GLAM & The Lost-Wax Casting Process

Significant portions of the data and images belong to the public “for the benefit of all the people, forever” in line with the CMA’s mission to  create transformative experiences through art.

Cleveland Museum of Art

Times are changing! We now live in a world that offers seemingly unlimited access to what was previously only available to the select view.  On January 23, 2019, Cleveland Museum of Art threw open its doors to Open Access, removing all restrictions from use.

Join me as I explore the Lost-Wax Casting process with Susan Bergh, Curator of Pre-Columbian and Native North American Art, CMA.

Figure with Deer Antlers Pendant

Figure with Deer Antlers Pendant Panama, Darién or Venado Beach region, Openwork style, 5th-8th Century The Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art Handbook. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1958. Mentioned and Reproduced: cat. no. 380

This emphatically male figure combines a human body with a composite animal head. The antlers are the stag’s; the snout, perhaps a snarling feline’s; and the hair is formed of braided serpents whose heads hiss from the figure’s shoulders. The extended tongue may convey aggression or perhaps death because dying animals are depicted with lolling tongues. Either condition is in keeping with the creature’s ferocity.The Cleveland Museum of Art

What is Open GLAM?

According to Douglas McCarthy, in his February 2021 CODART article, “Almost 1000 cultural heritage institutions around the world1 have published some or all of their online collections for free reuse, modification and sharing. They are part of the ‘Open GLAM’ (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) movement that views liberal access2 and reuse (where culturally appropriate3) of digital collections as fundamental to education, research and public engagement.

GLAM signifies Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums. The words “Open GLAM” refers to endeavours made by GLAM institutions to provide high-resolution downloadable images free of charge to maximize the ability of the user to interact with, share, and reuse the image. Over the past two years, galleries, libraries, archives and museums have moved their collections and exhibitions online to reach a global community. Open access is the gift of knowledge.

Everyone should be able to access and reuse cultural heritage in the public domain.


#FridayPainting: John Melhuish Strudwick, “In the Golden Days”

How sad it were for Arthur, should he live,
To sit once more within the lonely hall,
And miss to hear high talk of noble deeds
As in the golden days before thy sin.’

John Melhuish Strudwick in the Golden Days (John Melhuish Strudwick, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

John Melhuish Strudwick (1849-1937), an English Pre-Raphaelite painter, presents three beautiful female figures in a Medieval chamber at the bottom of a staircase. The painting is a blend of Renaissance and Medieval styles for which John Melhuish Strudwick was known.

I was captivated by the vibrant colours, the flow of the garments, and the intricate wood and gold paneling on the musical instrument.

The title is taken from Tennyson’s Idylls of the King from the part of the poem where Guinevere talks of her regret of her sins and desire to return to the idyllic time of her youth. The central figure dressed in green may therefore depict the young Guinevere, attended by two of her companions before she had met Arthur or Lancelot.” Sotheby’s

John Melhuish Strudwick in the Golden Days (John Melhuish Strudwick, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

#FridayPainting: Vincent Van Gogh “Olive Grove”

Vincent Van Gogh sought peace in an asylum in the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Olive Grove by Vincent van Gogh (Vincent van Gogh, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

He lived there between May 1889 through May 1990. During this time he painted at least 15 paintings of olive trees.

In the final months of his life, Vincent Van Gogh turned to nature to seek relief from his mental turmoil and emotional distress. Olive trees had a profound significance for him. He saw the olive tree as a symbol of life, the divine, and the cycle of life.

What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.” Vincent Van Gogh

The “Olive” paintings are considered to be among his finest works. One painting, “Olive Trees in a Mountainous Landscape”, was a complement to The Starry Night.

Olive Grove by Vincent van Gogh (Vincent van Gogh, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

#FridayPainting: Vjekoslav Karas “Young Woman with a Mandolin”

The painting of a young woman playing a mandolin resonated. The rich colours of her clothing, set against the light green to dark green background added drama to the portrait. The woman’s faraway gaze and her right hand poised over the strings of the instrument created a tension and expectation that music would come from the painting.

In his early adulthood, Vjekoslav Karas studied in Italy, where he was was influenced and inspired by religious themes. It was in Rome where he found enjoyment in music. He learned to play the flute and the guitar, composing songs in both Italian and Croatian languages.

Young Woman with a Mandolin by Vekoslav (Vjekoslav Karas dupe, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Vjekoslav Karas was born in Karlovac, a city in central Croatia, on May 19, 1821. I understand that he is considered a pioneer in a new era of Croatian painting, expressing a realism in his portraits.

The Young Woman with a Mandolin, which was painted with oil on canvas, was of a woman from Rome playing a lute. It is titled in Croatian, Rimljanka s lutnjom, which is translated as “a Roman woman with a lute”. But if you look closely at the instrument it has a mandolin’s 8-string peghead.

Vjekoslav Karas returned his home city of Karlovac. He lived in poverty and suffered from bouts of depression. Tragically, he died by suicide, drowning in the Korana River, July 1858.

Young Woman with a Mandolin by Vekoslav Karas (Vjekoslav Karas dupe, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

L’Atelier Rouge at the MoMA

A few months ago, when I was lamenting that travel had been curtailed, my husband Don reminded me that if I stand still, the world would come to me.

The world has indeed come to me.

Through the alchemy of technology, I have travelled the world, virtually, from my kitchen table. Today, I have arrived virtually at the Museum of Modern Art to see the unveiling of Matisse: The Red Studio, which will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, from May 1, 2022 – September 10, 2022.

Red has always been my colour of choice.

I am inspired by Red’s boldness, vigour and passion for life.

Red & Yellow (Photo by Rebecca Budd)

Join me virtually at the MoMa to view The Red Studio: The Journey of a Painting.

#FridayPainting: Henri J.F. Rousseau “The Equatorial Jungle”

Henri Julien Félix Rousseau was a French post-impressionist painter who was subjected to ridicule by critics during his lifetime. And yet, he became known as a self-taught genius who had enormous influence on several generations of avant-grade artists.

How often have critics been on the wrong side of history? Perhaps the better question is – how can we be on the right side of history?

Henri Rousseau
The Equatorial Jungle, 1909 (Public Domain) National Gallery of Art

Pablo Picasso recognized Henri J.R. Rousseau’s genius the moment he saw a painting by Rousseau being sold on the street as a canvas to be painted over. It was as if the universe had orchestrated that a young artist would discover a great work by an older artist. Picasso was so enthralled with the painting he arranged to meet Rousseau at the first opportunity.

In 1908, two years before Rousseau’s passing, Picasso held “Le Banquet Rousseau,” which was “one of the most notable social events of the twentieth century” according to John Malcolm Brinnin, American poet and literary critic, who was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia (another Canadian connection)

The guests at the banquet were the creative elites of the age: Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean Metzinger, Juan Gris, Max Jacob, Marie Laurencin, André Salmon, Maurice Raynal, Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler, Leo Stein, and Gertrude Stein.

“Henri Rousseau died 2 September 1910 in the Hospital Necker in Paris. Seven friends stood at his grave in the Cimetiere de Bagneux: the painters Paul Signac and Otiz de Zarate, Robert Delaunay and his wife Sonia Terk, the sculptor Brancusi, Rousseau’s landlord Armand Queval and Guillaume Apollinaire who wrote the epitaph Brancusi put on the tombstone:

We salute you
Gentle Rousseau you can hear us
Delaunay his wife Monsieur Queval and myself
Let our luggage pass duty free through the gates
of heaven
We will bring you brushes paints and canvas
That you may spend your sacred leisure in the
light of truth Painting
as you once did my portrait
Facing the stars

The Equatorial Jungle by Henri J. F. Rousseau