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SAM Art: Lecture tonight

Bronze abides forever. That idea changed the course of Frederic Remington’s career, and shaped the work of Alexander Phimister Proctor.

Frederic Remington was in his day and remains now the most famous painter and illustrator of the western cowboy. His early adventures in the far west introduced him to the Mexican vaqueros, admiring their derring-do as they fought to tame wild horses, the bronchos, and had done for generations. The Broncho Buster was displayed for years in the window of Tiffany & Co. in New York, where Gilded Age admirers eagerly ordered casts of Remington’s masterly vaquero.

A westerner by birth, Alexander Phimister Proctor earned an international reputation as one of the most accomplished sculptors of his generation. Animals became a specialty: Heroic horse and rider monuments by Proctor can be found from Portland, OR to New York, NY.

Buckaroo and other works by Alexander Phimister Proctor are currently on view in the American art galleries at SAM. Also on view (as a Super Bowl loan from the Denver Art Museum) is The Broncho Buster by Frederic Remington. Learn about both works  in today’s members art history lecture.

Members Art History Lecture Series:
Curator’s Choice with Patricia Junker
Buckaroos in Bronze
March 19, 2014
7–8:30 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, Seattle Art Museum

Buckaroo, modeled 1914, cast initially 1915, Alexander Phimister Proctor (American, 1862-1950), bronze, Phimister and Sally Church.
The Broncho Buster, modeled 1895, cast before May 1902, Frederic Remington (American, 1861-1909), bronze, Roman Bronze Works, cast number 12, Denver Art Museum; The Roath Collection, 2013.91.
Currently on view in the American art galleries, third floor, Seattle Art Museum.

SAM Art: More than just beauty

“It is not a reportage but a reconstruction….”
-Fabrice Monteiro, on his Signares series

How much force does a camera hold? Africa is a continent known for photo “ops”–as seen in post cards, historic portraits and journalism for 200 years. Looking back, this opportunism has also created a backlog of stereotypes and misunderstandings. Contemporary African artists are now shifting the use of this medium. Belgian-Beninese artist Fabrice Monteiro works with Senegalese women to create his images evoking “Signares,” the legendary women who matched beauty with business acumen, and played a surprising role in the Atlantic slave trade. His photographs capture his models in the guise of these elegant and charming women of the past.

Join curator Pam McClusky for “Take Me: Photography by and about Africans,” the first installment of this year’s Members Lecture Series: Curator’s Choice.

October 23, 2013
7–8:30 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, first floor, SAM downtown

Signare #1, île de Gorée, 2011, Fabrice Monteiro (Beninese-Belgian, works in Senegal, born 1972), archival digital print, 47 ¼ x 31 ½ in., Gift of the African Art Council and African Art Acquisition Fund, 2013.14, © Fabrice Monteiro. Not currently on view.

SAM Art: A lecture about a life

A lover of art, objects, far-flung lands, beautiful words, and adventure, Katherine C. White amassed one of the world’s premier private collections of African art. Upon her death, the collection of more than 2,000 objects came to the Seattle Art Museum, partially as a gift from Ms. White and her family, and partially as a purchase generously underwritten by the Boeing Corporation.

Ms. White’s life, travels, collection, and words will be the focus of Wednesday evening’s Curators Choice lecture for members.

 

Lectures, art installations, online content, and all SAM activities can only happen with the support and generosity of the Seattle community. Wednesday, 15 May is GiveBIG day, and we hope you will consider making a gift in support of SAM. All contributions made to Seattle Art Museum through GiveBIG today will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000, thanks to a generous challenge grant from Jeff and Susan Brotman.

Members Art History Lecture Series: Katherine White: Her Epic Quest to Collect a Continent

Curator’s Choice with Pam McClusky
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
7–8:30 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, SAM Downtown

Male and Female Figures, 20th century, African, Côte d’Ivoire, Kulango, wood, leather, beads, white chalk, 38 x 5 1/2 x 5 in. and 32 1/4 x 5 x 4 in., Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company, 81.17.225.1-2. Currently on view in the African art galleries, fourth floor, SAM Downtown.

SAM Art: What are decorative arts?

What, exactly, are the decorative arts? The answer might surprise you…

Part of the answer would certainly include metalwork, and objects meant for use. This contemporary tea and coffee service, commissioned for the museum by Julie Emerson, The Ruth J. Nutt Curator of Decorative Arts, ties the museum’s historical American silver to the present. The design for this service was envisioned by master silversmith John Marshall when he walked into the expanded Seattle Art Museum. He believes that a strong clarity of space is an invitation to the art, and that three-dimensional, sculptural objects are a way of making the space have movement. The silver rises from a carved acrylic base that bears a visual similarity to rock crystal.

Beyond this stunning set, the decorative arts are varied and wide-ranging. Tomorrow evening, please join Julie Emerson as she discusses the decorative arts, and explores their histories and presentation.

Members Art History Lecture Series: Curator’s Choice with Julie Emerson

What, Exactly, are the Decorative Arts?

April 17, 2013, 7:00–8:30 pm

Plestcheeff Auditorium, first floor, SAM downtown

Where and why did the terms “decorative arts” and “fine arts” originate? In the history of Western art, what were the roles of trade guilds, value, and geographical accessibility? Are paintings and sculpture favored over ceramics, metalwork, glass and textiles today? How do curators in European and American museums define and explore artistry, craft and design? Addressing these questions, Julie Emerson, The Ruth J. Nutt Curator of Decorative Arts, will place decorative arts in an historical context and discuss their significance at SAM.

SAM Art: A new look at an old painting

The naked human body was an acceptable subject for artists illustrating myths or, occasionally, biblical stories. In this painting Venus and her lover Adonis enjoy a brief period of happiness before he is killed. Especially popular in the region of Venice, Veronese’s large, richly colored decorations were fashionable throughout Europe.

Members Art History Lecture Series: Curator’s Choice with Chiyo Ishikawa and Nicholas Dorman
Venus and Adonis by Paolo Veronese and Workshop
Wednesday, March 20, 7–8:30 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, first floor, SAM downtown

This winter, one of the most imposing paintings in our European collection, Venus and Adonis by Paolo Veronese and Workshop, has been in the exhibition Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice at the Ringling Museum of Art. In preparation for the show, SAM’s Chief Conservator Nicholas Dorman oversaw conservation and technical evaluation of our painting. He and Chiyo Ishikawa, The Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art and Curator of European Painting & Sculpture, will discuss the painting’s history, subject matter, and the intriguing question of its authorship.

Venus and Adonis (pictured prior to conservation treatment), before 1580, Paolo di Gabriele di Piero Caliaro (known as Veronese; Italian, 1528-1588) and workshop, oil on canvas, 88 3/8 x 66 1/4 in., Samuel H. Kress Collection, 61.174, Photo: Paul Macapia. Currently on view at the Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida, in Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice, through April 14, 2013.

SAM Art: An overlooked Chinese artist

Named for a 17th-century Chinese poem, this painting comes from the “Song of Lake Yuan” series. The poem is a lamentation for the good times the author and his peers experienced before the upheaval of regime change. Echoing 17th-century woodblock illustrations of epic novels, painter Lu Wujiu illustrates the poem’s 26 verses with vivid imagery that dramatizes the sentiment portrayed in each verse.

The daughter of a prominent Chinese figure painter, Lu Wujiu was drawn to abstract painting in her own career. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the late 1950s, where she began to define her style of synthesis between West and East. Her mentor there praised her ability “to see the analogies between traditional Chinese attitudes and the vigour of contemporary western abstract expressionism.”

Lu Wujiu’s work is currently on view at the Seattle Asian Art Museum as part of Elles: SAM—Singular Works by Seminal Women Artists.

 

Elles-related lecture tomorrow:

Victoria Haven: Portable Monuments
Members Art History Lecture Series: Curator’s Choice in conversation with Catharina Manchanda
Wednesday, December 12, 7–8:30 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, SAM downtown

Artist Victoria Haven and Catharina Manchanda, the Jon and Mary Shirley Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art, will discuss ideas relating to the works presented in Haven’s installation in the exhibition Elles: SAM—Singular Works by Seminal Women Artists. Haven utilizes ephemeral objects of personal significance to map her experience and memory to a larger artistic and cultural history that remains grounded in the Pacific Northwest.

The Song of Lake Yuan (one page), 1993-2005, Lu Wujiu (Chinese, lives and works in U.S., born 1918), ink on paper, 23 5/8 x 38 9/16 in., Gift of Wu-Chiu Lu and Shih-Du Sun, 2012.7.2.1, © Lu Wujiu. Currently on view in Where Have They Been? Two Overlooked Chinese Female Artists, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Volunteer Park.

SAM Art: A Box, some sounds, and a lecture

A member of New York’s avant-garde in the early 1960s, Robert Morris famously experimented with the perceptual and intellectual issues that fueled Minimalism and Conceptual art.  He rebelled against the notion of the artwork as a precious, handcrafted original object, arguing that art could also be the embodiment of the idea from which it was conceived.  Box with the Sound of Its Own Making was a landmark work: A small cube assembled from walnut boards, containing a recording that allows viewers to hear the piece being constructed.  The viewer looks at a completed product and hears the process of its making. 

 

Jonathan Monk has been active on the international contemporary art scene since the early 1990s. His recent practice has primarily focused on reinterpreting the avant-garde of the 1960s. Often taking iconic works of Conceptual, Minimal, and Pop art as his starting points, his work makes playful commentary on the ideas that defined a previous generation while simultaneously attempting to pin down the values of our own. The Sound of Music makes a direct connection with one of the most celebrated works within the Seattle Art Museum’s collection, Robert Morris’ seminal Box with the Sound of its Own Making.

One innocent-looking box and how it changed the course of art—Robert Morris: Box with the Sound of Its Own Makingwith Catharina Manchanda
Members Art History Lecture Series: New Perspectives
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
7–9 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, first floor, SAM downtown

The Sound of Music ( A record with the sound of its own making*), 2007, Jonathan Monk (English, born 1969), record, silkscreen print on paper, and black and white photograph, each element: 12 x 12 in., Gift of Virginia and Bagley Wright, 2008.8. © Jonathan Monk. Not currently on view.

SAM Art: Members lecture Wednesday

The daughter of a prominent Chinese figure painter, Lu Wujiu instead chose to work in the United States, and to focus her practice on abstraction-based visual language. Lu has been praised for her ability, “to see the analogies between traditional Chinese attitudes and the vigour of contemporary western abstract expressionism” (Professor Reverend Harrie Vanderstappen, University of Chicago).

This series is inspired by a 26-verse poem written in the mid-17th century, wherein the poet reflects on life’s meaning during the dynastic change from Ming to Qing. The poem begins with the beauty of Lake Yuan (in modern day Zhejiang province in southeastern China), in spring, as the poet passed by a mansion where he stayed with a friend ten years before. This mansion now belonged to someone else, just as the Manchus now had control over China, allowing the poet to lament the sufferings in this world which were beyond one’s control.

Echoing 17th-century woodblock illustrations of epic novels, these 26 images are by turns semi-representational, emotional, and referential. As such, the paintings focus on providing a pictorial homage to the deep sentiments of the poem, rather than treating it as an historical narrative.

 

Members Art History Lecture Series: Josh Yiu
June 20, 2012
7–9 pm
Plestcheeff Auditorium, first floor, SAM downtown

Josh Yiu, Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, speaks on SAM’s Chinese art collection, including this recent acquisition.

The Song of Lake Yuan (detail), 1993-2005, Lu Wujiu (Chinese, lives and works in U.S.), ink on paper, 23 1/4 x 25 3/16 in., Gift of Wu-Chiu Lu and Shih-Du Sun, 2012.7.2.9, © Lu Wujiu. Not currently on view.

SAM Art: New news on an Old Master

Struck by Cupid’s arrow, Venus conceived a defenseless passion for the handsome god Adonis. The lovers’ brief period of happiness will soon end tragically when Adonis is killed by a wild boar while hunting. The myrtle tree refers to eternal love, associated with Venus, and to Adonis’ miraculous birth after his mother was transformed into a myrtle tree. The broken tree trunk ominously symbolizes Adonis’ imminent death.

Veronese was renowned during his lifetime for his beautiful hues—like the orange and lavender on this canvas—and for the serene grandeur he brought to mythological and biblical stories. In the eighteenth century his popularity soared again, influencing artists in the SAM collection such as Tiepolo and Guardi.

Since October 2010, this painting has been undergoing conservation study and treatment. Please join us on 16 May as Nicholas Dorman, Chief Conservator, speaks on A Fresh View of the Old Masters: Conservation & Technical Studies in SAM’s European Galleries. This lecture is sold-out, but a simulcast is available free to members.

A Fresh View of the Old Masters: Conservation & Technical Studies in SAM’s European Galleries with Nicholas Dorman
Members Art History Lecture Series: New Perspectives
May 16, 2012
7:00–9:00 pm
Simulcast (free to members): Nordstrom Lecture Hall, first floor, SAM downtown

Venus and Adonis (pictured prior to treatment), before 1580, workshop of Paolo di Gabriele di Piero Caliaro (known as Veronese), Italian, 1528-1588, oil on canvas, 88 3/8 x 66 1/4 in., Samuel H. Kress Collection, 61.174. Not currently on view.