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S0Noma
01-25-2008, 08:51 PM
http://harpers.org/media/image/blogs/misc/koerner.gif
W.H.D. Koerner, “A Charge to Keep” (1916)


George W. Bush is famous for his attachment to a painting which he acquired after becoming a “born again Christian.” It’s by W.H.D. Koerner and is entitled “A Charge to Keep.” Bush was so taken by it, that he took the painting’s name for his own official autobiography. And here’s what he says about it:

I thought I would share with you a recent bit of Texas history which epitomizes our mission. When you come into my office, please take a look at the beautiful painting of a horseman determinedly charging up what appears to be a steep and rough trail. This is us. What adds complete life to the painting for me is the message of Charles Wesley that we serve One greater than ourselves.

So in Bush’s view (or perhaps I should say, faith) the key figure, with whom he personally identifies, is a missionary spreading the word of the Methodist Christianity in the American West in the late nineteenth century.

Wilhelm Heinrich Dethlef Körner (you see why he used initials, though he later Anglicized this as William Henry Dethlef Koerner) was born in Germany and immigrated to a small town in Iowa as a young tot. He made his way over time to Chicago and worked as an illustrator for the Chicago Tribune. He married Lillian Lusk, a well-know graphic artist in her own right, and moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he worked for Pilgrim Magazine. He and his wife scrimped and saved to finance a move to New York City. They were after more formal art training and to establish a position as artists in the heart of the publishing industry. They made it to New York in 1907, and they were very successful.

In fact, Koerner’s principal employer through the core of his career was Harper’s Magazine. Koerner published 43 feature illustrations in Harper’s, the first in 1910 and the last in 1925. You can view them here. Koerner was not exclusive to Harper’s, however, he also did important works for the Saturday Evening Post, McCall’s and Collier’s among other publications, and he did a brisk business for the book trade, again very heavily for Harpers Brothers, and he pioneered commercial illustration (Koerner did the first box artwork for C.W. Post’s Grapenuts, for instance). His serious work after 1907 focused heavily on the American West, and he clearly was one of the key “Golden Age” illustrators. His work is famous for dramatic images which for me are consonant with the age of Teddy Roosevelt—they suggest ruggedness, love for the outdoors, a strong sense of adventure and risk-taking. His paintings are packed with motion, and at times rather dramatic motion. I was not able to find much about Koerner and his sense of religion, through it is very clear that he did not engage in public displays of religious fervor and religious themes are absent entirely from his work.

So Bush’s description of “A Charge to Keep” struck me as very strange. In fact, I’d say highly improbable. Now, however, Jacob Weisberg has solved the mystery. He invested the time to track down the commission behind the art work and he gives us the full story in his forthcoming book on Bush, The Bush Tragedy:

[Bush] came to believe that the picture depicted the circuit-riders who spread Methodism across the Alleghenies in the nineteenth century. In other words, the cowboy who looked like Bush was a missionary of his own denomination.

So Bush’s inspiring, prosyletizing Methodist is in fact a silver-tongued horse thief fleeing from a lynch mob. It seems a fitting marker for the Bush presidency. Bush has consistently exhibited what psychologists call the “Tolstoy syndrome.” That is, he is completely convinced he knows what things are, so he shuts down all avenues of inquiry about them and disregards the information that is offered to him. This is the hallmark of a tragically bad executive. But in this case, it couldn’t be more precious. The president of the United States has identified closely with a man he sees as a mythic, heroic figure. But in fact he’s a wily criminal one step out in front of justice. It perfectly reflects Bush the man. . . and Bush the president.

web page (http://harpers.org/archive/2008/01/hbc-90002237)

Gayle in MD
01-26-2008, 10:05 AM
[ QUOTE ]
That is, he is completely convinced he knows what things are, so he shuts down all avenues of inquiry about them and disregards the information that is offered to him. <font color="red">Perfect description of the kind of folks who voted for him, and defend his failed policies, to this day, don't you think? </font color> This is the hallmark of a tragically bad executive. But in this case, it couldn’t be more precious. The president of the United States has identified closely with a man he sees as a mythic, heroic figure. But in fact he’s a wily criminal one step out in front of justice. <font color="red">And his supporters use that very point as proof of his vast intelligence, LMAO! </font color> It perfectly reflects Bush the man. . . and Bush the president.
<font color="red">The state of having been BUSHWACKED, is an illness, for which none have sought psychological help, and hence, the on-going threat to our Nation. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif That may change, as I predict historians will be as hard on the followers, as they will be on the Decider, himself. /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

This picture does look like Bush, LMAO, what a riot! Where's the bicycle helmet? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif</font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

LWW
01-26-2008, 10:40 AM
That is the most amazing bit if psychobabble I have ever seen.

How many paintings, that you like or have prints or originals of, have you went back to the original artist for an explanation of exactly what their deepest meaning of the painting was?

Ohhhhhhhh kayyyyyyyyyyy everybuddddddy ...

... anna one ...

... anna two ...

... anna B-B-B-BUT B-B-B-BOOOOSH! B-B-B-BUT B-B-B-BOOOOSH! B-B-B-BUT B-B-B-BOOOOSH!

LWW

S0Noma
01-26-2008, 11:16 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote LWW:</font><hr> That is the most amazing bit if psychobabble I have ever seen.

How many paintings, that you like or have prints or originals of, have you went back to the original artist for an explanation of exactly what their deepest meaning of the painting was?

Ohhhhhhhh kayyyyyyyyyyy everybuddddddy ...

... anna one ...

... anna two ...

... anna <font color="blue">Let's all stick our conservative fingers in our ears and pretend that the idiot that shames the office of the Presidency - the very one WE elected - is above criticism when we all know it isn't true. Oh yeah! </font color>



LWW <hr /></blockquote>

nAz
01-26-2008, 11:34 AM
http://fukung.net/images/2212/white_supremacy.jpg

wolfdancer
01-26-2008, 11:38 AM
While "others" may try to trivialize the article....that painting and the flight deck photo (op) go hand in hand..imo.

And, irony of ironies ....he picked this picture to "depict" himself.....must be his subconscious at work????

nAz
01-26-2008, 11:42 AM
Wolf, SONoma why do you hate America so much?

S0Noma
01-26-2008, 11:46 AM
I've got dual citizenship - I hate Ireland too, if that helps?

wolfdancer
01-26-2008, 11:46 AM
He has missed the "meat" of the article....but his reply will be reported on AZB as another great lww put down!
That's why I'm all for parental supervision on the internet.

wolfdancer
01-26-2008, 12:08 PM
I hate Ireland too

Don't say that at the Ireland's 32 bar, in SF....
I'm Irish, but had to tread lightly there...we used to joke that it was the home of the IRA
If you think discussing politics on the net gets a little rowdy at times...imagine adding drinking to the debate...

DickLeonard
01-28-2008, 10:45 AM
Sonoma say it isn't so sniff,sniff. I just can't hold back my tears for America to have fallen under the grasp of this Poster Boy "for no child left behind". I am glad he Pardon himself because I could never Pardon Him.####