Thomas Eakins was born on this day in 1844. Swimming is considered an American masterpiece and the pinnacle of his work as a realist painter and teacher. The painting was originally purchased from the artist's widow by the Friends of Art in Fort Worth, who gave it to the city's Art Association as a worthy addition to its public art gallery.
Thomas Eakins (18414-1916)
oil on canvas
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchased by the Friends of Art, Fort Worth Art Association, 1925; acquired by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, 1990, from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth through grants and donations from the Amon G. Carter Foundation, the Sid W. Richardson Foundation, the Anne Burnett and Charles Tandy Foundation, Capital Cities/ABC Foundation, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The R. D. and Joan Dale Hubbard Foundation and the people of Fort Worth.
Currently on view in the museum atrium is Hidden in Plain Site, a monumental art work that includes four canvases. Artist Sedrick Huckaby wanted to celebrate the artistic merit of his grandmother’s quilts and explore the idea of quilts containing hidden messages. The process used by the artist to create this and other works was directly inspired by the collages of Romare Bearden, some of which are featured in the special exhibition Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey now on view through August 11, 2013.
Hanging a large-scale piece takes many hours of planning and collaboration. The project began four months before the works even came into the museum. Jim Belknap, Installation Manager, visited Huckaby’s studio to look at the paintings and get an idea of what it would take to hang 300 pounds of wood, canvas, and paint on the walls of the museum. Not only was the safety of the art at stake, but the integrity of the delicate shell stone walls in the museums’ atrium were an important issue during the installation.
A framework system was constructed on which the paintings were hung. (The design and build process took two months.) Framework and paintings would then hang on a pulley-and-cable system that was attached to a bronze channel already installed in the wall. The original channel proved to be too deep and new metal channel inserts had to be created to hold the bolts for the pulley/cable system.
Installation started on a Monday at 8 a.m. and was completed by 6 p.m. The work had to be completed before the museum reopened on Tuesday morning. This project required four professional art handlers, two registrars, two contractors, three lifts, and a step ladder from the Teaching Resource Center. The artist was on hand during the last hours of the installation and he didn’t seem at all worried about his creation. The result is a wonderful marriage of art, careful planning, and precision engineering.
Hidden in Plain Site will be on view until October 31, 2013. Don’t miss it!
Lots of friends are making their way to the Amon Carter this week for our spring break Family Fun Week! Come look at art, talk about art, even make some art to take home.
Admission is free and strollers are welcome.
The National Art Education Association's annual conference starts Thursday in Fort Worth and we're thrilled to have our colleagues come to Cowtown to collaborate on art education topics.
We invite all of our NAEA friends to come on over to the Amon Carter and stop into the bookstore for a welcome bag (just show them your conference badge) and our best wishes for a great conference!
November 30th marks some milestones in music history:
Dick Clark was born on this date in 1929 in Mount Vernon, New York.
Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was released 30 years ago today. (How is that possible?)
Pink Floyd debuted "The Wall" 33 years ago. Everyone go home, cue up "The Wizard of Oz" and enjoy!
William Henry Johnson (1901-1970)
Street Musicians, ca. 1942-1943
Modified screen print
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Tell your teacher friends to head over to the Cultural District tonight from 4:00 until 7:00 for the Evening for Educators in the Cultural District, our annual open house celebrating teachers throughout the metroplex. All of the museums in the Fort Worth Cultural District will be open and free to teachers so come on down, learn about museum programs that will enrich your teaching experience, and see some great art. (There's food and take-aways too!)
Museum staff are available to inform you about educator programs and share ideas.
Take a look at museum collections and find out how you can share them with your students.
Meet your friends and make it a night out to remember in the Fort Worth Cultural District!