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La Farge materials relevant to a better understanding of Winslow Homer and how Homer saw Nature as a primitive man.

After viewing and reading my slideshow presentation, anyone should be better prepared to read and understand these items written by John La Farge. Winslow Homer did not want the story of his personal private side explicitly presented, as evidenced by the instructions given to Downes by the Homer family when Downes was writing his biography of Winslow Homer.

(Note: I have not yet written anything discussing these materials in any complete way, so I assemble them here in the meantime, with the hope that eventually I might actually get that done.)

·       As preparation for understanding La Farge's remarks, see Horace Bushnell from Nature and the Supernatural regarding the visual perception of Nature by man in ancient cultures and in some cultures in the far East. For an explanation why we do not normally see these images, see this material from G. H. Mead.

·       La Farge spoke about these issues in lectures III and IV in his book Considerations on Painting.

o   Specifically see these areas

§  mode of art of the savage

§  apprehensions and reachings-out

§  a very great man La Farge does not specifically name Homer here, but taken with La Farge’s published 1905 speech (below) and his deathbed statement published by Homer’s tile club friend Gustav Kobbe (also below) it is obvious that Winslow Homer was the “very great man” La Farge was referring to in Considerations on Painting.

·         This La Farge article is also helpful in understanding Winslow Homer’s raw perceptions of Nature.

o   Concerning Painters Who Would Express Themselves in Words (1899).

§  To better understand La Farge here, also see William James in A Pluralistic Universe regarding raw perception without the conceptualizations
William James. Writings 1902-1910,  p. 755. Similar thoughts are in Wordsworth’s Ode on the Intimations of Immortality.

·         Two items in which La Farge explicitly stated just how great he thought Winslow Homer was.

o   La Farge speech to the American Institute of Architects in which he praised Homer and explained that he was a very great artist and that he saw Nature as a primitive man.

§  Again note, one must be familiar with La Farge’s Considerations on Painting, especially the sections noted above, in order to appreciate La Farge’s meaning.

§  http://obtusebard.org/draft/lafarge_speech_1905/ John La Farge speech at the 1905 Annual Dinner of the American Institute of Architects in which he praises Winslow Homer and notes that he saw Nature as did primitive man.

§  The_Promise_of_American_Architecture at Google Books
Complete information about that dinner, including the full text of all speeches and a list of all in attendance.

o   John La Farge deathbed letter to Gustav Kobbe published in the New York Herald after his death.