For now and the near future...

The idea of the title for this work and of my exhibition of paintings at Villanova came about as a default title. Originally, the show was intended to be a retrospect, much like is this blog. The gallery at Villanova would only hold 50 paintings and that would mean condensing the retrospect into little more than one or two pieces of art of each time frame in my career. I also knew that I might have the "writers" to include in my show as well as two series that haven't been shown in the Philadelphia area. So I cut the time frame from 45 years down to 25 years, and began with the painting of the Media Theatre.

When laying out the walls, I realized that I was presenting a fairly strange body of work in numerous styles and genres. The connection between all of them was that the were all done in acrylic on canvas, and all were done by George Rothacker.

The first thing I thought when trying for a title was diversity. In art, unless you are Picasso, diversity of styles can be confusing. One can readily identify an Edward Hopper, or a Lichtenstein, but one may not easily recognize a piece of artwork as a Rothacker.

After settling on the word Diversity, I wondered if that word has been so recently defined in ethnic or sexual terms, that my terminology of diversity might be misconstrued. So I added the word Artistic. The Artistic Diversity of George H. Rothacker didn’t seem quite complete.

"World?"

"Ah, Universe! Perhaps pompous, but large and complex.

Though I will turn the age of 69 in July, I hope that my Diverse Artistic Universe keeps expanding. With each new project, I find new purpose. I am hoping to continue with the writers for a while, but then, I am continually finding new subject matter from which to learn.

By the way, this story is not meant to be complete. I recently read about Robert Oppenheimer, the man responsible for the atom bomb that ended World War II and destroyed the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945. Though he was a scientist, he was also a moral man who had great difficulties with the results of the science he brought to the world. He didn't believe in furthering the type of science that could destroy the world, and because of his vocal acknowledgement of his beliefs lost his government security privileges.
“Old Blue Eyes” Robert Oppenheimer - acrylic on canvas - 36" x 36"

After further research I found that the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University not only kept Oppenheimer on after the U.S. government took away his privileges, they gave him a raise. He spent the rest of his life working on research projects such as the study of black holes and the universe. He also had a small home on the island of St. John where he relaxed and enjoyed the rest of his life. 19 1963 he was awarded the Enrico Fermi Award by President Lyndon Johnson. The award honors scientists of international stature for their lifetime achievement in the development, use, or production of energy, and is administered by the U.S. Department of Energy.

I have no idea where the painting will take me. My thoughts range famous people connected to Princeton to American Scientists of the 20th Century. Maybe there will be a market for the series I choose, or not. One thing, by painting people I admire, I feel closer to them, as if I am part of their world rather than an onlooker of their life.

Oppenheimer as well as many other great men and women have qualities that surpass the tasks they've taken on in life. The actor Jimmy Stewart is more memorable as a person then the movies in which he appeared. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates will be long remembered for their good works as well as their accomplishments in business.

Click for Chapter 22: Epilogue