Monday Morning Muse: Empress Octacilia

This ancient marble sculpture of Roman Empress Octacilia from the 3rd century A.D. joined the Mead’s collection in 1941.


“Marcia Otacilia Severa or Otacilia Severa was the Empress of Rome and wife of Emperor Marcus Julius Philippus, or Philip the Arab, who reigned over the Roman Empire from 244 to 249. Severa and Philip are generally considered as the first Christian imperial couple, because during their reign the persecutions of Christians had ceased and the couple had become tolerant towards Christianism. It was through her intervention, for instance, that Bishop and Saint Babylas of Antioch was saved from persecution.” (source)

image source: Empress Octacilia



Monday Morning Muse: She’s Got the Point

This charcoal drawing by American artist John Sloan joined the collection in 1954.


John Sloan first studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and then with Robert Henri, before becoming an illustrator for Philadelphia newspapers. He moved to New York in 1902 where he taught at the Art Students League and was affiliated with The Eight. In 1910 he joined the socialist party, and was the art editor of a radical journal called The Masses. Like his colleagues, Sloan was concerned with social issues as he chronicled life in New York. He was particularly interested in the women’s suffragette movement as this lively drawing, “She’s Got the Point,” demonstrates. In this charcoal, Sloan recounts a particularly stirring moment at a rally held by the Women’s Suffragette Party. The image appeared in the October 1913 issue of The Masses.

The Mead holds many works by Sloan, including the following “Self-Portrait” and “Robert Henri Painting a Portrait.”



image sources: 1 / 2 / 3

Monday Morning Muse: The Master and Margarita

The following paintings by Russian artist Igor Galanin joined the collection in 2001. They are illustrations for The Master and Margarita, a novel written by Mikhail Bulgakov in Soviet Russia ca. 1940, and described as “a masterpiece of black magic and black humor.”

Galanin’s portrayal of Margarita is whimsical, comical, and seemingly mischievous…


2001-263Margarita Flying Aboard a Broom

2001-260Margarita Flying Aboard a Pig

2001-259Margarita Flying Aboard a Touring Car

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Monday Morning Muses by Georges Rouault

Happy Monday! Today we’re sharing these six etchings from the collection by French artist Georges Rouault.

Hideous Woman (Femme hideuse)
, 1928

Nude Woman, Seated (Femme nue, assise),
ca. 1928

Negro Woman In Profile (Négresse en profil)
, 1928

Woman with Hat in Profile, Facing Left (Femme au chapeau en profil, vers la gauche)
, 1928

Woman with Necklace (Femme au collier)
, 1928

Nude Woman, Facing Left (Femme nue, vers la gauche)
, 1928

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6