by Kevin Alfred Strom
HERE IS AN AMAZING four-part video series (43 minutes total and well worth the time) by the painter Scott Burdick. Don’t be put off by the fact that Burdick goes out of his way — way, way out of his way — to show traditional Western art, some of it his own, that depicts non-Whites. It’s as if he’s saying “see how non-racist I am,” to deflect attention from the fact the the rising Art Underground he depicts is substantially Whiter than rural New Hampshire. He nevertheless masterfully skewers the modern art establishment and their hatred for beauty — and their literal banishment of it from their galleries, museums, and literature. With calm logic he analyzes the common characteristics of the paintings that are sought out by these culture-distorters, and those that they reject.
MY ART SITE RECOGNIZED: My online art gallery — to which I’ve added quite a bit of content over the last month — has been recognized as being in “impeccable taste” by Leslie H. Higgins, the paleoconservative operator of The Young and Once Good Pundit. Mr. Higgins nevertheless characterizes me as “problematic” and as a “right-winger,” the latter being certainly untrue no matter what you think on the former count. But I don’t mind. Taste, Art, and Beauty matter and will last as long as the race. The political labels of the moment, decade, or century do not and will not.
THIS POEM is really two poems by two authors.
The first part was sent to me by an aspiring new poet named Däanlea, whose work really deserves to be published in print one day.
The second part is my response.
This piece begins in a personal vein, and ends with an extension of the personal into the infinite.
We conscious and unconscious beings are all on a journey together. I hope this poem helps the reader capture some sense of that.
by Kevin Alfred Strom
THIS YEAR marks the 200th birthday of the great poet and thinker Edgar Allan Poe. Today, October 7th, is the day of his mysterious death 160 years ago in Baltimore. And last month marked the 174th anniversary of his marriage to his beloved Virginia.
Not too long after Poe’s birthday in January of this year, someone very dear to me gave me a surprise present: two gift boxes from the Poe Museum in Richmond, one decorated with a reproduction of the famous Learned portrait of Virginia Poe (pictured, left) and the other (on the right) having on its lid an image of a very young-looking and clean-shaven Edgar Allan Poe — an image I had never seen before. The portrait is oval and in a thin oval gilt frame. Inside the lid of the second box is written “Edgar Allan Poe – Robert Lee Traylor.”
I have been a reader and student of Poe since the age of 11, but this portrait was one I had never seen. The only references I could find to “Robert Lee Traylor” and a Poe portrait were as the owner of a very different Poe picture, a daguerreotype.
And exhaustive searches of the ‘Net, comprising thousands of articles and representations of Poe, didn’t come up with this portrait or any reference to it. It seemed quite a mystery to me.
ART SITE UPDATED: My online art gallery has been updated recently, with newly-added paintings by Paul Delaroche, Angelica Kauffmann, Louis Janmot, Sophie Anderson, John Everett Millais, Abbott Handerson Thayer, Alexandre Cabanel, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Also added were portraits of Edgar and Virginia Poe, T.E. Lawrence, William Butler Yeats, Nikolai Gogol, Robert Louis Stevenson, Pedro Del Valle, and many more; along with new photographs and digital art pieces.
ART GALLERY RESTORED: After a too-long absence due to serious damage done by hackers, my art and photography gallery is now back online! Let me know if you experience any glitches or missing images. There are categories for paintings, sculpture, portraits, personal photographs, digital art, and more. It can be accessed using the ‘Art’ link in the menu near the top of this page.
ART GALLERY UPDATED: [NOTE, MAY 2d, 2009: Presently the gallery is offline, as it was one of my sites defaced by hackers. I am working on restoring it.] My online art gallery has been updated in the last few days, with new entries in Paintings, Sculpture, Portraits, Numismatic and Engraver’s Art, and Personal Photographs. Thanks for all the nice mail I received about the improvements!
THE THIRD RENAISSANCE: More thoughts from John Galsworthy; writing in 1911 — near the brink of the Suicide of the West in World War I — he called his age the Third Renaissance:
“I cannot help thinking that historians, looking back from the far future, will record this age as the Third Renaissance. We who are lost in it, working or looking on, can neither tell what we are doing, nor where standing; but we cannot help observing, that, just as in the Greek Renaissance, worn-out Pagan orthodoxy was penetrated by new philosophy; just as in the Italian Renaissance, Pagan philosophy, reasserting itself, fertilised again an already too inbred Christian creed; so now Orthodoxy fertilised by Science is producing a fresh and fuller conception of life — a love of Perfection, not for hope of reward, not for fear of punishment, but for Perfection’s sake. Slowly, under our feet, beneath our consciousness, is forming that new philosophy, and it is in times of new philosophies that Art, itself in essence always a discovery, must flourish.”