Hamlett Dobbins' chronology

 
1528 Jacopo Pontormo completes The Deposition from the Cross for Santa Felicita in Florence, Italy.
1642 Construction begins on Francesco Borromini's Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza.
1649 Francesco Borromini's Chiesa di San Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane is dedicated.
1854 Bill Traylor is born in Benton, Alabama.
1862Gustav Klimt is born near Vienna.
1867Pierre Bonnard is born in Fontenay-aux-Roses, France.
1868Edouard Vuillard is born in Cuiseaux, France.
1890Egon Leo Adolf Scheile is born in Austria.
1912 Agnes Bernice Martin is born in Maklin, Saskatchewan, Canada.
1913Philip Goldstein is born in Montreal, Canada.
1918 Gustav Klimt suffers a stroke and dies one month later.

Egon Schiele dies during Spanish Fever epidemic.
1923Maternal Grandfather, Jack Leo Gaither, is born.
1924Maternal Grandmother, Miriam Saphronia Keltner, is born.
1929 Joan Mitchell is born in Chicago, Illinois.
1930Robert Tracy Ryman is born in Nashville, Tennessee.
1939 Germany invades Poland.

Construction finished on the Kimbrough Towers in Memphis, Tennessee.
1940David Dunlap is born.
Charles Thomas Close is born in Monroe, Washington.
Edouard Vuillard dies at the Castel Marie-Louise of pulmonary edema.
1941Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, America enters World War II.
Martin Puryear is born in Washington D.C.
Richard Tuttle is born in Rahway, New Jersey.
1944 In December Jack Gaither is captured in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. He spends several months in German POW camp. Suffers severe frostbite on toes and fingers and is malnourished.
1945 Jack Leo Gaither is liberated from the POW camp by a troop that has a Memphis boy named Dan West in it. Dan West would go on to open a nursery in Memphis where Hamlett would later work. Jack Gaither never speaks of the war again, other than to say that it was bad.

Father, Hamlett "Hamp" Dobbins Jr., is born. Third of five children born to Hamp and Rubye Dobbins of Arlington, Tennessee.
1946 Mother, Gail Lee Gaither, is born. First of three children born to Jack and Phronie Gaither.
1947Pierre Bonnard dies in le Cannet.
1950s Father wakes daily before dawn to hide in the cotton fields to play with his dog, K.C., in an effort to avoid chores and parents.

H.A. Rey begins publishing Curious George stories.
1954 Philip Guston paints Beggar's Joys.
1955Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is published.
Robert Ryman paints Untitled (Orange Painting) and later gives it to his brother, John E. Ryman.
1959Rineke Dijkstra is born in Sittard, the Netherlands.
1960s Father avoids Vietnam draft because of bad eyes and curvature of the spine.
1960Jean-Michel Basquiat is born in Brooklyn Hospital.
1965Ellen Gallagher is born in Providence, Rhode Island.
1967Parents, Hamp Dobbins and Gail Gaither, marry.
1968 Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
1970 Father's best friend, Bill Wilson, begins calling the unborn me "Wolfgang."

Nathaniel John Parsons is born in Winfield, Illinois.

Hamlett Robertson Dobbins III is born in University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville, where parents, Hamp and Gail Dobbins, were attending college. Potter Wayne Stagg is godfather.
1973 Family moved to Memphis so Hamlett's father could work on Dobbins family farm.
1975 Only sibling, Heather Gail Dobbins, born. Endures years of torment at the hands of her older brother, for which he is always sorry.
1977 Hamlett sees Star Wars at the Paramount Theater in the Eastgate Shopping Center. On the way home mother gives Hamlett C-3PO, R2-D2 and Darth Vader action figures. Upon arriving home works with Legos to recreate scenes from the movie. This is to become his way of connecting with the world through making things, a practice that is to continue through adulthood.
  While watching Saturday morning wrestling and playing with Legos, the news is heard that Elvis Presley has died.
 Hamlett drinks lots of Tang.
1980Philip Guston dies.
1984-1987 Hamlett attends Westside High School. Plays chess with science instructor Richard Duke during lunch every day to avoid awkward social situations and racial tensions in the lunchroom. Gets pretty good at playing chess.

Spends considerable time collecting comic books and playing role playing games and chess with Jimmy Roth, David Brigance, and Kevin Dean.

While playing Dungeons and Dragons at Kevin Dean's home, mother calls and tells us to turn on the television. Space Shuttle Challenger explodes.

Father begins working as the director of the Shelby County Environmental Improvement Commission.

Mother begins working for Memphis State University as an administrative assistant.
1986Works in maternal grandparents' ice cream shop.
 Watches The Godfather.
1987 Transfers to Craigmont High School.

U2 releases The Joshua Tree.

Big Thursday occurs. This is a night when Hamlett hangs with AP Biology classmate, Wally Peterson, and his friends: Jason Smith, Clay Combs, Chris Wood, and Tom Carty. This event is to form the key friendships to continue throughout adulthood.

Watches Jimmy Stewart's Harvey.

Andy Warhol dies.
1988Wrecks parents' Toyota Tercel in a silly accident.
  Graduates from Craigmont High School. Begins attending Memphis State University.
1989 Takes Beginning Drawing with Steve Langdon. Langdon explains that one should slow down and look more. Enrolls in Beginning Painting with Dick Knowles and Sculpture I with Greely Myatt.
  Friends Clay Combs and Jeanne Chadwick begin attending Rhodes College. Hamlett begins to spend a great deal of time there making friends with Sean Lee, Chris McCoy, Jeanne Davis, Vickie Edrington, Anne Borden, Wendy Walters, Belinda Woodiel, Courtney Schwarten, Jessica Heckle, Julie Meiman, Jeff Gadomski and others.
 Hamlett kisses a sweet girl from Marietta, GA.
  Lives in Robison Hall dorm with high school friend Jason Smith.
1990Takes advanced painting with Larry Edwards.
 Dates a sweet girl from Florida.
 Begins dating a couple of not-so-nice girls from Memphis.
  Works as a volunteer for the Robert McGowan at the Memphis Center for Contemporary Art downtown.
1991 After failing Intro to Chemistry twice, enrolls in College of Communications and Fine Arts as a Studio Arts major.
  Begins renting a room from Carol Short, eventually rents house.
1991 A full day of class and work is skipped while listening to U2's Achtung Baby with Chris Wood.
 Begins relationship with Jessica Willingham Heckle.
 Hears Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
  Travels to Nashville to see Smashing Pumpkins on their Gish tour.
1993 Receives B.F.A. from University of Memphis. Works for FedEx as cargo handler, mistreats hundreds of thousands of packages a night for over four months.

Sister, Heather, begins attending University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
1994 Flies to Houston and New York for free as a perk for working at FedEx. Goes to the Rothko Chapel in Houston. Attends Greely Myatt and Terri Jones' show at PS 122 in NYC. At pizza and drinks afterwards, Greely tells Hamlett "art is a verb."

Works at FedEx through the "Icestorm of '94." The sky got bigger today.

Begins working for Ferd Heckle at Dan West Garden Center where Hamlett works with Joey Shands, Jay Waycaster, Corky White, David Zachry, Kenneth Mabry, Starr Graff, John Wise and Collier Dobbs.

Gets studio at Marshall Arts.

Parents divorce.

Relationship with Jessica Heckle ends.

Relationship with Julie Meiman begins as she leaves for year in Japan teaching for the JET program.
1995 Travels to Japan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Finland and England with Julie Meiman.

Julie Meiman moves to Memphis.

Father is diagnosed with terminal cancer and marries Vickie Agee.
1996 Jeff Buckley comes to Memphis to record an album and plays regularly on Monday nights at downtown bar, Barristers. We see him play often. After one show, as we walk to the car, Anne Borden says:
I didn't want it to ever end.

Begins graduate studies at the University of Iowa. Works with instructors David Dunlap, Joe Patrick, David Storey, John Dilg, Gelsy Verna, and Susan Maakestad and classmates Nathaniel Parsons, Joey Fauerso, Jamison Brosseau, Karen Doten, Chris Thomas, Helen Neumann, Jim Madden, Cedar Lorca Nordbye, Michael Pittard and April Swartzentruber. Lives in the Big Yellow House with Jane Simonsen, Mike Augspurger and Kevin Quirk.
1997 Jeff Buckley drowns in an inlet of the Mississippi River.

Father, Hamlett 'Hamp' Dobbins Jr., dies of bone cancer.

Travels to the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium. In Amsterdam, Guston's Eating, Drinking, Painting, and Smoking, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House. In Vienna, a great deal of time is spent in the Austrian Museum visiting with Klimt's late landscapes. While in Vienna, goes to see Lolita starring Jeremy Irons, is devastated for days. New Year's Eve in Ghent holds many revelations.

At the University of Iowa, works with instructors Gary Komarin, Jan Reaves, Alex Weisenfeld and new classmates Rebecca Roberts, Jessica Fuller and David Tallitsch.
1998 Along with Julie Meiman, drives over 9000 miles through southwest and northwest of United States for two months. Reconnects with Gene Romero (New Mexico), Jeff Gadomski (San Francisco) , Jan Reaves (Oregon), Jim Madden (Montana). Nearly dies climbing out of the Grand Canyon's Bright Angel trail. Sees the Ho Rainforest in Washington state. Visits Crater Lake National Park.

Receives M.A. from the University of Iowa.

Julie Meiman begins Montessori training in Baltimore.

Reads Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita:
There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully re-create an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: 'honey-colored skin,' 'thin arms,' 'brown bobbed hair,' 'long lashes,' 'big bright mouth'); and the other when you instantly evoke with shut eyes, on the dark innerside of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).
-VN
1999 As I lay down for an afternoon nap, word comes on the radio that gunmen have opened fire at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. The next day, I take my drawing class down to the Iowa River and we sit and draw and talk about it. This is to become the model for teaching. I am you, you are me, we are here together, here / now.
1999 Receives M.F.A. from the University of Iowa, moves back to Memphis. Rents apartment in the Kimbrough Towers with Julie Meiman. They dub it "Treetop World."
Begins working as adjunct faculty at University of Memphis.
Works organizing as curator for Delta Axis @ Marshall Arts.
Begins listening to Howard Stern Show in the mornings.
Develops what his doctors call an "unhealthy obsession" with ER.
Outlives Egon Schiele and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
2000 Works at adjunct faculty for University of Mississippi.

Marries Julia Carol Meiman in Oak Alley at Rhodes College and honeymoons in Italy.

Serves as officiant for marriage of Chris Wood and Christa George.

Receives grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation to make possible a three-month residency at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as a four week fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, in Johnson. At the Bemis works with Kyle Geers, Matt Flegle, Kellie "Cashmoney" Murphy, Dan Webb, Rick Buckley and Andy Wilhelm.

At VSC meets Thomas Nozkowski and works with Emmett Dougan, Vera Iliatova, Jonathan Shapiro, and Sarah Gamble.
During a day trip to Montreal in Emmett's 1967 Porsche, listening to Belle and Sebastian's Tigermilk, Vera Iliatova says: "Right now I am experiencing one of those moments that makes life worth living."
Has series of out of body experiences at Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover, Vermont, which become the source/inspiration for the reoccurring expressions "Thank you for being the moon," "They had flowers in their mouths," and "Is it possible that she was not real?"
December 22, Hamlett pours a large glass of wine that he never drinks.
2001 Begins working as Director at the Clough-Hanson Gallery at Rhodes College.

Teaches advanced painting at Memphis College of Art.

September 11th. (Travis Freeman is not smart enough to save you.)

Has one person show at Second Floor Contemporary.
2002 Teaches Collaborative Projects at Rhodes College.

Mariane Pearl gives birth to Adam D. Pearl in a hospital in Paris.
2003 Hark! The arrival of the new girl-child: Daughter Milla Rosemary Meiman born on January 15th at 11:30 in the morning.

Good morning Milla! She is here with us now. She is infinite, she is how the world works.

Begins collaborative painting exchange via sketchbooks with Jamison Brosseau.
March 12th, Julie Meiman turns thirty-one and Elizabeth Smart is found alive Salt Lake City, Utah.

Receives Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant.

Jack Leo Gaither dies of congestive heart failure in Methodist North Hospital. Don't worry, we are here with you now, we are all around you. Everything is okay now.

A great windstorm strikes the city of Memphis. The sky got bigger today.
2004 Buys two-story building at 2553 Broad Avenue in Binghampton neighborhood. Dubs it "the Rose Tower" because of the second floor patio that overlooks climbing roses.

Terron Shoemaker marries Kevin Perk.

Agnes Martin dies.

Melissa Dunn's 38 N McLean Paintings is the first show at Material.
2005 Outlives Eva Hesse.

March 18, 6:37 pm Hamlett Robertson Dobbins IV is born in Memphis, Tennessee. Hark! The arrival of the new boy-child. He is here with us now. We are all here together. Hello little IVes.
  We learn that Claire Simone Fisher will die in 2085 in Manhattan.
2006 Howard Stern Show begins broadcasting on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Begins reading comic books again.

Sister, Heather, marries Clay Combs in ceremony on the rooftop of Peabody Hotel.

Travels with David Dunlap to see the Richard Tuttle show at the Des Moines Art Center.
2007 Every One, Every Day show at David Lusk Gallery.  
2008 Gelsy Verna dies in Madison, Wisconsin.

Goes on three week, 3000 mile trip along the east coast with the family. Reconnects with Iowa friends April, Jeff and Rose Baker, Christopher Thomas, Barbara Campbell and Alex, and Rebecca Roberts and Duke.

Begins collaborative painting exchange via sketchbooks with Joshua Huyser.

Begins collaborative painting exchange via sketchbooks with Tad Lauritzen Wright.

Begins collaborative painting exchange via sketchbooks with Melissa Dunn.
  Barack Hussein Obama is elected President of the United States.
2009 Begins collaborative painting exchange via sketchbooks with Pat Garrett.

Teaches Collaborative Drawing And Painting at Rhodes College.

Sees Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  Begins practicing Transcendental Meditation.
  Goes on a two week, 2200 mile road trip through the Midwest with the family. Visits with Tom Reed & Amy Enkelmann-Reed, David Dunlap, Joe & Genie Patrick, John Dilg, Bruce Tapola & Melba Price, Michael & Keren Kroul, Simon Levin & Susan Phillips, the Augspurger/Simonsen and Garrett/Coffin clans.
  Finds Rubbermaid tub of Lego pieces from childhood in mother's attic, combines with IVes' Lego pile.
  Helps organize catalog and exhibition for
Greely Myatt: and exactly Twenty Years.
2010 Goes on a one-month, 5000-mile road trip with the family through the northeastern United States and maritime Canada. Attends the wedding of Rebecca Roberts and Kevin Bau, where Carrie Pollack, Michael Pittard, Maggie Kleinpeter, Carla Aurich, Carianne Mack, Andy Rosen, Ann Pibal, and Colin Brandt were in attendance. Visits Acadia National Park in Maine, as well as Fundy National Park, Prince Edward Island, and Cape Breton Highland National Park in Canada.
The River Beneath Us at David Lusk Gallery
Ray LaMontagne and Levon Helm play at the Orpheum. Ray LaMontagne plays Like Rock & Roll and Radio. "Why are you crying?" "I don't know."
Receives LEGO Death Star set as joint Christmas present with IVes
2011 Teaches Junior/Senior Seminar at Rhodes College

Rainer Nelson Combs is born to Heather Dobbins-Combs and Clay Combs
2012 Joins InsideOut Gym

Natalie Isaac suggests rowing classes
Travels to Bay Area to visit with Nathaniel Parsons and Jeff Gadomski san francisco
Has first beer in twelve years beer
Lego tattoo
Becomes a rowing instructor at InsideOut Gym
Travels to St Louis with family to visit with Simonsen-Augspurgers and Garrets fountain
Included in Shoot the Lobster's Bred and Fed organized by Gracie Wright in Iowa City
Turns forty-two
Separates from Julie Meiman
Receives Sharon Old's Stag's Leap as a Christmas gift from sister
2013 Included in Present Tense survey at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens
travels to new york to visit with douglas degges and jamison brosseau.
thirteen year marriage to julie meiman ends.

awarded the rome prize.

pink tower and bic four-color pen tattoos.

begins relationship with Jenn Brandt

material anthology celebrating nearly a decade of exhibitions opens the new art space at crosstown arts.

bobby spillman's waterworks marks 106th and final exhibition at material.

sells building at 2553 broad avenue.

begins fellowship at the american academy in rome.

larry edwards dies after a short illness in memphis.
travels to puglia with other aar fellows.
Begins visiting Francesco Borromini's Sant'Ivo alla Sapienza with Tom Mayes. Later, after Mayes returns to the US, Sant'Ivo becomes a place for drawing every Sunday.
Travels back to the US for the Christmas holidays.

In the early morning hours of December 28 Rainer Nelson Combs dies suddenly and without warning in his bed on Holly Street.

listens to chapter one of this american life's stories of loss over and over again. "I immediately felt how impossible it was to raise myself to the scale of this event. The terror mounted in me out of all proportion to my own dimensions. I could not contain it all." -from Genevieve Jurgensen's The Disappearance.
2014 included in concrete ghosts curated by christian caliandro at the american academy in rome.

Heather Dobbins' first book of poetry, In the Low Houses, is published.

Sun Kil Moon releases the album Benji.

travels back to the us for opening reception for the attendant at david lusk gallery, memphis.
hosts brian, shannon, max, christa, chris, and jason as they travel to rome.
travels to sicily with the other aar fellows.
Sister and mother visit Rome and travel together to Florence.

Travels to Bologna and to Milan to visit with Elise Canup.

Travels to Florence to visit with Christopher Thomas and Barbara Campbell-Thomas and their children Jamie and Alexander.

Travels to Amsterdam and then to Paris. Suffers a minor breakdown sitting beside the Seine listening to the first Cowboy Junkies album.
Milla and Ives visit Rome.
Travels to Regensburg to visit with Mike Augspurger and Jane Simonsen and their children Soli, Toby, and Nathaniel, then to Munich to visit with Jena and Cedric and their daughter Helena, and eventually to Vienna to visit with the Schiele and Klimt pieces there.
the long, slow good-bye.
returns to memphis from rome early in the morning on august second.
Decides he likes being caffeinated more than he likes money.
Teaches classes at Nancy Cheairs' Flicker Street Studio.

Catherine and Meghan visit Memphis.

Moves into a duplex at the corner of Court and Cox in Midtown Memphis.

zoe raye wood is born to chris wood and christa george.

Travels to Knoxville to visit with Jered Sprecher and his family.
Travels to Missouri and Iowa to visit with Tom and Amy Enkelmann Reed, Jessica, Eli, Owen and Pat Garrett in St Louis. Sees Tom Leslie in Ames and John Dilg, Jan Weissmiller, and David Dunlap in Iowa City. As an added bonus he has a rendezvous with Peter and Junita Bognanni at the Foxhead and George's.
is awarded an artsmemphis grant to fund the printing of the sant'ivo drawings.
2015 Travels to New Orleans to visit with a number of friends from the American Academy including Joe Farrell, Ann de Forest, Sheramy Bundrick, Leigh Leiberman, Irene Sanpietro, Kim Bowes, Christopher Celenza, Mark Robbins, Stephanie Frampton, and Coulton Jeep.
Stephanie and Coulton visit Memphis.
Mellow Mountain Coalition has its first solo show, Born to Hula, at Adam Farmer's Glitch.

Travels to Texas to visit with Maggie Kleinpeter, Michael Pittard, Dana Frankfort, and Joey Fauerso. Meets with Heyd Fontenot and the two Brians (Keith Jones and Scott).

Sees Tom Sachs' Boombox Retrospective at the Contemporary in Austin.
Travels to Ohio and Michigan for a series of visiting artist gigs. Visits with Joe Girandola and his family as well as Jeffrey Courtland Jones, George Rush, and Michael McDevitt. Takes a detour up through Detroit Rock City to visit with Catie Newell.
douglas degges visits memphis for an old man study group show at lauren kennedy's southfork memphis.
teaches a collaborative drawing and painting workshop at shakerag in sewanee, tennessee.

heather dobbins and clay combs divorce.

roman salvatore bognanni is born to peter and junita bognanni.

dan hurlin and kazu nakamura are married in new york.

is included in soft eyes, curated by pete schulte for whitespace gallery in atlanta.

travels to west virginia for the wedding of tom mayes and rod glover and visits with rome friends.
gail dobbins has surgery to remove cataracts. begins dating katrina perdue.

Heather Dobbins moves to Fort Smith, Arkansas.

2016 Curates Hans Ulrich-Obrist's "Do It" at Crosstown Arts and AMUM for University of Memphis.

travels to St Louis to see Lisa Yuskavage's "the brood" at the Contemporary Art Museum.

saigon le burns to the ground.

2200 mile/2week roadtrip with milla and ives through the midwest to visit with Pat, Jessica, Eli, Owen & Viv Garrett, David Dunlap, Joe & Genie Patrick, Tom Leslie & crew, Peter, Junita, & Roman Bognanni, Simon Levin & crew, Thomas Kelley & Meredyth Evans, Yoko Hara, William Mazzerella & Dianna Frid.
Sees Kerry James Marshall's Mastry at the MCA in Chicago.
travels to upstate New York to see Dan Hurlin's "demolishing everything with amazing speed" at Bard College. Visits with Dan Hurlin, Stephanie Ann Frampton, Cotton Seed, and Catherine Chin.

Sees Alma Thomas' retrospective at the Studio Museum in Harlem.