Saturday, May 4, 2002 at 6 p.m.
at the US-Museum of European Art, Clarence, New York
Welcoming address by Mary McAndrew
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I have your attention please, to begin the event of this evening.
My name is Mary McAndrew, and I welcome you all on behalf of the Museum of European Art.
Being myself an artist, I have the honor to support the common goals of this Museum as a member of the Board of Directors.
Let me share with you that the Museum continues to draw international interest. Although our building in Clarence is small and our budget is very limited, our web site finds a large audience. We publish the internet-bulletin "Prometheus" for Art and Science, with unique and interesting articles by American and European authors.
We lead a constructive dialog with partners in France, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, the Czech Republic and many other European countries. And we also keep up the dialog with our members in Israel.
The modern communication technology enables us to work very dynamically. This way we make up for the missing larger professional staff, which we cannot afford.
Nevertheless: our goal is to do more with our art museum. We work to enrich the cultural life in Clarence and in Western New York. And for this we need local partners and supporters. We need each and every one of you.
The challenge of John F. Kennedy,
but ask what what can you do for your country"
should not remain just an empty slogan. Let's be active together, and make our own daily life and our cultural life more worthwhile.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I like to thank all the supporters of the Museum, both present and future. Please become a member, and join us at our events and especially at our interesting social nights. Our next event will take place on Thursday, May 30. The theme of that evening will be "Flowers and Art." You are all cordially invited. And bring along some of your friends also for an enjoyable evening.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
the introduction of this exhibition will be done by Consul John Zavrel.
He is the Director of the Museum of European Art,
and a Curator of the European Art Foundation in Berlin.
Consul Zavrel, you have the word.
MEA co-director, the painter Mary McAndrew with the founder, Consul John Zavrel.
Speech by Consul B. John Zavrel, Director
Curator of the European Art Foundation
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends!
I welcome you all here tonight. Dear Mary McAndrew, I think that we can all agree with what you have said. What said about our common duty to contribute to a free society of culture. And we appreciate all the help given to this museum from our sponsors -- the help we have received up to now, and the assistance we need in the future.
The opening of the Exhibition "Lighthouses in Perspective" tonight is a special event. The center of attraction are 34 photographs by Kenneth Dulian. We are glad that tonight the young artist is here with us.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
if I look around, I can see many familiar faces. Let me say a special welcome to Dr. Wilson Greatbatch and Mrs. Eleanor Greatbatch. We consider you both as real patrons--not only of this Museum, but patrons of many other good things that you have supported in our town of Clarence. Being the inventor of the implantable pacemaker--this does not have to be pointed out again. Uncounted patients are grateful to you for this invention.
We--myself and the Board of Advisors of the Museum--are very happy to have you, Mr. Greatbatch and your family members with us again.
I see other guests who are quite familiar to us. And I am very glad to see some new faces, who are for the first time in this house of art. It is great that you join us--and we hope to become bettter acquianted with you in the time to come. You are all invited to come back again and again to this place.
Dear Friends of Art, now I like to come to this art exhibition.
This is the first time that we are making an exhibition of photographs. Photography is an international subject of art. In art history we remember the great name of Man Ray in Paris. The surrealistic photographs, which Philippe Halsman has taken of the painter Salvador Dali may be in the minds of many of us. And the German-Jewish American Helmut Newton is at present the star among the international highly paid photographers. His full-size portraits of women and men are in great demand by art collectors. Unfortunately for us, the signed prints of Halsman are much more expensive than a bronze or a painting by many other artists.
So, somehow we are lucky that Kenneth Dulian is standing at the beginning of his carrier as a photographer. His photographic art-works are accessible and affordable.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are proud and happy to have discovered Kenneth Dulian for our Museum. We have placed information about him on the web site of the museum. That way, we reach a world-wide audience, although our art museum in this little town is small. The Internet opens up new opportunities for dialog and exchange of information.
At the present time, Kenneth Dulian's subjects are lighthouses from near and far. With an artistic vision he presents the ages old fascination with lighthouses in a new view. Lighthouses have been around in one form or another nearly as long as human civilization. However, throughout the 20th century, radar and other navigational systems have gradually made lighthouses nearly obsolete. At least, this is the case in the modern Western world.
All the same, we have not lost any of our fascination with them. Thanks to the Kenneth J. Dulian, we are enriched with a new way of seeing the objects of a timeless fascination. He provokes us to think about lighthouses in such a way as to awaken within us feelings of longing and reunion.
What exactly is a lighthouse, and what significance did it once have?
The lighthouse is a tower-like navigational aid, which emits a strong light, making it visible from long distances. In the past, this light was given through the burning of wood or coal, and it was necessary that a caretaker be present at all times. They were installed at important points on the coast, on lakes, islands, and especially dangerous shallow waters.
Today, most lighthouses function without a human caretaker, since they have become fully automated. And where lighthouses are no longer used, we still let them -- fortunately -- stand. They remind us about earlier times, and they guide memories back to us from the boundless oceans of our childhood.
The eye of the observer who is well-versed in art, recognizes in the photographs which are on display this evening, that the creative source of Dulian's talent comes from his aesthetic love of beauty and harmony, as well as from a fascination with the mysterious -- traits which have distinguished the great photographers. Some of them I have already mentioned. Their works belong today to the great private and public collections, like the Smithsonian Institute, as well as museums in big cities in America, Europe, and Japan. When we observe the lighthouses of the newcomer Dulian, we remember these great masters of photography, because in his work we see a distinct composite Ray's art photography, Halsman's surrealism, and Newton's compositional understanding of the human form.
What is the vision of the young artist?
Dulian doesn't always stand up the lighthouses, pointing them straight up towards heaven. No!
With one shot, Dulian may photograph the motives in the style of a classical painting. But then, sometimes Dulian chooses to capture the structure from the lower-left to upper-right portions of the frame, or even sideways ahead.
The tower seen in one picture thus becomes a flying object. Perhaps these compositions signal an imminent "start" of the artist Dulian into the world of portrait, nude and landscape photography?
The light, soaring state in many of his artistic photographs symbolizes a bridge between the past and the future, yet at the same time, Dulian connects our thoughts and glances with the ancient heritages of our mercantile past.
Dear friends, may I say few words about the famous lighthouses of antiquity ?
The list of the Wonders of the World, put together in the third century BCE, contained seven structures and art works, which were considered to have surpassed all others in grace, in beauty, and in splendor.
The pyramids of Giseh, the hanging gardens of Babylon, the temple of Artemis in Ephosos, the sculpture of the Olympic Zeus from the sculptor Phidias, the mausoleum in Halikarnassos and the Colossus of Rhodos.
The other two structures were lighthouses. The most well-known lighthouse of the antiquity was built in 260 BC on a peninsula in front of what is today the north Egyptian city of Alexandria. It was the 120-meter high lighthouse of Pharos. In its time, the mighty tower was the highest structure in the known world. According to historical calculations, one could see on the ocean the light over a distance of 30 miles from the coast. However, according to history, the magnificent structure was destroyed by an earthquake at some time in the 13th century.
Rhodos is a Greek island off the south-west coast of Asia Minor. It had been inhabited by humans for over 1000 years before Christ. Rhodos was one of the most important strategic and political points in the known world. It had a great importance for seafaring. It is here that the Colossus of Rhodos stood.
The Colossus was a 32-meter high statue of the Sun-god Helios, yet this monumental sculpture also served the practical purpose of a lighthouse: In one hand -- so they say -- Helios held a torch. According to our knowledge, the god stood astride across the entrance to the harbour, and the ships sailed under the statue of the god. Around the year 227 BC the Colossus of Rhodos was destroyed by an earthquake. It was built by the Greek sculptor Chares from Lindos around the year 300 BC. It is an old dream of Rhodos and of many friends of lighthouses of antiquity that some day this wonder of the world would be rebuilt.
Since Roman times, the Spanish bay of La Coruna, on a coast of granite cliffs in the north-west of Spain, was a fishing and trade harbour. It is here that the last remaining lighthouse of antiquity in Europe can be found. It is called "Tore de Hercules" (The Tower of Hercules). And to the oldest, still remaining towers in Europe belong the lighthouses in the North Sea and the in the East Sea in Germany.
Lighthouses are a part of tradition and culture in the United States
The lighthouses on the coasts and lakes of America and Canada cannot look back on such an old age. Yet to this day, these structures of our ancestors have certainly lost nothing of their ability to fascinate us. The art photographs of Kenneth J. Dulian bear this out. More than being merely pictures and historical documents, his photographs also make us conscious of the rich symbolism of these structures.
Aside from their practical significance for our ancestors, lighthouses are and will remain symbols for help, hope, orientation and guidance. Again and again, poets and thinkers have referred to persons as being "lighthouse." Thus, the biographer of Alexander the Great, the French writer Roger Peyrefitte, called the classical sculptor Arno Breker a lighthouse in the art of the 20th century, which radiates into a new era. Similar praises have also been directed towards scientists like Albert Einstein, as well as significant democratic, political and religious personalities.
If at the present time Kenneth J. Dullian brings about through his individual, emphatic and unmistakable photographs a new gateway to the appreciation of these structures and their historical heritage, then he achieves something worthwhile: he encourages the preservation of these structures, even if they are not actually needed any more.
Lighthouses are a part of our technological and mythical culture. They belong to the roots of our common American historical heritage. Yet there is another benefit of Dulian's lighthouses: they seem to be taking off for a flight into the universe. Yet for many of us this imaginary universe is the creative universe of longing and dreams. The question stands: doesn't this universe lie in all of us?
Dear Kenneth Dullian, my homage to your art, and our admiration for your works is more than a personal salute. This is also a homage for those who guided you in your young age, and who made it possible for you to realize your abilities and develop your talents.
And for me, there is one name at the top of the list: Ami Greatbatch, your beloved mother. Unfortunately, she could not be here with us tonight.
But still, I like to say this to her: Mrs. Ami Greatbatch, I know that you are too modest for this public compliment. But, on this very day of the exhibition of Kenneth Dulian's work, and being here together as friends of art -- this may be said. And this really must be said.
thank you for your attention.
Let us give another round of applause for our artist Kenneth Dulian,
and then the exhibition is opened.
Consul John Zavrel, Mary McAndrew, photographer Kenneth Dulian and Dr. Wilson Greatbatch, the inventor of the implantable pacemaker.
The painter Mary McAndrew with Dr. Wilson Greatbatch and Consul John Zavrel at the opening of the exhibition "Lighthouses in Perspective' by Kenneth Dulian.