Published: October 12, 2004
The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) recently acquired several works of art for various areas of TMA’s collection, including ancient Greek silver, Japanese woodblock prints, African sculpture, American painting, Bohemian glass and contemporary sculpture.
A footless Greek silver bowl, created in about 100 BC, when silver and gold vessels served as a form of currency and exchange value equaled or exceeded aesthetic value, is one of the new acquisitions. The 22-centimeter-diameter bowl formed in the shape of callote, or flattened dome, is intricately decorated with acanthus leaves and flower motifs. In addition to complementing several pieces of Hellenistic silver tableware in the TMA collection, this ancient silver bowl is also the first work of art acquired with funds given in memory of Kurt T. Luckner, who served as TMA’s curator of ancient art for more than 25 years.
At 7:30 pm on October 22, “Silver of the Gods” co-organizer Andrew Oliver will give a public talk about ancient Hellenistic Greek silver. Following the talk, the newly acquired silver bowl will be unveiled in the Classic Court, where it will remain on view.
Though famous for his vibrant landscape paintings of autumnal New England scenes, it was Jasper Francis Cropsey’s landscape painting of an English village that TMA’s Apollo Society selected as its 2004 gift to the museum. In the painting entitled “Bonchurch, Isle of Wight,” Cropsey depicts a mother and her children enjoying a pond and a village lane dappled in sunlight and shadow.
In TMA’s American galleries, the newly acquired painting will complement one of Cropsey’s most important American landscapes, “Starrucca Viaduct, Pennsylvania.” This TMA pairing of domestic and foreign scenery by one artist parallels several others in the collection by artists such as Thomas Cole, Sanford Gifford and George Inness.
Curator Lawrence W. Nichols will present a public talk on this new Apollo Society gift at 1:30 pm on October 14. The talk will begin with a presentation of the Little Theater and will conclude in front of “Bonchurch, Isle of Wight.”
Contemporary German sculptor Stephan Balkenhol puts everyday people on pedestals. TMA recently acquired Balkenhol’s 1996 sculpture “Man With Bullhead.” Close examination reveals the figure’s relaxed posture with shoulders slouched and hands in pockets. His wardrobe indicates that he is a civilized “Everyman,” with the exception of having the head of a bull. This startling feature evokes the mythological Minotaur, but his countenance is far from the fierce grimace one might expect. An ancient mythological beast dressed in modern clothing, the figure’s incongruously mild facial expression suggests the high degree of expressiveness Balkenhol achieves through relatively crude carving.
Duane Hanson’s (American, 1925-1996), sculpture “Executive,” polyester resin and fiberglass, polychromed in oil, mixed media, with accessories, 1970, is on view in Gallery 1.
TMA began collecting and exhibiting Japanese prints in the 1930s. Over the past seven decades, this area of the collection and its reputation have grown. To add to this renowned and important collection, TMA recently acquired an Eighteenth Century Japanese woodblock print by Suzuki Harunobu. The print entitled “Rain in May” has been meticulously conserved and retains its vibrant colors.
“Rain in May” depicts two young women leaving a bathhouse and taking shelter from the rain under one umbrella. Another young lady, passing in the opposite direction, stops to look back at them. This newly acquired print will be on view in the Asian galleries in fall 2005 as part of the TMA exhibition of Japanese woodblock prints entitled “Strong Women, Beautiful Men.”
Paul Oppitz created his masterfully engraved covered pokal (representational goblet) when he was only 18 years old. Despite the artist’s youth, this new glass acquisition is an exceptional masterwork of Nineteenth Century Bohemian glass.
The imposing goblet stands more than 20 inches tall, and the sides of its bowl are engraved with intricate renderings of two Gothic Rhineland castles, Schloss Rheinstein and Schloss Stolzenfels. Oppitz wheel-cut the designs onto the tall glass vessel, and then filled the remaining surface, including the matching cover, with dense neorococo ornament.
This new acquisition is significant not only for its extraordinary craftsmanship, but also for its role in launching Oppitz’s successful career as a master engraver. Curator Jutta-Annette Page will present a public talk about the pokal and its significance to the collection at 1:30 pm on November 11 and 3 pm on November 13.
The most recent addition to the museum’s collection of African art is an Opon Ifa, or divination tray and bowl, carved by a Yoruba sculptor in the region of Ekiti (northeast Yorubaland, Nigeria). This particular tray was carved from a single large piece of wood and covers a bowl with five compartments. The rim is carved with images of spiritual forces. The tray will be on view in the African gallery as part of the Winter Legacies celebration December 17-19.
The museum is at 2445 Monroe Street at Scottwood Avenue. For information, 419-255-8000, 800-644-6862 or www.toledomuseum.org.
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