Archive for the ‘Collection’ Category

Collection Mystery Drawing…Who is the Artist?

 
WAM Collection mystery drawing...who is the artist?

WAM Collection mystery drawing...who is the artist?

Stieg Larsson’s investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist definitely has talents I don’t possess.  For the last two weeks I have been trying intermittently to determine who drew this portrait.  It came to us as part of the Etta and Claribel Cone collection in 1950 and has been attributed to Mersyes based on the inscription. Unfortunately no such artist exists. Is the inscription a signature or a title? The drawing is in the style of Jacques Villon, whose work the Cones collected and the Weatherspoon owns, but he typically signed his work. Likewise the inscription is not in the style of Jean Metzinger, a fellow cubist. The drawing is adhered to a mat that has the words “Safsa (Trinini)” inscribed on it (by whom?) as well as the date 1926. The face looks Algerian or Moroccan and I’ve learned that there is a place in Algeria called Safsaf, but what does Trinini mean? The only other clue is the word Tefúgahe (?) inscribed in pencil on the drawing’s upper right corner. I’m not giving up yet, but I hope some Lisbeth Salander will read this post and provide some much needed help.

UPDATE:

Mystery Solved!!

This was a good week for art sleuths out there, and thus for WAM.  While visiting the Museum for another project, paper conservator Jane Sugarman looked at the mystery drawing and figured out that the inscription did not read “Trinini,” but rather the country Tunisia. From that, I was able to decipher part of the upper right inscription to read “Gafsa.”  The town of Gafsa, also spelled Qafsah, has been around since Roman times when it was known as Capsa.

The next day, I got a post from the Ackland Art Museum’s Chief Curator, Peter Nisbet, who identified the signature as “Medgyes.” Better known as a furniture and stage designer than as an artist, Ladislas Medgyes was born in Hungary but worked in New York from the 1920s until his death sometime in the late 1940s.

Many, many thanks to both Jane and Peter for helping identify this wonderful drawing and for confirming that a career in the visual arts is never dull.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Artist Helen Frankenthaler

 
Artist Helen Frankenthaler

"Snow Pines" by Helen Frankenthaler, from the Weatherspoon's collection; the artist at work in her studio.

During the bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to lose track of important news events. The death of pioneering post-World War II artist, Helen Frankenthaler on December 27 may have been such an event, but her achievements deserve to be acknowledged.

Beginning in 1952 Frankenthaler took abstract art in a new direction by pouring thinned paint directly onto unprimed canvases.  Applauded for its lyricism and luminous color, Frankenthaler’s work not only gave rise to the Color Field movement, but also has remained vital throughout the years.

Frankenthaler was equally talented as a printmaker, and the Weatherspoon is privileged to own a 34-color Ukiyo-e style woodcut entitled Snow Pines, 2004.  The art world definitely has lost a significant talent.

Image:  Helen Frankenthaler, Snow Pines, 2004, 34-color Ukiyo-e style woodcut, Ed. 6 out of 65, 37 1/2 x 26 in. Museum purchase with funds from the Weatherspoon Art Museum Acquisition Endowment, the Louise D. and Herbert S. Falk Acquisition Endowment, the Lynn Richardson Prickett Acquisition Endowment, the Weatherspoon Guild Acquisition Endowment, and a bequest by Hubert Humphrey, 2011.

Read about this new WAM acquisition in our Winter newsletter on page 9 here.

Wikipedia article about Frankenthaler.

More photos of Helen and her work on the blog Habitually Chic.

And more on the site TheArtStory.org.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

 

The 70th Anniversary Book Wins Two Awards this Fall!

 
The exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum: 70 Years of Collecting was a great success and now its companion publication received two awards this Fall

The exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum: 70 Years of Collecting was a great success and now its companion publication received two awards this Fall

The exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum: 70 Years of Collecting was a great success in 2011, and now its companion publication has received two design awards this Fall: “Outstanding Exhibition and Catalogue of Historical Materials” from the Southeastern College Art Conference and “2011 Silver Award for Outstanding Design” from the Southeastern Museums Conference.

The Weatherspoon published the catalog early in 2011.  Weatherspoon Art Museum: 70 Years of Collecting included a history of the Museum and full-color reproductions and entries on each of the 100 featured works.  The entries are written by the art history faculty in the UNCG Department of Art, and the Museum’s director and curators: K. Porter Aichele, George Dimock, Nancy M. Doll, Xandra Eden, Richard Gantt, Carl Goldstein, Ann Grimaldi, Elaine D. Gustafson, Heather Holian, Elizabeth Perrill, and Will South.

The objects included in the book represent each decade from the turn of the twentieth century to the first decade of this century. Among those showcased are works by Henri Matisse, David Smith, Willem de Kooning, Alexander Calder, Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg, and Elizabeth Murray.  Although the majority of the artists represented in the Weatherspoon’s collection are recognized for their long, successful careers, the inclusion of a few younger artists demonstrates the museum’s commitment to “promising new voices.”  The first significant publication to focus on the Weatherpoon’s collections70 Years of Collecting guarantees to be an informative and enjoyable read.

In 1941 Gregory D. Ivy, an artist, teacher, and the first head of the art department at Woman’s College, founded the Weatherspoon Art Gallery. Ivy was motivated by his belief that students should have firsthand experience of the art of their time. During the seven decades following his astute vision, the Weatherspoon has evolved from a small teaching gallery to a fully accredited museum with a national reputation that still places education at the heart of its mission.

Ivy also felt the gallery would benefit the community, and he needed its support. This award-winning handbook, 70 Years of Collecting, begins with a history woven from a collection of stories about the museum’s growth.  Over the years, the Weatherspoon has been the most fortunate recipient of remarkable support, both moral and financial, from the university and the greater Greensboro community. It also has benefitted from a host of dedicated employees and key events that have shaped it into a modern and contemporary art museum with a significant collection.  Visit the 70 Years special exhibition website for a sampling of the works featured in the catalog.

The new handbook is currently available for purchase at the museum’s gift store.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Taking a Closer Look

 
UNCG Professor K. Porter Aichele with students viewing works from the WAM Collection

UNCG Professor K. Porter Aichele with students viewing works from the WAM Collection

The Weatherspoon Art Museum’s permanent collection provides a unique resource for UNCG faculty and the courses they teach. With advance planning, faculty may request that works from the collection be presented to their classes for an up-close experience.

Recently, Professor K. Porter Aichele requested a viewing of works from the collection for the course Research on Women Artists since the 1976 Exhibition. Students were able to present research alongside their chosen artwork, which provided the opportunity for direct observation and elicited further discussion.

One of the students remarked about the artwork she selected to research for her paper: “I just needed to see it. I had an image, but it’s not the same.”

In the images above, participants draw close to Julie Heffernan’s Accumulated Self Portrait, 1996, to take in the presenter’s comment that at first glance we see “a world that looks tame and nurturing but which, upon closer inspection, is much darker.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Open to Art

 

Our State August 2011 issue about WAM

Our State August 2011 issue about WAM

New article in the August 2011 issue of Our State magazine by Lorraine Ahearn.

“In 70 years of collecting modern art, the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro has become nationally known for selecting works of enduring value….”

Read more by linking to article.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

 
Next Page »« Previous Page