Monthly Archives: February 2020

Meta

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Sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller (pronounced Mee-ta), 1877-1968, was a longtime Framingham, Mass. resident. The Danforth Museum of Art has newly opened a room devoted to her lifetime of work which includes a reconstruction of the corner in which she sculpted. Fuller worked for many years in a corner of her family’s Framingham attic, in spite of opposition from her husband and in between the demands of three children.

Fuller grew up in Philadelphia, in a family that supported her education and artistic ambitions. As a young woman, she spent three years studying in Paris and met Rodin, who encouraged her.

Fuller’s half figure is on display through May 3rd in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Originally modeled in 1913 for the Emancipation Exposition in New York City, this woman with her somber gaze is part of a group of three life size figures and a tree. The plaster version of this large group, titled “Emancipation Proclamation” was stored in a garage after Fuller’s death. Against all odds, the work survived and was finally restored and cast in bronze in 1999, when the entire monument was dedicated in Harriet Tubman Square in Boston’s South End.

This piece is on loan from Boston’s National Center of Afro-American Artists.

Divine Mirror-Mosaic

Monir Farmanfarmaian, who passed away last year, was an Iranian sculptor too little known in the United States. She composed her gorgeous Pentagon in 2011 using ancient Persian techniques of mirror mosaic, after first gravitating to this way of working in the 1970s upon visiting the Shah Cheragh mosque in Shiraz, Iran.

Said Formanfarmaian of this visit: “The very space seemed on fire, the lamps blazing in hundreds of thousands of reflection … It was a universe unto itself, architecture transformed into performance, all movement and fluid light, all solids fractured and dissolved in brilliance in space, in prayer. I was overwhelmed.”[13]

At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Pentagon is hung with its vortex at face height, creating an almost transcendental experience of sparkling and glowing reflections, embodying Sufi notions of the soul’s reflection of divine light. The MFA’s redesigned galleries of Arts of Islamic Cultures, where the piece resides, are a delight and a revelation.

MirrorMosaic