Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The First Anniversary of The Jade Sphinx

Twelve months and 172 posts later, The Jade Sphinx celebrates its first anniversary.

The first post appeared on Friday, April 22nd, and detailed my thoughts on The Page Turner, by David Leavitt.  In the months since then, we have looked at topics as diverse as Benvenuto Cellini and Fred Astaire, Cultural Decay and Christmas Carols, public statuary and role of the artist in society.

The Jade Sphinx came about courtesy of my deep and abiding dedication to a 19th Century aesthetic philosophy.  I had felt (and still do) that beauty had lost its primacy and cultural importance; that we as a people were on a road leading to a deep and arid cultural abyss.  The significance of this sea change chilled me to my very soul, and I sought to create an Eden were beauty was celebrated and willful ugliness condemned.  I wanted it to be a place where, if I could call down from the heavens the shade of Oscar Wilde, the great artist and critic would feel at home.  In my hubris, my goal was to educate the public.  Instead, I educated myself.

Of the Top Ten posts for the first year, according to sheer numbers of readers, eight of them have been about fine arts practitioners both past and present, one has been a film review (oddly enough, for a little-appreciated animated masterpiece, The Iron Giant), and one an overview of a children’s book (The Man in the Moon, by William Joyce).  It is my hope that the eclectic nature of The Jade Sphinx is one of the reasons you return again and again, and it is my goal to continue that in the future.

Finally, there is no point in thinking aloud if no one is listening.  I am deeply humbled and gratified by the number of people who have come to The Jade Sphinx for beauty or solace, and appreciate the many emails and comments I’ve received.

As this is a work in progress, please take this opportunity to comment on this enterprise, both past and future.  What has moved you?  Annoyed you?  What would you eliminate?  What stirs you to return?

Many thanks, and now on to Year Two!


James Abbott

1 comment:

lyle said...

Congratulations!!! I enjoy your telling the back story concerning a lot of the artists you write about. Until, now, most where names on the wall at the Met that I seem to remember that I should know something about. HIGHLIGHT of the year: turning me on to the "Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore". Best film I saw - hands down. Only addition to the site: like they have in the NYTimes - click on a word and the definition pops up (too much time in my youth in technical manuals!)...Looking forward to the upcoming year