Category art history

A Statue and a Stamp Shed Lights on the Life of Sculptor Edmonia Lewis

A public radio segment about sculptor Edmonia Lewis (1845-ca. 1909) recently roused me to order a sheet of newly issued stamps honoring her and then to seek out the marble monument she made 150 years ago for a family lot in Mount Auburn Cemetery. Stories behind the new stamp and the long-standing sculpture led to more revelations about the artist’s life, through resources I will share here with quotes and links.

Bronze Sculptures by Cyrus Dallin in Arlington Combine History and Humanity

New important plantings around Cyrus Dallin’s long-standing sculpture (since 1912) on the lawn of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston this summer made me realize how much I did not know about the sculptor. That led me to Arlington, where some of his significant works have braved all weather for over a century, and where the Cyrus Dallin Art Museum has developed valuable online resources about his works. A winter lull finally let me review my summer notes and photos for Dallin’s art in Arlington, where he lived in the first half of the twentieth century. Now I need to share some fascinating aspects of his art.

Artists Ekua Holmes and Elizabeth James-Perry Bring MFA Lawn to Life with “Garden for Boston”

Whether or not you go inside the Museum of Fine Arts, on the front lawn you will find rich offerings by artists and curators attentive to soil, sun, sea, community, and history. One morning in early August, I joined other visitors enthralled by plantings and perspective in the collaborative venture called “Garden for Boston.” Delighted by discoveries, I’ll share a few of my iPhone photos with quotes from enlightening resources on the MFA website and other specified links.

Jaume Plensa’s Sculptures Make Many Meaningful Connections

Jaume Plensa’s Humming came to deCordova Sculpture Park almost ten years ago, generating innumerable reminders of how powerful sculpture can be. As a guide at the park, Humming has given me reliable ways to connect with others about how and why a tall translucent entrancing head might come to be. Humming has brought perspective to other art in the park, and it has led me to more sculpture by the same artist as well.

African Masks Generated Art in Restored Sculptures by Vusumuzi Maduna

In the early 1980’s artist Vusumuzi Maduna created two monumental sculptures inspired by African masks; “Inner City Totem I” outside the Cambridge Community Center and “Inner City Totem II” outside Margaret Fuller House. Sadly stressed by decades of New England seasons, both were recently restored in ways that should help them stand through countless decades ahead. Here are photos from my visits to each site this month with quotes from key resources about the art, artist, and restoration.

Artists Myoung Ho Lee and B. Wurtz both Focus on Single Trees at deCordova Sculpture Park

Artists Myoung Ho Lee and B. Wurtz both focus carefully on single trees in these two samples from larger projects that reflect their own unique creative processes. Their artworks thrive on the trees and sky through seasonal or daily changes of their current settings in deCordova Sculpture Park. My iPhone photos here hint at those, while quotes give basic background. Links (in red) to intriguing resources reveal fascinating features of both artists’ approaches and results.

Louise Nevelson and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Briefly Share Space and Spirit

Since 1985, Louise Nevelson’s painted steel sculpture, Night Wall 1, has stood 12 feet tall on a lawn edged by several Harvard University buildings, including the law school library ( Langdell Hall). Last week for the first time I found a way to post about this admired art and artist, though I had meant to many times for many years. At the start of the Jewish New Year, 5781, Louise Nevelson’s monumental sculpture kept a steady silent vigil in view of a steadily growing memorial for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Mystic River Mural Panels from Last Summer Make Powerful Connections

Photos, quotes, and links related to the Mystic River Mural Project focus on the most recent additions, affirming the project’s persistent powers.

John Tagiuri’s Art Can Open Doors in Surprising Ways

The two giant paintbrush “door pulls” created by John Tagiuri for Maud Morgan Visual Arts in 2009 when the center first opened now must wait for a post-lockdown reopening, whenever that will be. Meanwhile my attention to these and other artworks outside the center pulled me into John Tagiuri’s website, which is rich in samples of his other projects, all displaying unique combinations of strong concepts with playful twists. From those, I located the towering endless-column lamps over the basketball court in Sennott Park, at Broadway, Cambridge.

Look Up to Mosaic Masterpieces at Fletcher Maynard Academy, Cambridge

Closed all spring 2020 like every school, Fletcher Maynard Academy in Cambridge continues to offer art that is open to public view. People can look up above the school’s doors at the corner of Broadway and Windsor Streets to marvel at the Mosaic Masterpieces created a year earlier by students with artists David Fichter, Liane Noddin, and art teacher Lolly Lincoln.