Day in History 6 February – Rubén Darío – Gustav Klimt – Vince Guaraldi – Arthur Ashe

Rubén_DaríoOn this day in 1916, “The Prince of Castillian Letters”, poet Rubén Darío died aged 49, in León, Nicaragua.  Born Félix Rubén García Sarmiento on 18 January 1867 in Metapa, today known as Ciudad Darío, Matagalpa, Nicaragua.  Darío initiated the Spanish-American literary movement known as modernismo (modernism) that flourished at the end of the 19th century.  Darío has had a great and lasting influence on 20th-century Spanish literature and journalism.  He has been praised as the undisputed father of the modernismo literary movement.  The Final Footprint –  Dario’s funeral lasted several days, and he was entombed in Catedral de la Asuncíon de María de León on 13 February 1916, at the base of the statue of Saint Paul near the chancel under a lion made of marble by the sculptor Jorge Navas Cordonero.

gustavklimtOn this day in 1918, painter Gustav Klimt died in Vienna at the age of 55, having suffered a stroke and pneumonia due to the influenza epidemic of that year.  Born 14 July 1862 in Baumgarten, near Vienna in Austria-Hungary.  Klimt was a symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement.  His primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism.  In addition, he painted landscapes.  Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner.  His work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic.  He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his “golden phase,” many of which include gold leaf.  The Final Footprint – Klimt was interred at the Hietzinger Cemetery in Hietzing, Vienna.


A section of the Beethoven Frieze, at Secession Building, Vienna (1902) 

Judith II (1909) 

Golden phase and critical success

The Kiss 1907–08, oil on canvas, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna 

 Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907), which sold for a record $135 million in 2006, Neue Galerie, New York 

 The Sunflower, c. 1906 

 Decorative patterns were often used by Gustav Klimt in his paintings. Die Umarmung (“The Embrace”) – detail from the Palais Stoclet in Brussels. 


 Rosebushes under the Trees

Oberösterreichisches Bauernhaus

Klimt – Sonja Knips 

Gustav Klimt – Beech Grove I 

Vinceguaraldi_blackwhite-150x146On this day in 1976, United States Army Veteran, Grammy award winning jazz musician and songwriter, Vince Guaraldi died of a heart attack at the age of 47 at the Red Cottage Inn in Menlo Park, California.  Born Vincent Anthony Dellaglio on 17 July 1928 in San Francisco’s North Beach area.  Noted for his innovative compositions and arrangements and for composing music for animated adaptations of the Peanuts comic strip.  Guaraldi went on to compose scores for seventeen Peanuts television specials, including the Christmas special, plus the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown.  The Final Footprint – Guaraldi is interred in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Colma, California.  Another notable final footprint at Holy Cross; Joe DiMaggio.

On this day in 1993, U. S. Army veteran, tennis legend and social activist, Arthur Ashe, died in New York City at the age of 49 from AIDS-related pneumonia.  He contracted the HIV virus from blood transfusions during heart bypass surgery.  Born Arthur Robert Ashe. Jr. on 10 July 1943 in Richmond, Virginia.  Ashe attended UCLA and was the first African-American man to win Wimbledon and the U. S. Open.  I enjoyed playing tennis once ago and Ashe has always been one of my favorite players.  I was pulling for him to win that match at Wimbledon.  I used Head tennis rackets because Ashe did.  Ashe was married to Jeanne Moutoussamy.  The Final Footprint – Ashe is interred in the Ashe Private Estate in Woodland Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.  His grave is marked by a large black granite marker.  The marker features the inscription; Distinguished Athlete, Scholar and Humanitarian, and A HARD ROAD TO GLORY.  After his death, Arthur Ashe’s body lay in state at the governor’s mansion in Virginia.  The last time this was allowed was for Stonewall Jackson of the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  The city of Richmond posthumously honored Ashe’s life with a statue on Monument Avenue, a place traditionally reserved for statues of key figures of the Confederacy.  In 1993, Ashe was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton.  The main stadium at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Park, where the US Open is played, is named Arthur Ashe Stadium in his honor. This is also the home of the annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day.  His memoir is entitled Days of Grace. 

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