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Tom47

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  • Connection to/interest in ballet** (Please describe. Examples: fan, teacher, dancer, writer, avid balletgoer)
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  1. I recently came across a ballet named La Révolte au sérail (The revolt at the harem) also known as La Révolte des Femmes (The revolt of the women). It premiered in Paris at the Académie Royale de Musique-Le Peletier on April 12, 1833, with a libretto by Filippo Tagilioni and music by Théodore Labarre. Marie Tagloinoi portrayed Zulma apparently the main character of the story. The ballet is set in Granada and is in three acts, the first is in a room in the Alhambra Palace, the second in the women’s baths and the third in a wild site in the Alpuxares. According to the Oxford Reference website the ballet is “sometimes viewed as an early feminist ballet, with its heroine Zulma and her fellow harem inmates banding togeter with working women to protest against the tyranny of men.” Another website describes La Révolte au sérail as “the first female miliary ballet, depicting women revolting from a harem in Muslim Granada.” This sounds interesting to me, particularly as a counter story to Le Corsaire. Does anyone know any more about La Révolte au sérail? This link goes to seven images of costumes from the ballet: https://nypl.getarchive.net/topics/la+revolte. One image shows Melle. Taglioni in the role of Zulma with a sword and a helmet. Tom,
  2. This post is about three innovative female choreographers who were active during the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Born in Fullersburg, Illinois c.1862 into a family of vaudeville performers, Loie Fuller performed “skirt dancing” a dance form involving the lifting of large skirts and improved on this type of dance by adding more and more material. Further improvements consisted of adding rods to the costume that enabled her to extend the fabric outward and to incorporate projected color lights into her act. These would be shown on to the fabric of her costume as she danced. Using costumes of this type she danced at the Folies Bergere, the 1900 Paris International Exposition, the Metropolitan Opera House and the Boston Opera House as well as in many other European cities. Her use of lighting encouraged her to develop lighting techniques and methods of coloring lights and she patented many of these innovations. The costumes designed by Loie Fuller are most likely the largest dance costumes in any dance style. Loie Fuller’s style of dance is having somewhat of a revival. The dancer and choreographer Jody Sperling, the Artistic Director of Time Lapse Dance, has produced numerous dances based on the choreography of Loie Fuller and was nominated for a World Choreography Award for her work on the French feature film La Danseuse.. Here is Claire de Lune choreographed and danced by Jody Sperling after Loie Fuller (3 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y321YKUc7KY. This link goes to a 2 ½ minute video of Jody Sperling dancing as Loie Fuller at the World Choreo Awards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQTQ-_kw8pg. The next video is 2 minutes long and shows short clips of a number of dances choreographed by Jody Sperling in the style of Loie Fuller. Included is one performance on Arctic ice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ_Uwx60TdA. This last video (2 ½ minutes) is an interesting one showing the Loie Fuller style in slow motion and with lights on. The dancer appears to be named Audrey P. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6HKLwLV84A Isadora Duncan was born in San Francisco in either 1877 or 1878. She is considered a major innovator in modern dance and has been referred to as the “Mother of Modern Dance.” She afterwards lived in both Chicago and New York and then in Europe. While in Europe she studied Greek Mythology which influenced her dance style. In 1902 she had a major success when she danced in Budapest and in time formed dance schools both in Europe and in the United States. This link goes to a 1 minute dance, choreographed by Isadora Duncan entitled Butterfly and danced by Chriselle Tidrick in New York’s Central Park: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGi1WKknNk4. Here is a link to Isadora Duncan’s Prelude, dated c. 1900 and performed by Catherine Gallant, 3 minutes long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXI4j2znVm8. The following link is to a 3 ½ minute video of excerpts of dances performed by members of The Isadora Duncan Dance Company and choreographed by Lori Belilove. It takes place on Midsummer Day at the Old Westbury Gardens on Long Island. This seems to be the perfect place and time for such dances: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SkMLuCP04k. Next is a short video, one minute, of a clip from the 1966 film Isadora, the Biggest Dancer in the World. The music is Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Five hundred girls are dancing (running) to the music. It’s not really a dance, but I like it and it displays the spirit of Isadora’s dance philosophy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bTmoyOWiEg. The last of the three choreographers is Ruth St. Denis who was born in Newark NJ. c. 1878. First she was drawn to the dances of Egypt and then the Indian subcontinent and later gave a performance of a Japanese dance - O'Mika. She developed a dance program at Adelphi University and taught dance in Hollywood, California. As was the case with Loie Fuller and Isadora Duncan, Ruth St. Denis toured Europe. The next two links go to videos of Ruth St. Denis. First is “Performing the Indian Noche in the persona of street dancing girl” one minute from 1932. It is in black and white with sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBxcTDeQkJI. Second is “Ruth St. Denis East Indian Nautch Dance [August 1944]” (3 minutes) - in color but silent. It is possible that “Noche” and “Nautch” refer to the same type of dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnQI4K5UerY. This link goes to a short 1 minute video containing pictures and short clips of Ruth St. Denis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i-y0djzSaI. The last dance was choreographed by Ruth St. Denis and is performed by Livia Vanaver (3 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deOidGqmUEo. Tom,
  3. A piece of music that I like very much and have discovered only within the last few years is Dora Pejacevic’s Symphony in F sharp minor, Op. 41 composed between 1916 and 1917. Marie Theodora (Dora), was born in Budapest on September 10, 1885 and started composing music at age 12. At the time of her birth Budapest was in the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Despite being born into the Croatian/Hungarian nobility (she spent her childhood in her family’s castle in Croatia) she did not sympathise with the aristocracy saying “I simply cannot understand how people can live without work -- and how many of them do, especially the higher aristocracy . . . . I despise them because of this.” She also volunteered as a nurse during the First World War. When excerpts from her Symphony in F sharp minor was premiered in Vienna, a newspaper critic admitted to being surprised when, at the conclusion of the piece, a woman came on stage as the composer. Dora was fluent in six languages and composed 58 opuses with a total of 106 compositions. A video (48 minutes long) of Dora Pejacevic’s Symphony in F sharp minor can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=940dNX5zHEU. In the video a different painting is shown for each of the four movements, as well as a photograph of the composer. The paintings are picked to go with the movements. My favorite movement is the first, Andante maestoso - Allegro con moto and it is certainly maestoso. I know the symphony is long. If you want something shorter, Dora composed a series of eight short pieces under the general title of the Life of Flowers. Here is a link to her two minute long The Rose: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A2kKPtRd9o. After this you can go back and listen to the Symphony. Tom,
  4. Thank you Imspear, Quiggin and Helene for your comments. Imspear, your comment on the elective you took is interesting and telling in regard to how female creators are neglected. I haven’t read any of the books you mention except Silas Marner, a long time ago. I did read George Ellot’s Romola and enjoyed the parts about the developing relationship between the title character and Tessa. The ending is very good. Quiggin, what I like more in books is the actual writing as opposed to the story itself. That means that in Jane’s books it is the conversations and the insight they give as to the character’s personalities that I enjoy the most instead of how the story ends and that is why I enjoy reading the stories again and again even when knowing how it will end. I looked up Barbara Pym and plan to try and find some of her books. Tom,
  5. This topic is planned to be about women who write. The writings could be fiction, non-fiction, news reporting, philosophy etc. As before I encourage people to contribute to this topic. My favorite all-time author is Jane Austen. She was born into a large family at Steventon, Hampshire, England on December 16, 1775. Her six full-length novels are Sense and Sensibility (published 1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Persuasion (1817) and Northanger Abbey (1817). She also wrote Lady Susan (published 1871) a short story in epistolary form and two unfinished novels - The Watsons and Sanditon (The Brothers). In addition, from age 12 or so to age 19 she wrote what are referred to as her Juvenilia. These are short, mostly unfinished “experiments,” sometimes silly. Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice are my favorite of Jane Austen’s stories although for different reasons, but I enjoy all of them and have read them multiple times. Many people may think of Jane’s novels to be “Love Stories” in the sense of a woman and a man falling in love and getting married and they are, but to me they are mainly stories of the relationships between women and that men are in the stories to give the women something to talk about. I’ve read that Jane Austen never, within her novels, wrote a discussion in which a woman was not present and while I don’t know if that is absolutely true it seems very likely. So, to me Jane Austen’s writings are stories about women with men thrown in, to round things out. The one possible exception to this is Mansfield Park. Further, the people in Jane’s books are neither all good or all bad, which is like real life for the most part. For example she said this about her character Emma “I am going to take a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.” This again is a difficult thing to do. One character that she writes about is a very caring self-centered person. Jane and her one sister, Cassandra, were very close and except for brief trips apart, lived together for all of Jane's life. This is reflected in her novels, all of the heroines had sisters, although not all of these sisters were close. The sisters that were closest were Elinor and Marianne Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility and Elisabeth and Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. In the later book there were five sisters, but not all were equally close. Even in stories in which the sisters are not particularly close, the heroine is, with the exception of Fanny in Mansfield Park, close to other women. While there are certain similarities among Jane Austen’s heroines, they are all single during most of the stories, there are also variations. The oldest is Anne Elliot from Persuasion while the youngest, at least at the beginning is Fanny Price from Mansfield Park. Emma Woodhouse from Emma is the richest while Fanny Price is the poorest. Persuasion is the most romantic story, in the way that word is usually used. Northanger Abbey (Catherine Morland) has a “cute” story that is most like Jane’s Juvenilia and has a mystery in it. Emma also has a mystery in it. The two most confident heroines are Elinor Dashwood, the Sense in Sense and Sensibility and Elisabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. In four of the stories the heroines have experienced a setback in their financial status or are in danger of experiencing such a setback. Pride and Prejudice in particular deals with the need for many women at that time to marry for financial support. In a letter to her niece Fanny Knight, Jane Austen wrote: “Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor — which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony.” (The path taken by Charlotte Lucas.) However, in an earlier letter to Fanny she wrote: “Anything is to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without affection.” (The one favored by Elizabeth Bennett, although Lizzie had the best of both worlds.) Jane Austen didn’t have to marry for that reason because she was supported by her father and brothers. Other of her stories also touch on the idea of marrying for money or status. What is amazing to me is that she could write such intriguing stories (look how much they are still being read), yet nothing truly bad happens in them. The reader might learn of something sad that happened in the past or to someone far away who was not “present” in the story, nothing truly bad happens to a character who we have gotten to know well and gotten to identify with. That is difficult to do. It seems to me that in many other stories, both from print and in the movies, sad events, such as innocent people dying, are put in with no other purpose than to raise the emotional level. That is no purpose as to the plot. Now people in Jane’s stories do get sad and upset at times and are disappointed in life, but in normal ways. I want to make a point here. Jane Austen’s father was a reverend and that put her and her family into the class of the gentry and while they weren’t particularly wealthy a number of brothers were successful and able to support Jane, her mother and her sister. These were the people Jane primarily wrote about. She rarely wrote about servants or the very poor, again the one major exception being Mansfield Park, So, while Jane wrote about normal people’s lives, with their ups and downs, these were normal people among the upper class, the gentry, not servants and not the poor. Tom,
  6. This topic is planned to be about females involved with the film industry, such as directors, writers, actresses, female characters and plots that feature females. As with the other topics I encourage people to contribute to this. According to USC Annenberg’s Inclusion in the Director’s Chair, only 4.8% of directors of the 1,300 top grossing films from 2007 to 2019 were women. A sign of hope is that in 2019 this percentage was 10.6% a record over those 13 years. However, the previous record was 8.0% in 2008 after which the percentage dropped to a low of 1.9% in 2013 and 2014, so this improvement may not be long lasting. I believe that women are just as talented, if given the chance, in terms of directing films as men are. Alice Guy was a very early film director who may have been the first person to direct a film with a story - La fée aux choux. The problem is that the film has been lost and at the time she would have directed it (1896) she was employed as a secretary in a camera manufacturing business. There is a film shown on youtube that is sometimes said to be this 1896 film, but is really a 1900 film. She was born on July 1, 1873 in what is now Val-de-Marne, France, just to the southeast of Paris. The following link goes to the earliest existing film of her’s that I’ve seen. It is actually two films, as movies at that time were not longer than a minute. They are dated as being from 1897. The first film is entitled Baignade dans un torrent (Swimming in a torrent) and the second is entitled Le pecheur dans le torrent (The fisherman in the torrent), at the beginning is a short clip showing Alice Guy turning toward the camera. The second film does have a simple story to it. Video is here (2 minutes long): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8_fb3AtmVo. Alice Guy made these films for the Gaumont Company and was eventually promoted to director of the company’s firm's film production division. As a director and maker of films Alice experimented with color and sound. Here is a short video (2 minutes long) of two short films including the characters Pierrette, Pierrot and Harlequin. The films are hand colored frame by frame and are dated to 1900: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOu8agk8UCM. This one minute video shows Alice Guy filming a Phonoscene in 1905. The process is to play pre-recorded music as the scene is filmed. In this case it appears the actors are preparing to dance to the music, although in some cases the actor would sing (lip sync). Alice Guy is in the middle of the frame as the film starts with the movie camera to her left and the two horns of the phonograph to her right. When completed the recording would be played along with the film as it is projected onto a screen in front of an audience. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccatVQU-eGA. With time films became longer. Here is one of Alice Guy’s six minute films entitled Heroine, from 1907: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BOBQa7HGOE and here is a 12 minute long film from 1912 entitled Falling Leaves: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_cYhqVblLc. Both are cute little stories featuring young girls. In 1916 Alice Guy made a 40 minute long feature film entitled The Ocean Waif. It is somewhat of a romantic comedy with some very dramatic surrious parts. The film is not in the best of shapes and most likely there are some minor parts missing. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvlCUeqVC8w. In 1910, after she moved to New York City, Alice Guy started her own movie company - Solax and the following year she opened a larger studio in neighboring Fort Lee, NJ. Tom,
  7. The artist Dame Laura Knight was born in Derbyshire, England in 1877. At the age of 13 she entered the Nottingham School of Art with a scholarship. She painted a wide variety of subjects including those of ballerinas and circus performers. During the Second World War she produced a number of paintings depicting women in the military. According to an article from Sotheby's Auction house the artist “grew up impoverished” and “As a female, Knight was excluded from life drawing classes and only allowed to study the nude from plaster casts.” A controversy occurred over the artist's painting Self Portrait with Nude (1913) in which she shows herself in the process of depicting a nude female model. Sotheby's article called this painting “historically significant” in that it “challenged the widespread barring of female students from life drawing classes,” and that “The work proved too daring for the Royal Academy, who rejected it.” Furthermore, a critic described the painting as “vular.” Here is a link to the article: https://www.sothebys.com/en/articles/dame-laura-knight. The first picture is a portrait of the artist done by her husband, with the next five being ones produced by Laura Knight. I feel the painting of a ballerina (fourth down) is particularly good. The discouraging or forbidding of female artists from studying from the nude, both male and female, is one factor that hindered woman artists. It is generally felt that practice with the nude is necessary to fully understand and depict the clothed body. Second, historical paintings were considered the highest form of art and in many cases this required the depiction of the nude. Here is a 3 ½ minute video of Dame Knight’s paintings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uz17hIt_y24. Self Portrait with a Model is shown in the video. This link goes to 43 of the artist’s work: https://www.wikiart.org/en/laura-knight/all-works#!#filterName:all-paintings-chronologically,resultType:detailed Of particular interest to me are: Les Sylphides, The Ballet Shoe, Romany Belles, Corporal Daphne Pearson, Corporal J. M. Robins, A Balloon Site Coventry, Ruby Loftus screwing a Breech-ring, The Nuremberg Trial, A Dressing Room at Drury Lane. The Gypsy (Romani). This last picture reminds me of Humphrey Bogart's, Charlie Allnutt from The African Queen. This link goes to an image of the artist's work “Physical Training at Witley Camp.” I particularly like the building storm clouds intensifying the conflict in the ring, the action shown as one of the boxers lean in, while the other pulls back and the contrast between the curves of the boxers and the overhead clouds with the white straight lines of the ropes enclosing the ring. And this one goes to an image of her work “Storm Over Our Town.” Here the artist dramatically shows the might and intensity of nature. If you are still with me here is a short (3 minute long) documentary of Dame Laura Knight’s wartime paintings, by Dr. Alicia Foster about the artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZCuQH_dLvY. Note A Balloon Site Coventry. Dame Laura Knight was a great artist. Tom,
  8. The plan for this topic is to be about female choreographers, dancers and others involved with all forms of dance, not just ballet. Katherine Dunham was a remarkable woman. It might seem strange that this choreographer would also have earned bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees in anthropology from the University of Chicago, but actually her two careers fit together well. She was born on June 22, 1909 in Chicago. Dance and anthropology started coming together when Katherine Dunham started the Negro Dance Group, which performed A Negro Rhapsody, with the Chicago Opera Company. This resulted in her receiving a grant, the money of which she used to travel to the islands of the Caribbean to study the traditional dances there. According to the website of the Katherine Dunham Centers for Arts and Humanities, she “. . . revolutionized American dance in the 1930s by going to the roots of black dance and rituals transforming them into significant artistic choreography that speaks to all. She was a pioneer in the use of folk and ethnic choreography and one of the founders of the anthropological dance movement.” She and her dance company toured every populated continent. In 1963 she provided the choreography for a production of Aida at the Metropolitan Opera - the Priestesses’ Scene and the Triumphal March and in 1972 she directed the world premiere of Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Katherine Dunham performed in and choreographed numerous stage performances, was a choreographer in nine films and appeared in eight and has received awards and honorary degrees. But Katherine Dunham also worked for a better society. In the 1970s she moved to East St. Louis, where she strove to encourage the young people of the community to be interested in dance and the heritage of black dance in the hope that this would keep them out of trouble. In 1979 she received the Albert Schweitzer Music Award “for her contributions to the performing arts and her dedication to humanitarian work. The following are videos of dances choreographed by Katherine Dunham: To start with is a 1 minute video from 1941 entitled Carnival of Rhythm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lTcPgmZoj8. Here is a 12 ½ minute long video from the Library of Congress entitled A Katherine Dunham Sampler, showing a series of her choreographed dances - 1943 to 1956. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Rf8k2tqG3w. Next is a 3 ½ minute long scene from the 1943 movie Stormy Weather: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W23MYjH92co. Stormy Weather has an all black cast including, in addition to Katherine Dunham; Lena Horne, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, The Nicholas Brothers, Dooley Wilson and Cab Calloway. This video is from a newsreel showing Katherine Dunham and her dance troupe performing Ballet Creole in 1952 (2 mins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSTuO5E9_1g. Here is a short video, one minute, of a clip entitled Washer Woman from 1956: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dryZ5HZ1G38. And lastly is a 3 minutes chlp in color from a 1961 movie called Im schwarzen Rössl https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZdwCqSvkY0. Tom,
  9. According to the USC Annenberg’s Inclusion Initiative report - Inclusion in the recording Studio? Examining 800 Popular Songs, during the eight years 2012 to 2019, only 12.5% of songwriters among the 800 popular songs covered by the report were female. That is 1 female songwriter to 7 male songwriters. Further, among those same 800 songs 56% had no female writers involved, 32% had only one female writer involved and less than one percent had only female writers, that is less than 8 out of the 800 songs. So more than half of the songs had no female writers whatsoever compared to less than one percent that had only female writers. I believe that women can write songs just as well as men. Here is a list of some historical female songwriters: Sappho was born c. 640 BCE on the Greek Island of Lesbos. Only fragments of her songs remain and none of her music remains. Her lyrics deal with the personal life and emotions as opposed to the epic poems of Homer. I can easily imagine her traveling to various festivals and possibly what would be the Greek equivalent to a coffee house, playing before an audience, much like a modern singer/songwriter might do. Here is a video (2 minutes long) of Andrea Goodman singing one of Sappho’s songs in ancient Greek and accompanying herself on a 7-string lyre to music by Eve Begiarian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOlIqozu3Fg. The trobairitz (female troubadour) Beatriz de Dia was born c. 1140 seemingly in the south of France. Her song “A chantar m’er de so q’ieu no voldria” (I must sing of what I do not want) was written in the Occitian language, an old language of southern France. Here is an 8½ minute video of the song being sung: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zah4VWPiNE. The lyrics speak of a woman who is betrayed by her lover. An English translation of the lyrics can be found here: https://lyricstranslate.com/en/chantar-mer-i-am-obliged-sing.html Next is a song that is a mystery as no one knows who wrote it, but ever since I first heard it, it seemed to me that it must have been written by a woman. It is "The House of the Rising Sun" and has been covered by many artists. To me the word “House” in the title is a clear reference to a brothel as in “a house of ill repute.” There is a claim that a house on St. Louis Street in New Orleans had been a brothel, between 1862 and 1874, run by a Madam LeSoleil Levant, which translated from French as “The Rising Sun” and when a house on St. Louis Street was renovated, a ceiling mural of a golden rising sun was found. Also, there was a women’s prison in New Orleans with an image of a rising sun. So, whether the writer was a prostitute or a female prisoner she was a woman. I feel that the song being sung by a male is somewhat silly. This link goes to a 1 ½ minute long recording of Georgia Turner singing “The House of the Rising Sun” in 1937. The lyrics that are sung and the written lyrics are somewhat different: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15VIDcUMQQI. Next is a song in a very different vein than the ones before. It is “The March of the Women” by Dame Ethel Smyth and was written in 1911. Dame Smyth was born in 1858 and composed musical works including symphonies, choral works and operas. She was also a supporter of women’s right to vote as the lyrics to the song and the 3 minute long video linked here shows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCtGkCg7trY. Elizabeth Cotton was born on January 5, 1895 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and wrote the song “Freight Train” in 1906 when she was about 12 years old, but it was only recorded in 1957. It has been covered by 80 artists. Here is a 3 minute long video of Elizabeth Cotton singing the song and accompanying herself on the guitar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUK8emiWabU. Born in Algiers, across the Mississippi from New Orleans, in 1897, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Douglas, later to be known as Memphis Minnie, moved with her family, at age 10, near to the city from which she received the name she is best known for. She was a blues singer/songwriter who played the guitar, made over 200 recordings and co-wrote the song “When the Levee Breaks.” Here she is singing “Drunken Barrelhouse Blues” (first released in 1934): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3GSv-ZbJ7o. Tom,
  10. Edmonia Lewis was born in Rensselaer County next to Albany, NY on July 4,1844, to a mother who was a member of the Chippewa also known as the Ojibwa tribe and a father who was a free man of African descent. She was given the name “Wildfire” by her mother. Starting in 1859 she attended Oberlin College in Ohio and in 1863 she went to live in Boston. While there she produced many sculptures including a bust of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the white leader of the all black 54th Massachusetts Infantry. Next she moved to Rome, Italy in 1865. In 1867, two years after the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution abolished slavery, Edmonia Lewis sculpted her “Morning of Liberty, Forever Free” This work show two former slaves with their chains broken. Both figures look up hopefully, with the male figure standing and the female figure kneeling as if praying. The man has his foot on a ball attached to a broken chain expressing a feeling of triumph. Other works by the artist include “Hagar in the Wilderness” (1875), “Hiawatha’s Marriage” (1874) and the “Old Indian Arrowmaker and his Daughter” (1866 to 1872), a depiction of an older parental figure passing on knowledge to his offspring. Here are photographs of six of Edmonia Lewis’ works: https://www.theartstory.org/artist/lewis-edmonia/artworks/. The following from Whitney Chadwick’s book “Women, Art and Society” third edition, page 30 indicates how much Edmonia Lewis wanted to avoid criticism that as a woman she was not strong enough to engage in the art of sculpture: “While most foreign sculptors in Italy hired native artisans to enlarge their clay and wax models in marble, Lewis for some time insisted on doing the carving herself. This hands-on approach greatly impressed the suffragist Laura Curtis Bullard, editor of the periodical Revolution, who wrote: ‘So determined is she to avoid all occasion for detraction, that she even ‘puts up’ her clay; a work which scarcely any male sculptor does for himself.” According to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Edmonia Lewis’ The Death of Cleopatra (1876) was “. . . exhibited to great acclaim at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 and critics raved that it was the most impressive American sculpture in the show.” It is an impressive sculpture, but despite this, the work and the artist seems to have been soon forgotten. For a long time the sculpture was believed to have been lost, but eventually was found in a salvage yard. It is now, after being restored, in the Smithsonian. Here is a short 6 minute video showing The Death of Cleopatra in detail with a photograph of the artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UK8Vj03U874. Tom,
  11. Mashinka, I looked up information on Barbara Strozzi and Marianna Martines and found samples of their music on youtube, but have not had a chance to listen to them yet. Tom,
  12. The plan for this topic is to highlight female composers, song writers, conductors, musicians and singers. Not too long ago I didn’t know of any female symphonic composers. However, during the past few years that changed. What I have realized is that by not knowing these women I have missed out on hearing a lot of very good music. Florence Smith Price was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on April 9, 1887. She learned to play piano from her mother and her general education was in the segregated schools at the time. After graduating from High School, Florence started studying at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. Upon obtaining degrees in teaching and as an organ soloist she worked as a teacher eventually becoming the chair of the music department at Clark University in Atlanta. In 1932 while in Chicago Florence Price composed her first symphony, this being her symphony in E Minor. The work was a quick success as in that same year it won the national Rodman Wanamaker composition competition for a symphonic work. Then on June 15, 1933 it was performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. My favorite of her works is her Mississippi Suite (1934). It is just beautiful, with a serene beginning, perhaps reflecting the river before humans arrived, then referencing the historical events that occurred along its banks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfdvCrqzTm0. On top of this the piece is performed by the Woman’s Philharmonic and is conducted by a woman - Apo Hsu - who was born in Taiwan. The composer's picture is shown near the end of the video. Sometimes I get carried away when posting about an artist that I like, but here are two more selections: First, the 9 minute long Fantasie Negre No.3 in F Minor played on the piano by Samantha Ege: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8R-lxn-BQw. Second, the composer’s Symphony no. 1 in E-Minor, performed by the New Black Repertory Ensemble: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9s4yY_A2A2k. The short third Movement, Allegro, is entitled “Juba Dance,” and according to the website of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “. . . evokes an African-derived folk dance that was popular among slaves in the antebellum South.” Tom,
  13. I have thought about starting this topic for a while, but hesitated because I felt that few people would respond to it and possibly some would be negative about it. However, I am very pleased that there have been so many comments. All positive. Also, I am happy that people have been replying to each other. So, I want people to know that even if I don’t reply to every comment I still appreciate them and that I read them all. Aurora, I was happy to read your comment that “Times have fortunately changed! More than half of the current authors/editors of Janson’s are women.” Also, I was happy to read your and Dirac’s conversation on Artemisia Gentileschi and other things. I hope that these improvements will translate into more female artists in museums and galleries and higher prices paid for the work done by female artists. Tom,
  14. California, thank you for the link. The photographer Alexia Webster from South Africa seems interesting. Drew, thank you for the link to Louise Fishman. Aurora, thank you for referencing Hung Liu, I looked her up. Tom,
  15. California, I don’t know very much about non-western art. Do you know of any non-western women artists? Quiggin, thank you for your input both in regard to Soviet women and the "women of Ninth Street.” I have not yet looked into your links, but I will. Dirac, Artemisia Gentileschi's life is interesting. That incident is reportedly what inspired her painting of Judith Beheading Holofernes, which is very dramatic and contains two active women. And thank you for the compliment on the topic. I’m pleasantly surprised at the response to this. Also, I tried to input the image of the Firebird’s back cloth, but it didn’t work. Can anyone tell me how to do this? Tom,
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