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Student Lens: In and Around Williams

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#1 Comment By Ronit On January 7, 2010 @ 12:22 pm

Very nice photo.

May I suggest uploading a larger version and downsizing it to fit?

#2 Comment By JeffZ On January 7, 2010 @ 12:39 pm

Awesome. Please keep ’em coming!

#3 Comment By hwc On January 7, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

That is a fabulous photograph!

#4 Comment By Diana On January 7, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

Great photo; I love reflections! One of my favorite Williams photos also features a reflection of the congregational church. I look forward to seeing more of your pictures.

#5 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On January 7, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

@OP: There is this feeling you’re causing here in Mexico City, which the Germans describe as heimweh

#6 Comment By taussig On January 8, 2010 @ 12:21 am

does that mean homesickness? As for the location, it is in a window of West College…

and Ronit, thanks for letting me know… I will work on the formatting for future pictures!

#7 Comment By kthomas On January 8, 2010 @ 12:42 am


Heimweh is a pain much more, much deeper, than what ‘homesickness’ represents in American English. If you have read The Return of Martin Guerre, you may have a touch of the idea.

Heimweh, like Heimmat, which is something more than hometown (even in the times when Americans really had ‘hometowns,’ places where they and their stories and histories were known), survives as a word and concept, from a Germanic past…

#8 Comment By kthomas On January 10, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zu.
Mein Irisch Kind,
Wo weilest du?

#9 Comment By Parent ’12 On January 10, 2010 @ 11:50 pm


one for the canon?


T.S. Eliot?

#10 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 11, 2010 @ 12:10 am

T.S. Eliot.

#11 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 11, 2010 @ 12:13 am

“[…] and go south in the winter.”


#12 Comment By frank uible On January 11, 2010 @ 5:09 am

Jr. Mom, I remember when you were Frosh Mom. I guess that in a few years you will be Alum Mum.

#13 Comment By Dick Swart On January 11, 2010 @ 8:44 am

Imagine Virginia Woolf hand-setting the type for the 1923 first publication in book form in England. 425 copies run off through the Woolfs Hogarth Press.. ‘I have just finished setting up the whole of Mr. Eliots poem with my own hands: You see how my hand trembles’.

A copy of ‘The Wasteland’ sold at auction for over $50,000.

Th Woolfs had previously hand-set and published ‘Poems’ in 1918 through Hogarth Press in an edition of 250.


with very nice references to Roger Fry. With a carom off the ‘canon’, Roger Fry was described by the art historian Kenneth Clark as “incomparably the greatest influence on taste since Ruskin… In so far as taste can be changed by one man, it was changed by Roger Fry”.

Fry coined the tern ‘Post-Impressionism” at his 1910 show ‘Manet and the Post-Impressionists’ which introduced Gaugin, Manet, Matisse, and Van Gogh in England.

Ahh, The Bloomsbury Group.

From Virginia Woolf:

“On the 16th [of] March Miss Power and Miss Malone dined with us. Sydney-Turner and Gerald [Duckworth] came in after dinner—the first of our Thursday evenings. On the 23rd [of] March nine people came to our evening and stayed till one. . . . These Thursday evening parties were, as far as I am concerned, the germ from which sprang all that has since come to be called—in newspapers, in novels, in Germany, in France—even, I daresay, in Turkey and Timbuktu,–by the name of Bloomsbury. They deserve to be recorded and described. Yet how difficult—how impossible. Talk—even the talk which had such tremendous results upon the lives and characters of the two Miss Stephens* —even talk of this interest and importance is as elusive as smoke. It flies up the chimney and is gone.”

* Two Miss Stephens – the sisters Virginia (Woolf) and Vanessa (Bell). Vanessa Bell was an artist and designed the covers for Woolfs’ novels. She was also a lover of Roger Fry and dropped him to live with the artist Duncan Grant and her husband Clive Bell and Grants’ lover David Garnett.

#14 Comment By Parent ’12 On January 11, 2010 @ 9:43 am

Dick- Wonderful to start the morning with the Bloomsberries..

I want to add to your *note: Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant had a daughter, Angelica, who married David Garnett to become Angelica Bell Garnett. Apparently David G was smitten when he first saw Angelica as a child. (If I can find the reference in my Bloomsbury library, I’ll provide it later.)

And, I was too tired last night to write a full comment about Ken’s quote:

It’s from the Waste Land, but the lines are lyrics from Tristan und Isolde, Act I, Scene 2.

#15 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 11, 2010 @ 10:38 am

Speaking of the canon and dead white men.

But when it comes right down to what inspired them, shouldn’t we face due east?

(@12: Heaven forbid. Surely I will just be mum by then?)

#16 Comment By Dick Swart On January 11, 2010 @ 11:38 am

More canon fire:

Wagner’s ‘Tristan’ is a breakthrough in tonality and harmony that influences Mahler, Strauss, Szymanowski, Berg and Schoenberg.

The Western music canon was taught in Music 1-2 and was as influential as Art 1-2. I have no problem with starting with the west as a line per se. The interpretations of the line change with the times, but the basic structures remain.

If I don’t have my own basic view of these structure in place in my mind’s eye and ear, how can I ‘compare and contrast’ to other structures from different directions?

I believe the Art 1-2 remains rightly as a basic requirement for Art History.

From my own experience with artists, I can see while it could be an elective in a Studio Arts major, the student might be making a mistake in not taking it. On the other hand, if you can’t draw, don’t call yourself an artist!

To me, the value of the canon as text/structure depends on the inspiration and input of the presenter.

Williams has been blessed over the years with canon presenters to the potential canon fodder.

Stoddard, Pierson,Faison, Trapp, Barrow, Shainman, Hunt, O’Neal, Steiner (as an associate prof for that short time), Burns, Newhall …

… but please add to this start from all sides of the campus. Williams Presenters who made the canon whether chemistry, calculus, or Caravaggio come alive for you.

#17 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 11, 2010 @ 11:42 am

And, the influences on Wagner?



#18 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 11, 2010 @ 11:50 am

And, FWIW, I agree that the western canon is an important part of the education of any art student. However, I do recognize that there might be many studio majors who arrive to Williams with that foundation firmly in place, and might be ready to move forward…or backward (or eastward?) …as Wagner and Eliot did.

#19 Comment By kthomas On January 11, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

Well, maybe we should be having this discussion over on our canon thread (sorry taussig!).

Yeats and Eliot share a sort of… something more than nostalgia, a belief that something critical has been lost. What is the nature of the loss they describe?

#20 Comment By Ronit On January 11, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

#21 Comment By Jr. Mom On January 11, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

What lies behind the curtain?

(Or, should we say, over the shoulders of all those dead white men?)

Will the real Oz please come forward?

#22 Comment By Parent ’12 On January 11, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

Ken (@14)- With this discussion we’ve complimented taussig (Torrey).

Like a “good” canon, the photo is iconic: a reflection in a window provided inspiration. We’ve reflected with many different facets.

The contributions, content & questions, are interesting and lead to more reflections.

[Funny, isn’t a “window” part of the personal essay prompt for the Williams application.]