Friday, June 9, 2017

Western bronze

President Trump has an interesting Twitter feed. He just now posted a string of congratulatory tweets.

Beyond the recent tweets Trump posted a video of himself at a table in front of a credenza serving as base for a classic Western statue of an American bison challenged by two wolves. It is a fine statue. It looks very much like something Frederic Remington or Charles Russel would have done but the statue is not in their oeuvre. Nor is the statue a Carl Kauba or a Ron Stewart, their work is similar. And it is not any of the artists on this list of Artists of the American West. I looked through images of all of them. I've seen every buffalo (American bison actually) bronze at least twenty-five times.

Over and over the same dull stupid bison with only scant few statues with such dynamic as this.

Whoever it is that chooses White House art sure is good at it.

The video at Trump's tweet says the meeting is in the Roosevelt room of the White House. Wikipedia has a page describing this room. They have a photo with this statue on the credenza just as in the video. The Wikipedia page also describes the room's decorations. The description mentions bronzes of portraits, but not the buffalo even though they show it.

Roosevelt had an aquarium. In his day the room was called the "the fish room."

Suddenly I like Roosevelt better. I just now felt a fondness grow, pop up like a mushroom.

Kennedy hung a large sailfish on the wall.

But no mention of bronze bison or buffalo.

Looking for this buffalo turned out to be a wildly unproductive search.

Oh well.



The artist formed two hungry wolves possibly a third one trampled. Needs a lot more wolves, even if the bison is old or injured or sick or just exhausted, that job will take the whole pack.

But I see two fluffy Belgian Groenendael dogs eager to please. And that silly attitude could get me chewed up.

18 comments:

edutcher said...

Looks like one of the buffaloes from all the cowboys I had when I was a kid.

If you want to know how Remington would have done it, check this out.

I have a book where it's in color and it's even better.

Annie C said...

It's "Our Vanishing Wildlife", by Alexander Pope. It was displayed at the Pacifica Panama Exhibition in San Francisco in 1915.

Sixty Grit said...

Well done, Annie C. I was still searching and finding nothing.

I saw that it was in the Oval Office during Obama's time there, but I could not find who sculpted it.

Between the end of the Civil War and the WWI was a great time for American sculpture. I used to go to Brookgreen Gardens down in SC - Ms. Huntington put together a great collection of sculpture from that era.

Mumpsimus said...

When I saw this I thought "Hah! I can ID that thing in two minutes!" I was wrong.

Annie C: No, the wolves in the Pope sculpture are hanging on to the buffalo.

Annie C said...

https://www.google.com/search?q=alexander+pope+our+vanishing+wildlife&num=20&newwindow=1&client=tablet-android-samsung&prmd=nisv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiuu7Wv3bHUAhUK7CYKHdTpDLIQ_AUICigC&biw=800&bih=1280#imgrc=lXs5EUjw8v4XZM:

Annie C said...

Also, download the pdf Keith Hennessey The Real West Wing Tour Guide. It's noted there too.

Annie C said...

And if I can remeember at least a few days in the 70s, one of my art history classes at Kent taught me he did multiples of most of his latter sculptures. Often with slight variations.

Annie C said...

Oh, I almost forgot. The Smithsonian lists the address for that piece as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

http://collections.si.edu/search/results.htm?q=record_ID:siris_ari_436182

Sixty Grit said...

I saw that, and one of the beauties of sculpture is once you have your original, in was or plaster or whatever, you can pull a mold off that, cast another positive in wax, modify that, then invest the modified one in refractory plaster and pour some bronze.

Mumpsimus said...

Right you are, Annie C. My bing-fu is weak.

ricpic said...

O Pioneers

The bison is a massive headed beast with tiny little legs
Who, although front loaded, almost never tips over.
A veteran of horn and fang combat, foreswearing brags
Best left to wolves he snorts and drifts, a black sail afar.

Annie C said...

This is what happens when I a, stuck waiting for data to compile. Google fever.

Ricpic, that is enchanting!

ricpic said...

Thanks much, Annie.

Sixty Grit said...

When it comes to Western art, you might say ricpic is our poet lariat.

ricpic said...

It's gettin' painful, Sixty.

Sixty Grit said...

Thank you, ricpic, my work here is complete for the evening.

ndspinelli said...

He'll be here all week. And next week, and the following week..

chickelit said...

Sixty Grit said...
When it comes to Western art, you might say ricpic is our poet lariat.

You threw me for a loop.