Friday, December 23, 2011

New Sculpture Arrives!

Our expert art Handlers, Hubert Burton, museum preparator, and Lisa Blackadar, Registrar Assistant, went to pick up our new sculpture by Dan Ludwig, purchased though gifts from our Collectors Group.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Joyful Gift

A donor couple has given the museum a lovely print by HIRO YAMAGATA Japanese, born 1976. The title is Finish Line (Tour de France marathon), 1983.
The print pictures the Tour de France marathon from Alsace to Paris.

This is a color screenprint. Each color required a different screen. In addition to being a lovely and lighthearted image, it is a masterwork of printmaking technique!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Learning Every Day

One of the things I love about museum work is the continuing learning and discovery.
We have a great painting of hunting hounds by Percival Rosseau. I got an email today:

Do you have a photo of the American artist Percival Rosseau? (1859-1937) We need this photo for our forthcoming book, "The Art Hunters Handbook" (May, 2012, see below) which will feature profiles of 120 artists including Percival Rosseau. We will be happy to give you credit in the book for providing this photo. If you do not have a photo, would you be able to direct us to the right source, perhaps a museum or a library? Thank you.

I didn't think we had one, but look what our Curator wrote!

Dear Mr. Fox,
Our director forwarded your inquiry regarding a photograph of Percival Rosseau on to me. We do not have a photograph, but I would suggest contacting the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme Connecticut. They seem to have information on a lot of the artists who worked there, and I came across some engaging films of Rosseau with his dogs on their website. You can see these at (scroll down the page until you come to the Rosseau film). If they have the film, they may have still images of him.

Best of luck,
Janie Welker

Janie M. Welker Curator of Exhibitions and Collections
From: Walsh-Piper, Kathleen Sent: Monday, December 19, 2011 9:53 AMTo: Welker, Janie MSubject: FW: Inquiry: Photo of Percival Rosseau

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Favorite Cow Is Back!

Most visitors remember the painting In the Pasture by Julien Dupre. It depicts a young woman trying to restrain a cow who wants to join the rest of the herd. Dupre was a member of the French realist school painting in the 1880s. Although the style is realistic, the treatment fo the subject is romantic, idealizing country life. France was moving towards industrialization and pleasant images of rustic life were popular. In the Pasture was exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1882,and a variant of the painting prepared, as was often the case for very successful artists. The latter is the present painting; the first is at the Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis. The work is still very popular, and our visitors will be glad to see it back, returned from its loan to the Speed Museum of Art in Louisville.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Collectors Choose a Classic!

Our Collectors Group met last night at Heike Pickett's Gallery and chose a beautiful new sculpture by Dan Ludwig for our art museum collection. It is a truly gorgeous piece, a seated female nude with a pyramidal composition of unusual grace. This classic sculpture will be a joy to thousands of visitors each year. We are so grateful to this group for their continued support and enthusiasm! Thanks also to Janie Welker, our curator, and to Joan Schaeffer and others who first spotted this piece!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Susan Hemmingson, Intern

Each year, we partner with the Art Department to sponsor a paid internship for a graduate student. Susan Hemmingson, an native of Cedar Rapids Iowa, UK BFA grad, in her final year of her Master's program, is sharing her time between Education and Curatorial. Upon graduation, she is hoping to teach art history or to work in an art museum. She enjoys the museum because of the immediacy of access to the art- it's not abstract, "It's a different experience to see things up close," she observes. During her time here, she has done research on See Blue, Richard Bell and the Navajo Weaving and Jewelry shows, is writing a teacher packet and enjoys working with people in the community on behalf of Education. We are enjoying having Susan as part of our team!

Friday, November 11, 2011

My Visit to Crystal Bridges

On November 8, I had the opportunity to attend an opening of Crystal Bridges, the new museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, with museum colleagues. The building is beautiful, with lots of copper and wood creating warmth, and lots of light. It is set in a wooded landscape with two streams captured within its walls, the whole setting beautifully landscaped. The collection was lovely, with some very stunning pieces. Notable was a seascape by William Trost Richards that had incredible passages of paint depicting the translucence of the waves. Artworks spanned the period form Colonial days to the present. This museum will be a great destination for any art museum lovers!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Gainesborough- new information

Several years ago, the Art Museum was given a lovely Gainsborough portrait whose subject “Mrs. Browne” was unknown to us. Now, through the work of a scholar in England, we are learning more about this portrait!

We recently received this email from a scholar working on a catalogue raisonne:

“The earliest publish sources describe the sitter in your portrait as Miss Browne and indeed she cannot be a portrait of the wife of the sitter in the pendant portrait as Francis John Browne (1754–1833) was not married until 1796, eight years after the artist's death. Browne's youngest sister, his only siblings living into the 1780s, was Susannah Browne (1766–1783) and the two portraits must have been painted very shortly before her death.

Portraits of siblings are quite rare and Gainsborough (at least) treats these pendant portraits in an interesting way, making the socially superior sitter more confident and its companion more diffident. As you probably know the pendant portrait of Mr Browne is in the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, so, sadly, it seems unlikely that they will be reunited.”

Image: THOMAS GAINSBOROUGH, Portrait of Mrs. Francis John Browne, circa 1780s, oil on canvas, gift of the Frederick Leas Van Lennep family.