Monday Morning Muse: Bunraku Doll O-shichi

The following woodblock print of a bunraku doll by Japanese artist Hiratsuka Un’ichi joined the collection in 2010.

2010-34

One of the most important artists of the sōsaku hanga movement, Hiratsuka Un’ichi was a successful teacher, author, and artist whose individual style and methods influenced many printmakers of the period. This work in particular is emblematic of his techniques and training, as it features traditional Japanese art forms—the bunraku doll and several ukiyo-e prints, including a kacho-ga by Andō Hiroshige, visible at left—rendered in large-scale with jagged, “sawtooth” lines. This style, typical of his output after 1935, was a result of his highly individual technique, which involved a flat knife and V-shaped chisel, in distinction to the curved scraper employed by traditional woodblock craftsmen, like Igami Bonkotsu, under whom he studied around 1915.

image source: Bunraku Doll O-shichi

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.

1941-21

“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.

1954-45

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.”

1961-88

1962-73

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_264Margarita

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.

1960-53-13
Hideous Woman (Femme hideuse)
, 1928

1960-53-10
Nude Woman, Seated (Femme nue, assise),
ca. 1928

1960-53-7
Negro Woman In Profile (Négresse en profil)
, 1928

1960-53-5
Woman with Hat in Profile, Facing Left (Femme au chapeau en profil, vers la gauche)
, 1928

1960-53-4
Woman with Necklace (Femme au collier)
, 1928

1960-53-3
Nude Woman, Facing Left (Femme nue, vers la gauche)
, 1928

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