WeekendArt

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Artwork of the Week:  Feb. 11, 2023By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
In recognition of Black History Month, we hope that you enjoy this portrait of W. E. B. Du Bois in the collection.Cootes
F. Graham Cootes (American, 1879–1960)
Portrait of W. E. B. Du Bois, ca. 1940–early 1950s
Pastel on paper
20 7/8″h x 17″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Fidlow, A3807,02.0206In this captivating work, F. Graham Cootes deftly depicted the renowned African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and author, W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963). The artist employed striking highlights on his sitter’s forehead, hair, and tie that subtly reference his age, wisdom, distinction, and determination. Between the 1940s and early 1950s, Cootes and Du Bois met when they were both living in New York. While the exact origin of the portrait remains unclear, it is likely that Cootes’ fame as a portraitist of notable personalities attracted Du Bois’ initial attention and that he possibly commissioned it from the artist.Du Bois was born in Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1868. He descended from French Huguenot, Dutch, and African ancestors. Throughout his career, he advocated vigorously for equal rights among African Americans and strove to combat racism in America and abroad. Du Bois was one of the most influential Black protest leaders of the world, as well as a major voice for social justice. Among his many accomplishments, Du Bois was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University (1896), he authored numerous books, including his seminal work Black Reconstruction in America (1935), and was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). For the majority of his career, he also held the position of Professor of History, Sociology, and Economics at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University).

Staunton, Virginia native Cootes attended Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and the University of Virginia (Charlottesville), where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. In 1902, Cootes studied with Robert Henri at the New York Art School (now Parsons School of Design l The New School, NY). Early in his career, he was involved in advertising and was known for his illustrations in Scribner’s magazine, McClure’s Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and the Saturday Evening Post. While working in New York, Cootes painted the portraits of many prominent Americans, including President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Taft, daughter of former President Howard Taft. The Woodrow Wilson 7-cent stamp issued in 1956 was based on Cootes’ official portrait of this president.

This WeekendArt is sponsored by the Holzapfel Group,
Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

 
 
 
 
 
Artwork of the Week:  Feb. 4, 2023
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
During Black History Month, we hope that you enjoy this painting in our collection. If you visit the museum, this work is on view in the Groh Gallery corridor.
 
Daniels Florida
 
Johnny Lee “Hook” Daniels (American, 1954–2009)
Untitled-Florida Landscape, ca. 1960s–80s
Acrylic on panel
23.75″h x 36″w
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Spence Perry, A4291,06.0006
 
In this painting, African American artist Johnny Lee “Hook” Daniels beautifully represented a Floridian sunset along the banks of a river or lake in the marshlands. The painter established remarkable contrasts of light and color, especially in the fading, warm glow of the sunlight, which reflects off the ripples of the water and tree trunks, as well as the lush greenery of the surrounding forest. Daniels also celebrated the purity and peacefulness of the tropics, home to a diverse range of birds (note the herons or storks standing in the left and right middle ground) and where trees and plants of different varieties abound.Based in Fort Pierce, Daniels was associated with a group of itinerant Black artists known as the Florida Highwaymen, who are often regarded as part of the state’s folk art heritage. Emerging in the late 1950s, the Highwaymen, who initially began their careers as citrus grove workers, created idyllic, quickly realized images of beaches and marshlands along the Atlantic coast and sold thousands of paintings from the trunks of their cars. Daniels, like his peers in the artistic group (notably Alfred Hair and Livingston “Castro” Roberts), was influenced considerably by Albert Backus, a white painter who supported his colleagues in their careers by helping them to overcome the hurdles of racial segregation and providing financial resources.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. John L. Schnebly
 
Artwork of the Week: Jan. 28, 2023
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorTo mark the conclusion of the special exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 1895‒1900 (ending January 29, 2023), we are sharing this print from our collection (currently on view in the lobby corridor). If you visit the museum, be sure to also look for Maximilien Luce’s lithograph, Blast Furnace (from the collection of the Driehaus Museum, Chicago), which is currently on display in the Bowman Gallery as part of the PAN exhibition.LuceMaximilien Luce (French, 1858–1941)
The Red Rocks, or The Sea at Camaret
(Les Rochers rouges, or La Mer à Camaret), 1895
Color lithograph
12 1/4 x 17 3/8 in.
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Anonymous gift, 2018.7.81In contrast to his representations of workers, factory life, and wharves, this print exemplifies Maximilen Luce’s passion for unspoiled nature, in this case the rocky coastline of Camaret, Brittany (in western France). Luce beautifully captured both the ragged textures of the rugged cliffs and the sunlight’s reflection off their surface, conveyed by the alternating shades of brown, tan, green, and blue. Below, the calm blue and white surf is visible and seamlessly complements the partly cloudy sky above. The palette and softness of Luce’s lithographic technique are also reminiscent of a watercolor or gouache painting. Unlike Blast Furnace (see below), a print in which large clouds of noxious gases and smoke spew over an industrial wasteland, the air at Camaret is clear, pristine, and bright. This marine scene is truly a world away from the polluted (though beautiful) cityscape found in the later lithograph.Through his friendship and association with Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, Luce became an important member of the Neo-Impressionist (Pointillist) school of painting. The politically progressive artist, Camille Pissarro, introduced Luce to anarchist ideas espoused by writers and journalists like Jules Christophe, Georges Darien, Félix Fénéon, Jean Grave, and Emile Pouget, and indeed, in 1894, Luce served prison time for his radical political beliefs. Interestingly, Luce was among the most prolific Neo-impressionists, creating thousands of oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, and drawings, as well as over one hundred prints.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Beth A. RishelLuce2Maximilien Luce (French, 1858–1941)
Hochöfen/Blast Furnace, 1898
Color lithograph
10 x 7 in,
Published in PAN IV, Volume 1 (1898)
Collection of the Driehaus Museum, Chicago


 

Artwork of the Week: Jan. 22, 2023

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
It’s the year of the rabbit! As Lunar New Year begins today, we hope that you enjoy this Japanese carving in our collection.

Hare 1

Unknown (Japanese)
Hare Netsuke, 20th century
Painted jade
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Rosalyn E. (Mrs. Louis) Schechter, A2836,93.1251a

Lunar New Year is one of the most significant celebrations in many East Asian cultures. Linked with the lunar calendar, the holiday began as a time for feasting and honoring household and celestial deities, as well as ancestors. Typically, the New Year begins with the first new moon, going through the full moon’s arrival, usually falling from January 21 to February 20. The calendar is represented by twelve animals of the zodiac, each of which is associated with the natural elements of earth, water, fire, wood and metal. We share with you this charming painted jade netsuke rabbit in celebration of 2023—the year of the rabbit.

Initially developed during Japan’s Edo Period (1603–1867), netsuke (miniature sculptures) first served as button fasteners on the cords of inro small cases used for carrying personal objects). Later, netsuke evolved into elaborate pieces of considerable artistry and craftsmanship. This work is a typical example of Katabori-netsuke, a compact three-dimensional figurine carved in the round, which were often made for decorative rather than functional purposes. In Hare Netsuke, the artist created a charming portrayal of a resting rabbit, looking attentively to the left. The carver enlivened the animal’s appearance by using black lines to create striations across the gold-painted surface of its fur,

Works such as this figurine were in high demand as export objects in from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries and gradually evolved to appeal to European and American markets. Japanese artists gradually imported and adapted western sculptural techniques and approaches, they adapted their style to suit an ever-growing group of consumers who purchased decorative pieces for their collections of Asian art.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mrs. Theron K. Rinehart

Hare 4 Hare 23 hare2


 

Artwork of the Week: Jan. 14, 2023

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
We hope that you enjoy this painting in our collection.
If you visit the museum, this work is on display in the lobby corridor.

jules herve

Jules René Hervé (French, 1887–1981)
Paris Street Scene, ca. 1930s
Oil on canvas
18″h x 22″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of F. Sydney Cushwa, A2969,94.0009

Like his contemporaries Frank Myers Boggs (featured last weekend) and Henry Malfroy (1895‒1945), Jules René Hervé was captivated by Parisian life. An avid observer of the city, he depicted a view of the Fontaine du Palmier (built to provide drinking water and commemorate Napoleon Bonaparte’s victories) at the Place du Châtelet, one of Paris’ renowned squares (see below). In contrast to Boggs’ Seine River, Paris (ca. 1910s‒20s, shown below), Hervé established a less dramatic, more subdued mood through his use of muted colors such as gray and white, which are contrasted with subtle tones of light orange in the overcast sky, suggesting the gradual emergence of sunlight on the horizon.

An early to mid-20th-century artist, Hervé spent his career painting in an Impressionist style, long after its heyday. His subjects ranged from rural genre scenes to Parisian cityscapes. Hervé first studied art in his hometown, Langres (in eastern France), knowing as a child that he wanted to become an artist. Later, he enrolled in the School of Decorative Arts, Paris, where he was a student of Fernand Cormon (1845–1924, a leading historical painter of modern France) and Jules Adler (1865–1952), a Realist who focused on depicting working people and daily life. Unlike his teachers, Hervé created idealized, carefree scenes of the urban environment. In 1910, Hervé first exhibited at the Salon (public art exhibition). Later in his career, he received gold medals from the Society of French Artists in 1925 and at the Paris World’s Fair in 1937. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. Kevin D. Murray

Paris

Place du Châtelet, Paris, ca. 1960s

frank boggs

 

 

Frank Myers Boggs (American, 1855–1926)
Seine River, Paris, ca. 1910s‒20s
Oil on canvas
15.125″h x 21.75″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Sidney Levyne, A1473,66.0014
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. Kevin D. Murray

 
Artwork of the Week: Jan. 7, 2023
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
We hope that you enjoy this painting in our collection. If you visit the museum, this work is on view in the lobby corridor.BoggsFrank Myers Boggs (American, 1855–1926)
Seine River, Paris, ca. 1910s‒20s
Oil on canvas
15.125″h x 21.75″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Sidney Levyne, A1473,66.0014Seine River, Paris dramatically captures a fleeting moment along the French capital’s famed waterway. Frank Boggs carefully juxtaposed brilliant blue breaks in the clouds with the tumultuous, gray sky, perhaps conveying the passing of a storm as well as contrasting moods of gloom and hope. The tugboat, which spews smoke from its stack, adds an element of spontaneity to the scene, guides the viewer’s eye to the left, and rhythmically plays off the undulating ripples of the water.Born in Springfield, Ohio, Boggs started out as an engraver for Harper’s magazine and later moved to Europe, working in France, England, the Netherlands, and Italy. Although he was acquainted with the work of Impressionists such as Claude Monet (1840–1926), Alfred Sisley (1839–1899), and Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), he was more heavily influenced by the Dutch marine painter Johan Barthold Jongkind (1819–1891), whom he met in Paris in the late 1880s. In contrast to many of his Impressionist peers, he was especially attracted to the soft light of misty mornings and rainy afternoons rather than brilliant, sunlit scenes. As illustrated in mature works like Seine River, Paris, Boggs’ brushstrokes became looser and freer, and his palette lightened. Over the course of his career, he focused on painting marine subjects, riverscapes, and street scenes.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Martha Williams


 
Artwork of the Week: Dec. 31, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorWe hope that you enjoy this Japanese sculpture from the collection.
 
Fisherman with basket of fish -1
Unknown (Japanese, late Edo or Meiji Period)
Fisherman with a Basket of Fish, ca. late 1840–90
Ivory
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Harry Bowman, A1651,71.0404Fisherman with a Basket of Fish exemplifies carvings of its type (called okimono) that seamlessly combine portraiture and genre (scenes of everyday life) elements. With his lifelike expression and sense of immediacy, this man’s actions are captured exquisitely and the viewer is invited to join in appreciating all of his anatomical details as well as those of the fish and basket which he carries.Works such as this were in high demand as export objects in mid- to late 19th-century Japan and predominantly geared toward European and American markets. As Japanese ivory carvers gradually imported and adapted western sculptural techniques and approaches, they adapted their style to suit an ever-growing group of consumers who purchased decorative pieces for interior displays of Asian art. After Japan’s participation in several World’s Fairs or Universal Expositions, where ivory sculptures were exhibited and sold, the demand for them increased significantly. The taste for these works in Europe and America also paralleled the rise of Japonisme, a term that refers to the popularity and influence of Japanese art and design in the West.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. William G. Pitzer
 Fisherman with basket of fish -4 Fisherman with basket of fish -2 Fisherman with basket of fish -3
 
 
 

Artwork of the Week: Dec. 24, 2022
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorIn the spirit of the holiday season, we hope that you enjoy this Norwegian landscape by William Singer. If you visit the museum,
this work is on display in the lobby corridor.

William Henry Singer, Jr. (American, 1868–1943) Christmas Eve, 1928

William Henry Singer, Jr. (American, 1868–1943)
Christmas Eve, 1928

William Henry Singer, Jr. (American, 1868–1943)
Christmas Eve, 1928
Oil on canvas
39.75″h x 41.5″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Anna Brugh Singer, A0584,49.0001

In this peaceful landscape, William Singer transports the viewer to the serene, relaxed environment of Olden, a village nestled in the western Norwegian countryside and a place treasured by the artist and his wife, Anna Brugh Singer, who both founded the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in 1928. Displaying his passion for winter, Singer beautifully captured the atmosphere of the village and its dockside at Christmastime. As viewers, we seem to stand on the water of the fjord filled with ice floes, boats, and fish houses. We look beyond a church and a few houses with lighted windows to the deep snow on the mountains above the village. Stars in the sky shine on the magical landscape, with no villagers in sight, creating a still scene that glistens. Working in his characteristic, airy Pointillist style, Singer employed a dark palette of blue, green, gray, and white and imbued the scene with a remarkable reflection of moonlight off the water and mountains. Like Singer’s related canvas, In The Shadow of the Arctic (ca. 1920s), Christmas Eve conveys a mood of contemplation and reverie, and captures an ephemeral moment or impression.

Having received $4,000,000 from his father in 1907, Singer was able to enjoy a life of comfort, pursuing what he loved best and to support Anna in her passion for art collecting. On a trip to Norway in 1903, Singer discovered that the mountainous landscape captivated him. Throughout his career, he captured the spirit and magnificence of the country’s natural beauty, giving titles to his paintings that suggested nature’s roots in religious faith, such as Nature as God Made ItRock of Ages, and Peace Divine.

 

William Henry Singer, Jr. In The Shadow of the Arctic, ca. 1920s Oil on canvas 39"h x 41"w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Anna Brugh Singer, A0584,49.0013

William Henry Singer, Jr.
In The Shadow of the Arctic, ca. 1920s
Oil on canvas
39″h x 41″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Anna Brugh Singer, A0584,49.0013

 

 

William and Anna Singer walking near their home at Olden, Norway

William and Anna Singer walking near their home at Olden, Norway

 

This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. John L. Schnebly


 
 
Artwork of the Week: Dec. 17, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
In the spirit of the holiday season, we hope that you enjoy this painting from our collection. If you visit the museum, this work is on display in the Schreiber Gallery.Lanzani 3Polidoro Lanzani (Italian, 1515–1565)
Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot, 1560
Oil on canvas
34″h x 43″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Museum purchase,
Mrs. William Grimm Fund & partial gift of Mr. Abris Silberman of
E & A Silberman Galleries, Inc., New York, NY, in honor of Mr. Bruce Etchison, A1346,64.0015In this painting, High Renaissance artist Polidoro Lanzani depicted the Virgin Mary and Christ with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot in a pastoral landscape surrounded by verdant trees. In a very immediate, tender manner, Lanzani represented Jesus trying to pull himself away from his mother’s arms, while at the same time clutching her sleeve as he tries to move toward Roch, patron saint of the sick. Dressed as a pilgrim and holding his hat with a cockle shell, Roch kneels in devotion and passionately gazes at Mary and Jesus. He bears his key attributes of a staff and wounded right thigh, symbolic of his having fallen victim to the plague. On the right, Anthony Abbot (also a saint who protected against diseases and temptation) watches on meditatively and can be identified by the Greek letter “T” on the right shoulder of his monk’s habit, representing the first letter of the word “theo” (Greek, “God”).Like his contemporaries, most notably Titian (1488/90–1576), Bonifacio Veronese (1487–1533), and Paolo Veronese (1528–1588), Lanzani created a sacra conversazione (Italian, “sacred conversation”) or devotional gathering of the Madonna and saints (often in nature), a beloved theme in Venetian art. Wealthy patrons often commissioned works such as this for private prayer and to express their piety. Given that plagues often afflicted Venetian society during the 1500s (due to its extensive trading networks), Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot were often invoked and represented in art for the protection of worshipers. In addition, the extensive landscape is replete with rolling hills, a manor, sheep (symbolic of Christ as shepherd), and mountains, allowing viewers to virtually escape to the beauty, peace, and tranquility of the countryside.Polidoro was born in Lanciano, Abruzzo, a region of east-central Italy along the Adriatic Sea. A descendant of vase painters, Lanzani showed exceptional talent at a young age and he later relocated to Venice, where he studied under Titian, who greatly influenced his work. Like Titian, Lanzani employed a similar compositional format in which Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds are shown in close proximity, kneeling in a landscape (see the example below from The National Gallery, London). The Hagerstown canvas also resembles The Holy Family with Saints Roch, Jerome, Anthony Abbot, and Archangel Raphael with Tobias (see below) as well as The Holy Family with the Infant St. John in the Louvre (attributed to Lanzani, shown below), paintings in which the artist used a similar natural vista and comparable poses for the Virgin, Christ, Joseph, and saints.Interestingly, prior to entering the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts’ collection in 1964, Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot was exhibited at the Corning Museum of Glass, New York, (formerly The Corning Glass Center) in 1953, where it was featured in a special Christmas exhibition of medieval and Renaissance art (see photo below).This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Hugh J. Talton

Polidoro Lanzani (Italian, 1515–1565) Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot, 1560

Polidoro Lanzani (Italian, 1515–1565)
Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot, 1560

Detail, letter T on monk’s habit

Detail, letter T on monk’s habit

Polidoro Lanzani, The Holy Family with Saints Roch, Jerome, Anthony Abbot, and Archangel Raphael with Tobias, mid-16th century, Oil on canvas Private collection, formerly Sotheby’s, London, 1995

Polidoro Lanzani, The Holy Family with Saints Roch, Jerome, Anthony Abbot,
and Archangel Raphael with Tobias, mid-16th century,
Oil on canvas
Private collection, formerly Sotheby’s, London, 1995

Attributed to Polidoro Lanzani The Holy Family with the Infant St. John, mid-16th century Oil on canvas Louvre, Paris

Attributed to Polidoro Lanzani
The Holy Family with the Infant St. John, mid-16th century
Oil on canvas
Louvre, Paris

 
Lanzani’s Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot, on view in Christmas exhibition, Corning Museum of Glass, December 1953

Lanzani’s Madonna and Child with Saints Roch and Anthony Abbot,
on view in Christmas exhibition, Corning Museum of Glass, December 1953


Artwork of the Week: Dec. 10, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorTo mark the special exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 1895‒1900 (on view through January 29, 2023), we are sharing this print from our collection. An identical version of this work (from the collection of the Driehaus Museum, Chicago) is currently on display in the Kerstein Gallery as part of the PAN exhibition.Strang
William Strang (English, 1859–1921)
Selbstporträt/Self Portrait, 1895
Etching
Published in PAN II, Volume 3 (1896)
7 13/16″h x 5 3/4″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Henry B. Caldwell, A1728,72.0305Straightforward and focused, William Strang depicted himself without artifice, emphasizing his facial features instead of completing a whole composition. Note the artist’s subtle variations of shading on his hair, forehead, cheeks, mustache, and neck, which convey the partial illumination of his upper body. Gazing out intently with great immediacy at the viewer, Strang grasps a pencil or pen, pressing his instrument against a sketchbook and alluding to a key aspect of his creative expression, draftsmanship.A renowned Scottish painter and engraver, Strang was born at Dumbarton, the son of a builder, and educated at the Dumbarton Academy. He worked for fifteen months in the counting-house of a shipbuilding company before going to London in 1875. There, Strang studied art at the Slade School for six years under Alphonse Legros (1837–1911), a major figure in the British etching revival. Strang became an assistant master in etching, a medium that brought him much success during his career. He was one of the founding members of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and his work was a part of their first exhibition in 1881.This WeekendArt is sponsored by James & Melinda Marsden


Artwork of the Week: Dec. 3, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorWe hope that you enjoy this new acquisition from the collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see the work, which is on view in the lobby corridor.maskWilliam S. Dutterer (American, 1943–2007) Mask, 1978 Acrylic on canvas 66″ H x 72″ W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of The Kohler Foundation, 2022Though primarily abstract, William Dutterer’s paintings and drawings are highly personal and often elusive. Typically, his work references representational forms and are characterized by witty and sometimes mysterious subjects. In Mask, Dutterer juxtaposed a white face covering floating in space (placed in a square) with a combined background of red, tan, and black. The layering and arrangement of loose, wavy brushstrokes recall a cloudy sky or smoke. Though the work’s meaning is not entirely clear, the artist could be alluding to notions of concealed identity or the possibly the supernatural, for like a phantom, there are no eyes behind this mask: this spirit remains anonymous and enigmatic.A Hagerstown native, Dutterer began as a minimalist painter and created an important body of interdisciplinary body of work spanning four decades. Dutterer spent his early years in Washington, DC, where he shared a studio space with African American artist Sam Gilliam (see his print in the corridor outside the Groh Gallery). In addition, Dutterer spent a great deal of time with his friend, Tom Downing, as well as colleagues Ann Truitt, Howard Mehring and Gene Davis, who were associated with the Washington Color Field School. Commuting between Washington and New York for part of his career, Dutterer served as a professor at the Corcoran School of Art and was passionate about the artistic process, research, and making work. His teacher, mentor, and life-long friend, Grace Hartigan, said of Dutterer, “Bill invented and interpreted life for himself, and then shared it in his art.”In June 2022, the museum received a gift of five works by Dutterer from the Kohler Foundation (Kohler, Wisconsin) which includes both paintings and prints by the artist.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Charles Strong


 
Artwork of the Week: Nov. 24, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
In celebration of Thanksgiving, we hope that you enjoy this print in our collection.
Robert Ecker
 
Robert Ecker (American, 1936‒2017) Archetype, for VFJ, 1979 Mezzotint 3 7/8″h x 3 7/8″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of the Artist in honor of the Museum’s 75th Anniversary, A4249,06.3317In Archetype, for VFJ, painter and printmaker Robert Ecker created an atmospheric, enigmatic still life. He represented a small sculpture of a turkey that is placed atop a carefully draped tablecloth. Through his masterful use of chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark), Ecker emphasized the highlights of the bird’s feathers and subtle folds of the fabric, which are juxtaposed with its black surroundings.After teaching in a Semester at Sea program in 1977, the artist returned and decided to explore mezzotint printmaking, a new artistic medium for Ecker. As he stated:I guess the world was so big and overwhelming, I wanted to do something small and intimate; I thought, I’m just going to do nothing but this for a year. I actually ended up doing it for five years.The miniature scale of Ecker’s mezzotints invites close examination, reflects his deep interest in the intricacy of this laborious printmaking technique, and demonstrates his love for small objects of all kinds.A type of engraving, a mezzotint is produced by using a rocker (a teethed metal tool) to roughen a metal plate with thousands of small raised metal burrs. A fully-rocked plate prints a rich, dark black from the ink captured in the burrs. The artist, unlike in other printing techniques, works from dark to light—smoothing the areas which are intended to print in a lighter tonality. Mezzotint was a very popular technique in the eighteenth century, prized for its ability to mimic painterly tonalities and frequently used for reproductive prints after the leading portrait artists of the day. During the twentieth century, numerous artists rediscovered and revived the mezzotint process, most notably Peter Ilsted, M.C. Escher, Yozo Hamaguchi, and Robert Kipniss.A Waynesboro, Pennsylvania native, Ecker grew up there and also spent much time in Hagerstown with his relatives. During his childhood, he was first exposed to the visual arts from visits he made to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. Later, Ecker studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and Shippensburg University, PA. For much of his career, he taught art at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2006, Ecker donated 132 of his mezzotints to the museum and in 2008, the museum held a solo exhibition of the artist’s work, Robert Ecker: Mezzotints and Quirauk Mountain Paintings.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. William P. Young, Jr.
 
 
 
Artwork of the Week: Nov. 19, 2022
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
To mark the opening of the special exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 1895‒1900 (on view through January 29, 2023), we are sharing this print from our collection. An identical version of this work (from the collection of the Driehaus Museum, Chicago) is currently on display in the Bowman Gallery as part of the PAN exhibition.Paul SignacPaul Signac (French, 1863–1935) Abend (Le Soir—La Jetée de Flassingue/ Evening, The Pier at Flassingue Color lithograph, 1898 Published in PAN IV, Volume 1 (1899) 7.875″h x 10.25″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Anonymous gift, 2018.7.91Paul Signac was the most important follower of Georges Seurat, the founder of Neo-Impressionism, an artistic movement that emphasized color, light, and the science of optics to depict modern life. In Evening, Signac depicted the bustling port of Vlissingnen (The Netherlands) using his signature Pointillist style (consisting of colored dots), expertly melding, color, form, and light. For a subject depicting twilight, Signac’s use of bright colors such as blue, violet, yellow, and green is unusual and suggests the effervescent glow of fading daylight and the illumination of gaslight near the pier. The pastel palette and softness of Signac’s lithographic technique is also reminiscent of a watercolor or gouache painting.An enthusiast of sailing, Signac traveled to many different cities by boat and made numerous watercolors and sketches that he later used to paint large canvases in his studio. This lithograph likely originated from one of his trips to various Dutch ports of call. Although he made other lithographs and etchings, Signac produced Evening specifically for the fine arts periodical, PAN. The magazine’s title refers to the Greco-Roman god Pan (of fertility and sexuality) while also referencing the Greek word that means “all,” thus implying the publication’s inclusiveness in representing a wide range of artistic styles. The five volumes of PAN were generously and expensively illustrated by an international group of artists working with a variety of printmaking techniques including, woodcut, lithography, and etching. Depicting diverse subjects, from landscapes and portraits to scenes of daily life and mythology, the prints from PAN provide a rich, instructive, and fascinating look into visual and literary culture during the last decade of the 1800s.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Howard Kaylor
Artwork of the Week: Nov. 12, 2022
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
To mark the special exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 18951900 (on view through January 29, 2023), we hope that you enjoy this Art Nouveau vase in our collection. If you visit, the work is on view in the Kerstein Gallery.
 Daum Frères 1 Daum Frères2Daum Frères, Nancy, France, established 1878 Glass Vase with Dragonflies, ca. 1900 Blown, cased, and carved glass Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Michael and Anis Merson, 2018.11.1This rare vase depicts dragonflies in a natural, pond-like environment, represented by forms cut back as leaves and lily pads. At the neck and base of the vase, the insects gracefully circle and wind themselves around the vessel, lending it elegance and dynamism. The light blue glass cameo is overlaid with a range of colors, including greens, tan, and yellows that enliven its decoration.Founded by Jean Daum (1825–1885) and later taken over by his sons, Auguste (1853–1909) and Antonin (1864–1931), Daum Frères grew quickly during the burgeoning Art Nouveau period, rivaling Emile Gallé’s renowned firm. Daum was widely acclaimed for its acid etching techniques that often combined carving, enameling, and engraving on a single piece of glass to produce unique designs. In addition to Gallé and Loetz, Daum was one of the leading Art Nouveau glass producers in Europe. Today, Daum is the only commercial crystal manufacturer employing the pâte de verre (glass paste) process for art glass and crystal sculptures, a technique in which crushed glass is packed into a refractory mold and then fused in a kiln.2016.5.3This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Robert K. Hobbs
 
Artwork of the Week: Nov. 5, 2022
 
By Audrey Scanlan-Teller, Ph.D., Independent Scholar, Elizabeth Johns, Ph.D., Former Trustee and Museum Scholar, and Daniel Fulco, Ph.D.,Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
With autumn well underway, we hope you enjoy this painting in our collection.If you visit, this work is on view in the Smith Gallery.
 
Crospey American Landscape
 
Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823‒1900) Autumn Landscape with View of a River, 1870 Oil on canvas 18.125″h x 35.875″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A0828,55.0001In Autumn Landscape with View of River, Jasper Cropsey represented the distant, sinking sun as its golden light emanates across the sky and reflects off the river. A campfire sends out an orange glow, one of the artist’s typical motifs. As viewers, we are invited to experience the beautiful vista enjoyed by the two hunters, shown seated near the edge of the cliff with their dog. We look out over the valley with them, our view framed on the left by white-barked birches and an ancient green hemlock and on the right by a cliff, rocks, and scattered shrubs. In the same year, the painter created a similar twilight landscape, Greenwood Lake, which suggests that Cropsey might have painted the Hagerstown canvas from sketches he made not far from that area (likely along the Hudson), a location he frequented throughout his life.A number of American painters chose autumn as their favorite season for landscapes, not only for its spectacular beauty but because it suggested the gradual decay and fragility of the American wilderness as well as the seasons’ ephemerality. Autumn Landscape with View of River exemplifies Cropsey’s fall scenes that appealed to his patrons, particularly those in England who were unfamiliar with the deep reds of American maples. Judging by the color of the leaves, this scene likely unfolds in late October or early November.Cropsey was a second-generation Hudson River School artist who greatly admired Thomas Cole. During his studies abroad in the late 1840s, he actually lived in the studio that Cole had occupied in Rome. Over the course of his career, Cropsey painted the Hudson River Valley, the Wyoming Valley of northeastern Pennsylvania, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the Greenwood Lake area of New Jersey and New York. Before becoming a painter, Cropsey trained as an architect and later used those skills to design his residence, Ever Rest, at Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, now the Cropsey Home and Studio (managed by the Newington-Cropsey Foundation).In 1955, former WCMFA Director Bruce Etchison negotiated the purchase of Autumn Landscape with View of a River from the famed Macbeth Gallery (New York, NY), which was then owned by Robert McIntyre (1885–1965), a major dealer of American art. In 2020, this painting was conserved through the generous support of Elsie Morey.
 
Crospey Greenwood Lake
 
Jasper Cropsey Greenwood Lake, 1870 Oil on canvas 38 “h x 68.5 “w Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid
 
This WeekendArt is sponsored by The Holzapfel Group, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

 
Artwork of the Week: Oct. 29, 2022
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
As Halloween approaches, we hope you enjoy this print in our collection.SearsSarah Sears (American, b. 1953) Halloween Parade, 1987 From “New York” series Etching and aquatint 21.5″h x 15.75″w Bequest of Donald M. Gillett, Hagerstown, MD, 2018.2.17 Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine ArtsIn this atmospheric and energetic print, Sarah Sears represented a large crowd of people attending the famed New York Village Halloween Parade, the largest of its kind in the world. Through her evocative use of chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark) and variation of shaded tones, Sears created a festive scene in which several costumed figures in the foreground have strayed from the pageant and cast long, eerie shadows on a street in Greenwich Village. A series of pieced sheets (in the form of ghosts) hover above the narrow procession of people and plays off the light emanating from the storefronts and streetlights. The artist provided the following insights about her New York prints:In my own work, I love to convey a sense of mystery. The scenes of New York express my fascination with the City’s nightly transformation into a magical fortress of dark buildings and glowing streets… In some pieces, a meaning, or a story, may not be readily apparent, but that does not bother me—such is the ambiguity of existence.Interestingly, Halloween Parade was included in an exhibition held at the Associated American Artists in New York (1988), where the renowned actor, Vincent Price (1911‒1993), purchased an impression of the etching. The print’s enigmatic subject matter no doubt appealed to Price, who excelled at playing roles in horror films.Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Sears received a Master of Arts at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, where she studied printmaking under engraver Evan Lindquist (b. 1936). In 1980, she went to New York City, originally planning to stay only three weeks but decided to settle there permanently. Sears received solo exhibitions at Associated American Artists, the National Arts Club, and the American Gallery. Since 2006, she has been a board member of the New York Society of Etchers. Her work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Vivian and Gordon Gilkey Center for the Graphic Arts, Portland Art Museum, Oregon.To learn more about Sears’ work and career, click here: https://www.sarahsearsart.com/
 
 
Artwork of the Week: Oct. 22, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorTo mark the opening of the new exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 18951900 (on view through January 29, 2023), we hope that you enjoy this Art Nouveau vase in our collection. If you visit, the work is on view in the Kerstein Gallery.WitweJohann Loetz Witwe Glassworks (Czech Republic, 1836–1947) Phänomen Vase, ca. 1890‒1900 Blown glass with brass frame 21.625″h x 11.25″w x 7.5 “diam. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Merson, Baltimore, Maryland, A3439,99.0901Johann Loetz Witwe Glassworks was one of the leading Art Nouveau glass producers in Europe. Loetz introduced iridescent Phänomen glass in 1898. Set within a brass frame, this Phänomen Vase exemplifies Jugendstil (German, “youth style”), the branch of Art Nouveau that emerged in Munich during the late nineteenth century. Like their contemporaries in Paris and Brussels, Jugendstil designers drew inspiration from the natural world, seeking to capture a sense of dynamism and energetic organic growth in their work. In this example, the vase’s shimmering surface and attenuated, curvilinear frame express the fluidity of the once-molten glass as well as the vitality of the natural world. The work’s abstracted botanical forms and iridescent ornament, as well as the smooth bare surface of the brass frame, seamlessly complement the vase and accentuate its colors.An easily recognized style, Art Nouveau originated in Belgium and is characterized by flowing, organic, vine-like lines, as artists looked to natural forms for inspiration, rather than models of the past. The movement’s philosophy espoused a unified approach to all arts, bringing artistry into architecture, textile design, jewelry, furniture, and every aspect of daily life. Some artists embraced modern materials and technologies, while others valued traditional handicraft. Subject matter often features sensual or erotic figures (most often female), as well as imagery derived from plants, ocean life, and insects. Like the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau reacted against the Industrial Revolution and the availability of inexpensive, mass-produced goods.This WeekendArt is sponsored by James & Melinda Marsden 
 
Artwork of the Week: Oct. 15, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorIn celebration of National Hispanic Heritage month, we hope that you enjoy this painting in our collection.René Portocarrero (Cuban, 1912–1985)PortocarreroRené Portocarrero (Cuban, 1912–1985) Gran Familia (Great Family), 1952 Watercolor, gouache, and ink on paper 14 9/16″h x 10 11/16″w Gift of the Pan American Union, Washington, DC, A0966,57.0216 Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine ArtsIn Gran Familia, Cuban modernist René Portocarrero created a whimsical painting in which a group of abstracted figures, animals, and fragmented forms are carefully suspended in space. As the work’s title suggests, these compositional elements are positioned to display a variety of relationships, as if they were a family or group. On the left, a bird with a large eye gazes out at the viewer while a creature in the center with horns (as well as feathers or nets) hovers around an assembly of fragmented dolls and heads (visible throughout the work). Portocarrero draws our attention to each of his characters by rendering them with lines and shades of green, red, white, and black that contrast with the light violet and pink background. The inclusion of dripped ink and pigments reveals Portocarrero’s artistic process and novel experimentation with his media. This painting was part of a group of watercolors from the 1950s that reflect the artist’s interest in dreams and fantastical imagery. In particular, the paintings exhibit the influence of Expressionism and Surrealism, most notably the work of Paul Klee and Joan Miró.Portocarrero was born in the neighborhood of El Cerro, Havana. Trained at the city’s San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts, he left at an early age to pursue a career as a studio artist. In addition, he was a sculptor, ceramicist, stage designer, and book illustrator, publishing his own books such Las Máscaras (The Masks, 1935) and El Sueño (The Dream, 1939). In addition, Portocarrero painted public murals, including works for the Havana Prison, the Cuban National Hospital, Cuban National Theatre, and Hilton Hotel, Havana. Over the course of his life, Portocarrero worked in different styles, at first embracing abstraction in the 1940s and 50s, and later transitioning to more representational subjects in the 1970s. Notably, the artist was associated with the Santiago de las Vegas Workshop, led by Dr. Juan Miguel Rodríguez de la Cruz. There, Portocarrero worked alongside renowned Cuban artist Wilfredo Lam and their colleague Raul Milián.In 1956, former WCMFA Director, Bruce Etchison, visited the exhibition René Portocarrero and Raul Milián of Cuba, held at the Pan American Union (the first showing of both artists work in the Washington area), with the intent to acquire works by Latin American artists for the museum’s collection. Following Etchison’s visit, the Pan American Union generously donated Gran Familia to the WCMFA in 1957. The Union (now the Organization of American States, OAS) was originally formed in 1890 to promote cooperation among the countries of Latin America and the United States. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ashley & Dean Notabartolo
 
Artwork of the Week: Oct. 8, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator 

To mark the opening of the new exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 1895‒1900 (on view through January 29, 2023), we are sharing this print in our collection. This work is currently on display in the Taylor Gallery, located in the lobby corridor.

 la revue blanche
 
 
 
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (French, 1864‒1901) La Revue Blanche (The White Review), 1895 Brush, spatter & crayon lithograph in four colors on two sheets of woven paper 56.125″h x 42.25″w Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harry A. Oleynick in memory of Rose and Edwin Bachman, A3196,96.0302
 
This captivating portrayal of arts patron Misia Natanson is among the most elegant of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s posters. It advertises La Revue Blanche, a periodical published by Misia’s husband, Thadée Natanson and his brothers. With her plumed hat, fur cape, and muff, Misia embodies the spirit of contemporary fashion and elegance. Look closely at the way the artist has positioned her figure—leaning to the left with her arms swinging slightly to the right. Toulouse-Lautrec has represented her such that she appears to float across the composition. Sharp observers may intuit from her winter attire and bodily position, that she is ice skating.Appearing from 1889‒1903, La Revue Blanche was a forum for the most progressive literary and artistic ideas of the day. Toulouse-Lautrec and his fellow Post-Impressionists, Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, supplied illustrations for the magazine’s covers. La Revue Blanche played a significant role in the revolution of color lithography, printing, and graphic design of the late 1880s and 90s.A renowned painter and printmaker, Toulouse-Lautrec is famed for his works depicting Parisian café and dance hall culture as well as the private exchanges among the people who frequented these establishments. While some of his paintings convey a sense of melancholy and alienation, his large lithographs often express gaiety and dynamism.If you visit the museum, be sure not to miss Toulouse-Lautrec’s remarkable lithograph, Mademoiselle Marcelle Lender en Buste (Bust of Miss Marcelle Lender, 1895), which is exhibited in From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 1895‒1900.To learn more about this exhibition, click here: https://wcmfa.org/from-the-pages-of-pan-art-nouveau-prints-1895%e2%80%921900/\This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. Howard Kaylor
 
Artwork of the Week: Oct. 1, 2022
 
 
By Elizabeth Johns, PhD & Daniel Fulco, PhD, Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorOur Agnita M. Stine Schreiber
 
Curator Daniel Fulco has selected and written this WeekendArt in memory of Dr. Elizabeth Johns, who researched and worked with the museum’s collection for many years, as well as serving as a trustee. We will miss her scholarship and friendship, but the work she did to enrich our understanding of the collection remains. We hope you enjoy a closer look at this sculpture, which she researched. It is currently on display in the Small Exhibits Gallery. For more information about the life and work of Beth Johns, see below.
 
Nicolaus Koni (American, b. Hungary 1911–2000) Opus 1 (Portrait of Marian Anderson), 1935 Bronze 19 x 9 x 11 in. Gift of Mrs. Mary Karasick, A0844,55.0400“Yours is a voice such as one hears once in a hundred years,” so exclaimed Arturo Toscanini, the great conductor, when he heard African American contralto Marian Anderson (1897‒1993) perform. Another admirer, Hungarian-born sculptor Nicolaus Koni made a portrait of Anderson. Koni, who had heard her sing many times, emphasized Anderson’s high cheekbones and heavy eyebrows, giving the sculpture a rich brown patina(finish). Most significantly, he sculpted her with her eyes closed, communicating to the viewer the full intensity of her music-making. The artist called this work “an interpretation of Marian Anderson singing ‘Death and the Maiden,’” by Austrian composer Franz Schubert. Perhaps Anderson sang it in Vienna while sitting for Koni’s portrait, for which he made sketches, then a clay model, and finally a casting in bronze.Anderson was born and raised in poverty in Philadelphia, and her talent was recognized early. She was denied entrance to a local music school because of her race, but societies in the city awarded her scholarships for study in the US and abroad. She began concert tours throughout the American eastern and southern states, but performed primarily for Black audiences. To develop her career further, she went to Europe, where she faced less discrimination, and Koni was among many who were swept away by her voice.In 1939, on the basis of her glowing reputation, the impresario Sol Hurok attempted to book Anderson for a concert at Constitution Hall, Washington D.C. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Hall’s owners, refused, citing rules that no person of color could use the facility. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt promptly resigned from the DAR in protest. A key figure in the struggle for African American artists to overcome racial prejudice in America, Anderson famously performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert (for an integrated audience of 75,000) on April 9, 1939, (Easter Sunday) The concert took place on the Lincoln Memorial steps, with the aid of Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who arranged this performance with the Department of the Interior.In 1955, Anderson became the first Black singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the same year the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts acquired Koni’s portrait. Anderson’s achievement followed the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education (1954), which ruled against segregation in schools, and helped propel the Civil Rights Movement. On a related note, Koni later created another cast of Opus 1 for display at the Metropolitan Opera House (Lincoln Center, New York).Initially studying in Hungary and at the Fine Arts Academy in Vienna, Koni emigrated to the US in 1941 and joined the armed forces during World War II, after which he resumed his full-time career as a sculptor. In 1956, Koni’s portraits and figural studies were the subject of a large solo exhibition at the museum, which included Opus 1 and his notable large-scale work, Marshal Pilsudsky of Poland.

Carl van Vechten (American, 1880‒1964) Marian Anderson, 1940 Gelatin silver print Collection of Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Carl van Vechten (American, 1880‒1964)
Marian Anderson, 1940
Gelatin silver print
Collection of Library of Congress,
Washington, DC

 
 
 
Artwork of the Week: Sept. 17Artwork of the Week: Sept. 24, 2022
 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator 

  To mark the opening of the new exhibition Joseph Holston, Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad (on view through January 14, 2023), we hope that you enjoy this print in our collection. This work is currently on display in the Small Exhibits Gallery. Click here to learn more about Elizabeth Johns: https://arth.sas.upenn.edu/people/elizabeth-johns This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mrs. Theron K. Rinehart

Joseph Holston (American, b. 1944) Rope-a-Dope, 2000 Etching 11 x 14 ¾ in. Gift of the artist, A3833,03.0300

Joseph Holston (American, b. 1944)
Rope-a-Dope, 2000
Etching
11 x 14 ¾ in.
Gift of the artist, A3833,03.0300

Joseph Holston (American, b. 1944) Rope-a-Dope, 2000 Etching 11 x 14 ¾ in. Gift of the artist, A3833,03.0300 In boxing, a rope-a-dope is a fighting technique of pretending to be trapped against the ropes and provoking an opponent into throw tiring, ineffective punches. Here, Holston creates an arresting, tense scene in which two fighters engage in a forceful bout. The man on the left dramatically leans against the ropes, gloves raised to deflect his rival’s blows. The boxers’ close proximity, their driving energy and motions, and the intensity of their exchange is heightened by the ring’s ropes (shown in rectangular bands of varying shades) that appear to envelop them. Like many of the prints on view in Joseph Holston, Color in Freedom: Journey along the Underground Railroad, this etching was produced as an alternative interpretation of an oil painting (see below). In contrast to the painting’s vibrant colors, this print explores numerous variations in light and dark (a technique often employed by Holston), and, due to the printing process, features an inverted figural arrangement. In creating both works, Holston was inspired by a lifelong interest in boxing, a sport in which he participated as a teenager and still follows. Influenced by Jacob Lawrence (1917–2000) and Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Joseph Holston’s abstract style is grounded in bold colors and flat shapes that reduce subjects to their basic form. His themes are inspired by music, African American history and daily life, and cultural heritage. Born in Washington, D.C., Holston has enjoyed a forty-year career as both a painter and printmaker. He received training from the notable portraitist Marcos Blahove (1908–2012) and the Santa Fe, New Mexico-based painter Richard Vernon Goetz (1915–91). Holston also studied art at Howard University, Washington, and Montgomery College (Maryland). If you visit the museum, be sure to see the Color in Freedom exhibition, which explores the journeys and challenges of those who traveled along the Underground Railroad. To learn more about Holston and his art, click here: https://holstonart.com/ This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Robert S. Strauch

Joseph Holston (American, b. 1944) Rope-a-Dope, 2000 Etching 11 x 14 ¾ in. Gift of the artist, A3833,03.0300

Joseph Holston (American, b. 1944)
Rope-a-Dope, 2000
Etching
11 x 14 ¾ in.
Gift of the artist, A3833,03.0300

 
 
Artwork of the Week: Sept. 17Artwork of the Week: Sept. 17, 2022
 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator 
We hope that you enjoy this painting, which is on loan to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts from the Westmoreland Museum of American Art. If you visit, we encourage you to visit the Smith Gallery, where the work is on view through December 15.

Cecilia Beaux (American, 1855‒1942) Mrs. John Wheeler Leavitt (Cecilia Kent), 1885

Cecilia Beaux (American, 1855‒1942)
Mrs. John Wheeler Leavitt (Cecilia Kent), 1885

Cecilia Beaux (American, 1855‒1942) Mrs. John Wheeler Leavitt (Cecilia Kent), 1885 Oil on canvas 45 ½ x 34 in. Gift of Mary Eliza Drinker Scudder and Thayer Scudder in honor of Philip Drinker and Susan Aldrich Drinker, 1996.10 On loan from Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA In this poignant portrait, Cecilia Beaux depicted her grandmother, Cecilia Wheeler Leavitt, sitting in the patio garden of her west Philadelphia home, enclosed by a brick wall and separated from what was undoubtedly an urban setting. An enduring force in the artist’s life, she looks down reflectively and quietly, pausing for a moment from her knitting. Note the large green leaves of the bush (gradually turning yellow) and the red geranium blooms in the clay pot next to her; their spindly quality suggest that the growing season has likely concluded and perhaps autumn is on the way. Leavitt’s profile pose and choice of chair recall the renowned portrait by James McNeill Whistler (1834‒1903), Arrangement in Grey and Black No. I: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother (1871), indicating that Beaux no doubt studied this work closely. At the same time, her interest in the human psyche and use of a dark, monochromatic palette reflects an awareness of Thomas Eakins’s (1844‒1916) objective, realist style. Later in her career, after several trips to France, Beaux abandoned darker colors in favor of vibrant pastel hues and compositions filled with fluid, gestural brushstrokes that eventually came to define her style. One of the most significant American women portraitists of her generation, Beaux defied Victorian-era conventions by declining marriage proposals so she could pursue a full-time career as an artist. A student of William Sartain at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), Philadelphia, her portraits of high-society figures rivaled those of John Singer Sargent (just one year younger) when she moved to New York in 1900. Her portraits rarely flattered the subject and instead captured aspects of their inner character. Beaux became the first full-time female faculty member of PAFA, where she taught from 1895‒1916. In 1924, she was commissioned by the Uffizi Gallery, Florence, to paint a self-portrait for its collection, the first American woman to earn this distinction.

ames McNeill Whistler (American, 1834‒1903) Arrangement in Grey and Black No. I: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, 1871 Oil on canvas Musée d’Orsay, Paris

ames McNeill Whistler (American, 1834‒1903)
Arrangement in Grey and Black No. I: Portrait of the Artist’s Mother, 1871
Oil on canvas
Musée d’Orsay, Paris

 
Artwork of the Week: Sept. 3, 2022
 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
To mark the final week of the exhibition, Exploring Jonathan Street: History, Art, Imagination (closes September 11, 2022), we hope that you enjoy this painting. If you visit the museum, you can see this work in the Bowman Gallery.GraffDummy (Quielan Gantt) (American, b. 1987) Back in the Day, 2022 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas On loan from the artistIn this vibrant, dynamic painting, Hagerstown-based artist GraffDummy presents a kaleidoscopic composition that merges memories and fragments from the past while inviting viewers to ponder their relevance in the present. Employing layered symbolism as well as remarkable coloristic contrasts and surface textures, GraffDummy allows us to reimagine the lives and experiences of the Jonathan Street Cabin’s inhabitants and neighborhood residents of this historically Black community. In the upper left, the cabin and street signs anchor the work as key focal points and are juxtaposed with daytime and nocturnal skies, reminding us of the site’s centrality in telling stories over time. The large new moon (upper right) refers to when Gantt started painting his canvas, while a pie in the cabin’s window symbolizes cooking and the comforts of home life that occupants might have enjoyed.Moving from left to right along the bottom, different Black faces emerge (symbolic of three generations of residents), representing those who have witnessed the cabin and neighborhood evolve. In the foreground, the flowers (beginnings with elders) connote footprints, seeds, and growth as well as male (left) and female stereotypes (right). A large, unfurling head (middle generation) is contrasted with an American flag, referencing the US generally and the police car that struck the cabin in 2018. This event initially attracted public attention to the home’s historical significance, subsequent restoration, and archaeological excavations. As part of the exhibition Exploring Jonathan Street: History, Art, Imagination, a selection of artifacts from this dig are on display.On the right, a partially obscured man (youth) observes the scene and also gazes toward the cabin and at the viewer, encouraging us to reflect on the community’s heritage. Note how Gantt deftly disperses utilitarian and talismanic artifacts (found at the site) throughout the painting: the Hoyt’s Cologne bottle (bottom left) and a pierced disc appear as eyes on the large central face; and a horseshoe and cat heel bone occupy the center. These objects (used to repel evil and bring good luck), along with doll eyes, marbles, and a die (allusions to children and play), are all traces of a fragmentary history that we can interpret and envision. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ken & Ann Grove 
 
Artwork of the Week: Aug. 27, 2022
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorWe hope that you enjoy this linocut by Matisse in our collection. If you visit the museum, you are encouraged to see this print, which is currently on view in the North Corridor Gallery.1-MatisseHenri Matisse (French, 1869‒1954) Nu au bracelet (Nude with Bracelet), 1940 Linocut 9 1/2″h x 6 15/16″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Anonymous gift, 2018.7.83Like his contemporary and rival, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse approached printmaking with innovative techniques. Matisse was drawn to linocut printmaking because it allowed him to easily create buoyant, curvilinear, and geometric forms. The simplified shapes in Nu au bracelet prefigure his bolder works of the late 1940s and early 50s, in which he simultaneously represented form and space through highly streamlined, seemingly sculptural silhouettes. Additionally, the white lines in this work, which mark areas where Matisse carved into the linoleum, appear as if they have been sliced into black paper. The artist’s approach closely prefigures his creation of cut-outs, which he produced almost exclusively from the late 1940s until his death. In these works, Matisse used scissors to cut painted sheets into different shapes and sizes (some figural; others vegetal and abstract) that he then arranged into lively compositions characterized by their simplicity, remarkable coloristic contrasts, playful, effortless forms, and decorative qualities.A major artist of the twentieth century, Matisse is perhaps best known for his boldly colored canvases depicting joyful, idyllic figures and interiors that are removed from the realities of everyday life and its woes. The intense colors found in his works from 1900‒05 brought him considerable fame as one of the Fauves (French, “wild beasts”), an artist group whose work emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational subjects favored by the Impressionists.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Martha Williams
 

 
Artwork of the Week: Aug. 20, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorTo mark the conclusion of the exhibition, Allure of the Near East: Treasures of the Huntington Museum of Art (June 18‒August 21, 2022), we hope that you enjoy these paintings in our collection. If you visit the museum, these works are on display in the Small Exhibits Gallery (located outside the Groh Gallery).Indian-1Indian-2
Indian, Rajasthan, likely Mewar, possibly Udaipur or Jaipur Figures Outside a Palace, leaf from an album, 18th‒19th century Watercolor on paper Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, 2021.15.2Indian, likely Rajasthan Radha and Krishna, 18th‒19th century Watercolor on paper Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, 2021.15.17These two paintings are derived from the Hindu cultural traditions of northern India. The first example, probably derived from a Ragamala series (note the Hindi text above), depicts a scene of several noble figures near a palace, including a man resembling a noble, who looks back at woman who appears to bid him farewell. The painter sought to represent several episodes simultaneously‒ note the sleeping woman accompanied by her attendants in the bedchamber and a man in the frieze below who might be a servant, possibly awaiting the prince to join him for departure. In the upper right, the artist added a smiling sun, a symbolic and whimsical addition to the composition that is representative of either dawn or dusk.Ragamala paintings like this painting often depict Indian musical modes, called ragas. In these works, each raga is personified by a color, mood, and verse describing a story of a hero and heroine (nayaka and nayika), which also elucidates the season and the time of day when a particular raga is to be sung. The standard Ragamala is a set of thirty-six paintings depicting possible relationships between men and women, arranged according to the emotional potential of different times of day (such as dawn or sunset) and seasons of the year. Each typically depicts a characteristic of love or heroic behavior. In addition, some paintings demarcate specific Hindu deities connected to the raga, like Bhairav (traditionally performed in the morning) to Shiva (Supreme Being in Shaivism) or Shree (played at evening, often during sunset) to Devi Maa (Supreme Mother Goddess).In the second painting, Radha (Supreme Goddess) is shown with her consort, Krishna, who gazes at herself in a small mirror, the frame of which is ornamented with gems. Both Radha and Krishna are major Hindu gods of love, tenderness, compassion, protection, and devotion. The couple’s bond and intimacy are emphasized by their pose and close proximity (note how Krishna runs his hand through Radha’s hair). Their special status is underscored by their elaborate gold clothing and richly colored, lavish jewelry. This subject is common in Rajasthani painting and the two deities are collectively known within Hinduism as the combined forms of feminine and masculine realities of God.
 
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Beth A. Rishel

 
Artwork of the Week: Aug. 13, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
To mark the exhibition, Exploring Jonathan Street: History, Art, Imagination (May 21‒September 11, 2022), we hope that you enjoy this portrait in our collection. If you visit the museum, this work is on display in the Bowman Gallery.
 
Unknown (American, 19th Century) Portrait of James Dixon Roman, 1854

Unknown (American, 19th Century)
Portrait of James Dixon Roman, 1854

 
Unknown (American, 19th Century) Portrait of James Dixon Roman, 1854 Oil on canvas 35 3/4″ H x 29 1/8″ W Collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of the Hagerstown Gas Company, A0173,44.0007Attorney and politician James Dixon Roman (1809-1867) gazes directly at the viewer with a facial expression and posture that convey poise, confidence, and dignity in this mid-19th-century portrait. While the artist is unknown, the painter demonstrated an understanding of pictorial conventions and might have been familiar with the work of mid-nineteenth-century portraitists active in Maryland such as Alfred Jacob Miller and Oliver Tarbell Eddy.James Dixon Roman was born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and came to Maryland to read law with his uncle, James Dixon of Frederick. After being admitted to the Bar, he settled in Hagerstown and was elected to Congress by the Whigs in 1847. Dixon was a Presidential Elector on the Taylor, Fillmore and Buchanan tickets. During the Civil War, as President of the Hagerstown Bank (a position he held until his death), he became renowned for negotiating with Confederate General John McCausland over the ransom of Hagerstown, in which the Bank put up half the money demanded by the Confederates. Later, Roman also served as President of the Hagerstown Gas Company, as shown on the plaque of the picture frame (see below).Roman is sometimes characterized as a southern sympathizer, but recent research has shown that this was not likely the case. Roman, through family relations, assisted Blacks from the Jonathan Street community in a variety of ways. Most notably, he participated in a deed of trust (April 1851) between Benjamin Pendleton and Rachel Lyles that protected enslaved people from being sold. As the husband of one of abolitionist Henry O. Wagoner’s cousins, Roman helped John A. (possibly one of Henry’s brothers or other relatives) and Emily Wagoner purchase property in the Jonathan Street neighborhood (Lots 306, 307, 309). In addition, when hotel owner John Wagoner began his Civil War military service in 1861, Roman arranged for the security of John’s wife and children through a deed that protected all of his property and his family during his absence.

Plaque on picture frame showing that Roman was President of the Hagerstown Gas Co. in 1854.

Plaque on picture frame showing that Roman was
President of the Hagerstown Gas Co. in 1854.

This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. David O. McCain III

Artwork of the Week: Aug. 6, 2022

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator As August begins and with summer well underway, we hope that you enjoy this painting in our collection.


Clutz William Clutz (American, 1933‒2021) August Spray II, 1986 Oil on canvas 43.875″h x 36.125″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of the artist in memory of his parents, Dr. Paul A. and Catherine H. Clutz , A4524,11.0012 In August Spray II, painter William Clutz captured the essence of a mid-summer day by focusing on the effects of light and shadow. By contrasting the whites and grays of the fountain’s water with the yellows of the sunlight (illuminating the figures and reflecting off the pavement), Clutz established a sense of warmth, joy, and refreshment as the children play and relax. Notably, the artist dispersed varied shadows throughout the scene, particularly those of the trees in the middle ground and along the wall in the background. While his early work was influenced more by non-representational Abstract Expressionism, he later transitioned to figurative abstraction (his trademark style), grounded in his study of works by Georges Seurat, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse. A resident of New York, Clutz was inspired by the energetic, fast-paced life and activities of New York’s streets and often represented cars zooming down them and passers-by flanked by skyscrapers. In addition, he focused on portraying youth at leisure in the city’s parks. Clutz was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Mercersburg. A good friend of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, he attended Mercersburg Academy and began his artistic career at the museum’s art school in the late 1940s. At WCMFA, Clutz studied with Thomas Danaher, a WPA artist who received art instruction at the Cooper Union and the Art Students’ League in New York with Hans Hoffman and Thomas Hart Benton (see his portrait of the young Clutz below). Clutz entered the annual Cumberland Valley Artists Exhibitions at the museum and won the Best in Show prize in 1952, 1953, and 1957. After he graduated from the University of Iowa and studied at the Art Students’ League, Clutz received numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. August Spray II was included in the exhibition William Clutz: Crossings, held in 2016 at both the museum and the Schmucker Gallery, Gettysburg College. The WCMFA is one of the main repositories of Clutz’s work and the artist generously donated many of his paintings and drawings to the collection from 1983‒2016. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. Howard S. Kaylor

Thomas Danaher (American, 1908‒1975) Portrait of William Clutz, 1947 Gouache on cardboard 27.5"h x 21.625"w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of William Clutz, A2666,90.0203

Thomas Danaher (American, 1908‒1975)
Portrait of William Clutz, 1947
Gouache on cardboard
27.5″h x 21.625″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of William Clutz, A2666,90.0203

 

Artwork of the Week: July 30, 2022
By Audrey Scanlan-Teller, Ph.D., Independent Scholar and Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 In the spirit of the summer,we hope that you enjoy this painting in our collection. If you visit the museum, this work is on view in the Smith Gallery.
 
 
Asher Brown Durand (American, 1796‒1886) Religious Monument, 1839 Oil on canvas 25.375"h x 15.625"w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts  Museum purchase, A1330,64.0009

Asher Brown Durand (American, 1796‒1886)
Religious Monument, 1839
Oil on canvas
25.375″h x 15.625″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Museum purchase, A1330,64.0009

Asher Brown Durand (American, 1796‒1886)
Religious Monument, 1839 Oil on canvas 25.375″h x 15.625″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1330,64.0009Religious Monument celebrates the beauty, grandeur, and serenity of the American landscape. Golden sunlight illuminate the composition’s middle ground and imbue the scene with warmth and a sense of optimism. Asher Durand included a column crowned by a Christian cross at the left and two mature leafing trees that twist around each other at the right. Significantly, he added intertwining trees that are often paired with Christian symbols like the cross monument and church to equate the deep emotions felt in traditional religious spirituality with the feelings evoked by witnessing the grandeur of nature. These sentiments are conveyed in similarly themed works such as Sunday Morning (1860, see below) in which piety and worship are emphasized. Durand also represented crossed trees as anthropomorphic symbols to illustrate spiritual closeness in Kindred Spirits (1849), a work that he painted as a eulogy to his mentor, Thomas Cole, who had just died in 1848 and is portrayed alongside poet William Cullen Bryant. The bond and friendship between both men is memorialized as they converse with one another on a precipice amidst a landscape combining geographical features of Kaaterskill Clove and Falls, located in the Catskill Mountains. Durand and his colleagues saw themselves as artist-philosophers who could make visible the sublime, spiritual presence of God within the natural world.While Religious Monument was once thought to represent an Italian scene, Durand did not travel to Europe until 1840. Thus, it is likely that he created the work just prior to his trip abroad. In addition, the mountains, trees, and other vegetation more closely resemble natural features found in the Catskills and surrounding Hudson River Valley. The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts acquired Religious Monument from Kennedy Galleries, New York, in 1964 and the painting originally came from the collection of Albert Rosenthal, a noted etcher, lithographer, and collector of American art.Durand received his first artistic training from his father, a watchmaker and silversmith who taught him engraving. Durand’s engraving after John Trumbull’s painting The Declaration of Independence (1823) made him famous. In the 1830s, Durand took up painting, specialized in landscapes, and enjoyed a long, successful career.

Asher Brown Durand Sunday Morning, 1860 Oil on canvas New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut

Asher Brown Durand
Sunday Morning, 1860
Oil on canvas
New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut

Asher Brown Durand Kindred Spirits, 1849 Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

Asher Brown Durand
Kindred Spirits, 1849
Oil on canvas
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

 
 
 
Artwork of the Week: July 23, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 To mark the new exhibition, Allure of the Near East: Treasures from the Huntington Museum of Art (June 18‒August 21, 2022), we hope that you enjoy this box in our collection. If you visit the museum, this work is on display in the Small Exhibits Gallery (located outside the Groh Gallery). 22-unknown1 22_UNKNOWN2 Unknown (Iran, Qajar Dynasty) Lacquered Papier-Mâché Box, ca. mid–late 19th century Paint and lacquer on paper over wood 7.125″h x 16.5″w x 11.5″d Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of John Buchholz, A2762,92.1938This elaborately decorated lacquer box contains lively scenes of court life on the top and inside of its lid. Works like this example were typically commissioned by aristocrats for display in their homes. While various courtiers (likely an aristocratic couple) sit in a garden pavilion of a palace on the cover’s top, men on horseback are portrayed hunting deer, game, and other wild animals on its inside. Each of the scenes idyllically represents the pastimes of noble society in Qajar Iran in which vegetation, food, and mirth abound. These themes are accentuated by the intricate floral and vegetal patterns that adorn the entire work. This casket was made from a base of papier-mâché to which a thinly coated layer of a fine plaster or gesso was applied to its surface. Thereafter, painters executed designs in miniature technique and applied a transparent lacquer or varnish to the whole piece that protected the paintings while enriching and softening their colors.From 1789 to 1925, Shahs of the ruling Qajar Dynasty in Iran witnessed an era of political and social reform, modernization, and industrialization that was shaped by diplomatic encounters with European nations. During this time, decorative objects and paintings were influenced by western techniques and forms, most notably the introduction of European portraiture techniques, perspective, volume, and spatial recession.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. William P. Young, Jr.
 
 
Artwork of the Week: July 16, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
To commemorate the recent passing of artist Sam Gilliam, we hope that you enjoy his print in our collection.
 
Sam Gilliam
 
Sam Gilliam (American, 19332022) Wave, 1972 Lithograph on aluminum foil and paper 25 11/16″h x 19 3/8″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1863,76.0330African American artist Sam Gilliam, a pioneer in abstract art, is renowned for large, colorful paintings, sculptures, and prints such as this example, which is the first of three lithographs pulled from the series. While the work of earlier Black artists like Jacob Lawrence (1917‒2000) and Romare Bearden (1911‒1988) was representational and engaged directly with social and cultural concerns, Gilliam’s art, like that of Alma Thomas (1891‒1978), primarily concentrated on non-objective, formal qualities. In Wave, a vibrant two-layered image, Gilliam sought to capture the undulating forms of water by placing a rippled sheet of aluminum foil on top of a sheet of paper and carefully juxtaposing different bands of color, including blue, green, yellow, and red. This work epitomizes Gilliam’s lifelong experimentation with translating pictorial techniques to the context of printmaking. Indeed, Wave exhibits the translucency and painterly quality of a watercolor as the gestural, soft washes of hues subtly merge with one another.Gilliam was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, where he received an MA in painting at the University of Louisville in 1961. In 1962, Gilliam settled in Washington, DC, where he joined the Washington Color School. Like group members such as Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Gene Davis, and Howard Mehring, Gilliam became fascinated by the qualities of color and often experimented with using acrylic paints on unprimed canvases. Over the course of his career, Gilliam was also frequently inspired by colorful quilts and the dripped paint found in the “action paintings” of Abstract Expressionists Jackson Pollock and Mark Tobey. Gilliam received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Louisville in 1980 and Northwestern University in 1990.For an obituary and tribute about Gilliam, click this link: https://dcist.com/story/22/06/29/sam-gilliam-obituary-dc-painter-hirshhorn-phillips-collection/Full Circle, an exhibition of his recent work is currently on view at the Hirshhorn museum in Washington, DC. https://hirshhorn.si.edu/exhibitions/sam-gilliam-full-circle/
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Volvo Group
 
Artwork of the Week: July 9, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
To mark the new exhibition, Allure of the Near East: Treasures of the Huntington Museum of Art (June 18‒August 24, 2022), we hope that you enjoy these miniatures in our collection. If you visit the museum, these works are on display in the Small Exhibits Gallery (located outside the Groh Gallery).
Rajput Nobleman (Prince Suchari Fezi),
Portrait of a Maharana (Raja Singh
 
Indian, Mewar, Rajasthan Rajput Nobleman (Prince Suchari Fezi), 18th‒19th century Watercolor on paper Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts 10 ¾ “h x 7 ½ “w 2021.15.5Portrait of a Maharana (Raja Singh), 18th‒19th century Watercolor on paper 10 ¾ “h x 7 ½ “w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts 2021.15.7These paintings illustrate a variety of styles and techniques employed by artists working in Rajasthan, a state of northern India in which numerous schools of miniature painting flourished. The first two paintings, very likely created in Mewar (a region of south-central Rajasthan), portray aristocrats and were likely produced as a part of series depicting notable officials from the ruling Rajput caste (social class). It is likely that the portrait of Raja Singh depicts one of the Maharana (kings) of the Sisodia Dynasty of Mewar who ruled from the capital of Udaipur, a city renowned for its beautiful lakes and palace architecture.The artist who created both examples was especially adept at capturing the facial details of his subjects and their elaborate costumes, including embroidery, jewelry, and headgear. Judging by the careful attention to naturalism and anatomical proportions, this artist was likely influenced by European prints and paintings, which were imported to India via trading networks first established in the late 1490s and early 1500s, and which expanded in later centuries.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mrs. Theron K. Rinehart

Artwork of the Week: July 2, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
In celebration of Independence Day, we hope that you enjoy these sculptures in our collection.Mish1Mish2MIsh3Mish4 Frank W. Mish, Jr. (1900–1982) Large Eagle and Flag Plaque; Small Eagle Plaque (America); Small Eagle Plaque (Liberty); Standing Eagle Plaque, ca. 1950s–70s Acrylic paint and wood 8.75″H X 8″W X 9.75″D each Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of the artist, A1930,77.0417; .0442; .0493; .0497Frank W. Mish, Jr. found inspiration from many sources to create simple carvings that possess strong character. Often, he utilized wood, penknives, and paint to achieve understated coloristic and textural effects in his sculptures. As is the case with much folk art, the appeal of Mish’s bald eagle carvings stems directly from their immediacy, simplicity and expressive vigor. When viewed together, the artist’s fascination with these iconic birds is clearly conveyed. While some examples highlight the beauty and cleanness of pure, modestly carved wood, others subtly reveal the patterns and colors of the birds’ feathers and anatomical features. This patriotic series of sculptures and plaques celebrates the heritage and values of our country by incorporating the colors of the Star Spangled Banner and including words such as “America, “Liberty,” and “Justice.” The first example, which features flags, a shield, and cannon, draws upon the Great Seal of the United States and is also based on designs for Federal-era tavern signs from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.Like many American folk artists, Mish began his career by emulating the work of the itinerant Pennsylvania German artist Wilhelm Schimmel (1817–1890), whose dynamic carvings of birds and animals are well known. Like his predecessor, Mish used a cross hatching technique to establish texture in his figurines through carved, intertwined incisions. In contrast to Schimmel, Mish employed bright paint and a broader range of subjects, ranging from birds and decoys to toy soldiers and mythical creatures. A native of Hagerstown, Maryland, Mish graduated from Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania, and studied art and ornithology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. After returning to Washington County, Maryland, he worked as treasurer of the Gateway Furniture Company and became interested in the art of woodcarving. For many years, Mish served on the board of the Washington County Historical Society. His wife, Mary Vernon, was a notable American historian, author, philanthropist, community activist, and amateur archaeologist.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. Terry Wills & Ms. Christine Parfitt

 
 
 Artwork of the Week: June 25, 2022 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
To mark the new exhibition, Allure of the Near East: Treasures of the Huntington Museum of Art (June 18‒August 24, 2022), we hope that you enjoy these manuscript pages in our collection. If you visit the museum, the first example is currently on view in the Groh Gallery while the second sheet will be exhibited in mid-July.Sufi Poetry 2Sufi Poetry 1Unknown (Iranian, likely Safavid Dynasty) Pages from Manuscripts of Sufi Poetry 16th‒17th century Ink and gold leaf on paper Gift of Harold Maker, A0948,57.0905a; .0906These pages from Iranian books of Sufi poetry, possibly written by either Rumi or Hafez (two renowned poets), are beautifully rendered with black ink and detailed with gold leaf, gilded borders, and arabesques that enliven each sheet’s appearance. In Islam, Sufism centers on mystical practices and expressions of faith, including spirituality, asceticism, and esoteric rituals. These examples are completed in a clear, firm hand with nastaliq script and the verses of the second sheet focus on the love of God. Both pages were written on handmade paper using a reed and also carefully sized and polished. Although these works contain no record of place or date, they are Iranian in origin given their calligraphic style and coloring.In Islamic culture, elaborate calligraphy was employed extensively in religious and secular texts.Of all the artists in Muslim society, calligraphers were accorded the highest status. Unlike ceramists and metalworkers, calligraphers received public recognition for their work. Training was arduous and involved mastering number symbolism, learning secret ink and pigment formulas, following proper posture, decorum (behavior) for working, mastering key literary traditions, and handling a broad range of writing and painting instruments.
 
 
 
 Artwork of the Week: June 18, 2022 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
On the eve of Juneteenth and with summer on the horizon, we hope that you enjoy these colorful and dynamic prints in our collection.

Miller 2 Miller 1 Tom Miller (American, 1945–2000) Maryland Crab Feast and Summer in Baltimore, 1994 Screenprints 20 x 28 in. Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hameroff in memory of the artist, 2016.6.1‒.2 In Maryland Crab Feast and Summer in Baltimore, Tom Miller depicts two African American families. In the first print, the family members partake in one of the state’s most cherished culinary and social traditions while in the second work they are engage in conversation with a watermelon dealer on the street. The artist deftly captured the celebratory spirit and convivial atmosphere of both gatherings by creating a vibrant, multi-layered image in which figures, objects, and colors are carefully interwoven and juxtaposed to convey meaning. Drawing upon the colors of the Maryland and Baltimore flags to allude to the composition’s setting, in Maryland Crab Feast, the black and gold border fluidly merges with fragments of red crabs that are superimposed across the image’s center. Miller included witty but significant details such as a young man wearing a Malcolm X T-shirt, a girl with an elaborate hairdo, a sleeping cat, and a frisky dog. Two abstracted treble clefs and musical notes that float through the air from a boom box underscore the importance of music in enlivening the occasion. In Summer in Baltimore, the parasol provides the group relief from the sun and heat while a person above waves to the people from a window, symbolizing friendship and community. Miller always aspired to be an artist, painted found objects as a child, and regularly visited the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), where he developed a particular interest in the renowned Cone Collection’s paintings by Henri Matisse (1869–1954). Specifically, Miller was influenced by Matisse’s use of “collage-like” layering effects, color, pattern, and outline. The oldest of six children, Miller grew up in the Sandtown-Winchester district of Baltimore and attended Carver High School. He won a scholarship to the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, where he received his B.F.A. in 1967 and pursued an M.F.A on a Ford Foundation grant in 1985. When friends and acquaintances asked him what he planned to do with a degree in painting as an undergraduate, he jokingly stated that he planned “to have a big solo show at the BMA.” Interestingly, his dream became a reality when he received a retrospective at that museum in 1995. In addition to being a printmaker and painter, the artist created furniture inspired by figures in jazz and popular music, including Cab Calloway (1907–1994), Billie Holliday (1915–1999), Paul Robeson (1898–1976), and Chick Webb (1905–1939). In Baltimore, Miller’s three-story outdoor mural, However Far The Stream Flows, It Never Forgets Its Source (1991, located at the corner of Harford Road and North Avenue) is an enduring testament to his creative spirit and expression. To learn more about Miller, see this link: https://thelyfe.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/tom-miller-eccentrically-championing-black-art-in-baltimore/ This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Neil Rosenshein

 
 Artwork of the Week: June 11, 2022 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
  We hope that you enjoy this Old Master drawing from our permanent collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see this work in the Bank of America Gallery
 
Italian 1
 
Italian 2 Italian 3
 
Unknown (Italian)
Standing Figure, Drapery Study (Copy after Figure from “The Journey of the Magi” by Andrea del Sarto), 16th or 17th century
Black and red chalk on laid paper
13 3/4″h x 8 7/8″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of William T. Hassett Jr., A0940,57.0209This elegant work is a study of a figure from the lower left of The Journey of the Magi (1511), by the Florentine artist Andrea del Sarto. The subject represented derives from the New Testament (Book of Matthew, 2:11), which describes when three Magi (kings or wise men) came from distant lands to adore the infant Christ and offer him gifts. In the drawing, the artist focused on the figure’s drapery folds, lightly sketched the head and feet, and enhanced the three-dimensionality of the Magi through the use of delicate tonal variations in red and dark blue. Compared with the original model, this figure is taller, appears to be more youthful, and features a more relaxed facial expression.The work of Sarto, the leading painter in Florence in the early years of the 1500s, would have been emulated because he exemplified the classical style of the High Renaissance. Given the emphasis on the complex drapery, it is possible this drawing was a studio exercise for an artist in training. Through copying and learning from venerable works of the past, young artists discovered how to hone their drawing and pictorial abilities. In some cases, they even improved upon the style and technique of the earlier master by altering and reinterpreting their figural representations.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Karen Spessard
 
 
Artwork of the Week: June 4, 2022 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
 We hope that you enjoy this Egyptian sculpture from the collection.
Ushabti 1
Ushabti 2
Ushabti 3
Ushabti 4
 
Unknown, Egyptian (Late Period, 30th Dynasty)
Ushabti, ca. 380–343 BCE Glazed ceramic 4 3/8″h x 1 5/16″w x 15/16″d Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1007,58.0800Ushabti (ancient Egyptian: “answerer”) is a type of funerary statuette that Egyptians began to put in tombs around 1800 BCE. These works were intended to act as servants or assistants for the deceased if they were called upon to perform manual labor in the afterlife. The figurines frequently carried a hoe on their shoulder and a basket on their backs, thereby suggesting that they were meant to farm for the deceased. Hieroglyphs inscribed on ushabti figures usually describe their readiness to answer divine summons to work.According to new research, this work was created for the tomb of an important Egyptian government official. The hieroglyphs on the front of the statuette translate to the following: “Osiris the Enlightened-One, Ptah, who is South of his Wall (= Memphis), the justified Privy Councilor Ahmose-Nefer-Sakhmet.” Based upon the inscription, this sculpture was carved in honor of Osiris, god of the underworld and judge of the dead, and Ptah, deity of craftspeople and architects. In ancient Egypt, the privy council (Sa’ab) advised the Pharaoh on state affairs and political policy. Ahmose-Nefer-Sakhmet likely served during the reign of either Teos I (r. 360–359 BCE) or Nectanebo II (360–342 BCE).This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. Howard S. Kaylor
Artwork of the Week: May 28, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
In recognition of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we hope that you enjoy these prints from the collection.
 
Tyrus Yu Wong 1Tyrus Yu Wong 2Tyrus Yu Wong (American, b. China, 1910‒2016) The Kicking Horse (Running Horse), 1951‒52 Lithograph on paper 8.75″H x 14.25″W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, Elsa Emma Pangborn Fund, A0717,52.0320‒21Tyrus Yu Wong often depicted horses in graceful, dynamic poses, revealing their energy and elegance with an economical yet effective painterly technique. In this pair of prints, both with the same title, the artist produced forms using lithography that closely resemble those found in traditional Chinese brush paintings. Though very similar, the position and movements of the horses differ subtly as do their manes, tails, and legs. In the first work, look at how the animal’s legs are extended out in a more relaxed manner whereas in the second example they are pulled inward such that they create a sense of tension, suggesting that the horse is preparing to rear up and kick. In both compositions, Wong masterfully captured the horses’ vitality and created the illusion that they are galloping or floating through space nimbly.A prolific artist, Wong was born in Taishan, China (Guangdong Province), and immigrated to the US in 1920, where he later studied at the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles. Wong was primarily a film production illustrator who worked for Disney and Warner Brothers. In addition, he was a muralist for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and a greeting card artist for Hallmark Cards. Most notably, he served as lead production illustrator on Disney’s 1942 film Bambi, for which he interestingly sought inspiration from Song Dynasty art (980‒1279). Wong also worked in the art department for many films, either as a set designer or storyboard artist, including for Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Rio Bravo (1959), The Music Man (1962), and The Green Berets (1968), among others. Although Wong retired from the film industry in the late 1960s, he continued working and devoted much of his time to designing kites. He painted, sketched, and designed ceramics well into his 90s.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Robert K. Hobbs
Artwork of the Week: May 21, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
portrait of a young manUnknown, Italian  (Umbrian or Tuscan School) Portrait of a Young Man, ca. 1480 Oil on wood panel20.937″h x 15.625″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Chester D. Tripp, A1089,60.0009The unidentified young man in this portrait wears an elegant costume consisting of a black, sleeveless farsetto (Italian, “doublet”), under which is a fine linen camicia (Italian, “shirt”). During the late 1400s, red dominated Florentine fashion, not surprisingly reflected in this sitter’s fashionable hat. Both accessories speak to his taste, wealth, and refinement. In addition, the subject is placed before an expansive landscape that resembles the countryside of central Italy, which often appeared in Florentine and Umbrian portraits. Beginning in the Renaissance, Italian portraitists began to incorporate landscape elements into their work as a result of trade, cultural exchange, and the growing influence of Dutch and Flemish pictorial techniques, including the use of oil on wood panel to achieve more detail.As evidenced by the linear portrayal of the young man, limited detailing of his hair, generalized facial expression, and simplified bodily form, this painting was likely created by an apprentice. The combination of the young man’s black and red garments, his frontal pose, direct gaze, and inclusion of landscape elements demonstrate that the artist was familiar with the work of two well- known contemporaries, Sandro Botticelli and Pietro Perugino (see examples below). The melding of motifs and compositional formats suggests that this unknown painter worked in or between both Florence (Tuscany) and Umbria (possibly Perugia). Previously, Portrait of a Young Man was attributed to Jacopo del Sellaio (ca. 1441/2–1493). However, Sellaio created very few portraits in his career and his oeuvre consists primarily of religious paintings. Since the Hagerstown picture melds two styles, it is challenging to attribute the work firmly to one particular workshop or creator.
Sandro Botticelli (Italian, ca. 1445–1510) Portrait of a Youth, ca. 1483 Tempera on poplar panel National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Sandro Botticelli (Italian, ca. 1445–1510)
Portrait of a Youth, ca. 1483
Tempera on poplar panel
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Pietro Perugino (Italian, 1446–1523) Portrait of Francesco delle Opere, ca. 1494 Tempera on panel Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Pietro Perugino (Italian, 1446–1523)
Portrait of Francesco delle Opere, ca. 1494
Tempera on panel
Uffizi Gallery, Florence

 
 
Artwork of the Week: May 14, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 Alfredo Zalce
 
Alfredo Zalce (Mexican, 1908–2003) Henequen Works, 1950 From “Mexican People” portfolio (1946‒50) Lithograph 13.75″h x 11.25″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A0932,57.0309Working in a social realist style, Alfredo Zalce was a prolific printmaker who frequently employed bold, sculptural lines to convey human expression and emotion. Over the course of his career, he became renowned for his scenes of everyday life focusing on the plight of rural Mexican workers, with whom he often empathized. In this print, he deftly captures the arduous activities of workers who are harvesting henequen, a plant native to the Yucatán Peninsula and used in textile and liquor production.Zalce divides his composition into small vignettes, each showing a different aspect of the laborers’ duties at the factory. At the farm and under the arcade in the background, the process of preparing the material begins, as indicated by the large heaps of henequen, tables, and wash basin. While the men in the left middle ground and foreground offload leaves from small train carts, others bundle and place them on a chain conveyor that carries them to the workers on the platform above. Meanwhile, Zalce depicted three women siting on a train cart who take a break from their work. Their presence suggests that female workers, in collaboration with their male colleagues, played a key role in the henequen works’ operations.The “Mexican People” portfolio is a series of prints representing laborers of various industries, including bricklayers, fishermen, and loggers. Zalce was a contemporary of famed muralists Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros, and worked as a painter, sculptor, lithographer, and engraver. Interestingly, he was the first Mexican muralist to use colored cement, an unusual technique at the time. A member of the Communist-aligned Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists) and following its dissolution, the collective Taller de Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphics Workshop), he remained committed to the tenets of the Mexican Revolution, particularly hardships encountered by rural laborers.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Conservit, Inc.Artwork of the Week: May 7, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
Ann Cole Phillips
In the spirit of springtime, we hope that you enjoy this painting from the collection.
Ann Cole Phillips (American, 1906‒1990) Kentucky Spring, ca. 1956 Oil on Masonite 24.875″h x 29.937″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Ambassador and Mrs. Maxwell H. Gluck, A0982,58.0003 A native New Yorker, Ann Cole Phillips was known for her lively and colorful paintings, rendered in a semi-abstract style. In Kentucky Spring, the artist created a bold, vibrant impression of a springtime landscape in which a group of horses converge in the center of the composition. While some of the animals graze, others energetically leap into the air. Phillips deftly contrasted areas of green and blue (suggesting meadows, farmland, and sky) with white, black, and red forms, some of which recall fences meandering through the landscape. The equine theme also alludes to Kentucky’s renown as a prime location for horse breeding and racing, most notably the Kentucky Derby, traditionally held the first Saturday of each May.Phillips attended the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York, and studied with significant modernist artists, including Stuart Davis, Jacques Villon, and José Clemente Orozco. At the height of her career in the 1950s and 60s, art critics often compared Phillips’ passionate and gestural paintings with works by famed artists such as Raoul Dufy, Wassily Kandinsky, and Oskar Kokoschka. In addition to oil painting, Phillips also worked in pastels and was a printmaker who primarily produced lithographs. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mrs. Derwood B. Bousum
 
 Artwork of the Week: April 30, 2022 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
Ernest Lawson
With spring underway, we hope that you enjoy this painting from the collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see the work, which is on view in the Kerstein Gallery installation, The Eight to Abstraction: Modernism and Innovation.Ernest Lawson (American, b. Canada, 1873–1939) Shepherd in the Forest, ca. 1890–1915 Oil on wood panel 16″h x 20″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Mr. Eli H. Brown, III of Louisville, Kentucky, in loving memory of the late Mr. and Mrs. William T. Hamilton, Jr. and their daughters, Julia Hamilton Lee (Mrs. James Spencer Lee), Mavin Hamilton (Mrs. Eli Huston Brown, III), and Museum purchase, Mrs. William T. Hamilton Purchase Fund, A1779,74.0001Shepherd in the Forest shows Ernest Lawson’s characteristically loose application of pigments, which he often created using a palette knife. The painter’s short strokes of color convey the effect of light shining through the leaves. In addition, the thin foliage and spots of white, visible in the foreground and trees, resemble flowers and suggest that the scene might unfold in early to mid-spring. The pastoral subject and the sense of peaceful remoteness as well as seclusion lend this painting an affinity with French Barbizon landscapes—works that are characterized by a painterly, loose technique and focus on the straightforward, simpler elements of country life. While Lawson’s Impressionist style and concentration on landscape differed from the urban subjects of The Eight, he nevertheless exhibited with this group and shared their ideals and commitment to painting life without aggrandizement or idealization.Lawson studied at the Art Students League in New York under two renowned Impressionists, John Henry Twachtman and J. Alden Weir. In 1893, Lawson studied at the Académie Julian in Paris under the academic artists Benjamin Constant and Jean-Paul Laurens. While in southern France, Lawson also was influenced by the English painter Alfred Sisley, with whom he painted plein air (outdoor) works at Moret-sur-Loing. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Volvo.
 
 Artwork of the Week: April 23, 2022 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
 
Philip Guston

We hope that you enjoy this painting from the collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see the work, which is on view in the Kerstein Gallery installation, The Eight to Abstraction: Modernism and Innovation. Philip Guston (American, b. Canada, 1913–1980) Portrait of Shanah, 1941Oil on canvas35.25″h x 21.75″w Museum purchase, A0566,48.0001 This portrait of one of Philip Guston’s students presents her as an artist, surrounded by art materials in a studio. The sitter is Shanah Shatz, who attended the University of Iowa when Guston taught there. In the background of the portrait is a painting of a nude with a face that resembles Shanah’s own—perhaps a self-portrait inspired by Pablo Picasso’s classical-style of the 1920s. Shanah’s facial expression conveys a sense of both reflectiveness and melancholy. Interestingly, she visited the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in 1994 to see the painting after many years. As an aspiring artist, Guston studied the work of the Italian modernist Giorgio de Chirico, as well as that of Renaissance painters, paying attention to milestones in the history of art. During his early years, he painted Social Realist scenes, in tune with the portrayals of everyday life that dominated American art in the 1930s. Later, influenced by his friends Jackson Pollock, Reuben Kadish, and Mark Rothko, who pioneered Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s and 50s, Guston changed his style radically. This early Guston differs considerably from later works, in which he developed a highly personal, symbolic imagery that was often critical of society. Under former Director John Richard Craft, the museum purchased this portrait in 1948 through the intermediation of the War Assets Administration (WAA), which was created to dispose of government-owned property used during World War II. Currently, Guston’s work is the subject of a major retrospective exhibition, Philip Guston Now, on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Hugh J. Talton. Artwork of the Week: April 16, 2022 By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator Grace Hartigan We hope that you enjoy this painting from the collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see the work, which is on view in the Kerstein Gallery installation, The Eight to Abstraction: Modernism and Innovation. Grace Hartigan (American, 1922–2008) Hake, 1980 Oil on canvas 36″ H x 29 7/8″ W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Dr. Edward J. Hoffman, A2221,82.0011 Hake served as part of the final design for a large mural commission completed by Grace Hartigan for Lexington Market, Baltimore. In this work, Hartigan portrays two fishmongers selling hake, a fish that was typically available on the Baltimore docks. Through her use of broad, gestural brushstrokes of black, paired with tones of blue and light green, Hartigan conjured associations with marine life while alluding to the dampness and pungent odors that one experiences in a fish market. Hartigan was one of a small number of women associated with the Abstract Expressionist movement that blossomed in New York City during the late 1940s and early 1950s. An associate of Jackson Pollock, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Larry Rivers, Helen Frankenthaler, and the poet Frank O’Hara, Hartigan played an essential role in the artistic and literary awakening that repositioned New York City as the center of the modern art world. A native of Newark, New Jersey, Hartigan moved to New York City after World War II. There, she saw an exhibition of Jackson Pollock’s work at the Betty Parsons Gallery, which influenced her shift to a strongly gestural, abstract style. Relocating to Baltimore in the 1960s, Hartigan became director of the Hoffberger Graduate School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Baltimore. She established her studio in a former rag factory near the working waterfront.

Artwork of the Week: April 9, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator

Cesare RipaPhaedrus, Francis Halma, We hope that you enjoy this manuscript page from the collection. Cesare Ripa (Italian, ca. 1560‒1622), iconographer and printmaker Distinction of Good and Evil, from Iconologia, Venice, 1669 Amplifications by Giovanni Zaratino Castellini (Italian, 1570‒1641), author Edition by Niccolo Pezzana (Italian, active ca. 1651‒1685), printer Woodcut and movable type Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Harold Maker, A0948,57.0952 As described in the Italian text, this page, Distinction of Good and Evil (Distintione del Bene et del Male) depicts a woman dressed in a gray cloak holding a sieve and a rake. With these sifting tools, she symbolizes maturity and the life stage in which an individual is supposed to be able to distinguish good from evil, bridle uncontrolled lust and passions, and exhibit proper intellect. Through the artist’s emphasis on simple yet decisively effective lines, he reduced the personification to its essentials, focusing our attention on her key attributes. Her direct gaze also serves to remind and encourage the viewer to follow her exemplary moral traits. Considered perhaps the most famous iconographical manual (collection of allegorical images and their associated meanings) of its time, Cesare Ripa’s Iconologia (first published in 1603) became a key reference for many artists, authors, scholars, and nobles of the 1600s and 1700s. Throughout Europe, The Iconologia was translated in many languages, expanded, and published in numerous illustrated editions. Building upon earlier emblem books by Renaissance humanists such as Andrea Alciato (Italian, 1492‒1550), Ripa’s text contains several hundred visual allegories (originally produced as woodcuts) that represent personifications of virtues, vices, passions, the liberal arts, and sciences, most of which were drawn from ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman imagery as well as textual sources. Intended for an elite audience of highly educated readers, each of these representations could be employed by painters, printmakers, and sculptors to celebrate the virtuous personal qualities of aristocratic patrons, their political achievements, and cultural philanthropy in a wide range of contexts. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Robert S. Srauch.

Artwork of the Week: April 2, 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator

Fables 1 Fables 2 Fables 3 We hope that you enjoy this manuscript page from the collection. Jan van Vianen (Dutch, ca. 1660‒1726), engraver David van Hoogstraten (Dutch, 1658‒1724), linguist and translator Page from Aesop’s Fables, François Halma (Dutch, 1653‒1722), printer, Amsterdam, 1701, with annotations from Phaedrus’ compendium Engraving and movable type Gift of Harold Maker, A0948,57.0952 The sheet shows the first page of “The Old Woman and the Wine Jar” from Fable I in Book V. In this story, a scene of which is depicted by Jan van Vianen in the circular image above the text with a Latin title (“Fab. 1, Anus ad Amphoram”), a traveling lady finds an amphora (ancient wine vessel) along the road but discovers that it is unfortunately empty. Nevertheless, the drops that remain give her an idea of how delicious the beverage once was. Thus, the moral of the tale is that the memory of a good deed remains long after it has been done. Originally credited to the ancient Greek storyteller-slave Aesop (ca. 620‒564 BCE), these beloved tales have been expanded upon and reinterpreted by many different authors over the centuries, most notably French poet Jean de la Fontaine (1621‒1695). The example shown below, accompanied by a Dutch translation of the text, is taken from Gaius Julius Phaedrus’ (fl. 1st century CE) Latin compendium of these fables. On this page from the François Halma edition, the woman is portrayed in a classical landscape amidst other figures (some seated in a carriage) and she stands in front of a temple with a large fluted column holding a wine jug. Though created in miniature, this engraving exhibits remarkable detail, particularly in the carefully rendered, picturesque plants in the foreground and that meander up the column, alluding to the power of nature over human existence and conveying nostalgia for a remote Greco-Roman past. Vianen and linguist David van Hoogstraten carefully organized the page into compact vertical columns in which each fable is begun by a summary illustration of the plot, its title is identified by capital letters, and the tale is recounted in clear Roman typefaces with annotations at the bottom. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Nanette N. Stevens & Mr. Karl J. Keller.

 Artwork of the Week: March 31, 2022 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
Sarah Stafford Goodwin
 
In celebration of Women’s History Month, we hope that you enjoy this painting in the museum’s collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see this work, which is on view in the Kerstein Gallery installation,The Eight to Abstraction: Modernism and Innovation
Sarah Stafford Goodwin (American, 1912–2000)
Farm Scene, Study for a Mural (Post Office), Llangollen, Delaware, 1937 Oil on Masonite 14 3/4″h x 35 7/8″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Allen Neville and Allison Lowery, A4006,04.0013After the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the advent of the Great Depression, artists began to respond to the world around them in new ways. Painters such as Sarah Stafford Goodwin adopted a style now described as Social Realist, which spoke to American ideals of industry, agriculture, and hard work and that engaged with the challenges of daily life. In this rural scene, Goodwin celebrated the contributions of farmers to American society in an optimistic, heroic manner while reminding us of their diligence and hard work. Through her bold use of color and careful arrangement of the figures, animals, and equipment in the landscape, she alluded to key aspects of Delaware’s agricultural traditions and industry, including the raising of livestock, poultry production, and grain harvesting. This painting served as a sketch for a much larger post office mural in Llangollen, Delaware, and was possibly commissioned by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).Goodwin was born on a farm in Sunnyside, Delaware. She received a scholarship to the Wilmington Academy of Art and studied with renowned illustrators such as Frank Schoonover, N.C. Wyeth and Harvey T. Dunn from 1933‒39. During this time and throughout the 1940s, her work centered on Delaware farm life. Goodwin won the Bank of Delaware “Best Delaware Artist” bond award and was selected to compete in the Life Magazine National Contest. In 1955, she married former New York Giants football player, General Charles Todd Goodwin. In 2004, Goodwin’s work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

 Artwork of the Week: March 26, 2022 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
Robert Henri
In celebration of Irish-American Heritage Month, we hope that you enjoy this painting from the collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see this work, which is on view in the Kerstein Gallery installation, The Eight to Abstraction: Modernism and Innovation. Robert Henri (American, 1865–1929) Michael, 1913 Oil on canvas 18″h x 14 1/8″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1562,69.0006 In this lively, spontaneous portrait, Henri depicts a young Irish boy, Michael “Red” Lavelle. Henri painted this work during his first trip to Achill Island, County Mayo, in western Ireland in June 1913. Michael was thirteen years old at the time and in later years remembered having worn a new, homemade sweater (a “yansey”) for the sitting. Henri was a popular teacher who taught his students that the faster they worked, the better. Holding true to his convictions, the artist painted this portrait in broad, heavy strokes, leaving thick traces of brushwork on the canvas (impasto) that underscore his commitment to the vitality of the working classes and everyday life.The energetic Henri, born in Cincinnati, had studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and earned his living as a newspaper illustrator before moving to New York. In search of ordinary people for his subjects, he traveled widely in American and European rural areas, especially in Maine, western Ireland, Brittany, and Spain. Painting in New York along with fellow artists John Sloan, George Luks, George Bellows, and others, Henri considered himself to be a “revolutionary” artist, working to challenge the old standards for realistic subjects. He and his colleagues rejected genteel subjects such as landscapes and garden scenes in favor of depictions of urban and working life. Henri was critical to the organization of the exhibition of The Eight at New York’s famed Macbeth Galleries in 1908, and he is considered the founder of the subsequent “Ashcan School,” a loosely affiliated group of artists committed to portraying contemporary urban life. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. James Schiro & Dr. Tara Rumbarger.

 Artwork of the Week: March 19, 2022 
By Audrey Scanlan-Teller, Ph.D., Independent Scholar & Art Historian Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator James Hamilton In celebration of Irish-American Heritage Month, we hope that you enjoy this painting from the collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see this work, which is on view in the Thieblot Gallery. James Hamilton (American, b. Ireland (1819–1878) USS Weehawken in a Gale off the Coast of Virginia, 1872 Oil on canvas 30 1/8″ H x 50 1/8″ W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1184,62.0006 James Hamilton originally came from Etrien (near Belfast, Ireland) and immigrated to Philadelphia with his family in 1834. Primarily self-taught, he established a studio in 1840 and specialized in marine paintings. Commissioned by U.S. Senator A. G. Catell from New Jersey, this painting represents the technological innovation and seaworthy design of this New Jersey-built ironclad warship. In January 1863, bound for South Carolina as part of the Atlantic Blockade Squadron, the Weehawken was caught in a fierce storm. While the ships accompanying the ironclad had to break off to seek shelter, the Weehawken pressed onward and was able to ride out the rough sea with relative ease. Her captain reported, “the behavior of the vessel was easy, buoyant, and indicative of thorough safety.”Hamilton depicted the Weehawken cresting a great wave, full-steam ahead. In the distance, the sail and steam powered Iroquois struggles against the high seas and nature’s adversity. Judging by the dramatic parting clouds in the sky and the artist’s extensive use of turbulent atmospheric perspective, both vessels are either passing or headed into a storm. While this canvas alludes to the perils of sea travel and maritime combat, it also conveys a sense of triumph and optimism through the clearing in the sky.Like many other nineteenth-century landscape painters, Hamilton responded to the loose, emotional style of English Romantic, J.M.W. Turner, whose paintings he avidly studied from engravings. In fact, he became known as “The American Turner” because of his frequent use of vivid lighting effects in his paintings that closely recalled the technique and style of the British master. In addition, Hamilton both taught and mentored Edward and Thomas Moran, two significant American artists whose work is represented in the collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.Interestingly, one of Hamilton’s pictures, What Are the Wild Waves Saying? (1868, Brooklyn Museum), was inspired by a scene from Charles Dicken’s novel, Dombey and Son (1847‒48). Hamilton gave this work to Dickens, who expressed much appreciation and later mentioned that it was the only gift he accepted during his both of his American tours (1842, 1867‒68). This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Beth A. Rishel
Artwork of the Week: March 5 , 2022
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator

Louise Nevelson In celebration of Women’s History Month, we hope that you enjoy this sculpture in the Museum’s collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see this work, which is on view in the Kerstein Gallery installation, The Eight to Abstraction: Modernism and Innovation. Louise Nevelson (American, b. Russia 1899–1988) Untitled, 1958 Painted wood 20″h x 12″w x 6 7/8″d Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A2460,85.0408 2018.1.1 This modestly scaled work displays Louise Nevelson’s approach to constructing her work, through layering multiple cut pieces of wood and found objects in a shadow box, which was then usually painted black or white. During the mid- to late 1950s, the artist began to focus on shallow relief sculptures like this example, manipulating and contrasting organic elements with geometric forms that absorb or redirect light. Nevelson’s work paralleled the rise of Abstract Expressionism in painting, and reflects a similar concern for the emotional value of large, three-dimensional assemblage pieces. Louise Nevelson was one of the most important American sculptors of the 20th century. Working primarily with pieces of wood and found objects (e.g., milk boxes and lettuce crates), Nevelson earned fame for her often-monumental sculptures. Born to a Jewish family in Czarist Russia, Nevelson and her family emigrated to Rockland, Maine, in 1905. After her marriage, she moved to New York City where she began to study at the Art Students League and at the studio of famed Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hoffman, as well as with Chaim Gross. She had her first solo exhibition in 1941 but did not achieve widespread success until the 1950s. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Dean Notabartolo Artwork of the Week: Feb. 26, 2022

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
Baney1 We hope that you enjoy this dynamic sculpture in the Museum’s collection. If you visit the museum, we invite you to see the work, which is on view in the Kerstein Gallery installation, The Eight to Abstraction: Modernism and Innovation. Ralph Baney (American, b. Trinidad and Tobago, 1929–2014) The Bride, 1975 Walnut 78″H x 17 ½”W x 17″D Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Warner, A2566,87.0400The Bride is an elegant example of Ralph Baney’s wooden sculpture. In abstracting readily recognizable human forms, the artist reduced this figure to its essential elements (a head, arm, and torso) that sensually bend and curve in space, suggesting movement and activating the work’s relationship to its surroundings. As the artist remarked, “My method of work is to let the wood dictate what direction it should go; I respond to the natural torsions of the wood and cooperate with it rather than fight it. I try to get the ultimate in refinement of form and surface quality in order to bring out the inherent beauty of the material.” As a student in England, Baney especially admired the sculptures of Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, and Robert Clatworthy, influential British modernists.An artist of color, Baney was born in Trinidad and attended Naparima Teachers College (1951–53). He received a Government Art Scholarship to study at Brighton College of Art (now Brighton University, UK), where he earned NDD and A.T.C. degrees (1957–1962). After nine years as Art Officer in the Trinidad Ministry of Education and Culture, he embarked on graduate studies at the University of Maryland, College Park (1971–76), earning both masters and doctoral degrees. For many years, Baney taught art at Baltimore County Community College, Dundalk. In addition to working in wood, Baney employed bronze, ceramic, and stone. His wife, Vera, also was a sculptor and her work is represented in the museum’s collection.To learn more about the Baneys’ sculptures, visit: http://www.ralphandverabaney.com/Baney2
 
Artwork of the Week: Feb. 19, 2022 
 
By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber CuratorDuring Black History Month, we hope that you enjoy these portraits in the museum’s collection.Johnson Susanna

Joshua Johnson (American, ca. 1763–1824) Portrait of Susanna Amos Yoe and Mary Elizabeth Yoe; Portrait of Benjamin Franklin Yoe and Son Benjamin Franklin Yoe, Jr., 1809 Oil on canvas 35.5″h x 29″w; 35.75″h x 29″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, gifts of F. Sydney Cushwa, 1994, A2972,94.0012-0013 One of the first professional African American artists, Joshua Johnson was born around 1763 in Baltimore County, Maryland, likely somewhere within the Back River Upper Hundred, a district in the city’s northwest section. He was the son of a white man, George Johnson, and an unknown Black slave owned by a William Wheeler, Sr. After being freed in 1782, Joshua moved to Baltimore, where he completed an apprenticeship under blacksmith William Forepaugh and began to take up portrait painting. By the late 1790s, Johnson had established himself as one of the leading early Federal-era portraitists of upper middle-class Baltimoreans in the burgoening city, a distinction he held through the mid-1820s. Given his background and the era in which he lived, Johnson was impelled to overcome many racial and social hurdles in pursuing his profession and he persevered remarkably in that endeavor. In the portraits of the male Yoe family members, Benjamin, Sr. (ca. 1772–1832), posed in a Windsor chair, is joined by his son (1804–83), Benjamin, Jr., who places his left hand on his father’s hand and in his other holds a pink rose, a symbol of innocence and sweetness. In the second portrait, Susanna Amos Yoe (b. 1786), seated on a Federal-style sofa with a book on her lap, is near her daughter, Mary Elizabeth (b. 1806), who is dressed in white and holds pink roses, also symbolic of affection. In The Yoe family portraits, Johnson reinforced typical gender roles by depicting father and son together in one instance and mother and daughter in the other. Like her brother, Benjamin, Elizabeth holds out five pink roses as an expression of devotion to her mother as well as her graciousness and love. These subtle, tender interactions between figures signaled changes in European and American society and new trends in portraiture of the early 1800s, particularly the relaxation of more rigid portrait conventions. Often, artists like Johnson employed a gentler, relaxed approach in portraying their subjects whereby people appear less formal and display familial affection. The WCMFA’s portraits are nearly identical copies of the companion portraits (see below) in the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In a common practice, Johnson painted two of each portrait so that both children would inherit a pair. The MESDA portraits differ from the Hagerstown examples in their brighter, cooler color palette, rendering of detail, and figural modeling. Benjamin Yoe operated a tailoring business in Baltimore, an occupation he took with him when he moved with his family to Hagerstown in 1810. Benjamin Yoe, Jr., became an attorney in the city and a member of the House of Delegates representing Washington County. In 1823, Mary Elizabeth married George Fechtig, a Hagerstown merchant. The paintings in the WCMFA collection were donated by the great-grandson of Mary Elizabeth, Washington County-based industrialist F. Sydney Cushwa (1902–96). Johnson’s work was the subject of the WCMFA’s recent landmark exhibition, Joshua Johnson: Portraitist of Early American Baltimore (2021‒22), which was the first monographic presentation of the artist’s work since 1988. Johnson-Yoe

 
 
 Artwork of the Week: Feb. 12, 2022 

By Audrey Scanlan-Teller, Ph.D., Independent Scholar & Art Historian During Black History Month, we hope that you enjoy this painting on loan to the museum from the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park. If you visit WCMFA, we encourage you to view this work, which is displayed in the Smith Gallery. Porter   Charles Ethan Porter (American, 1847–1923) Still Life with Mums, ca. 1880 Oil in canvas 11.75″h x 19.5″w Lent by the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland, College Park, permanent loan from the Collection of David C. Driskell, L2019-2-1 Charles Ethan Porter was a gifted African American artist from Connecticut who had to fight racial prejudice to become a painter and sell his canvases. Working in New York City and Hartford, Connecticut, in the decades following the Civil War, he specialized in still-life painting, in which fruits, vegetables, or flowers were arranged on a table or floor and were painted from life. In the late nineteenth century, wealthy and upper middle-class patrons favored tranquil still-life paintings to decorate their homes. Still-Life with Mums features quick, textured brush strokes that make the petals seem to burst from the canvas, yet the mums are naturally rendered with soft, pastel colors. Porter’s masterful technique conveys a remarkable sense of immediacy and his use of warm, bright light accentuates the work’s optimism and liveliness. Porter was one of the first African Americans to study at the National Academy of Design, NY, from 1871‒73. He trained in France at the École Nationale Supérior des Arts Décoratifs from 1881‒83 with a letter of introduction from the American writer Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), who recognized Porter’s talent and purchased his paintings. In 2008, Porter’s work was the subject of a significant exhibition, Charles Ethan Porter: African-American Master of Still Life, organized by the New Britain Museum of Art, Connecticut, and curated by Dr. Hildegard Cummings. The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora honors the legacy of David C. Driskell (1931‒2020) —distinguished university professor emeritus of art, artist, art historian, collector, curator and philanthropist— by preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture. From 2019‒20, the Driskell Center, in conjunction with the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) Arts Program, was a key lender to the landmark exhibition, The Blues and the Abstract: Voices of African American Art. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. David O. McCain, III

 
Artwork of the Week: Feb. 5, 2022 
 
Picasso
 
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881‒1973) Grand Nu de Femme (Large Female Nude), 1962 Linocut 25″h x 20.688″w Gift of Mr. James R. Donnelley, in honor of Phillip August & Sarah Neely Herrmann and Nina Herrmann Donnelley, A4362,07.0339In Grand Nu de Femme, Pablo Picasso created an energetic, abstract portrait of a monumental female nude. The print is Cubist in style, representing the woman from multiple viewpoints at the same time and creating the illusion that she has two faces looking in different directions. With her arms folded above her head and bent right leg, it appears as if she is either posing or possibly moving through space. Picasso’s deft use of a black and copper palette heightens the graphic appeal of the work while also creating subtle reflections of light and shadow on the woman’s body. The printing technique and use of two colors emphasizes his masterful use of line and keen sense of shape and movement.Grand Nu de Femme is a reduction linocut, a relief print medium in which Picasso worked extensively from the 1950s‒’60s. To create this work, the artist cut a design into a linoleum sheet with a sharp knife, V-shaped chisel or gouge, with the raised (uncarved) areas representing a reversal (mirror image) of the parts to show printed. Picasso then inked the linoleum sheet with a roller (called a brayer) and finally impressed it onto paper.Among the most famous artists to have ever lived, Picasso exerted a significant impact on the evolution of modern art internationally. Along with his colleague, Georges Braque, Picasso is perhaps best known for his seminal role in revolutionizing visual expression through the development of Cubism during the early 1900s. Like many of his contemporaries, including Henri Matisse, André Derain, and Fernand Léger, Picasso was intrigued by the human figure over the course of his nearly eighty-year career. In addition, he was a major printmaker and produced twenty-four linocut posters and 107 linocuts of still lifes, portraits, and figures from 1952‒63.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. George MangerArtwork of the Week: Jan. 29, 2022
Deming
Edwin Willard Deming (American, 1860–1942) Departure of the Hunters, ca. 1887–1900 Oil on canvas 12.25″h x 18″w Anonymous gift, 2018.7.186In Departure of the Hunters, Edwin Willard Deming created a tranquil, contemplative representation of three Native Americans preparing to depart from a riverbank in a canoe. Judging by the subdued light, its reflection on the water, and the color palette of pastel and earth tones, the artist suggested that this scene unfolds either at dawn or dusk. Deming spent a considerable amount of time living with Native Americans and was a sympathetic eyewitness in portraying their daily lives and cultural practices. This poetic, atmospheric painting conveys Deming’s admiration for these people’s traditional way of life and close relationship to nature. The style of Departure of the Hunters demonstrates the influence of Impressionism and Tonalism on Deming’s work, particularly in his use of thick, broad brush strokes and focus on the fleeting, spontaneous qualities of nature.Born in Ashland, Ohio, Deming was an illustrator and painter of the American West. As a child, he grew up with members of the Sac, Fox, and Winnebago nations in western Illinois. He later studied at the Art Students League, New York, and then the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris with the academic painters Gustave Boulanger and Jules Joseph Lefebvre. Beginning in 1887, Deming traveled west with fellow artists DeCost Smith and Frederic Remington to complete illustrations of the Sioux and Crow (Upper Plains) tribes for Outing magazine. Subsequently, Deming spent three decades living with members of the Apache, Pueblo (Southwest), and Umatilla (Oregon) nations. During these years, he also made occasional trips to New York, where he married artist Therese Osterheld; they eventually raised six children in the West. Interestingly, the Blackfeet peoples (Montana) adopted the entire family and gave Deming the name of “Eight Bears.”This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Susan KemnitzerArtwork of the Week: Jan. 22, 2022Singer 1William Henry Singer, Jr. (American, 1868–1943) Olden River in Winter, ca. 1920s Oil on canvas 42.5″h x 39.5″w    Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Anna Brugh Singer, A0585,49.0035    William Singer knew this river, which was located near his home in Olden, a village nestled in the countryside of western Norway. He painted the waterway in different seasons and moods, similar to the way many artists associated with the Impressionist movement liked to study place and atmosphere. Here, the awe-inspiring harshness of a Norwegian winter is captured in all its majesty. The icy, freezing river carves it way through the snowy mountains. The viewer can almost feel the bracing cold. Singer’s animated brushstrokes lend a sense of force to the water, and his limited, wintry color palette conveys the sculptural grandeur of the lofty peaks.William and his wife, Hagerstown native, Anna Brugh Singer, founded the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in 1928. Having received $4,000,000 from his father in 1907, Singer was able to enjoy a life of comfort, pursuing what he loved best and to support Anna in her passion for art collecting. On a trip to Norway in 1903, William discovered that the mountainous landscape captivated him. Throughout his career, he captured the spirit and magnificence of the country’s natural beauty, giving titles to his paintings that suggested nature’s roots in religious faith, such as Nature as God Made ItRock of Ages, and Peace Divine.Artwork of the Week: Jan. 15, 2022Burpee 1William Partridge Burpee (American, 1846‒1940) Near the Close of a Winter’s Day, ca. 1902‒03 Oil on canvas 10″H x 11.125″W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Anonymous gift, 2018.7.116   In this wistful, enigmatic landscape, William Partridge Burpee juxtaposed a snow-covered field with the trees and farmhouse in the background. The artist achieved this remarkable effect by contrasting the fading, reddish-brown sunlight and the shaded landscape in the foreground. A lone figure in the middle ground can be seen making his or her way back toward the house. While Near the Close of a Winter’s Day conveys a sense of remoteness and austerity, it also expresses the artist’s fascination with the serenity and solace afforded by the countryside, themes to which he returned over the course of his career.Burpee 2Born in Rockland, Maine, Burpee studied with William Bradford (1823–1892), who was renowned for his twilight landscapes of Canada and the Arctic. Later in life, Burpee developed an Impressionistic style characterized by loose brushwork and ethereal atmospheric perspective. Among his favorite subjects were marine scenes of the Massachusetts coastline in which he depicted families at play, netmenders, fishermen, and clamdiggers. After a trip to Europe in 1897, the painter exhibited his work at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the American Watercolor Society, New York. Burpee also was awarded a bronze medal at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904This WeekendArt is sponsored by the Jamison Door CompanyArtwork of the Week: Jan. 8, 2022Robert BogleRobert Bogle (American, 1817‒1860) Portrait of Ada (the Artist’s Daughter), 1856 Oil on canvas 24″H x 18″W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Mr. & Mrs. George M. Durrett, A2139,81.0008In this portrait, Robert Bogle depicted his daughter, Ada (1846/7‒1917), seated on a hill near Anacostia with a vista of the city of Washington in the background. Also visible are the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers that converge with one another. In the lower left appear the Tidal Basin and the Washington Monument, the pinnacle of which had not yet been completed at the time. Judging by the artist’s inclusion of fresh flowers, verdant vegetation, and his daughter’s white dress and straw hat, it is likely that this scene unfolds in spring or summer. Following closely in the tradition of European portraiture in which sitters were often placed in an elevated position above the landscape, Bogle lovingly captured Ada’s expression which conveys both tenderness and confidence.The son of a doctor, Bogle was born in Georgetown, South Carolina. Both Robert and his twin brother, James, pursued careers as professional artists and shared a studio together in Charleston during the 1840s. A portraitist by training, he worked in New Orleans, Baltimore, and Charleston. By 1860, he was living in Washington, D.C., and he returned to the South prior to the outbreak of the Civil War.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. James N. Holzapfel Artwork of the Week: Jan. 1, 2022
Jean-Charles Cazin (French, 1841‒1901) A Rural Farmhouse at Dusk, ca. 1880‒85 Oil on canvas 22"H x 18 1/4"W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts   Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Albert R. Miller, Jr., A2683,91.0013

Jean-Charles Cazin (French, 1841‒1901)
A Rural Farmhouse at Dusk, ca. 1880‒85
Oil on canvas, 22″H x 18 1/4″W
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Albert R. Miller, Jr., A2683,91.0013

While Jean-Charles Cazin began his career painting biblical and historical subjects, he is best remembered today for his poetic, delicate landscapes of the French countryside around Grez-sur-Loing, France (near Fontainebleau Forest). Influenced by Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Jean-François Millet, and other Barbizon artists, Cazin practiced a method of painting from memory (which he originally learned from his teacher, Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran) that emphasized visual and color retention, the capturing of solar and lunar effects, and the careful application of atmospheric perspective. In A Rural Farmhouse at Dusk, the artist depicted a lone dwelling illuminated by a faint light. Cazin employed luminous, gentle tonalities and somber hues of gray, orange, and brown in the sky and deftly contrasted them with the green and tan field in the foreground. A contemplative and wistful scene, the painter created an image that embodied the ephemerality of twilight. As he poignantly described, “Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, and all the air a solemn stillness holds”. Born in Samer, Pas-de-Calais, in northern France, Cazin first studied at the School of Decorative Art in Paris with Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran, who also taught Henri Fantin-Latour, Jules Dalou, and Alphonse Legros, artists whose work is represented in the collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. In 1868, Cazin became Director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tours and curator of the museum there. From 1869 to 1875, he traveled to Italy and Holland where he studied landscapes in the tradition of the Old Masters. Upon returning to France, Cazin gradually earned critical acclaim. In 1889, he received a Gold Medal at the Paris Universal Exposition and in 1898, he was commissioned to complete Pierre Puvis de Chavanne’s unfinished mural cycle in the Panthéon and Sorbonne University in Paris. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. George Manger   Artwork of the Week: Dec. 25, 2021 Frederick Stuart Church Frederick Stuart Church (American, 1842‒1924) Cold Sauce with Christmas Pudding, 1894 Originally published in W. Lewis Fraser, “Our Christmas Pictures”, The Century Magazine, vol. 49 (1894‒95), p. 317 Oil on board 23 3/8″ H x 15 5/8″ W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1258,63.0007    In this lighthearted, whimsical subject, a young woman holding a knife gazes out at the viewer. Next to her, the bear presents to her a pot of cold sauce to spread on the Christmas pudding held up by four rabbits. On the lower left, two of them have already begun to savor some of this delectable treat. The lady’s and rabbits’ amusing, somewhat mischievous gaze and smiles invite the viewer to partake in their enjoyment and merriment. Created at a time when color illustrations and chromolithography were still time-consuming and costly, Frederick Stuart Church painted this scene en grisaille (French, “in black and white”) so that it could be more effectively photographed and reproduced in The Century Magazine (see below). Trained as a professional illustrator, Church (unrelated to the famous Hudson River School painter, Frederic Edwin Church), studied in New York at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. He became famous for his animated, fanciful depictions of animals, as well as his illustrations for Aesop’s Fables (1882), which were among his most celebrated works. Church also illustrated numerous periodicals, including Harper’s WeeklyHarper’s Bazaar, and Ladies’ Home Journal. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Nanette N. Stevens & Mr. Karl J. Keller   Artwork of the Week: Dec. 18, 2021 Régis François Gignoux Régis François Gignoux (French, 1816‒1882) Winter Scene (Winter Sketch), 1850 Oil on canvas 21 7/8″h x 30 5/8″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1305,63.0027 This painting depicts cattle, a farmhouse, and a frozen pond on a cold winter’s day. Judging by the dramatic parting clouds in the sky and the artist’s extensive use of misty and glistening atmospheric perspective, a storm has just passed through the area. Winter Scene (Winter Sketch) embodies the essence of the season and conveys both a sense of foreboding and optimism through the clearing of the clouds above. Known for his rural snow scenes of New Jersey and New England, Régis François Gignoux specialized in winter landscapes which closely paralleled those of his contemporaries George Henry Durrie (1820‒1863) and Louis-Rémy Mignot (1831‒1870). Born in Lyon, France, Gignoux studied there at the Académie St. Pierre and at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under the renowned academic painter Paul Delaroche (1797‒1856). While Gignoux worked in America for much of his career, he returned to France at the end of his life. He was elected to the National Academy, New York, served as the first President of the Brooklyn Academy, and was both a teacher and close friend of George Inness (1825‒1894), whose work is also represented in the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts’ collection. In 1850, Gignoux exhibited this painting at the American Art Union, New York. This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. James Schiro & Dr. Tara Rumbarger   Artwork of the Week: Dec. 11, 2021 Franklin Dullin Briscoe Franklin Dullin Briscoe (American, 1844–1903) Hauling in the Nets, 1878 Oil on canvas 24″h x 42″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1309,64.0002   Over the course of his career, Franklin Dullin Briscoe traveled to Europe frequently and spent a considerable amount of time at sea where he observed its majestic qualities firsthand. Responding to the tradition of Dutch and English fishing subjects, he paid particular attention to atmospheric effects such as the play of light and shadow in the clouds and the shifting conditions of the surf in the foreground.  Hauling in the Nets portrays a group of French fishermen pulling in their catch for the day, a subject which the artist painted on several occasions from the 1860s through the 1890s (see French Fisherman, 1892, shown below). This scene is particularly noteworthy because of its large scale and inclusion of several different types of boats.  With Briscoe’s emphasis on the overcast, wind-swept weather and the considerable effort exerted by the mariners to achieve their task, the viewer gains a sense of both the excitement and perils of seafaring life in the late nineteenth century. From 2009‒2015, this painting was on loan to the State of Maryland and was displayed at the State House in Annapolis. Born in Baltimore, Briscoe moved with his family to Philadelphia in 1848 and studied with the renowned marine artist, Edward Moran (1829–1901), in 1860, who was the younger brother of famed American landscapist Thomas Moran (1837–1926). By the age of twenty-five, Briscoe had established his reputation as a painter of seascapes, though he also produced landscapes, orientalist scenes, and history paintings. One of his most famous commissions was The Battle of Gettysburg (1885, now lost), a ten-panel mural that he exhibited widely throughout the United States. Franklin Dullin Briscoe  Fisherman Franklin Dullin Briscoe French Fisherman, 1892 Oil on canvas 13 x 21 in. Formerly Grogan & Co. Boston, MA This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Beth A. Rishel   Artwork of the Week: Dec. 4, 2021

Paul Warhola
Paul Warhola (American, 1922–2014) Paul & Andy, 1990 Silkscreen on canvas Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of the artist, A2662,90.0302The older brother of the Pop art icon, Andy Warhol (1928–1987), Paul Warhola also specialized in silkscreens and oils that draw upon imagery derived from consumer culture and everyday life. In this large, nearly life-size dual portrait, Warhola employed an old photograph as the basis to depict himself (left) with Andy (right) in their youth. The two brothers stand in front of a white and green background, partially surrounded and covered by red chicken foot prints. Carefully posed, the subjects gaze directly at the viewer, commanding our attention and inviting us to ponder both their relationship and past.Over the course of his career, Warhola developed a novel means of applying paint, using chicken’s feet rather than a brush, which became one of the hallmarks of his work. The birds’ stamped impressions alluded to his semi-retirement on a farm in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Like Andy, Paul painted large silk screens of Heinz vegetarian bean cans and Hershey chocolate bars, which represent two of Pennsylvania’s corporate giants, and are takeoffs on his brother’s work. Although he designed advertising graphics, he is perhaps best known for his gentle Pop paintings with bright, prismatic colors and chicken-scratch accents. Warhola was the father of New York science-fiction and children’s illustrator, James (b. 1955), who had a solo exhibition of his work at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in 1999.This WeekendArt is sponsored by Raymond JamesSecond Week of November
 
 
Godfried Schalcken (Dutch, 1643–1706) Self-Portrait Holding Candle, 1694 Oil on canvas 47 x 38 ¼ in. Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Edmund Law Rogers Smith, 1950
 
Godfried Schalcken, a Dutch Baroque painter and printmaker, first studied with Samuel van Hoogstraten (1627–1678) in Dordrecht. He completed his training in the early 1660s in Leiden under Gerrit Dou (1613–1675), who, along with Hoogstraten, had studied with Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669). During Schalcken’s apprenticeship under Dou, the younger painter studied his master’s meticulously painted candlelit scenes that were inspired by works of Caravaggio’s (1571–1610) northern followers, including Adam de Coster (1586–1643), Gerrit van Honthorst (1592–1652), and Georges de la Tour (1592–1652). These artists employed chiaroscuro(contrast between light and dark), a technique that exerted a profound impact on Schalcken’s extensive juxtaposition of natural and artificial light in his compositions. Schalcken also belonged to a group of Dutch artists known as the Fijnschilders(Dutch, “fine painters”) that sought to create highly realistic depictions of reality through an emphasis on painstaking, exacting attention to detail and the use of tight brushstrokes to achieve a highly smooth pictorial surface. Schalcken’s international renown led to commissions from many patrons, most notably King William III of England (1650–1702), Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici (1642–1743), and Elector and Electress Palatine, Johann Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg (1658–1716) and Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici (1667–1743). Among Schalcken’s pupils were his sister, Maria (1645–1699), and the portraitist Arnold Boonen (1669–1729).Schalcken depicted himself standing before the remains of a large fluted column. He holds a candle with his left hand as he presses a gold cloak to his chest and leans his right shoulder on a stone pedestal. In the foreground lie a sculpted bust and a statuette of a satyr that are dimly, though dramatically illuminated by the candlelight. The inclusion of the grand architectural elements and a fragment of classical sculpture allude to Schalcken’s ambition to rival works of art created by the ancient Greek and Roman artists. A comparison of this painting to a mezzotint by John Smith (1652–1743), which was completed in reverse after Schalcken’s canvas, reveals many similar compositional details and indicates that the Dutch painter sought to promote his work and reputation via the dissemination of prints throughout Europe. Clothed in a white shirt and a luxurious blue jacket with brandebourgs (elaborate fasteners) and wearing a wig of long, curly brown hair, Schalcken created an idealized representation of himself as a young man at the pinnacle of his career in an aristocratic, self-confident manner. In reality, however, the artist was fifty-one years old when he painted this self-portrait during his stay in London (1692–1697).Self-Portrait Holding Candle has an interesting provenance that began in the late 1700s with the work being part of a case of pictures shipped by a gentleman in France to his brother in New Orleans Intriguingly, this portrait was subsequently salvaged from a shipwreck off the coast of Cuba in the early nineteenth century and later sold to benefit the underwriters. Subsequently, the painting was bought by sea captain Charles Fraser of Charleston, South Carolina, who sold it to art dealer William Henry Jones. About 1824, Robert Gilmor (1774–1848), a major American art collector and patron, likely purchased the portrait from Jones. The work remained in the Gilmor family’s possession until about 1900, when it was acquired by actor Edmund Law Rogers (1850–1893), a descendant of Martha Washington (1731–1802) and Elizabeth Parke Custis Law (1776–1831). Rogers bequeathed the work to his daughter, Charlotte, who gave it her son, Edmund Law Rogers Smith. In 1950, he donated it to the Museum.Detail of Schalcken signature, lower right of canvas.John Smith (English, 1652–1743), after Godfried Schalcken (Dutch, 1643–1706)    Self-Portrait of Godfried Schalcken, 1694 Mezzotint 13 x 9 in. National Portrait Gallery, London 

First Week of November Rembrandt van Rijn (Dutch, 1606–1669) Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, 1634 Etching 3 ½ x 4 ½ in. Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of an anonymous donor, 2018   Rembrandt van Rijn, a painter, printmaker, and draftsman was one of the most significant Dutch artists of his generation. He exerted a major impact on the history of art through his tremendous versatility in multiple media and mastery of a diverse range of subjects including history and literature, biblical themes, portraiture, landscape, and genre scenes. This etching depicts a biblical story from Genesis, in which the wife of the Egyptian officer, Potiphar, attempts to seduce Joseph. While he resists her advances, she nevertheless seeks to lure him into bed and grabs onto his coat. As he leaves the room, she retains his garment and later uses it as evidence to falsely accuse him of assault, a charge which ultimately leads to his imprisonment. In this highly erotic image, Rembrandt captured the emotional tension and energy between the two figures. Interestingly, Italian painter and engraver Antonio Tempesta (1555-1630), created an earlier, comparable rendition of this scene which might have inspired Rembrandt’s composition.   Renowned for his use of sharp chiaroscuro that betrays the influence of Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio (1571–1610), Rembrandt became a master at using this technique in his prints.  Chiaroscuro involves dramatic contrasts of light and dark often employed in seventeenth-century art and it is typically associated with the work of Caravaggio and his followers. In this composition the contrast is achieved through cross-hatching and his masterful skills in inking the copper plate from which he made this print. Over the course of his career, Rembrandt produced a total of about three hundred etchings from the 1620s –1660s. He documented his own image through a remarkable series of self-portraits and often used family members as models in many of his prints. Often, the artist produced his etchings as alternate versions of the same subject in various “states” which were collected widely throughout Europe and helped establish his international reputation in subsequent centuries. Rembrandt van Rijn  Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, 1634 Copper etching plate 3 ½ x 4 ½ in. Private collection, on loan to Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam Antonio Tempesta (Italian, 1555-1630) Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife, ca. 1590s Etching 2 x 2 ½ in.   Collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

 

 Fourth Week of October
Max Weyl (American, b. Germany, 1837–1914).
 
The Glade, 1871
 
Oil on canvas
 
22 x 27 in.
 
Collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine ArtsGift from the Estate of Charles C. Glover, 1944
 
This lush and appealing landscape painting was made by a German-born artist who settled in Washington, D.C., and created landscapes imbued with the spirit of the French Barbizon school. In The Glade, Max Weyl created an enticing, expansive forest scene in which he effectively contrasted the green, yellow, black, and brown vegetation with the light blue and gray sky in the background.  In the left and right foreground, the artist strikingly juxtaposed the sunlight’s fleeting reflections off the tree trunks with the shade of the foliage. Weyl’s use of loose and broad brushstrokes throughout the composition and his choice of a verdant glade as his subject betray the influence of French Barbizon landscapes by Théodore Rousseau (1812–1867), Charles François Daubigny (1817–1878), and Narcisse Virgile Díaz de la Peña (1807–1876). The Barbizon artists were part of an innovative group of plein-air (outdoor) landscape painters (primarily active between 1830 and 1880) that worked near Fontainebleau Forest, located southwest of Paris. Over the course of his career, Weyl became best known for his scenes of Rock Creek Park and the Potomac River near Washington, D.C. The Glade was originally shown at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in an exhibition of works (1942–43) from the collection of Charles C. Glover (1846–1936), a Washington banker and philanthropist who made significant contributions to the creation of the city’s parks and monuments. After Glover’s death, several paintings from his estate were donated to the Museum facilitated by? With the help of? his son, Charles Carroll Glover, Jr. (1888–1976).Weyl was born at Mühlen-am Neckar, Germany, and he emigrated with his family to Williamsport, PA, in 1853.  In 1857, Weyl relocated to Washington, D.C., where he opened a small jewelry store, worked as a watchmaker, and concurrently taught himself painting. To market his landscapes, he hung them in his shop window, which attracted the attention of several prominent art collectors, most notably Samuel H. Kauffman, publisher of the Evening Star newspaper. Under the generous patronage of Kauffman, Weyl traveled to Europe from 1879–80 to study art professionally in Paris, Munich, Vienna, and Venice.  Upon his return to America in 1880, the painter became one of the leading members of the “Washington Landscape School,” along with artists such as William Henry Holmes (1847–1920) and Richard Norris Brooke (1847–1920). Later in his career, Weyl earned the nickname of “American Daubigny” because his landscapes shared many stylistic qualities with the works of the renowned French painter.

Third Week of October

William Waller (American, d. 2004) Mural Composition, 1950                    
Oil on canvas
44 x 57 ¾ in.
Collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Albert Lion, 1959
 
In William Waller’s colorful and dynamic Mural Composition, he sought to establish an equilibrium among the carefully rendered geometric forms. Waller skillfully juxtaposed each of the overlapping shapes through a contrasting palette of blue, gray, red, green, and black such that the forms evoke a prismatic quality, a sense of depth, and appear to protrude from the canvas into the viewer’s space. Waller’s precise approach to abstraction recalls the work of both his European and American contemporaries, most notably Amédée Ozenfant, Fernand Léger, Stuart Davis, Ilya Bolotowsky, and Balcomb Greene. Waller likely completed this work as a study for a mural that he was developing in Paris around 1950. However, the exact origin of this work or its connection to a specific project remain unknown.After World War II, Waller earned his BA degree at St. Johns College, Annapolis, Maryland, but resigned his army commission to study and paint at the Sorbonne University in Paris, where he obtained a doctorate in aesthetics. From 1948–50, Waller studied under Léger and worked in his studio. During his time there, Waller was influenced considerably by his teacher and he further developed his abstract style.  When Léger retired from teaching, Waller directed the Académie Montmartre from 1952–54. Soon thereafter, he received a solo exhibition and several group shows in Paris; Provincetown, Massachusetts; Baltimore; and Washington, DC. Waller returned to Baltimore in 1954, and was named to the faculty of the Baltimore Museum of Art school in 1960. In 1956, a retrospective of his work was held at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), Westminster. At the time of his death, Waller also headed the art department of St. Timothy’s School, Stevenson, Maryland.
 
 
 
 

Second Week of October

 
Unknown (Indian) Anglo-Indian Style, Dehli Portrait of Mughal Imperial Rulers Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, Akbar, and Mariam-uz-Zamani, ca. 1840–1880 Painting on ivory, ebony frame Gift of John Buchholz, 1992
 
This miniature painting portrays four major Mughal sovereigns of India. The two largest ovals depict Shah Jahan (1592–1666) and his wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593–1631) while the small images represent his grandparents, Akbar the Great (1542–1605) and his consort Mariam-uz-Zamani (1542–1623). Jahan is most famous for having commissioned the Taj Mahal (1632–1658) at Agra, India, a tomb for his wife that remains one of the most renowned monuments in the world. Jahan’s grandparents are portrayed in this work in order to honor his ancestral heritage and celebrate dynastic ties between family members. Akbar was particularly significant in Indian history because he consolidated political power and expanded the Mughal Empire from the late 16th–early 17th centuries. In representing these royals, the unknown artist of this ivory painting achieved remarkable, jewel-like detail and naturalism, most notably in the handling of the elaborately decorated chairs, the pink flowers held by Jahan and Mahal, and the intricate embroideries of their costumes, which complement the surrounding arabesques and botanical ornamentationThis work’s carefully carved wooden frame also features vegetal designs that harmonize with and accentuate comparable motifs found in the painting.While the Mughal Emperors ruled India from 1522–1857, Great Britain ultimately consolidated political and economic power over the country, thereby establishing a period of colonial rule known as the Raj (1858–1947). From the 17th–19th centuries, decorative objects and paintings produced in India were influenced by western techniques and forms through trade and contact with Europeans. Specifically, Indian artists were introduced to perspective, volume, and recession, and they often incorporated these compositional elements into their work.

First Week of  October   Utagawa Yoshikazu (Japanese active 1848-70) The Great Battle of Mount Ishibashi, 1849 Woodblock print, ink, and color on paper               14 ¾  x 29 in.      Collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts              Gift of Mrs. Jefferson Patterson, 1985 Ukiyo–e (Japanese: “pictures of the floating world”) are among the most renowned forms of Japanese art. Originating in the early part of the Edo Period (1606–1868), these works were often produced as woodblock prints and they became very popular in Japanese society. Enjoyed by aristocrats and common people alike, prevalent subjects included scenes from daily life, literature, history, theater, and nature. Today, ukiyo–e are still produced and sold on the art market. As pictured in the examples below, artists often portrayed subjects from earlier periods of Japanese history. In this case, Utagawa Yoshikazu, a student of the renowned artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798–1861), chose to represent an event that occurred during the late Heian Period (794–1185). Yoshikazu was born in Edo (Tokyo) and he became a significant printmaker of yokohama–e, a term used to describe prints that depicted foreigners from the West. These works provided interesting, somewhat exotic subjects for the many Japanese who were largely unexposed to western imagery prior to the forced opening of Japan’s ports through the Kanagawa Treaty (1854) with the United States. This print (a vertical oban triptych) visualizes a moment in the Battle of Mount Ishibashi (September 14, 1180), which was fought between the opposing Minamoto and Taira clans during the Genpei War (1180–1185). This scene unfolds along a rocky coastline in which military officers and their samurai engage in dramatic combat. Yoshikazu heightened the excitement, fervor, and dynamism of the episode by representing the Taira cavalry and infantry charging from the right of the composition toward an outnumbered group of Minamoto warriors on the left. Despite his bravery and zeal, one Minamoto samurai in the middle foreground has been struck and falls from his horse to the ground. In the center, a Taira officer brandishing a large lance turns his head to gaze down toward his slain opponent. In the background, a fire has broken out behind the tree and the encroaching flames allude to the looming Taira victory. Unlike his mentor Kuniyoshi’s rendition of the Battle of Mount Ishibashi (see below), Yoshikazu’s print condenses the figural groups, makes use of a palette of pastel colors, and focuses the viewer’s attention on the spectacle of the skirmish itself. By contrast, Kuniyoshi concentrated on the red and earth-tone details of the landscape, staged the event closer to the shoreline, and separated the clashing warriors into small, loosely connected confrontations. The Genpei War ultimately led to the collapse of the Taira regime, the establishment of the Kamakura Shogunate (1185–1333) by the Minamoto, and the inauguration of feudal Japan (1185–1868), a period in which rival clans led by shoguns (warlords) vied to consolidate their political power and control of territory with the assistance of samurai (warriors). During the Battle of Mount Ishibashi, Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147–1199) was defeated after clashing with the army of his rival, Taira no Kiyomori (1118–1181), in the southwest of present-day Odawara (Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan), near Yoritomo’s headquarters at Kamakura. Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797-1861 Late Edo Period) Combat between Sanda and Matano at The Great Battle of Mount Ishibashi in the Genpei War on the Night of the Twenty-Second Day of the Eighth Month, 1180, 1843 Woodcut 14 x 28 1/8 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston William Sturgis Bigelow Collection


Third Week of September unnamed (5) unnamed   Marius Alexander Jacques Bauer (Dutch, 1867–1932) Palitana, ca. 1897–98 Watercolor on paper 22 ½  x 32 ½ in. Collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Singer, Jr., 1931 In this atmospheric painting, Marius Bauer exquisitely captured both the beauty and enigma of Palitana, a city located in the province of Gujarat, India.  Palitana is renowned as a major pilgrimage site for Jains (Jainism is an ancient Indian religion) and it is the second major vegetarian city in the world. This work likely depicts a view of the Shatrunjaya Hills, upon which many of Palitana’s most famous temples stand. A group of men on the lower right of the scene, possibly soldiers since some of them carry spears and shields, have stopped to rest on the roof of a fortress. They observe the dramatic view of domes in the foreground and towers in the distance. Cast in a grayish-white haze, Bauer’s depiction of this city’s architecture and its peoples conveys an ethereal, dreamy quality through its extensive use of loose brushstrokes and atmospheric perspective. Shortly after arriving in India in 1897, Bauer fell under the country’s spell. He wrote: “Why that perpetual idolisation of ditches and ponds and windmills, when one can revel in the lines and colours of tropical forests and temples.[sic.]” After the artist returned home to the Netherlands in 1898, he remarked: “Now comes the second pleasure, that of recollecting, even finer than the reality. The less lovely and the western aftertaste vanishes, leaving a wonderland of palaces and temples, populated by measureless files of brightly clothed orientals, richly decked-out horse processions, camels and throngs of elephants. Recollecting softens the shadows and the light, throws a transparent veil over reality and transforms this into a vision in which the colours will never fade.” Although the artist’s statements reinforce European Orientalist stereotypes and biased attitudes about non-western peoples, they also express his immersion in his travels abroad, his interest in Indian history and culture, and his desire to escape reality by painting his recollections of past journeys. Bauer worked as a painter, lithographer, and an etcher who specialized in Orientalist scenes influenced by Impressionism. Many of his works were based on photographs he bought during his travels to India, Egypt, Algeria, Persia and Turkey (1888–1898; 1902–1911), including examples by photographers such as Félix Bonfils (1831–1885). Bauer also produced illustrations for several publications, most notably the 1001 Arabian Nights. From 1878–85, Bauer studied at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, and he soon thereafter came into contact with WCMFA founders Anna and William Singer while painting with some of the Laren School artists. Later, the Singers purchased numerous paintings and drawings by him from the art dealer Frans Buffa. Today, Bauer’s works are owned by the Rijksmuseum, The British Museum, and the Singer Laren, the WCMFA’s sister museum founded by Anna Singer in The Netherlands.


unnamed (6) Washington County Officials at the WCMFA dedication, Septemeber 15, 1931


Second Week of September unnamed (1) unnamed (2) unnamed (3) unnamed (4)


Yun Bing (Nan Lan Ling Nu Shi) (Chinese, Qing Dynasty, active late 17th–early 18th century) Chrysanthemums, autumn 1688 Handscroll with India ink on silk 78 x 17 ¾ x 2 ½ in. Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Richard Driscoll, 2000 Yun Bing was the daughter of Yun Shouping (1633–1690, Nantian), a renowned Qing Dynasty flower painter and one of the “Six Masters” along with the Four Wangs and Wu Li (ca. 1632–1718). Her alias, Nan Lan Ling Nu Sh, literally means “intellectual woman of South Lanling” (southern Shandong Province, China). Like her father, Bing was a remarkably sensitive observer of nature and painted not only flowers but also insects and birds in their natural habitat. During her lifetime, the governor–general of Liang–Jiang (eastern China) presented one her paintings to the Empress Dowager Xiao Sheng Xian (1693–1777) and the Qianlong Emperor (Hongli, 1711–1799). He admired it so much that he inscribed a dedicatory poem on the work, thereby helping to establish Bing’s reputation at court. In Chrysanthemums, Bing embodied the spirit of longing and wistfulness from the verses of a poem described below. Specifically, she centered our attention on the fleeting beauty and fine textural details of the flower petals, leaves, and rocky outcroppings whose colors are subtly juxtaposed. While the poet himself, the fence, and mountains are not present in the composition, the viewer is invited to imagine their existence in the past. The characters in this painting contain a poem by Tao Yuanming (ca. 365–427 CE), who was a renowned poet of the Jin (265–420 CE) and Liu Song (420–479 CE) Dynasties and also was a great enthusiast of chrysanthemums: Although we cannot be intoxicated (in the love for chrysanthemums) together with Tao, The hearts blossomed facing the East Fence at one time.  According to historical sources, it is believed that Yuanming planted his own chrysanthemums at the east fence of his residence, in reference to his famous line in another poem: “While plucking chrysanthemums under the east fence, I observed leisurely the south mountain.” Both the artist and her intended audience of aristocratic literati, most of whom were well versed in ancient Chinese poetry, would have recognized the significance of both the fences and flowers in each of Yuanming’s poems.


First Week of September unnamed   Attributed to Dorothy Loretto Trujillo (American, 1932–1999) Native American, Laguna–Jemez-Cochiti, New Mexico Storyteller Doll, ca. 1978-1983 Ceramic and pigment 10 ¾ x 11 ¾  x 12 ⅝ in. Collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift from the Estate of Phyllis Emmert, 2009 Storyteller dolls are made by members of the Pueblo people of the Southwestern United States and they play a significant role in preserving indigenous oral traditions. These figures (also called Pueblo Storytellers) are created with clay and depict a man or a woman surrounded by children. Most often, the main figure’s mouth is open to demonstrate that he or she is telling a story to youngsters. The concept of creating these works derives from the Pueblo tradition of “Singing Mother” figures that are typically accompanied by children as well. In 1964, the first storyteller doll was made by Helen Cordero (1915–1994) to honor her grandfather, Santiago Quintana. Several renowned storyteller doll ceramists include Stella Teller (b. 1929), Carol Lucero Gachupin (b. 1958), Mary Lucero, and Linda Fragua. This example is attributed to Dorothy Loretto Trujillo, a member of the Laguna/Jemez culture (residing near Albuquerque, New Mexico) who married into the Cochiti Pueblo and made Cochiti-style pottery during the second half of the 1900s. This doll represents a male storyteller holding a pot on his head while eight children sit on his legs. The ceramic sculpture’s combination of black, red, and white exemplifies Trujillo’s use of contrasting color schemes. In addition to creating storyteller dolls, her pottery repertoire is comprised of polychrome jars, bowls, and nativity figures.


Fourth Week of August 17 Burnis Calvin Day (American, b. 1932) Pastime Sports, 1976 Acrylic on canvas 30 x 39 in. Collection of Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County Gift of the artist, 1996 In this colorful painting, Day created a lively image of young people playing different sports and engaging in other forms of seasonal recreation. Working in an abstract style with geometric forms and broad planes of color, this African American artist portrayed groups of figures playing basketball, tennis, and baseball in the center and foreground. At the top of the work, individuals are depicted ice- and roller skating. Originally, Day developed the theme of this painting for a mural competition sponsored by the Detroit Parks and Recreation Department in 1976. When the mural design was not accepted as the winning entry, Day developed his work into a smaller painting, which he later donated to the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County. Eventually, his mural design based upon Pastime Sports was accepted for another competition and reproduced as a 13- x 16-foot mural (completed from 1996–97) at the Maheras-Gentry Recreation Center, Detroit (closed 1999). In relation to the composition’s intended communal setting, its subject conveys a sense of optimism and interracial cooperation. Day was born in Hepzibah, West Virginia, and he studied at the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, the Famous Artists School (formerly Westport, Connecticut), and Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Day received exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the New Mexico Arts League, Albuquerque, and the New England Art Institute (formerly Brookline, Massachusetts). After first teaching at Pittman’s Gallery, Inc., in 1973, Day later served as an instructor in drawing, painting, and mixed media at different arts institutions throughout Michigan. His work also is represented in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City. To learn more about Day’s creative process, you are invited to view this interview with him and his Detroit-based contemporaries: Through the Artist Eyes (1981), © Detroit Educational Television Foundation, 1981.


Third Week of August 16 Pieter Janssens Elinga or Workshop (Dutch, 1623–1682) Seated Painter, ca. 1650–82 Oil on canvas 15 x 12 ½ in. Collection of Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County Gift of Mr. Chester D. Tripp, 1955 Pieter Janssens Elinga was best known for his Dutch interiors painted in the style of Pieter de Hooch (1629–1684). Seated Painter represents an artist in his studio (possibly Elinga or one of his contemporaries) who is absorbed in the preparation of his paint. His actions are indicated by the mortar and pestle which would be used to grind raw materials for pigments. The inclusion of the glass stopper and small containers on the table also suggests that the man might be about to store the paint in a glass jar or vessel that is hidden by his body. The artist interestingly depicted the sitter with his back to the viewer and he obscured the entirety of his activities, thereby inviting us to ponder the exact nature of his working process. The presence of the landscape painting, palette, and tassel hanging on the wall allude to the artist’s profession. In the background, the portrait leaning against the wall depicts the French military officer Jacques de Mauvissière, Marquis of Castelnau (1620–1658), which might refer to a recently completed commission for that individual. This portrait is likely based upon Robert Nanteuil’s (1623–1678) engraving of the Marquis (see image below). Castelnau enjoyed a distinguished career in the King’s Army as Lieutenant General (1651) and briefly as Marshall of France (1658). In 1648, he was appointed Governor of Brest (Brittany) and he served in many battles during the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) and Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659). This painting was the subject of an FBI investigation and lawsuit over its ownership. In 1989, descendants of the Schloss family (NYC) claimed that the WCMFA unlawfully held this painting, which they believed had been confiscated from their family (then living in France) by the Nazis in 1943. This claim was ultimately invalidated because the stolen painting that the family sought was in fact the first version of the same subject (see image below), the location of which remains unknown. The WCMFA was vindicated of any unlawful ownership of the work of art in question when it was proven that Museum’s painting was an alternate version of the same subject with its own distinct composition, execution, and style. Interestingly, the Schloss family had once owned the WCMFA painting but it sold the work prior to World War II. Subsequently, it entered the United States in 1935 and was offered for sale on the American art market. The most notable differences between the Schloss picture and the WCMFA example are the highlights on the curtain, the number of repaired window panes, the painter’s anatomical proportions, and the sharpness of de Castelnau’s facial expression and eyes. 16_2 Pieter Janssens Elinga (Dutch, 1623–1682) Seated Painter, ca. 1650–82 Oil on canvas Formerly Schloss Collection, Paris, Current location unknown 16_3 Robert Nanteuil (French, 1623–1678) Jacques de Mauvissière, Marquis von Castelnau, 1658 Engraving Image courtesy of Princeton Digital Collections, Robert Nanteuil Collection


Second Week of August 15 Hugh Ralph Micklem (British, 1918–2009) Two Grenadines, 1993 Oil on wood panel Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Micklem, in Memory of Mrs. Helen Miller Mathias, 2002 In Two Grenadines, Micklem portrayed two pomegranates that are carefully arranged on a table. In order to achieve a contrast between the fruits and their surroundings, the artist juxtaposed their orange and red surface textures with the drapery of the yellow tablecloth against which they rest. Micklem’s painting betrays the influence of French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne (1839–1906) and it responds to trends in mid-20th-century British abstract art through its extensive use of impasto (raised, thick paint application), a subdued palette, compacted pictorial space, and subtle highlights on the pomegranates’ surface. Micklem also employed subtle, angular compositional forms and created the illusion that the fruits are projecting forward into the viewer’s space. Traditionally, pomegranates have symbolized fertility, regeneration, immortality, and beauty. Born in Hendon, United Kingdom, Micklem studied at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, from 1935–1939 with British modernists Bernard Meninsky (1891–1950) and William Roberts (1895–1980, English cubist and member of the Vorticist movement). From 1937–1939, he also trained under Mark Gertler (1891-1939) and George Emslie Owen (1899-1964) at the Westminster School of Art. During World War II, Micklem served with the British Army in France, India, and Burma. In 1949, he received a National Diploma in Design. Over the course of his career, Micklem exhibited at the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. In addition to still lifes, the artist also painted portraits and many landscapes near his home on the southeast coast of Spain. Micklem and his wife, Joan, were good friends of long-time Museum member Mrs. Helen Miller Mathias (1907–1994), who often visited the couple in southern Spain.


First Week of August 14_1 14_2 14_3 Teapot 14_4 14_5 Creamer 14_6 14_7 Sugar bowl Wedgwood (British, founded 1759) Basaltware Teapot, Creamer and Sugar Bowl, 1813 Stoneware Gift of Dr. & Mrs. W. Lehman Guyton, 1991 Wedgwood is an English pottery company that was founded by Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795) in 1759. This tea set is made of black vitreous stoneware, used by Wedgwood as early as 1766. The pieces are decorated to commemorate the Battle of Vitoria (June 21, 1813) in Spain, fought between the Allied forces of Britain, Portugal, and Spain and the French under Napoleon I Bonaparte during the Peninsular War (1807–1814). The scene on the teapot and creamer memorializes General Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (1769–1852), who led the British to victory, the imagery depicts a laurel wreath being placed on a bust of Wellesley by two classical figures. The spouts of the teapot and creamer are crafted to resemble lions while the other portions of both vessels are decorated with floral and vegetal motifs. All of the works bear the inscription “India, Portugal, and Spain/ Vittoria 21st June, 1813.” The Latin motto, “Viresque acquirit eundo,” translates as “And he gains might by going,” and it celebrates Wellington’s strategic triumph that eventually led to the Allied victory over Napoleon’s forces in the Peninsular War. The inclusion of India in the dedication refers to Wellington’s military campaigns to extend the British East India Company’s rule from 1797 to 1805. Wedgwood ceramics like these examples were made during the Industrial Revolution, an era in which decorative artworks were produced on a large scale for domestic display and use by an emerging consumer society. The intricate botanical designs and figural motifs on these pieces convey the significant influence of Neoclassicism, an artistic and architectural movement that revived ancient Greek and Roman forms and ideas.


Fourth Week of July 13 F. Graham Cootes (American, 1879–1960) Portrait of W. E. B. Du Bois, ca. 1940–early 1950s Pastel on paper Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Fidlow, 2002 In this captivating work, F. Graham Cootes deftly depicted the renowned African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and author, W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963). The artist employed striking highlights on his sitter’s forehead, hair, and tie that subtly reference his age, wisdom, distinction, and determination. Between the 1940s and early 1950s, Cootes and Du Bois met when they were both living in New York. While the exact origin of the portrait remains unclear, it is likely that Cootes’ fame as a portraitist of notable personalities attracted Du Bois’ initial attention and that he possibly commissioned it from the artist. Du Bois was born in Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1868. He descended from French Huguenot, Dutch, and African ancestors. Throughout his career, he advocated vigorously for equal rights among African Americans and strove to combat racism in America and abroad. Du Bois was one of the most influential Black protest leaders of the world, as well as a major voice for social justice. Among his many accomplishments, Du Bois was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University (1896), he authored numerous books, including his seminal work Black Reconstruction in America (1935), and was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). For the majority of his career, he also held the position of Professor of History, Sociology, and Economics at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University). Staunton, Virginia native Cootes attended Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and the University of Virginia (Charlottesville), where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees. In 1902, Cootes studied with Robert Henri at the New York Art School (now Parsons School of Design l The New School, NY). Early in his career, he was involved in advertising and was known for his illustrations in Scribner’s magazine, McClure’s Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, and the Saturday Evening Post. While working in New York, Cootes painted the portraits of many prominent Americans, including President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Taft, daughter of former President Howard Taft. The Woodrow Wilson 7-cent stamp issued in 1956 was based on Cootes’ official portrait of this President.


Third Week of July 12_1 12_2 12_3 12_4 12_5 Unknown (Chinese) Tomb Figure, Tang Dynasty, ca. early-mid 8th century Glazed terracotta with colored pigments 22 3/4″h x 8 1/4″w x 6 1/8″d Gift of Mr. Alan Laster, 1956 Sacred sculptures similar to this tomb figure (Chinese: mingqui) were widely produced in Tang Dynasty China (618-906 CE). For centuries, Chinese artists excelled at making ceramic works, including glazed terracotta and porcelain wares. The figures are made of molded earthenware with a three-color glaze technique (Chinese: sancai) applied to most of the figure’s surface, with the exception of the head and face in most cases. During the first half of the 8th century CE, figures such as this one were created by Chinese ceramists for ritualistic purposes and placement in burial sites. It was believed that the persons represented by each statue would be able to accompany and assist the deceased in their afterlives. Typically, the figures portray servants, soldiers, political officials, courtesans, dancers, traders, and musicians. This example likely depicts an attendant based upon his simple clothing and lack of accessories. The use of brown and white glazes and the inclusion of realistic physical features are characteristic of this Tang sculptural type. As a means of connecting to the condition of contemporary worshipers, the artist added physiognomic details to the man’s head, most notably the exaggerated eyebrows and red lips as well as the mustache and beard, a fashion that was prevalent at the time.


Second Week of July 11_1 Kenyon Cox, Studies after Jules-Ferdinand Jacquemart’s etching, Goya’s Daughter-in-Law (1873), pages from Sketchbook of Kenyon Cox. 11_2 Figure studies, pages from Sketchbook of Kenyon Cox. 11_3 Studies of figures in 18th-century French costume, pages from Sketchbook of Kenyon Cox. 11_4 Male figure study, pages from Sketchbook of Kenyon Cox. Kenyon Cox (American, 1856-1919) Sketchbook of Kenyon Cox, ca. 1877 Pencil drawings Collection of Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County, Gift of the National Academy of Design and the children of the artist, 1961 Cox was born in Warren, Ohio, the son of Union General Jacob Cox who fought at the Battle of Antietam (1862). The artist studied in Cincinnati and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia), before leaving for France, in 1877, where he received instruction from Carolus-Duran and Jean-Léon Gérôme. Later, he studied under Alexandre Cabanel at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. In 1882, Cox returned to America and settled in New York City, where he became an influential early instructor at the Art Students League. His experience in Europe cultivated in him a passion for careful drawing, technical proficiency, and classical idealism based on the art of the Italian Renaissance. Cox was renowned as an illustrator, art critic, a writer, and one of America’s most celebrated mural painters. At the 1893 Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, his paintings decorated the Liberal Arts Building. During the 1890s and early 1900s, he completed large-scale decorative commissions for the capitol buildings in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin as well as court houses in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Today, Cox is perhaps most famous for his mural cycle (1896-97) in the rotunda of the Library of Congress’ Main Reading Room (Washington, D.C.), which depicts monumental allegories of the liberal arts and sciences. The works in this sketchbook date from the period when Cox was studying in France. These pages are filled with an eclectic combination of introspective and spontaneous drawings that provide insights into the artist’s working process and technique. The subjects range from studies that Cox made after European paintings, prints, and sculptures to sketches of studio models, personal observations of daily life, and figures dressed in historical costumes. In two compositions, Cox deftly executed a study based upon Jules-Ferdinand Jacquemart’s etching (1873), Goya’s Daughter-in-Law, which was completed after Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s original oil painting (1805). For images of these related works, see the following websites: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1982-U-1280 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gumersinda_Goicoechea,_Francisco_de_Goya.jpg It also should be noted that the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County owns Cox’s oil painting, Thistledown (1882), which is on display in the Bowman Gallery.


First Week of July 10 Frederick Childe Hassam (American, 1859-1935) The Gathering for the Festivities, 1906 Gouache and watercolor on paper Bequest of Betty and Hal Demuth, Winchester, Virginia, 2013 While it is not certain which gathering Hassam represented in this watercolor, he possibly depicted a town scene from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Maine because he was working and traveling in New England at this time. Judging by the prominence of the American flag and the large crowd of spectators gathered on the street and the porches of the houses, it is likely that the work portrays a commemorative parade or a celebratory gathering. Through his careful use of a grisaille (gray) palette, Hassam deftly captured the contrast between sunlight and shade throughout the composition. The two figures in the foreground look eagerly toward the events unfolding to the right, though their exact nature remain ambiguous. Hassam was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the son of a wealthy Boston merchant. His formal art training began in Boston under German-American painter Ignaz Gaugengigl. After working as a wood engraver and illustrator, he continued his studies at the Académie Julian in Paris under Gustave Boulanger and Jules-Joseph Lefebvre. During his stay in France, Hassam adopted a style inspired by French Impressionism. After his studies, Hassam settled in Boston and then in New York, painting with artists throughout New England in the summers. The coastal town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, was one of his favorite haunts. Upon returning from Europe in 1889, Hassam settled in New York and continued to work both as a painter and an illustrator, doing most of his work in the New England area. In 1898, Hassam became a founding member of the independent group of artists known as the Ten. He was appointed a member of the National Academy of Design in 1902 and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1920. Throughout his career, Hassam and his colleagues worked to promote and disseminate American Impressionism as a key artistic style and movement. At the Old Lyme artists’ colony in Connecticut, Hassam met MFA-WC founders Anna and William Singer, Jr. in the early 1900s. Later, Hassam gave the Singers his oil painting, White House, Gloucester (1895) as a token of their friendship. It was one of the first works (on view in the Singer Gallery) acquired specifically for the Museum’s collection.


Fourth Week of June 9 Augustus Vincent Tack (American, 1870-1949) Portrait of Helen Keller, 1945 Collection of Museum of Fine Arts- Washington County (MFA-WC) Gift of Solton Engel, 1945 In this half-length portrait of Helen Keller, Augustus Vincent Tack depicted his sitter toward the end of her life. Using a complementary color palette of green and blue, he deftly captured her personality and dignified demeanor. Tack accurately rendered her physical features and emphasized her sober, focused expression which conveys resolve and composure. Tack painted this work after a larger, full-length portrait of Keller held by the Fogg Museum (Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA). At nineteen months old, Keller suffered a severe illness that caused her to lose her sight and hearing. With the assistance of her life-long companion and teacher, Anne Sullivan, Keller persevered and pursued an ambitious career as an author, lecturer, social activist, and advocate for people with disabilities. Keller’s and Sullivan’s story is recounted in the renowned autobiography, The Story of My Life (1903). Among her many achievements, Keller was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 by Lyndon B. Johnson and she was elected into the National Women’s Hall of Fame at the New York World’s Fair in 1965. Tack is renowned for his portraits and avant-garde abstract paintings. His chief patron was Duncan Phillips, founder of the Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), an institution which remains the chief repository for the artist’s work. From November to December 1938, the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County held a retrospective exhibition of Tack’s work that included his portraits, drawings, and paintings of abstract and religious subjects. Tack studied and taught at the Arts Students League in New York, became involved with the Deerfield Artist Colony (Massachusetts), and is renowned for his portraits of Presidents Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower. The artist was first introduced to the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County by Hagerstown engineer, John B. Ferguson, Sr., after he visited the artist’s New York studio during the 1930s. Subsequently, Ferguson helped organize Tack’s 1938 exhibition with former MFA-WC Director Richard Carl Medford, facilitated the artist’s association with the Hagerstown community, and worked with the Museum’s Board to appoint him as an Honorary Trustee in the 1940s. Subsequently, Tack befriended Mrs. William T. Hamilton, Jr., former President of the Board of Trustees, who fondly recalled the artist in a letter: “Mr. Tack was a valued fried of our museum and of mine. I knew his whole family…the museum [MFA-WC] has a head and bust of Helen Keller taken from the magnificent large portrait of her which is owned by the Fogg Museum. Mr. Tack very graciously painted this of Miss Keller and contributed it to us, and she and I frequently met in his Washington studio.” (Mrs. William T. Hamilton, Jr., to Nathaniel M. Sims, Ms. Letter, undated, American Studies Group, 1967, Deerfield Academy, quoted and cited in Augustus Vincent Tack, 1870-1949, Deerfield, MA: Deerfield Academy, 1968).


Third Week of June 8_1 8_2 8_3 8_4 Detail, The Battle of Eylau (1807) 8_5 The Battle of Friedland (1807) opposite side of statue Unknown (French), Equestrian Statue of Napoleon, with Paintings on Base, 1810 Ivory inlay over wood, bronze Collection of Museum of Fine Arts—Washington County Gift of Dr. & Mrs. Harry Bowman, 1971 Although he was a ruthless and oppressive dictator, Napoleon I Bonaparte is nevertheless recognized as a highly capable military commander and strategist who significantly altered the course of European and American history. Rising through the ranks of the French military in the wake of the French Revolution (1789-1799), Napoleon I became Emperor of France in 1804, engaged in series of wars (1803-1815), and eventually controlled a vast Empire that stretched from Spain to Russia. This equestrian statue of Napoleon depicts him in his standard and recognizable dress featuring an overcoat, riding boots, and a bicorne hat. The buttons of his coat are embellished with green and red gemstones while the horse’s saddle and other tack is bronze. The statue was created using ivory inlay over wood and the base is decorated with floral motifs and Napoleon’s crest on each end. Both sides of the base also display a small painting of a battle scene. On one side of the statue is a painting depicting the Battle of Eylau, which took place in modern day Russia in February 1807. The harsh winter conditions of this battle and its many French casualties are embodied by the snowy landscape and the wounded soldiers scattered in the foreground. This battle brought Napoleon’s string of successes over the past year to a halt. On the other side of the statue is a painting depicting the Battle of Friedland (June 1807). This event was a decisive victory for Napoleon, forcing Emperor Alexander I of Russia to sign the Treaties of Tilsit, which left Napoleon as the ruler of western and central Europe.


Second Week of June 7_1 7_2 Unknown (Spanish Colonial, New Mexico) Santo, ca. 1830-40 Carved wood and paint Collection of Museum of Fine Arts—Washington County Gift of Cinda Perry in memory of Spence Perry, 2018 Santo, from the Spanish word meaning “saint,” is a traditional type of Spanish colonial religious sculpture. Santos are usually wooden and ivory carvings that portray saints, angels, or other sacred figures. Examples like this sculpture were employed by ecclesiastical authorities to convert indigenous peoples to Roman Catholicism, which constituted an integral part of the Spanish colonization of the Americas. This santo’s gesture of clasped hands relates to its function as an object of worship while its modest size and decoration suggest that it was made for private use in a home. Long distances and limited transportation between settlements in New Spain often restricted the supply of large-scale, official commissions of religious art from Spain to local parish churches. Therefore, a particular demand arose in colonial New Mexico for santos, which combine features found in Spanish baroque statues with influences from native artistic forms, materials, and techniques. Santos became popular devotional objects that were displayed in both churches and domestic shrines. The practice of santo carving has been especially preserved in in the northern New Mexican village of Cordova, which is renowned for this tradition.


First Week of June Seldomseen6_1 seldomseen6_2 Unknown (Yoruba, primarily Nigeria, West Africa) Ibeji (Twin Figures, Male and Female), 20th century Wood Collection of Museum of Fine Arts—Washington County Gift of Dr. Russell Wade, 1986 These devotional sculptures embody the creative spirit of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. In their culture, twins (Ibeji) are special children whose birth can bless their parents with good fortune. The Yoruba have one of the highest rates of twin births in the world, and the loss of twins is therefore considered a great misfortune. If a twin dies, a mother commissions a memorial figure and the soul of the dead twin is transferred to it. Typically, she dresses the statuette in cloth, adorns it with jewelry, and keeps it near her bed. A mother also offers the sculpture food and prayers weekly and performs more elaborate rituals on the occasion of birthdays and annual festivals. West African notions of beauty tend to emphasize formal, abstract expressions and poses rather than realistic and detailed portrayals to convey concepts and meanings to viewers. These sculptures conform to Yoruba aesthetics of physical proportion whereby the head is one third the size of the body, for the head is associated with a person’s destiny or “inner head,” which determines success and failure in life. Other key aesthetic qualities include relative straightness, good composition, youthful appearance, and clarity of line.


Fifth Week of May seldomseen5 Thomas Worthington Whittredge (American, 1820–1910) Landscape, ca. 1890s Oil on canvas Museum purchase, 1968 Thomas Worthington Whittredge’s Landscape depicts a woodland interior in which the trees are traversed by a winding stream that slows to a sand-edged pool in the foreground. Light filters through the forest canopy, illuminates the rushing water and leaves, and subtly silhouettes a fallen tree trunk. It is possible that the painting portrays a scene in New York’s Catskill Mountains or a view near Summit, New Jersey, where the artist lived from 1880 onward. While the Hudson River School painter’s early to mid-career works exhibit precise details that betray the influence of Andreas Achenbach, Asher B. Durand, and Thomas Cole, his late paintings are characterized by loose, sketchy brush-strokes and subdued colors. This scene’s setting and style recall motifs found in landscapes of French Barbizon artists such as Narcisse Díaz de la Peña. A self-made painter originally from Springfield, Ohio, Whittredge began his studies in Germany under Emmanuel Gottlieb Leutze at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1849. While there, he befriended Albert Bierstadt and posed for Leutze as George Washington and a steersman in Washington Crossing the Delaware (1849-51). Later, Whittredge also traveled to Switzerland and Italy. Not long after returning from his trip to Europe, he settled in New York in 1859. In that year, Whittredge reflected upon his personal experiences and offered insights onto his creative expression: …It was impossible for me to shut out from my eyes the works of the great landscape painters which I had so recently seen in Europe, while I knew well enough that if I was to succeed I must produce something new and which might claim to be inspired by my home surroundings. I was in despair. Sure, however, that if I turned to nature, I should find a friend, I seized my sketch box and went to the first available outdoor place I could find. I hid myself for months in the recesses of the Catskills. But how different was the scene before me from anything I had been looking at for many years! The forest was a mass of decaying logs and tangled brush wood, no peasants to pick up every vestige of fallen sticks to burn in their miserable huts, no well ordered forests, nothing but the primitive woods with their solemn silence reigning everywhere… [sic.]. (Excerpt from The Autobiography of Worthington Whittredge, 1820-1910, John I. H. Baur, ed. (New York: Brooklyn Museum Press, 1942), p. 42.


Fourth week of May box 2 box 2 detail box 1 box 1 detail Unknown (Iran, Qajar Dynasty) Lacquered Papier–Mâché Box, ca. mid-late 19th century Painted on paper over wood Gift of John Buchholz, 1992 From 1789 to 1925, Shahs of the ruling Qajar Dynasty in Iran witnessed an era of political and social reform, modernization, and industrialization that was shaped by diplomatic encounters with European nations. During this time, decorative objects and paintings were influenced by western techniques and forms, most notably the introduction of European perspective, volume, and recession. This elaborately decorated lacquer box contains lively scenes of court life on the top and inside of its lid. Works like this example were typically commissioned by aristocrats for display in their homes. While various courtiers (likely an aristocratic couple) sit in a garden pavilion of a palace on the cover’s top, men on horseback are portrayed hunting deer, game, and other wild animals on its inside. Each of the scenes idyllically represents the pastimes of noble society in Qajar Iran in which vegetation, food, and mirth abound. These themes are accentuated by the intricate floral and vegetal patterns that adorn the entire work. This casket was made from a base of papier-mâché to which a thinly coated layer of a fine plaster or gesso was applied to its surface. Thereafter, painters executed designs in miniature technique and applied a transparent lacquer or varnish to the whole piece that protected the paintings while enriching and softening their colors.


Third week of May Week 3 Click image to enlarge. Unknown (Chinese) Guanyin and her Attendant Qing Dynasty, ca. 18th century, after Tang Dynasty original by Wu Daozi (d. 792) Ink and pigments on silk Collection of Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Vincent Tack, 1946 This tranquil, contemplative painting by an unknown Chinese artist depicts Guanyin (Sanskrit: Avalokiteśvara), the bodhisattva of infinite compassion who is among the most popular figures of Buddhism. She floats on a cloud-shaped rock and crosses her hands in a gesture of devotion. In the Buddhist faith, bodhisattvas (Sanskrit: awakening beings) are divine entities on the path to becoming Buddhas and who assist living beings in attaining nirvana (enlightenment). Guanyin, portrayed as a life-size figure, is dressed in a graceful, flowing blue robe that is embellished with gold folds and black embroideries along its edges. According to Chinese Buddhist tradition, her acolyte, the boy Shancai (lower left), came to visit her while she was meditating on Mount Putuo, a sacred island located near Hangzhou Bay. Shancai is shown standing atop a lotus petal (a sacred flower in Buddhism) while a white dove gracefully carries a rosary used for supplication (Sanskrit: Japamala or prayer beads). Both figures are adorned with elaborate blue and gold halos that accentuate their holy status. Scroll paintings like this example were often hung in Buddhist temples and used to assist worshipers during rituals and prayer. Guanyin and her Attendant was once displayed in a Buddhist temple in the city of Chengde (Hebei, Province, China), to which it was presented by the Qianlong Emperor (1711-1799). As indicated by the Chinese characters on the plaque to the lower right, the original composition for this Qing Dynasty painting was created by Wu Daozi (d. 792 CE), a renowned Tang Dynasty painter. In the 8th century CE, Wu executed an engraved stele of Guanyin (now lost) that was greatly admired. In subsequent centuries, Chinese and Japanese artists created engravings on paper and scroll paintings like Guanyin and her Attendant that were based upon the Tang master’s work. In 1946, American painter Augustus Vincent Tack and his wife, Agnes Gordon Fuller, donated this painting to the Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County in order to help expand its holdings of Asian art. Tack is renowned for his portraits and avant-garde abstract paintings. His chief patron was Duncan Phillips, founder of the Phillips Collection (Washington, DC).


Second week of May 0970_57.0012a (2) 0970_57.0012a (3) Click images to enlarge. Unknown (French, ca. mid-15th century) Leaf from a Book of Hours, ca. 1440 Psalm 109 with antiphons and responses Pigments, ink, and gold leaf on vellum Collection of Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County Gift of William T. Hassett, Jr., 1957 Highly prized by noble patrons who commissioned such volumes, books of hours were an integral part of private devotion in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Typically, they included psalms, prayers, offices of the Virgin and other saints, calendars of feast days, and prayers for the dead. Essentially, they provided worshipers with an extensive sacred compendium that could aid them in performing their daily prayers and engaging in most forms of pious practice. This leaf displays an outstanding level of detail and artistry on the part of the scribe and illuminator who collaborated to produce it. Of particular note are the Latin texts completed in black and red ink as well as paint which display antiphons (a short sung refrain or chant) and responses. On the verso, a large initial D is painted in blue and white against a red and gilded outline frame with foliate interlace. The whole of its margin is bordered by fine vegetal scrolls embellished with black ink stems, multicolor gilt leaves, and flowers that emerge above from the upper serif of the D.


First week of May

Click image to enlarge.

Click image to enlarge.

Yue Yang (Chinese, active ca. late 18th-early 19th century) Landscape with Mountains and Valley, Qing Dynasty, December 1774 (December in the First Year of the Horse, Chinese lunar calendar) India ink on silk, Collection of Museum of Fine Arts-Washington County Gift of Dr. James R. Duke, 2000 Drawing extensively upon a tradition of painting that dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279), Yue Yang emulated the methods and style of a specific painter whose work he admired, that of Wang Hui (Shigu, 1632-1717). A pivotal figure in the art of the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Wang was one of the four members of his family who dominated the genre of landscape, exerted a considerable impact on this type of painting’s development, and strongly encouraged the copying of earlier masterworks. Yang paid tribute to his predecessor by incorporating an array of his techniques into his work, most notably the use of atmospheric perspective rising above the mountains and water, cascades, craggy rocks, and gnarled trees. In this ambitious, poetic panorama, Yang employed a broad, horizontal composition and focused on the vastness and expansiveness of the valley, mountains, rolling hills, and rugged terrain, all of which are executed in black ink and juxtaposed with the simple background. Like other images of this type, Landscape with Mountains and Valley represents several episodes or recollections of the artist at one time. On the upper left, a boat with three travelers is approaching a gate to a house nestled on a hill. Meanwhile, on the right, two figures gather in a pavilion adjoining a stream and waterfall and are dwarfed by their surroundings. This image exudes a simultaneous sense of nostalgia, grandeur, and passion for nature in its dreamy and expansive composition. The Chinese characters written on this painting provide insight into its contents and contain a date, poem, and dedication authored by the artist: Inspired to have a daytrip to explore the quiet nature, Climbed the difficult path to ridges, Waded across valley streams, Observed the forest ‘midst clouds and thousands of miles of mountains. December, First Year of Horse, Sketched using Shigu’s Method, For my dear friend Mozhai, By Yang Yue (Yin Tang).

Edwin Willard Deming (American, 1860–1942) Departure of the Hunters, ca. 1887–1900 Oil on canvas 12.25″h x 18″w Anonymous gift, 2018.7.186

In Departure of the Hunters, Edwin Willard Deming created a tranquil, contemplative representation of three Native Americans preparing to depart from a riverbank in a canoe. Judging by the subdued light, its reflection on the water, and the color palette of pastel and earth tones, the artist suggested that this scene unfolds either at dawn or dusk. Deming spent a considerable amount of time living with Native Americans and was a sympathetic eyewitness in portraying their daily lives and cultural practices. This poetic, atmospheric painting conveys Deming’s admiration for these people’s traditional way of life and close relationship to nature. The style of Departure of the Hunters demonstrates the influence of Impressionism and Tonalism on Deming’s work, particularly in his use of thick, broad brush strokes and focus on the fleeting, spontaneous qualities of nature. Born in Ashland, Ohio, Deming was an illustrator and painter of the American West. As a child, he grew up with members of the Sac, Fox, and Winnebago nations in western Illinois. He later studied at the Art Students League, New York, and then the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris with the academic painters Gustave Boulanger and Jules Joseph Lefebvre. Beginning in 1887, Deming traveled west with fellow artists DeCost Smith and Frederic Remington to complete illustrations of the Sioux and Crow (Upper Plains) tribes for Outing magazine. Subsequently, Deming spent three decades living with members of the Apache, Pueblo (Southwest), and Umatilla (Oregon) nations. During these years, he also made occasional trips to New York, where he married artist Therese Osterheld; they eventually raised six children in the West. Interestingly, the Blackfeet peoples (Montana) adopted the entire family and gave Deming the name of “Eight Bears.”

This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Susan Kemnitzer

Joshua Johnson (American, ca. 1763–1824)
Portrait of Susanna Amos Yoe and Mary Elizabeth Yoe; Portrait of Benjamin Franklin Yoe and Son Benjamin Franklin Yoe, Jr., 1809
Oil on canvas
35.5″h x 29″w; 35.75″h x 29″w
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, gifts of F. Sydney Cushwa, 1994, A2972,94.0012-0013
 
One of the first professional African American artists, Joshua Johnson was born around 1763 in Baltimore County, Maryland, likely somewhere within the Back River Upper Hundred, a district in the city’s northwest section. He was the son of a white man, George Johnson, and an unknown Black slave owned by a William Wheeler, Sr. After being freed in 1782, Joshua moved to Baltimore, where he completed an apprenticeship under blacksmith William Forepaugh and began to take up portrait painting. By the late 1790s, Johnson had established himself as one of the leading early Federal-era portraitists of upper middle-class Baltimoreans in the burgoening city, a distinction he held through the mid-1820s. Given his background and the era in which he lived, Johnson was impelled to overcome many racial and social hurdles in pursuing his profession and he persevered remarkably in that endeavor.
 
In the portraits of the male Yoe family members, Benjamin, Sr. (ca. 1772–1832), posed in a Windsor chair, is joined by his son (1804–83), Benjamin, Jr., who places his left hand on his father’s hand and in his other holds a pink rose, a symbol of innocence and sweetness. In the second portrait, Susanna Amos Yoe (b. 1786), seated on a Federal-style sofa with a book on her lap, is near her daughter, Mary Elizabeth (b. 1806), who is dressed in white and holds pink roses, also symbolic of affection. In The Yoe family portraits, Johnson reinforced typical gender roles by depicting father and son together in one instance and mother and daughter in the other. Like her brother, Benjamin, Elizabeth holds out five pink roses as an expression of devotion to her mother as well as her graciousness and love. These subtle, tender interactions between figures signaled changes in European and American society and new trends in portraiture of the early 1800s, particularly the relaxation of more rigid portrait conventions. Often, artists like Johnson employed a gentler, relaxed approach in portraying their subjects whereby people appear less formal and display familial affection.
 
The WCMFA’s portraits are nearly identical copies of the companion portraits (see below) in the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In a common practice, Johnson painted two of each portrait so that both children would inherit a pair. The MESDA portraits differ from the Hagerstown examples in their brighter, cooler color palette, rendering of detail, and figural modeling.

Benjamin Yoe operated a tailoring business in Baltimore, an occupation he took with him when he moved with his family to Hagerstown in 1810. Benjamin Yoe, Jr., became an attorney in the city and a member of the House of Delegates representing Washington County. In 1823, Mary Elizabeth married George Fechtig, a Hagerstown merchant. The paintings in the WCMFA collection were donated by the great-grandson of Mary Elizabeth, Washington County-based industrialist F. Sydney Cushwa (1902–96).

Johnson’s work was the subject of the WCMFA’s recent landmark exhibition, Joshua Johnson: Portraitist of Early American Baltimore (2021‒22), which was the first monographic presentation of the artist’s work since 1988.

Ann Cole Phillips (American, 1906‒1990) Kentucky Spring, ca. 1956 Oil on Masonite 24.875″h x 29.937″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Ambassador and Mrs. Maxwell H. Gluck, A0982,58.0003A native New Yorker, Ann Cole Phillips was known for her lively and colorful paintings, rendered in a semi-abstract style. In Kentucky Spring, the artist created a bold, vibrant impression of a springtime landscape in which a group of horses converge in the center of the composition. While some of the animals graze, others energetically leap into the air. Phillips deftly contrasted areas of green and blue (suggesting meadows, farmland, and sky) with white, black, and red forms, some of which recall fences meandering through the landscape. The equine theme also alludes to Kentucky’s renown as a prime location for horse breeding and racing, most notably the Kentucky Derby, traditionally held the first Saturday of each May.Phillips attended the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League in New York, and studied with significant modernist artists, including Stuart Davis, Jacques Villon, and José Clemente Orozco.  At the height of her career in the 1950s and 60s, art critics often compared Phillips’ passionate and gestural paintings with works by famed artists such as Raoul Dufy, Wassily Kandinsky, and Oskar Kokoschka. In addition to oil painting, Phillips also worked in pastels and was a printmaker who primarily produced lithographs.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mrs. Derwood B. Bousum
Robert Henri (American, 1865–1929) Michael, 1913 Oil on canvas 18″h x 14 1/8″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1562,69.0006In this lively, spontaneous portrait, Henri depicts a young Irish boy, Michael “Red” Lavelle. Henri painted this work during his first trip to Achill Island, County Mayo, in western Ireland in June 1913. Michael was thirteen years old at the time and in later years remembered having worn a new, homemade sweater (a “yansey”) for the sitting. Henri was a popular teacher who taught his students that the faster they worked, the better. Holding true to his convictions, the artist painted this portrait in broad, heavy strokes, leaving thick traces of brushwork on the canvas (impasto) that underscore his commitment to the vitality of the working classes and everyday life.The energetic Henri, born in Cincinnati, had studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia and earned his living as a newspaper illustrator before moving to New York. In search of ordinary people for his subjects, he traveled widely in American and European rural areas, especially in Maine, western Ireland, Brittany, and Spain. Painting in New York along with fellow artists John Sloan, George Luks, George Bellows, and others, Henri considered himself to be a “revolutionary” artist, working to challenge the old standards for realistic subjects. He and his colleagues rejected genteel subjects such as landscapes and garden scenes in favor of depictions of urban and working life. Henri was critical to the organization of the exhibition of The Eight at New York’s famed Macbeth Galleries in 1908, and he is considered the founder of the subsequent “Ashcan School,” a loosely affiliated group of artists committed to portraying contemporary urban life.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. James Schiro & Dr. Tara Rumbarger
James Hamilton (American, b. Ireland (1819–1878) USS Weehawken in a Gale off the Coast of Virginia, 1872 Oil on canvas 30 1/8″ H x 50 1/8″ W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A1184,62.0006James Hamilton originally came from Etrien (near Belfast, Ireland) and immigrated to Philadelphia with his family in 1834. Primarily self-taught, he established a studio in 1840 and specialized in marine paintings. Commissioned by U.S. Senator A. G. Catell from New Jersey, this painting represents the technological innovation and seaworthy design of this New Jersey-built ironclad warship. In January 1863, bound for South Carolina as part of the Atlantic Blockade Squadron, the Weehawken was caught in a fierce storm. While the ships accompanying the ironclad had to break off to seek shelter, the Weehawken pressed onward and was able to ride out the rough sea with relative ease. Her captain reported, “the behavior of the vessel was easy, buoyant, and indicative of thorough safety.”Hamilton depicted the Weehawken cresting a great wave, full-steam ahead. In the distance, the sail and steam powered Iroquois struggles against the high seas and nature’s adversity. Judging by the dramatic parting clouds in the sky and the artist’s extensive use of turbulent atmospheric perspective, both vessels are either passing or headed into a storm. While this canvas alludes to the perils of sea travel and maritime combat, it also conveys a sense of triumph and optimism through the clearing in the sky.Like many other nineteenth-century landscape painters, Hamilton responded to the loose, emotional style of English Romantic, J.M.W. Turner, whose paintings he avidly studied from engravings. In fact, he became known as “The American Turner” because of his frequent use of vivid lighting effects in his paintings that closely recalled the technique and style of the British master. In addition, Hamilton both taught and mentored Edward and Thomas Moran, two significant American artists whose work is represented in the collection of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.Interestingly, one of Hamilton’s pictures, What Are the Wild Waves Saying? (1868, Brooklyn Museum), was inspired by a scene from Charles Dicken’s novel, Dombey and Son (1847‒48). Hamilton gave this work to Dickens, who expressed much appreciation and later mentioned that it was the only gift he accepted during his both of his American tours (1842, 1867‒68).
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ms. Beth A. Rishel
Alfredo Zalce (Mexican, 1908–2003) Henequen Works, 1950 From “Mexican People” portfolio (1946‒50) Lithograph 13.75″h x 11.25″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Museum purchase, A0932,57.0309Working in a social realist style, Alfredo Zalce was a prolific printmaker who frequently employed bold, sculptural lines to convey human expression and emotion. Over the course of his career, he became renowned for his scenes of everyday life focusing on the plight of rural Mexican workers, with whom he often empathized. In this print, he deftly captures the arduous activities of workers who are harvesting henequen, a plant native to the Yucatán Peninsula and used in textile and liquor production.Zalce divides his composition into small vignettes, each showing a different aspect of the laborers’ duties at the factory. At the farm and under the arcade in the background, the process of preparing the material begins, as indicated by the large heaps of henequen, tables, and wash basin. While the men in the left middle ground and foreground offload leaves from small train carts, others bundle and place them on a chain conveyor that carries them to the workers on the platform above. Meanwhile, Zalce depicted three women siting on a train cart who take a break from their work. Their presence suggests that female workers, in collaboration with their male colleagues, played a key role in the henequen works’ operations.The “Mexican People” portfolio is a series of prints representing laborers of various industries, including bricklayers, fishermen, and loggers. Zalce was a contemporary of famed muralists Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros, and worked as a painter, sculptor, lithographer, and engraver. Interestingly, he was the first Mexican muralist to use colored cement, an unusual technique at the time. A member of the Communist-aligned Liga de Escritores y Artistas Revolucionarios (League of Revolutionary Writers and Artists) and following its dissolution, the collective Taller de Gráfica Popular (Popular Graphics Workshop), he remained committed to the tenets of the Mexican Revolution, particularly hardships encountered by rural laborers.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Conservit, Inc.
Tom Miller (American, 1945–2000) Maryland Crab Feast and Summer in Baltimore, 1994 Screenprints 20 x 28 in. Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Hameroff in memory of the artist, 2016.6.1‒.2In Maryland Crab Feast and Summer in Baltimore, Tom Miller depicts two African American families. In the first print, the family members partake in one of the state’s most cherished culinary and social traditions while in the second work they are engage in conversation with a watermelon dealer on the street. The artist deftly captured the celebratory spirit and convivial atmosphere of both gatherings by creating a vibrant, multi-layered image in which figures, objects, and colors are carefully interwoven and juxtaposed to convey meaning. Drawing upon the colors of the Maryland and Baltimore flags to allude to the composition’s setting, in Maryland Crab Feast, the black and gold border fluidly merges with fragments of red crabs that are superimposed across the image’s center. Miller included witty but significant details such as a young man wearing a Malcolm X T-shirt, a girl with an elaborate hairdo, a sleeping cat, and a frisky dog. Two abstracted treble clefs and musical notes that float through the air from a boom box underscore the importance of music in enlivening the occasion. In Summer in Baltimore, the parasol provides the group relief from the sun and heat while a person above waves to the people from a window, symbolizing friendship and community.Miller always aspired to be an artist, painted found objects as a child, and regularly visited the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA), where he developed a particular interest in the renowned Cone Collection’s paintings by Henri Matisse (1869–1954). Specifically, Miller was influenced by Matisse’s use of “collage-like” layering effects, color, pattern, and outline. The oldest of six children, Miller grew up in the Sandtown-Winchester district of Baltimore and attended Carver High School. He won a scholarship to the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, where he received his B.F.A. in 1967 and pursued an M.F.A on a Ford Foundation grant in 1985. When friends and acquaintances asked him what he planned to do with a degree in painting as an undergraduate, he jokingly stated that he planned “to have a big solo show at the BMA.” Interestingly, his dream became a reality when he received a retrospective at that museum in 1995. In addition to being a printmaker and painter, the artist created furniture inspired by figures in jazz and popular music, including Cab Calloway (1907–1994), Billie Holliday (1915–1999), Paul Robeson (1898–1976), and Chick Webb (1905–1939). In Baltimore, Miller’s three-story outdoor mural, However Far The Stream Flows, It Never Forgets Its Source (1991, located at the corner of Harford Road and North Avenue) is an enduring testament to his creative spirit and expression.  To learn more about Miller, see this link: https://thelyfe.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/tom-miller-eccentrically-championing-black-art-in-baltimore/
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Neil Rosenshein
Indian, Mewar, Rajasthan Rajput Nobleman (Prince Suchari Fezi), 18th‒19th century Watercolor on paper Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts 10 ¾ “h x 7 ½ “w 2021.15.5Portrait of a Maharana (Raja Singh), 18th‒19th century Watercolor on paper 10 ¾ “h x 7 ½ “w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts 2021.15.7These paintings illustrate a variety of styles and techniques employed by artists working in Rajasthan, a state of northern India in which numerous schools of miniature painting flourished. The first two paintings, very likely created in Mewar (a region of south-central Rajasthan), portray aristocrats and were likely produced as a part of series depicting notable officials from the ruling Rajput caste (social class). It is likely that the portrait of Raja Singh depicts one of the Maharana (kings) of the Sisodia Dynasty of Mewar who ruled from the capital of Udaipur, a city renowned for its beautiful lakes and palace architecture.The artist who created both examples was especially adept at capturing the facial details of his subjects and their elaborate costumes, including embroidery, jewelry, and headgear. Judging by the careful attention to naturalism and anatomical proportions, this artist was likely influenced by European prints and paintings, which were imported to India via trading networks first established in the late 1490s and early 1500s, and which expanded in later centuries.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mrs. Theron K. Rinehart
Frank W. Mish, Jr. (1900–1982) Large Eagle and Flag Plaque; Small Eagle Plaque (America); Small Eagle Plaque (Liberty)Standing Eagle Plaque, ca. 1950s–70s Acrylic paint and wood 8.75″H X 8″W X 9.75″D each Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of the artist, A1930,77.0417; .0442; .0493; .0497Frank W. Mish, Jr. found inspiration from many sources to create simple carvings that possess strong character. Often, he utilized wood, penknives, and paint to achieve understated coloristic and textural effects in his sculptures. As is the case with much folk art, the appeal of Mish’s bald eagle carvings stems directly from their immediacy, simplicity and expressive vigor. When viewed together, the artist’s fascination with these iconic birds is clearly conveyed. While some examples highlight the beauty and cleanness of pure, modestly carved wood, others subtly reveal the patterns and colors of the birds’ feathers and anatomical features. This patriotic series of sculptures and plaques celebrates the heritage and values of our country by incorporating the colors of the Star Spangled Banner and including words such as “America, “Liberty,” and “Justice.” The first example, which features flags, a shield, and cannon, draws upon the Great Seal of the United States and is also based on designs for Federal-era tavern signs from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.Like many American folk artists, Mish began his career by emulating the work of the itinerant Pennsylvania German artist Wilhelm Schimmel (1817–1890), whose dynamic carvings of birds and animals are well known. Like his predecessor, Mish used a cross hatching technique to establish texture in his figurines through carved, intertwined incisions. In contrast to Schimmel, Mish employed bright paint and a broader range of subjects, ranging from birds and decoys to toy soldiers and mythical creatures. A native of Hagerstown, Maryland, Mish graduated from Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania, and studied art and ornithology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.  After returning to Washington County, Maryland, he worked as treasurer of the Gateway Furniture Company and became interested in the art of woodcarving. For many years, Mish served on the board of the Washington County Historical Society. His wife, Mary Vernon, was a notable American historian, author, philanthropist, community activist, and amateur archaeologist.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. Terry Wills & Ms. Christine Parfitt
Unknown (Iran, Qajar Dynasty) Lacquered Papier-Mâché Box, ca. mid–late 19th century Paint and lacquer on paper over wood 7.125″h x 16.5″w x 11.5″d Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of John Buchholz, A2762,92.1938This elaborately decorated lacquer box contains lively scenes of court life on the top and inside of its lid. Works like this example were typically commissioned by aristocrats for display in their homes. While various courtiers (likely an aristocratic couple) sit in a garden pavilion of a palace on the cover’s top, men on horseback are portrayed hunting deer, game, and other wild animals on its inside. Each of the scenes idyllically represents the pastimes of noble society in Qajar Iran in which vegetation, food, and mirth abound. These themes are accentuated by the intricate floral and vegetal patterns that adorn the entire work. This casket was made from a base of papier-mâché to which a thinly coated layer of a fine plaster or gesso was applied to its surface. Thereafter, painters executed designs in miniature technique and applied a transparent lacquer or varnish to the whole piece that protected the paintings while enriching and softening their colors.From 1789 to 1925, Shahs of the ruling Qajar Dynasty in Iran witnessed an era of political and social reform, modernization, and industrialization that was shaped by diplomatic encounters with European nations. During this time, decorative objects and paintings were influenced by western techniques and forms, most notably the introduction of European portraiture techniques, perspective, volume, and spatial recession.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. William P. Young, Jr.

Asher Brown Durand (American, 1796‒1886)

This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. David O. McCain III
GraffDummy (Quielan Gantt) (American, b. 1987) Back in the Day, 2022 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas On loan from the artistIn this vibrant, dynamic painting, Hagerstown-based artist GraffDummy presents a kaleidoscopic composition that merges memories and fragments from the past while inviting viewers to ponder their relevance in the present. Employing layered symbolism as well as remarkable coloristic contrasts and surface textures, GraffDummy allows us to reimagine the lives and experiences of the Jonathan Street Cabin’s inhabitants and neighborhood residents of this historically Black community. In the upper left, the cabin and street signs anchor the work as key focal points and are juxtaposed with daytime and nocturnal skies, reminding us of the site’s centrality in telling stories over time. The large new moon (upper right) refers to when Gantt started painting his canvas, while a pie in the cabin’s window symbolizes cooking and the comforts of home life that occupants might have enjoyed.Moving from left to right along the bottom, different Black faces emerge (symbolic of three generations of residents), representing those who have witnessed the cabin and neighborhood evolve. In the foreground, the flowers (beginnings with elders) connote footprints, seeds, and growth as well as male (left) and female stereotypes (right). A large, unfurling head (middle generation) is contrasted with an American flag, referencing the US generally and the police car that struck the cabin in 2018. This event initially attracted public attention to the home’s historical significance, subsequent restoration, and archaeological excavations. As part of the exhibition Exploring Jonathan Street: History, Art, Imagination, a selection of artifacts from this dig are on display.On the right, a partially obscured man (youth) observes the scene and also gazes toward the cabin and at the viewer, encouraging us to reflect on the community’s heritage. Note how Gantt deftly disperses utilitarian and talismanic artifacts (found at the site) throughout the painting: the Hoyt’s Cologne bottle (bottom left) and a pierced disc appear as eyes on the large central face; and a horseshoe and cat heel bone occupy the center. These objects (used to repel evil and bring good luck), along with doll eyes, marbles, and a die (allusions to children and play), are all traces of a fragmentary history that we can interpret and envision.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Ken & Ann Grove
René Portocarrero (Cuban, 1912–1985)
Johann Loetz Witwe Glassworks (Czech Republic, 1836–1947) Phänomen Vase, ca. 1890‒1900 Blown glass with brass frame 21.625″h x 11.25″w x 7.5 “diam. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Merson, Baltimore, Maryland, A3439,99.0901Johann Loetz Witwe Glassworks was one of the leading Art Nouveau glass producers in Europe. Loetz introduced iridescent Phänomen glass in 1898. Set within a brass frame, this Phänomen Vase exemplifies Jugendstil (German, “youth style”), the branch of Art Nouveau that emerged in Munich during the late nineteenth century. Like their contemporaries in Paris and Brussels, Jugendstil designers drew inspiration from the natural world, seeking to capture a sense of dynamism and energetic organic growth in their work. In this example, the vase’s shimmering surface and attenuated, curvilinear frame express the fluidity of the once-molten glass as well as the vitality of the natural world. The work’s abstracted botanical forms and iridescent ornament, as well as the smooth bare surface of the brass frame, seamlessly complement the vase and accentuate its colors.An easily recognized style, Art Nouveau originated in Belgium and is characterized by flowing, organic, vine-like lines, as artists looked to natural forms for inspiration, rather than models of the past. The movement’s philosophy espoused a unified approach to all arts, bringing artistry into architecture, textile design, jewelry, furniture, and every aspect of daily life. Some artists embraced modern materials and technologies, while others valued traditional handicraft. Subject matter often features sensual or erotic figures (most often female), as well as imagery derived from plants, ocean life, and insects. Like the Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau reacted against the Industrial Revolution and the availability of inexpensive, mass-produced goods.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by James & Melinda Marsden
Robert Ecker (American, 19362017) Archetype, for VFJ, 1979 Mezzotint 3 7/8″h x 3 7/8″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of the Artist in honor of the Museum’s 75th Anniversary, A4249,06.3317In Archetype, for VFJ, painter and printmaker Robert Ecker created an atmospheric, enigmatic still life. He represented a small sculpture of a turkey that is placed atop a carefully draped tablecloth. Through his masterful use of chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark), Ecker emphasized the highlights of the bird’s feathers and subtle folds of the fabric, which are juxtaposed with its black surroundings.After teaching in a Semester at Sea program in 1977, the artist returned and decided to explore mezzotint printmaking, a new artistic medium for Ecker. As he stated:

             I guess the world was so big and overwhelming, I wanted to do something small and intimate; I thought, I’m just going to do nothing but this for a year. I actually ended up doing it for five years.

The miniature scale of Ecker’s mezzotints invites close examination, reflects his deep interest in the intricacy of this laborious printmaking technique, and demonstrates his love for small objects of all kinds. A type of engraving, a mezzotint is produced by using a rocker (a teethed metal tool) to roughen a metal plate with thousands of small raised metal burrs. A fully-rocked plate prints a rich, dark black from the ink captured in the burrs. The artist, unlike in other printing techniques, works from dark to light—smoothing the areas which are intended to print in a lighter tonality. Mezzotint was a very popular technique in the eighteenth century, prized for its ability to mimic painterly tonalities and frequently used for reproductive prints after the leading portrait artists of the day. During the twentieth century, numerous artists rediscovered and revived the mezzotint process, most notably Peter Ilsted, M.C. Escher, Yozo Hamaguchi, and Robert Kipniss. A Waynesboro, Pennsylvania native, Ecker grew up there and also spent much time in Hagerstown with his relatives. During his childhood, he was first exposed to the visual arts from visits he made to the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. Later, Ecker studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and Shippensburg University, PA. For much of his career, he taught art at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2006, Ecker donated 132 of his mezzotints to the museum and in 2008, the museum held a solo exhibition of the artist’s work, Robert Ecker: Mezzotints and Quirauk Mountain Paintings.

This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. William P. Young, Jr.

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator

To mark the opening of the special exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 18951900 (on view through January 29, 2023), we are sharing this print from our collection. An identical version of this work (from the collection of the Driehaus Museum, Chicago) is currently on display in the Bowman Gallery as part of the PAN exhibition.

Paul Signac (French, 1863–1935) Abend (Le Soir—La Jetée de Flassingue/ Evening, The Pier at Flassingue Color lithograph, 1898 Published in PAN IV, Volume 1 (1899) 7.875″h x 10.25″w Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Anonymous gift, 2018.7.91Paul Signac was the most important follower of Georges Seurat, the founder of Neo-Impressionism, an artistic movement that emphasized color, light, and the science of optics to depict modern life. In Evening, Signac depicted the bustling port of Vlissingnen (The Netherlands) using his signature Pointillist style (consisting of colored dots), expertly melding, color, form, and light. For a subject depicting twilight, Signac’s use of bright colors such as blue, violet, yellow, and green is unusual and suggests the effervescent glow of fading daylight and the illumination of gaslight near the pier. The pastel palette and softness of Signac’s lithographic technique is also reminiscent of a watercolor or gouache painting.An enthusiast of sailing, Signac traveled to many different cities by boat and made numerous watercolors and sketches that he later used to paint large canvases in his studio. This lithograph likely originated from one of his trips to various Dutch ports of call. Although he made other lithographs and etchings, Signac produced Evening specifically for the fine arts periodical, PAN. The magazine’s title refers to the Greco-Roman god Pan (of fertility and sexuality) while also referencing the Greek word that means “all,” thus implying the publication’s inclusiveness in representing a wide range of artistic styles. The five volumes of PAN were generously and expensively illustrated by an international group of artists working with a variety of printmaking techniques including, woodcut, lithography, and etching. Depicting diverse subjects, from landscapes and portraits to scenes of daily life and mythology, the prints from PAN provide a rich, instructive, and fascinating look into visual and literary culture during the last decade of the 1800s.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Howard Kaylor
William S. Dutterer (American, 1943–2007) Mask, 1978 Acrylic on canvas 66″ H x 72″ W Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts Gift of The Kohler Foundation, 2022Though primarily abstract, William Dutterer’s paintings and drawings are highly personal and often elusive. Typically, his work references representational forms and are characterized by witty and sometimes mysterious subjects. In Mask, Dutterer juxtaposed a white face covering floating in space (placed in a square) with a combined background of red, tan, and black. The layering and arrangement of loose, wavy brushstrokes recall a cloudy sky or smoke. Though the work’s meaning is not entirely clear, the artist could be alluding to notions of concealed identity or the possibly the supernatural, for like a phantom, there are no eyes behind this mask: this spirit remains anonymous and enigmatic.A Hagerstown native, Dutterer began as a minimalist painter and created an important body of interdisciplinary body of work spanning four decades. Dutterer spent his early years in Washington, DC, where he shared a studio space with African American artist Sam Gilliam (see his print in the corridor outside the Groh Gallery). In addition, Dutterer spent a great deal of time with his friend, Tom Downing, as well as colleagues Ann Truitt, Howard Mehring and Gene Davis, who were associated with the Washington Color Field School. Commuting between Washington and New York for part of his career, Dutterer served as a professor at the Corcoran School of Art and was passionate about the artistic process, research, and making work. His teacher, mentor, and life-long friend, Grace Hartigan, said of Dutterer, “Bill invented and interpreted life for himself, and then shared it in his art.”In June 2022, the museum received a gift of five works by Dutterer from the Kohler Foundation (Kohler, Wisconsin) which includes both paintings and prints by the artist.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Charles Strong

Artwork of the Week: Jan. 7, 2023

Johnny Lee “Hook” Daniels (American, 1954–2009)
Untitled-Florida Landscape, ca. 1960s–80s
Acrylic on panel
23.75″h x 36″w
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Spence Perry, A4291,06.0006In this painting, African American artist Johnny Lee “Hook” Daniels beautifully represented a Floridian sunset along the banks of a river or lake in the marshlands. The painter established remarkable contrasts of light and color, especially in the fading, warm glow of the sunlight, which reflects off the ripples of the water and tree trunks, as well as the lush greenery of the surrounding forest. Daniels also celebrated the purity and peacefulness of the tropics, home to a diverse range of birds (note the herons or storks standing in the left and right middle ground) and where trees and plants of different varieties abound.Based in Fort Pierce, Daniels was associated with a group of itinerant Black artists known as the Florida Highwaymen, who are often regarded as part of the state’s folk art heritage. Emerging in the late 1950s, the Highwaymen, who initially began their careers as citrus grove workers, created idyllic, quickly realized images of beaches and marshlands along the Atlantic coast and sold thousands of paintings from the trunks of their cars. Daniels, like his peers in the artistic group (notably Alfred Hair and Livingston “Castro” Roberts), was influenced considerably by Albert Backus, a white painter who supported his colleagues in their careers by helping them to overcome the hurdles of racial segregation and providing financial resources.
This WeekendArt is sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. John L. Schnebly