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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, April 17, 1938, Image 63

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VIVID MODERN ART
Picasso and Marin Works Shown Here Re
veal Traits of Inventive Geniuses.
Art Events.
_ ™lTL{er* Water,' by Mary Elizabeth Partridge, included in the exhibition in the Phillips
Gallery Studio House. Star Staff Photo.
“Lady With Fan," by Pablo Picasso, lent to the exhibition in i
the Phillips Memorial Gallery by Mrs. Marie Harriman, prob- <
ably Picasso's most famous canvas. This painting has a very '
strong influence on contemporary art. Note sculpturesque 1
quality and. pose suggesting mechanization of action as that '
of a robot. Declared by some to be one of the world master- >
pieces. —Star Staff Photo. <
•‘Abstraction,” painted by Pablo Picasso in 1924 and lent to the exhibition in the Phillips
Memorial Gallery by Mary Hoyt Wiborg. Picasso in this work sets the pace in modern painting.
He ‘‘invented” cubism and is now the leading abstractionist. Even his admirers call him ‘‘the
Spanish bull in the French china shop.” But what does the abstraction mean'’—Star Staff Photo.
THE art season in Washington
reaches a climax, so far as
sensation goes, in the exhibi
tion of works by Picasso and
Marin which opened in the Phillips
Memorial Gallery with a private view
last Sunday and will continue to May
1. According to the announcement
issued to prospective visitors, these
two are "the most imentive artists
now living” Without question thev
are the two who most vividly refle-t
the chaotic conditions of the time
npd are most incomprehensible.
Picasso, bom in Spain in 1881, but
the greater part of his life resident in
Paris, has made a stir in the interna
tional art world, rebelling, puzzling,
provoking, since 1908. Marin, on the
other hand, is American born, 11
years Picasso's senior, and has en
joyed a vogue built up by limited but
extremely partisan American patron
age. Equally inventive, their ap
proach, it would seem, is widely di
verse. To quote again from the an
nouncement of the exhibition: "Pi
casso. once a romanticist, has made
his studio into an alchemist's labora
tory. He makes art, out of other arts
and dominates many current trends.
Marin, the American wizard of water
color, makes his art from close con
tact with elemental forces in pature.
He rpfers with inspired haste to
transitory aspects and is closer to
moving lights and tides than to 'art
, movements.’ ” But let us consider
them separately.
Picasso a Name
To Conjure With.
AS C J. BULLIET wrote, at the
time of the Century of Progress
Exposition in Chicago, when 12 paint
ings, 6 drawings and 2 works in sculp
ture by Picasso were included the
great international exhibition in the
Art Institute: "Hus has been a name
to conjure with for mare than a
quarter of a century—to call up evil
spirits or good, according to your
personal art prejudices,”
Picasso was undoubtedly the father
of abstract, art, out of which has come
art which is purely non-objective. No
exhibition of contemporary’ painting
today, which declares itself up-to
date. but reflects in greater or less
degree his infiuen’'e. Undoubtedly he
is one to be reckoned yvith. His works
should be thoughtfully studied before
the spirits he has called forth are to
he domciled or exorcised. Who is
Picasso? What has he given us—good
coin or false?
Of the man himself. Mr Phillips, in
a brief brochure accompanying the
catalogue of the current exhibition,
has the following to say:
"Picasso has bet.i called 'the Span
ish bull in the French china shop' be
cause of the furore his violent per
sonality has created in a city cele
brated for its taste and its traditions.
Driven by his genius and his incessant
urge to invention, he trusts to his
impassioned instinct for expressive
design and to the immediacy of his
Impulse and inspiration. He said of
himself that each time he starts a
new picture he steps off into space
He plans nothmg. but observes and
assimilates everything and abandons
himself to the destiny of the creative
movement.” I
"Picasso's beginnings were roman
tic," Mr. Phillips continues. “Both tne
poverty of his early years and the
melancholy and morbidezza of his
lyric pictures seemed to mark him
es a survivor of the 19th rather than
as a pioneer of the 20th century. lie
fpared his own trend to sentimentality .
and about 1906 renounced subjects al- !
together. But his professed asceticism
has been more exciting than his lyric
indulgence. His esthetic adventures
have been bewildering."
Picasso Inherently a Rebel.
J7ROM the beginning, apparently,
Pablo Picasso has been a rebel, ;
for we are told that his artist father
and his earliest teachers noted how 1
Impervious as a boy he was to rules. ,
Bulliet says that he seems never to I
have had to learn the rudiments of
art. Certainly he himself apparently
thought so. He first went to Paris in
1900 and with but a brief interval
of two years has resided there ever
since. Matisse and the "Fauves" weie
the center of attention in the early
days of the present century. At first
Picasso was welcomed to this circle,
but later, it is recorded, his fellow
innovators turned against him. It
was Matisse who "in good-natured rid
icule gave the name 'cubism' to Picas
so's first abstractions." But Pi
casso. it should be remembered, was
never a simpleton; steeped in tradition
from childhood, he was profoundly ;
imoressed by the classic, and the
steps he took were deliberate rather
than accidental; he never stumbled
through ignorance.
Large Representation
In Current Exhibition.
TN THE exhibition now to be seen
* in the Phillips Memorial Gallery
no less than 27 works by Picasso are
Included. This constitutes a most
comprehensive survey, the study of
which should lead to a Just estimate of
the painter's contribution as a whole.
Among the works set forth are seveial
which are conceded to be his master
pieces—works which during the pres
ent extraordinary vogue for his in
ventiveness have been extravagantly
declared to be among the greatest
world paintings.
The catalogue of this exhibition has
been prepared with the utmost care;
the works listed according to period
of development, each, furthermore,
accompanied by brief comment. Few’
artists have passed through so many
marked epochs. These with Picasso,
strangely enough, seem rarely to over
lap: each in turn is cast aside as a skin
^ that has become too confining, but
there is r.6 evidence of progress—the
akin changes, that is all.
Naturally the early periods are most
traditional, for despite the glamour of
the new which dazzled the painter’!
vision, the shadow of the past still
crossed his path. Works produced
during his so-called "Blue Period”
date roughly from 1901 to 1904. Among
these is "Early Morning," a scene in
Picasso's first studio in Paris, a paint
ing acquired by the Phillips Memorial
Gallery some years ago, and now noted
as evidencing Picasso's interest in
Lautrec, and also his recollection of
the color scheme of Hispano-Moresque
pottery.
From the “Transition Period.” which
directly followed, come "Lady With
Fan." dated 1905 and probably his
mast famous canvas, lent to this ex
hibition by Mrs. Marie Harriman of
New York, and also a sculptured head
of a Jester, in bronze, which has been
acquired for the Phillips collection.
The “Rose Period” is best repre
sented by "Woman With Loaves.” lent
by the Pennsylvania Museum, between
which and "Lady With Scarf” and
“Portrait of an Acrobat.” both from
the Marie Harriman Gallery, there is
a gap of 17 years, during which the
painter had studied and been intrigued
by primitive Negro sculpture, from
which hp turned for expression to
analytical and synthetic cubism, by
which devious paths he had arrived
at abstraction. It is an extraordinary
thing that the reaction should have
brought forth in the art of Picasso a
classic revival, but this is the fact,
Whereas his “Lady With Fan" is
essentially sculpturesque, three dimen
sional, his "Lady With Scarf" and
"Portrait of an Acrobat” are chiefly
linear and flat.
The ninth and last period anno
tated. covering from 1924 to 1936. is
almost entirely given to abstractions.
This group embraces a large canvas,
without, title, painted in 1924. lent by
Miss Mary Hoyt Wiberg. and a small
painting belonging to the Phillips col
lection listed as "Bull Fight.” which
is said to present a composite of the
painter's life, his racial background
and present reactions to the emotions
called forth by the present “bull pen
of Europe."
Key to Understanding
Of Picasso’s Work.
'J’HIS comment may give the key to
an understanding of the entire
collection, for it is not, unlikely that
Picasso represents in one person the
steady downward trend of civilization
and the present dominant influences
tending toward world cataclysm. Art
has always reflected life and still does;
the unhappy fact is that at the pres
ent time it quite generally reflects
the worst rather than the best. What
are the elements which are most
1 "" 1 I
Current Exhibitions
CORCORAN GALLERY OF ART
—Original illustrations by W.
J. Glackpns closes this after
noon. Drawings by Isabel
Bishop. Paintings by Henry
Lee McFee. opened April 12.
SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION
—Etchings in black and white
and color by Leon R. Pescheret.
UNITED STATES NATIONAL
MUSEUM, Tenth street and
Constitution avenue — Part
ings and sculpture from Na
tional Collection of Fine Arts.
UNITED STATES NATIONAL
MUSEUM. Arts and Industries
Building—Pictorial photographs
by B. Edward Alenlus of Bask
ing Ridge, N. J.
PHILLIPS MEMORIAL GAL
LERY—Paintings by Picasso
and Marin. Drawings and car
toons by Boardman Robinson.
PHILLIPS GALLERY STUDIO
HOUSE—Water colors by Mary
Elizabeth Robinson. Water col
ors and lithographs by Prentiss
Taylor.
ART GALLERY. INTERIOR DE
PARTMENT BUILDING. Ex
hibition of architectural draw
ings by students jn American
universities.
ARTS CLUB OF WASHINGTON.
Exhibition Cloisonne satins by
Mrs. Seward H. Rathbun and
Tibetan paintings lent by A. J.
Osgood to April 22.
MUSEUM OF MODERN ART,
WASHINGTON GALLERY—
Exhibition of paintings of
flowers, fruits.
PUBLIC LIBRARY, Main Build
ing-Water colors by Harold
Lund. Takoma branch—Pa*nt
ings by Washington artists.
Mount Pleasant branch—Paint
ings by the Landscape Club.
WOMEN'S CITY CLUB—Joint
exhibition of paintings in oil.
water color and pastel by
Adrienne Louise Low and Mary
Margaret Hudgins. Sculpture
by Muriel Jane Austen. Wil
fred Wohler, Mrs. Ruby Schuler
and Mrs. Dorothy Jones Terro.
HOWARD UNIVERSITY ART
GALLERY—Modern American
paintings.
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE. 614
S Street N.W.—Exhibition of
groups of paintings by A. H. O.
Rolle and Irene U. Trawbridge.
LITTLE GALLERY, Georgetown
—Recent paintings by Mitchell
Jamieson.
CHILDREN S MUSEUM. W. P.
A., Independence Avenue—Ex
hibition of work by children in
local public schools.
JEWISH COMMUNITY CEN
TER. 1529 Sixteenth Street—
Exhibition of craftwork, paint
ings and prints by Boris Shatz,
founder of the Bezale School in
Jerusalem, and his son and
daughter. Bezalel and Zahara.
This opened April 4 and will
continue until April 25.
ARTISTS' UNION, District of
Columbia—Exhibition of oils,
water colors, works in black
and white by members. Open
ing today at 532 Seventeenth
street.
!
insistent in the work* of Picasso?
Strength, force, brutality, arrest
through shock, rising to consumma
tion in sheer confusion of thought
and unintelligibility. His abstractions
are praised because of their design
and pattern—but design presupposes
orderliness in conception, rhythm,
balance, harmony in expression. His
figures have solidity, brute strength,
| monumental quality, but no spirit,
none of that quality which lifts man
above the beasts and allies him with
the divine—the immortal.
Art is not an end in itself; it can
not be learned, it cannot be taught,
it is a gift of God bestowed upon the
few for the delectation of the many.
For centuries it has been associated
in the minds of men with beauty, it
has been a fount of refreshment, a
consolation, a delight. The measure
of nations in the matter of civilization
has been attainment in art. Art has
in the past been a universal language
through which the aspiration of man '
for the things of the spirit has been
tangibly expressed. When we sur
render this ideal we give up a most
precious heritage and are miserably
impoverished The bull pen" of Eu
rope—and for that matter of Asia—
does not need extension. We are all
too conscious of its existence and its
danger. What, we should seek is an
antidote to the poison which exudes
from it—and this seems not to he in
Picasso's gift. He may be clever, in
ventive. powerful, and his works for
this reason may command high prices
from those who spek novelty, but as
compared to the great masters of the
past, or our own masters of yesterday,
he has no great message to impart—
unless it is that of warning.
John Marin s Water Colors.
JOHN MARIN'S water colors, to
which two rooms in the Phillips
Memorial Gallery are now given, are
quite a different matter. Mr. Marin
was trained in this country and
Prance and his paintings and etchings
originally were, in character, quite i
academic. Then, rather suddenly, j
about 25 years ago. he developed, or
invented, a method of his own for
presenting in water color things seen,
which, while adhering in a measure to
reality, was at long last pure hiero- j
glyphic. These won the admiration
of Alfred Steiglitz, the pictorial pho- !
tographer who was one of the ft. si
apostles of modernism in this country, 1
and by whom they were brought to
public attention, exploited, marketed, I
to the painter's great advantage. Mr.
Phillips was one of Mann's earliest
patrons, and during the passing years
has been consistently understanding !
of his viewpoint and appreciative of
his achievement. The majority, if
not all. of the works now on exhibi
tion are either from the Phillips col
lection or lent by Mr. Stieglitz.
Martin's painting is a thing apart.
In the presence of Nature he dashes
down an impression, or a half-dozen
impressions, in the twinkling of an
eye, and lets It go at, that. Those who
can follow him sympathetically take
pleasure in constructing from these
the whole scene, or find satisfaction
in testing its flavor. To many, how- j
ever, these rapid sketches, made with
out regard to actuality in line or
color, have no meaning at all, and
such as these the painter cheerfully
eliminates from his audience. As Mr.
Phillips has wisely said, “Mr. Marin's
script is unlike the caligraphy of
the Oriental painters, in that it in
herits no prescribed subject matter
and no rule for technic.-’ It is the last, !
particularly, that Mann has discarded,
thereby freeing himself from restric
tion, but exiling himself from the
company of the immortals. No great
art has developed, even though it be
God-given, save through discipline.
Marin's paintings are completely un
disciplined. He has. guided by the
impressionists, tried to give the mere
essence of things seen, but carrying
the doctrine too far has reduced it to
absurdity. If we are to take art into
this upper ether and not have it lost
in mist, we must give the impression
of still having our feet on firm ground.
Mr. Marin has won his chief success
in water color painting, but of late
he has turned to oils—three of which
are included In the present exhibition.
These are all of the sea. strong in
color and effective, but for Marin's
purposes the lighter medium seems
better adapted.
Drawings and Cartoons
By Boardman Robinson.
IN THE printrnom of the Phillips
Memorial Gallery is now to be
seen a mllertion of drawings and
cartoons by Boardman Robinson, who
has, within the past few months, com
pleted, it will be remembered, a series
of 16 mural paintings in the Depart
ment of Justice Building representing
the great lawgivers. Mr. Robinson
is painter, illustrator and teacher:
director of the Colorado Springs Art
Center and the Fountain Valley School
for Boys in the same city. Among the
drawings in the collection now on view
are caricatures of Roger Fry, the
English art critic; Samuel Gomoers.
labor leader, and the late President
Poincare of France. One of his
cartoons represents “Labor and the
Preys Conference." others illustrate
the bitter antagonism of the world
today, as in the past, to Christ and
the Christian teaching. They are
powerfully dramatic.
Henry L. McFee's Skill as
Draftsman Shown in Exhibition
At the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
'T'HE Corcoran Gallery of Art has at
this same time placed on exhibi
tion a collection of drawings by Henry
Lee McFee. consisting of life-size heads
done as studies in portraiture, land
scapes and leaves. In general charac
ter very like Mr. McFee's paintings,
these drawings will be found of especial
interest to students and those inter
ested particularly in techniques. They
would seem to be done in charcoal or
light crayon and. which is rather
remarkable, are cross-hatched, as were
the old rrayon portrait drawings. The
line is fine, but a rather monotonous
tone is maintained—there are no
strong accents of light or dark. Also
there is little unity in the composi
tions—they seem rather to have hap
pened than to have been arranged.
Mr. McFee was bom in St. Louis.
Mo , in 1888. studied one year at the
Stevenson Art School, Pittsburgh, and
two summers at the Art Students’
League School of landscape painting
at Woodstock. N. Y. It is at. Wood
stock that he now makes his home
and he is essentially of this school.
Among his awards are honorable
mention, Carnegie Institute, Pitts
burgh, 1923; honorable mention and
fourth Clark prize. Corcoran Bien
nial Exhibition, 1928; Temple Gold
Medal, Pennsylvania Academy of the
Fine Arts, 1937. He has lately been
honored by the purchase of a painting.
"The Desert Plant.” shown in the first
biennial exhibition held by the Vir
ginia Museum of the Fine Arts and
acquired through the John Barton
Payne fund. His works are included
in the permanent collections of the
Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Phillips
Memorial Gallery, Brooklyn and Cleve
land Museums, Albright Gallery, Buf
falo. Metropolitan Museum of Art and
Whitney Museum, New York.
Mary Elizabeth Partridge
And Prentiss Taylor
Exhibit at Studio House.
rJ,WO exhibitions opened at Phillips
Gallery Studio House this week, to
continue until April 28. They consist
of water colors by Mary Elizabeth
Partridge and water colors and litho
graphs by Prentiss Taylor* Mrs. Part- .
ridge is a sister of Mrs. Phillips and ,
likewise a niere of Gifford and Rey- ,
nolds Beal, whose paintings have re- (
rently been exhibited in the Arts Club
Therefore, although she ts practically
self-taught, she has excellent back
ground and Intimate acquaintance
with the artist's point of view. This i
is her first “one-man ' exhibition, and
as such does her great credit. Like
Mrs. Phillips, she has a fine sense of !
earth forms and transcribes, with ex
cellent feeling and accuracy, the lay !
of the land Especially pleasing for 1
this reason are her mountain pictures, '
of which there are numerous examples. '(
Also, her compositions are good, uni- ;
fied and impressive, Furthermore, she
seems lo have an understanding of
perspective, which today is rather rare.
The technique she employs ts broad
and competent, her attack is direct <
and simple. What she lacks ts refine- ,
ment of line and variety in effects of ]
light and shade. Take, for example,
some of her trees, leafless and stark \
against the sky or other background; (
they are well drawn, but not lovingly, ]
with that delicacy of touch and close- : ,
ness of observation which this implies. ,
Also refer to some of her excellent .
verandah views, so good in composition
and perspective, but minus the sparkle
of sunlight—although the skies are
blue—or the magic of sun-drenched (
atmosphere. But these are virtues
which ran be acquired. The all-im- ,
portant is the knowledge of structure
and singleness of vision, which she
manifestly possesses in large measure. 1
For the most part, these water colors
by Mrs. Partridge were done here near
Washington, in Virginia along the
Skyline drive and in the Hudson River
country. New York Five were sold at 1
the opening private view, which is tan- 1
gible evidencp of immediate apprecia
tion. and others have been purchased
since.
Mr. Taylor Revives the
Victorian Tradition and
Brings It Up to Date.
pRENTISS TAYLOR require* no in
troduction to the Washington pub
lic. having been bom in this city in
1307 and exhibited extensively here.
His works now on view are. how
ever, recent, and may well bp regarded
as n “report of progress.” Mr. Taylor
is one of those who harked back to
the Art of the Victorian era and has
given it a new turn. That which was
mast hideous in the architecture of the
mid-nineteenth century seems to have
exercised upon him an especial lure,
and he has painted and drawn it with
great gusto. Take, for example, his
painting in this exhibition of “Carpet
bagger's House.” erected in some
Southern city with the effrontery of
wealth and bad taste, the like of which, j
however, may still be found in many a
city north of Mason's and Dixon's line.
Certainly Mr. Taylor's presentation is
most graphic—the house and all. it !
stands for is vividly put before us—but
to what purpose? It is not funny—it
is certainly not beautiful. As an his
torical record it may be of value, but
why make record of our shame?
Hamilton Mabie once said of some
of our bad public monuments that, it
was to be hoped, future generations
would realize they were erected
through ignorance and not in malice.
Something of the same element of poor
taste on the part of the owners or
builders is evidenced In Mr. Taylor's
vater color of ‘ Double House—East .
Gloucester,” an architectural horror.
3ut again why perpetuate it? There
re so many houses on the North Shore
hat have a charm almost, unsurpassed, >
t seems pathetic for as capable an
,rtist as Mr. Taylor to waste time on
hat which is subjectively so displeas
ng
As a lithographer Mr Taylor also
ully commands his medium, but in
his field, too. his choice of theme is not
he best. Two of his lithographs of
legro life—religious gatherings treated
n a semi-comic manner—which per
laps they were—are exceedingly well
lone but not important, ^ar better 1
ire his prints, 'Southern Cross—St. 1
rhomas," "Carolina Low Country” and
Horlbeck Aliev." An odd and unique
■onception is his "Sedgwick House
ind Detail”—the latter framing the
ormer in ghostlike form.
The D. C. Artists’ Union
Exhibits in New and
Setter Quarters.
THE District of Columbia Artists'
Union is bolding an exhibition of
nembers' works in an improved gal- ,
ery on the basement floor of the old
esidence on the comer of Seventeenth
,nd F streets. It consists of works in
ids. water colors, black and white and
culpture and makes quite an lmpres
lve. if not very admirable showing
rhe paintings are chiefly of figures, '
lingly or in groups, and give indiea
lon of ambition. Several are by
Nicolai Cikowskv. who has exhibited
>v invitation in the Corcoran Gallery
if Art and is represented in some of
he leading museums. His lithographs
lave found general commendation. He
s a Pole by birth and there is a cer
ain grim solemnity In all his work,
jarl Nyquist. who has lately been ex
libiting in the Public Library, is rep
esented here by two groups studies in
>il, well drawn and modeled but rather
veak in color. One is entitled “The
latest News” and the other "Bowery
iotel"—for one completely self-trained
hey are rather remarkable efforts.
)thers represented are Katherine Mon
■oe. Helen Leisser. Alma Bostick. Wat
■hei, Rosenberg and David Morris—not
o name all. The earnestness of these
irtists Is evident, but the value of
inionizing would seem very doubtful.
Vcoording to the union's manifesto the
rnrpose Is to force the Government to
■mplov artists at living wages and
vith free choice as to service rendered;
>ut art to flourish must create its own
iemand. which can only be through
merit and appeal. But after all, at the
xittom of this unionization ^s. in all
srobability, the very human desire to
get together and talk things over. To
irtists the discussion of art is never
'shop.”
Cloisonne Satins and
Tibetan Paintings to Be
Exhibited at Arts Club.
THE Arts Club this afternoon
exhibitions will open of Cloisonne
satins in Oriental figure, bird and
Bower subjects by Mrs. Seward H.
ilathbun. and Tibetan paintings owned
md lent by A. J. Osgood. Mrs.
lat.hbun's contributions are needle
work pictures made of embroidery,
md materials appliqued—very original
md very charming. She claims that
she cannot draw with brush or pencil,
jut with her needle she is most adept.
Unfortunately, this exhibition wljl
’ontinue only until the 22d of April,
is on the 24th the yearly exhibition
5f the League of American Pen Women
will be held in these galleries.
Little Paintings by
Oke Nordgren to Be Shown
In Corcoran Gallery of Art.
'J’HE Corcoran Gallery of Art an
nounces a special exhibition of
ittle paintings by Oke Nordgren, a
member of the gallery force who has
shown himself especially gifted, to
spen on April 19 and continue until
May 8. In May the Corcoran Gallery
of Art will have the honor of show
ing the exhibition of paintings and
other works of art sent to this country
ay Sweden in commemoration of the
landing of the first Swedish settlers
THORN HAS MYSTIC HOLY WEEK POWER
t - •> -
One Plant Has Rightful Claim to Place of
V ener ation—S pecimen Is Among
Treasures of Monastery'.
By Leah Stock Helmtck.
TODAY Easter's annual “Race of
the Flowers" nears its excit
ing climax of fragrance and
color. In countless shop-fronts
lilies and lilacs, tulips and roses delight
the heart and the eye.
Yet this orgy of bloom, the unsea
sonai forcing of exotic varieties, the
very existence of the “Easter lily” have
no historic part in festival observance.
Flowers contribute, but they do not
belong.
One plant only has a rightful claim
to Holy Week pre-eminence, and of
that mystery-veiled plant Washington
has a single specimen—a sharply
spined “Christ’s Thorn,” within the
cloisters of the Franciscan Monastery.
Because of its location, scarcely a
handful of human beings casts eyes
upon this gruesome symbol of the
world's greatest tragedy during the
Easter season.
It is not surprising that the "Christ’s
Thom” has been so removed from the
attention of churchmen.
One hundred and twenty plants were
named by biblical writers and few of
these have ever been accurately con
nected with modem scientific names.
The widely varied character of Pal
estine vegetation, which includes semi
tropical, desert, mountain and mari
time types, makes It possible to believe
anything, while the passing of 2,000
years has added to the confusion by
changing flower-forms beyond recogni
tion.
This explains why. in this day of
"memory gardens,” "Colonial gardens,”
“Shakespearean gardens” and the like,
there rarely appears—as one might
naturally expect—a "Bible garden.”
The collection of herbs at the Cathe
dral of St. Peter and St. Paul here in
the city is one of the exceptional un
dertakings.
^^MONG these botanical mysteries of
the Bible the thorn tree has been
the most stubborn. It was compara
tively easy to identify the medicinal
and edible herbs and fruits, but of the
true thorn, there were many and con
tradictory legends.
The acacia, the “dog rose,” and the
holly or "holy” tree have all been
accused.
Austrian traditions centered about
the hawthorn, and it was also a “sa
cred hawthorn" staff that took root
when Joseph of Arimathaea struck,it
upon English soil. An offspring of
this famed "Oiaetonbury Thom”—
“the milk-white thorn that scents
the evening gale”—graces Washing
ton's Mount St. Alban today, and
frequently blooms on the birthday of
Christ, adding yearly testimony to
its mystical inheritance.
Perhaps another legend is taking
form at the present moment in con
nection with the more familiar Eu
phorbia splendens. a greenhouse speci
men known as the “Crown of Thorns,”
whose bony spines are hung each
Eastertime with showers of coral
florets. The branches of this plant
may be twisted into odd shapes,
which, with its Easter blooming, may
account for its name. A typical ex
ample may be found in the “desert
room” of the Agriculture greenhouses
on Pennsylvania avenue, where, 15
years ago, some horny-handed work
man trained its limbs Into the like
ness of a cross and crown. It forms
a striking picture for the casual vis
itor, who stumbles upon It after a
riot of inky cinerarias, bold amaryllis
and snowy Resurrection lilies.
TJOWEVER plausible these speci
x x mens may be, Mr Joseph Hooker,
the great English botanist, rejected
them all and fastened upon a more
remote species as the thorn probably
used in that terrible, long-ago scene.
It is a species unknown to this
country, but widely prevalent the’
rocky hills of Palestine. This fact,
plus the hardy longevity of the small
tree and Itg cruel. 4-inch spines, con
vinced Sir Joseph that the Paliurus
aculeatus (or nearly identical Zizy
phus) were the "Christ's Thom'' that
he sought.
It is interesting to note that the
"true crown," which was purchased
by St. Louis of Prance from the King
of Jerusalem, is made of "Christ's
thorn spines. The French King car
ried this holy relic on barefoot pil
grimage to Paris, where it lies today
in the Sainte-Chapelle.
The Washington Franciscans also
hare in their possession five thorn
crowns brought from the Holy Land.
The one of Paliurus is used in Good
Friday veneration.
So, in many lands, the thorn tree
stands apart in religious tradition—
a marked and lonely plant—while
here in Washington a monastery hides
the gnarled old tree whose torturing
spines are such as pierced the brow
of Christ 2,000 years ago.
Mandkind is glad to forget its place
in the world's history and to remem
ber instead that Easter draws near,
with its spotless raiment, hopeful
songs and glorious reredoa of flowers.
!
here three centuries ago This will
occupy all four galleries in the west
wing assigned earlier this year to the
exhibition of historical portraits in
celebration of the framing of the
Constitution in 1787.
Handbound Books by
Local Craftsmen on
View at Arts Club.
^ VERY excellent group of binding
by local book binders is on view
at the Arts Club. The majority of
these are by members of the club
which is fortunate enough to include
on its roster such distinguished crafts
men as Marian Lane. Mrs. William A.
Hayes. Mrs. Bittinger, Mr. Scheirer
and others. The design and workman
ship of some of the books cm display
are very superior—pleasing to the eye
and tempting to the touch. This is
the last of a series of exhibitions
set forth this season under the aus
pices of the Committee on Industrial
Arts, of which Mr. G. A. Scheirer is
chairman.
Architectural Exhibition on
View in Interior Department
Art Gallery.
EXHIBITION of architectural
drawings by students in archi
tecture in 22 American universities
may be seen all this month in the
Art Gallery (college wing) of fhe
United States Department of the
Interior, C street entrance. These
drawings have been assembled bv the
Association of Collegiate Schools of ■
Architecture and constitute a travel
ing exhibition, which includes 13
universities in its circuit. Further
notice of this and other outstanding
exhibitions will be given later.
Society of Washington Artists
Holds Annual Meeting.
AT THE annual meeting of the
Society of Washington Artists,
held recently at the Arts Club, the
following officers and members of the
Executive Committee were elected for
the ensuing year: President. Charles
Bittinger; vice president, Lucia B.
Hollerith; secretary, Dorothy David
son; treasurer, Alexander Clayton;
Executive Committee, Minor S. Jame
son, A. H. O. Rolle, Eugen Weiss,
Mary G. Riley and Elinor Muliiken.
Lester Stevens to Conduct
Class in Outdoor Painting.
pOR a second time, W. Lester
Stevens. A. N. A , of Rockport
and Springfield. Mass., will come to
Washington this week and conduct
from tomorrow to May 6, a class in
outdoor painting. The organization
meeting will be tomorrow at the Arts
Club at 9:30 o'clock. This class is
self-organized and will consist chiefly
of professional painters, although not
limited to such. Mr. Stevens was a
pupil of the Boston Museum School
and is a member of the leading pro
fessional art associations. In 1921 he
won the fourth W. A. Clark prize and
Corcoran honorable mention in the
biennial exhibition. He has since re
ceived numerous similar honors at the
hands of his colleagues. An exhibi
tion of his paintings was held at the
Arts Club the first of this season,
attracting much favorable attention,
and he is represented in some of the
principal art museums. Further in
formation concerning his outdoor
class may be had from Dr. Florence
Everhart, 1616 Sixteenth street N.W.
Etchings in Black and White
and Color by Pescheret.
'T'HE print exhibition in the Smith
| soman Building, set forth under
the auspices of the Division of Graphic
Arts of the United States National
Museum, consists this month of etch
ings in black and white and in color
by Leon Rene Pescheret, who is. it
would seem, one of the talented few.
He was born of French parents in
London in 1892 and educated, in
schools in that city. When he was
about 18 years old his family moved
to Chicago, where he obtained work
with the Marshall Field Co. and at
tended evening classes in the Art In
stitute. Chance acquaintance with a
French architect turned his interest
and attention in that direction, and
he and his new-found friend worked
together until 1917, when he went
to France in the A. E. F. as a mili
tary interpreter. Returning to the
United States at the conclusion of
the Great War he went into Interior
decorating and made a great suc
cess, designing interiors and furnish
ings for public and semi-public in
stitutions.
All along through the years his
hobby had been sketching. It was
not until 1926. however, that he be
gan to etch. Two years later he was
made a member of the Chicago So
ciety of Etchers. Since 1930 he has
devoted his entire time to art. An
interest in color etching led him
abroad, where for six months he stud
ied under masters in Belgium and
' then for three months in London.
The Chicago Society of Print Makers
gave him an honorable mention in
1935 and a prize in 1936. He uses
large plates, prices his prints low and
manifests in his work great versa
tility in the variety Of subjects which
he handles.
In the collection now on view the
majority of the prints are in black
and white. But the unique feature of
the exhibition is those in color—each
of them produced from one plate.
There is of course difference of
opinion with regard to the merit and
interest of color etchings. Color in
this instance is applied to an etched
plate to enhance effect without at
tempt to create a semblance of real*
lty. Undoubtedly for many It In*
creases appeal, but to the average
print lover a well-etche'd plate has
no occasion to resort to other meas
ures for enhancement of value.
Mr. Pescheret's best plates are. un
doubtedly, those which set forth archi
tectural subjects—exteriors and inte
riors. This is the direction of his spe
cial training as well as aptitude. But
it must be admitted that some of his
subjects, such as "The Mountains at
Palm Springs,” "Cactus in the Arizona
Desert" and "Spanish Yucca" are very
charmingly transcribed. Particularly
engaging is his color etching entitled.
"In Tennessee," a mountaineer's cabin
set under the shoulder of a high ridge.
Many will find his etchings in black
and white of buildings at the Uni
versity of Chicago particularly pleas
ing. as. incidentally, are also his etch
ings of the "Great Tapestry Hall,
Hampton flfcrt. England." and 'Mid
dle Temple Hall, London.”
There is something about, all of Mr.
Pescheret's plates which suggests for
eign heritage. His etchings made in
Belgium, at Antwerp, Bruces and Ma
lines are especially picturesque and
sympathetic. No less admirable, how
ever, are his etchings of "A Carpenter s
Shop,” "A Blacksmith's Shop." and A
Boat Yard Shed." Apparently, in
whatever direction he looks, he finds
grist for his mill and grinds it "exceed
ing fine." It is continually a matter
of marvel that artists can discover so
many different modes of expression,
Mr. Pescheret s work is unlike the work
of any other etcher who has exhibited
here this winter and It is very gratify
ing to have it brought to our atten
tion.
Public Library
Easter, 1938.
This vear the coming of Easter, the
great, spring festival of Christendom
descended from the ancient pagan
celebration of the vernal solstice, finds
a world oppressed by threats of war.
and disturbed by actual fighting on
the Chinese and Spanish fronts.
For its Easter book list, the Public
Library presents a group of titles con
cerned with the making of contempo
rary history in Europe and Asia.
As the Spanish civil war drags on.
more and more is bemg written about
what is perhaps the most tragic con
flict of modem times The outstanding
work in this connection is Eliot Paul s
"Life and Death of a Spanish Town."
depicting the break-up of a civilization.
Even more dramatic is Rodolphe Tim
merman's "Heroes of the Alcazar," de
scribing conditions during the 1S36
siege. The experience of fighting with
the government forces is described by
John Sommerfield, an English Com
munist fighting in the International
Column, who calls his work "Volun
teer In Spain," and by Ramon J. Send
er. a Spanish writer, whose "Counter
Attack in Spain” describes the first
six months of the war.
The most favorably reviewed of the
current works on China is Edgar
Snow's account of the Communist
northwest. "Red Star Over China "
An excellent background book ut the
new fifth edition of Kenneth Latou
rett s "Development of China ” Japan's
purposes are studied in "Japan Over
Asia." by William Henry Chamberlin,
and Carl Crow declares "I Speak for
the Chinese," in a little volume on
conditions in China during the Japa
nese invasion.
The revised edition of John Gun
ther's "Inside Europe" remains the best
general study of men and movements
in Europe. England's restless leftists
are described by the economist, G. D.
H. Cole, in "The People's Front"; Alex
ander Werth outlines the French prob
lem in "Which Way France?"; and a
j Frenchman gives a remarkably un
! biased account of Hitler's regime in
i "The Third Reich," by Henri Lichten
i berger.
--•- ■
Books
(Continued From Page F-4 >
t.he merest fact.. Diligently do they
fellow each other about, the student
with a questionable purpose in mind
and Anne-Claire with simple worship.
When Monpti receives occasional
checks from his quasi-employers he
squanders them In the most ridiculous
fashion on gifts for the girl and on
his own crazy escapades, all the while
being without a coat and in no pros
pect of future meals.
There are so many human side
lights, one more amusing than the
other, In the book that aummarizing
does injustice to it. Every page is
meticulous, yet brief, about the most
ordinary concerns. Paris and its peo
ple come to life on them. Although
bordering on the bawdy aH times, the
whole is steadied by a certain sober
ness and retains clear objectivity.
—J. S.
■^isjsiEiafafaraiajaiejanaiBiaiafajaiaraiBhiy&isj
W. LESTER STEVENS, A. N.A.S
wilt conduct a clans in outdoor »
naintinr *
April 18th to May 6th 1
For information and enrollment ®
avvlv to ffi
DR. FLORENCE EVERHART, 1
l«l« l«th St. Drcatnr 1600 jg

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