O captain, my captain

It has come to my attention that my former art teacher, Mr. Warnholz, has passed in 2014. I am very sad that I won’t have the opportunity to speak with him again. He was my teacher in the early 90s.

Only over time I realized how important and fundamental his lessons had been. His art course was much more than that, it was a broad – and deep – treatment of most subjects of art on a level that could have passed for a university education. I was lucky enough to have him as my teacher for several years.

From the architecture of Greek temples to classical sculpture to the old masters to theater, he taught it all. He taught me that shadows have a colour and how to paint a grey picture using primary colours. He taught the mixing of colour with light and with pigment. He taught still life and perspective and composition and printing. Most of all, he was a knowledgeable and reasonable man and a well educated art historian as well as a teacher. I remember some incompetent museum staff learning this the hard way: “My good man, I am an art historian.” He had no patience for bullshit, but always for his students.

During school, I found his course demanding and at times dry. But it was, in fact, excellent, and would always keep my attention. I would not realize how complete an education he had delivered until I again took up my own art studies years later. I owe him much, not just in the way of information. His obvious love of the arts was even more infectious.


O captain! my captain! Our fearful trip is done

The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won

The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting

While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring

But O heart, heart, heart

O the bleeding drops of red,

Where on the deck my captain lies,

fallen cold and dead.


We lost one of the good ones.


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