African-American sculptor Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller lived and worked in Framingham, Mass. for most of her life. She studied in Paris with Rodin as a very young woman, and married late, to the Liberian psychiatrist Solomon Fuller. Fuller’s tiny studio, once in the attic of her family home, is reconstructed now as part of the Danforth Museum’s move and restoration. Fuller’s husband did not approve of his wife having a career apart from marriage and motherhood; but Fuller, persistent and driven to represent her heritage as a proud and historically significant one, eventually built a separate studio with a small inheritance of her own. The Fuller Room shows the Danforth’s entire collection, including molds, armatures, bas-reliefs, and small, unfinished work, and is inspiring.
Belgium’s newest, oldest art star is a 17th-century painter as versatile as she was accomplished. Did the very beauty and quality of her painting insure that she herself would be forgotten?
Above: Two Girls Dressed as Saints Agnes and Dorothy, n.d., by Michaelina Wautier, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp
Apollo Magazine article
A recent New Yorker article on new techniques used to recover the true colors of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture includes this video. Ancient funerary portraits formed the theoretical basis for surprisingly subtle painting.
The Treu Head.
Maya Lin‘s granite, steel and glass facade of the Novartis headquarters on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge looks like a soaring rock formation eroded from a burning blue October sky. The building’s granite blocks, interspersed with interstices, references the binary patterns of the human genome, or the cellular building blocks of life.
As the architecture critic Paul Goldberger writes about the Novartis project in “Maya Lin Topologies,” a book of photographs and essays about her work, “Lin has begun to work with greater constraints than she has ever had. She knows that the greatest challenge of all is not to design without restrictions, but to accept the constraints and then, just as she has done, show that in spite of them you can bring real architecture into being.”
An article from the Boston Globe.
Davida Johnson Clark, the model whose classically beautiful features pervaded Augustus St. Gaudens’ visualizations of Diana, Victory, and Amor Caritas, is one of the most highly visible faces in neoclassical art. Yet the woman herself—St. Gaudens’ longtime mistress and mother of one of his sons—has almost disappeared from history.
A Swedish immigrant whose name was originally Albertina Hulgren, Davida was re-christened by St. Gaudens after Michelangelo’s David. Her great-granddaughter wrote a fictionalized biography of her in 2016.
I’d like to see an equestrian sculpture of Sally Farnham, near her monument to Simon Bolivar…
Sally Farnham‘s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Ogdensburg, New York, was inspired by the Nike of Samothrace, a sculpture the young Sally saw in the Louvre. The historic photo at left is the clay sculpture before casting; at right, the finished monument on its plinth. Check #GoddessID for my recent posts. Sally’s over-life-size bronze goddess is described in some historic detail here.
Have been really enjoying Deborah Lee’s blog, Art Outdoors. I’m planning some outings based on her visits to Massachusetts sculpture parks and sites, especially the Boston women sculptors she documents on her tour of the Public Art Walk. I’m late posting for International Women’s Day, but here goes!
Women Artists Represented on Public Art Walk Boston
Gail Erwin‘s niche sculptures at 6 Bridges Gallery in Maynard explore the hidden, often very private, nature of prejudice. The aggregation of tiny boxes shows us intimate scenes of cruelty or implied violence. Nails, charred wood, chain, and wire are sometimes dusted with glitter or placed against shiny foil, creating an eerie attractiveness. Erwin also shows her signature cyanotypes; this new series of studies of empty windows and doorways often represent scenes of former violence, such as the homes of the ill-fated Cathars, or long-dead Celts.
The cooperative 6 Bridges Gallery presents Niche: Cyanotypes and Constructions through April 15, 2017. Gallery hours are Tuesday 11-3, Wednesday-Friday 11-6, Saturday, 10-5.
At Lasell College’s Wedeman Gallery, artist-curator Janet Kawada has created a show that embodies the artist’s quest for ideas. Says Kawada, “Like an archaeologist who sifts through the dirt seeking an image of history to bring to life, an artist is constantly looking intently at the world around them to portray their feeling or vision.” Each of the five women in the show (Hilary Tolan, Janet Kawada, Samantha Fields, Gail Erwin, and Deborah Klotz) work in widely varying media, from cyanotypes to performance art. The show seems at first visually dissimilar, but time spent with each piece reveals the way in which it embodies the act of exploration. Below, Samantha Fields’ performative installation which will be featured in Sunday’s opening (1-4PM).