Five lesser-known works you need to see at The Baker Museum
Celebrating 15 Years of Collecting
An exhibition at The Baker Museum
September 5, 2015 –
January 31, 2016
The Baker Museum’s Celebrating 15 Years of Collecting truly is a celebration of the big names and important works in museum’s permanent collection. But it is also a chance to reexamine some of the lesser known works that are equally integral to both Artis—Naples and to the collectors whose tireless energy was spent acquiring these wonderful pieces.
We asked Gisela Carbonell, the Curator for Special Collections and the person responsible for assembling Celebrating 15 Years of Collecting, to pick a few works that might not get the attention they deserve but that you definitely should not miss.
El Atrio (The Atrium)
Geraldo “Dr. Atl” Murillo
The oldest piece in the Pollack collection and one of the oldest in the exhibition, this small painting from 1902 is interesting for a few reasons. First, it shows the influence that travelling through Europe had on Dr. Atl’s work, with strong impressionist and post-impressionist hallmarks. Second, upon Dr. Atl’s return to Mexico he began teaching at the San Carlos Academy in Mexico City, where he had Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco as students. His influences were passed down to those students.
Geraldo “Dr. Atl” Murillo. El Atrio (The Atrium), 1902. 'atl" colors on board. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2002.2.040. Gift of Harry Pollak.
Mujer Sentada (Seated Woman)
A generation of artists separate Amaya from Dr. Atl, and yet you can still see the European influences in the art. The use of marble as a medium and refined form recalls classical Italian sculpture. However, while the work it doesn’t seem overtly political, the depiction of a woman who fits the shape of indigenous people of the country rather than more canonical European proportions was in defiance of the preferred governmental norms of the time.
Amarndo Amaya. Mujer Sentada (Seated Woman), 1966. Marble. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2002.2.001. Gift of Harry Pollak.
Composition 1938-January 1940
Gallatin was a collector before becoming an artist, and this work is a prime example of how the former greatly informed the latter. Although the piece looks to comment on the popular work of the late 1930s and early 1940s by artists such as Pollock and de Kooning it does so using the vocabulary of a previous generation — the Cubism of Picasso and Braque. While we have displayed other works from Gallatin in the past, this is the first time this piece has been displayed at The Baker Museum.
A.E. Gallatin. Composition 1938 - January 1940, January 1940. Oil on canvas. 20 x 24 inches. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2000.15.093. Museum purchase. © A.E. Gallatin.
Girls Against the Sky
Guy Pène du Bois
The great thing about this work, aside from being very distinctively in du Bois style, is that it invites the viewer to create a story to go along with it. Where are these women going? Who are they? Looking for a fun first date activity? You can learn a lot from your date just by the story they create.
Guy Pène du Bois. Girls Against the Sky, 1937 (installation photograph). Oil on canvas. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2000.15.167. Museum purchase.
A piece from the Olga Hirshhorn collection, this work is notable because it is so dramatically different than what people typically expect from O’Keeffe. It’s small and subtle, which contrasts from the big and bold flowers most often associated with the artist. The work challenges viewers preconceived notions of what an O’Keeffe should be. It was given to Mrs. Hirshhorn as a gift from the artist. The Hirshhorns were such great friends with O’Keeffe that they celebrated her birthday with her each year in New Mexico.
Georgia O’Keeffe. Flowers, 1941. Oil on canvas. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2013.1.146. Gift of Olga Hirshorn.
September 4, 2015