Sunday, October 21, 2007


My study of the golden age of Greek sculpture
would not be complete without
including the small terracotta figures

most famously from the town of Tanagra
that were unearthed beginning around 1860

.... just in time for the art-as-decoration movements
that came 20-30 years later.

I suppose these small objects will never
command the adulation of the marbles at the Parthenon

but they're mostly in better condition,
and so many of them are so good.

In the history of small clay figures,
there's these 4th - 3rd century BCE Greek figures
there's those plump Tang women from the 8th C.
and then what else ?

West-central Mexico comes to mind -- but they don't
feel nearly as urbane.

These aren't the mysterious, powerful forces
of heaven and earth,
these are just gentle town folk,
dressed up and going to market.

So laid-back,
so easy going

time is passing,
and so what ?

a certain shyness
and reserve
is appropriate
when fine ladies
step out onto the street

this is a woman
who knows how to do
a day's work

she seems so fashionable
in her broad rimmed
sun hat

This could be me,
delivering a speech
to the directors
of the local art museum

(imploring them to display
contemporary statuary
of sweet and gentle
urban folk like these)

I've always been
a little intimidated
by women with big hair

(and even without the hair,
she feel powerful)

I love these hats,
and I love her elegance

I made some playful putti
myself a few years ago

but nothing as
swinging as this one

Where can I get one of these hats ?

No civilized man can be without one.
(and perhaps it could also serve
as a spare wheel for a cart ?)


Blogger Robert said...

I'll ask a daughter to make you one of those hats Chris!

The one of you addressing the local Arts society would I feel sure attract a lot more punters to your record store, think you not? If you wore the hat you could retire after Christmas!

October 22, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Are you still there? You must be, the additions to your 20th C Figure website since I last visited have been impressive. Again, I do hope you have a copy of it incase it goes down!

October 24, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Sorry, Robert --- I've been fooling around with my other blogs lately -- especially the "weekend reading" -- since I've been burning through a new Chinese novel almost every week now.

And then -- there's all the new stuff I've been putting up from my art club -- and that big backlog of pictures for the sculpture blog (which is about to reach 1000 names -- for which some kind of celebration should be in order)

October 24, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Well you could start to celebrate with one of those hats Chris! When you play for England you get a "Cap" so a Chinese hat for each 1000 names could fit the bill. We'll drink your health over here anyway. Sounds like you are busy.

October 25, 2007  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

What a delight these are!

Thanks for the lovely gentility, and Those Hats! Am tickled to find you so graciously sharing treasures, regardless of the press of your busy circumstance.

October 25, 2007  

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