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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 14, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Mnrgarel Luckhnrst __________ Salurdny. October M, 1972 THE UTtTBRIDGf HERAID 5 People of I IIP- .s Through his talents we see the world The Voice Of O ne I rniglit as well admil it. On my way to interview HoloEf Beny I was so nervous I chew- ed Uie eraser clean off my pen- cil. It wasn't Uml I was appre- hensive about writing a s.ory on an international personality, because all the people I have interviewed in southern Alber- ta have been special in their own It was more personal and a good deal more trivial than that. I had a funny feeling I'd blurt out (to one of the world's top photographers) that if he is lops in his field, as is universally conceded then I am the lowest of the low. When I tak pis with my old Brownie box, people inevitably lose their heads, their feet, or list drunk- enly in unattractive positions. I needn't have worried m y head at all. As in the case of dost worldly people, my sub- ject immediately put me at case by ushering me into his Btudio in his parent's home and pouring us both a cup of coifee in his mother's precious Crown Derby Willow accom- panying these beauties typical- ly man-like with an uncompli- cated, but homey, carton of milk. He thoughtfully heeded my admonishments to go easy on the sugar and naturally this sort of camaivdarie soon put us on a first name basis, I therewith hauled out my note pad with more assurance and got busy. It cams as a surprise to me to discover Iliat our library files at The Herald contain very little about the back- ground of one of Alberta's most celebrated persons. There were many stories of his achieve- ments throughout the years, but relatively nothing about his childhood. adolescence and gradual introduction to lus pro- fession. So at my suggestion we dug back a little into Rol- off's past so that we might all know a little more about him and the influences which chan- nelled his life. Born in Medicine Hat, where his father was in the automo- bile business, young Roloff had the sensitivity, at a very early age, to recognize the fact that he was something of a rebel. "I really didn't like school" he admitted, "it simply was too confining and rather regiment- ed. I loved the out-of-doors it offered a tranquilily which suppose offset the classroom, and I tried to recapture this mood by painting local scenes wliich interested me. found myself editor of (lie school magazine. As a maKer of fact I absolutely amazed myself because as a child I was .shy, afraid, am! a terrible ri'- cluse. Trinity helped me great- ly." lie graduated in the Fino Ails (honor) program. During Trinity there existed between Roloff and Toronto a kind of love-hate relationship. "I was a nobody from nowhere Medicine Hat simply didn't exist to the average Toronton- ian, but 1 survived it, these years I count lo be among the best of my life." Following graduation from Trinity, Roloff entered t h e State University of Iowa where he studied graphic arts. "Maur- iio Lasansky had an immense influence on me. It was my first encounter with a professional artist of international fame. He was ES tough as he was gentle- hut a great teacher. I carried on my academic work in liter- ature and history and gr'''u- ated with a Master of Fino Arts." My mother understood my restlessness and sent me to a local artist when I was about seven. Her name was Mrs. Terry, an English woman and she taught me water col- ors and in her own way, intro- duced me lo "the outside K-oriri" beyond the confines of school and town, f think it was at about this time that I became interested in geog- raphy and history. Roloff showed me the first painting he did, at age seven, and it looked dandy to me, al- though he grinned about it to him sell. When he was fifteen, thanks to his Grandpa Beny lie had his first trip outside Medicine Hat. He went to the 1939 World's Fair, in New York, by car! "It was a long ride from the Rolotf recalled, but it gave me the opjjorlunity to do my first color and I can't for the life of me recall what happened lo this immense project of mine." While in New York he drove his family wild because he spent all his lime in art gal- leries and museums. "It was such a new world to me, that 1 simply couldn't get enough of it, hut other people didn't share my enthusiasm and this (Sid cause a bit of a to-do from lime lo time." Later, his mother's parents in Iho U.S. look him to San Francisco and he repeated the same performance spending hours in art galleries and mu- seums. "I Ihink this was an in- fluential period of my life he- cause I was absorbing a great, deal at an important age." Also during the summer ho was fifteen he attended the Banff School of Fine Arts where he met other people who Jell as he did Inwards nature, art, and visual concepts of all types. "In my younger Koloff said, "T was forced to feel guilty if I expressed any interest in flowers and Ireos. When I went into the local I was expected to discuss cars! Aflcr all lhat w.i? Hie family business, l.ntcr on in life, when I joiimryrd Ihrouph 1 w.rs .surpris- ed to find lhat bartxrs discuss- er! arts and sports a much broader field than I'd IKXTI lo." At 17 young Roloff left homo fcv Trinity College, Toronto, "f wns younger than the usual a ;e, bul I qualified and it was Hie beginning of a great ad- vcnlurc for me. f painted erm- stnntly. of course, was involv- ed in the program which J thoroughly enjoyed and During this period Roloff a lit lie uncertain where he was headed. "I felt not being in the family business, but when I won a scholarship to the Institute of Advanced Studies, at the New York Fine Arts School I felt 1 must carry on. I won another scholarship to Columbia at the same time. Here T studied with one of the leading men of our times, Meyer Shapiro. He ex- ploded my mind with so many new ideas as an artist, his- torian, aesthete he is one of the lops in this century." During tlu's period of his life Koloff lived the typical iife of a struggling artist, and in New York that's a pretty frugal, bo- homJan existence. "I had- a cold water flat along the East he recalled. "It wasn't especially comfortable but per- haps lack of comfort kept me painting for I certainly produc- ed a lot during this period. 1 entered a number of works in a contest offered by the Brook- lyn Museum, and won first prize. 1 was pretty thrilled I can tell you! The Knoedler fial- lery bought the entire produc- tion and later I sold other works lo various museums. At last, I was Roloff had always intended to study for hi.s doctorate and Greece was his chosen subject for his thesis. "Naturally I had to go to Greece to do my re- search so over I went, third class, in the hold of an old con- verted troopship. I had enough money to last three weeks, but fortunately I got a scholarship from the American School of Classified Studies. I worked with a man named Homer Thompson, one of the leading archaeologists of our time. But eventually, in spite of Thomp- son's encouragement, 1 came lo realize that T didn't have tlm discipline that was necessary in archaeology, and had, once again, to sort my thoughts out on just where my particular in- terest and talents would be best directed." "T realized that I was what T call a "visual doer" that is, T encompass whatever comes visually, and try lo ex- press it cither through camera or by paint brush." Holoff feels discouraged when he bears lhat the public believes him to have given up painting for photography. "I have always he pro- tests, "and will continue to do so so please put that in your story very definitely." Koloffs first book, "An Ae- gean Notebook1' which was 20 lilhograpti.s on zinc was pro- duced at a very low period on his life. He bad begun it in Florence, but was stricken with rheumatic fever, rim! nearly died. "So they siupped me home to he remin- isced "When I was able lo get about 1 set up a studio in Wal- ter Huckvalc's office and pro- duced the book. They were all handinrdc, and cost S1CO a piece, but I sold them all." Although he was still conval- escing, Itoloff became restless again so lie went lo Toronto and started leaching, lie found a big old house and invited 10 people of all ages and from all walks of life to enter a painting course. "It was an interesting venture. One month we did ab- stract expressionism, another extreme realism, then nudes, then we'd go out on location. J allowed tiicm one month for a "graduation" picture of their own choice. We gave a local, exlu'bilion at the end of the year which drew quite some attention. I'm pleased lo say that some of my students went on to become professional painters." But Roloff, now recovered from his bout with rheumatic fever, was homesick lor Eur- ope. He returned, this lime lo Taris where he lived for a couple of ycavs. While there ho won a Guggenheim fellowship, which as a Canadian in order for him to accept, directed that he return to the United States. "I went back to New York again, but lived in less poverty- stricken Roloff grinned. "In fact I had a pent- house on Park Avenue which I shared with a wonderful Si- berian Husky be was a trem- endous pet. But. well, I don't know-. New York is socially strangulating I felt as if I was in demand far loo much and this is both a drag and a strain. So after a couple of years I got so homesick for Italy I just had to get back Ihere. I saw an advertisement for a home "overlooking Ihe Tiber" that's about all it said and it was just exactly what I've wanted all my life. I still keep an apartment in New York, but in my home in Rome I fee! more relaxed I can be anonymous and putter about as 1 like." get my bcyks done. Thai's a negative point of view perhaps, but I've seen enough of ibis old world lo 1 must be very realistic in fad we all must be, about the future." In Lethbridge recently to re- ceive nn honorary doctorate from Ihe University of Lelb- bridgc, Dr. Bcny enjoyed tour- ing old familiar lerrilory, and catching up on some of our social and political problems. Something of a linguist, he hopes we lake our efforts to- wards bilingualism more seri- ously in Ihe west. "I learned to speak French and Italian sim- ply by having to do so. Instead of speaking English at all your coffee clalcbes and social gath- erings why not make an at- tempt to sneak French it's sin-prising how much you learn when you have to." He has some reservations about the rumors about the High Level Bridge, Leih- bridge's most famous land- mark, being removed. "If they take that bridge down they can take back my he stated in no uncertain terms. "Canadians are all too quick haul things dov.-n when there is no real necessity to do so." As Ifor the university itscli lie thought both the situation End rjcsign would establish it as one of the most culstanding in Ciin- ccia wilh "unlimited But he hopes the typography cc- parlment alor.g with the graphic arts will hold competitions for Iheir displays and get rid of the "wretched posters" which are neither stimulating nor artistic "If the students take pride in their pristine beginning it will enhance Ihe he said. Roloff has long since given up the idea of working towards a I'octorale hut his philosophy on Greece and the peoples and places of the world are reach- ing far more people through bis books, more effectively than a routine thesis, and this phil- osophy will live on for years lo come. Finally it was lime for lunch which Holoff bad been hashing together a Hungarian dish of red cabbage and this awl that which smclled good. So I look my eraserless pencil and got on my way back lo work and left Dr. Beny discussing lus trip to New York with his parents. As I left, the senior Benj's express- ed a sentiment I'm sure many Canadians share about Ibis tal- ented man. "We just don'l see him often enough." This talented artisl's fame built slowly at the start, but in the sixties gathered momen- tum as he produced a phenom- enal number of books, and held innumerable exhibitions. In 1860 an exhibition, Pleasure of Photography, was opened by Yousuf Karsh at the National Gallery in Ottawa and was praised by critics all over Ihe world. Then Roloff Beny books seemed lo roll off the presses at an astonishing rate, each one bringing alive, in pictures by the artist, and texts by a variety of authors, facets of life around the world. To name a few, there were: The Thrones of Earth and Heaven; A Tune Of Gods; Pleasure of Ruins; To Every Tiling There is a Season (that pictorial of Canada from sea to In- dia: Japan in Color; Island Ceylon; and the latest "In It- aly" just being released. A "holiday" to Holoff is four days when he isn't taking pic- tures, and his plans for Ihe fu- ture iMggle the mind. There is to be another book on the East Ihis time concentrating on Tslam "but less on the religion than the art which was inspir- ed by h e explained He would like (o do another book on Canad_, on one prov- ince, or one area, and natural- ly high on his priority list lx? a book about Alberta. Bul he has some reservations about bis ambitions. "There is so much strife in Ibc world and I travel in countries which arc continually at war, so that I often wonder if chsos and dis- aster might befall us before I DR. ROtOFF BENY Book Trudeau less puzzling than critics -By DR. FRANK S. MORLcTY The prospects for PKs kind of future t-aroor do you pic- Uu'c for PKs (preachers' BS (hey are commonly called? Perhaps the candidacy of Senator McGovern for ttic U.S. pres- idency has added a special interest lo the question. Tlicrc has IMCH a strongly held lielicf thai children of clergymen are a wild lot. They were supposed lo have a tendency to rebel against an overly strict up-bringing or lo suffer from the neglect of fathers who were too busy looking after oilier people's children and congregational affairs to look after tlicir own. Dr. Albert Wiggam, in The Marks of a Clear Mind, tells how he grew up the opinion that ministers' sons usually go to the devil and were dangerous boys with whom to be asso- ciated. Greatly lo his surprise when hi studied statistics he found the superstition to be utterly false. A study of "Who's disclosed "the astonishing thing is that among clergymen, one out of every 2fl lias a child listed among these distinguish- ed persons." Among the first 51 persons chosen by scholnrs as American citizens of greatest "credit and ID were chil- dren of ministers of the Gospel. Back in 1904 Havelock Ellis, in A Study of British Genius wrote, "The proportion of distinguished men and women contributed from among the families of the clergy can only be described as enormous If we compare the church with the other profes- sions with which it is most usually class- ed, we find that the eminent children of the clergy considerably out-number those of lawyers, doctors, and army officers put to- gether." Dr. Alan Bayer, associate director of tho office of research, American Council on Education, Miss Laura Kent, writer and ed- itor, Tind Mr. Jeffrey Dutton, chief of data by Rick Ervin "Paradox: Tnidrau a s Prime Minister" hy Anthony Westell (PronHcc-Hall of Canada, ?K.fl5, 2fi2 Trudcnu apparently is a great puzzle to some people; a greater puzzle, however, is why they are so puzzled, Reading this book on the Trudcau years, 1 was struck by (he consistency in Ihe way the prime minister JIFIS followed a rational course. The mnjor exception was the way in which he allowed him- t.elf to go againM reason and invoke Ihe War Measures Act in tlie Quebec crisis. That was a gut reaction; evidence of threatened insurrection was In.rking. Vet this Inconsistent action brought TnuJcau his greatest acclaim. The question, (hen. should not be how to ac- count for Trude.iii but how lo A delightful talc QurM'' by Margsir- rl I.iiurrncr, illustrated by Slaffan Torcll (McClelland and Slpwart Limited, 211 pages.) QUEST is a nV light fill I ale of the perils faced by ;i mule, two ant! owl JLS (hey .sojourn to diniutn in search of Ihn cure for (be invisible sickness from which Uw. ninir folk of Molan- ium are suffering. The foursome travel from one exciting adventure to another lull eventually they find the nnswcr, Jason finds the love of his life and Ihe fivcsome re- turn home. Jason's Qucsl is Mnrgiirot firM juvenile hook. I lumc it's not her last JUDI WALKER make sense out of the reaction of the Canadian people to the man, All Ihe major areas of inter- est in the history of the four years of the Tniricau govern- ment, are reviewed by Anthony Westell, Ottawa correspondent for The Toronto Star. He covers them under Ibc following head- ins: nalional disunity; Iho ohanpnc confederation; tlic politics of participation: the ec- onomy; tlic just society: for- policy men ami power. As these subjects ate reviewed it Incomes dear Muil Trudeau lias frcqucntK been crilioircd unjustly. For in- stance, the popular assumption that a coterie of French-Can- adinns have ganged up with Tnrdeau to run the country is shown for t he nonsens c it is: (he strength of French-Canadi- an in the c.ib'n- r-f been reduced: ICnplkh- Canadians still hold the major portfolios; Marchand and Pol- procKssinfj for the office of research, ACIO, began with opinions exactly opposite to those of Dr. Wiggam. They though! lhat tha children of clergymen were popularly con- sidered unusually likely to succeed, being blessed with belter training in moral values and a superior faith in the victory o righteousness. Thus they would tackle prob- lems with greater zest and confidence and a stronger sense of duty. From the statistics provided by The Am- erican Council on Education's Co-operative institutional Keoearch Program, they found sii'jh opinions amply justified, according to an article published jointly in Christian Century (June 28, 1972.) The high aspira- tions of the parents were passed on lo tha children and they became "unusually high achievers.11 They also discovered that out- side the classroom children of clergymen "demonstrated outstanding talent and abil- ity. Far more than other freshmen they took in student activities. Other inter- esting facts were that freshmen who were children oE clergymen were far less given to wild parties, fewer smoked or drank, nnd they were twice as musical as other freshmen. They were less interested in ma- terial affluence nnd social eminence, but they had an unusually high desire to servo their fellowman." Tl would be interesting lo know more ot the emotional and mental stability of PKs. Does the pressure at home and in society to "be good" have any traumatic results? How much of the success of PKs Is due to a good environment and good heredity? Is a modest income (preachers are rarely it ever wealthy, usually of moderate means, and often poor) a factor? At any rale PKs have a much better than average chance for a successful, productive life. Wise council on. guns The Toronto Globe and Mail Although firearms manufacturers, rifle clubs and many sports hunters may dis- agree, the Canadian Bar Association should 'be commended for its decision to ask the federal Government lo tighten the regula- tions governing the possesion and use of firearms. Specifically, the association wants the Criminal Code emended to limit the possession of handguns lo police, other spe- cified public officials (for example, Ihe cap- tain of an airliner while in flight) and cer- tain persons such as Brink's officers who may be expressly authorized to possess a I land gun for a particular period of time in the direct carrying out of their duties. The lawyers, furthermore, recommend that no one be allowed lo possess an un- registered firearm and lhat, before a fire- arm can be registered, a person must ob- tain a certificate of competence in its cars and use. This is excellent advice, which Ottawa should heed. Accidents, it is said, will al- ways happen with guns; but they are much 1 ess li kely i o occur if gun owners ara trained in gunhandling and care. Also, tha restriction on the possession of handguns U welcome. Here in Canada, we are fortunate in differing from the United States tradition which permits any citJ7en to bear arms for his protection a right lhat breeds mora violence than it curbs. Tightening our res- trictions futher will lessen the chances of His innocent being shot as suspected burg- lars or prowlers, and curb even further tha possibility that a quarrel or drunken outburst will end in final Iragedy just because a gun was