Johnny was born on an island in the middle of the Mississippi River near Ripley, Tennessee to John Nelson Flack and Zimpthey Lovelace Flack. His father, whom he describes as "very, very poor", farmed cotton and corn as a sharecropper. It was a "rough life; very, very rough life," he recalls of his youth in a family of seven children. The island, called "Island 26", was about four miles long and two and a half miles wide with "very, very good, fertile soil" that the river inundated every year. He began his education in a one-room schoolhouse that he attended for five years, always taught by Nell Covington. When he was four, the family received electricity, consisting of one naked light bulb hanging from the middle of the ceiling of their four-room home. To read the entire biography please click the link above.
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Originally published in 1865, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland already boasted editions with wonderful, iconographic illustrations by both John Tenniel and Arthur Rackham when a publisher had the brilliant idea of teaming one of the world’s most famous surrealist artists with one of literature’s most surrealistic novels. In 1969, the Maecenas Press (a Random House imprint) offered a large-scale edition of Alice illustrated by Salvador Dali (1904–1989).
On 1 August 2014, the Norton opens a four-year exhibition, Art of the Great War. Throughout the exhibition you'll see original posters and learn about life in the city of Shreveport and in Caddo and Bossier Parishes during the conflict, including the men from here who gave their lives in the trenches of France.
We often think of the 19th century as a placid, tradition-bound, and rather stodgy period of Victorian morals and mores. However, it was actually an era of violent revolution and epoch-shattering scientific and technological innovation.
After a short visit to our "Origins of Western Art" gallery to see the inspiration of genuine classical art, we'll explore Renaissance, 18th, 19th, and 20th century works inspired by the historical and mythological figures of the classical age, along with the stories surrounding these key figures of Western civilization.
From the Permanent Collection:
by Jean-Antoine Houdon
In 1784, the newly formed Congress commissioned a bust of George Washington from the French master, based on recommendations from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom had served as the U.S. Ambassador to France and were subsequently familiar with his work. Houdon insisted on working from the living model, so he traveled to America and stayed with Washington at his Mount Vernon home to create a mould of Washington's face and the measurements of his dimensions. During the same period, he produced this classic portrait bust of his friend, the great American statesman, scientist, inventor, and writer Benjamin Franklin, which has appeared for generations on American currency, stamps, national memorials of every description and as a symbol of thrift and economic wisdom for banks and other financial institutions. To read the whole article, please click on the link above.
In the Shadow of Danger: Photographs of the Vietnam War 1970-71
As a combat correspondent with the 10th Public Information Detachment, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Robert Spangler of Mineral Wells, Texas, spent much of his year in Vietnam armed with his notebook, camera and M-16 rifle. He often boarded choppers for combat assaults, and "humped" his rucksack on long missions in the field, documenting the lives of infantrymen around him. He also photographed combat medics in dustoff choppers picking up wounded; artillerymen at their guns, soldiers manning far-flung fire bases, and life in Vietnamese villages. He was also the first photographer to document the destruction of Fire Support Base Mary Ann the day after Viet Cong sappers killed 30 and wounded 82 Americans in a night attack. The photographs and captions in this 209-page book portray the common man at war, trying to survive one year in a vicious, and divisive conflict. To purchase this book from Amazon, please click here. The book is also available for purchase from our store located in the foyer.
Featured This Month:
Brugmansia (Angel trumpet) are large shrubs or small trees with semi-woody, often many-branched trunks. They can reach heights of 1015 feet. They come in shades of white, yellow, pink, orange, green, or red. Most have a strong, pleasing fragrance that is most noticeable in the evening. Flowers may be single or double. Brugmansia are native to tropical regions of South America, along the Andes from Venezuela to northern Chile, and also in southeastern Brazil. They are grown as ornamental container plants worldwide, and have become naturalized in isolated tropical areas around the globe, including within North America, Africa, Australia, and Asia. Most Brugmansia are fragrant in the evenings and attract pollinating moths. Brugmansia are easily grown in moist, fertile, well-drained soil, in sun to partial shade, and in frost-free climates. They begin to flower in mid-to-late spring in warm climates and continue into the fall, often continuing as late as early winter in warm conditions. In cool winters, outdoor plants need protection from frost, but the roots are hardy, and may sprout again in late spring. Most Brugmansia may be propagated easily by rooting cuttings taken from the end of a branch during the summer. Here in the Norton gardens, we have several in the color bed behind the building.