This photogravure shows a hazy gray and black outdoor scene. There is a dark cloaked figure depicted in silhouette and a suggestion of trees and vegetation. In the background is a misty gray hillside and expansive sky.
In 1908, Edward Steichen received an invitation from Auguste Rodin (1840–1917) to photograph his controversial sculpture of the French writer Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850). Rodin’s plaster model for a monument to this celebrated author had been rejected by the society that commissioned it and ridiculed in the press when it was exhibited at the Salon of 1898. Ten years after the scandal he still hoped the Balzac might be understood by its critics and that Steichen, whose work he admired, could help to achieve this.
Rodin recommended that the plaster sculpture be photographed at night in moonlight and Steichen agreed. Photographing in the dark requires leaving the film exposed for long periods and Steichen experimented with times that ranged from fifteen minutes to an hour. Of the resulting images, this is one of three that Steichen thought the most successful. When Rodin finally saw a set of the prints a week or two later he said, “You will make the world understand my Balzac through these pictures. They are like Christ walking in the desert.”
The poem reads: kazofureba When I count the years wagami ni tsumoru That have come and gone toshitsuki o wonder why hurry? okurimukae nani isogu ramu As I count The years and months I have accumulated, Why hasten To greet and bid farewell to more?
A male figure is sitting sideways, his face looking toward the front right. He wears a long black cap, a red under-kimono, a grayish-color jacket with geometric patterns, and right gray color pantaloons. He holds a fan, which is peeking from the right sleeve. The painting is accompanied by calligraphy on the right side of the figure. The painting is mounted on gold brocade with strips of purple and gold brocade on top and bottom of the painting.
The grouping of thirty-six celebrated Japanese poets known as the Thirty-six Immortals of Poetry, "Sanjuroku Kasen", was formed by Fujiwara no Kinto (966-1041) for his anthology of selected poems called "Sanjurokunin-sen." The poets that were included in this anthology were subsequently portrayed with their poems in paintings known as "Sanjurokkasen-e." Originally, these individual portraits were placed in sequence in a handscroll, but they have all been cut into sections and mounted as hanging scrolls. Beside each poet's portrait, a brief biography and a representative poem were inscribed. The earliest literary record of portraits of the thirty-six poets dates to the end of the Heian period in the late 12th century; the earliest extant examples, however, are from the Kamakura period (1185-1333).
One of the 36 poets, Taira no Kanemori (? - 990) was active at the Heian court.
Wood-carved flywhisk is shape of a woman. Her torso doubles as the whisk handle and is scarified with leaden inlay, which has been worn smooth due to extended use. A red cotton wrap marks the transition zone between the female’s torso and the buffalo hair whisk below. The whisk visually acts as a grass skirt completing the above figure’s body and dress.
Whisks are the prerogative of rulers, divination experts or judges. This one seems to be of special importance given its intricate surface design. The figure raises her arm to her head making a gesture that indicates that she is also in the process of whisking up and down.
Carved ax handle is comprised of a kneeling male figure with rounded knob on top of his head, into which narrow end of triangular iron ax blade is embedded.
Ogun is god of iron and war and is dear to those whose livelihoods rely heavily on iron such as blacksmiths, sculptors, tailors, barbers, drivers as well as scarifiers and circumcision specialists. Because Ogun is embodied in sharpened edge of iron blades, those who use it are obliged to keep him satisfied in order for their tools to operate efficaciously. To honor Ogun, people occasionally spill sacrificial dog blood, snail mucous, or other appeasing substances on their tools to satisfy the needy god’s thirst.
Large bronze sculptures resembling headless human figures standing with one foot forward. The surface textures are all uniquely irregular and rough, with long vertical striations. All have colored patina, one is gold, one is green, and one is whiteish gray.
This is one of three Doner sculptures installed together- Angry Neptune, Salacia and Strider.
"Strider was named because the giant is taking a stride. It seemed this movement was a defining characteristic as the wax occupied the same space as Neptune and Salacia....I think Strider resonated with the powerful giants. So, they were created in the same space in a relatively short period of time and seemed joined in scale, presence and purpose."
This is an ink drawing in shades of black and brown. In the center there is a figure of a seated nude woman with her back to the viewer. The top of her head is a swirl of dark black lines. In the upper right corner is a three-masted sailing ship.
This drawing was created during Driscoll's work on a multi-year project called, "Ahab's Wife", a performance piece inspired by "Moby Dick" and performed in1968 at the Henson International Festival of Puppet Theater. This collaborative project combined, movement, poetry and visual arts to explore the persona of Ahab's unnamed wife. This work was also included in the UMMA exhibition, "Ellen Driscoll: Ahab's Wife, Working Drawings and Model", February 1, 1997 - March 16, 1997.
This is a black and white photograph with an elevated point of view. It depicts a thick diagonal white line on pavement with a figure standing on the left beside it. The figure is only partially shown with a dark silhouette, but details of his shoe, placed parallel the to white line, are precise. The figure holds a long thin plank of wood at his side that mimics the diagonal white line.
Ralph Gibson is well known for publishing his photographs in book form and he created his own company, Lustrum Press, in New York City in 1969.This work is from "Déjà-Vu" (1972), one of the books that established his career as a creative photographer. "I embrace the abstract in photography and exist on a few bits of order, extracted from the chaos of reality. ["Light Years" 1996]
Hanging scroll. A female figure is sitting against a blank background. She wears multiple layers of kimono, her hair is black and long, and her face white. She is watching a spider, descending from ceiling; her arms are extending in front as if she is trying to catch it. A screen of white and brown fabric is on her right, and an oil ramp with flame is on the other side. Three rolls of paper are placed in front of her. There are the artist's signature and seal on the left lower corner.
The painting is mounted on light blue brocade with designs of auspicious characters and objects, including character “longevity,” treasures, and double gourds. The sides are made of golden brocade, but the gold foil is almost worn out.
Warm holes on the upper right side, some small stains and dark lines on the top and near the face of the figure. Two repaired damages on the lower right corner. Some warm holes on the mounting as well. The wooden scroll bar is black lacquered.
Sotôri hime (or Oto hime) was the younger sister of Ôsaka no Onakatsu hime, the wife of Inkyô tennô (412-453 CE) whom that Emperor installed in his palace. She was of peerless beauty and a poetess. She is often represented as a Court Lady, holding in her hand a shuttle, or in the act of weaving, being credited with the introduction of silk weaving into Japan. (Edmunds, Pointers and Clues to the Subjects of Chinese and Japanese Art, 1934)
Small wooden figure with naturalistic human face engulfed in layers of multi-media attachments including animal hides, medicine packs, and a turban bound in feathers. Figure holds the tip of a curved piece of wood in its mouth, the other end of which terminates in its clutched right hand. A round mirrior is embdedded in the figure's "belly." The hides and fibers creating the “skirt” are intact, making it unique.
Ritual specialists called banganga (plural of nganga) use minkisi (plural of nkisi) as divination tools. With the help of incantations, whistle sounds, claps, and other interactive gestures, ritual practitioners call ancestral spirits from the underworld to inhabit sculptures like this one as a means of resolving social, political, or personal problems, which befall communities or individuals.
Male figured seated on high-backed stool with hands resting on abdomen; symmetrical scarification patterns on cheeks and temples, also down center of forehead and at base of the nose. Coiffure is high crested and segmented. Figure wears sandals and necklace or amulet around neck. Figure has sheen to patina, pigmented deep brown in contrast to stool. Figure has bore hole in back between buttocks.
Baule men and women have figures like this carved for their “other-world” or spirit spouses in order to please them and ensure they will bring health and good fortune. Above all, spirits require these figures to be beautiful. The spirit determines how he/she should look by revealing him/herself in a dream, either to his/her human spouse, a diviner, or the figure’s carver. This figure’s scarification patterns, placid countenance, coiffure, long neck and robust calves are features of ideal beauty in Baule eyes.