Month: March 2013

From the Collection: Monkeys!

Below you’ll find four monkeyrelated works from the collection, because who doesn’t love monkeys? Artists obviously do, since monkeys have shown up in various works from all over the world throughout centuries. (Here’s some fascinating proof in the form of an illustrated essay by Lucy Cutler on the role of the monkey in art from The Courtauld Institute of Art). Also included in this post are a few fun facts about the artists.

1993-18

Monkey, 1886
This photograph by inventor and photographer Ottomar Anschütz joined the collection in 1993. Anschütz advanced the field of photography when he invented the 1/1000 of a second shutter in 1887.

1990_175
Monkey Playing with a Monkey Toy, 1800
This meta monkey joined the collection in 1990. It’s a print by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai from a picture calendar; the month is concealed in the long and short stripes on the stick of the toy.

2002-382

Self-Portrait with Monkey on Head, late 1970’s
This quirky self-portrait of Russian artist Igor Galanin joined the collection in 2002. Galanin began his career as an artist illustrating children’s books and designing sets for the Moscow ballet theater.

1994-284

Monkey with Bouquet, 1968
This adorable print by American artist Jack Coughlin joined the collection in 1994. Coughlin taught printmaking here in Amherst at the University of Massachusetts for over 35 years until his retirement. His work is in many prominent collections including the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the National Collection of Fine Arts in Washington D.C., and others. The Mead holds another work by Coughlin, a lithograph titled Owl of the Night.

image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

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Monday Morning Muse: The Broad Curtain

1950_197

This print by American artist Childe Hassam joined the Mead’s collection in 1950. Here’s a bit of background info about the artist and the artwork:

“Between 1917 and 1918, Childe Hassam made an impressive suite of forty-five lithographs. He came to the medium as a mature artist who had achieved international recognition as an Impressionist painter and etcher. The Broad Curtain is an example of Hassam’s wash lithographs, which he called lithotints. He made these painterly prints by brushing a mixture of lithographic ink and turpentine directly onto polished limestone. Recent scholarship has shed light on his working relationship with Oberly and Newell, a commercial workshop in New York, where Hassam made his lithotints.

Hassam’s animated brushstrokes make this interior scene shimmer with light. The artist varied the concentration of ink to achieve this effect. Hassam contrasted the seated figure bathed in light with the opaque plant leaves silhouetted against the window. He suggested sheer curtains with flowing pools of diluted ink and used brushes loaded with gritty black to shroud furniture in shadow.”

-written by Katrina Greene, 2009-2011 Mead Curatorial Fellow, text from the 2011 exhibition How He Was to His Talents: The Work of Ernest Haskell

image source: The Broad Curtain

From the Collection: Sidney Waugh

1964-73-a

Happy first day of Spring! This plaster cast by American sculptor Sidney Waugh, aptly titled Spring,  joined the Mead’s collection in 1964. Waugh, known for his monuments, medals, etched and moulded glass, and architectural sculpture, was born here, in Amherst, Massachusetts, in 1904. The Mead holds many small sculptures by Waugh, made from a variety of materials…

1981-18

This bronze sculpture titled Buffalo joined the collection in 1981.

1964-50

This immaculate sculpture titled Moby Dick is made from crystal. It was designed by American artist Donald Pollard and joined the collection in 1964.

image sources: Spring / Buffalo / Moby Dick