California Art Club

Pasadena, CA



From the Fountainhead to the Future and Other Essays on Art and Excellence


Peter and Elaine Adams of the California Art Club recently brought to our attention a new (ISBN 0-9676444-0-2, published 2000) book titled "From the Fountainhead to the Future and Other Essays on Art and Excellence," by Alexandra York and published by Silver Rose Press, an imprint of American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century, which is an educational foundation.

This elegant little volume is nothing less than a blueprint for a revolution in the arts. "Art is a shortcut to philosophy," declares author Alexandra York. And she goes on to show what she means in eleven essays calling for the clearing out of the critical debris of the last century.

Del Marbrook, a contributing Editor, exclaims: "Here is just the book to celebrate the millennium with the loveliest controversy about the state of the arts since Tom Wolfe's memorable The Painted Word. The noted lecturer and essayist Alexandra York takes on modernism and postmodernism as grandiose foolishness and spells out an elegant blueprint for a revolution. She gives eloquent voice to the pervasive but muffled view that art ought to uplift and inspire and she takes on the tastemaking apparatus as a clique of bafflegabbing bullies." (left: cover of "From the Fountainhead to the Future." Peter Adams is one of six artists contributing art to the cover of the book. Mr. Adams' art is titled "Nearing the Bend" and is in the lower right-hand corner of the cover.)

Pushing aside nihilism, deconstructionism, primitivism and political correctitude of every stripe, York has written a breathtakingly fresh challenge to quit an aimless postmodernism and rediscover the tenets of our Western heritage. Nothing since Tom Wolfe's The Painted Word has so daringly called for a reconsideration of where the tastemaking establishment has been taking us.

Ms. York boldly addresses the anomaly of a nation experiencing both unprecedented prosperity and cultural malaise. Calling herself a "radical for beauty," she calls on us to re-explore our classical heritage -- representatonalism in the visual arts, melody and harmony in music, structure and ideation in literature. Spurning nostalgia, she calls on the reader to discover through the arts why life is worth living. (left: Alexandra York)

"...She has pinned down the butterfly of art for each of us to examine," says Joseph Veach Noble, the former vice director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Arthur Pontynen, the chairman of Wisconsin University's art department, says she explodes the foolishness of modernism and postmodernism. And O. Aldon James, Jr., president of the National Arts Club, calls Ms. York "a gifted thinker" whose style is one of "relaxed seriousness, but her passion for her subject matter is of hurricane proportions."

Ms. York had published books and articles widely and hosted radio and television shows. She founded and is president of American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century and edits its magazine, ART Ideas. In 1997 she received the Whiting Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the advancement of society from the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry.

"From the Fountainhead to the Future" is available after April 3, 2000, from American Renaissance for the Twenty-first Century, FDR Station, P.O. Box 8379, New York, NY 10150-101919, telephone (212) 759-7765, fax (212) 759-1922.

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