Published: December 7, 2004
To celebrate the holiday season, The UBS Art Gallery in midtown Manhattan will present a special exhibition honoring the rich artistry and design tradition of the classic American carousel.
On view from December 14 to January 3 at The UBS Art Gallery, “Carousel Art from the Charlotte Dinger Collection” will feature antique carousel animals created between 1890 and 1920.
There will be more than 40 examples of fanciful and fierce carousel art from nine leading American companies. The animals on view are ornamented with exquisitely carved flowers, orange bridles and saddles, as well as being decorated with myriad of bright colors, etched mirrors and sparkling jewels. In addition to traditional standing, prancing and jumping horses, exhibition highlights will include horses almost fully covered in medieval body armor, a graceful zebra, a snarling tiger, a sleekly carved and bejeweled greyhound and a towering giraffe.
The exhibition will present spectacular examples of two leading styles of carousel art that developed in the late Nineteenth Century.
The Philadelphia Style featured realistic, classically elegant animals that were richly decorated but relatively austere, reflecting the conservative tastes of turn-of-the-century Philadelphia. A Philadelphia Style highlight of the exhibition will be a 1910 tiger designed by the Dentzel Company, which was founded by Gustave Dentzel, the German-born pioneer of the American carousel industry. Another prime example of Philadelphia Style carousel art in the show will be an armored horse, created by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1950, which features gold and silver medieval armor and a detailed carving of a knight’s helmet on the saddle.
In contrast to the Philadelphia Style, the heavily jeweled, gilded and lavishly decorated animals of the Coney Island Style were flamboyant creatures. Echoing the energy and liveliness of the most celebrated amusement center in the country, Coney Island Style carousel animals were designed to attract and dazzle the senses. Horses designed by the Carmel workshop and repainted and redecorated by M.D. Borelli, called the Carmel-Borelli style, were often posed dramatically but tempered with gentle expressions, such as a 1915 jumping horse that is patriotically adorned with an eagle and American flag details.
The UBS Art Gallery is in the UBS Building at 1285 Avenue of the Americas. The gallery is on the ground floor of the building and exhibition hours are Monday through Friday, 8 am until 6 pm. Admission is free. For information, 212-713-2855 or visit www.ubs.com.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm