One of my favorite artists in the Carter’s collection is innovative printmaker and sculptor Louise Nevelson (1899–1988). Whenever I see one of her imaginative sculptures, it always seems to command attention no matter its size or the other works in the same gallery. Get to know this great American artist a little better and be on the lookout for her work at the Carter and other art museums you visit”¦
Black, white, and gold are the signature colors of Nevelson’s sculptures–colors that transform her found object assemblages from a mixture of items like bedposts and chair seats to masterful displays of pure aesthetic form. She was born in Kiev in 1899 and immigrated to Rockland, Maine, in 1905. She eventually made her way to New York City, where she not only filled her days with creating artworks, but also became a student of modern dance, combining the two in the Carter’s sculpture [Untitled] (ca. 1935), which represents a kneeling dancer engaged in dynamic movement. “Modern dance certainly makes you aware of movement,” Nevelson recalled, “and that moving from the center of the being is where we generate and create our own energy . . . I became aware of every fiber, and it freed me.” Her exploration of motion continued in the Carter’s [Untitled] (ca. 1947), which is designed for each abstract piece to rotate on a central axis (although you must only imagine the movement rather than engage in a hands-on lesson!).
Nevelson is best known for her wall reliefs of all sizes using found objects like the Carter’s Lunar Landscape (1959–60).
She would roam the streets around her New York studio, searching for the perfect items to combine in monochromatic sculptures–recycling long before the term became fashionable! Lunar Landscape, Sky Cathedral, Silent Music IX, America Dawn–her titles reflect her idea that viewers should consider each work’s beauty of form and line instead of trying to determine the identities of the included objects. To me, Nevelson’s works hold appeal because of her creativity and ability to transform a myriad of scavenged objects into a beautiful unified whole. The next time you’re at the Carter head into the galleries and let her sculptures inspire you.
Educators are always welcome at the Carter, but Thursday night will provide a unique oppotunity. It's the annual Evening for Educators in the Cultural District. All of the museums will be free of charge to educators, and their respective education staff will be available to talk about programs and resources available for teachers and students for the coming school year. Bring your teacher friends and spend an evening with us!
Summer is coming to an end, the heat will end soon, and fall is almost here. That might not mean that the leaves will dramatically change color here in north Texas, but it sure means that football season is here! Here's to a great season for all the athletes and their fans.
Helen M. Post (1907--1979)
Phoenix Indian School, Beginning at Football, ca. 1936--1941
Gelatin silver print
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of Peter Modley
©Amon Carter Museum
A recent fire destroyed a significant collection of African-American art owned by Peggy Cooper Cafritz. Her loss is our loss too and brings new significance to the Harmon and Harriet Kelley collection now on view at the Carter. This exhibition will close on August 23rd, so be sure to come in and see examples of great American art.
Many thanks to Jim Hargrove and readers of the Star-Telegram for choosing our "front porch" as one of the most inspiring places to stand in Fort Worth. I've always thought that one of the fringe benefits of my job was walking out of the front door on Thursday evening (we're open until 8 p.m.) and viewing the lights of downtown. Come see some beautiful landscapes inside then step out for a wonderful look at an inspirational view.
Louise Nevelson (1899-1998)
Lunar Landscape Wall, 1959-1960
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds from the Ruth Carter Stevenson Acquisitions Endowment
After Louise Nevelson
Storytime Kids Community Art Project, 2009
Cardboard, chenille strips, foam shapes, glue
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Our youngest patrons recently worked on a community art project using found objects and assembling them in a style evoking a sculpture in our permanent collection by Louise Nevelson. They constructed sculptures inside of small boxes, then placed their small box inside a larger assemblage of black boxes. How lucky we are to have such talented artists at our Storytime programs!
Only two more Storytime at the Carter programs to go for the summer! Bring your pre-schoolers and keep cool while making art and hearing some of your favorite stories.
Storytime at the Carter is made possible by the Junior League of Fort Worth and Target.
Psychologist Miriam Tatzel surveyed 329 shoppers and discovered that folks who put more importance on the shopping experience are happier than folks who concentrate on the “value” of the goods purchased. Also, being with other people increased the enjoyment of the experience. So spend some time instead of money with your friends and family at the Carter and experience great art.
[Two women in front of a vine-covered country store] - ca. 1910
Additive color screen plate
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
Researchers from Italy’s University of Bari have announced that looking at art may help ease pain. Twelve healthy subjects were inflicted with a strong stinging pain while looking at works of art that they had previously seen and given a rating of beautiful, neutral, or ugly. Perceived pain was reported to be one-third less intense when subjects looked at art rated as beautiful. On the other hand, the pain was reported as more intense when the subjects rated the art they were looking at as ugly.
Coming to the Carter may ease your physical pain and it won’t cause pain to your wallet either. All exhibitions are free all the time!
On June 6, 1944, Amon Carter handed over the deed to the land that formed the Big Bend National Park. Mr. Carter and his paper, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, spearheaded the drive to raise funds from the people of Texas to purchase the land.
Take the time to visit this incredible place. Be sure to visit the Basin and see Amon Carter Peak.