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Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: tenth anniversary issue

[We are ten years old],   pp. [1]-6 PDF (6.1 MB)

Page 3

staff g until fairly recently the editing
of the journal has been largely a labor of
love, performed after hours and in the
interstices between full-time University
responsibilities, by a two and occasionally
three man staff. Although University support
faltered at the outset - there were
several year-long periods when no copies
of the journal appeared - on the whole
it has been quite remarkable, and it is
unlikely that we could have come this far in
any educational setting lacking the vitality,
perceptive leadership, and strong tradition
of service to society characterizing the
University of Wisconsin in recent years.
But as it should be, our most significant
resource is the continually expanding
community of contributors and editorial
advisors, who in representing a wide
diversity of fields, disciplines, and art
interests, perhaps best bespeak the journal's
genius and special strength. In that light,
it seems fitting that this commemorative
editorial be a composite creation of a few of
Arts in Society's closest friends and
Edward Kamarck
a testimony
by Bernard James
Mr. James was one of the three editors
collaborating in the publication of the first
issue of Arts in Society. Subsequently he
became a member of the advisory board. He
is now a Professor of Anthropology at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and
Director of the Center for Advanced Study
in Organizational Science in University
In those days, of course, giants walked the
earth at the University of Wisconsin and
the struggle to mount a great adventure-
such as only a little magazine can be -
fairly shook buildings down. Naturally a
committee was formed. It had its
giants and other curious mutant types as
well. The giants wanted a quality journal
and promptly set about twisting the tail
of the budgeteers to get a subsidy for early
issues. There were others on the committee
who rumbled about the cost of it all
and they came out foursquare for
something inexpensive, something that
might be run off on a mimeograph machine
for instance. Then there were several
fierce trumpet charges and not a few
broken lances for a journal that "would be
close to the people," meaning something
aimed at the twelve-year old mentality,
condescendingly like TV, though no one put
it quite that cleanly. There were others
on the committee, furtive fellows, but
well-meaning and likeable, hobbit-like chaps
who scarcely got in the way at all. And
we were grateful for their smiles.
In the end, need I say, the giants won. The
populists charged off on other errands to
the cry of "the People, Yes!" The hobbit-like
fellows went back to their burrows. The
rest of us set to working like hell or
just looked at the floor whenever the
Dean came by muttering about the subsidy.
What a long way Arts in Society has come.
It is now a fine, fat journal, half an inch
thick each issue, with first rate writers,
top-notch illustrations, fold-outs, here and
there the flicker of a sumptuous nude, in
color, muted to be sure. But I can recall
how Ed Kamarck, Don White and I got the
first, the keystone article, from Frank
Lloyd Wright. We went to Taliesin and
interviewed him. I personally was afraid of
the man - though Ed and Don insisted
they weren't. But I saved the tape and I
can prove how falteringly we put our
questions, as if Jehovah would strike us
down if we weren't careful of what we said.
Wright was his usual salty self, and began
by greeting us as "three fine school boys,
from the university I understand?" But
as we talked, Wright warmed to us and we
ended staying half a day. It was a delightful
encounter. True, he hogged the
conversation, even after we got used to
him. And every question we asked was
answered by a speech on something
splendidly unrelated.
We took the tape back to the campus and
worked and reworked and reworked it to
get a suitable article out. Each time we
sent it to him for approval he would
reinsert some of that strange out-of-joint
counterpoint so characteristic of his
writing. Some of it didn't altogether make
sense. But Wright was presenting an
outlook, not arguing a point. So we got a
good paper from a very great man and
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