Enfilade

Adam Smith 300 in 2023

Posted in anniversaries, conferences (to attend), exhibitions by Editor on January 15, 2023

From the press release (23 November 2022) for Adam Smith 300 . . .

The University of Glasgow is marking the 300th anniversary of pioneering Scot Adam Smith (1723–1790) with a year-long celebration of his life, work, and influence.

The tercentenary commemoration of the ‘father of economics’ includes a host of events in Scotland and around the world, designed to inspire renewed discussion about Smith’s ideas. Smith’s work has had a lasting impact on the way the world considers economics, politics, and society more broadly. The planned programme of events aims to consider how his ideas from 300 years ago can help answer some of the biggest challenges we face today.

Throughout 2023 the University of Glasgow has a raft of programmes and events that will give academics, students, and the public new insights into his life and work. Highlights include:
• Tercentenary Week (5–10 June 2023)—a week-long series of activities, including talks and exhibitions at the University of Glasgow featuring scholars from the London School of Economics, the universities of Princeton and Harvard, and the University of Cambridge.
• An on-campus and virtual exhibition of significant and rare Smith-related artifacts—including letters, first edition books, and material from the University of Glasgow’s archives.
• The Adam Smith Tercentenary Global Lecture Series, featuring internationally renowned speakers from academia, business, and public policy.
• New research into Smith’s life and writings.
• The Royal Economic Society and Scottish Economic Society Joint Conference in April, featuring global academics reflecting upon Smith’s legacy.

Other activities involve a national student competition to re-design the front cover of The Wealth of Nations, online courses for adult learners, and new programmes to introduce high school to Adam Smith and his ideas. Universities from across the world, in North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australia will be joining in the commemorations with their own events to mark the tercentenary.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, said: “Adam Smith is one of our most famous alumni, and he left an indelible impact on the University of Glasgow, on the fields of economics and moral philosophy, and on the wider world. His studies and writings introduced new ideas, insights, and concepts that shaped our understanding of economics today but were revolutionary in their day. To mark the tercentenary of his birth we will see academics, students, and the public discuss his continued relevance at a series of events taking place in Glasgow and across the world. I look forward to taking part in the University’s commemoration of Adam Smith as we evaluate his legacy and consider how his thoughts and ideas from 300 years ago can still help us answer the greatest challenges of today.”

Adam Smith—born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, in June 1723—started his studies at the University of Glasgow aged 14. In 1740, he was awarded the Snell Scholarship, which is still in existence today, and left to study at Oxford. In 1751, Smith returned to Glasgow as a Professor of Logic, later becoming Professor of Moral Philosophy. While at Glasgow, Smith published the first edition of The Theory of Moral Sentiments in 1759, developing upon the principles and concepts explored in his lectures. Smith’s final connection with the University came in 1787 when he assumed the prominent position of Rector. He published arguably his most famous work The Wealth of Nations in 1776 and died in 1790.

Marking the Tercentenary of Wren’s Death in 2023

Posted in anniversaries by Editor on November 5, 2022

From Art Daily:

Sir Godfrey Kneller, Portrait of Sir Christopher Wren, 1711, oil on canvas (London: NPG, 113).

2023 marks three hundred years since the death of Sir Christopher Wren (1632–1723)—mathematician, astronomer, physicist, anatomist, and one of the United Kingdom’s greatest architects.

Wren was given responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul’s Cathedral, where today he is buried under a gravestone with the Latin inscription which in part translates: “If you seek his memorial, look about you.” From centres of learning in Greenwich, Oxford, and Cambridge, churches, and palaces fit for a king, Wren’s influence spans the centuries.

His tercentenary will be marked in the Square Mile Churches by a year-long education and conservation programme for children and adults which has been awarded a £241,000 grant by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Throughout 2023, Wren’s remaining churches in The City will host a variety of school and community initiatives, marking the enduring legacy of one of Britain’s most acclaimed polymaths.

With projects including school pupils building a replica of the dome of St Paul’s, and a ‘Wrenathon’ of choirs across The City of London, the Wren300 Square Mile Churches programme offers a range of opportunities to explore the work of Sir Christopher Wren through conservation, heritage, and musical activities.

The Wren300 projects include:
• The Schools’ Programme: Working with the London Diocesan Board of Schools, Temple Bar Trust and the London Fire Brigade Museum, primary school children will have the opportunity to visit Wren churches throughout 2023. The programme will be open to all state schools, with almost 5,000 pupils expected to take part in these trips, focused on London’s most under-privileged areas.
• Conservation Workshop: A series of workshops, talks and events on new construction techniques and sustainable construction materials, inspired by Wren’s work, run by Cliveden Conservation Workshop.
• The ‘Dastardly’ Triple Dome: Taking place during School Science Week in March 2023 and led by Chris Wise, Senior Director of Expedition Engineering, this project will involve 100 secondary school pupils coming together to build a mini dome using foam blocks and bamboo, representing the triple dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.
• A City Full of People: Led by historians, Dr Rebecca Preston and Dr Susan Skedd, this programme will engage and recruit volunteers from diverse communities in researching and understanding the lives of people engaged with Wren’s churches over the centuries, who might previously have been overlooked.
• The Wrenathon: Working with Music in Offices, work-based, community, and intergenerational choirs, drawn from diverse communities, including The Samaritans Choir and Ukrainian Refugees Choir, will come together in Wren churches. to sing music ranging from baroque and classical to contemporary and jazz.
• Exhibitions of fire artists: From September 2023, a number of churches will be hosting exhibitions of fire artists, depicting the destruction and rebuilding of Wren churches.

Alongside a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Wren300 has also received grants from the Royal Academy of Engineering, The Linbury Trust and the London Fire Brigade Museum.

Commenting on Wren300, the Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally, said: “We are very grateful for the funding the Wren300 project has received from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. This will go a long way to helping those from all backgrounds to experience Wren’s churches in The City, encouraging new audiences to feel inspired by the architecture, heritage, arts and music of his time.”

Stuart McLeod, Director England – London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, added: “We are delighted to support this project, which, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will enable more people to learn about the fantastic legacy of Sir Christopher Wren. His work is so integrated into the community and bringing this to life through a year-long programme will be a fitting legacy. Heritage has a huge role to play in instilling pride in our communities and through Wren300 more people will be able to get involved with, protect, and learn about the exciting heritage right on their doorstep.”

Annie Hampson, Chair of the Wren300-Square Mile Churches, said: “Wren300 is a celebration of an extraordinary and prolific career that occurred at a changing point in British history and transformed our architecture. The Great Fire of London decimated the City and Wren brought his pragmatism and skill to the rebuilding of the City Churches, providing him with the expertise and knowledge to achieve his greatest masterpiece in the rebuilding of St Paul’s. The Wren300 project provides a range of activities that will ensure these Churches are better known and appreciated, that they are an enriching experience to all who come to them, a learning resource for young people living in and around the City of London and a lasting legacy that will ensure their survival for generations to come.”

Wren300 Square Mile Churches, Honorary Patron, Lord Norman Foster of Thames Bank added “Sir Christopher Wren was one of our greatest ever citizens. I admire him not only as a great architect but also as a surveyor and manager who remarkably came up with a plan for rebuilding the City only days after the Great Fire. What is even more extraordinary is that he succeeded in carrying it out, supervising the rebuilding of 51 churches, including St Paul’s Cathedral, where he used a completely new architectural language not previously seen in England. His influence continues to this day.”

Exhibition | Canova: Sketching in Clay

Posted in anniversaries, exhibitions by Editor on October 13, 2022

Antonio Canova, Adam and Eve Mourning the Dead Abel, detail of Eve and Abel, ca. 1818–22, terracotta
(Possagno: Museo Gypsotheca Antonio Canova; photograph by Tony Sigel)

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Antonio Canova, at age 64, died on this day (13 October) 200 years ago; his clay models are the subject of a major exhibition opening in June. From the NGA:

Canova: Sketching in Clay
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 11 June — 9 October 2023
Art Institute of Chicago, 19 November 2023 — 18 March 2024

Curated by C. D. Dickerson and Emerson Bowyer

How does a sculptor turn an initial idea into a finished work of marble? For Antonio Canova (1757–1822), the most famous artist of Europe’s revolutionary period, the answer was with clay. Working with his hands and small tools, Canova produced dazzling sketch models in clay, which helped him plan his designs for his large statues in marble. Imprinted with the fire of his imagination, these sketches were boldly executed in mere minutes. Canova also made more finished models, sensuous in their details, that he showed to patrons or used as guides for carving. Approximately 40 of the some 60 of his surviving models reveal the artist’s extraordinary working process—a process that led to the creation of some of the most iconic works in the history of sculpture.

Canova: Sketching in Clay is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington and The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is curated by C. D. Dickerson, curator and head of sculpture and decorative arts, National Gallery of Art, and Emerson Bowyer, Searle Curator, Painting and Sculpture of Europe, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Statue of Elizabeth Freeman Unveiled in Massachusetts

Posted in anniversaries, on site, the 18th century in the news by Editor on August 24, 2022

On Sunday (21 August) a statue of Elizabeth Freeman (ca.1744–1829) was unveiled in Sheffield, Massachusetts, as reported by the Associated Press:

Brian Hanlon, Elizabeth Freeman, 2022 (Photo from the artist’s Instagram, hanlonstudio1). As noted by @PhyllisASears at Herstorical Monuments, there is also a sculpture of Freeman at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC.

The story of an enslaved woman who went to court to win her freedom [in 1781] more than 80 years before the Emancipation Proclamation had been pushed to the fringes of history.

A group of civic leaders, activists, and historians hope that ended Sunday in the quiet Massachusetts town of Sheffield with the unveiling of a bronze statue of the woman who chose the name Elizabeth Freeman, also when she shed the chains of slavery 241 years ago to the day.

Her story, while remarkable, remains relatively obscure. . . .

The enslaved woman, known as Bett, could not read or write, but she listened. And what she heard did not make sense.

While she toiled in bondage in the household of Col. John Ashley, he and other prominent citizens of Sheffield met to discuss their grievances about British tyranny. In 1773, they wrote in what are known as the Sheffield Resolves that “Mankind in a state of nature are equal, free, and independent of each other.”

Those words were echoed in Article 1 of the Massachusetts Constitution in 1780, which begins “All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights.”

It is believed that Bett, after hearing a public reading of the constitution, walked roughly 5 miles from the Ashley household to the home of attorney Theodore Sedgwick, one of the citizens who drafted the Sheffield Resolves, and asked him to represent her in her legal quest for freedom, said Paul O’Brien, president of the Sheffield Historical Society.

Sedgwick and another attorney, Tapping Reeve, took the case. Women had limited legal rights in Massachusetts courts at the time, so a male slave in the Ashley household named Brom was added to the case. The jury agreed with the attorneys, freeing Bett and Brom on August 21, 1781. . . .

The full article is available here»

Exhibition | Herrnhut Turns 300

Posted in anniversaries, exhibitions by Editor on June 17, 2022

On this day (17 June) in 1722, building began at Herrnhut; information on events marking the 300th anniversary can be found here. From the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden:

Departure–Network–Remembrance: 300 Years of Herrnhut
Aufbruch–Netz–Erinnerung: 300 Jahre Herrnhut

Völkerkundemuseum Herrnhut, 9 April — 27 November 2022

Founded in 1722 as a settlement for Protestant religious refugees from Moravia, Herrnhut quickly developed into an important center for crafts and trade, whose best-known product today is arguably the Herrnhut Star. Through the expansion and missionary activities of the Moravian Church, the town also became the center of a worldwide network of church renewal movements. Global exchange and commitment to the common good still characterize Herrnhut society today. For the anniversary year 2022, we are displaying insights and outlooks into 300 years of history and stories of Herrnhut and its people. This special exhibition was created in cooperation with the Moravian Church of Herrnhut, the Moravian Archives, and with Herrnhut‘s local history museum.

In the museum’s inner courtyard, a work by Dresden artist Su-Ran Sichling invites visitors to participate proactively. The museum foyer exhibits 3D prints of selected objects, inviting visitors to a ‘hands-on’ overview of the topic. The 3D prints were created in cooperation with the open workshop Geistesblitz in Löbau, where students train in the use of modern technologies. In addition, to mark the anniversary, various installations on the history of the Herrnhut mission will complement our permanent exhibition. They already offer insight into the design of a new exhibit, which is scheduled to open in 2023. Among them, visitors will find an intervention on Winti religion in Suriname, created by Rotterdam artist Jaasir Linger.

Exhibition | The Belvedere in Vienna

Posted in anniversaries, exhibitions by Editor on May 13, 2022

Salomon Kleiner, View of the Gardens of The Belvedere, detail, ca. 1731
(Vienna: Bibliothek des Belvedere)

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Opening in December at The Belvedere:

The Belvedere in Vienna: 300 Years a Place of Art
Lower Belvedere, Vienna, 2 December 2022 — 7 January 2024

It took more than a decade to build the summer residence of Vienna’s most famous general, Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1723, construction of the upper palace drew to a close and the Belvedere estate was finally completed. The 300th anniversary of this event presents the perfect occasion for the museum to reflect on its history. Both as a museum and a landmark building, the Belvedere has stood for power and prestige throughout the ages, serving as the setting for courtly festivities, at times as a royal residence, and as the venue for the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 1955. In an extensive exhibition, the museum will examine the building’s changing roles.

The show will mark the Belvedere’s 300th-anniversary year of 2023. Presented as a homage to an institution dedicated to the arts throughout the centuries, the exhibition casts a critical eye on historical developments and institutional changes. It illustrates the abundance and diversity of the museum, highlighting the collection’s evolution and the role of the holdings as symbols of power.

In 1777 when Marie Theresa opened the Imperial Picture Gallery in the Upper Belvedere to the public, she made a groundbreaking decision heralding a new age of enlightened absolutism: the collections would no longer be limited to courtly representation but would also serve to educate the general public. The Belvedere thrived during the succeeding centuries as both a place for the arts and a scene for glamorous events such as Marie Antoinette’s wedding. It was also the residence of the heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand, and the site where the Austrian State Treaty was signed. All of which is mirrored in its building and collection history.

The importance of the Belvedere as an art nexus over the centuries is examined in detail based on the rich holdings of the collection: they reflect the institution’s changing thematic concerns. The circulation and transfer of objects—additions and disposals of works from the collection due to museum reforms and barter transactions—provide further clues. This is particularly evident during the period from 1938 to 1945, when the museum was an agent and beneficiary of the Nazi state’s looting and cultural exploitation policy. Numerous works acquired after 1933 have been returned to the rightful heirs of the former owners since the enactment of the Austrian Art Restitution Law in 1998—the most notable example being Klimt’s Woman in Gold in 2006.

The Belvedere gallery and its collections reopened after World War II, once the damaged buildings and gardens were restored to their former glory. In 1955, the Austrian State Treaty was signed in the Upper Belvedere and presented to the public from the palace’s balcony.

The exhibition covers the period from the completion of the upper palace in 1723 to the present day, and illustrates the Belvedere’s role as a museum that honors the past, reflects on the present, and looks toward the future.

New Book | In the Shadow of the Empress

Posted in anniversaries, books by Editor on May 13, 2022

Maria Theresa was born on this day (13 May) in 1717; from Little, Brown and Company:

Nancy Goldstone, In the Shadow of the Empress: The Defiant Lives of Maria Theresa, Mother of Marie Antoinette, and Her Daughters (Little, Brown and Company, 2021), 640 pages, ISBN: ‎978-0316449335, $32.

The vibrant, sprawling saga of Empress Maria Theresa—one of the most renowned women rulers in history—and three of her extraordinary daughters, including Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen of France.

Out of the thrilling and tempestuous eighteenth century comes the sweeping family saga of beautiful Maria Theresa, a sovereign of uncommon strength and vision, the only woman ever to inherit and rule the vast Habsburg Empire in her own name, and three of her remarkable daughters: lovely, talented Maria Christina, governor-general of the Austrian Netherlands; spirited Maria Carolina, the resolute queen of Naples; and the youngest, Marie Antoinette, the glamorous, tragic queen of France, and perhaps the most famous princess in history.

Unfolding against an irresistible backdrop of brilliant courts from Vienna to Versailles, embracing the exotic lure of Naples and Sicily, this epic history of Maria Theresa and her daughters is a tour de force of desire, adventure, ambition, treachery, sorrow, and glory.

Each of these women’s lives was packed with passion and heart-stopping suspense. Maria Theresa inherited her father’s thrones at the age of twenty-three and was immediately attacked on all sides by foreign powers confident that a woman would to be too weak to defend herself. Maria Christina, a gifted artist who alone among her sisters succeeded in marrying for love, would face the same dangers that destroyed the monarchy in France. Resourceful Maria Carolina would usher in the golden age of Naples only to face the deadly whirlwind of Napoleon. And, finally, Marie Antoinette, the doomed queen whose stylish excesses and captivating notoriety have masked the truth about her husband and herself for two hundred and fifty years.

Vividly written and deeply researched, In the Shadow of the Empress is the riveting story of four exceptional women who changed the course of history.

Nancy Goldstone is the author of six previous books including Daughters of the Winter Queen: Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots; The Rival Queens: Catherine de’ Medici, Her Daughter Marguerite de Valois, and the Betrayal that Ignited a Kingdom; The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc; Four Queens: The Provençal Sisters Who Ruled Europe; and The Lady Queen: The Notorious Reign of Joanna I, Queen of Naples, Jerusalem, and Sicily. She has also coauthored six books with her husband, Lawrence Goldstone. She lives in Del Mar, California.

230th Anniversary of Robert Carter’s ‘Deed of Gift’

Posted in anniversaries, the 18th century in the news by Editor on September 6, 2021

Staggered over time, the manumission took decades to complete. A certificate of freedom for one of the freedmen reads, “Dennis Johnston, a Male Negro aged about twenty seven years of dark Complexion five feet ten or eleven inches, stout and well made liberated By Benjamen (sic) Dawson, trustee for Robert Carter by Deed dated the 3rd day of November 1799, and duly recorded in the County Court of Frederick. Registered this 2nd day of February 1809.” (Winchester, Virginia: Stewart Bell Jr. Archives, Handley Regional Library).

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As reported by Eliott McLaughlin for CNN, yesterday was the 230th anniversary of the start of the largest liberation of enslaved people in the United States prior to 1863.

Eliott C. McLaughlin, “Like Washington and Jefferson, He Championed Liberty. Unlike the Founders, He Freed His Slaves,” CNN (5 September 2021).

It was 230 years ago Sunday that Robert Carter III [1728–1804], the patriarch of one of the wealthiest families in Virginia, quietly walked into a Northumberland County courthouse and delivered an airtight legal document announcing his intention to free, or manumit, more than 500 slaves. He titled it the “deed of gift.” It was, by far, experts say, the largest liberation of Black people before the Emancipation Proclamation more than seven decades later.

On September 5, 1791, when Carter delivered his deed, slavery was an institution, a key engine of the new country’s economy. But many slaveholders—including founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who knew Carter—had begun to voice doubts. That was the extent of their umbrage. . . .

Today, descendants of both Carter and the men and women he freed say more must be done to propel the largely uncelebrated deed of gift into the national conscience.

Meriwether Gilmore, who grew up in Westmoreland County, where Carter’s Nomini Hall estate once spanned 2,000 acres, is related to Carter on her mother’s side. Her sister is named after his mother and oldest daughter, Priscilla. Her father worked with Black churches in the area to commemorate the deed of gift’s bicentennial in 1991.

“I think the story of Robert Carter III is incredibly important,” she said, “and not just to glorify another rich, White man, but to show how personal convictions can be stronger than the status quo, that doing the right thing is often hard but important and that people matter—that people are more important than the work that they perform.” . . .

A religious wanderer drawn later in life to integrated churches, Carter III was not the first to free his slaves. Others, middle-class Quakers and Baptists among them, had released a few slaves here, a few there, but none rivaled Carter’s deed, which established a schedule to free 511 slaves, starting with the oldest and later their children.

Carter also allowed the freedmen to choose their last names so they could keep families together and pass down wealth. He ensured they had salable skills, arranged for them to buy or lease land, and bought their wares. He also spent a great deal on transporting them from his plantations to the Northumberland courthouse, and on lawyers to guarantee his heirs—some none too happy he was paring their inheritance—didn’t undo his wishes. . . .

The full article is available here»

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As noted in the article, the Nomini Hall Slave Legacy Project works to chronicle the descendants of the enslaved Africans who were freed by Robert Carter III from his Nomini Hall estate.

For Carter’s biography, see Andrew Levy, The First Emancipator: The Forgotten Story of Robert Carter, the Founding Father Who Freed His Slaves (New York: Random House, 2005).

New Book | The Natural, Moral, and Political History of Jamaica

Posted in anniversaries, books by Editor on August 1, 2021

Today is Emancipation Day, a holiday celebrated in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. On 1 August 1834, slavery was legally abolished in British colonies, resulting in freedom for some 311,00 enslaved people in Jamaica. From the University of Virginia Press:

James Knight, The Natural, Moral, and Political History of Jamaica, and the Territories thereon Depending: From the First Discovery of the Island by Christopher Columbus to the Year 1746, edited by Jack Greene (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021), 832 pages, ISBN 978-0813945576 (ebook), $49 / ISBN: 978-0813945569 (cloth), $65.

Between 1737 and 1746, James Knight—a merchant, planter, and sometime Crown official and legislator in Jamaica—wrote a massive two-volume history of the island. The first volume provided a narrative of the colony’s development up to the mid-1740s, while the second offered a broad survey of most aspects of Jamaican life as it had developed by the third and fourth decades of the eighteenth century. Completed not long before his death in the winter of 1746–47 and held in the British Library, this work is now published for the first time. Well researched and intelligently critical, Knight’s work is not only the most comprehensive account of Jamaica’s ninety years as an English colony ever written; it is also one of the best representations of the provincial mentality as it had emerged in colonial British America between the founding of Virginia and 1750. Expertly edited and introduced by Jack Greene, this volume represents a colonial Caribbean history unique in its contemporary perspective, detail, and scope.

Jack P. Greene is Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Johns Hopkins University and author of Settler Jamaica in the 1750s: A Social Portrait (Virginia).

 

Enfilade Turns Twelve! Buy an Art Book!

Posted in anniversaries, site information by Editor on June 22, 2021

From the Editor

As Enfilade turns twelve (22 June), I write with wholehearted thanks! With over 1.1 million views to date—more than 3400 subscribers and 10,000 clicks each month—the site still exists because you’re still reading. And so to celebrate . . .

1) Buy an art book this week. In the world of academic art history publishing, several hundred books sold over a few days is stellar. It’s an important way to communicate that the eighteenth century is a thriving field with a vital, engaged audience. The more people who buy books addressing the eighteenth century, the easier it will be to publish your next book on the eighteenth century.

2) Renew your HECAA membership. In the normal world $30 doesn’t really count as philanthropy. For a small academic society it does. Because HECAA is registered as a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible in the United States. So send in a contribution of $100 or $5. But donate something. Student memberships are just $10. More information is here.

3) Finally, send in news you’d like to see reported!  I’m glad to post announcements about conferences, forthcoming books, journal articles, exhibitions, fellowship opportunities, &c. Just about anything except job listings. The postings readers most enjoy are inevitably original content, reports of interesting collections, house museums, resources, and the like. CraigAshleyHanson@gmail.com.

-Craig Hanson

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