Friday, July 18, 2008

Williamsburg Art & Historical Center Celebrates John Milton's 400th Birthday!

First Illustrated Edition of Paradise Lost, 1688
Originally Belonging to Lady Pomfret
Lady of the Bedchamber of Queen Caroline
(Image from WAH Center)

An email circular from Terrance Lindall yesterday reminded me that some important dates are coming up this autumn at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center to celebrate John Milton's 400th birthday, so as an expat member of the "Paradise Lost Committee" and for the benefit of those who might be interested, I'm providing some information from the circular as a public service.

The Center will host an art exhibit from September 27 through November 2, 2008 featuring the following artists (though perhaps not these specific artworks) described by Terrance Lindall:

Kris Kuksi - "one of the most highly regarded artists in the contemporary surreal/visionary movement":

Kris Kuksi, A New Divinity (2007)
In The Collection Of Joby Pritz, San Francisco

Richard "Rich" Buckler - "an American comic book artist best known for his work on Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four in the mid-1970's. He will be producing a portrait of John Milton for the 21st century. The unveiling will be at the Costume Ball":

The Peacock Angel aka 'Satan'
Not the Portrait of John Milton
(Image from

Bienvenido Bones Banez - "All of his work is based on his '666 World View. He paints as if he is plugged into a wall socket and the energy that pours forth through his brain and fingertips to the canvas comes out in pulses of scintillating colors":

Bienvenido Bones Banez, 666 Prayer
(Image from WAH Center)

Agata Olek: "This vibrant Polish beauty debuted her career at the WAH Center in 2003 at the Surrealist Fashion Show. She is one of the most fascinating artists in the world, madly crocheting her way into art history":

Agata Olek, The Human Condition
(Image from

The works of these four, along with over 60 other contemporary artists, will be featured at the WAH.

All of this will open on September 27, 2008 with a Grand Paradise Lost Costume Ball, beginning at 8:00 p.m. and lasting until midnight.

The very next day, on September 28th, there will begin a special event at 2:00 p.m. as the "noted Brooklyn Poet Steve David recites his tribute to John Milton and takes you on a poet's tour of the art in the show."

On October 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 11th, starting at 8:00 p.m., will be performed Know Your Paradise, "a musical mystery by brilliant surrealist play writer and composer Peter Dizozza."

On October 17 and 24th, beginning at 8:00 p.m. will be a performance, "Courante," directed by Arthur Kirmss and featuring "musicians in 17th century costume, on harp, guitar, lute and recorders, performing European vocal and instrumental music through early Baroque, celebrating Milton's life."

Sometime during all of this will be a performance by Yana Schnitzler, who recently performed her "Human Kinetics Movement Art" at the Metropolitan Museum and whose style is at "the cutting edge of interactive dance."

Along with the art and performances will be various exhibitions of historical interest, including Charles Lamb's copy of first illustrated 1691 edition of Paradise Lost and Lady Pomfret's copy of the first illustrated edition (c. 1688) of Paradise Lost, among other manuscripts and memorabilia.

As for me, I am stuck here in Seoul and won't be able to attend any of these exciting events or even view the various exhibitions, but if I were in New York City, I'd certainly go.

Meanwhile, visit the WAH website and keep an eye on that for details as they update the information.

UPDATE: Here's the regularly updated site.

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At 9:55 PM, Blogger A.H. said...

Costume Ball?
Milton, you should not be living this hour.
How totally inappropriate.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Didn't masques employ costumes? But I suppose that Comus was serious-minded.

Nevertheless, Milton might appreciate the air of pandaemonium, for I expect something like Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:11 AM, Blogger A.H. said...

Indeed, you are probably right on all accounts :-)

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

By the way, Eshuneutics, did you make it to the IMS9 conference in London last week?

Jeffery Hodges

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