Cody, Wyoming hosts major life sizes bronze sculptures by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Glenna Goodacre.
Whitney was already famous in New York when she undertook “Buffalo Bill–The Scout” and considered it to be her masterpiece. Cast at Roman Bronze Works in Queens, NY, the over-lifesize sculpture was completed in 1924 and shipped to Cody where it was installed on a large stone base, meant to represent nearby Cedar Mountain. Whitney’s son, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, donated funds in his mother’s memory to establish the nearby Whitney Gallery of Western Art.
Glenna Goodacre, best known for designing the relief portrait on the Sacagawea dollar coin, sculpted a life-size portrait “Sacagawea and Jean Baptiste” which stands outside the Whitney Gallery. Randy L’Teton, a Shoshone-Bannock college student, posed for Goodacre’s medallic Sacagawea in 2001.
Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s Buffalo Bill commission
photography by Eli Wirth-Apley
I’m excited to share my newest article about Sally Farnham’s life and times. Colorful Sally is a talk I gave during my Remington Museum residency. Originally written as a YA presentation, I’ve updated and upgraded the information–all errors and typos are mine!
Born Netta Deweze Frazee Scudder, she adopted the much simpler name Janet when she went to art school in Cincinnati in the 1880s. When she arrived in Chicago in 1891, she became an assistant to sculptor Lorado Taft (along with Bessie Potter Vonnoh) and helped him with his commissions for the World’s Columbian Exposition. She received her own commissions for the fair as well. She settled in New York City and established a reputation for medallions and later for urban and garden fountains, especially Frog Fountain (1901, pictured, collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art).
Alida Cervantes, Mexican painter and mixed-media artist, creates work with a three-dimensional presence. Themes of power, wealth, and social caste based on race, confront the viewer in her current Mills Gallery show. “La enemiga natural” (above, oil on found palette), suggests that the traditional, over-wrought trappings of feminine wealth and power—elaborate clothes, clownlike makeup—are merely broken and disturbing signifiers. Through September.
Beverly Semmes‘s oversize dresses—fit for a giantess—have become feminist art memes. Her current show at Samson Projects in SOWA, Boston, is a return to these iconic garments, and they seem like old friends—crazy friends, maybe—but still a welcome and hilarious sight. Taken all together, the clothes are souvenirs of wild lives: a diaphanous blue negligee draped over an enormous hanger, decorated with red tags (is the giantess keeping score?); a fringed evening shawl in crushed velvet; a huge gown in canine-print fabric (pictured) with crazily puddling sleeves; blouses embroidered with cellular patterns. The last day is May 27.
Jenny Carpenter and Merill Comeau‘s Some Semblance of deploys a virtuosic range of work which conveys both the dailiness and disruption of family life. Between the two artists, we see drawing, collaged fabric sculpture, installations, and an evocative display of found/collected objects.
Comeau deconstructs and reconstructs textiles employing traditional sewing techniques to convey reordered narratives. Jenny Carpenter draws on veneer panel, and creates installations like the one above that embody the simultaneous protection and painful constriction of family ties.
At ArtSpace Maynard until May 26. Check website for directions and hours.
Above: Jenny Carpenter, Cradle
The Frederic Remington Museum in Ogdensburg, New York, has the only collection of sculpture by Sally James Farnham, the early 20th century neoclassical sculptor of monuments and portraits. Sally’s Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Memorial (above) is across the street, behind the Ogdensburg Public Library.
Both Remington and Farnham were Ogdensburg natives, and probably met in later life while living in New York City. Remington was Farnham’s mentor and encouraged her early work, even recommending his New York foundry, Roman Bronze.
I’m very excited to participate in the Museum’s first artist in residence program this summer, working on projects related to Sally. I’ll be posting upcoming activities and events at the Remington—workshops and talks—starting July 1.
An addendum to this post from the Remington appears on Facebook, thanks to director Laura Foster and the Sally Farnham Catalog Raisonne Project director Michael Reed: https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=sally%20james%20farnham
Salish Vision, 2002
red cedar, copper, acrylic
Courtesy of the Museum of Anthropology, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Salish Weave Collection, 3113/6
Photo: Janet Dwyer