Anna Hyatt Huntington

The Sculptural Work of Anna Hyatt Huntington

A master of naturalistic animal sculputes, Anna Hyatt Huntington was born in 1876 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Adiella Hyatt, an amateur landscape artist, and Alpheus Hyatt, a professor of paleontology and zoology at Harvard University and MIT. During her childhood years, she developed a passion for drawing and an extensive knowledge of anatomy and animal behavior.

After studying several years to become a concert violinist, Huntington switched her studies to sculpture under portrait sculptor Henry Hudson Kitson at his Boston studio. Her first one-woman show, consisting of forty animal sculptures, was held in 1900 at the Boston Arts Club. During this year, Huntington produced her first commissioned work; two Great Danes cut from blue granite for wealthy Boston merchant Thomas Lawson.

After the death of her father and marriage of her sister, Huntington  left Boston, moving to New York City. She attended the city’s Art Students League, studying under marble sculptor George Grey Barnard and Hermon MacNeil, whose sculptures concentrated on American Indian subjects. Huntington studied briefly under Gutzon Borgium, the designer of Mount Rushmore, but left after criticizing his knowledge of animal anatomy. Choosing to be more independent, she started spending most of her time at the Bronx Park Zoo and circuses to model animals. The result of her observations there were her first major works: the 1902 equestrian work “Winter Moon” and the 1908 “Reaching Jaguar”.

Anna Huntington shared a studio with sculptor Abasteria St. Leger Eberle for several years, collaborating in partnership on works for two years. Two of their collaborative works were: “Men and Bull”, which won a bronze medal at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition and “”Boy and Goat Playing” which was exhibited at the gallery of the Society of American Artists in 1906. Between 1906 and 1910, Anna Huntington, confident of her skills, traveled several times between New York, Paris and Naples, working on commissions and exhibiting her works.

After an early model of a Joan of Arc equestrian statue gained honorable mention in the 1910 Paris Salon, Huntington received a commission by the City of New York to produce a life-sized bronze statue from the model. After extensive research on medieval armor at the Metropolitan Museum and a search for the perfect horse model, Huntington finished the large-scale “Joan of Arc” clad in a full suit of medieval armor. The unvieling occurred on December 6th of 1915, marking it as New York City’s first monument made by a woman, and the first monument to feature a real woman of history as its subject.

In 1923 Anna Huntington married her husband, railroad heir and philanthropist Archer Milton Huntington, who supported her work both financially and emotionally. Anna Huntington continued to work on her sculptures, winning new commissions including the equestrian work “El Cid Campeador”, the cast-aluminum “Fighting Stallions” at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina, and “Diana” installed in 1948 at the National Academy of Design. 

In the late 1930s, Anna and Archer Huntington donated their Fifth Avenue townhouse to the National Academy of Design. A few years later, as Archer Huntington became quite ill, they donated their Haverstraw, New York, estate and zoo to the state of New York. In 1931, Anna and Archer Huntington established  Brookgreen Gardens, the first public sculpture garden in the United States. 

Following Archer Huntington’s death in 1955, Anna Huntington returned to full-time art work, despite being in her 80s. Between 1959 and 1966, she completed five more equestrian statues, including one of the late nineteenth century writer and activist  José Marti, one of a young Abraham Lincoln, and one of a young Andrew Jackson. On Huntington’s ninetieth birthday in 1966 she was still working, reportedly on a bust of the composer Charles Ives. Around the end of the 1960s, Huntington finally retired from creative work. She died on October 4, 1973, in Redding, Connecticut, following a series of strokes at the age of 97.

Note:  The Brookgreen Gardens contain many of Huntington’s works and many figures by other artists, the acquisitions being a boon to struggling artists of the Depression era. Now a National Historic Landmark, it is the most significant collection of figurative sculpture, in an outdoor setting, by American artists in the world. It also has the only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and contains thousands of acres of Wildlife Preserve.

Henry Moore

Henry Moore OM CH, “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe”, 1966, Casting Date Unknown, Bronze, 432 x 839 x315 cm., Tate Museum, London

“The Two Piece Sculpture no. 7 Pipe” is one of a series of two-piece sculptures made during the 1960s that relate to Moore’s interest in bone forms. The projecting beam that bridges the two parts has been interpreted by critics as a phallic appendage, which has led the sculpture to be seen as a highly abstract representation of sexual coupling.

This sculpture was developed from a small maquette made in plaster in 1966. By this time Moore had established a practice of testing out his designs for sculptures by making small three-dimensional models as opposed to drawing his ideas on a page. It is probable that Moore made the small model for this sculpture in his maquette studio in the grounds of his home, Hoglands, at Perry Green in Hertfordshire. This studio housed his ever growing collection of found objects, the shapes of which often served as starting points for Moore’s formal experiments in three dimensions.

In “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe”, Moore combined his interest in the human figure with his concurrent explorations of interlocking forms. After separated the body into two distinct parts in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Moore then began thinking about ways in which separate sculptural parts could intersect or interlock to create a single unit while maintaining their individuality. These ideas came to fruition in works such as “Locking Piece”, 1963-64, in which two differently shaped elements intersect. According to Bowness, it was the relationship between the two parts of “Two Piece Sculpture No. 7 Pipe” that was of interest to Moore, and the subsequent omission of the often-used term ‘Reclining Figure’ from its title reflected these concerns.

Jacob Halder

Jacob Halder (Royal Workshops of Greenwich, England), Portions of a Field Armor, 1588-1590, Steel, Brass, Gilding, Leather and Silk Velvet Textile, Art Institute of Chicago

Decorated with etched and gilt ornamental bands of zigzag and scroll designs set against a blackened ground, this armor resembles 16th century garments embellished with embroidered bands and edged with lace. The cuirass (breastplate and backplate) is of peascod form, featuring a high, narrow waist extending to a point below the waistline, with a scalloped border, as seen in clothing of the period. A knight could have dressed for crusade or a sporting event by wearing different parts of this full armor.

Worn by an English courtier, this elaborately decorated armor was produced in the royal armory workshops in Greenwich, England. Founded by Henry VIII before 1515, the Greenwich Armory turned out distinctive ware throughout the Tudor and Elizabethan periods and during the early years of the English Civil War which occurred between 1642 to 1651.

This field armor is the work of Jacob Halder, a Master Armorer at the Armory. He was born and trained in Landshut, Bavaria, and brought a strong German influence to the decoration of armors. He succeeded John Kelte as Master Workman in 1576 and worked at the Armory until his death in 1608. He was responsible for two armors in the Royal Collection Trust: those made for Sir Christopher Hatton and for Henry, Prince of Wales, the elder son of James Vi.

Evan Chambers

Evan Chambers, Octopus/Squid Series of Lamps, Copper, Bronze, Glass

Evan Chambers began working with copper and blowing glass at the age of eighteen at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in their metalsmithing program. He worked with glassblower Fred Cresswell who taught him the craft of art nouveau glasswork. In 2009 he moved to Los Angeles and built his current studio, working with hot lustre glass, copper, bronze and silver.

Images reblogged with thanks to the artist’s site: http://www.evanchambersobjects.com

Edgeworks Design, Texas

Touch Activated Lighting by Edgeworks Design in Texas

“Drawing inspiration from the very heart of industry, Edgeworks Design strives to embody the strength and power of humanity’s thirst for progress. Using salvaged materials from heavy machinery, I craft uniquely striking products, incorporating the very tools that propelled our country through the industrial age. At Edgeworks Design I believe in up-scaling the old and abandoned, retaking the throne of American ingenuity, and breathing new life into the fragments of a throw-away culture otherwise forgotten.” – Philip

This company from Texas does handcrafted lighting and wood/metal furniture for the home. Their site is: http://www.edgeworksdesign.com

Tutankhamun’s Burial Dagger

Tutankhamun’s Burial Dagger, Blade Composit of Nickel and Cobalt, Egyptian 18th Dynasty

A team of researchers have confirmed that the iron in one of the daggers found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, as well as a number of other precious artifacts from Ancient Egypt, have celestial origins as they were made from meteorites. The research was undertaken by an international team of scientists from the Polytechnics of Milan and Turin, the University of Pisa, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the CNR, the University Fayoum, and the XGlab company. Archeologists had suspected for many decades that the iron used during the reign of the New Kingdom Dynasties and earlier, could come from meteorites.

The composition of iron used in Tutankhamun’s dagger, is nickel and cobalt, which is commonly found in meteorites. In addition, the study of the iron beads from Gerzeh, which are c. 5,000 years old, confirmed that in the times of the eighteenth dynasty, ancient Egyptians were advanced in working iron and that the iron used to create them comes from meteorite.  Previously, it had been believed that the Egyptian Iron Age started after 600 BC.

Gilgamesh

Bronze Pole Top of Gilgamesh with Two Animals, 800-600 BCE, Iranian in Origin, Dallas Museum of Art

This bronze figurine, usually described as a standard finial, consists of a composite human figure and animals. The upper part of the figure holds two mythological animals of lion-monster form in the “master of animals” position. The lower half of the figure includes a repeated human head flanked by the heads of cocks, which form the tails of the upper animals. The entire image is supported by a form resembling animal legs, which in turn rests upon a tripod-like structure with lugs. The work is solid cast in one piece.

Reblogged with thanks to http://llcnsnnts.tumblr.com

Maneki Neko

Maneki Neko, Edo Period, Japan, 8.3 Inches High x 6.3  Wide x 4.3

Maneki Neko beckoned guests and customers into inns and shops. Most were humble creatures and very few early examples exist. Instead of raising a paw to call money like his brethren, this cat tips a right ear, curling it forward in welcome.

This okimono is in the form of a cat with its paw resting on a Shinto shrine bell, the bell articulated to open sideways revealing a compass. The cat is made of cast, cold-chiseled and gilt bronze with inlaid glass eyes; the compass is made of cast, cold-chiseled and gilt bronze with a glass cover. The reverse has holes for pin attachments for a now missing base. This was crafted in the Edo period, 1700 to 1830.

It may be that this feline sculpture beckoned for a dealer in scientific instruments, compasses, telescopes and microscopes. If so, only the metropolis of Edo (now modern Tokyo) would have supported such a specialist shop. Such a merchant would travel to visit feudal daimyo clients, almost the only people with the means to purchase his wares and afford the medium of gilt bronze. They loved surprises and fashionable karakuri or mechanical toys.

Bronze Rabbit Okimono

Artist Unknown, Bronze Rabbit Okimono

Okimono in the form of an alarmed plump rabbit, made of cast and cold chiseled bronze with touches of gilt. This okimono is unsigned. It was probably cast in the late Edo period of Japan (early 19th century).

The bronze and gilding have taken on a warm softness with age. The rabbit is five inches high by four and a half inches long and three inches wide.

Cal Lane

Steel Lace by Cal Lane

New York-based artist Cal Lane turns highly industrial materials like shovels, car parts and oil tanks into delicate lace-patterned works of art. Using a blowtorch, Lane adds a touch of beautiful filigree to the steel objects, producing works that simultaneously hide and expose the gritty material she chooses to work with.

“I like to work as a visual devil’s advocate, using contradiction as a vehicle for finding my way to an empathetic image, an image of opposition that creates a balance – as well as a clash – by comparing and contrasting ideas and materials” , says Lane, who is originally from Victoria, British Columbia.