Battle of the Amazons (1937)
Gelatin silver print
This rare print by Raoul Ubac is part of a series that features Penthesilea, the mythic Amazonian queen. To represent the queen and her consort, Ubac took several photographs of his wife, Agathe, and a friend. He also made close-up images of Agathe’s hair, as well as sticks and other props. He then combined these components into one elaborate image. The final grouping recalls the sculptural qualities of Greek carving. A surrealist, Ubac sought to tap into subconscious symbols relating to fantasy and sexual desire.
Neil Welliver, “Lower Ducktrap” (1978), oil on canvas, 96 x 96 inches
The Beauty of The Heart
The beauty of the heart
is the lasting beauty:
its lips give to drink
of the water of life.
Truly it is the water,
that which pours,
and the one who drinks.
All three become one when
your talisman is shattered.
That oneness you can’t know
Self-Portrait (ca. 1877)
George Caleb Bingham
Oil on canvas
George Caleb Bingham painted this self-portrait, the last of four known, just two years before he died. The painting's composition was inspired by the English artist Sir Edward Landseer, who rendered himself similarly in a canvas that Bingham evidently knew from an engraving. The artist's direct gaze outward places the viewer in the role of a mirror. Bingham wears the toupee he customarily wore due to hair loss as a young man from a bout of smallpox.
Bingham's choice to picture himself sketching reflects the important role drawing played in his art. He drew on paper as well as sketched directly on the canvas for both portraits and genre paintings.
Raphael West and Benjamin West Jr., Sons of the Artist, ca. 1796
Oil on canvas
Pennsylvania native Benjamin West was elected in 1792 as president of the prestigious Royal Academy in London, where he had been a resident since 1763. Although the artist's fame depended on history paintings, he painted numerous portraits of his family, including three of his two sons, Raphael and Benjamin, Jr., together. Here the artist's sons appear as sober young men. Even so, their mutual affection is apparent in their relaxed, intertwined pose. The dark shadows and moonlight in the background add a melancholic mood typical of the Romantic sensibility that was gaining popularity in the late 18th century. Both of West's sons worked in their father's studio. Neither man, however, had substantial success as an artist.
Outside row standing horse
Woodcarver: Daniel Müller (1872 – 1952)
Manufacturer: D.C. Müller & Bro. (1903 – 1914)
Manufacturer: Dentzel Company (1867 – 1928)
Basswood, paint, and glass
Description: The sculpture depicts a standing horse, white with large black markings covering its body, with its proper left leg raised, and its nose lifted to be parallel with the ground, and its mouth open. The horse’s tail touches its proper right rear leg. It wears a bridle and a saddle blanket that are light blue with gold trim. The saddle itself is green and pink with similar gold trim. There is a carved fabric piece draped across its shoulders with an eagle decoration on the horse’s proper right side. The sculpture has large, black glass eyes. Beneath the saddle on both sides are rectangular iron eyelets.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Wood, pigment, and raffia fiber
"A Suku artist created this hemba helmet mask to be used during the makunda, or initiation ceremonies for adolescent boys into adulthood. I find these masks striking because of the rendering of the facial features, with slit eyes and exaggerated cheeks and forehead. The somber expression, common among hemba masks, also reminds me that these objects are visual representations of elders who have passed away." -- Rachel Kabukula, Curatorial Assistant of African Art.
Speckled Corn Katsina
Acrylic on canvas
"Dan Namingha has been showing professionally as an artist for 40 years. His heritage inspires his work, which explores connections between physical and the spirit world and includes of Hopi symbolism.
Drawing and painting was a natural part of Hopi childhood. It gave him a way to express his strong feelings about the culture and environment leading to a path of creative freedom. Dan feels that change and evolution are a continuum; socially, politically, spiritually and that the future of our planet and membership of the human race must be monitored to insure survival in the spirit of cultural and technology diversity. He says that only then can we merge the positive and negative polarization and balance so necessary to communal spirit of the universe." *