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||Eighteen people became Bahá'ís in Kenosha, Wisconsin, following the visit of Kheiralla in the autumn of 1897. [BFA1:XXVIII]
This marked the establishment of the third Bahá'í community in North America. [BFA1:110]
||Ibrahim George Kheiralla
||A council board of seven officers, a forerunner of the Local Spiritual Assembly, was established in Kenosha. [BFA1:112; GPB260]
Those elected were not so much members of a council but rather "community officers" who carried out the decisions made at a community meeting. [BFA1p112] iiiii
||Kenosha; Wisconsin; United States
||Board of Council; Spiritual Assemblies; Z****
|1899 Oct - Nov
||Stoyan Vatralsky, a Harvard educated, Bulgarian Christian, attacked the Bahá'ís, `Truth-knowers', in a series of talks in a church in Kenosha, Wisconsin. [BFA1:XXIX, 114–15; SBBH2:111 SBBH1p232; SBBH1p232-238]
By this time two per cent of the population of Kenosha were Bahá'ís. [BFA1:114]
See also WOB83 for others who wrote polemics against the Bahá'í Faith.
||Kenosha; Wisconsin; United States
||Opposition; Opposition, Christian; statistics
|1900 8 Mar
||At a meeting in Kenosha, Kheiralla publicly announced his doubts about `Abdu'l-Bahá's leadership of the Bahá'í community. He also said that 'Abdu'l-Bahá was not the return of Christ has be had been teaching. [BFA1:XXIX; SBBH1:96; SBBH2:117; SBBH1p96]
He he had allied himself with Muhammad-`Alí. [SSBH1:96]
The Bahá'ís effectively divided into two camps. There had been two to three thousand believers in North America in 1900, by 1902, 1,700 had left the Faith leaving six or seven hundred of whom three hundred were "Behaists" and the rest "Abbasites" or "Behais" (followers of 'Abdu'l-Bahá). By 1906 the US Census of Religions reported that the number of Bahá'ís had risen to 1,280 and the "Behaists" numbered on forty. The Kenosha Behaists continued to exist until the early 1950s. [SSBH1:96-97; WOB82; SBBH14p7]
To counter the effects of this, Abdu'l-Baha, in 1900 and 1901,
sent teachers to America who were completely loyal to the Center
of the Covenant and well-informed on the teachings of Baha'u'llah.
They were Mirza Abu'l-Fad1 and Mirza Asad'u'llah. Mr. Chase wrote, with these teachers came the first opportunity for a correct and
intimate knowledge of the true Baha'i teachings...rather than
psychic and occult experiments...Many persons who had conceived
views imbued with imaginations and superstitions fell away from
the Cause, but those who remained discovered such spiritual
light,...and power in the teachings, that they were deeply confirmed
in their belief, and clung to it.. ." [from a short paper
entitled 'A Brief History of the American Development of the Baha'i
Movement,' printed in Star of the West, Volume V, number 17.]
For the changes to the Bahá'í community as a result of this schism see SSBH1:96–9 and SSBH2:117–20.
||Kenosha; Wisconsin; United States
||Ibrahim George Kheiralla; Mirza Muhammad Ali; Covenant-breakers
|1912 15 Sep
||In the morning`Abdu'l-Bahá spoke to Dr. William Frederick Nutt, a friend of Kheiralla. (Nutt later broke the Covenant) Observers say that both Dr. Nutt and the interpreter were left trembling after He made his remarks.
Shu'á'lláh, son of Mírzá Muhammad-'Ali was in America at the same time. The previous May he had written to the Kenosha Evening News decouncing 'Abdu'l-Bahá and proposing a meeting between himself and 'Abdu'l-Bahá to settle their differences. In July Kheiralla had written to the same newspaper in support of Shu'á'lláh. [MD264n277]
'Abdu'l-Bahá, his party of six plus Fujita departed to Kenosha but they missed their train. He told His fellow travellers not to be concerned over this, as there would be a good reason for it; travelling on the next train they come across the wreckage of the first, which has been in a collision. [239D:145; AB267]
Upon arrival they were taken to the hall of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár where they were served lunch. After lunch they went to the home of Mrs Henry Goodale.
In the evening He spoke at the Congregational Church on the unity of the Manifestations. [MD226] Now called First Congregational Church of Kenosha, 5934 8th Avenue. ['Abdu'l-Bahá in America 1912- 2012]
||Chicago; Kenosha; Wisconsin; United States
||Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Abdul-Baha, Second Western tour; Trains
|1976 24 Apr
||The passing of Mark George Tobey (b. December 11, 1890 Centerville, Wisconsin – d. April 24, 1976 Basel, Switzerland) [Bahá'í News page 341, Wiki, VV119]
He had been introduced to the Faith by Bernard Leach. [OPOP223]
Another version is that In 1918 Mark Tobey came in contact with Juliet Thompson and posed for her. During the session Tobey read some Bahá'í literature and accepted an invitation to Green Acre where he converted. [Seitz, William Chapin (1980). Mark Tobey. Ayer Publishing. p. 44]
Tobey was one of the twentieth century’s most cosmopolitan of artists. An inveterate traveler—he eventually settled in Basel, Switzerland—he was always better known in Europe than in his homeland.
His mature ‘white writing’ works are made up of pulsing webs of lines inspired by oriental calligraphy, explicitly acknowledged the direct influence of the Baha’i Faith on his painting. It has been said that Tobey “made line the symbol of spiritual illumination, human communication and migration, natural form and process, and movement between levels of consciousness.” He often stated, “that there can be no break between nature, art, science, religion, and personal life".
See Bahá'í World 1994-95 pg248 for an article by Anne Boyles entitled "The Language of the Heart: Arts in the Bahá'í World Community" for mention of Mark Tobey.
For his obituary see BW17:401–4.
Towards the end of his life, Tobey was the recipient of some of the highest distinctions that the European art scene of his time could bestow. He won the gold medal at the Venice Biennale in 1958—the first American painter to do so since 1895. In 1961, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Louvre in Paris, an unprecedented achievement for a living and American artist.
See The Journal of Bahá'í Studies, Volume 26, number 4 – Winter 2016 p94 for an article by Anne Gordon Perry entitled Anne Gould Hauberg and Mark Tobey: Lives Lived for Art, Cultivated by Spirit.
An exhibition, Mark Tobey: Threading Light showed at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, 6 May to 10 September 2017 and at the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, 4 November 2017–11 March 2018.
||Centerville; Wisconsin; United States; Basel; Switzerland
||In Memoriam; Mark Tobey; Bernard Leach; Anne Gould Hauberg; Arts; Painting
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