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le mirroir cat.coverLooking at our categories on the left you might have noticed that we filed everything to do with sculpture here under the category sculpture. I would like to do some more posts on this topic so here we go.

Above is the 1982 Exhibition Catalog cover L’Univers d’Aimee et Marguerite Maeght by the Maeght Foundation detailing all of their activities through the early 80’s. The prime activity of the foundation’s founder Aimee Maeght was fine printing, perhaps he was one of the best lithograph printers in the world, located in Paris, France. Besides, he was an art dealer, gallery owner and a publisher with his wife Marguerite.

Another activity was publishing the magazine “Derriere le Mirroir”. This enormously important magazine, started in 1946, usually devoted an entire issue to one artist and included limited edition lithographs, either as a cover or as an insert in the magazine.

le mirroir 2le mirroir5 Nothing else in the world came close in matching the importance of this magazine for the art world as a whole. In the above mentioned catalog, there is a listing for all the issues through the 80’s and we find quite a number of sculptors listed among those artists.

It is a good start and a very useful general tool as well. The pages also show some of the wonderful posters printed by Maeght in Paris for some of the exhibitions. I have always loved sculpture, whether it be figural or abstract.

In this post, I will use and show some of the books and catalogs we collected. The impetus in writing again on sculpture came from a recent acquisition of a few photographs we accessed by some museums on a recent jaunt. The photos I purchased were all of the same size and were used to show scholars and students what was either in the museum or what a particular type of sculpture looked like, in the holdings of another museum.

Sculpture is hard to move and loan out, so it needed to be photographed. There were a number of very qualified photographers worldwide who on request of the museum would go to the artist atelier or museum and take the required image. One of these excellent photographers was the firm of Dr. F. Stoedtner in Berlin. Active until the middle thirties and known for supplying photographic slides to museums since the late 19th. Century.

In the photographs acquired were some which referred to the sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, a national Croatian hero and so I contacted the Mestrovic Museum in Croatia where the senior curator Dr. Danica Platzibat quickly identified the photographs as most likely coming from a traveling Mestrovic Exhibition from the mid-twenties in the USA, possibly Chicago.

This really peeked my interest, especially since I found out that his sculpture is widely seen on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in nearby Southbend, Indiana where he taught in the late fifties until his death in 1962. A Croatian hero’s work in the USA?

Yes, and for those who live in Chicago this would not sound so strange as two of his 17 ft. (5 meters) high sculptures stand at the entrance to the Congress Plaza Gardens on the South Michigan side. These two very famous sculptures were placed there in 1928 after Mestrovic had visited the city in 1926.

The sculptures depict native American Indians and are called the “Bowman” and the “Spearman“. This link will bring you there.

The senior curator also informed me that she is currently working on a  forthcoming publication dealing with just those two sculptures in Chicago! I would like to end this post with a quote read by me in a 1985 catalog from the famous art sculpture dealer Tasende Gallery in LaJolla, California whose beautifully produced catalogs (and exhibitions that I unfortunately have never attended) do amaze me time and time again.

sc-1sc-2“There are certain values in sculpture that can  be fully appreciated only when the sculpture is placed in intimate contact with nature. To move around the sculpture is to participate in its space and also to perceive its habitat with greater intensity, the mountains, the sea, the living plants surrounding it and the changing elements that alter its environment and humanize its image invite us to contemplate it with different eyes each day. Just as it is only where light exists that it is possible to perceive shadows. It is where life blooms plentifully that we can better appreciate the beauty of the inanimate object”.  More about sculpture will be forthcoming in another post.

sc-3 (A Henry Moore sculpture from the Tasende catalog)