Friday, July 22, 2011

John Wayne Alien Final

July 22, 2011

Finishing up loose ends on September issue. Did ten different studies for the cover image of the Duke standing over Cowboys & Aliens spacecraft wreckage. Here's a sneak peek at the final:

Going up the hill today to Prescott. Have a speech tonight at the reopening of the expanded Phippen Museum, north of town.

The urbanization of Arizona has been on my mind a lot lately. I was talking to James at the Phippen about my talk and he mentioned that this phenom–Arizona becoming more and more urbanized—is affecting their efforts: he was shocked, for example, that when the Phoenix Art Museum parted ways with the Cowboys Artists of America that there was a significant portion of phoenix's population that didn't care.

The Phippen and True West share a mission to keep history alive. Sometimes it can be a daunting task.

Believe it or not, I just read some excellent comments in the New Yorker about this very subject. Nick Paumgarten writes about how kids are doing in school, especially in history.

Our children got an evaluation of student's knowledge and understanding of American history (fourth, eighth and twelfth grades) "The findings, like history itself", Nick says, are open to interpretation, but "basically the kids of today got a grade of Kids Today."

Ha. As in, the eye-rolling, "Kids today!" In other words EVERY generation bemoans the past generation's lack of history knowledge. Or as Paumgarten puts it, "Our perennial dismay over the perpetual evaporation of the past is in some respects just another instance of our raging against the dying of the light. If the kids can't remember the Morrill land-grants, they're not likely to remember you, either."

Ouch. Too true for school.

"We haven't ever known our past. Your kids are no stupider than their grandparents."—Sam Wineburg, professor of history, Stanford

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