Wednesday, April 02, 2008

James Hampton

I love James Hampton's artwork.

Some more information about him can be found here. Enjoy and happy Spring!


Mr. J. Cook said...

Hi Dottie,
My daughter, whom you met at the Grand Cafe in Somerville MA while she was still in her mommy's belly, is now a James Hampton devotee. While at the Smithsonian AmArt Museum in February my one-year-old son Sam and I were looking at Finster's The Lord Will Deliver His People Across the Jordan when Amanda called out to me to look at our daughter.

Her hand's were cupped, her gaze was fixed, and she walked slowly towards James Hampton's Throne Of The Third Heaven Of The Nations Millennium General Assembly.

When she arrived at the velvet rope in front of the altar, she knelt down and extended her cupped hands toward the sculpture.

A guard began to move towards her and shouted something. She turned to me and said that she was let her frog go.

She'd carried a frog to the altar and had released it.

She stood up and we talked for a moment or two. After I asked her a few questions that she evaded she bent down again and extended her hands under the velvet rope to retrieve her imaginary frog--the guard reacted again--then we continued on our way.

The Throne Of The Third Heaven Of The Nations Millennium General Assembly has haunted my imagination ever since seeing it on the cover of Denis Johnson's Collected Poems. (His books Angels and Jesus' Son are extremely important to me.) But I had no idea Hampton's throne/altar/sculpture was in the Smithsonian.

For so many reasons this memory is a source of endless delight. I think you would like Abigail; your poems and her imagination partake of the same font of delight.

James Cook
Gloucester, MA

Dorothea Lasky said...


This is an amazing amazing story.

I too feel the overwhelming feelings that Abigail must have felt in front of Hampton's artwork. All art should make us feel this way, or we should be open for it to, even if it is more austere/different than Hampton's.

I would love to see Abigail again! Remember how I saw her before she was born? I'll be in Boston in May. Maybe we can all get together!

Hugs, Dottie

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