Danbury, CT

Danbury, CT

The Photograph

A Wintry View in Connecticut


My photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

To view my page on the Edwin Mellen Press website, please click below:

Thank you for visiting. I hope you will find the information insightful. ~ Jeanne Iris


04 January, 2017

"Letter from a Birmingham Jail" and Iconic Realism

The significant "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is another illustration of iconic realism. From behind bars, King wrote this eloquent epistle, begun in the margins of discarded newspapers, then from a borrowed legal notepad. In this piece, he elaborately describes his educated and passionate belief in freedom of speech. Written in April, 1963, he had no access to a computer, nor spellcheck, yet his hand-written expression is clear, coherent, concise, and cohesive, utilizing classical rhetoric to elucidate for his audience the possibilities that could evolve from cultural reform.
To view an excellent rhetorical analysis of this letter, click onto the link below:
Dr. Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

11 December, 2016

Frank Capra's 'It's a Wonderful Life' and Iconic Realism (Click this title to view bar scene from the film.)

Photo from Google Images: bar scene from film, It's a Wonderful Life

The 1946 film, It's a Wonderful Life, produced and directed by Frank Capra, illustrates iconic realism through the character of Clarence the angel. Here, an icon of virtue takes the good-hearted man, George Bailey, by the hand to show him the positive impact he has made on the consciousness of his hometown. 
This juxtaposition of the wealth in righteousness versus the poverty of the inane demonstrates how one individual's benevolent acts can positively affect the lives and ultimately the culture of a community. 

03 December, 2016

Sándor Liezen-Mayer's Painting, "St. Elisabeth of Hungary" and Iconic Realism

Sándor Liezen-Mayer
Saint Elisabeth of Hungary
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest

During the Christmas season, we see a lot of paintings depicting the birth of Jesus. As a woman of Hungarian ancestry (Lakatos is Hungarian for 'locksmith'), I was intrigued by this beautiful painting of St. Elisabeth of Hungary by Sandor Liezen-Mayer. Here, we see a Madonna-like figure and her infant child in a lowly state with Elisabeth extending her royal cloak to them.

An example of iconic realism, this painting illustrates the humility of the origins of Christian precepts and the balance of power when this humility extends from all levels of society. Liezen-Mayer does this through the variation of color, shading as well as interaction between the architecture and human figures. Tragically widowed at the age of 20, Szent Erzsébet devoted her short life to charitable works in Germany and Europe. She died in 1231, at the age of 24.

27 November, 2016

Symphony at The Cloisters, New York City and Iconic Realism

www.pbase.com/ terraxplorer/image/68935986
The following excerpt is in the Introduction of my book. I'd like to thank Professor Lionel Bascom for telling me of this experience as his illustration of iconic realism.

A group of New Yorkers assembles in the Cloisters museum, which sits atop a hill overlooking the Hudson River, just outside of Manhattan. These individuals have come to listen to a concert, which will be presented just before sunset. Anticipating a traditional concert with musicians performing in front of a listening audience, they search for seating. They notice that chairs have been strategically placed throughout the museum, a few here, a few there, up the winding staircases, in the garden, along the walls of stone. Confused, the concert attendees seat themselves, waiting.

Soon, echoing through the interweaving chambers of the museum, low brass instruments create a resonating medieval drone, monotone voices chanting in Latin with sustained pitches, fill the damp air with a sound that transports the audience from the busy New York City museum to a medieval stone castle. The glow from the setting sun mixed with low lighting envelops the medieval tapestries, statuary and paintings while muted melodies fill the audience with an aural feast. Iconic melodies that signify this medieval period permeate the halls.

The medieval tones mingle with the realism in the works of art, architecture and presence of the audience, sensually transported to this era. When the concert ends, the members of this audience become aware of the cultural distinctions between the two worlds of medieval Europe and twentieth century New York City, now transformed in their perceptions of continuity of human interaction in time and space, having experienced iconic realism.

17 November, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo from Google Images

As we near this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the wonderful people who have visited this site. I wish for you great health and happiness. I am thankful for the life that I have right now: my family, friends, colleagues, and students, who have influenced me in ways that they probably do not even know. Filled with love and appreciation, I sincerely hope that God will reign Blessings on each person whose life has touched me in a positive manner. 

With much gratitude, I wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving! 
~ Dr. Jeanne Iris