UC Davis Magazine

Letters to the Editor

The exciting '60s

After reading the [spring] issue, I felt like writing to congratulate you on the quality of this magazine. It has come a long way in the last few years. I never used to read very much of it, but now I enjoy almost all of it.

I especially savored the articles about Robert Arneson and his cohorts in the art department. I majored in art in the late '60s, and it was a very exciting time. The formerly sleepy agricultural campus woke up as politics and Vietnam intruded into every aspect of American life. Berkeley was being teargassed, San Francisco State was on strike, and Bobby Kennedy was murdered the day after he spoke in Freeborn Hall. And then there was the art department, bursting with creative energy and intellectual challenges. It was the "Do Your Own Thing" era, so I didn't learn much technique (except from Mr. Thiebaud, who ruled over the anatomy drawing class) but just to be around Wiley, Petersen, DeForest, Arneson (and don't forget the printer Shapiro) was inspiring. None of them had a big head or a Great Artist syndrome. They were approachable and helpful.

Thanks for bringing them back to mind.

Christine Olson
Seiad Valley

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