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, June 27, 2012

Salomon van Ruysdael (1600-1670) - River View with a Chuch and Ferry. Detail. 1649. Bequest of Abraham Bredius, 1946. From 28 April 2012, around 100 highlights from the Mauritshuis collection are on display at the Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, for a period of about two years.

This reminds me of the years I spent as a student of art history, living in Amsterdam. This is so beautifully photographed that it renders palpable all the best of what I remember of the landscapes of this generation of Dutch masters, and, I am ashamed to admit, it brings tears to my eyes - perhaps the feeling of not having seen - in such proximity - that which I came to love so deeply, for now too many years, living in The States. It brings back another world, which i long since left behind.

Friday, June 8, 2012

John Walford's "Déjà Vu" - with acknowledgements to Goya and ScottSantis (Chicago Tribune), June 2012 - small

Scott Santis's cartoon & the Royal Jubilee:

Scott Santis's cartoon in today's Chicago Tribune (June 8, 2012) draws effective attention to the long-standing, and dubious elevation of Speaker Michael Madigan to a de facto monarchical position within Illinois public life.

At the same time, in the context of Britain's Royal Jubilee celebrations, Santis's cartoon also calls to mind Goya's famous painting of "The Family of Charles IV of Spain," painted in 1800, as here blended in my own satirical, collaged appropriation.

The public euphoria that surrounded Britain's Jubilee celebrations makes me wonder: How is it that in today's open society, shimmering silks and satins on the royal women, and male chests laden with orders and medals, still has the power to draw out an instinct for public affirmation in the general populace? With the widespread demise of religion, has the nostalgic glamor of monarchy become the new 'opiate of the people?'

But is not such sentiment as dangerous a toxic to our civic flourishing as the unbridled power of the current Illinois House Speaker?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Flickr's dou_ble_you's "+!," 2012


+!, originally uploaded by dou_ble_you.

"Subliminal Message"

Tender expressions, left behind;
Passion, waiting to be embraced.

- JW, a salute for UU's careful eye, June 7th., 2012.

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John Walford

John Walford
Not All That Meets The Eye

About Me

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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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