John Gassner, “Theatre Arts in a Free Society”

Category : Arts, Theater

In a world of growing tensions, the subject of freedom for the theatre and its related arts necessarily gives us greatconcern. The subject, considering the state of the world, can be approached only with faith in the strength of American democracy to survive the onslaughts of totalitarianism from abroad; and faith, too, in the common sense and the confidence of the American people to resist intolerance within our own borders. Faith should not be confused, of course, with complacency. It should be accompanied with works; that is, with a constant endeavor to sustain a free theatre in all the communities in which it is threatened or is likely to be threatened.

Source: Educational Theatre Journal 6.3 (Oct 1954): 191-200

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Charles Glicksberg, “Norman Mailer: The Angry Young Novelist in America”

Category : Arts, Writing

Norman Mailer’s latest production, Advertisements for Myself, is a painful book to read not because the author is so grimly determined to unburden himself of all his grievances and resentments but because he reveals an aspect of himself as a writer that is not pleasant to contemplate. With vindictive fury he attacks all those who have misunderstood his work or slighted his talent or offended him in any way. Snarling fiercely at his enemies, he chalks up on a private (now public) scoreboard the grudges he will some day pay back with interest. Let his foes beware of him; the day of reckoning will come. Thus, despite his repeated asseverations that he will not abandon his integrity, he transforms his struggle for literary fame into a free-for-all literary brawl.

Source: Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature 1.1 (1960): 23-34

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Doris Humphrey, New Dance: Writings on Modern Dance

Category : Arts, Women

My dance is an art concerned with human values. It upholds only those values that make for harmony and opposes all forces inimical to those values. In part, its movement may be used for decoration, entertainment, emotional release or technical display; but primarily it is composed as an expression of American life as I see it today.

Source: NJ: Princeton Book Co., 2008

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Margo Jefferson, “Commencement Speech”

Category : Arts, Education, Writing

First of all, welcome — parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and every member of every kind of extended family. So, here you are at last, class of 2010, about to graduate. But from what? First of all, of course, from a lifetime of being students. This is a major identity shift, with intimations, perhaps, of an identity crisis. From now on, even if graduate school intervenes for a few years, you’re in charge of your education — that intricate process by which the mind, the heart and the soul are trained to examine themselves thoroughly and encounter the world honorably.

Source: Eugene Lang College (2010)

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Allan Kaprow, “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock” (1958)

Category : Arts, Students

The tragic news of Pollock’s death two summers ago was profoundly depressing to many of us. We felt not only a sadness over the death of a great figure, but also a deep loss, as if something of ourselves had died too. We were a piece of him: he was, perhaps, the embodiment of our ambition for absolute liberation and a secretly cherished with to overturn old tables of crockery and flat champagne. We saw in his example the possibility of an astounding freshness, a sort of ecstatic blindness.

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Seymour Lipton, Winter Solstice #2 (1957)

Category : Arts

 

Seymour Lipton, “Experience and Sculptural Form”

Category : Arts

I feel my work grows from the web of my entire experience. The traditions of art concern me, the formal aspects of the visual world; man as an individual and social being, the dynamics of historical flow, the anatomy of the body and of the mind. They concern me in their tensional interplay with the problems of sculpture. For me, reality is a moving tensional order of things, and art is the spiritual plastic embodiment of this reality. It is this that the artist must seek to personalize through plastic means if he wishes to express the dramatic or lyric excitement of the world.

Source: College Art Journal 9.1 (Autumn 1949): 52-54

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Clifford Odets, “Waiting for Lefty” and “Paradise Lost”

Category : Arts, Theater

Source: Waiting for Lefty and Other Plays (NY: Grove Press, 1979): 9-13, 190-192

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Parsons, Frank Alvah. “Art in Advertising,”

Category : Arts, Design

In the past, nations and people have given their thoughts and their feelings to the world in material things. Each nation, as it has followed the last preceding it, has recorded its thoughts and its feel ing in stone, wood, metal, cloth, and what not, and through these objects we know the thoughts and something of the feelings of those who have long preceded us.

Source: Art and Progress, Vol. 2, No. 10 (Aug., 1911), pp. 291-294

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Frank Alvah Parsons, “Art: Its Principles and Practice as Applied to Modern Life”

Category : Arts, Design

Decided modifications of the National viewpoint on any subject are apt to come very gradually. Sometimes, however, a change takes place almost as rapidly as the opening of a flower over night, and an entirely new outlook is the result. This produces a different attitude of mind, which is expressed in varying forms of activity.

One result of the alteration which has taken place in our national point of view is the new conception of the home as the expression of the individual taste of its owner. For a considerable period we have been engaged as a nation in finding ourselves, as every young thing is.

Source: Boss Studios, 1917: introduction

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Frank Alvah Parsons, “Appreciation of Beauty Essential in Art” 

Category : Arts, Design

Broader every day grows the American’s conception of what art really is and of what it means to the social-economic questions arising daily. Art no longer finds its limits with the canvas of the artist painter, nor even is it confined to the “genuine antique” of a decade ago. Its mystery is a thing of the past. Its quality – beauty – is seen as an impersonal thing and man’s desire for it and his joy in its association are accepted as a natural, logical inheritance, common to all. This view makes the impersonal quality – beauty – a personal thing to every man and a desirable one to all alike. Ultra wealth no longer insures an artistic hoe, nor clothes less hideous than those worn by persons who have no means at all. Intelligence plays an important role in every good selection. Historic periods, expressing ideals and conditions of centuries gone, are to be studied, not copied; to be understood, not blindly accepted. This leads to intelligent personal expression.

Source: New York Tribune (12 October 1913): E20

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Frank Alvah Parsons, “Architecture and Books” 

Category : Arts, Design

In spite of the radio and our national commitment to standardization and speed, we still need good books, and intelligent people want and read them. America, most cosmopolitan of all nations, a new country with new conditions and new problems, must create the answer to its needs by selecting and adapting the best from all sources from which its elements come. We are now awake, not only to this fact, but to the value of the art quality as an economic asset, as well as to its educational value in our environment; hence, the country-wide interest in the home, not alone in terms of comfort, but of beauty and of common sense.

Source: The Independent (28 March 1925): 358-364

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