According to General George Crook‘s notes, Little Hawk ” … appeared to rank next to Crazy Horse in importance, was much like his superior in size and build, but his face was more kindly in expression and he more fluent in speech; he did most of the talking.”
–The Wikipedia Great Spirit
The Burn Line
Prometheus was chained to a rock
for letting fire get loose
and vultures fed off his guts.
I know exactly how he felt.
So did the Phoenix,
imaginary and mythological,
how much suffering it takes
to bloom again from ash.
Torched alive, feathers encircle,
leaving scars more brutal
than divorce, permanently
dividing whom you could not save.
Once gone, their studios
gutted by wildfires, friends
can no longer cross over
time’s relentless burn line.
Art that they did not live
To make flickers, before
The light in their eyes
Smokes out dead buttes.
[Disposable Poem August 9, 2015]
[Response to Terry Wright’s “Bad Faces: Little Hawk Remix”]
Works of Art lost to Prometheus’ gift of fire…
Lost, Found, then Destroyed
Antoine Watteau was a French painter who lived in the early 1700s. Circa 1716, Watteau painted a series of seasonal images for Pierre Crozat, among them Spring (Printemps), Autumn, Winter, and Summer. Of these four paintings, only one remains today. “Spring” was rediscovered in 1964, only to be destroyed by fire two years later, and “Autumn” and “Winter” have never been found.
Incidentally, another of Watteau’s works, “La Surprise,” (circa 1718) was found during an insurance evaluation in 2007. The oil painting was sold at auction on July 8, 2008 for 15 million Euros, setting a world record price for a painting by Watteau.
Vincent Van Gogh created nearly two thousand works of art in his lifetime; this is one of just six of his paintings that we know are lost forever. “The Painter on his Way to Work” was housed in the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum in Berlin before being destroyed by fire during World War II.
This is one of Van Gogh’s many self-portraits, depicting the artist laden with painting supplies on the road to Montmajour in 1888.
Claude Monet, a founder of the French impressionist movement, created several beautiful water lily paintings beginning in 1883. New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was thrilled to acquire two of these paintings in 1957, only to have them both destroyed a mere one year later.
On April 15, 1958, a fire on the second floor of MoMA destroyed an eighteen-foot-long “Water Lilies” painting, along with a smaller (but still large) version of water lilies. Apparently, the fire was started when workmen who were installing an air conditioning unit took a smoking break near paint cans, sawdust, and a canvas drop cloth, igniting the canvas. The fire spread rapidly.
One worker was killed in the fire and several firefighters suffered from smoke inhalation. Museum staff tried valiantly to save as many paintings as possible, but between the fire, the water damage, and the destruction caused by firefighters who worked to control the blaze, the large “Water Lilies” painting was a total loss. For three years, the museum tried to restore the smaller of the two paintings, but in 1961 it declared that the work was also damaged beyond repair.
What took 70-year-old painter Shobha Patki 30 years to achieve, turned into ashes in a few minutes in front of her eyes. As many as 30 artworks of the artist were destroyed in a fire caused by a short circuit at the art studio housed in her two-storey residential bungalow. (Click image to read more.)
The greatest buildings you’ll never see. (Click image for more.)