Considering the era of its making—the decade of the Vietnam War and resistance to it in many national capitals, anti-government protests across the globe, and both nonviolent and armed uprisings against institutional discrimination and social inequity—Mauritius provokes questions about human conflicts, their histories, and their costs.
This essay sets out to explore the aesthetic, cultural, and personal strategies behind Barthé’s approach to classical idealism and its application to the racialized body.
I confess to a bit of a Diana fixation. . . . As a seasoned archer but a fledgling curator, I would jokingly remark that my preference would be to work for an art museum whose collection included an Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848–1907) sculpture of Diana.
Two of the most prominent Native-made objects in Jefferson’s original hall were a pair of male and female figures that Jefferson had received several years prior to Lewis and Clark’s shipments. Curiously, the figures had disappeared from the historical record with Jefferson’s death in 1826. It came as quite a surprise, then, that during my internship I reidentified two stone heads that today sit in the hall display cases and are what remain of Jefferson’s original statues.
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.
Most of us can appreciate the social uses to which sculpture is put when it is placed in the public sphere, including the use of public sculpture to promote cultural myths and shape collective memory.
For over one hundred years a granite lady-angel has stood beside a life-size seated granite businessman while gazing at a carved cherub below. For a century passers-by have pondered this unusual family, immortalized in stone on a Wisconsin cemetery plot.
In the third quarter of the nineteenth century, both baseball and sculpture could serve as markers of and conduits for ascending class and cultural identity, and the remarkable career of John McNamee (c. 1827–1895) brings these two realms together in an unfamiliar but revealing fashion.
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