The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Thursday, June 28, 2007
Formed from the Ground
I just came across the making of dorodango , a kind of hand-made shiny ball made from mud and dirt popular in Japan.

They sound relatively easy to make. I love their simplicity and austere beauty.

Anybody out there ever made one?

Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Well Worth the Read
Comment has posted a summary of Richard Mouw's Abraham Kuyper Prize Lecture. Here is an excerpt:

It is Kuyper's sense that God loves manyness that also informs his sphere sovereignty doctrine. A healthy culture, Kuyper insists, will be characterized by many-ness, plurality. God built these patterns of associational diversity into the very fabric of creation. Families, schools, and businesses do not exist by the permission of governments or churchly authorities—Kuyper was equally critical of totalitarian states and politically powerful churches. God has ordained the plurality of spheres, and no human power has the right to inhibit their proper functioning.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Ikea is Coming
to Portland in late July!

Monday, June 18, 2007
Went to see the Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art show on Friday. It was really good - much better than I expected. There was a true reprentative sampling of painting and decorative arts from the period (much more than Rembrandt!) which clearly illustrated the wide variety of subjects and individual styles from the period.

I hope to visit the show several more times this summer and post more about it later.

We also stopped at the new Tillamook Forest Center on the way to the coast on Saturday. I really enjoyed the architecture and the arrangement. I only wish we had time to hike on the nearby trails...

Friday, June 15, 2007
I have been real busy this week hosting my sister who is visiting from the east coast. So far we have taken her to the Evergreen Art Museum (home of the Spruce Goose), Mount St. Helens, and the International Rose Garden in Portland. Today we hope to see the Rembrandt show at the Portland Art Museum.

You should check out this article on NYC artist Chris Anderson. I have know Chris for more than 20 years and she has tirelessly promoted Christian involvement in the arts in addition to keeping busy with teaching and art-making activities. Much of her work is bearing fruit in the likes of IAMNY.

Monday, June 11, 2007
Throwing Stones
From a facinating article in the New York Times about Philip Johnson's (in)famous Glasshouse now open to the public in New Canaan, CT. The article features a wide array of comments from luminaries and neighbors, including this one from the latter:

It was John Cage music and Merce Cunningham’s dancers — beautiful dancers. Cage’s music had something to do with doors slamming and whistles going off. Then great balloons — some big and black, some small and red and yellow. It was very strange. I thought to myself: “Here we are in 1967, standing next to a glass house listening to doors slam and whistles going off. This is out of this world.” It was so out of context for suburbia in the 60s.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Number of Leonardo da Vinci drawings owned by the British Royal family:

300 (at least)

(I say "at least" because this is the number at Winsor Castle. They may own more elsewhere.)

Of course the Queen also owns a Vermeer.

(Source: Art History blog - really worth the read for a in depth post on an exhibition of Leonardo drawings in Cardiff. I especially liked the drawing of the hands - click on the pictures for nice large images!)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007
A Distinctive Spirit Yields...???
Many who doubt the existence of distinctively Christian art (or science, economics, business, etc.) often quote Christian poet W.H. Auden, who claimed:

There can no more be a "Christian" art than there can be a Christian science or a Christian diet. There can only be a Christian spirit in which an artist, a scientist, works or does not work.

I find it interesting that Auden concedes that there is a definite Christian "spirit" in which Christian artists work that is different from the way that non-Christian artists ply their craft. But doesn't this "spirit" have an impact on the resultant artworks? Does it have no impact at all?

Auden's position on this is most curious.

(this post is inspired by this excellent article on Auden by Alan Jacobs)

Monday, June 04, 2007
Radical Art

Artistically, technically, what is revolutionary about this Golden Age?

It is not a revolutionary time. The artists were simply concerned with making pictures for sale. That was new. That was revolutionary. That was the big change. That's a parallel to what's going on today. Previously, great art had been commissioned by the church or by princes. But this was a whole new world. It was an open art market where people with expendable income and assets were looking to buy pictures, in particular, but also silver, to establish who they were and what their values were for themselves as well as for their neighbors. It was self-definition through the purchase of art.

--from an article in the Oregonian about the Rembrandt show at the Portland Art Museum

This was one of the points that I made in my talk the IAM NY conference and is a key point made my Abraham Kuyper in his Stone lectures. The reformation liberated the visual arts from liturgy. What resulted was an explosion of new art...

Friday, June 01, 2007
Church Architecture

What do you think of the design for new sanctuary at First Pres in Jackson, MS?