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The 150th Anniversary Week of the Birth of Frank Lloyd Wright



The Edgar Kaufmann House, 1935 – 1938

This house sums up Frank Lloyd Wright and his driving force of “Organic Architecture”. FLW would ask his students this:

“Can you say when your building is complete, that the landscape is more beautiful than it was before?”

And the tie to Williams. Robert Fordyce ’56, on the occasion of our 50th Reunion, donated his collection of FLW ephemera to the Chapin Library. It contains over 8000 pieces and is the largest collection of FLW ephemera in public or private hands.

Here is the program of the opening exhibition of the collection.

Screen Shot 2017-06-10 at 12.39.43 PM















A major exhibition “Unpacking the Archive” is on view at the MOMA June 12 – October 1.


Williams v Amherst note:


Alas, the only FLW project in Massachusetts is a Usonian House located in Amherst and built for Professor Theodore Baird in 1940.










Steve Case ’80 dubbed ‘DC Tech Whisperer ‘ in Politico Story


Here is a definition of the origin of the phrase ‘horse whisperer':

   A horse trainer who adopts a sympathetic view of the motives, needs, and desires of the horse, based on modern equine psychology.

 Almost any object of your choosing might be substituted for ‘horse’. I assume most Ephblog readers are ‘cow whisperers’ although ‘sympathetic’ may vary in application.

My question to those more familiar with technology and the problems it presents in furthering class distinctions … any thoughts to share with readers?

I am familiar with Richard Florida’s conclusions on the effect of gentrification through art on urban areas. Which you would probably expect of an art history whisperer.


The Houses of Williamstown: Alpha Delta Phi …

Alas, the top entry with architectural and  ’56 Gul insert of copy seems to be lost in time. Click on COMMENTS to get remains of the day and an example of the conversation of the day.


(The first in a series of 16 posts) … originally posted 5 October, 2009ad top copy
Continues below the fold Read more


MOMA Expansion …


The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York has completed the first phase of its major renovation programme, and unveiled its final plans for a multi-year expansion designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, alongside Gensler.http


Williams trustee Glenn O. Lowry ’78 is the director of MOMA. Over the years since its beginning, Ephs have been part of the fabric of MOMA.


The New Face of America…


Getty Photo

“I’m also honored to have the greatest temperament that anybody has.”

 —Donald Trump (November 3, 2016)


Mika Brzenski believes that by issuing alt-facts, the administration is undermining the role of the media and furthering the extent to which peoples opinion can be manipulated. This is, of course, the definition of ‘propaganda’. When an administration and the press are at the extreme ends of interpretations, the ‘truth’ can be seen by the observations of consequences of actions.

My hope is that at some point, these consequences will be obvious to all and an accurate assessment of our political and moral position as a country can be made.


The Houses of Williamstown : a series … The original teaser from October 2009

Intro top
This article continues below the fold. Read more


Trump to NATO and the G7 …

… NATO, Germany, and what may become the G6.  The bottom falls out of the nadir for the Covfeve-in-Chief!





The Houses of Williamstown: Zeta Psi … ( A Re-issue)

(This is the 15th in a series of 16 posts) This series ran in 2009 … click Comment for complete text.
Zetes Top copy


Read more


What am I wearing ? …


 … Sorry, we need more time together on the back-channel.




Making Friends and Influencing People by Sharing …

… Trump continues the bands’ breakthrough with Russia!



My Signature: Does it say the right thing?

I have written for help to the ‘Handwriting‘ forum of the Fountain Pen Network blog. Here is the response so far. I really need to have my signature perceived as written by one who is a leader, an intellectual, and a loving person of great compassion.


Perhaps Ephblog readers may have an opinion or two.










Marko Remac ’80: Work in Rome at the invitation of Pope Francis.

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 9.08.15 AMScreen Shot 2017-05-12 at 9.13.45 AM


Marko Remec is a conceptual sculptor living and working in New York City with his wife and two children. Born in 1958, Remec graduated with degrees in Studio Art and Chemistry from Williams College and earned his MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

In his works, Remec visualizes the oft-invisible aspects of the global political machine—threat, negotiation, and compromise. Having spent twenty-five years as a Mergers & Acquisitions specialist at two of the leading financial institutions on Wall Street (Morgan Stanley and Lazard), he is well versed in “corporate warfare” and the inextricable link between economic and actualized conflict. Warping function and re-contextualizing form, Remec distorts traditional expectations of usage and scale to incisively examine systems of power and the ways in which they affect our perceptions and realities.

Remec’s most recent work is his ongoing Totem Series, in which he uses flag and utility poles, both regular fixtures of the urban and suburban landscape. Adhering readymade objects to the poles, such as safety mirrors, bicycles, mops, brooms, and rearview mirrors, he transforms them into contemporary totems.

The Huffington Post March 21, 2013

The totem is displayed with The Ship of Tolerance, a floating conceptual work 0f Ilya and Emilia Kabakov.







The installation in Zug, CH.




Help Wanted …

… special investigator! Start immediately!  Must have no connection to Rogaine or Russia.


…or Nixon.





The Dance of Death …

V0042018 The dance of death: time and death. Coloured aquatint by T. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images The dance of death: time and death. Coloured aquatint by T. Rowlandson, 1816. 1816 By: Thomas RowlandsonPublished:  -  Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

HR Republicans pass repeal, celebrate on White House lawn. MedicAid as the step to tax cuts.

What will be on the Senate’s dance card?



(Phew!) Bipartisan Bill Increases Funding for NEA and NEH


Good news to this ancient Art History major and true believer in the purpose and conduct of art.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign a bipartisan agreement reached by Congress on Sunday that will fund the government through September and increase funds allotted to the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities by $1.9 million, Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev of Bloomberg report.

The bill, which will be the first major bipartisan measure advanced by Congress during Trump’s presidency, does not reflect Trump’s spending priorities. It boosts funding for the NEA and the NEH, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Park Service—all agencies the president declared would receive less funding—and does not include money for the Mexican border wall, one of the driving forces of his campaign.

… from the ARTFORUM site 2 May, 2017

The CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcast) will receive $445 million, the same as this year.


It was worth fighting for then. Have the times changed? If so, how? Is Free Speech still a workable liberty?


from The Four Freedoms Norman Rockwell, 1943

NYT article  containing student opinions from affected campuses.

One hour. Use as many blue books as you need. Sign the Honor Statement.


100 Days : Walls are going up …

… certainly between people. Walls of separation and isolation from realities as palpable as any built from steel or stone or cement.

Actual walls can be beautifully decorated with murals and enjoyed. These are bearing and supportive walls for structures. Walls built to divide and contain are not beautiful. And decor applied to them is more likely graffiti.



Berlin Wall with Keith Haring 330 ft graffiti 1986. Soon both were gone.


Fun with Stereotypes!

Stereo type analysis

A recent comment by frequent visitor JCD using a racial stereotype in describing a former student leads me to post this analysis of the use of stereotypes in the classroom and their results both socially in the context and particular to the person to whom applied.

Christine Reyna   Lazy, Dumb, or Industrious: When Stereotypes Convey Attribution Information in the Classroom Educational Psychology Review, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2000

A larger version may be seen here.

There seems to be a lot of this going around.


The First One Hundred Days …

The significance of this baseline varies in importance with our reversible President.


The WPA was approved on March 6, 1933 as a part of the first one hundred days. The importance of this engine of recovery from the depression is well-known.  So are the many civic landmarks, recreational areas, and artistic productions created for ‘we the people’ that continue in use to this day.

How different from an insistence on a wall and cutting funding for the arts.

I know art and architecture are not hot buttons on this blog, but if anyone’s interested in more detail, below are two good books:

41Y72VKDHHL._SX363_BO1,204,203,200_ 51DaftK55FL._SX387_BO1,204,203,200_

The USPS issued these WPA Poster stamps with ten designs on a sheet of twenty. The date of issue was March 7, 2017 at Hyde Park, New York, the site of FDR’s home, and library and museum.



Needs a job! Ephblog should act now!


US citizen. English is first language. Has skills!

UPDATE from DDF: Don’t criticize my friend Swart for not making an Eph-related post! Bill O’Reilly is, of course, famous for seeking sex (sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully) from women when the power relationships involved were quite imbalanced. The relevant Eph comparison is with Williams professors who seek sex from students, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. At least two Williams professors were so successful in this regard that they eventually married their students. And one is still on the Williams faculty! If you object to O’Reilly, do you also object to this behavior?


Rechtal’s note still reverberates …

I posted this letter from my old roommate on 11 April, 2008. It is  pertinent today

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 2.34.10 PM

“Civility was, I believe, very directly related to wearing a coat and tie at dinner.”

… Rechtal Turgidley Jr

The yellowed envelope the postman delivered on Tuesday  with the printed address ‘Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Beane,  40 Pine Street, New York 4, New York” crossed out smacked of a frugality honed for a lifetime. As did the corner of a block of 3 cent Lewis and Clark stamps making up the necessary postage, obviously licked and placed on the letter with care.

A glance at the ‘Quark Island ME’ postmark and my name written with the distinctive strokes of a Parker 51 and in his trademark peacock blue Parker Quink. confirmed it was another letter from my old roommate, Rechtal Turgidley Jr.


Swart (he begins) ,

I am quite worried about you. And, NO, not for the usual reasons of your incipient alcoholism, the smoking of quantities of an unidentified vegetation, or even your strange predilection for Baroque opera.

I am worried because I see you appearing  much too frequently in the, granted, ephemeral columns of that peculiar ‘blog’ purportedly written ‘about’, ‘over’, ‘under’ and all the other prepositions, Williams.

Since you pointed me in the direction of this supposed diversion several months ago, I have been following it and, indeed, have written you before with my thoughts (and I was amazed to see that you had forwarded that note to a ‘DKane; , what ever that may be). I objected to anonymity among gentlemen, the use of a first name appellation in referring to the President of the College, and some of the nature of the writings that appeared that would have roused my father Rechtal Turgidley ‘28 to a fury. But enough of these aforementioned items.

 It is my analysis of recent daily editions that raise my concerns for you as a too-frequent participant in them.

 I shall go on.

As to DKane, he does, indeed, know how to rouse the fish to intemperate biting on his carefully tied lures. If one doesn’t work, he will flail the water with others. He seems to know how to ‘match the hatch’ with great skill. If the dry thorax is not working, he will switch to a terrestrial and may end up with a midge. The question is, does he truly believe in each and every offering cast out or is he simply looking for some bites to keep the pond jumping.  If he doesn’t believe all that he offers, all well and good. If, on the other hand he does, then the comments of many of the respondents o his lures need to be carefully weighed by the local police.

As to topics and response. Is this ‘blog’ an extension of the management of the College and vested with some powers for change? For it would appear that many of the postings and comments have to do with what the Trustees, the President, the faculty, and even the students themselves should do. Whining seems to be the hallmark of much of the correspondence. As Grandfather Turgidley ‘06 used to remark “I can’t abide whining dogs or whining Williams men”.

And there is such a lack of civility and humor in the verbiage! I did notice, Swart, your attempts to change the subject several times. While I was not interested in DIY -The Romance of Drains, or Cooking with Clarified Butter, I was hopeful that All About Stamps might catch on. I am happy to discuss at the drop of a hat, my 1922 6 cent Garfield’s by that wonderful team of Eissler and Hall. But no matter.

Civility was, I believe, very directly related to wearing a coat and tie at dinner. Has civility gone by the boards, replaced with diversity?  “O brave new world that hath such people in it”.

Thus my concern for your over-participation in this activity. In the jargon of some past psychobabble I am doing an ‘intervention’.

Pack your bag. Say ‘Ave et Vale’ to your virtual pals. You are coming with me. We will be concentrating on these three ‘g’s’ –  Gehry’s Guggenheim, Gaudy, and the modern architect hated by Ian Fleming, Erno Goldfinger.

    In the Bonds,







A note from my classmate Peter Britton ’56 …

A man of no conscience.

I awake on Tuesday to find a sociopath has endangered every living organism on our planet.



AP Photo/ Charlie Riedel

Now, go to goggle and search “man of no conscience” and “sociopath.”

For prior proof search “EPA and energy,”  “at-risk populations” and “CO2 and rising seas and “carbonic acid.”  And Trump.

For the most powerful man on earth has made sadism and masochism his very own trademarks.

And only a man of zero conscience and empathy could do that where seven billion humans and trillions of other living things are concerned.

But, perhaps the rising seas will reach only the 20th floor of Trump Tower.

Here are two recent song-videos on this turn of events:



And a thought from the Appalachian Mountains:

Mother Nature’s brilliant plan
Sequestered all black rocks;
Then mankind’s selfish mind
Unlock’ t Pandora’ s  box

CLIMATE CHANGE is not a joke or a hoax. In 1972 I wrote a story on “weather” for Exxon’s house organ, The Lamp.

During my research I found a company plan to pave the Guajira Peninsula in Colombia with asphalt, blacktop and hydrocarbon discards to create rain for local farmers and, incidentally, enable in – depth study of global warming/climate change.

This story never ran and as far as I could tell, the project fizzled.

But reviving XL and Dakota Pipelines, dismantling Obama’s energy initiatives and Exxon’s $22 billion Gulf Coast investment in 11 new oil refineries brings back Dr. James Hansen’s recent and most dire warning: If Canada’s tar sands flow to Texas, “Game Over” for climate change …

Nota Bene from Dick Swart ’56    My classmate Peter Britton is a committed environmentalist. He expresses his concerns musically in themed albums like …

MI0002799857 … this and others are available online

and his book …

9781626757707_p0_v1_s437x700 available online


Chuck Barris: Today’s need for The Gong Show …

… would that Jamey Farr could just strike the gong and the DC comedians would get the hook.

Chuck Barris … “A bad review means a show will run forever”.


The EPA and climate change …


I wonder what the new definitions will mean for programs like Blue Sky? I’m one of the 112,268 Oregon volunteer participants in this very active program of Pacific Power. I know that living in the blue-state Pacific Northwest may be different than other sections of the country.


Thomas Krens ’69, pioneer of Guggenheim Bilbao, criticizes planned expansion to Abu Dhabi …


Former Director of the Guggenheim Foundation Criticizes Plans for Abu Dhabi Branch

I understand his concerns. I add my own thought on this design: Gehry’s style has gone Mannerist!

For comparison:

See below first para for my meaning of mannerist/ism:


“I’m President and you’re not” …


… quote from TIME magazine interview March 22, 2017.

… may not be the best mantra for governance, particularly with Left-wing/Right-wing lawmakers fracturing his own party.


A Thriller Rauschenberg show at WCMA …


This the first show done as a collaborative project with students in an Art History/Museum class.
(see story below)

Robert Rauschenberg: Autobiography brings together 26 original works of art with 56 archival objects primarily on loan from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and centers on the artist’s monumental print, Autobiography, 1968. The exhibition will be on view at the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) from March 17 through August 20, 2017.


Rauschenberg created Autobiography with Broadside Art Inc., founded by arts patron Marion Javits and graphic designer Milton Glaser Read more


Re: ‘Argument’ as ‘Sport’ …


Ephblog as Weston Field.

See ‘comments’ in Richard Spencer post (below).

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 4.14.52 PM… from the Williams Rugby Club website

JCD jostled by all and sundry …







Funny, but it sounds more real when sung by Piaf …

… than Sean and the Drumph.


NB  I would have put the following below the fold but couldn’t figure out the app specific. Read more


On St Patrick’s Day, additional historical notes …

… older readers from the days of required Chapel may recall visits to St Pat’s.



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