(This slide show contains images from the time of the opening on the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and images of art and articles from The Fine Art Center School’s heyday in the 1930s and 40s under Boardman Robinson. Thanks to Blake Wilson for the Life magazines and all those noted in the captions for the images.)

On April 20, 2011, The Fine Arts Center will mark its 75th anniversary. When it opened in 1936, it was considered the finest arts institution west of the Mississippi and had a world-class, week-long gala that featured some of the most avant-garde art known to the world at that time. Craig Richardson and Noel Black of The Big Something bring us this account of the opening, written by art historian Stanley Cuba. Below you can see videos about the Erik Satie symphonic drama “Socrate” with a stage set by Alexander Calder and a video of Martha Graham’s famous 1930 work “Lamentation,” which was performed on The Fine Arts Center’s Stage when the building opened.

Download, or listen to the piece here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

4 Responses to The Fine Arts Center's Opening and School, Our Forgotten Art History Part II

  1. adam degraff says:

    Magafan, Mangravite and Musick. All new to me and memorable. Really captures a spirit. Probably the best Calder I’ve seen (except for the circus thing) and the Martha Graham was gorgeous, especially with the introduction. Colorado Springs is shaping up. Thank you.

  2. Louise C says:

    Wow! And Colorado Springs at the time was a burg of 30,000. Now we’re more than 10 times as big. Was 1936 our high point on the arts timeline?

  3. Mary Ellen says:

    This is marvelous. Thank you! I didn’t know about Adolf Dehn or all the other remarkable artists included here. Great job.

  4. Noel Black says:

    @Louise C, we definitely had the right idea back in the first half of the 20th C. All that culture is still here in many ways, but it has been neglected. Hopefully locals who care will spread the word and help rekindle interest, which would almost certainly help inform the present and future of our arts community for the better.

News

Getty Images
July 29, 2015 | NPR · Brady said he only destroyed his phone after his lawyers told the NFL his device would “not be subjected to investigation.” Brady said he was “disappointed” in the NFL’s decision.
 

AP
July 29, 2015 | NPR · Reports of Omar’s death have swirled for years. The Afghan government is said to be investigating claims that the Taliban’s spiritual leader died two or three years ago.
 

AP
July 29, 2015 | NPR · Officials in Waller County, Texas, say the videos prove many of the conspiracy theories being batted around the web are not true. Bland’s death is still being investigated.
 

Arts & Life

iStockphoto
July 29, 2015 | NPR · Not every submission to our big romance poll made it onto the list. Some books, while classics, have not aged well, some books were too new to judge, and some were lacking the crucial happy ending.
 

NPR
July 29, 2015 | NPR · It’s the NPR Books Summer of Love, so to celebrate, we asked our readers to nominate their favorite romances. And the results are in: 100 love stories to help every reader find a happy ever after.
 

July 28, 2015 | NPR · Bill Cosby was instrumental in opening the door for black stuntmen in Hollywood early in his career. He was to be a central figure in a new documentary about black stuntmen, but that has now changed. He will be mentioned, but his interviews have been pulled, following the latest revelations about the comedian, who admitted in court documents that he drugged women for sex.
 

Music

Getty Images
July 29, 2015 | NPR · 3rd and Lindsley, a performance space for big and small acts in Music City, lets the music shine by keeping things (like its name) simple.
 

July 28, 2015 | NPR · Almost 140 years ago, Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky wrote a solo piano piece for every month of the year called The Seasons. Now saxophonist Ben Wendel has taken this famous body of work and reinterpreted each piece by bringing along a different artist every month. Reviewer Michelle Mercer says through these collaborations, Wendel is giving the listener insight into some of today’s sharpest musicians.
 

July 28, 2015 | WXPN · In Swedish culture, ABBA holds a significant place — one big enough for an entire ABBA museum that doesn’t have to wait for visitors. Hear the World Cafe interview with the curator.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab