All posts in “Object of the Week”

Object of the Week: A Woman with Red Hair

A picture frame is, or should be, more than an adjunct to a work of art. If properly made, it is itself a work of art.

– Bill Barol, “The Carrig-Rohane Frame,” 1989

William McGregor Paxton’s Woman with Red Hair is an exemplar late work by the Boston School artist. Well-known for his attention to detail—especially capturing the effects of light—Paxton’s portraits often depict elegant women in minimally decorated rooms. However, unlike his earlier and larger body of work, the sitter here is removed from an interior setting and set against a rich, nearly impasto teal background. Our focus as viewers is placed solely on the woman, her features, and Paxton’s mastery of light and color.

Yet, there is one more element of the work that is impossible to ignore: its frame. Meticulously carved and gilded, it is a piece of art in its own right. All too often frames are overlooked for what they surround, but this Carrig-Rohane frame, designed and fabricated by Herman Dudley Murphy in 1911, holds its own and complements the Paxton painting.

Prior to his career as a framemaker, Murphy studied at the Boston Museum School and worked as an illustrator. Like many young artists he moved to Paris, and for five years (1891–1896) studied with artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Whistler believed, quite radically for the time, that a frame and a painting should be in harmony, and as a result manufactured his own frames. Murphy’s relationship with Whistler proved formative and, upon his return to the United States in 1897, Murphy taught himself how to carve and gild. Discouraged by the poor quality of American frames, he eventually opened his own business in 1903—Carrig-Rohane—in the basement of his Winchester, Massachusetts home.[1]

As evidenced by Whistler, a new appreciation and consideration of the frame as integral to the display of painting emerged in the late-19th and early-20th centuries, part of a larger artistic and aesthetic shift toward the handmade that defined the Arts and Crafts movement. The importance of the frame during this period is encapsulated in the writing of art critic Percy Fitzgerald, who in 1886 described the gold frame as that which “seems to enrich everything it touches.” He also penned that the frame “suggests the notion of an abstract boundary or zone between the vulgar surrounding world and the sort of spiritual life of Art.”[2] Both the Carrig-Rohane frame and Paxton painting are currently on view in the American Galleries, so I encourage you to see—and judge—for yourself.

Elisabeth Smith, Collections Coordinator

[1] “Continuing the Tradition: Grundmann Studios,” in The Boston School Tradition: Truth, Beauty and Timeless Craft (Boston: Vose Galleries, 2015), 53.
[2] Percy Fitzgerald, The Art Journal (London: J.S. Virtue & Co., 1886), 40.

Image: A Woman with Red Hair, 1922, William McGregor Paxton, oil on canvas, 30 x 25 in., Gift of the Estate of Bruce Leven, 2018.5.1.

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Object of the Week: Whale Effigy Charm

There is, one knows not what sweet mystery about this sea, whose gently awful stirrings seem to speak of some hidden soul beneath . . . for here, millions of mixed shades and shadows, drowned dreams, somnambulisms, reveries; all that we call lives and souls, lie dreaming, dreaming, still; tossing like slumberers in their beds; the ever-rolling waves but made so by their restlessness.

– Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 111: The Pacific

This past week there have been a few heart-wrenching whale stories circulating the news, the most difficult of which centers on Tahlequah, a grieving mother orca who has carried her dead calf for over ten days in the waters near Victoria, British Columbia. The widespread sadness surrounding Tahlequah’s loss points to our human impulse to anthropomorphize and, more importantly, to empathize. And while this tendency to project our human emotions onto animals is often discouraged by scientists, orcas are among the most cognitively, socially, and emotionally sophisticated mammals on the planet and, for good reason, have been venerated by different cultures for millennia.

Perceived by many as the sovereigns of the world’s oceans, whales are magnificent creatures. This whale effigy charm is a testament to the whale’s status in Chumash culture, even in 1200-1600. Measuring three inches in length, this effigy of a whale—believed to be an orca—is rendered with an undeniable smile. Even its inlaid eyes exude a certain kindness. Indeed, according to anthropologist Robert L. Hoover, “the killer whale [orca] was regarded by the Chumash as a benevolent creature which drove schools of porpoises and whales ashore where they could be utilized by man.”[1] Carved from soapstone (steatite) likely obtained from Catalina Island, this effigy also possesses a bone tube which, coupled with the functional blowhole, is suggestive of a pipe mouthpiece.

According to Chumash historians and legend, such carved stone effigies were used as charms to ensure luck in fishing or hunting along the Southern California coast (from present-day Malibu to Morro Bay). The magical qualities of these effigies were believed to be obtained from the guidance of a spirit helper, and useless to anyone except its owner.[2] The question of whale hunting has been debated for decades, but the Chumash did not actively hunt orca whales; they were eaten only when they were washed on shore. Swordfish were significant marine animals for this reason, fabled to drive whales onto the beach and provide food during the winter months.

It is very hard not to anthropomorphize this charming whale effigy (for me, at least . . .), especially when the object itself bears human traits and evidences just one of our many emotional, cultural, and spiritual connections to these amazing creatures—these sovereigns of the sea.

– Elisabeth Smith, Collections Coordinator

[1] Robert L. Hoover, “Some Observations on Chumash Prehistoric Stone Effigies,” The Journal of California Anthropology 1, no. 1 (1974): 34.

[2] “Chumash Indian Fish Effigy,” California Department of Parks and Recreation, accessed August 8, 2018, http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=23549.

Image: Whale effigy charm: “Cloud Blower”, 1200-1600, Chumash, steatite, 3 x 1 1/2 in., L.: 3 3/4 in., Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection, 59.55

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Object of the Week: Boys Blowing Bubbles

For centuries, Boys Blowing Bubbles was attributed to Jacob van Oost, a baroque Flemish artist who saw great success during his lifetime. A visiting scholar to SAM in the 1980s even noted that Boys Blowing Bubbles was “one of his best” works. Unfortunately for van Oost, this painting was not his at all—the painting is by an artist named Michaelina Woutiers. Centuries of inaccurate and sexist art historical treatment placed her in relative obscurity, but thanks to the scholarship of the University of Leuven’s Katlijne Van der Stighelen, Woutiers has been reclaimed as the rightful creator of this work. As a result, the Seattle Art Museum officially changed the attribution of Boys Blowing Bubbles to Michaelina Woutiers (ca. 1620–after 1682) in 2007. Now, just a little over a decade later, Boys Blowing Bubbles is on loan to the Museum aan de Stroom (in association with the Rubenshuis in Antwerp, Belgium) in the first-ever exhibition dedicated to Woutiers, exhibiting almost every single painting that has been attributed to the artist to date.

Woutiers was unique as a woman artist at a time when women’s lives were extremely constricted in European society. She was also unique among her peers—who were mostly men—due to the unusually wide variety of subject matter she addressed, and her ability to paint beautifully lifelike portraits.¹ Unlike most other women of the time, Woutiers did not marry. Instead, she lived with her brother Charles, also an artist, which allowed her to continue painting throughout her life. Also unlike many women artists, Woutiers had a market for her paintings, rather than her passion and talent being considered a mere hobby.² Because of this, Woutiers’s oeuvre contains a wide range of subjects, from still lifes and didactic genre paintings (like SAM’s Boys Blowing Bubbles) to history paintings and portraits.

Boys Blowing Bubbles is an example of Woutiers’s lifelike style of portrait-painting, which captures minute details and facial expressions. In this painting, she also addresses a theme that was extremely popular at the time: the transience of youth and prosperity. The floating bubbles in this painting remind us that everything is fleeting—from the youth of the two children depicted here, to the bubbles themselves which will pop at any moment. The candle in the background, too, emphasizes the passage of time, reminding the then-prospering Flanders region that their wealth would not last forever.

Woutiers also painted monumental works, which were then considered to be the strict domain of male artists. She was even connected to the court of Archduke Leopold-Willem in Brussels, who owned one of her masterpieces, Triumph of Bacchus, along with three other works by Woutiers—a testament to her skill. Triumph of Bacchus itself is unique in that it portrays a precise knowledge of human anatomy at a time when women did not typically have access to nude models in their artistic education, as viewing the nude body was seen as inappropriate for women.³ The work is even more unusual due to the fact that the sole female figure is thought to be a self-portrait of Woutiers herself, depicted partially nude among the crowd. As the only figure fixing their gaze confidently outward, her portrayal is truly shocking for a depiction of a seventeenth-century woman in a time when female self-portraits were exceedingly uncommon.4 Clearly, Woutiers was a bold woman for the time in which she lived.

–Julia Hower, Curatorial Intern

Images: Boys Blowing Bubbles, 1640s, Michaelina Wautier, oil on canvas, 35 5/8 x 47 3/4 in., Gift of Mr. Floyd Naramore, 58.140. Triumph of Bacchus, ca. 1655, Michaelina Woutiers, oil on canvas, 295 x 378 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
¹ “Michaelina: The Leading Lady of the Baroque,” Museum aan de Stroom, accessed July 12, 2018, https://www.mas.be/nl/michaelina
² “Michaelina: Baroque’s Leading Lady,” Museum aan de Stroom, 2018, https://www.mas.be/sites/mas/files/MAS_Michaelina_gids_EN.pdf
³ Ibid.
4 “Mysterious Michaelina,” Rubensuis, Accessed July 12, 2018, https://www.rubenshuis.be/nl/pagina/mysterieuze-michaelina
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Object of the Week: Some/One

For artist Do Ho Suh, clothing is the “smallest, most intimate habitat that one person can carry. And when you expand that idea, it becomes architecture.”¹ Indeed, Some/One—a monumental armor sculpture made from thousands of military dog tags—embodies the architectural possibilities that Suh sees in clothing.

Answering the question “How much space does one need to be an individual?” Suh explores the relationship between individual and collective, redefining how we might perceive this dichotomy. Some/One in particular is informed by Suh’s experience in the Korean military, which is mandatory service for young men. Unified as one coat of armor, the chain mail-like sculpture is comprised of unique metal tags—each one bearing a sequence of random letters and numbers.² The sculpture somehow manages to defy gravity despite the imagined weight of its 30,000-plus stainless steel tags. Additionally, the piece’s large fanning base serves dual purposes: it supports the sculpture structurally, as well as makes physical and metaphorical space to consider the work’s footprint.

Dog tags are inherently a marker of individualism used to identify soldiers, but they also connect a troop to a larger collective and, ultimately, nation. In the words of the artist, “When you see a person, you don’t just see the person standing in front of you—you see their background, their family or ancestors, the invisible webs of relationship or information.”³ When we see one person’s tag, we see so much more than a name, place of birth, or unit—we see their life.

Further, the reflective surface and mirrored interior of Some/One underscores the artist’s desire for viewers to see themselves—literally and figuratively—in the work. Whether the sculpture serves as a monument honoring fallen troops or highligts the anonymity of their service (or carries other readings altogether) is willfully left open to the viewer. This work is not currently on view but it will be exhibited when the Seattle Asian Art Museum reopens in late 2019.

– Elisabeth Smith, Collections Coordinator

Image: Some/One, 2001, Do Ho Suh, stainless steel military dog-tags, nickel-plated copper sheets, steel structure, glass fiber reinforced resin, rubber sheets, diameter at base: 24 ft. 4 in.; Height: 81 in., Gift of Barney A. Ebsworth, 2002.43 © Do Ho Suh. Photo: Justin Gollmer.
[1] C. Carr, “In the House with Do-Ho Suh: World of Interiors,” Village Voice, June 23,  2003, http://www.lehmannmaupin.com/artists/do-ho-suh/press/127.
[2] Do Ho Suh, “’Some/One’ and the Korean Military,” interview by Art21, Art21, 2003, https://art21.org/read/do-ho-suh-some-one-and-the-korean-military.
[3] Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hagenbuckle, “Do-Ho Suh ReflectionBrooklyn Rail, March 7, 2008, https://brooklynrail.org/2008/03/artseen/reflection.
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Object of the Week: Ideas for Zanzibar with Dancer from Parade Triple Bill

A pioneering Pop artist, David Hockney has throughout his career pivoted effortlessly from medium to medium, continuously exploring his visual style. Though perhaps best known for his iconic paintings of Southern California swimming pools, Hockney has produced a much larger body of work, ranging from abstract paintings to photo collages to iPhone drawings. However, arguably lesser known is his work in stage and costume design: he has been involved in productions of Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress and Mozart’s Magic Flute, both at the Glyndebourne Opera in England, and Parade at the New York Metropolitan Opera, for which this drawing was created.

Grouped under the title Parade, the Met Opera’s 1981 triple bill brought together three pieces: Parade, a ballet written by Jean Cocteau with music by Erik Satie; Les Mamelles de Tiresias, an opera with libretto by Guillaume Apollinaire and music by Francis Poulenc; and L’Enfant et Les Sortileges, an opera with libretto by Colette and music by Maurice Ravel. Hockney designed the sets and costumes for all three performances.

Satie’s Parade, first presented at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris on May 18, 1917—during the height of World War I—takes place in a world of circus acts and street fairs. Though written in 1903, Les Mamelles de Tiresias similarly premiered during the war, in June 1917. The surrealist play was described by one critic as “high-spirited topsy-turveydom” whose deeper themes are about the need to repopulate a France ravaged by war.¹ Lastly, L’Enfant et Les Sortileges, commissioned in 1915, is a “fairy ballet” exploring the inner emotional world of a child, where toys and animals come to life.

There is a long history of artists collaborating on theater and dance productions. Merce Cunningham frequently collaborated with Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, for example, and both the scenery and costumes for Satie’s original Parade were designed by none other than Pablo Picasso. For New York Times theater critic John Russell, Hockney’s designs for the 1981 presentation Parade are “not [Picasso’s] Parade redone from scratch. It is the Parade of 1917 revisited as if in a dream, with Picasso very much in mind, both as the original designer and as the poet of Les Saltimbanques—the tumblers and harlequins who turn up over and over again in the work of Picasso’s Rose period.”²

Largescale painted environment with separate elements based on Hockney’s design for Les Mamelles de Tiresias

Hockney produced many drawings for Parade, but the one in SAM’s collection is for the second opera in particular: Les Mamelles de Tiresias, set in Zanzibar, an imaginary town in France. Taking into account the circumstances surrounding the opera’s 1917 premiere, when the war was at its worst, Hockney incorporated details such as gas masks, helmets, searchlights, and barbed wire, the latter of which is included in this drawing.³ Though the unfinished blue sky suggests a certain incompleteness, it is important to keep in mind that this is, after all, a preparatory drawing. And despite the war-time setting, Hockney still manages to bring his bold, graphic, and colorful style to the mise en scène. In the image above, which more fully depicts Hockney’s playful cubist-inspired world, we get a sense of how such drawings were crucial for his development of these operatic worlds.

–Elisabeth Smith, Collections Coordinator

Images: Largescale painted environment with separate elements based on Hockney’s design for Les Mamelles de Tiresias, from the 1983-84 Walker Art Center exhibition Hockney Paints the Stage. Ideas for Zanzibar with Dancer from Parade Triple Bill, 1980, David Hockney, Crayon on paper, Framed: 28 x 33″, Paper size: 19 x 24″, Gift of Robert and Honey Dootson Collection, 2010.37.26, © David Hockney.
¹Jeremy Sams, “Poulenc, Francis,” in The Penguin Opera Guide, ed. Amanda Holden (London: Penguin Books, 1997), 282.
²John Russell, “David Hockney’s Designs for Met Opera’s ‘Parade’,” in The New York Times, February 20, 1981, 1.
³ Russell, 1.
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Object of the Week: Model Totem Pole

The black stone used for this carving by Haida artist Charles Edensaw is argillite, a carbonaceous kaolinite shale. Truly unique, this sedimentary rock is found in only one place in the world: Haida Gwaii. Formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands, the archipelago in British Columbia is home to this very special material and the similarly distinct Haida artistic traditions that have arisen from it. More specifically, argillite comes from the Slatechuck Mountain. And while Haida peoples have accessed the Slatechuck quarry and produced such argillite carvings for centuries, it was not until 1941 that the quarry site (measuring approximately 18 hectares) was officially designated as land belonging to the Skidegate band, assuring that access would remain theirs in perpetuity.[1]

For those who might not identify as geologists, or even amateur geologists, the slate’s black color comes from its high levels of carbon. A kaolinite shale, it is composed of clay material that has been subjected to heat and pressure over geologic time, resulting in a highly uniform and workable rock.[2] For example, it ranks at two and a half on the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness (on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being diamond-hard).[3]

Measuring 19 inches tall, this model totem pole (qwa.a gyaa.angaa) was expertly carved out of one piece of argillite. Perhaps it goes without saying, but the larger the carving, the more difficult it is to do successfully, as natural imperfections in the shale grain can result in fine fractures. Further, argillite is sensitive to its environmental surroundings, and can absorb and desorb moisture quickly; it is essential that freshly quarried argillite is slowly and carefully dried, otherwise it is prone to cracking.

Currently on view in the third floor Native Art of the Americas galleries, this piece makes clear just how skilled and masterful Edensaw was as a Haida carver. The figures on the pole from top to bottom are: a bear holding five stacked cylinders—representing a ringed basketry hat—above an eagle’s head; two human heads on either side, also wearing ringed hats; a bear, holding its tongue; and another bear, holding a seal-like figure with a fish-like tail. Though quite a lot to fit into 19 inches, compositionally, each animal and human figure bears exquisite incising and detail.

Such model poles were primarily made for commercial sale as Haida contact with Americans and Europeans increased during the 1800s. In fact, around the time that this piece was made (circa 1885), argillite carving experienced a surge in output corresponding with an exploration of new forms. As traditional Haida ceremonial objects and practices were increasingly banned by the Canadian government, new forms of creative expression thus emerged.[4] Edensaw was an important figure during this period, whose personal style influenced many other Haida artists living in Skidegate and Masset. With a deeper understanding of argillite’s geological properties, rarity, and cultural significance, this carving by Edensaw is all the more impressive.

– Elisabeth Smith, Collections Coordinator

Image: Model totem pole (qwa.a gyaa.angaa), ca. 1885, Haida, argillite, 19 x 3 x 2 3/4 in., Gift of John H. Hauberg, 91.1.129
[1] “Haida Argillite,” Simon Fraser University, Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, accessed July 11, 2018, https://www.sfu.ca/archaeology/museum/exhibits/virtual-exhibits/haida-argillite.html.
[2] “Care of Argillite,” Government of Canada, accessed July 10, 2018, https://www.canada.ca/en/conservation-institute/services/conservation-preservation-publications/canadian-conservation-institute-notes/care-argillite.html.
[3] Peter L. Macnair and Alan L. Hoover, The Magic Leaves: A History of Argillite Carving (Victoria, B.C.: British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1984), 17.
[4] Macnair and Hoover, 113.
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Object of the Week: Atifofoe Susuavor Adanudo

The beauty of this Ghanaian textile lies not only in its striking colors and bold patterning, but in its deeper message of unity. Made with strips of woven cloth crafted by over twenty Ewe weavers, this vibrant adanudo (which translates roughly as “skilled or wise cloth”) highlights the beauty that can be found in bringing together unique artistic voices and, ultimately, difference.

Kente cloth, which originated in the Asante region of Ghana, is today an iconic and widely-produced textile, but it is important to remember that it initially functioned in a royal and ceremonial context within the Asante kingdom. The Ewe, like their Asante neighbors, have a rich textile tradition, and one that relies on a style of horizontal loom-weaving similar to that of Kente cloth. However, unlike the Asante, the Ewe never united to form an autocratic government; this, among other things, resulted in a distinct brand of creative autonomy. Free from the strict designs that would otherwise be determined by a royal court, Ewe weavers—regardless of their region—have been able to explore their own personal style and visual language.

With its high-keyed color palate and dazzling contrasts between warp and weft (a hallmark of such Kente textiles), this adanudo—titled Atifofoe Susuavor Adanudo (A Cloth of Multiple Designs and Much Skill—Even Difference Can Be Unified)—is replete with intricate geometric patterning and inlaid motifs. The creativity and idiosyncrasies inherent in this piece are again a testament to the liberties Ewe artists can take, not to mention their skill. This piece in particular also has an especially interesting backstory: It was created in 2004 by a community of Ewe artists working together with Gilbert “Bobbo” Ahiagble, who was born into a family of master weavers of Ewe Kente cloth. Led by Ahiagble, twenty four artists created and contributed to this adanudo, chosen by Ahiagble for the Seattle Art Museum as an exemplar work from his community and workshop. Indeed, the piece is a feast for the eyes and an amazing display of craftsmanship on a community-wide level.

The syncopated patterning and visual rhythm of Atifofoe Susuavor Adanudo might be composed of seemingly disparate and irreconcilable elements, but, literally woven together, the piece illustrates the power of diversity and the strength to be gained by working together. The whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.

– Elisabeth Smith, Collections Coordinator

Image: Atifofoe Susuavor Adanudo “A cloth of multiple designs and much skill – even difference can be unified”, 2004, Ghanaian, cotton, 106 x 85 1/4 in., African Art Purchase Fund, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2005.29 © Gilbert Bobbo Ahiagble
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Object of the Week: Needlework Sampler

“What does it actually truly mean to be educated? And what would it mean to decolonize the idea of being educated?” – Chris Jordan

Every artwork has a story. For our Object of the Week Tacoma-based artist Chris Jordan shares Charlotte Turner’s story and asks us to question what education looks like in the face of the violent history of the slave trade. Consider this and more when you visit SAM’s collection and see Needlework Sampler in person. Want to hear more from local artists and creative community members? Check out our My Favorite Things playlist on YouTube for more perspectives on SAM’s collections.

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Object of the Week: Untitled, Divinity

This image by Catherine Opie contains within it a number of seemingly oppositional elements: freedom and constriction, embellishment and erasure, intensity and ease, pain and restraint. The subject of the portrait, Divinity Fudge (born Darryl Carlton), stands with confidence, gracefully—if not stoically—lifting the opulent purple fabric that drapes his body, chandelier crystals embedded in his skin.

Over the course of her thirty-year career, Opie has photographed a number of American individuals and communities—most notably her lesbian and S&M leather community—and Untitled, Divinity is one of a larger series of photographic works by the artist, created in 2000 for the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS. Conceived in 1991 by the Alliance for the Arts in New York, Estate Project was established as an advocacy effort aimed at addressing “the protection of America’s cultural heritage during the AIDS crisis.”[1] Opie was among a number of artists commissioned by the organization to create artwork for the cause, and the result was her Polaroids series. The 13-Polaroid series, dedicated to her friend and artist Ron Athey, benefited the Estate Project organization, and half of the proceeds went to an artist living with AIDS. For Opie, “The whole project was a tribute to Ron and his S/M performance work.”[2]

In his performance practice, Athey employs S&M techniques and body modification to explore pain, trauma, transformation, and “allegorize the experience of survival, anger, and loss during the first decades of the AIDS crisis.”[3] Divinity, who is featured in two other photographs in the Polaroids series, appeared frequently in Athey’s work, such as the 1994 performance at the Walker Art Center—Four Scenes in a Harsh Life—which gained much national attention and notoriety. In a scene titled “Human Printing Press,” Athey cut 1 1/2 inch patterns into Divinity’s back. Impressions of Divinity’s wound were poetically transformed into prints on paper towels, which were then placed on a clothesline pulley and extended over the audience.[4]

In the Opie’s own words, “The 13 images in the series work as a journey through the ideas, actions and personas in [Ron Athey’s] performances, little vignettes from larger parts of Ron’s work. . . . The whole cast is not there, but the relationship with Divinity Fudge, who has performed with Ron for the past decade, is represented. There are images that I make in the series that have nothing to do with the performances, but act as pauses, offstage for a moment.”[5] Untitled, Divinity is one such offstage beat.

A master at capturing subjects as diverse as high school football players, lesbian families, surfers, freeways, and mini-malls, Opie has redefined American photography. Dedicated to expanding notions of queer identity—especially its subcultures that are too often misunderstood and overlooked—Opie’s project aims to highlight the beauty of this community as well as the importance of our individual differences.

– Elisabeth Smith, Collections Coordinator

Images: Untitled, Divinity, 2000, Catherine Opie, photograph, 103 x 43 in., Gift of the Collectors’ Forum, 2000.114 © Artist or Artist’s EstateRon Athey blots blood from the back of Divinity Fudge during Four Scenes in a Harsh Life, 1994.
[1] “Biographical/Historical Information,” Estate Project for Artists with AIDS records, The New York Public Library Archives & Manuscripts, accessed June 13, 2018, http://archives.nypl.org/mss/4798#overview.
[2] Maura Reilly, “The Drive to Describe: An Interview with Catherine Opie,” Art Journal, vol. 60, no. 2 (Summer 2001): 82-96.
[3] David J. Getsy, Review of Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey, edited by Dominic Johnson, Contemporary Theatre Review, vol. 24, issue 3 (2014): 299-400.
[4] Erroneous reports quickly circulated that blood dripped from the prints, exposing audience members to HIV-positive blood (Athey is HIV-positive, Divinity is HIV-negative). Hardly a factual account or an intended outcome of the performance, this hysterical response would later be misappropriated by conservative politicians to decrease federal funding of the arts.
[5] Catherine Opie, “Flash: On Photographing Ron Athey,” in Pleading in the Blood: The Art and Performances of Ron Athey, ed. Dominic Johnson (London: Intellect and Live Art Development Agency, 2013), 143.
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