Latest update: 12/2/2004; 4:50:59 AM
quidquid bene dictum est ab ullo, meum est ~ Seneca
~ Empire Waists

The Decatur Daily has a feature on some sort of fashion exhibition which mentions inter alia:

Simple lines and empire waists of the early 19th century Neoclassicism Era were influenced by the discovery of the ruins of ancient cities Herculaneum and Pompeii, said Baldaia, and is illustrated in Gwyneth Paltrow's costume in "Emma."

I wasn't aware of that ...

::Sunday, November 07, 2004 10:24:29 AM::

~ Huntington Cairns

As a Canuck I suppose I can be forgiven for not knowing about Huntington Cairns ... some of our American friends might be interested in this piece about him from the Free-Lance Star:

Cairns became chief administrative, financial, and legal officer of the gallery in 1943. Serving concurrently in this post and as trustee of Mellon's Bollingen Foundation, Cairns was for a quarter of a century the nation's arts and humanities grant-maker par excellence.

The Bollingen Fellows were a who's who of poets, philosophers, and critics during the '40s, '50s, and '60s, and Bollingen Books became a distinguished imprint.

Cairns conceived the idea for the gallery's A.W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts, a series that introduced U.S. audiences to thinkers such as Jacques Maritain, Etienne Gilson, and Herbert Read.

He persuaded Mellon to fund Allen Tate's proposal for a national poetry award. In 1960, Cairns secured Mellon's support to establish the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, an institution that has sustained many classical scholars, including the redoubtable author of "The Oldest Dead White European Males," longtime center director Bernard Knox.

Cairns was influential, too, in Mellon's gift to the National Park Service establishing the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Never a prude, Cairns was an erudite opponent of Comstockery. He respected the sexually explicit works of James Joyce and Henry Miller.

But what would this civilized man have done if he had been asked to underwrite the exhibition of a Madonna in dung or a crucifix in urine? Having been acquainted with Cairns, I cannot imagine such things meeting his approval.
And he still had time to write

For all his productivity as an impresario of arts philanthropy, Cairns still found time to write and edit books.

His best-selling work is the volume he edited with Edith Hamilton, "The Collected Dialogues of Plato." Still in print, this was the first English-translation edition to compile the complete works of Plato in a single volume.

Another Cairns work that still enjoys wide readership is his literary anthology, "The Limits of Art."

Throughout his career and retirement, Cairns maintained a kindly sense of humor. He never took himself seriously.

At least as great as his mastery of intellectual disciplines was his talent for friendship. During the late 1970s, when I was fresh out of college and working in journalism in North Carolina, he took me under his wing.

Far from being an aesthetic snob, he relished the humor of pop culture. When I would visit him, he would announce to me, sometimes breathless with enthusiasm, his latest anthropological finds along the Carolina back roads and the AM radio dial.

I'll never forget the gleam in Cairns' eyes when he told me he had just heard a new song on the radio, Bobby Bare's "Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goalposts of Life." Keats himself cannot have been more radiant with delight when he first looked into Chapman's Homer.

For vacation and retirement, Cairns built one of the first houses in the Southern Shores development in Kitty Hawk, a low, sprawling affair tucked away into the dune, scented everywhere with salt air.
Place for poets

Higher up the dune he built a guest house that he proudly told visitors he had designed "on the proportions of the Parthenon." In Cairns' guest lodgings Robert Frost wrote the poem "Kitty Hawk."

Cairns died in 1985, during the bitterest cold wave in many years, a day after Ronald Reagan's second inauguration. His wife, Florence, daughter of Marion Butler, a U.S. senator from North Carolina, survived him for a short while.

The childless couple's property was sold at auction. Some philistine razed both the main house and the guest house and built a gaudy hulking pile in its place.

Cairns' memory endures down the road from Kitty Hawk on the National Seashore, and in Roanoke Island's beautiful Elizabethan Gardens, whose development he had worked so hard to promote.

In Baltimore, his generosity (nearly $2 million from his own estate) sustains research in literary criticism at Johns Hopkins.

In Washington, his spirit pervades the wooded campus of the Center for Hellenic Studies and the cool marble halls of the National Gallery of Art.

Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.

::Sunday, November 07, 2004 10:19:04 AM::

~ Reviews from BMCR

R.D. Shackleton Bailey, Statius. Silvae.

Michael Markovits, Die Orgel im Altertum.

Gail Fine, Plato on Knowledge and Forms. Selected Essays.

Jeffrey M. Hurwit, The Acropolis in the Age of Pericles.

::Sunday, November 07, 2004 10:15:01 AM::

~ Review Article from Art Bulletin

Reviewing the following all together:

Gloria Ferrari,  Figures of Speech: Men and Maidens in Ancient Greece

Richard Neer,  Style and Politics in Athenian Vase-Painting: The Craft of Democracy, ca. 530-460 B.C.E.

Vinny Norskov,  Greek Vases in New Contexts: The Collecting and Trading of Greek Vases--An Aspect of the Modern Reception of Antiquity


::Sunday, November 07, 2004 10:12:13 AM::

~ Newsletters

The weekly version of our Ancient World on Television listings has been posted; so has Explorator 7.28! Enjoy!

::Sunday, November 07, 2004 10:08:40 AM::

~ AWOTV: On TV Today

6.00 p.m. |HINT| The Hidden City of Petra
Story of the Nabataeans, a desert people who carved the city of Petra out of the Jordanian mountains some 2,000 years ago. Their culture flourished, then disappeared. We visit the site of the amazing sculpted city, which included temples and colonnaded market streets.

8.00 p.m. |HISTU| The True Story of Alexander the Great
334 BC--a 20-year-old military commander from Northern Greece set out to conquer the known world. During the next 12 years, King Alexander of Macedon led 40,000 troops more than 20,000 miles, defeated the world's most powerful ruler, King Darius of Persia, and conquered West Asia before dying at age 32. In a 3-hour special, host Peter Woodward explores the true story of Alexander the Great--a tale of conquest, love, hate, revenge, and ultimately tragedy. He visits locations of Alexander's youth, temples dedicated to Greek gods where Alexander sought divine counsel, and actual battlefields, as well as demonstrating his signature battle plans and weaponry. How could one man accomplish so much at such a young age? What led to his demise? These questions drive our analysis of Alexander's complex character, delicately balanced between genius and insanity.

HINT = History International

HISTU = History Channel (US)

::Sunday, November 07, 2004 10:05:18 AM::

1. n. an abnormal state or condition resulting from the forced migration from a lengthy Classical education into a profoundly unClassical world; 2. n. a blog about Ancient Greece and Rome compiled by one so afflicted (v. "rogueclassicist"); 3. n. a Classics blog.

Valid HTML 4.01!

Valid CSS!

Site Meter

Click to see the XML version of this web page.