Month: May 2014

Monday Morning Muse: Georgiana, The Duchess of Bedford

This oil painting, Georgiana, The Duchess of Bedford, at a Window, by British artist Edwin Henry Landseer joined the collection in 1978.

1978_112Landseer, a child prodigy, studied with Benjamin Haydon and became an Associate of the Royal Academy at 24. He was best known for his animal paintings favored by Queen Victoria. The Duke of Bedford was a personal friend and an early art patron. Landseer, a frequent guest at his home, Woburn Abbey, often drew and painted his young second wife, Georgiana. Her intimate friendship with Landseer lasted from 1823 until her death in 1853 and he is considered the father of her two younger children.

image source: Georgiana, The Duchess of Bedford, at a Window


From the Collection: Elephants

Since the stone age, when elephants were represented by ancient petroglyphs and cave art, they have been depicted in the arts in various forms, including pictures, sculptures, music, film, and even architecture. (These days, some elephants are even artists themselves!) The following images of elephants from the collection span various mediums, cultures, and historical periods.

PR-1940-1Elephant Act

2004_189Dbutsuen” (The Zoo) from the series “Kodomo fuzoku (children’s customs)

S-1940-4_view_1Elephant du Senegal (Running Elephant)

INV_1991_96Untitled jungle scene with animals

1955-160Elephant Hunt


2008-23Elephas / Abgerichter Elephant / Elephant dressé / Familia V Fünffhufige

The following works are from the collections of the Smith College Museum of Art, the Hampshire College Art Gallery, and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum:

1982_38_324Elephant with two natives in foreground, iron bridge across river in background….

2004_20_167rCoin; Denarius of Julius Caesar

2012_52_aTobacco Pipe

Frank,-Jonathan---Elephant-#3Elephant #3

mh_1943_156_i_b_pi_v1_01Dumbo, The Circus Elephant


mh_1996_3_v1Dancing Ganesha

For even more images of elephants from the collection, visit the database.

From the Collection: No Up No Down

This colorful work by Japanese artist Ay-O joined the collection in 2010.

In this artist’s proof, Ay-O explores subject matter typical of his oeuvre: animals. Such subjects have a long tradition in Japanese printmaking, especially the genre of kacho-e (flower and bird pictures). The title of this work also references the artist’s participation in the Fluxus movement, with its emphasis on the indeterminate nature of the art object and the playful potential of language. While “No Up No Down” is the English title, the artist has added other notations in Japanese, in yellow ink. Along the bottom we read, “A conversation of two birds flying abreast,” which could also be translated as “A conversation of a happily married couple,” a recurrent theme in the artist’s work. The text on the left margin says, “This work has no subordinate side,” indicating that this work could be displayed in any orientation, with no true up and no true down.

The work is on view through June 29 in the New Arrivals exhibition.

image source: No Up No Down