. On the work of this outstanding contemporary author of science fiction.
Editorials: "The Illusion of Progress"; "Museums of Modern Art."
Poem: "Andromeda Unchained" by Alexandra York. Inspired by Daniel Chester French's sculpture of Andromeda. [illust.]
Dick Francis--Crime and Courage at the Races by Kay Nolte Smith. Essay-profile based on an interview with the best-selling mystery novelist and former jockey. [illust.]
Artists' Forum: "Still Life Painting" by James Prohl. Introduction to this traditional art form, illustrated with the author's own work.
Books: "The Boston Painters: America's Premier Realists" - Previewed by Louis Torres. [illust.]
Music: The Basic Repertoire: A Critical Discography of Reconsiderations and Recommendations by Richard Freed - Reviewed by Louis Torres.
Stamps--Art in Miniature by Louis Torres. On collecting stamps as "miniature works of 'art.'" Illustrated with examples from the author's personal collection.
The Jade Marsh Hare by Miv Schaaf. The writer's moving recollection of her deeply personal experience of a work of art.
A Conversation with Erika Holzer by Alexandra York. Reflections of lawyer-turned-writer on her first novel and the craft of fiction.
Books: Double Crossing by Erika Holzer - Reviewed by Alexandra York. [illust.]
Daniel Chester French--Public Monuments and Private Passions by Alexandra York. On this major American sculptor (creator of the monumental figure of Abraham Lincoln for the memorial in Washington, D.C.) and his little-known passion for the ideal beauty of the female nude, embodied in his Andromeda. [illust.]
Commentary: "The National Sculpture Society" by Louis Torres
Books: The Mousetrap and Other Plays by Agatha Christie - Reviewed by Steve Wright.
Dance Calendar: "Ruth Mayer and Bill Carter." Brief notice of program choreographed by these dancers and performed by them with other members of American Ballet Theater--including works by Carter (Aristos dance advisor) in flamenco, jazz, and ballet idioms.
Notes on Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Brief items of interest on one of America's greatest sculptors.
Louis L'Amour--An Appreciation by Thomas A. Bowden. The timeless themes and virtuous heroes of this prolific author's popular Westerns.
More than Star Trek--The Novels of Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath by Gary McGath. The raw material of the Star Trek television series developed to new heights.
Editorial: "An Esthetic Renaissance"
Magazines: American Artist reviewed by Louis Torres
Children's Books: The Wonderful O by James Thurber - Reviewed by Louis Torres
Books: My Life and Music by Artur Schnabel - Reviewed by Louis Alexander
Architecture's Delight (Part II) by John Gillis. [illust.]
The Search for Beauty by Walter Terry. The art of Isadora Duncan, Anna Pavlova, and their contemporaries as a source of inspiration in dance today. [illust.]
Article Review: "Dutch Treats" by Joy DeWeese-Wehen. On an exhibition of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings from a private collection. Reviewed by Louis Torres. [illust.]
Architecture's Delight (Part I) by John Gillis. The qualities that elevate a building to the level of architectural art. [illust.]
Focus On: Nicolai Gedda, tenor
Exhibition Catalogs: French Salon Paintings reviewed by Lee Clifford; Classical Realism: The Other Twentieth Century reviewed by Suzanne Lefranc Sheppard. [illust.]
A Conversation with Kay Nolte Smith (Part II) by Steve Wright.
Children's Books: The Best Word Book Ever by Richard Scarry - Reviewed by Louis Torres.
Verne and Wells--A Contrast in Vision by Gary McGath. An exploration of the radically different world views of these two giants of science fiction.
A Conversation with Kay Nolte Smith (Part I) by Steve Wright.
Architecture: "New Wright in New York" by John Gillis. The serene beauty of the Frank Lloyd Wright room installed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. [illust.]
Reflections: "Arthur Rubinstein, 1887-1982." A memorial tribute by Louis Torres.
Bouguereau's Legacy by Richard Lack. The technical brilliance and idealized beauty of this neglected nineteenth-century academic painter's work--inspiration to a new generation of artists and art lovers. [illust.] [For numerous illustrations, visit the Bouguereau web page created and maintained by an enthusiastic admirer.]
Rocky--A Romantic Odyssey by Fredric Marc Schorr. Why Sylvester Stallone's film trilogy has elicited such enthusiastic popular response.
Editorial: "Emphasis on the Positive."
Gallery Review: Carved and Modeled: American Sculpture 1810-1940.
Books: On the Training of Painters and Notes on the Atelier System by Richard Lack - Reviewed by Suzanne Lefranc Sheppard.
Rattigan's Renaissance by Holly Hill. The reasons behind America's long-overdue recognition of Sir Terence Rattigan--Britain's great twentieth-century Romantic playwright.
Editorial: "Editorial Philosophy"
Books: Catching Fire by Kay Nolte Smith. Second novel by Edgar Award-winning author of The Watcher - Reviewed by Steve Wright
Focus On: James Childs, painter. [illust.]