May E. Schaetzel: Uncertainty and the Woods

Detail of Lost in the Wood, 1928May E. Schaetzel (American, 1870-1952); ParisGouache on paper; 26 1/4 x 20 3/4 in.31414Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jules Schaetzel Anticonfluentialism Uncertainty is the birthplace of anxiety, it is an ailment remedied only by omniscience, and in sufficiently high doses it is suffocating. But it is a boon too. All hope that...

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Harold Van Pelt: Life from Stone

Agate RhytonHarold Van Pelt (American, 1925-)Agate, gold and quartzL.2016.21.21a,bLoan courtesy of Harold and Erica Van Pelt Lapidarist Extraordinaire Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the reopening of Gemstone Carvings: The Masterworks of Harold Van Pelt, an ongoing display of sculptural and functional carvings made by the Californian expert...

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Commodify: Your Favorite Paintings, Monetized

Three Spanish Figures (enhanced by Commodify®), c. 1915Charles Percy Austin (American, 1883-1948)Oil on canvas; 72 × 36 in.32195cGift of Mr. Ralph J. Steven End of an Era Lukewarm on the heels of last year’s announcement that the Bowers Museum is implementing Asinus Inc.’s groundbreaking EyinHance™ software, the Bowers Blog is excited to announce a...

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Peak Perfection: Mountains in the Art of the Bowers

Sand and Trees, c. 1950Ralph Love (American, 1907-1992)Oil on canvas; 20 x 24 in.2010.5.1Vernon & Carolyn R. Cunningham Family Trust Saving the Everest for Last Just this week the Bowers Museum opened Everest: Ascent to Glory, an exhibition organized in collaboration with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and curated by the award-winnin...

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Christmas Greenings: A Brief History of the Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Decorations, early to mid 20th CenturyUnknown Maker; EuropeCeramic and fabric; various dimensions75.22Gift Maxine A. Miller Tree for the Price of One The practice of bringing trees and outdoor greens into the household has been practiced for centuries during the winter season. The ancient Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, and Druids, for e...

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Fog of Yore: Clouded Scenes of Days Gone By

Morning Mist, mid 20th CenturyJames Patrick (American, 1911 - 1944); CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 14 × 17 1/2 in.2018.6.21Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection Gloom Havens All those early morning commuters in the central Orange County area will know just how foggy it has been in recent days. While individuals may be split on whether being swad...

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As She Sketched It: Artworks by and for Madame Modjeska

Portrait of Madam Helena Modjeska, 1883Wyatt Eaton (Canadian, 1849-1896)Charcoal on paper; 21 x 25 5/8 in.17261Gift of Marylka Modjeska Pattison Google It Those who let Google Doodles break their concentration long enough to investigate what they commemorate will know that this past Tuesday, October 12th was Madame Helena Modjeska’s 181st birthday....

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Anthony Heinsbergen: Film Palace Forgotten

Collage of Anthony Heinsbergen (Dutch-born American, 1894-1981)  and various designs Let Bygones be Restored In the golden age of film, when cinemas were the vehicles of choice for transporting us to universes unknown, every city in the United States had at least one brilliant theater at its center. Though many have since been demolished, repu...

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Little Hands Waving Farewell

Women Riding a Horse on the Steps of a Building, 1960-1980Rene Laursen Photography (American); Irvine, California Photographic print; 10 x 8 in. 31704.138Gift of Mr. Rene Laursen The Ranking Time is an ocean and a river and a sun-dried puddle—there could always be more of it but most of the time we get by and appreciate what we’ve got. This week th...

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Walter Granville-Smith: Colorizing the Season

Detail of F7667Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Gloom and Bloom While the Bowers Blog tends to feature Southern Californian painters, there is a surprising variety of works by non-Californian artists in the museum’s collection. Searching our Fine Art Department for the dichotomous pairing of a gloomy and sunny painting—it seemed only appro...

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Takes One to Snow One: Evylena Nunn Miller’s Oils of Japan in Winter

Winter in Mastumoto City, 1920-1922Evylena Nunn Miller (American, 1888-1966); Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, JapanOil on cardboard; 10 x 14 in.31804.12Evylena Nunn Miller Memorial Collection A Fifth Those of us looking out our windows in California may as well have forgotten that under the right cold-weather conditions, water can become snow, howeve...

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Kernel of Thanksgiving: The Bowers Museum’s Corn-llections

Tustin's Peanut Cornucopia at the Parade of Products, 1905-1906Unknown photographer; Santa Ana, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 5 x 7 in.17429Gift of Mrs. Lucy Lockett Cornucopia Those of us who are familiar with the story of the Pilgrims’ arrival in Plymouth know that they would have perished in a harsh winter had it not been for the help of Tisquan...

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Cold-Press: Prints by Three Inuit Artists

Untitled (Woman with Two Changelings), 1962Pitseolak Ashoona (Inuit, 1904-1983); Cape Dorset, Nunavut Territory, CanadaEngraving on paper; 17 3/4 × 23 1/2 × 5/8 in.2013.8.6Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Burton W. Fink National Native American Heritage Month The rapid technological advances of the 20th century presented more change than any other in human his...

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Take No Grave Image: Tombstones and Caskets of the Bowers’ Collections

 Gravestone of Charles and Ada Bowers at Fairhaven Memorial, some additional spookiness added for effect. All Hallows’ Eve While the Halloween spirit might be somewhat diminished in a year in which unmasked children coming to your door asking for candy are more frightening than a monster doing the same, it is even more important to take a brea...

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Song Swan Song: Three Taiwanese Scroll Painters

Scroll Paintings, c. 1930-1968Lin Yu-shan (Taiwanese, 1907-2004) and Chang Lee Tekhoe (Taiwanese, 1893-1972); TaiwanInk on paper2020.2.1,.3-.5Gift of Aloysius F. Kuo Good Things Come in Threes Aside from clues in their subject matter, many paintings do not immediately bely their geographical origin. Back in February of this year the Bowers Museum r...

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Shared Likeness: Portraits of Don Bernardo Yorba

Portrait of Don Bernardo Yorba, c. 1850Henri Pénelon (French, 1827-1885)Oil on canvas, gilt frame; 24 ½ x 19 ¾ x 1 ¼ in.5070Gift of Mrs. Herman Locke and Bernardo Marcus Yorba, Jr. Lasting Legacy It is important to remember that especially in California the first Hispanic Americans did not immigrate to the country, but already lived here when Mexic...

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Seeing Double: Emigdio Vasquez’ Paintings at the Bowers

Detail of Untitled, 1992Emigdio Vasquez (American 1939-2014)Oil on Canvas; 48 x 68 in.2001.46.1Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Robert S. Barnes The Godfather National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th as a celebration of the cultures and contributions of Americans whose families came from Latin America and Spain. Ending on October 15, the mon...

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Anna Hills: Painter, Educator, Activist

Low Tide, c. 1920Anna Althea Hills (American, 1882-1930)Oil on canvas; 7 x 10 in.F7748Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Centennial August 18, 2020 marks one hundred years since the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, giving most women in the United States the right to vote. In California, Proposition 4 of 1911 had alre...

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Chasing an Idyll: Helena Modjeska and Jozef Chelmonski

Formerly Sielanka (An Idyll), 1885Jozef Chelmonski (Polish, 1849-1914)Oil on canvas; 46 x 28 in.7601Gift of the Estate of Amadeus Gustavus Langenberger Stormy Weather Ahead This pastoral scene of two Polish peasants in a moment of repose is among the most iconic works in the Bowers Museum’s Fine Art Collection. Up to this point it has been known on...

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Orange County Beach Day

Picnic on the Beach, 1880-1899Newport Beach, CaliforniaPhotographic print; 5 3/4 x 6 3/4 in.6964BTerry E. Stephenson Collection Where We Would Rather Be It is the height of summer and though many of us would enjoy a typical beach day spent with friends or family, social distancing and other precautions taken for this year’s pandemic have thrown a w...

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Guy Rose by Any Other Name Would Paint Just as Well

Detail of Marguerite, c. 1909Guy Rose (American, 1867-1925); FranceOil on canvas; 15 x 19 inF7693 Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Stemming from California In the 19th and 20th centuries the natural splendor of California made it a mecca for artists. Its coast a gem of glittering sapphire, golden sands rising to palisades, and sun in the s...

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Paper Monuments: Lithographs and Drawings of Francisco Zúñiga

Impresiones de Egipto, Plancha 6, 1982Francisco Zúñiga (Costa Rican-born Mexican, 1912-1998)Lithograph on Arches; 13 ¾ x 19 ¾ in.2016.5.13Anonymous Gift A Man of Many Renaissances Part of the incredible nature of art is the scope of what it depicts. From nonrepresentational paintings capturing feelings to photorealistic portraits, artists define th...

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Following Townsend to Abstraction

Turbulence, 1960sMildred Scott Townsend, American, (1897-1985)Mixed media on silk; 40 x 50 in.F80.40.5Gift of the Artist A Blur You can lose the forest for the trees, and sometimes it takes getting farther away from something to really be able to see it. Mildred Scott Townsend, an early and mid 20th century Californian painter likely understood thi...

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Ghana's Golden Age of Movie Posters 3: Triple Impact

New Killers in Town, 1996Jonas Golden Boy (Ghanaian)Oil on cotton canvas; 62 × 47 in.2014.28.30Gift of Jay and Helen Lavely Three is the Magic Number In a world where movie theaters are threatened by a global pandemic, one group offers a respite from the doldrums of home quarantine: Ghanaian poster painters. Three long years have passed since the h...

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Wayside Madonna by Edith Catlin Phelps

Detail of Wayside Madonna, 1939Edith Catlin Phelps (American, 1874-1961)Oil on canvas; 40 x 33 1/2 in.32158Gift of Mrs. Edith Catlin Phelps Wow, Upside-Down In today’s world, it is more important than ever to have someone that is always in your corner of the ring, pushing you forward and supporting you. So, let us talk about moms. They not only fit...

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Hand Solo: Armless Figures and Disembodied Hands of the Bowers

Artist's rendition of 2004.66.1.1-.2 and 31901 in dialogue in a futuristic setting. Man: The Lore (ian) This coming Monday marks yet another May the Fourth (be with you) on the Galactic Standard Calendar. While it might be an unremarkable day for the least nerdy of us, for those of us raised on Star Wars the date is as sacred as the Jedi texts. And...

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The Wachtel Watchers: The Earth in Plein Air

From Sunland Looking Across Valley to Big Tujunga, c. 1925Marion Kavanaugh Wachtel (American, 1875-1954)Watercolor on paper; 14 x 19 9/16 in.F7690Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection This Little Planet Called Home April 22, 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day. Originally held as rallies and walks in major cities throughout ...

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Bowers in a Brush Stroke: Raúl Anguiano’s Untitled Mural

Untitled (Artworks of the Bowers Museum), 1999Raúl Anguiano (Mexican, 1915-2006)Oil on canvas; 101 1/2 x 183 1/2 x 1 1/2 in.99.63.1Gift of Bowers Museum Collectors Council Memory Palace If you have been missing the Bowers Museum as much as we have, then perhaps you too have been walking its halls in your imagination and picturing the placements of ...

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William Wendt: Transcendentalist

Sycamores, 1918William Wendt (American, 1865-1946)Oil on canvas; 26 3/4 x 42 3/4 x 2 1/4 in.F7678Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Transcendental State of Mind The great transcendentalists had come and gone by the time the William Wendt first arrived in California with a brush in hand and love of nature in heart and began painting this gold...

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Thanks for the Memories: Brittany Boats Painted by Edgar Payne

Marine, Boats in Brittany, c. 1929Edgar Payne (American, 1882-1947)Oil on canvas; 16 1/2 x 19 3/4 x 2 1/2 in.F7600Gift of Mrs. Edgar Payne Not Just Foodsgiving Thanksgiving is a no-nonsense holiday because—as much as we try to take it as a moment to reflect and honor the things in our lives that we are thankful for—the holiday is perhaps most-loved...

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Forms in Dimensions: Tamayo and Zapotec Sculpture

Detail of Seated Deity Figure, 300-600 ADZapotec culture; MexicoCeramic; 14 1/2 x 10 in.2000.56.7The Dr. Eli B. and Aimee Cohen Memorial Collection Universes of Meaning This week marks the opening of Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografía, an exhibition primarily about a series of three-dimensional prints made by Rufino Tamayo, one of the most i...

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The Immaculate ‘Art of Mary

Detail of Heart of Mary, c. 1750Miguel Ballejo y Mandirano; MexicoOil on canvas; 30 x 22 in.89.22.2Donated by Mr. Gene R. Wood Feast of the Hurt Pain is an awful thing. It can come from a variety of sources, but it is perhaps most punishing when it attacks us through a loved one. The Christian faith is in part based around the suffering and self-sa...

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Buff’s Bluffs: Buffing up on Conrad Buff

Ocean Vista, c. 1925Conrad Buff (Swiss-born American, 1886-1975); Southern CaliforniaOil on Masonite; 36 x 24 in.91.47.4Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Christian and Joyce Title (Con)Rad, With Bodacious Later Works Rugged individualism remains an ingrained facet of American identity, but it is the combination of individualism and collaboration that create tru...

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To the Trinity and Beyond: Jesus at the Bowers

Pilgrimage Souvenir, 19th CenturyJerusalem, modern-day IsraelMother-of-pearl; 8 ½ x 8 ½ in.31521Gift of Mrs. John Carruthers Getting a Rise out of Spring Spring is a time of rebirth. Winter’s chill recedes, new flowers bloom and trees seemingly come back from the dead. Branches which for all the world appeared to be deceased are given Lazaran life,...

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Dragon Glass: Taking Stock at the Bowers Museum

Battle and Hunting Weapons, 300-1519Michoacán, MexicoObsidian; various dimensions2003.10.42C-IAnonymous Gift The Night King Cometh As most fantasy buffs are well¬-aware, HBO’s Game of Thrones returns for the first of its final six episodes this upcoming Sunday. Not to spoil too much of the show for those who are interested in watching but have not ...

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Thomas Hunt: A Legacy Remembered

Detail of Untitled, c. 1924Thomas Hunt (Canadian-born American, 1882-1938)Oil on paper on board; 10 x 12 in.F7742Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Anti-Entropic Relay Legacy is without a doubt one of the constant thought worms throughout history, and we can all agree that it is not distributed in equal measure to the deceased. While it is p...

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Utagawa Yoshiiku and the Blooming World

Detail of 94.64.10. Gift of Mr. William Drell. Love to Spring this On You As all living in southern California are acutely aware, this winter’s deluge has brought with it the happy occasion of a Californian super bloom. The hillsides and shallow valleys of California’s inland deserts—so often entirely devoid of flora—have sprung to life, ...

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The Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection: Milford Zornes

Detail of Corona Del Mar, 1960Milford Zornes (American, 1908 - 2008); Corona Del Mar, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 14 7/8 × 21 1/2 in.2018.6.48Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection

Milford Zornes
“The fact is that you never lick watercolor painting, and you can't very well give it up as long as you feel you haven...

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A Mission Impossible: Arthur Edwaine Beaumont’s Carmel Mission

Detail of Untitled (The Carmel Mission), 1949Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (English-born American, 1890-1978); Carmel, CaliforniaWatercolor and tempera on paper; 15 x 12 in.96.65.1Gift of Rae and Sandra Young Bombshell Artist The Bowers Blog has previously examined the works of the English-born American artist, Arthur Edwaine Beaumont, looking at his tim...

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The Ann Cullen Collection: Dong Kingman

Bridge and Tugboats, mid 20th CenturyDong Kingman (American, 1911 - 2000); New York City, New YorkWatercolor on paper; 19 1/2 x 29 1/2 in.2018.6.11Ann and Bill Cullen Memorial Collection Delightful, Diligent As this series winds to a close, we end by looking at an artist who—perhaps out of all of the artists in the collection had the closest friend...

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The Ann Cullen Collection: Millard Sheets Pt. 1

Family Flats, 1932Millard Sheets (American, 1907 - 1989); CaliforniaLithograph; 16 x 22 1/2 in.2018.6.26Gift of Ann Cullen Three Sheets to the Blog So far in this series we have examined the close ties between the various painters of the Ann Cullen Collection. In this post we look at the noble heart at the center of the group, the ever-charismatic ...

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The Ann Cullen Collection: Phil Dike

Waves Spilling Over Rocks, 1976Phil Dike (American, 1906 - 1990); CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 18 x 24 in.2018.6.6Gift of Ann Cullen Something Else Entirely In the Bowers Museum’s recently acquired paintings by Phil Dike (American, 1906-1990), we see birds suspended in motion over breaking waves. Dike was drawn to the ocean just as he was drawn t...

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The Ann Cullen Collection: Emil Kosa Jr.

Bunker Hill, mid 20th CenturyEmil Kosa Jr. (French-born American, 1903-1968); Los Angeles, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 22 x 28 in.2018.6.17Gift of Ann Cullen First Kosa’s First Full… absolutely full to the brim with life and a love for painting. Is there any other way to describe Emil Kosa Jr.? In the second post of this series on the Ann Cullen...

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The Ann Cullen Collection: Rex Brandt

Autumn Day, 1976Rex Brandt (American, 1914-2000); Temecula, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 18 x 24 in.2018.6.2Ann Cullen Collection An Open Book The Bowers Museum’s California Bounty: Image and Identity 1850-1930 has been quietly boasting the triumphs of Californian artists since its opening in 2016. Housed in the halls of the museum’s Historic Win...

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Beaumont and Los Angeles' Chinatowns

Pagoda, Old Chinatown, Los Angeles, 1949Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (English-born American, 1890-1978); Los Angeles, CaliforniaWatercolor on paper; 14 x 21 x ½ in.86.40.1Gift of Mr. Paul J. Knaak A Perfect Beau… As one among many artists who painted the California Style watercolors that developed during the early and mid 20th Century, the English-born ...

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Plein to See: Nellie Moulton and the Bequest that Began It All

Detail of Coastline, early 20th CenturyNellie Gail Moulton (American, 1878-1972)Oil on masonite; 12 × 14 × 3/4 in.F7736Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Stevens Start-off One of the lesser-known facts about the Bowers Museum’s remarkable Fine Art Collection is that we have only paid for one painting. The rest of the Bowers’ 1543 currently a...

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Aloys Bohnen: A Cool Summer Night

Detail of Summer Night, c. 1925Aloys Bohnen (American, 1889-1967) Oil on canvas; 34 x 27 in.31163Gift of the James Earl Fraser Estate Into the Grove During the day Californian summers can become oppressively hot—to the point of us wondering if the day’s warmest hours wouldn’t be better passed in siesta. The few respites from this heat can be found ...

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Three Vignettes of Frank Coburn

Street Scene in the Rain, c.1921Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938)Oil on canvas; 23 × 27 1/2 in.3953Gift of Georgia DeLong in memory of her brother, Frank Coburn Beginning For painters like Frank Coburn, capturing beauty began with finding it in places where few others could see it. Much of Coburn’s oeuvre is represented by the bright and picturesq...

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The First Warbles of Spring

Scene from Tale of Genji Chapter 23, “Hatsune (First Warbler)”, 1890Yōshū Chikanobu (Japanese, 1838-1912); Tokyo, JapanWoodblock print on paper; 21 1/2 x 33 in.94.64.8Gift of Mr. William DrellTale of the EquinoxSpring is in the air! The spring equinox, which occurred Tuesday, March 20th, provides the possibility for rebirth, renewal, and regrowth. ...

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Gardner and the Groundhog

Winter Landscape—Sunlit Hill, c. 1925George Gardner Symons (American, 1863-1930)Oil on canvas; 41 x 47 x 1 1/2 in.F7680Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionGeorge Gardner Symons, c. 1920Groundhog Day CelebrationWith Groundhog Day soon to bring Punxsutawney Phil from his winter abode to predict an early spring or six more weeks of cold weather, ...

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Frey-ed Canvas: Conserving the Bowers' Pio Pico Painting

Don Pio Pico, 1868Henry J. Frey (American, b?-d?)Oil on canvas; 24 x 20 in.3513Gift of Mrs. John ForsterRepairing a Rogue’s Ranchero RepresentationAbout a year and a half ago the Bowers Museum Collections Blog published a post on our resident painting of Pio Pico. For years the painting had been exhibited by a perfunctory “Unknown Artist” label, bu...

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Dusk | Dawn

Evening on the River, 1883George Inness (American, 1825-1894)Oil on canvas; 33 3/4 x 48 x 3 in.F7664Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art CollectionSunset: 2017 EndsTwilight, c. 1860George Inness (American, 1825-1894)Every day comes to day’s end. In this twilight painted rivers, seas and skies—aching with shades of red, violet, and orange—all contest the ...

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Kingdom of the Quartz Skull

Izok, 2010Harold Van Pelt (American, 1925-)Quartz and izoklakeiteL.2016.21.34a,bLoan courtesy of Harold and Erica Van Pelt© 2010 Harold and Erica Van PeltVan PeltOne need not be an explorer-archaeologist to come across incredible artifacts. For experts like Harold Van Pelt they can be made in the workshop. Van Pelt has spent the last 45 years maste...

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Käthe Kollwitz: Don't Fear the Reaper

Whetting the Scythe from The Peasants' Revolt, 1905Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867–1945)Etching on paper; 21 1/2 x 18 in.33542 Gift of Mr. Howard GrahamKäthe Käthe Kollwitz, 1919Fascination with the moribund can come from any number of circumstances. For Käthe Kollwitz (German, 1867-1942) it stemmed from a lifetime of tragedy, enshroudi...

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Dewing's Depictions of Disappearing Debutantes

Standing Woman (pastel no. 124), 1918-1925Thomas Wilmer Dewing (American, 1851-1938)Pastel on brown paper; 15 x 12 in.F7724Martha C. Stevens Memorial Art Collection Odd Thomas Symphony in White, No. 1: The White Girl, 1861–62James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903)Oil on canvas; 84.5 in × 42.5 inNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.T...

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What Became of the Floating World

Two Prints from The Fifteen Views of Kyoto, 1950-1960Tomikichiro Tokuriki (Japanese, 1902–1999)Woodblock print on paper; 15 x 13 in.81.8.1J, KGift of Mr. Kerwin JacobsBeauty Reading a Letter, late 18th CenturyUtamaro (Japanese 1753-1806)Woodblock print on paper; 19 x 13 in.36124.1Evylena Nunn Miller Memorial CollectionUkiyo-e, the term for a s...

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Arthur Edwaine Beaumont and the Story Behind “The Red Bathing Suit”

The Red Bathing Suit, 1948Arthur Edwaine Beaumont (American, 1890-1978)Watercolor on paper;97.144Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Dreibelbis Arthur Edwin Crabbe was born on March 25, 1890 in Thorpe-St. Andrew, England. His father was a medical attendant in the British Military, and his mother was a nurse who encouraged her five children to draw and pain...

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Frank Coburn's Forest of Arden

Forest of Arden, c. 1916Frank Coburn (American, 1862-1938)Oil on wood panel; 20 3/4 x 25 3/4 in.3821Gift of Frank CoburnUntitled (Madam Modjeska at Arden), c. 1910Photographer unknownPrinted paper; 10 3/8 x 7 7/8 in.4568Gift of Everett C. Maxwell Photorealism Artist Frank Coburn painted this image from a published photograph of the famous Polish-bo...

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