The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Crystal Bridges Announces Landscape, Tapestry
Kara Walker, A Warm Summer Evening in 1863, 2008. Wool tapestry and hand cut felt silhouette figure, 69 x 98 in. Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York, Banners of Persuasion, London, and Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York.

BENTONVILLE, ARK.- A luminous 19th-century landscape and a contemporary tapestry that confronts viewers with Civil War-era racial violence, both by important African American artists, are the latest works announced by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Flatboat Men (1865) by Robert Scott Duncanson builds on the collection’s strength in Hudson River School paintings, joining works by Jasper Cropsey, Thomas Moran and Asher Durand. Duncanson is thought to be the first black artist in the United States to make a living as a painter and become internationally known. A Warm Summer Evening in 1863 (2008) by Kara Walker supplements other post-modern works in the museum’s collection that use unconventional media to rethink the past. Walker is widely acclaimed for exploring the intersection of race, sexuality and violence through the traditionally proper Victorian medium of cut-paper silhouettes.

Shimmering sky and water envelope the minuscule figures in Robert Scott Duncanson’s Flatboat Men. This pastoral idealization of American industry and wilderness, painted late in Duncanson’s career, radiates a serenity characteristic of his work.

“This painting documents the timber industry but also romanticizes the landscape in a manner typical of the Hudson River School,” said Manuela Well-Off-Man, assistant curator. “The tiny scale of the figures emphasizes the insignificance of the human within the grand scale of nature.”

Largely self-taught as an artist, Duncanson was born in Seneca County, New York sometime between 1817 and 1821 and was raised in the more tolerant atmosphere of his father’s native Canada. He returned to his mother’s home near Cincinnati, Ohio in 1841 and thereafter traveled widely, working as an itinerant artist and sketching landscapes throughout the United States and Canada. In the early 1850s a prominent Cincinnati landowner and abolitionist, Nicholas Longworth, commissioned a series of eight large murals for his home that marked the largest single project in Duncanson’s career and financed the first of several European tours. Late in life, Duncanson suffered from mental illness that may have been linked to lead paint poisoning from his early work as a house painter and years of grinding and mixing paints. He died in 1872.

Duncanson’s Longworth murals may be viewed at the Taft Museum in Cincinnati; his work is also represented in the Detroit Institute of Arts, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Ga., and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., among others. His paintings were exhibited in the United States and abroad during his lifetime and are the subject of growing interest among collectors and scholars.

Kara Walker is part of a new generation of artists who look to the past for inspiration, presenting historic images in new and sometimes unsettling ways. She is best known for creating theatrical room-size tableaux of black cut-paper silhouettes – often stereotypical figures from the Deep South engaged in acts of extreme violence and cruelty. Walker brings a new dimension to her work in A Warm Summer Evening in 1863. This tapestry, Walker’s first, is based on an engraving originally published in Harper’s Magazine during the Civil War that documented the destruction of an orphanage for black children in New York City. By choosing this event, Walker focuses attention on labor tensions between immigrants and freed slaves in the North. The black felt silhouette of a lynched female figure that is superimposed on the scene, her noose tied in a neat bow, is not based on a real person, but effectively telegraphs the horror of the racially motivated violence.

“It’s just this type of collision between documented history and imagined history that makes Kara Walker’s work so strong,” said Don Bacigalupi, director. “This work speaks to the complexity of race relations in the Civil War era.”

In this work Walker has also juxtaposed pop culture and folk art forms with tapestry, a format originally made for the wealthy elite. In the exhibition catalog Demons, Yarns & Tales: Tapestries by Contemporary Artists Walker said: “The engraving, which is an early example of mass-media information, is very crude … I liked the irony of transferring this lowly craft into a medium once used for kings and princes. There’s also an unwitting humility about the cutout silhouettes. It’s an undervalued craft form.”

Kara Walker was born in Stockton, Calif. in 1969 and moved to Stone Mountain, Ga. at age 13, a cultural shift that profoundly shaped her development as an artist. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Atlanta College of Art in 1991 and her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994. At age 27 she became one of the youngest recipients of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation ("Genius") Fellowship, and in 2002 she was chosen to represent the United States in the São Paulo Biennial in Brazil. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with the 2007 exhibition Kara Walker: My Complement, My Oppressor, My Enemy, My Love organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis providing the most comprehensive overview of her work to date. Walker currently lives in New York, where she is a professor of visual arts at Columbia University. Her work is included in the collections of numerous major museums, among them the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, both in New York City, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Images of both works are available at the museum’s ftp site. To retrieve them:

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art | Robert Scott Duncanson | Bentonville |

Today's News

June 17, 2010

Satellite Fairs Give Galleries the Chance to Show the Work of the World's Emerging Artists

John Steinbeck's Apartment Archive to be Auctioned at Bloomsbury Auctions

Italian Researchers Think they Have Found Caravaggio's Bones

IMA Expands Acceptable Temperature and Humidity Guidelines

Sotheby's to Sell The Robert Devereux Collection of Post-War British Art

Bosnia Turns Marshal Tito Nuclear Bunker into Art Gallery

Deborah Marrow Named Interim Director and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust

United Kingdom's Largest Painting Prize Announces Shortlist

Fundraising Exhibition of Louisiana Artists Responding to the Gulf Oil Spill

Art Dubai Appoints Antonia Carver as Its New Fair Director

London Calling Top UK Artists Dedicate Work to Iconic Rock n' Roll Cartoonist

Frick Collection on Fifth Avenue Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Baltimore Museum of Art Unveils $24 Million Renovation Plan

Designer-Turned-Artist Kenzo Shows Paintings

Crystal Bridges Announces Landscape, Tapestry

Michener Art Museum Announces Second Phase Of Expansion to Include Premier Event Center

Altered Images Exhibition to Open at Irish Museum of Modern Art

The Courtauld Collects! 20 Years of Acquisitions Opens Today

Liverpool ONE Underground Attraction Booms-Visitors flock to Old Dock

Collector's Generous Bequest Brings Important 20th Century Works to 15 Museums in the UK

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

Recent acquisitions and a new exhibition announced at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Crystal Bridges Museum Hires Rod Bigelow as Deputy Director

Crystal Bridges to Loan Major Works by Parrish, Rockwell

Crystal Bridges Announces Work by Leading Landscape, Pop Artists

Niki Ciccotelli Named Director of Education at Crystal Bridges Museum

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Announces Portrait, Sculpture

Crystal Bridges Announces Works by Female Artists

Crystal Bridges Acquires Contemporary Works

Crystal Bridges Acquires New Work by Walton Ford

Crystal Bridges Museum Seeks Submissions for Massey Exhibition

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful