Staff Art Pick: Can’t Even Handle It (feat. Jessica Farling)

Ever feel overwhelmed by the vast quantity of art? Consider going to see some of our staff favorites! They answered a few questions about their favorite work, and we’ll be sharing their answers with you on the blog! The beautiful thing about art is that you don’t have to be an expert to appreciate it.

Today’s staff pick is from Jessica Farling. Jessica works in the FJJMA membership association office, where she plans openings, coordinates membership events, schedules trips, and occasionally pulls her hair out.

Q: What is your favorite work?

Barbara Hepworth’s Two Figures is one of my favorite works of art at the museum. Notice I said “one of” because there are too many artworks to love here!

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IMAGE CREDIT | Barbara Hepworth, England, 1903-2975 | Two Figures, 1968 | Bronze, 90 1/2 x 24 x 13 in. | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, the University of Oklahoma, Norman | Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Max Weitzenhoffer

Q: Why do you like it? 

I like it for a few reasons. First being that I am a fan of Barbara Hepworth’s work in general; second being that I thoroughly enjoy watching the museum docents use this work of art on the pARTner tours for all Norman fourth graders. They always make that stop on the tour fun and participatory.

Lastly, I used this work of art on a tour myself for 4, 5, and 6 year olds. Like many visitors, they really wanted to touch it. In trying to provide a valuable lesson, I pointed out the handles of the entry doors and explained that people touching bronze with their hands makes it gold-colored and shiny. One of the five-year-old girls looked up at me and, with big and excited eyes, exclaimed, “Let’s make this shiny!!” My lesson backfired, but I have a good story about the Hepworth now. (And in case you are wondering… The kids did refrain from touching the sculpture, but we did have to hurry through our stop and move on to another work of art!)

Q: How long has it been your favorite?

Since that tour with the 4, 5, and 6 year olds!

Q: Is it on display? If yes, where is it? If not, when did you see it?

Another reason to love this piece is that it is ALWAYS on display! It’s located right through the front doors of the museum; everyone who enters will see it immediately!

Q: What is something you would like to know about this work? 

I would like to know why Hepworth chose the color blue for the painted circles.

Q: Any other things you’d like to share about the work, feel free to include them!

Hepworth is the mother of triplets: Rachel, Sarah, and Simon. (Also, I love this little video featuring the artist).


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