Photographs and Text ©John P. Walsh
Above: Clodion, The See-Saw, 1775, terracotta. Toledo Museum of Art (Toledo), November 2012.
Frédéric Bazille, Self-portrait, 1865-66. The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC), May 2015.
Heads, Female Diety; Bodhisattva; Buddha, stucco, Afghanistan/Pakistan, before 500 C.E. AIC, May 2015.
(From left) Gabriele Münter, Kirche von Reidhausen, 1908, oil on canvas board; G. Münter, Girl with Doll, 1908-09, oil on cardboard; August Macke, Geraniums Before Blue Mountain, 1911, oil on canvas. Milwaukee Art Museum, September 2015.
AIC, September 2015.
AIC, August 2015.
Bill Reid, Birth of the World, Museum of Anthropology, UBC, Vancouver, British Columbia, September 1993.
Mikazuki (male deity) Noh Mask, Japan, 16th century, cypress wood, colors, brass. AIC, August 2015.
Aristide Maillol, Enchained Action, bronze, 1905, AIC, August 2015.
AIC, May 2016.
Charles Collins, Still Life with Game, 1741. Private collection, May 2015.
European Decorative Arts, AIC, August 2015.
Roman Venus, Asia Minor, marble, c.165 CE., Toledo, November 2012.
Charles Ray, Young Man, 2012, Solid Stainless Steel, AIC, September 2015.
Michel Anguier, Amphitrite, marble, 1684. Toledo, November 2012.
James C. Timbrell, Carolan the Irish Bard, c. 1844, oil on canvas. Private collection.
The Dressing Table, William Glackens, c.1922, oil on canvas. Snite Museum of Art, Notre Dame, Indiana, September 2012.
From right: Kees van Dongen, Woman with Cat, 1908, and Quai, Venice, 1921; Gabriele Münter, Portrait Young Woman, 1909. Milwaukee Art Museum, September 2016.
Oil jar, Athens, Greece, terracotta, 450 B.C. AIC, 2015.
Lorado Taft, Fountain of the Great Lakes, 1913. South Garden, AIC.
Henry Moore, Large Interior Form, bronze, 1982. North Garden, AIC.
Henry Moore’s 16-foot sculpture was made when the 84-year-old British artist was concerned with the construction of three-dimensional space, internal forms within solid volumes, and placing his work in a natural setting.
Moore had worked primarily in stone but as these formal concerns emerged, he shifted to modeling and bronze casting.
Large Interior Form explores mass and void as well as gravity and growth within a nature-inspired artist-created form.
Berthe Morisot, Woman in a Garden, 1882-83, AIC, September 2013.
Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), Adam, 1881. Bronze. AIC, May 2014.
Modern Wing, AIC, June 2014.
North Garden, AIC, November 2017.
WiFi hotspot, AIC, September 2015.
Edgar Degas, Spanish dance (c. 1883), Arabesque (c. 1885), Woman seated in an armchair, (c. 1901), cast in bronze later, AIC, May 2015.
Paris Street; A Rainy Day (“Rue de Paris, Temps de pluie”), 1877, Gustave Caillebotte, AIC, May 2015.
Alexander McKinlock Memorial Court, Triton Fountain, bronze, 1926, AIC, August 2015.
Swedish sculptor Carl Milles (1875-1955) studied in Paris from 1897 to 1904, working in the studio of Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). Yet Milles departed from the prevailing naturalism that dominated sculpture in the Belle Époque era, and embraced ideas and forms that reflected the artist’s independent spirit, his knowledge and appreciation of classical and Gothic sculpture, and his Nordic roots. Speaking of the fountain, Milles observed: “The great classicists knew that it was impossible to reproduce the appearance of flesh in marble, and they set themselves to create forms of pure beauty that would merely suggest and symbolize the living creature, and then to invest those forms with a meaning that mankind would feel intuitively to be universal and significant. This is what I have tried to do.”
African headdresses. The Art Institute of Chicago. September 2015.
The headdresses at the right and at the left are Gelede headdresses. The headdress in the center is perhaps a Gelde or Efe headdress. The headdress at left, made of wood, is the oldest of the three headdresses, made in Nigeria or Benin by the Yoruba community, in the late 19th/early 20th centuries.
Gelede headdresses often portray women as the headdresses in the center and at right do– one depicting a woman wearing a head tie and the other showing a woman with a plaited hairstyle. These were made in Nigeria by the Yoruba community in the first part of the 20th century.
The Gelede festival of the Yoruba community in western Africa is a public spectacle which uses colorful masks that combines art and ritual dance to educate, entertain and inspire worship. Gelede includes the celebration of “Mothers,” a grouping that includes female ancestors and deities as well as the elderly women of the community whose power and spiritual capacity in society is convoked. The Efe is a nighttime public performance held the day before the Gelede.
From left to right: Kramer Brothers Company (Dayton, Ohio), Settee, c. 1905/25; Cecilia Beaux (American, 1855-1942), Dorothea and Francesca, 1898, oil on canvas; Daniel Chester French (American, 1855- 1931), Truth, 1900, plaster. The Art Institute of Chicago. October 2014.
Fernand Harvey Lungren (American, 1857-1932), The Café, 1882/84, oil on canvas. The Art Institute of Chicago, September 2014.
The artist, born in Sweden, moved with his family to Toledo, Ohio, as a child. Lungren wanted to be an artist but his father objected, wanting him to be a mining engineer. For a brief time, in 1874, Lungren attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor to study his father’s preferred subject. But after two years, Lungren’s father still opposed to his being an artist, the younger Lungren rebelled and prevailed. In 1876 he was able to study under Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) at the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia. In winter 1877 the 20-year-old Lungren moved to New York City. With his first illustration published in 1879, he worked as an illustrator for Scribner’s Monthly (renamed Century in 1881) as well as for Nicholas (a children’s magazine) and as a contributor until 1903. He later worked for Harper’s Bazaar, McCLure’s and The Outlook. Lungren’s illustrations included portraits, and social and street scenes.
In 1882 Lungren traveled to Paris via Antwerp. In a brief stay in Paris he studied informally at the Académie Julian, and viewed French Impressionist artworks. Lungren returned to New York City in 1883 and, soon afterwards, established a studio in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1892 he visited Santa Fe, New Mexico for the first time and, in the following years painted artworks inspired by his contact with American Indian culture and the desert landscape. In 1899 he showed these American desert works at the American Art Galleries in New York and afterwards at the Royal Academy in London and the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.
When Lungren was in London he made pictures of street life and met several artists, including James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903). In late 1900 Lungren traveled to Egypt and returned to New York via London in the next year. Lungren had married Henrietta Whipple in 1898 and they moved to California in 1903, settling in Santa Barbara in 1906. Lungren lived and work in California—including several notable trips to Death Valley—until his death in 1932. Most of Lungren’s artwork, including hundreds of his paintings, were bestowed to what is today the University of California, Santa Barbara.
SOURCE: J.A. Berger, Fernand Lungren: A Biography, Santa Barbara, 1936.
Frances Stark, Intimism, 2015.
Aristide Maillol, Nymph—Central Figure for the Three Graces, 1930, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. , March 2010.
Acquired by the museum in 1966, photographs show that the statue stood in an open location by a garden pool at the museum. In 1991 following a whirlwind of euphoria associated with the successful completion of Operation Desert Storm, a victory celebration at the Mall in June of that year involved hovering military jets and helicopters. Their downdraft sent gravel footpath debris flying in the air that scratched and cracked several statues in the sculpture garden. Though none appeared to sustain damage beyond some repair, the Nymph—Central Figure for the Three Graces suffered the most damage as the nude female statue had pitted indentations on her backside. In 2010 when this photograph was taken, the sculpture was located in front of a protective garden wall. See- https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1991-06-12-1991163158-story.html
Aristide Maillol’s Nymph at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in June 1975. Fair Use.
Wall of Renoirs, Impressionism galleries, The Art Institute of Chicago, May 2014.
Left to right: Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), Chrysanthemums, 1881/2; Acrobats at the Cirque Fernando (Francisca and Angelina Wartenberg), 1879; Fruits of the Midi, 1881; Seascape, 1879; and, Lucie Berard (Child in White), 1883.
Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan fragments, The Art Institute of Chicago, September 2015.
spiral staircase, The Art Institute of Chicago (Room 235), September 2015.
The Art Institute of Chicago, September 2015.
Bisa Butler, Les Sapeurs, 2018, cotton and silk; appliquéd and quilted, May 2021.
Bisa Butler uses the technique of appliqué quiltmaking to create her work. For the figures, the artist cuts, layers, and pins together fabrics and arranges them on the ground fabric. This comprises the quilt top. Between this quilt top and a backing fabric is a layer of fiber “batting” or stuffing. These layers are stitched to form the quilt with the thread lines part of the structure, texture and details of the image. Butler seeks to use fabric colors and patterns to contribute to the quilt’s subject and narrative.
Un sapeur (or, when female, une sapeuse) signifies, in French, a person who is “dressed up.” The practice and term originated and continues to be practiced in the major cities of Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and, just across the Congo River, Kinshasa in The Democratic Republic of the Congo. La Sape embodies the elegance in style and manners of their predecessor colonial French dandies. Congolese dandies living in Paris and elsewhere in Europe today are deemed sapeur upon their return to Brazzaville and Kinshasa to showcase their style.