Category: In the Round

In times of economic and environmental crisis, illustrators for the popular press often produced images of charity that worked alongside text to explain philanthropic processes and to demonstrate the effectiveness of various types of food aid. In addition to this instructional function, depictions of food aid reinforced social boundaries between the recipients of charity, viewers, and those with the ability to offer their time and resources. As a force for difference, these images utilize food and philanthropy as legible and significant markers of class.

Margaretta M. Lovell, Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Professor of American Art, Art History Department, University of California, Berkeley

The visual rhetorics incorporated into these images trigger (in different ways) both physical appetite and social appetite, and their mechanisms for doing so appear to have remained constant in recent decades despite new competition from expansive digital venues. They incorporate power relations, aesthetic pleasure, and voyeurism. But food aesthetics are neither universal nor isolated; they echo (and feed) the cultural and political contexts in which they circulate so we can see change over time within underlying sameness.

During the last half century, the history of American sculpture has been transformed dramatically. Very roughly, during the first twenty-five years (i.e., from the late 1960s to mid-1990s), scholars used object- or artist-based documentary scholarship, connoisseurship, and formalist analyses to create the foundation publications.

In this suite of short essays, three specialists in the history of American sculpture consider the history of its formation and the direction of its future course: Roberta K. Tarbell, “Fifty Years of the History of American Sculpture”; Elise Madeleine Ciregna, “Cemeteries and Ideal Sculpture”; and Jennifer Wingate, “Sculpture and Lived Space.”

The Columbus Museum of Art has enjoyed a longstanding reputation for the strength of its American collection. This is due on one hand to a gift of American modernism by Ferdinand Howald (1856–1934) in 1931, which includes major works by Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Morton Schamberg, and Charles Sheeler, among others.