206 Chapters
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Medium 9780253008527

4 - Recent History of Plein Air Painting in Indiana

Indiana Plein Air Painters Association Quarry Books ePub

T. C. Steele's home and studio, preserved as a State Historic Site, are open to the public throughout each year. To celebrate the artist's September 11 birthday, the Site sponsored the first Great Outdoor Art Contest in 1988 to encourage artists to paint on location. Several of the artists who continue to paint outdoors admit to having their first plein air experience at one of the Steele Site's outdoor art contests.

This initial “paint-out” in Indiana became an annual tradition and spawned other similar events throughout the state. One of the most significant and enduring paint-outs, the First Brush of Spring, established in 1999 in New Harmony, Indiana, attracts plein air painters nationally and currently boasts more than $6,000 in award money. The event kicks off the Hoosier painting season each April. Other annual paint-outs occur in Wabash, Culver, Lake Wawasee, Hanover, Indianapolis, Brookville, Edinburgh, Crawfordsville, and Richmond, among other towns. The T. C. Steele State Historic Site also sponsors a spring outdoor art contest in addition to their fall event.

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Medium 9780253014092

5 Fashion Design in South Africa: Histories and Industries

Victoria L. Rovine Indiana University Press ePub

South African fashion is totally different from the rest of Africa. It is certainly African—you must call it African because it is made here.

—Marianne Fassler, 2008

We wanted to try and find a way that would make history part of popular culture, so the individuals who buy those clothes become ambassadors.

—Nkhesani Manganyi Nkosi of Stoned Cherrie, Sunday Times, 28 April 2002

Woolworths and South Africa’s leading designers are working together to bring you the best in local design. Wear them proudly.

—Woolworths department store clothing label, Cape Town, 2008

South Africa’s large and diverse fashion industry includes numerous designers whose work bears analysis as conceptual; these designers create garments that evoke complex localities without directly borrowing from or depicting elements of local cultures. Continuing a leitmotif from the previous chapter, many of these designers employ various forms of recycling—from the reuse of clothing to the repurposing of images that allude to specific histories, both national and personal. In post-apartheid South Africa, barely a generation beyond the end of the nation’s long period of racial segregation and repression, references to the past and to the ongoing struggle to realize the promise of transformation are a prime subject for artistic explorations in all media. Fashion design provides a highly visible and widely accessible venue for these explorations. Before turning to case studies of designers, I briefly introduce three aspects of South Africa’s history that reverberate in the work of fashion designers, making the country’s design industry exceptional in Africa. These elements—ethnic diversity, a history of race-based oppression, and a highly developed industrial and commercial infrastructure—all contribute to the distinctiveness of the nation’s fashion industry.

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Medium 9780253007414

8. Navigating Nairobi: Artists in a Workshop System, Kenya

Edited by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir and Indiana University Press ePub

Jessica Gerschultz

Governing Nairobi’s contemporary art scene is a complex web of relationships among artists. These relationships are formulated and sustained through the dynamic workshop system underlying production and exhibition. In this system, multiple levels of workshops act as the key unifier, bringing various individuals together to share materials, create, critique, and exhibit. Although individual workshops in Kenya have been discussed (Picton et al. 2002; Kasfir 1999; Burnet et al. 1999:15–18; Nyachae 1995), no attempt has been made to present Nairobi’s workshop network as a fluid system that allows artists to develop and sustain relationships beyond a particular studio space or moment in time. This system fosters relationships among artists and between artists and other social actors, such as children participating in artist-led workshops in community spaces. The oversight in the literature occurs because of the term’s limited connotations. In order to better understand the social networking at the heart of Nairobi’s art infrastructure, it is first necessary to reexamine what the term “workshop” implies and to whom. It is then constructive to outline the configuration of this system in order to consider how it shapes and is shaped by artists’ relationships. I will also discuss its relevance to artists’ conceptions of how knowledge, specifically technical and organizational knowledge, is disseminated. By reevaluating the workshop in this particular context, I will show that workshops comprise a navigable system in which artists develop professionally, relying on each other for training and support. I will demonstrate the centrality of this system and its impact on artists’ modes of working by tracing the career paths of several Nairobi artists who are representative of the wider grouping of workshop-affiliated artists. I will also underline how the workshop system intersects with wider audiences in Nairobi.

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Medium 9780253011596

6: Independent Painting while Teaching 1905–1923

Rachel Berenson Perry Indiana University Press ePub


FOLLOWING HIS NOTABLE LOUISIANA PURCHASE Exposition awards, Forsyth successfully sold a few landscapes, including On the Kentucky River and a couple of paintings displayed at the Lieber Galleries. In early 1906 the Louis Katz Art Gallery in New York City wrote, wishing to negotiate an agreement to sell some of his work.1

William Forsyth ca. 1907,
Indiana Historical Society, M0691.

Along with improving sales, Forsyth consistently donated or partially donated paintings to schools, including the Bluffton Public School, Garfield Public School in Richmond, Gary Public Schools, and Manual Training School in Indianapolis. He also gifted paintings to various organizations and individuals, such as the Orphans’ Asylum, the Art Association of Indianapolis, and James Whitcomb Riley (who was ill), and to celebrate marriages and anniversaries. For his seasonal excursion in 1905, Forsyth returned to Martinsville in August, then moved due east about thirty-five miles to Waldron, in Shelby County, to sketch and paint colorful foliage.2

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Medium 9780253353801

3 Dudespeak: Or, How to Bowl like a Pornstar

Edward P Comentale Indiana University Press ePub

Justus Nieland

What condition is the Dude’s linguistic condition in? Obviously, it’s fucked. But how? We might start with the fact that the Dude’s language, more often than not, is not his own, but a stoned mimesis of the phrase making of others. Dudespeak is mimicry, a compulsive borrowing from the stylized tissue of verbiage whose repetitions, loopings, and displacements constitute the film’s linguistic world. Examples abound: “This aggression will not stand, man”; “Her life was in our hands, man”; “In the parlance of our times, you know”; “Johnson?”; “You mean, coitus?”; “Beaver? You mean vagina?” All are citations, increasingly absurd sound bites whose discrepant reappearance in other contexts becomes so much linguistic grist for the Coens’ comic mill. Even what has come to be the Dude’s signature phrase, the linguistic encapsulation of an ethos—“The Dude abides”—is a rescripting of the purported limits of Jeffrey “the Big” Lebowski’s tolerance, his refusal to “abide another toe.” So, while the Dude, “quite possibly the laziest man in Los Angeles County,” may be prone to such mimetic locutions, Dudespeak exemplifies the broader expressive world of the film: “sometimes there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place, he fits right in there . . . and that’s the Dude, in Los Angeles.”

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Medium 9780253348920

5. Mask and Spear: Art, Thing, Commodity

Sidney Littlefield Kasfir Indiana University Press ePub



Material objects are chains along which social relationships run.

—E. E. Evans-Pritchard, The Nuer (1940)

Every material object is constituted as an object of discourse.

—Christopher Tilley, “Michel Foucault: Towards an Archaeology of Archaeology” (1990)


In this chapter I reach the core of the book’s second and more aesthetically focused set of arguments, which concern the interpretations, both indigenous and exogenous, of the masks and spears of my historical narrative. In earlier chapters (1 and 2), I argued that missionaries’ and explorers’ accounts, novels, the popular press, and colonial government reports created a discursive field around the institutions and practices of warriorhood in what became the British colonies of Nigeria and Kenya. The inscriptions were very different in the two locales and resulted in markedly dissimilar governing policies. And because these policies had a direct effect upon artisanal practice related to warriorhood, I have argued that they inadvertently set the conditions for artistic and technical innovation. Because the Idoma and Samburu cultural scripts were very divergent, innovation meant something different in each case: the transformation of a mask genre for the Idoma and the opening up of the smith’s previously limited spear repertory for the Samburu. In the next section (chapters 3 and 4), I turned to a closer scrutiny of the power and limitations of the Idoma sculptor and the Samburu smith within a larger cultural script of African practice. But the argument cannot end there, because although I have traced the innovations in certain kinds of objects as they relate to a repertory and practice, I have not looked at them as visual texts. To understand the place these objects have come to inhabit in an externally structured art-world or material-culture concept, one has to trace the variations in ways they have been talked and written about in the colonial and postcolonial spaces they have inhabited.

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Medium 9780253008527

1 - A Condensed History of Landscape Painting

Indiana Plein Air Painters Association Quarry Books ePub

We artists live ideally
We breed our firmest facts of air:
We make our own reality—
We dream a thing and it is so.
The fairest scenes we ever see
Are images of memory:
The sweetest thoughts we ever know
We plagiarize from Long Ago.


The fine art of painting landscapes, for the sole purpose of recreating pleasing natural scenery, has been pursued in America for fewer than 175 years. Beginning in the 1850s, the Hudson River School painters created idealized depictions of nature, aesthetically influenced by romanticism. Like their contemporaries, American writers Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), the visual artists revered our country's unspoiled beauty, believing that God was manifested in nature.

Reflecting early American exploration and colonization, Hudson River School artists often depicted humans existing in harmony with nature. Paintings by Thomas Cole (1801–1848), the credited founder of the art movement, were the first to feature the Hudson Valley's splendor and disappearing wilderness, particularly in autumn.

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Medium 9780253007414

5. Stitched-up Women, Pinned-down Men: Gender Politics in Weya and Mapula Needlework, Zimbabwe and South Africa

Edited by Sidney Littlefield Kasfir and Indiana University Press ePub

Brenda Schmahmann

Husbands would help us if they feel pity, but sometimes they don’t [feel pity]. And what makes you see they don’t is that you are pregnant and have a child on your back and are going out fetching firewood and the man does not help.

I became pregnant again [for the third time] in 1988. My husband was working at that time but then he got arrested and was jailed for two years for some reason. That is when our suffering increased enormously. After his return from custody, I got pregnant with our fourth child, who was born in June 1990. In 1992 my husband was jailed again for some reason. Then I got a job but my salary was not enough for me to pay school fees.

The first of these passages quotes Charity Mugala, who was living in Weya—a communal area (formerly known as a Tribal Trust Land) about 170 kilometers east of Harare in Zimbabwe—in the mid 1990s (Mugala, interview by Brenda Schmahmann, October 27, 2006, Weya). The second—dating to 2001—is by Julia Makwana, a resident of the Winterveld, a peri-urban area about 40 kilometers northwest of Pretoria in South Africa.1 Although the context and cultural frameworks of these commentators may be different, both women construct scenarios in which support is not forthcoming from a husband, whether through reluctance or absence, and a female is thus forced to undertake all domestic labour or single-handedly generate earnings necessary to sustain herself and her children.

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Medium 9781574412895


Olive Jensen Theisen University of North Texas Press PDF


The Last Years: 1994–2001

I think we have to show the human condition and what happens to it. To me that is what art is all about—showing the spirit of man struggling above the mundane, above the material, above suffering. This is the whole story of art.

— John Biggers, quoted in Felts and Moon,

“An Interview with John Biggers”

The years 1994 to 1997 were exciting but tiring ones for John and Hazel

Biggers. Upon completion of the murals at Hampton University and WinstonSalem State University, Biggers experienced some serious health problems caused by diabetes and exhaustion. They planned to rest for a good long time in their Houston home.

Celebration of Life

In late 1993, Biggers had been approached by a group of artists from

Minneapolis, Minnesota, led by Ta’Coumba Aitkin, Seitu Jones, and Patricia

Phillips, who asked him to design a mural that they would paint collaboratively. The mural was to be painted on concrete sound barrier walls 16 feet high and 160 feet long alongside a major highway. Biggers was intrigued. To work with a community of artists as Diego Rivera had done long ago had always been his dream. John Biggers knew that he could not personally oversee the project but he could design a series of panels for them. He accepted the project and planned that the mural should tell the story of creation through his selected African symbols. After phone discussion and various drawings,

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Medium 9780253013873

14 Zombie Cocktails

Edward P Comentale Indiana University Press ePub

We take great pleasure in drinking big zombies.

Simone de Beauvoir, America Day by Day

When Betsy Connell, female lead in Jacques Tourneur’s I Walked with a Zombie (1943), confesses that is she isn’t in fact familiar with zombies, her interlocutor, Dr. Maxwell, first tells her that she is dealing with “a ghost, the living dead” and then informs her more cheerfully that the Zombie is also a drink, at which point Betsy finds herself on more familiar territory. “I tried one once,” she says, “but there wasn’t anything dead about it.” Uttered in 1943 at the height of Hollywood’s tiki craze, these lines are no doubt an inside joke. By this time, actors and audience alike were more than familiar with the real Zombies that had overrun America’s bars and the mystical powers they allegedly possessed. And much like Val Newton’s cinematic living dead, the Zombies served at bars such as Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s evoked echoes of Haitian vodou, supernatural possession, and the mystical, transatlantic origins of the zombie myth.1

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Medium 9781574412208


Olive Jensen Theisen University of North Texas Press PDF


This manuscript was completed during the time of the great hurricane

Katrina-caused f lood in New Orleans on August 31 and the first week of

September 2005. While I watched television news covering the flooded city and its stranded citizens who were so disproportionately African American and poor,

John Biggers’s drawings came to my mind. In his early drawings he had depicted the struggle of the working poor with such empathy. It was the part of life that he had known the best. He had seen the exhaustion of a mother trying to shield her children from poverty and illness. He knew the desperation of the elderly without resources who could not care for themselves. The faces glimpsed on the flickering screen could have come from John Biggers’s sketchbook. He was well acquainted with poverty, racism, and injustice.

He spent the last half of his career infusing his art with optimism and hope.

He had a passion for art and believed that somehow his art could lift up his cherished people to the very best of life. As he came to accept and treasure his life’s journey as an African American pioneer, he developed powerful iconic images that resonated with many viewers. Television viewers of Katrina’s destruction agonized while watching so many families clinging together, desperate for help.

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Medium 9780253013873

6 Zombie Physiology

Edward P Comentale Indiana University Press ePub

The point is, it wasn’t a surprise, the war . . . or emergency, or whatever you want to call it . . . it was already on. It had been, what, three months since everyone jumped on the panic train.

Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

While it has become de rigueur to portray the zombie onslaught as a war, this analogy is in fact seriously flawed and can result in lethal outcomes for humans who hew to orthodox strategies of offensive or defensive warfare. Consider that zombie warfare is not driven by a religious motive or geopolitical objective. Beyond the common innate drive to consume human flesh, zombies exhibit no cooperative group objective. Moreover, zombie predation does not appear to be driven by any planned or organized strategies conforming to the strictures of either traditional or terrorist warfare, although as described later, sufficient densities of zombies can spontaneously generate several rudimentary but lethal modes of uncoached clustering.

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Medium 9780253353801

14 LebowskIcons: The Rug, The Iron Lung, The Tiki Bar, and Busby Berkeley

Edward P Comentale Indiana University Press ePub

Dennis Hall & Susan Grove Hall

The Big Lebowski is full of the kinds of images that are popularly called icons. The film not only places these in our view, but also shows them in dimensions and relationships that are new to us. What are these icons? The term is now used so commonly, especially for celebrities, that it might seem without meaning. In several years of studying icons in popular culture, though, we have found the term difficult to define because it has deep and pervasive influences beyond our usual perceptions. In preparing American Icons: An Encyclopedia of the People, Places, and Things That Have Shaped Our Culture, we identified several common features of icons.

An icon often generates strong responses; people identify with it, or against it; and the differences often reflect generational differences. Marilyn Monroe, for instance, carries meanings distinctly different for people who are in their teens and twenties than for people in their sixties and older. An icon stands for a group of related things and values. John Wayne, for example, images the cowboy and traditional masculinity, among many other associations, including conservative politics. An icon commonly has roots in historical sources, as various as folk culture, science, and commerce, often changing over time and reflecting present events or forces. The log cabin, for example, has endured as an influential American icon, with meanings and associations evolving from our colonial past through the present.

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Medium 9780253011596

4: The Beginnings of a Teacher Fall 1888–Fall 1897

Rachel Berenson Perry Indiana University Press ePub

Fall 1888–Fall 1897

AFTER DOCKING IN NEW YORK, WILLIAM FORSYTH spent a few days visiting old comrades in the city and “inquiring about the chances for artists at home.”1 He moved back to his family's rented Indianapolis south side house at 213 Fletcher Ave. in mid-October, 1888. Unfortunately, his valise containing clothes and art supplies was stolen by a hack driver in New York. Although the driver was caught, the valise never reappeared, and Forsyth spent considerable effort trying to get compensation for his loss. The company claimed they were only responsible for clothing and refused to pay for painting supplies.

Bolstering his credentials, Forsyth sent a snow scene titled March to Fred Hetherington to be entered in the 1889 National Academy of Design spring exhibition in New York. He also entered three paintings in the 6th Annual Art Association of Indianapolis exhibit in Masonic Hall. His concern about immediate income was somewhat relieved when he took over Adams’ weekend art class in Ft. Wayne.

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Medium 9780253008145

TWO Veiling without Veils: Modesty and Reserve in Tuareg Cultural Encounters • SUSAN J. RASMUSSEN

Edited by Elisha P Renne Indiana University Press ePub

In this chapter, I analyze the power and vulnerability of a gendered cultural value that not only involves the literal wearing of veils, but also incorporates a more general respect, shame, and modesty, called takarakit in Tamajaq, the local Berber (Amazigh) language of the Tuareg residing in oases and towns of Niger, Mali, Algeria, Libya, and Burkina Faso. This concept conveys several related yet distinct sentiments or attitudes. Most Tuareg are Muslim, semi-sedentarized, socially stratified, and until recently, predominantly rural and nomadic, but now semi-nomadic.1 Local mores permit much free social interaction between the sexes, and most women enjoy high social prestige, can independently own property, and are not secluded or veiled; rather, it is men who are veiled. During evening festivals, social occasions, and courtship between the sexes, takarakit and “veiled” sentiments with indirect expression are traditionally encouraged, albeit with some social license. In the pre-colonial stratified, endogamous social system, persons who were forbidden to marry were allowed to flirt at the evening festivals. Despite some degree of relaxation permitted under cover of darkness, takarakit has long been particularly important there, with highly stylized etiquette, stricter for men than for women. More generally, men are supposed to always respect women, whether during informal sociability, in courtship conversation, or at the evening musical festivals, and are not supposed to boast of or discuss openly their relations with women. Men ideally should be modest, even self-effacing, in women’s presence. They should not be aggressive or coercive toward women. Thus there is some coincidence between takarakit and respectful conduct more generally. There is also an overlap between takarakit and some other values, such as imojagh (dignity or honor) and eshshek (decency). As anywhere, not everyone follows this ideal conduct. Takarakit is both asserted and violated, a “flashpoint” for debate.

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