A Second Look: Behind the Scenes with the Permanent Collection
Girl with Flowers, 1969, Silkscreen
June Mary Ann Hildebrand
Signed in pencil and numbered 29 out of 90 prints, this silkscreen depicts a young woman staring off to the west. The arrangement of the flowers and use of green indicates that the woman is standing among some bushes or foliage.
June Mary Ann Hildebrand was born in 1930 and is an accomplished artist and book illustrator. She has had work on display across the United States but particularly in New York City. Hildebrand was heavily influenced by the art movement in the 1950s. Abstract Expressionism, a form of painting that explored ideas of spirituality and the sublime, dominated the 1950s. Many artists at the time focused on the formal properties of painting, and action painting was influenced by the political freedom of the United States, as opposed to the strict limitations of the Soviet bloc.
Lost Shadows, n.d., Print, silkscreen on paper
|Medium||Print, silkscreen on paper|
|Size||27 x 36 ½ inches|
Signed in pencil, dated and numbered 6/100, this silkscreen depicts a neighborhood street in small-town America. The homes are illuminated with sunshine as the trees cast long dark shadows. The use vibrant colors adds whimsy to the realism in the piece.
Jon Carsman found the source of his inspiration in the play of color and light reflected across the framed houses, streets and country sides of small-town America. His paintings synthesize realism and fantasy.
Color is an important factor in Carsman’s work. His pallet is vibrant and intense. Carsman isolates strong areas of color in juxtaposition with dark outline; the colors become crystallized motifs with a sparkling jewel-like quality. Color is the greatest emotional factor in painting and Carsman uses this device very successfully. Carsman paints broad areas of vivid high-key tones with a surprising effect that creates a dynamic interplay of light and shadow.
Plate 56. En Ces Temps Noirs de Jactance et D'Incroyance, Notre Dame de la Fin Des Terres Vitilante, from Miserere (In these dark times of vainglory and unbelief, Our Lady of Land's End keeps vigil) from the portfolio Miserere (Have Mercy), 1927, Print, aquatint
|Size||23 x 17 inches|
In the portfolio Miserere, Rouault shows the agony and sinfulness of humanity in various themes. Other images within the series show the Passion of Jesus and atonement or the love among humanity. Plate 56 depicts the latter while emphasizing the bond between mother and child.
Georges-Henri Rouault (1895-1958) was a French painter, printmaker, ceramicist, and maker of stained glass who, drawing inspiration from French medieval masters, united religious and secular traditions divorced since the Renaissance. His work melded Fauvism and Expressionism with its jewel-like tones and bold graphic lines.
Between 1895 and 1898, the artist became a devout Roman Catholic as well as going through an emotional breakdown. He came out of this revitalized, moralistic and religious, Rouault displayed an interest in the flaws of society and began frequenting Parisian courts of law to find subjects to paint. Throughout the remainder of his career, much of his work was devoted to the depiction of prostitutes, clowns, and Christ.
Human nature was always the focus of his interest. Rouault said: "A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human."
Riding into the Sunset, 1982, Bronze
Electra Waggoner Biggs
|Size||11.5 x 11.5 inches|
This piece depicts Will Rogers on his horse, Soapsuds. It is a smaller version of the life-sized casting which was commissioned in 1937 by Amon G. Carter, a friend of Rogers, following Rogers Death in 1935. Biggs initially used Soapsuds as her model but was not satisfied with the anatomical features. While living in NYC she hired a police horse and model to aid in the work’s completion.
The original casting was installed at Amon Carter Square, in front of the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1942. Carter built the center as an indoor arena to be used for rodeos, cattle and horse shows, and other events.
Electra Waggoner Biggs (November 8, 1912 – April 23, 2001) was a Texas-born heiress, socialite and sculptor, widely known as owner of the Waggoner Ranch in Texas as well as her sculptures of Will Rogers, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Bob Hope and Knute Rockne — and for having both a plane, the Lockheed L-188 Electra turboprop, and a car, the Buick Electra, named after her.
Slow Poke, 1925, Lithographic Print
Ray C. Strang
|Size||27 x 31.25 inches|
Signed in bottom right corner. “Double Trouble” is the companion piece to this print. Limited number of prints were made.
“Slow Poke” is Strang’s most famous painting and his largest selling reproduction to date. The print of “Slow Poke”, interestingly enough, is under copyright with the New York Graphic Society. This piece was used as the album cover for Robert Earl King’s “A Bigger Piece of Sky”.
Strang’s description of “Slow Poke” (found in Gallery of Western Paintings, p. 85)
“Animals, old and young, have many characteristics that closely parallel what we call human traits. Sometimes they’re smart; sometimes they’re dumb. They can be stubborn, or willing and lovable. They have their ups and downs just as we do. The little fellow here started out full of beans but now he’s tired out. He’s too young to realize that there isn’t much further to go; he’s had enough and is inclined to protest every step. Anyone who has ever taken a scampering youngster or puppy on even a short country hike will recognize the situation. You carry them the rest of the way home.”
Ray C. Strang (1893 in Sandoval, Illinois, United States – 1957) was an American Western artist and illustrator. He was educated in Centralia, Illinois, and attended the Art Institute of Chicago, Art Students League of New York and New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. Strang's education was interrupted by The Great War, in which he was wounded in the Forest of Argonne. During World War II, he took part in the Consair art colony at the Tucson division of the Consolidated Aircraft corporation.
Strang was a successful illustrator in New York for such magazines as The Saturday Evening Post, The American Magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, Country Home Country Gentleman and Harper's. He created covers for Dodd, Mead and Company and other publishers. He then went West to become a well-known painter who specialized in nostalgic depictions of the Wild West and the prairie life. His paintings hung in many galleries, including Grand Central palace in New York, Bender Gallery in Kansas City, Alden Gallery in St. Louis, the Chicago Art Institute and the New York Art Center. His most famous painting was a work called "Slow Poke", of which there were many reproductions printed.
Strang was an active member of the Fine Arts Association, Palette and Brush club and belonged to the Salmagundi Club of New York City. He had a ranch near Safford Peak in the Picture Rocks section of the Tucson Mountains, where he died in 1957.
Susie Q., n.d., Print, aquatint
|Date||n.d. but believed to be in the 1940s|
|Size||27 x 36 ½ inches|
Signed in pencil and numbered as 50 prints, this aquatint depicts an African American woman playing the piano. There is a striking elegance to the piece which adds to the mystery of who is Susie Q. McVeigh’s composition attests to the fact that African Americans are just as worthy as anyone else of striving toward spiritual enlightenment and social equality.
Blanche McVeigh (1895-1970) was a prominent Texas printmaker and art educator. She studied art at the University of Chicago and the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. McVeigh was a founder of the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts in 1931 and of the Fort Worth Circle. McVeigh's figure drawing and, especially, printmaking classes were partly responsible for the high quality and rich tradition of the prints produced in Fort Worth during the 1930s, 1940s, and beyond.
McVeigh was renowned for her etchings, and particularly for her mastery of the challenging medium of aquatint. Her most common subjects ranged from exquisite tree forms to landscapes to children's portraits, Fort Worth landmarks, and images of African-Americans.
The Beginning of Miracles, 1953, Serigraph Print
Sister Mary Corita Kent
|Size||16 x 20 inches|
This piece includes subjects of religious art and medieval architecture. The compartmentalized sections and outlines are reminiscent of stain glass windows and intricate sculptural portals of gothic cathedrals. Her work is energetic with dynamic brushwork and multiple layers of vibrant color.
Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College. Her work evolved from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice. In 1968 she left the order and moved to Boston. After 1970, her work evolved into a sparser, introspective style, influenced by living in a new environment, a secular life, and her battles with cancer. She remained active in social causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions.
Portrait of Sister Mary Corita, Associate Professor of Art at Immaculate Heart College, in Los Angeles. Sister Corita is shown pulling the "squeegee" across silk screen for one of 21 impressions to complete her prize-winning print, "This Beginning of Miracles." Photograph dated March 21, 1953.
The Governor’s Wife Scolds Her Daughter, 1948, Etching
|Size||8.2 x 10.8 inches|
This piece is an illustration for Nicolas Gogol’s The Dead Souls. The novel chronicles the travels and adventures of Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov (Russian: Павел Иванович Чичиков) and the people whom he encounters.
Info on The Dead Souls
The government would tax the landowners based on how many serfs (or "souls") the landowner owned, determined by the census. Censuses in this period were infrequent, so landowners would often be paying taxes on serfs that were no longer living, thus the "dead souls." It is these dead souls, existing on paper only, that Chichikov seeks to purchase from the landlords in the villages he visits; he wants to create the illusion that he is wealthy. Although these transactions prove comical, it is also demonstrates how greedy people can be. There is nothing to be gained from selling these dead souls (or buying them) other than to remove them from their census. The landowners, however, are compelled to extract every last cent possible from their estates.
Chagall was born in Vitebsk, Russia in 1887. After studying in St Petersburg he went to Paris where he befriended the avant-garde circle of artists. In 1917 he returned to his native Vitebsk where he was made Director and Commissar of Fine Art. However, his fantasy-based work irked the conservative authorities so he left for Moscow to design for the new Jewish Theatre.
Returning to Paris in 1923 he met the art-dealer Vollard for whom he illustrated Gogol’s Dead Souls and the Fables of La Fontaine. Between 1941-47 he moved between occupied France and the USA, eventually settling near Nice. Chagall was a prolific artist, his work reminiscent of Jewish life, bible stories and of the folklore from his early years in Russia. He died in 1985.
The Mystic Rose Madonna, n.d., Print, lithograph in colors on wove paper
|Medium||Print, lithograph in colors on wove paper|
|Date||Classic Period (1941-1989)|
|Size||18 ¼ x 18 inches|
Signed in pencil, dated and numbered 91/300, this lithograph depicts an angelic Madonna and child. The facial expression of the Madonna is quite mystical and solemn yet heartwarming all the same. She wears a rose upon her chest and holds her child with the protection of a handmade cross. It is rather lovely with the muted earth tones and educated use of open white space.
Salvador Dali, Spanish painter, writer, book illustrator, stage designer, movie producer and jewelry designer, was born in Figuera, Spain in 1904. At the age of seventeen he entered the art school of San Fernando Academy in Madrid and later expelled from this school in 1926.
Dali visited Picasso in Paris in 1928 as a self-taught cubist. Not only did he see Picasso’s collages; the impact of seeing Miro’s bio-morphed forms, Tanguy’s use of vast spaces and hearing Breton’s theory of surrealism caused Dali to reorient his artistic purpose.
Surrealism has two distinct aspects: one the concentrated naturalism that focuses on the unreal dream imagery, the other automatism, the belief in the intelligence of the unconscious that directs the hand meaningfully to make automatic paintings. The first aspect is the focus of Dali’s work. He once characterized his work as hand-painted dream photographs.
The Sergeant; The Rough Rider Sergeant, 1904, Sculpture, bronze
|Date||Modeled 1904; lost-wax cast between 1904-1918|
|Size||10 ½ x 5 ¾ x 4 ⅝ inches|
"The Sergeant" completed by Remington in 1904, was originally named "Bust of Rough Rider Sergeant". Remington wanted this bronze to be a tribute to the First U.S. Volunteer Calvary, the Rough Riders, whom he rode with and respected so much.
Remington is known as one of the premier artist of the American West. During the 1880s, he traveled through the Dakotas, Montana, the Arizona Territory, and Texas, returning to New York in 1885, with the desire to record the vanishing wilderness. In 1895, he began to exhibit his bronzes of cowboys and horses in motion. After 1900, his illustrative style shifted to one of Impressionism, as he became influenced by the work of Monet, Childe Hassam, and John H. Twatchman. In addition to his paintings and sculpture, he wrote eight books and numerous short stories on the Wild West. Comment on works: western
Untitled, late 1970s, Serigraph on paper
|Medium||Serigraph on paper|
|Size||28 x 14 inches|
Signed in pencil, dated and numbered 12/125, this serigraph depicts an arrangement of rectangles, squares, and straight lines.
Born in Russia, Ilya Bolotowsky lived through World War I and the Russian Revolution, then fled to the United States while still a teenager. The violent upheavals of his early life led to his search for "an ideal harmony and order … a free order, not militaristic, not symmetrical, not goose-stepping, not academic."
In his early works, Bolotowsky formed abstract images on the flat picture plane by combining biomorphic and geometric elements inspired by both Miró and the Russian Constructivist Kasimir Malevich. This style especially characterized Bolotowsky’s numerous murals for the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project in the late 1930s. Bolotowsky was one of the founding members of the American Abstract Artists, a New York organization active during the 1930s and 1940s that opposed realistic styles and embraced non-objective subjects based on pure form and color.
Untitled – Three Homes in the Country, n.d., Oil on linen
Bror Alexander Utter
|Medium||Oil on linen|
|Date||n.d. but believed to be later 1930s or early 1940s|
|Size||29 ½ x 23 inches|
Three Homes in the Country is painted in a regionalist style which characterizes much of Bror Utter's work from the late 1930s and early 1940s. His distinctive use of color is already in evidence; the tones of blue and yellow contribute to the surrealistic mood of the painting.
Bror Utter, a resident of Fort Worth, translated modernist European and American influences into a personal idiom of enigmatic, abstract forms suggesting the human figure, plant life, and architecture. Utter’s interest in art was fostered by his Texas environment. He received training in painting and etching at the Fort Worth School of Fine Arts in the 1930s and studied under Ella Ray Ledgerwood and Sallie Gillespie. He worked in his father’s lithographic printing company until the 1950s.
Utter was part of a small, dynamic group of artists now known as the “Fort Worth Circle,” which was the city’s avant–garde art community during the 1940s and 1950s. His association with these artists, several of whom had studied in New York and Paris, exposed him to contemporary art beyond the confines of Fort Worth. Utter’s response to these stimuli was an innovative pictorial language of biomorphic shapes, characterized by a playful use of texture and color. Continuing to explore new subjects and styles, he became a prominent Fort Worth artist, teacher, and supporter of the arts.
Untitled (Orange and Woman with Sun Hat), n.d., Acrylic Painting
This piece includes what a woman in a large white sun hat who is in the company of sheep and possibly a bull. There is mask iconography displayed as well as textured patterns.
MEMORIES OF MARY…
Words that describe Mary Apple: creative, sensitive, loving of all creatures great and small: both man and animal, a “Bohemihippie” meaning too late to be a Bohemian and too early to be a Hippie! Mary did not have a judgmental bone in her artistic body; she was a true perceiver, finding joy in all people and things and having many friends and students from all walks of life. I met Mary apple on my first day of teaching at Texas Wesleyan in the fall of 1978. We became fast friends because I loved her perceptions of life, her free spirit and the absolute uniqueness of her personality.
I would help her with art projects, or canvas frame construction, or remodeling needs around the Art House. The first time I was a Mary’s home on Panola Street, I opened the freezer and was greeted by a frozen lizard looking straight at me. I asked Mary why she had the lizard in her freezer and she calmly said, “Well the live ones move so quickly I can never draw them, but this one died in my yard and not I use him for a model for my sketches and prints!” Mary worked in many various art forms: watercolor, oil and acrylics, printmaking and ceramics. She was also an avid gardener.
What some people may not know or remember is that she was the commissioned court artist for the infamous Cullen Davis murder trial in Fort Worth. She was also commissioned one summer to be a sketch artist for a geological dig that was occurring in the Middle East, traveling and drawing pottery and other materials that were found during excavations.
Mary loved to travel the art cities of Europe especially in France and Italy. Often in the summers, she would be in Florence and work in local studios in the city.
While Mary was not what I would call religious, she was very spiritual. Mary’s daughter Susan tells of the story that after Mary lost her courageous fight with aggressive bone cancer, Susan took her mother’s cremains on Mary’s birthday to her favorite spot in Florence on the Ponte Veccio over the Arno River. It was sunrise and Susan released the ashes into the river. At that very moment, a beautiful white dove came and landed on the railing of the bridge, as if to tell Susan that Mary was finally at peace.
This exhibit honors a very special and wonderful person in the history of Texas Wesleyan and its fine arts programs.
Professor of Theatre Arts & Communication
Dean of Freshman Success