The Blog of John Walford, British-born, but long resident in The United States. I am an art historian, currently studying satire in Netherlandish art, an amateur photographer, and occasional writer, who writes here about art, photography, and the human condition--some of it ekphratic poetry, responding to works of art. This is to be a site for words and images, interacting on one another, as vehicles of human expression.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

You Have To Start Somewhere!

Younger friends and students keep telling me I need a blog. In such matters, I find they are usually correct. I have never regretted--well, perhaps once--launching into some new (to me) Internet sharing modality.

So I will start this one modestly, and see where it takes me. It's name says it all. That is my desire, and what I have striven to do, now over many years. Elitist by birth, anti-elitist by conviction. A foul snob by upbringing and early behavior, I have come to love humanity in all the different types, colors, and convictions in which individuals have presented themselves to me. Indeed, in my encounter with others, I find myself hugely enriched. In return, I hope others take something from me. I am highly opinionated, but listen gladly, debate with openness and delight, and judge none harshly, just as I have not been harshly judged, but listened to, understood, and been mercifully forgiven, so many, many times.

What else is there to say? I am British by birth, a "resident alien" in the USA, of necessity, and an art historian by trade. I am deeply interested in human motivation and behavior, I love what I teach, and whom I teach, even as I take photographs as a means to express myself visually. In this I like to make visible, and love all art forms that render the invisible visible, or the visible freshly understandable. I love the exchange of ideas, especially around art and the big questions of human existence. Furthermore, I am ready to hear from you.

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I am a British-born, art historian, teaching in the USA; I studied law, in England,1964-68; worked part-time in the art world, 1968-69; then studied art history at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, 1969-76; completed my Ph.D. diss. at the University of Cambridge, 1981; moved to the States in 1981, and have since written, or co-authored, other books. I am currently studying satire in Netherlandish art. My wife, Maria, was born in Milan, Italy, where she worked as an interpreter, in business; she spent seven years in Switzerland, at the University of Lausanne, 1963-70. She came to Amsterdam in 1971, and we soon married. She is a wife, mother, literary critic, of Italian (and French) literature, and completed her Ph. D. diss. in 2002, at the University of Chicago, on Cesare Pavese and His Critics. We have three married children, and eight grandchildren, all of whom we excessively adore! I welcome dialog about art, photography, human behavior, beliefs, and motivation from all comers, regardless of race, color, gender, orientation, values, or beliefs. This is to be a site for words and images, as vehicles of human expression, around topics of mutual interest.

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