PRINT November 1972



May I contribute belatedly an addition to Katherine J. Michaelsen’s article on “Brancusi and African Art,” Artforum, November, 1971, pp. 72–77. In spite of the lack of any real documentary evidence, Ms. Michaelsen’s comparative material was excellently chosen and quite convincing. However, perhaps because she was looking for an African influence only in Brancusi’s woods (the earliest of which date from ca. 1913), she overlooked some important earlier examples.

In a long review of lonel Jianou’s Brancusi monograph, which appeared in the Art Bulletin, June, 1964, pp. 260–66, I pointed out (p. 262) what I consider to be the first examples of Brancusi’s influence from African art. His Head of a Girl (also known as “Première Pierre Directe”) of 1907–08 (fig. 1) has always seemed to me particularly close to some Baule masks from the Ivory Coast (e.g., fig. 2). They have in common the elongated triangular face, the concave cheeks, the almond-shaped shallow eyes close to the brows, the prominent slit mouth, the long and flattened nose, and the parallel vertical incisions of the hair-band over the forehead. A second early work by Brancusi, the Baroness Renée Frachon of 1909 (fig. 3), shares many characteristics with certain—quite common—Mpongwe white masks from the Gabon (e.g., fig. 4) One can compare in particular the stressed oval of the face, the raised and intensely arched linear eyebrows, the prominent and upward-curving slit eyes, the curling lips, and the central motif of the coiffure (chignon over the middle of the forehead, incised with parallel lines).

Athena T. Spear
Oberlin College

Artists and art-intellects being what they are, Marcel Duchamp shall long be revered even after his usefulness is played out. Suppositions of prophecy and mystic incantation supplied by numerous writers today serve to round out a portrait of a counter-culture hero.

But, upon careful reading, one will find that Duchamp was not predicting or setting standards, nor was he the great iconoclast certain historians would have us believe. Duchamp was merely aping the thoughts and gestures of the greatest artist of all times, Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes, having retired from his lucrative profession in 1903, settled down to raise bees and study philosophy. By 1914 he had published his magna opus, “Practical Handbook of Bee Culture with Some Observations Upon the Segregation of the Queen.” In 1914 Duchamp began work upon “The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even.” It is certainly nothing more than a slight effort of one’s mentality to equate a Queen Bee, surrounded by her attentive drones, to a Bride surrounded by her bachelors.

There are certainly many parallels between Duchamp’s tirades against “retinal” art, and Holmes’ obsession with the science of deduction.

But the clincher comes in Du-champ’s last piece. We are confronted with our sultry Queen Bee, ravished and satisfied; she is holding a gas lamp, and behind her a waterfall trickles away. In 1891 Holmes was thrown over. the Reichenbach Falls by his arch-enemy Professor Moriarty. His reappearance three years later is formally announced by a shadow caused by the gas lamps in his apartment. To Duchamp, Holmes was the perfect embodiment of art and its spirit. Thus, the waterfall symbolizes the disappearance of Holmes (and art) while the gas lamp is the re-emergence.

When I was at the Philadelphia Museum a few weeks ago, I happened to notice that the mechanism which provided the movement in the waterfall was non-operative. Could this mean that art is here to stay?

Gary Glenn

A major printing error in my article “Dutch Architecture 1920–1940” distorts my view on the historical achievements of the admittedly narrow minded and sometimes politically naive architects of that period. I do not think “that active involvement in social problems . . . provided architectural failures”—as it reads in the article. The original reads as follows: “. . . it is this active political (”political“ in a wider sense) commitment, this active involvement in social problems, this reflective awareness and consciousness of historic processes of society and a true sense of duty, which provided the architects of that period with so much striving energy. This deserves full admiration despite many architectural misconceptions and failures.”

Bernhard Leitner
New York City

Here are the results of the Endowment’s current Fellowship programs for Artists, Photographers and Critics, I thank you for the opportunity to bring this information to the attention of the art community.

The Endowment’s grants to individuals, made without limiting conditions, are intended to encourage and support the future work of artists, photographers, craftsmen and critics of exceptional talent.

In announcing these grants, Nancy Hanks, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts noted that there were over 1,400 applications for the 105 artists and photographers Fellowships. She added, “It is my hope that private patrons, cities, and State Art Councils across the country will increasingly respond to what is an obvious need for support of the individual artist.”

Artists’ Fellowships: ($7,500)
Since 1967 the Endowment has distributed $745,000 to 139 artists. The following 45 grants, totaling $337,500 bring the Endowment’s support of the individual artist to over one million dollars.

The 45 grantees are from 12 states. The largest number are from California (18), followed by New York (13), Iowa (2), Illinois (2), Pennsylvania (2), Washington, D.C. (2), Florida(1), New Mexico (1), North Carolina (1), Maryland (1), Virginia (1). One grantee lives in Paris, France.

The six jurors who recommended the grantees to the National Council on the Arts were Van Deren Coke, Director of Art Museum, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, James Demetrion, Director, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, Mel Edwards, artist, New York, New York, Ted Potter, Director, The Gallery of Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Stephen Prokopoff, Director, Institute of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois, and Wayne Thiebaud, artist, Hood, California.

The grantees are:
Terry Allan, Fresno, Calif., William Allen, San Francisco, Calif., Robert Arnason, San Francisco, Calif., Richard Artschwager, New York, N.Y., John Balsley, Des Moines, Iowa, Jack Beal, N.Y., N.Y., Alan Bertoldi, Fresno, Calif., James Brooks, N.Y., N.Y., Wayne Campbell, San Francisco, Calif., Edward Clark, N.Y., N.Y., Charles Close, N.Y., N.Y., Jess Collins, San Francisco, Calif., Bruce Connor, Los Angeles, Calif., Mary Corse, Los Angeles, Calif., Mary Jay De Feo, San Francisco, Calif., Roy De Forest, San Francisco, Calif., Fred Eversley, Los Angeles, Calif., Rafael Ferrer, Philadelphia, Pa., Nancy Graves, N.Y., N.Y., Ronald Grow, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Marvin Hardin, Los Angeles, Calif., Robert Howard, Chapel Hill, N. Carolina, Robert Hudson, San Francisco, Calif., Robert Irwin, Los Angeles, Calif., Myoto Ito, Chicago, Ill., Virginia Jaramillo, N.Y., N.Y., Raymond Jonson, Albuquerque, N. Mexico, Richard Kevorkian, Richmond,Va., Terence La Noue, N.Y., N.Y., Doris Leeper, El Dora, Fla., Norman Lewis, N.Y., N.Y. Knox Martin, N.Y., N.Y., James Melchert, San Francisco, Calif., Barbara Munger, Los Angeles, Calif., Alice Neel, N.Y., N.Y., Wayne Nowack, Cedar Falls, Iowa, Jack Ogden, Sacramento, Calif., Howardena Pindell, N.Y., N.Y., Barbara Riboud, Paris, France, Barbara Rossi, Chicago, III., Italo Scanga, Philadelphia, Pa., Lou Stoval, Wash., D.C., Anne Truitt, Wash., D.C., Carlos Villa, San Francisco, Calif., Jack Whitten, N.Y., N.Y.

Photographers’ Fellowships: (up to $5,000)
A pilot program in photography fellowships in 1971 resulted in grants totaling $47,000 to 23 photographers. The current fellowships, totaling $217,700 are awarded to 60 photographers.

The purpose of a fellowship is to allow photographers of exceptional talent to buy time and/or materials to pursue their careers as they propose. Most of the grantees wished to pursue a particular project. Examples of these projects are: studies of the landscape of urban renewal, of suburban life-styles, of growing up in a small rural town.

The grants range from $1,200 to $5,000; 17 are for the maximum. Grantees are from 18 states; 34 of the grantees are from New York and California.

The three panelists who made the recommendations to the National Council on the Arts were: Alan Fern, Chief, Photographic Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Michael Hoffman, Managing Editor/Publisher, Aperture, Millerton, New York, and John Szarkowski, Director, Dept. of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York.

The panelists wished to advise the Council that the Fellowship program was unprecedented in the field and of vital importance to it.

The grantees are:
Robert Adams, Longmont, Colo., James Alinder, Lincoln Neb., Charles Baltz, Laguna Beach, Calif., Thomas Barrow, Rochester, N.Y., Dan Budnik, N.Y., N.Y., Larry Clark, N.Y., N.Y., William Clift, Santa Fe, N. Mexico, Robert Cumming, Orange, Calif., Edward D’Arms, Seattle, Wash., John Divola, Reseda, Calif., James Dow, Belmont, Mass., Elaine Fisher, Charlottesville, Va., Steven Fitch, Berkeley, Calif., Luke Fontana, New Orleans, La., Arthur Freed, N.Y., N.Y., Jill Freedman, N.Y., N.Y., Lee Friedlander, New City, N.Y., Ralph Gibson, N.Y., N.Y., Mark Goodman, Millerton, N.Y., Paul Herzoff, Oakland, Calif., Paul Hester, Houston, Texas, Edward Hill, Haydenville, Mass., Crystal Huie, N.Y., N.Y., Tim Kantor, Sarasota, Fla., George Krause, Philadelphia, Pa., Leslie Krims, Buffalo, N.Y., Marilyn Kroplick, N.Y., N.Y., Clarence Laughlin, New Orleans, La., Arthur Lazar, Albuquerque, N. Mexico, Al Lieberman, Westport, Calif., Jerome Liebling, Amherst, Mass., Danny Lyon, Bernalillo, N. Mexico, Nathan Lyons, Rochester, N.Y., Mike Mandel, Northridge, Calif., Gary Metz, Toledo, Ohio, Richard Misrach, Berkeley, Calif., James Mitchel, San Francisco, Calif., Joan Kennedy Morocco, Saratoga, Calif., Alan Newman, Brooklyn, N.Y., Ira Nowinski, San Francisco, Calif., Theodore Papageorge, N.Y., N.Y., Bart Parker, Narragansett, R.I., Mitchell Payne, San Francisco, Calif., Nancy Rexroth, Wash., D.C., James Roberts, Santa Rosa, Calif., Arthur Sawyers, Richmond, Va., Neal Slavin, N.Y., N.Y., Frederick Sommer, Prescott, Ariz., Judith Steinhauser, Columbia, S. Carolina, George Tice, Colonia, N. Jersey, Arthur Tress, N.Y., N.Y., Alwyn Scott Turner, New Orleans, La., Jerry Uelsmann, Gainesville, Fla., John Vachon, N.Y., N.Y., Robert Walch, Brooklyn, N.Y., Max Waldman, N.Y., N.Y., Alice Wells, Taos, N. Mexico, Brett Weston, Carmel, Calif., Armando Zelada, Rochester, N.Y., Thomas Zimmerman, San Francisco, Calif.

Art Critics’ Fellowships: ($3,000)
A pilot program conducted by the Endowment earlier this year resulted in 10 grants to 10 critics.

The aim of the Fellowships is to allow art critics of exceptional talent to pursue their professions, to study and/or write, or, if they wish, to take on a specific project which in their present circumstances is not feasible.

The panel which made the recommendations to the National Council on the Arts was composed of Linda Nochlin, Vassar College, Robert Herbert, Yale University, and William Seitz, Kress Professor, National Gallery of Art.

The grantees are:
Elizabeth Baker, N.Y., N.Y., Linda Borden, N.Y., N.Y., Max Kozloff, N.Y., N.Y., Lucy Lippard, N.Y., N.Y., Joseph Masheck, N.Y., N.Y., Annette Michelson, N.Y., N.Y., Kenworth Moffett, Wellesley, Mass. , Gregoire Muller, N.Y., N.Y., Carter Ratcliff, N.Y., N.Y. And Barbara Reise, London, England.

The next deadline for the Art Critics Fellowship Program will be December 1, 1972.

The next Individual Artists Fellowship Program deadline is November 30, 1973 and the next Photographers Fellowship Program deadline is May 30, 1974.

Brian O’Doherty
Visual Arts Program
National Endowment For The Arts