Saturday, February 26, 2011

on the precipice

Daphne flees from Apollo

but when the god entwines his arm around his beloved, she turns into a tree, and he, too, becomes entrapped

Thursday, February 24, 2011

inescapable truths: even Iris fades

Tree: the idea

Each imagines that the other is "The Tree"

Monday, February 21, 2011


they were metamorphosed into clouds never to be parted

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Professor Colin Eisler and the Festschrift, I

On February 10, 2011, Professor Colin Eisler was presented with a festschrift titled New Studies on Old Masters: Essays in Renaissance Art in Honour of Colin Eisler. The volume, edited by John Garton and Diane Wolfthal, was published by the Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, Toronto, 2011. The presentation of the book took place at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, in the seminar room. Contibutors to the volume were present, as well as donors who supported the venture: Gregory Edberg, Jay Kaufman, Ted and Carold Nicklaus, and Hester Diamond Kaminsky. Konrad Eisenbichler, the series editor, witnessed the festivities too.

Toasts were proposed; Fern Luskin’s was representative of the sentiments of all those present.

“Personally, it was a joy to have been your student and I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it is because you, such a bountiful tree of knowledge, bore fruit that we are all here today.”

Click here for more information about the book from the publisher.

Professor Colin Eisler and the Festschrift, 2

John Garton and Diane Wolfthal
Professor Colin Eisler writes in Marie Tanner's copy of the Festschrift

Professor Colin Eisler converses with Fern Luskin

Professor Colin Eisler and the Festschrift, 3

Konrad Eisenbichler, series editor standing and Benita Eisler seated in foreground

Professor Colin Eisler and the Festschrift, 4

Benita Eisler in foreground and Professor Eisler with festschrift contributors

Saturday, February 19, 2011

individuality: each seeks its own direction

to ward off danger and to be carried away: Nature crafts

an object of curiosity: moist or viscuous
Darwin's nature not nature by design

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Richard Brignoli: his final journey, imagined

all augured well and then the weather began to change; storms and catastrophes; undertaking a trip in February, from Greenwich CT to the Carribbean, only the most experienced and brave sailors would undertake such a trip

Dr. Beate Caspari-Rosen with Kate: my mother holds Kate

1986 or early 1987. Kate was a year old or possibly she was slightly older. The photograph was taken at my home in Tenafly, New Jersey; books are in a state of disarray as more books were added to the library, ultimately leading to an extension for them and a more private space to work.
Kate seems to draw back; she never did feel comfortable in a person's lap for long or only rarely when she was frightened or needed reassurance. Surely this independence came about from the circumstances of her earliest days and possibly a predisposition
Our family had a dog, Schatzi, a short-haired red dachshund, who was beloved by all and who became, in time, my parents' dog. I drew innumerable pictures of her alone, and also with other persons, such as Richard Brignoli, my first husband.

Kate: our first scottish terrier, in memoriam, 1986-1999, February 8

The story about how we met Kate has already been told, but it is just to reiterate that this wonder who brightened our lives, was not "intended;" rather, she was seen in a pet shop in a mall, and, once seen, I felt that the little scottish terrier who wanted to play while in her cage and when taken out of its confines immediately quieted down and sought comfort on my shoulder, cuddling to indicate that she was content had to be rescued immediately. Our destination had been a movie theater where we wanted to see Legal Eagles (remember that film with Deborah Winger?) and though I wanted to scrap that plan and take the pup home immediately, prudently Harold said wait until tomorrow. And so we did. But my fear that pup might be snatched up--she had been "remaindered" even-- determined out appearance at the shop when it opened. I told my son that we would be bringing a new young one into the family and without hesitation he suggested that she be named Kate, and Kate it was . In time we added McWit --for her cleverness-- and "of Renwick Hall" because she loved to chase bugs, unknowingly imitating the behavior of the character Renwick in Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein.
Kate was charming, playful, imaginative, fearless, curious about the world about her and oddly nurturing. I write the latter because of the substantial obstacles she had to deal with when she was a very young pup. At the time we had never heard of puppy mills; Kate was the product of one of these miserable cruel breeding station in the North West. At an age when she had been weaned, she was crated and shipped to a store in middle America and then to the New Jersey store where we encountered her. For awhile she had a companion, we were told, a small dachshund and the two had gotten along well. But the dachshund was sold and after that Kate was on her own. And that is when our paths crossed: the gods were smiling at that moment or it was destiny. In her first year, it became evident that she needed canine companionship, because she was alone and uncaged and began to chew on various furnishings, objects and even woodwork. Some of the Victorian furniture was remodeled and she took a dislike to White Fang and several other books and, yes, records (vinyl) too. It was then that little Fala became her companion. Once he was grown the two were deeply devoted to one another. Kate's nurturing now had a "real" creature to care for. Kate lived for twelve years. We knew she was ill, but not exactly how close her death was when we took a week's trip to Venice. Upon our return, we found that she had not been looked after, probably left alone even at night and her feeding bowls had never been cleaned. The person who was so uncaring has now become a devoted father, but at that time he did not manifest any sense of responsibility and clearly hastened Kate's death and induced suffering as she approached her end. Her sickly condition was apparent to us immediately when we entered the house: She could not support herself. Within days the dying process began. I had no experience of death-how long it takes and what suffering is experienced. I tried to comfort her but she sought a "den" under a yew bush and struggled with the angel of death. When I recognized that the battle was terrible, I called her vet Dr O'Reilly and she was euthanized in our arms, I held her, Harold faced her as she was injected. Our brave Kate our, lovely Kate was cremated but her soul went to the joyous peaceful heaven prepared for dogs. There she was to greet her family as each of her family members died. Together they live in a better world, a world that can be compared to The Golden Age. (earlier posts picture this pastoral land). May Kate always remain alive in our hearts. In a sense she has come back to us in Bess, our Scottish terrier who is now almost nine months. So many of Kate's faculties are recognizable in Bess's behavior, but Bess has had a "golden" puppy hood, whereas Kate had to struggle with the worst of circumstances in the first four months of her life.
We are so grateful to have had Kate; the decision to bring her into our family is one that I never regretted: so many other decisions were pernicious ultimately, but thinking back I do not have the slightest remorse or doubt about the rightness of the decision to bring her into our family. Beautiful Kate.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011