Staff Art Pick: How Very Puzzling (feat. Karen Bowles)

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 Karen Bowles. Karen works in the education department at the museum, a role that has resulted in one of the world’s largest collections of hand-made clay crafts.

Q: What is your favorite work?

I am terrible at picking favorite things, but one of my favorite artworks in the museum is New England Church by George L.K. Morris.

Q: Why do you like it?

Partly, I’m drawn to the fragmented, Cubist style of the composition. It’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces are scrambled up, so you see all the different parts of the scene (the church steeple, windows, a cross, the blue of the sky, the green of trees or grass, wood grain that could be a pew, a list of hymn numbers, etc.), but not in a traditional way.  Having gone to church every time the doors were open as a child, the subject matter also has nostalgic elements for me.  The little tic-tac-toe board on the right side brings back fond memories of playing quiet games like that with my sister or friends during long sermons.

new england church - morris[1]

IMAGE CREDIT | George L.K. Morris, U.S., 1905-1975 | New England Church, 1935-46 | Oil on canvas, 36 x 30 in. | Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Purchase, U.S. State Department Collection, 1948

Q: How long has it been your favorite?

It’s been a favorite since I first visited the museum as a grad student over 10 years ago.  Now I pass by it every day on the way to my office, and I still sometimes notice details I hadn’t seen before when I stop for a closer look.

Q: Is it on display? If yes, where is it?

Yes, it’s currently on display in the central corridor of the main level of the Lester Wing along with other works from the U.S. State Department Collection.

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

The home of George L.K. Morris and his wife, artist Suzy Frelinghuysen, in Lenox, Massachusetts  is now a museum.  I think it would be really interesting to visit and see more of their paintings as well as the works they collected by other artists.  http://www.frelinghuysen.org/

 

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