Wednesday, 29 April 2015

#630 Horse sculpture at Brookgreen . . . con't

Please start this series of blogs about the horse with post #616.

Brookgreen Gardens, located in Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina is home to the largest
and most important collection of American sculpture in existence.  Founded by
Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1931, the accredited museum, zoo,
and horticulture masterpiece continues to grow in  collections, prestige,
and popularity . . . it is a mecca for sculptors and art lovers the world over.
Anna Hyatt Huntington's horse sculpture has been spotlighted in the previous
three blogs and the focus of this post is the equine work of four additional
sculptors whose work is in the Brookgreen collection, 

Because of her profession, Anna Hyatt Huntington knew many sculptors well.  During Brookgreen's first ten years of existence,  there was a steady stream of sculptors flowing into the gardens and Archer and Anna searched for the best works suitable for their purpose of placing American sculpture in a magnificent setting while.preserving natural beauty.

Two of the most famous sculptors known for their native Western and Indian subjects were
James Earle Fraser [1876 - 1953] and Frederic Remington [1861 - 1909].  Both sculptors are represented
in the collection by examples of their most famous works with the horse depicted as a main element of their creation.

Shown below, is James Earle Fraser's "End of the Trail" which symbolizes the passing of the Indian's way of life.

Remington's training was not that of a sculptor but of a New York illustrator.  Discouraged by the poor reception
his first exhibition of paintings received, he turned to sculpture and his first work, "The Bronco Buster",
was a tremendous success.  Shown below, is Frederic Remington's "Bronco Buster" at Brookgreen Gardens.

Laura Gardin Fraser [1889 - 1966] was a pupil of James Earle Fraser and later married her teacher.
She became known for designing coins and medals and also created the equestrian monument at Baltimore of
Lee and Jackson.  The commission for the "Peagasus" at Brookgreen was another chance to execute a major work.
The granite blocks which it is composed were set up in the Gardens after they had been roughed out,
and the carving was finished in place.   The Mount Airy granite was carved by a stone carver
under the supervision of the artist and took nine years from inception to completion.

Below, are images of Laura Gardin Fraser's "Pegasus" at Brookgreen.

Gutzon Borglum [1867 - 1941] is  known for carving Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and is represented in the collection with "Mares of Diomedes".  The bronze at Bookgreen is the middle section of a larger group that was modeled in his studio in New York in 1904.  The sculpture is a successful attempt by the artist to convey the sensation of rapid motion
by a group of horses at full gallop.  Show below, is a photo of "Mares of Diomedes".

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 26 April 2015

#629 Anna Hyatt Huntington and Brookgreen . . . horses, con't.

Please start this series of blogs about the horse with post # 616 -  March 11, 2015.

The focus of this post is American sculptor, Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876 - 1973) and her favorite subject: The horse.  Spotlighted are two of her horse sculptures located at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina entitled:  "Don Quixote" and "Fillies Playing".  Additional information about Huntington can be found on the previous two blogs.

Below, is an image of Huntington's "Fillies Playing". . . Bronze, 1956, this example cast in 2010.

Anna Hyatt Huntington created two sizes of "Fillies Playing" in her studio at Stanerigg Farm near Redding, Connecticut.  The small version (1955) is believed to have never been cast; the large version (1956) apparently was cast only once during the artist's lifetime.  It was cast in aluminum by Roman Bronze Works in New York City, shown at the National Academy of Design, and Awarded the Elizabeth N. Watrous Gold Medal in 1958.  It was then donated by the sculptor 
to the University of South Carolina in 1960.  The sculpture shown above and below is a posthumous casting 
of the large version made in 2010 by Rome Bronze Studio with new molds from the original plaster model.

Below, is an image of Huntington's "Don Quixote" . . . Aluminum, cast in 1947.

Huntington envisioned Cervantes' famous subject as a pitiful character, rather than a comic one.  
She depicted him dazed and confused at the moment after he has lost his joust with windmills.
His dispirited horse, Rocinante, was first modeled in 1937 from local horses at the studio in Atalaya, the Huntington's winter home at Brookgreen . . . (see blog #218, posted April 23, 2012 for more information about Atalaya). 
 After becoming the first sculptor to use aluminum in 1932, it was often her medium of choice.

Below, are more images of the powerful monument, "Don Quixote".

When word got around that she needed a decrepit horse to model, offers poured in.  The specimen finally
chosen was so weak that it could not stand and had to be supported by a sling when work began.
The horse's health so mended as work progressed that it lived to an honorable old age.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

#628 Anna Hyatt Huntington and Brookgreen . . . horses, con't.

Please start this series of blogs about horses with post # 616

This post further examines the two Anna Hyatt Huntington [1876-1973] horse sculptures at Brookgreen Gardens 
that were spotlighted in the previous post, #627:  "Fighting Stallions" and "Youth Taming the Wild".  

In this post, I'll introduce another large horse monument at Brookgreen entitled "In Memory of the Work Horse"; 
created by Anna Hyatt Huntington, cast in bronze, and installed at Brookgreen in 1964. 

Anna Hyatt Huntington is recognized as one of the foremost American animaliers.  She was a pioneer in the use of aluminum as a sculpture medium which gave a life and brilliance of surface that showed fine modeling in poor light.  Below, are two images of "Fighting Stallions" located at the entrance to Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell's Inlet,
 South Carolina.  More images of this dramatic monument can be seen on the previous post.

Many sculptors in France and in America began to specialize in animal sculpture in the nineteenth century and "animaliers" became a favorite branch of the sculptural arts.  Huntington was fascinated by horses and came to know their anatomy so well that she could model them from memory.  The first sculpture to be carved expressly for Brookgreen was her "Youth Taming the Wild", 1933.  With the pioneer movement westward still a reality, themes that underscored the conquest of the New World were popular.  Shown below, are three images of the monument . . . additional images of 
Huntington's "Youth Taming the Wild" can be seen on the previous blog.

During Anna's youth, she often observed and worked with large draft horsed used for plowing 
and hauling hay at the family farm in Annisquam, Massachusettes.  The memory of this image provided 
inspiration for several sculptures throughout her career depicting the work horse.

The heroic-sized bronze sculpture,  "In Memory of the Work Horse" was installed at Brookgreen in 1964 and depicts the team of farmer and horse . . . she expertly presents a vignette from the past in a poignant yet unsentimental manner.  Shown below are images of one of my favorite Huntington sculptures, "In Memory of the Work Horse".

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 19 April 2015

#627 Anna Hyatt Huntington and Brookgreen: horses, con't . . .

Please start this series of blogs about the horse with post # 616

Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina is home to the largest and most important collection of American figurative sculpture in existence.  Founded by Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1931 this outdoor museum is a mecca for sculptors and a destination for lovers of sculpture, natural history, and the culture of the Carolina Lowcountry.

Brookgreen is an accredited museum and a National Historic Landmark.  Anna Hyatt Huntington's significance 
as a sculptor and patron of the arts and the importance of the museum's collection has given America a unique
 gift of sculpture in a beautiful natural setting.  Interestingly, there are number of women sculptors 
represented in the  collection which will be spotlighted in future posts. 

The focus of this blog is part one of Anna Hyatt Huntington's favorite subject and model:  The horse.

Below, is Huntington's monumental sculpture, "Fighting Stallions".  This enormous work, created 
for Brookgreen's  entrance in 1950 and cast in aluminum, has become the iconic symbol of the museum.
Anna was a pioneer in the lightweight and light-catching qualities of casting in aluminum.

I was told by Robin Salmon, authority on Huntintingon's work and curator of sculpture at Brookgreen 
for over 35 years, that Anna and Archer wanted a dramatic, heroic image that would encourage travelers 
on the coastal highway to stop and enjoy the unprecedented beauty of outdoor sculpture in a natural setting. 

Below, are details of "Fighting Sallions".

Another outstanding Huntington sculpture on the vast, 9,000 acre grounds
at Brookgreen is "Youth Taming the Wild", shown below.

This stunning monument is placed by a secluded reflecting pool dotted with water lilies and
visited by an occasional Egret or Great Blue Heron.  Shown below, are  details of the work.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

#626 Horses, con't . . . the Arabian

Please start this series of posts bout the horse with blog # 616

There are many different breeds of horses and nature designed each breed according to their intended use.

The Arabian horse is the oldest known breed of riding horse and evolved form ancient equine stock brought together
from the middle eastern deserts and  the barb;  which is a related breed from the  Barbary Coast - the name for western North Africa.  Throughout history, it's interesting to note that the Arabian Horse was the chosen mount of
Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and George Washington.

Arabian horses have developed a close affinity to man due to the centuries old requirements of desert nomads
sharing their water, food, and tents, with their cherished animals during harsh conditions. 

While there are many complex theories about the Arabian's ancestry, perhaps no other breed has been so deliberately bred for horseman of the desert and beyond.  Today's Arab stands approximately 15 and 1/2 hands, has a long 
arched neck, a distinctive dished head, a light muzzle, a large,  powerful chest, and interestingly - 
 has 23 vertebrae instead of the 24 of other breeds. 

Below, is a silhouette of the Arabian horse. The breed has a trot, a smooth walk, and a fast gallop.
The animal is hot-blooded and usually requires an experienced rider.

 Nature designed horses to be ridden and I have found that when modeling the animal, it's helpful to imagine yourself astride and riding bareback.  Try it!  You can truly transport yourself and imagine the mass, shapes, barrel of the ribcage behind you, the narrowness behind the withers and scapula where your legs are. and the "feel" of how the horse is put together.

Go to the BLOG INDEX  and Reference Page for more information.  See post #616 and #655

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Sunday, 12 April 2015

#625 "Riders of the Dawn" . . . the horse, con't

Please start this series of posts about the horse with blog #616

One of my all-time favorite equestrian monuments is a sculpture entitled "Riders of the Dawn" 
by Adolph Alexander Weinman, (1870 -1952).   Located at Brookgreen Gardens in Murrell's Inlet, South Carolina,  
it was commissioned by the Brookgreen founders,  Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington in 1940.
The sculpture depicts a heroic group of two galloping horses ridden by jubilant young men blowing trumpets.  
Weinman combines every element to create the feeling of a great surge of high spirits and youthful vigor.  The powerful masses, the patterns of muscles, the wind-tossed manes, and the scrolled waves all contribute to the effect.

Below, is an image of "Riders of the Dawn".

Adolph Alexander Weinman was born in Germany and came to New York when he was 10 years old.
At the age of 15, he attended evening classes at Copper Union and later studies at the Art Student's League.  He later apprenticed and worked for Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French and opened his own studio in 1904.  Weinman in known as an expert in medallic art, a carver of architectural ornament, and a sculptor of monuments.  
Many important buildings were beautified by his additions in New York, Washington D.C., 
 the state capitals of Missouri and Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Below, are details from the superb equestrian monument:  "Riders of the Dawn" which has had an enormous 
effect on my approach to equine sculpture since I first laid eyes on in it  almost 35 years ago.

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

#624 Creating the Briscoe Equine Gates . . . the horse, con't

Please start this series of posts with blog #616.

The focus of this blog is design and anatomical considerations during the creation of the Briscoe Museum's
Equine Gates which were commissioned two years ago, and recently installed in San Antonio.
Please refer to the previous blog post for additional info.  Below, are images of the installed gates.

As beautiful and as familiar a subject as a horse is, the aesthetic aspect and considerations associated with
the species are enormous.  Just like the human figure, most people have an idea of what a horse should look like.
As a lover of horses, one who grew up around horses, and one who owns horses, as an artist, I entered the realm
of instinct and feeling while contemplating the design of this once-in-a-lifetime commission. . .
I was given total artistic freedom by the museum and this project is among my all-time favorite sculptures.
The one request was that the gates provide complete privacy from the outside city street.

Below, is an image of the maquette that I proposed and that was used for the gates entitled, "Equus Found".
This work is an award winning sculpture created five years ago. It is owned by Briscoe Museum trustee,
Jessica Elliott, who along with Jack and Valerie Guenther were instrumental in actualizing the project.

I've always had a mental image of what I perceive as the "ideal horse".  Some people view Arabs, some Thoroughbreds, and so on as their perception of the "ideal horse" . . .  my ideal is the heavy warhorse or charger from antiquity.
 I'm influenced by Greek, Roman, and Renaissance equine monuments from the past
Some works depicted enormous, heavy muscled horses, built to carry the weight of men in armor.
The romantic works of Barye and Fremiet from the 19th century presented drama and stately beauty;
while America's Anna Hyatt Huntington and Adolph Alexander Weinman kept the classic spirit alive.

Next Sunday's blog will spotlight Weinman and my all-time favorite equestrian sculpture:  "Riders of the Dawn". . .
I think you'll enjoy the images of the sculpture!

Below, is an image of a resin reproduction in my studio of a fragment from the Parthenon and
 a detail from a Barye equestrian sculpture taken last December at the Louvre in Paris.

My goal, while designing the gates was to interpret and present the horse as an icon, a symbol of magnificent power, beauty and proportion.  I chose a time-honored gesture and pose with a raised leg and arched neck to convey a feeling of dignity, balance, and repose.  Over the years I have learned that when I can envision the finished sculpture installed before I begin . . . it's not only a success but the most difficult part is completed as far as studio work is concerned.
In other words, the modeling simply flowed and was a joy to create during the summer of 2013!

Below, are images of the clay model in progress.

The fragmented and truncated design presentation of the horse further explored ancient influences while putting forth a contemporary impression.  The bronze equine architectural panels were installed on powder-coated stainless steel gates fabricated in San Antonio. by attaching the panels several inches away from the gate surface with pins,
a dramatic shadow is cast both during the day and at night.

I'm very sensitive to how art fits into any architectural project, especially a restoration such as the Briscoe.
The restoration of the building which was built in the early 1900s and is located on San Antonio's famed Riverwalk,
 has won many architectural awards for the resurrection of the beautiful art deco masterpiece.
Working with the architect was a joy and I'm happy to announce that he approves of the gates!

Go to the BLOG INDEX on the right for more information.

Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish