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Art Curatorial

From the Collection–Theseus by Jacques Lipchitz

Jacques Lipchitz (French, b. Lithuania, 1891–1973, active in the United States), Theseus, 1942. Hollow bronze cast. height: 23 3/4 in. (60.33 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. William D. Vogel M1956.80. Photo credit: Larry Sanders. © Estate of Jacques Lipchitz, all rights reserved.
Jacques Lipchitz (French, b. Lithuania, 1891–1973, active in the United States), Theseus, 1942. Hollow bronze cast. height: 23 3/4 in. (60.33 cm). Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. William D. Vogel M1956.80. Photo credit: Larry Sanders. © Estate of Jacques Lipchitz, all rights reserved.

Many of the artists featured in the special exhibition Van Gogh to Pollock: Modern Rebels, Masterworks from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery are also represented in the collection of the Milwaukee Art Museum. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will highlight Milwaukee’s artworks during the run of the exhibition.

Knowledge of classical mythology is one of those subjects that will always help the student of art history, no matter what period you study. Over the last few years, I have explored mythological subjects in the Milwaukee Art Museum’s collection represented in ancient Greek hydriae; Baroque decorative arts and painting; and nineteenth century German ceramics.

Modern art is no exception. We have to look no further than the sculptures of Jacques Lipchitz (1891–1973).

Jacques Lipchitz was a Jewish artist from France who was born in Lithuania. He was classically trained in Paris, although he soon worked in a cubist style, such as Sailor with Guitar in the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Categories
Art Curatorial

From the Collection–Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, Two-Handled Urn

Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (Dresden, Germany, established 1710), Two-Handled Urn, 1814-60. Porcelain with hand-painted overglaze decoration and gilding. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation, M1962.248. Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Meissen Porcelain Manufactory (Dresden, Germany, established 1710), Two-Handled Urn, 1814-60. Porcelain with hand-painted overglaze decoration and gilding. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of the René von Schleinitz Foundation, M1962.248. Photo credit: John R. Glembin

Last week, we looked an amazing example of large-scale Meissen porcelain sculpture.  This time, we’ll look at another beautiful work of Meissen, this two-handled urn.

This sizable object has a great presence (it’s about a foot tall).  What immediately draws attention is the beautifully painted decoration.  The base and rim are painted in a Renaissance revival-style panel with purple-pink and light olive green tones highlighted with the white of the porcelain and shiny gilding. And then there is the main frieze, which shows an ancient Greek myth called the Calydonian Boar Hunt.

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Art Curatorial

Mythology at the Milwaukee Art Museum–Part 2

Corrado Giaquinto (Italian, 1703–1766), The Triumph of Galatea, ca. 1752. Oil on canvas; 33 1/2 x 48 1/2 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Myron Laskin M1970.68.2 Photo credit Larry Sanders.
Corrado Giaquinto (Italian, 1703–1766), The Triumph of Galatea, ca. 1752. Detail. Oil on canvas; 33 1/2 x 48 1/2 in. Milwaukee Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Myron Laskin M1970.68.2 Photo credit Larry Sanders.

In my August post for the Museum’s blog, Mythology at the Milwaukee Art Museum-Part 1, I focused on some great examples of Classical mythological figures in the Museum’s Collection—hopefully with the result that you will be able to identify those characters the next time you see them.

This month, I am going to explore another aspect of mythology in art.  (Don’t worry, we’ll still learn how to identify a myth or two.)  But we’ll also see that classical mythology can be both straightforward and convoluted at the same time.

First, let’s start with a basic question: what is “myth”?

There is a lot of scholarship on the definition and meaning of myth in disciplines such as anthropology.