The Grand Paradise Lost Costume Ball September 2008

ALL CONTENT OF THIS SITE COPYRIGHT YUKO NII FOUNDATION 2010



ORIGINAL FESTIVAL POSTER 11 X 16 inches signed by Lindall $75 (see ordering instructions at bottom of page)

CLICK HERE FOR: An article in the New York Times

FROM WIKIPEDIA:
Lindall created the world’s First GRAND PARADISE LOST COSTUME BALL[20][21], which opened the largest festival in the world honoring John Milton’s 400th birthday. The festival took place between September 27- November 2, 2008 at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center). The festival exhibited over 70 contemporary artists from around the world, and included writers, poets, composers & performers. The exhibit included Terrance Lindall’s original illustrations for Paradise Lost. An article by Charles McGrath in the New York Times[22] the day before the ball and ensuing festival, along with the opening ceremony with the "firing up" of Milton's head and the reading of the "testament of the poet" by Arthur Kirmss [23][24], temporarily scandalized the exhibit among Milton scholars worldwide who thought Kirmss’ ceramic bust of Milton looked like Milton's nemesis King Charles I. The Fordham University Observer said in a major article." it’s a celebration of “Paradise Lost” in a most unabashed form.[25]The Independent, a major award winning paper out of the United Kingdom said,"I suspect Milton might have trusted his vision to a heavy-metal illustrator more readily than to any licensed preacher, then or now.[26]"

New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent a proclamation, recognizing the hard work and labor of love in creating this Milton Festival, which Random House's web-site confirmed as the "largest birthday tribute to Milton in the world." Yuko Nii Founder & Artistic director of the WAH Center also personally received a letter from the new Equerry of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Major Will Mackinlay SCOTS DG. He said that their Royal highnesses were “grateful” for Yuko’s “thinking of them” in inviting them to the ball and passed on their well wishes for the success of the event.

Terrance Lindall, Rich Buckler & Yuko Nii opening the Grand Paradise Lost Costume Ball

The show had many letters of appreciation, including one from Wendy Woon, the Edward John Noble Foundation Deputy Director for Education of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. She said: “The exhibit and programs promise to be a diverse collection of multiple perspectives and strategies that should engage the audience you hope to reach."

However, The New Statesman [27]called it “The Devils Party.’ And the controversy over the show prompted discussion blogs such as that of Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges entitled “The Milton Bash(ing) Continues.” [28]

Festival events included, "Know Your Paradise" A Musical Mystery Play by play writer and composer Peter Dizozza, a dance performance by HUMAN KINETICS MOVEMENT ARTS with Yana Schnitzler and Group, “COURANTE,” Directed by Arthur Kirmss with musicians in 17th century costume, on harp, guitar, lute and recorders, performing European vocal and instrumental music through early Baroque, celebrating Milton's life, and, at the opening ball, jazz with the JC Hopkins 12 piece swing band.

Yana Schnitzler performing at the Grand Paradise Lost Costume Ball

Featured visual artists for the festival included: Kris Kuksi[29], one of the most highly regarded artists in the contemporary surreal/visionary movement, whose work is in the collection of Chris Weitz, Director of the new movie, The Golden Compass, based upon Philip Pullman’s book and grounded in John Milton’s Paradise Lost. Also included wereRich Buckler, an American comic book artist best known for his work on Marvel Comics' The Fantastic Four in the mid-1970’s, who produced a portrait of John Milton for the 21st century; Bienvenido Bones Banez[30], a Filipino surrealist whose work is based on his "666 World View;” and Olek, with her conceptual, cutting edge fashion[31].

The contemporary art and performances during the festival were couched amid historical artifacts related to John Milton and his period. Historical exhibits included Charles Lamb's copy of first illustrated 1691 edition of Paradise Lost, Lady Pomfret’s copy of the first illustrated edition (c. 1688) of Paradise Lost. Madam Pomfret was a noble 18th century British woman of great learning, and the Lady of the Bedchamber of Queen Caroline.

Other historical artifacts included a 17th century handwritten Moroccan Torah fragment, the complete Book of Genesis (the 1st book out of the 5 books of Moses).

To honor the British peoples, Royal artifacts from the reigns of Queen Victoria and King Edward VIII (Duke of Windsor) were also displayed.


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Yuko Nii Foundation
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milton@wahcenter.net