kenneth-clark

The Clark Doll Test was created by Dr. Kenneth Clark and his wife, Marmie Clark. It focused on stereotypes and self perception in relation to race. Clark wanted to show that segregation in schools was misconstruing the mind of young African American children and causing them to internalise racism and view themselves as lesser. In the test, African American children ranging from 6-years-old to 9-years-old were shown two dolls - one was white and one was black. They were asked a number of questions such as:  Show me the doll that you like best or that you would like to play with. Show me the doll that is the ‘nice’ doll. Show me the doll that looks 'bad.’ Give me the doll that looks like a white child. Give me the doll that looks like a coloured child. Give me the doll that looks like a Negro child. Give me the doll that looks like you. The test showed that the children preferred to play with with white doll as opposed to the black doll. The children were then asked to colour in a human figure with the colour of their own skin - the majority chose a lighter shade. As well as this, the children gave the white doll positive attributes such as “good” and “pretty” while describing the black doll as “bad” and “ugly”. 44% of the children said that the white doll looked like them as opposed to the black doll. This test indicated that African American children, even as young as just 6-years-old, suffered internalised racism due to segregation. The findings paved the way for an increase in psychological research into areas of self-esteem and self-concept.

At this point I reveal myself in my true colours, as a stick-in-the-mud. I hold a number of beliefs that have been repudiated by the liveliest intellects of our time. I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven’t changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history. History is ourselves. I also hold one or two beliefs that are more difficult to put shortly. For example, I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people’s feelings by satisfying our own egos. And I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole. All living things are our brothers and sisters. Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible.
—  Kenneth Clark, Civilisation

Kenneth Clark was a connoisseur, collector, patron, art historian and writer. He had a good eye.

In his personal collection was this Cezanne beauty ‘Le Chateau Noir’.

Speaking of Cezanne, the story goes that once, in 1933, while waiting for a train in Paris, Clark an his wife called on….

‘…Paul Guillaume, the most intelligent dealer in Paris, who showed us a pile of about a hundred drawings and watercolours that the son of Paul Cezanne had brought in for sale. We just had time to go through them, selected fifty, many of them familiar from reproduction in Vollard’s book, gave him a cheque for £250 and dashed to the station with our portfolio.’

What a darned bit of good luck.

Extract from Another Part of the Wood by Kenneth Clark

A margin of wealth is helpful to a civilisation, but for some mysterious reason great wealth is destructive. I suppose that, in the end, splendour is dehumanising, and a certain sense of limitation seems to be a condition of what we call good taste.
—  Kenneth Clark, Civilisation

But where. in the visual rather than literary sense, did the vision come from? That is the mystery of genius. From antique sarcophagi, from a few gems and reliefs, and perhaps some fragments of Aretine ware; from those drawings of classical remains by contemporary artists which were circulated in the Florentine workshops, like the architects’ pattern-books of the 18th century; from such scanty and mediocre material, Botticelli has created one of the most personal evocations of physical beauty in the whole of art, the Three Graces of the Primavera.Kenneth Clark, The Nude.

i read a lot about art as well as women’s places in sub-movements and what not so i wanted to compile a little list of notable books i’ve read about the intersection of those things, in case it interests you at all cause it does me. some of these take on an explicitly feminist perspective while others are more objective and “historical”/ devoid of political introspection- both narratives interest me. (if this seems at all crude or without nuance it’s because i’m just a book store clerk and not an academic, lol) :

i’m surely forgetting some- but i hope this was at least a little of interest! 

In conversation with Dr. Kenneth Clark, James Baldwin talks about the “Negro and the American Promise.” Interview produced by the Boston public television station, WGBH in 1963.

“….. and there are days – this is one of them, when you wonder, what your role is in this country and what your future is in it. How, precisely, are you going to reconcile yourself to your situation here and how you are going to communicate to the vast, heedless, unthinking, cruel, white majority, that you are here? And to be here means that you can’t be anywhere else.”

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“I remember staying at Notley after the first night of Anna Karenina. The part had meant a great deal to Vivien, but once more she hadn’t got on with her director, and although I thought it had some wonderful moments (especially the end), I saw that it wasn’t a complete success. She was miserably depressed, and couldn’t face her guests, and we walked along the street in unrelieved gloom.” - Kenneth Clark

Irate Eight (Aquatic Ambiance ~ Lockjaw's Saga Returns)
Scott Petersen, David Wise, Chris Carroll, Kenneth Bassham, Bobby Arluskas, Clark Crawford, Matt Piersall, Matthew Thies, GL33K LLC
Irate Eight (Aquatic Ambiance ~ Lockjaw's Saga Returns)

Irate Eight (Aquatic Ambiance ~ Lockjaw’s Saga)

A remix of Aquatic Ambiance and Lockjaw’s Saga, played in the Irate Eight level of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze.

This song gets more tense as the level goes on, reflecting the nature of the level spectacularly.

anonymous asked:

hi! could you please list some good books about art history?

I can certainly tell you what I’ve enjoyed reading. My taste is certainly bent toward a mid-century, neo-romantic view of art rather than anything more current so I provide these recommendations with that caveat.

The Meaning of Art by Herbert Read - a series of essays focused on appreciation rather than critique / analysis

The Story of Art by EH Gombrich - he engages you with his love of art and draws a thread of genius through the whole of art history

Museum Without Walls by Jonathan Meades - Jonathan Meades is probably the person who shaped my world view more than anyone else and this book is a neat collection of his work

Modernism by Peter Gay - makes post-modernism look boring and serene

Playing to the Gallery by Grayson Perry - one of my favourite artists writes about the art world in the 2010s and who is defining art

Romantic Moderns and Weatherland by Alexandra Harris - just beautiful writing about my favourite period of British art and my favourite subject matter of British art.

Civilisation by Kenneth Clark - this is the script of the documentary series he made and it moved me to tears more than once

David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet by Thomas Dilworth - review

It’s ever so rarely you get a perfect biography, a marvellous match of subject and writer — but Thomas Dilworth’s biography of David Jones is just that. It’s not just a full account of a man but a compelling argument as to why Jones should be as admired by us as he was by his contemporaries, who thought him wonderful: T S Eliot; W B Yeats (he bowed from the waist as he entered the sitting room where Jones was having tea , intoning: “I salute the author of In Parenthesis”); Igor Stravinksy; Kenneth Clark; Dylan Thomas; W H Auden; Eric Gill.

That selection (there were umpteen others) of critics who thought him first rate gives a clue about why our generation hasn’t given Jones his due. He was that inconvenient creature, a genius in two spheres. Contemporary critics can handle the art, or the poetry, but not both, although Jones considered that his uniqueness as a writer lay in being an artist too.

Then there’s Jones’s religion, a problematic matter nowadays: he was a Catholic convert and his faith — generous and non-sectarian — informed everything he did. His fundamental view was that man is a maker — of signs as well as things. He was a medievalist who effortlessly embraced Modernism .

His Great War poem, In Parenthesis, is many-layered. There’s the experience of the soldier in the trenches mixed with echoes of the Roman world mixed with Welsh mythology and Christian allegory. His Dai Greatcoat (modelled on a shit-wallah he met in the trenches, carrying buckets of excrement) is an epic figure, with elements of all these things, with a bit of Kipling’s Tommy Atkins.

His other great poem, The Anathemata (with its sharply perceptive preface about the fissure between religion and contemporary culture), was described by Auden as analogous to sitting at Mass with your mind wandering.

This being the centenary of the First World War, it is astonishing that In Parenthesis hasn’t been endlessly discussed and that it (and the war art) isn’t on exam curriculums with the “war poets”. In fact, Jones saw more action than any of them — when he met Siegfried Sassoon later, they agreed that they could never get away from the war. For him it was “like ordinary life … only more intensified”, with the compensation for the horror being “the tenderness of men in action to one another”. One impetus for the poem was his re-reading of Erich Maria Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front: “Bugger this! I could do better.”

His father was Welsh, a printer; his mother of London shipwright stock; they lived in Brockley. He went at an early age to art school, where Sickert was his teacher. His good fortune was that he never went to university but was wonderfully well read.

After the war he joined Eric Gill’s artistic-religious community at Ditchling (the religion is now excised from the centre there) where he became engaged to Gill’s daughter, Petra — he never quite got over her breaking it off. His subsequent romantic career was a succession of passionate, unconsummated crushes on beautiful, clever women.

But although he absorbed Gill’s worldview and his craft of lettering, he was never absorbed by it: for him beauty was the goal of art. His own paintings are as many-layered as his writing. They can seem simply lyrical, even whimsical but, close up, they are dense with meaning.

Jones never trusted biographers who were too prolific, who didn’t live the life of their subject: well, Thomas Dilworth has done just that.

£17, Amazon, Buy it now

[The Kenneth and Mammie Clark doll experiment] involved a child being presented with two dolls. Both of these dolls were completely identical except for the skin and hair color. One doll was white with yellow hair, while the other was brown with black hair.The child was then asked questions inquiring as to which one is the doll they would play with, which one is the nice doll, which one looks bad, which one has the nicer color, etc. The experiment showed a clear preference for the white doll among all children in the study. (x)


This study from the late 30s and 40s shows the biting effects of white supremacy on perceptions of blackness even amongst young black children. But you know what’s most tragic about the experiment? It was replicated in recent years and the results were exactly the same. I grew up wishing I had wavier “less nappy” hair. I grew up wishing I had light colored eyes or could squeeze light colored contacts onto my irises. I grew up wishing that I was 40 or 50% white instead of being “just 25%.” I understand how this self loathing feels and everytime I see this picture it brings me close to tears. Because I know that if this experiment had been conducted on me as a black child growing up in America, I would have also chosen the white doll without missing a beat. 

And people just don’t seem to get how deeply infused white supremacy is into our media and cultural fabric. You never explicitly have to tell a black child “well white people are better than you and you should hate yourself for being black” in order for you to know that is the operating logic of our racist society at large. As black people, in addition to everything else we have to deal with from police brutality, redlining and the school-to-prison pipeline to the disproportionate violence against trans black women, we also have to struggle with this internalized racism and self hatred on top of everything. We are so taught to hate ourselves in this country that quite a few black people bleach our skins. We are so taught to hate ourselves that black men in droves talk about how they would “never date a black woman,” particularly a dark skinned one, and flaunt their white and non-black significant others about while openly degrade black women. We are so taught to hate ourselves that to this day at 24 I still struggle to overcome the enormous self hatred that I’ve been taught from day one growing up in this racist, white supremacist and virulently antiblack country. So much time has passed since this experiment and yet so little has changed in our nation where white supremacy and antiblackness continue to reign supreme. And this picture reminds me of this fact every single time. 
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Paolo Uccello was passionate about perspective. Very passionate. He often included mazzocchios in his work. Kenneth Clark saw them as symbols of his work. They were also recognised by Vasari.

A mazzocchio is generally agreed to be a wooden support for a hat covered by fabric popular in the Renaissance times. In this fresco it is worn around the neck of the figure in the foreground.

Uccello drew them with absolute geometric and perspectile precision. Elaborate mathematical constructions. Sadly, only three drawings survive.

Pure brilliance and utter dedication.