Welcome to Off the Wall. We’ve skimmed the news around the museum, and want to share the highlights with you.
Written while trying to stay awake.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Without knowing how to do it, I began to record some facts around me, and the more I looked the more the panorama unfolded..” -Frederic Remington
DOES THIS BRONCHO MAKE ME LOOK FAT
Walk straight into the museum, and you’ll immediately see some amazing additions to our galleries. You might remember Percy Bryant Baker’s lovely The Pioneer Woman sculpture that used to rest in the walkway of one of our galleries. We talked about it in a blog post that one time. Well, it has been temporarily replaced with a somewhat wilder depiction of American history. On loan from a private collector, Frederic Remington’s Broncho Buster now greets visitors at the FJJMA. And guess what? That’s not even the half of it! Actually that is exactly the half of it, because there is one other brand new work in that same gallery! So, you probably know we have a LOT of stuff coming up next week–you might have heard about our exhibition coming all the way from Rome! This blog isn’t about that exhibition, sorry. We don’t want to spoil it because it’s just that good. Anyway, there is a new work adjacent to the newly installed Broncho Buster that is closely related to the Roman exhibition. It’s called The Arch of Titus, and it was painted by George Peter Alexander Healy.
TELL ME ABOUT THE REMINGTON
The thing about Broncho Buster is that it’s more than just art. It’s become one of the most iconic works of American sculpture in the world today. Pre-Broncho Buster, Remington had earned himself a national reputation for his unique and realistic depictions of the American West in the form of paintings and illustrations. His two-dimensional works are so vivid and lifelike that they practically leap off the flat surface. Remington and author Owen Wister helped transform the cowboy into the principle symbol of Old Western lore. It makes perfect sense that Remington’s life-like art would eventually lead him to create three-dimensional works of art. Broncho Buster was Remington’s first foray into sculpture. If you’re ever feeling bad about your talents, just remember this was his first foray into sculpture. Yeah. He crafted a dynamic composition in which a cowboy struggles to remain astride a rearing broncho by holding onto both the reins and the horse’s mane. Remington studied both equine anatomy and historical dress extensively to create an image he deemed factually accurate, and he regarded his first experiment one of his most successful works. Personally, my favorite component of the work is the cowboy’s very impressive facial hair.
NOW TELL ME ABOUT THE ARCH
Okay, THE ARCH. George Peter Alexander Healy’s Arch of Titus (1813) depicts both the triumphal arch, commemorating military victories of the Emperor Titus, and the nearby Colosseum, the massive amphitheater begun by the Emperor Vespasian. The view was a fairly common one among contemporary photographers, and Healy’s painting was undoubtedly intended to appeal to tourists, like the fashionable couple that prepare to pass under the arch. If you visited the museum in 2011, you probably recognize it from our temporary exhibition, Mediterranea: American Art from the Graham D. Williford Collection. Healy was born in Boston and began his studies in Paris. He became one of the foremost portraitists of the age and spent much of his career traveling between the U.S. and Europe. To be honest, the only real complaint I have about George Peter Alexander Healy is that he doesn’t have quite enough names.
REPEAT AFTER ME…
WHAT TO SAY WHEN YOU CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING FUN TO DO THIS WEEKEND:
Oscar Brousse Jacobson! A World Unconquered: the Art of Oscar Brousse Jacobson, an exhibition currently on display in the FJJMA Records Gallery, is closing September 6! This is your last chance to see so many of Jacobson’s works gathered from private collectors, donors, acquisitions, and our permanent collection in one place. The exhibition includes over 50 works by Jacobson, and explores the vital role he played in encouraging the visual arts in the region. You really don’t want to miss it.
THINGS TO KNOW
Friday, September 4: As I mentioned before, we’re getting ready for next Friday, when Immortales: The Hall of Emperors of the Capitoline Museums, Rome will officially open to the public! Keep an eye out for blog and social media posts updating you on related programming!
Tweet-Up: What on earth, you ask, is a Tweet-Up? A ‘tweetup’ is the colloquial term for a real-world get-together coordinated via the 140-character social media website, Twitter. We invited a bunch of great people who have Twitter accounts to come on Monday for a private, exclusive tour of Enter the Matrix: Indigenous Printmakers. Make sure to follow the FJJMA Twitter Monday, August 31, from 12-12:30 so you can follow along!