July 2021

Mount Vernon’s Second Best Art Teacher

Born in the 19th-century, Mt. Vernon, Illinois native Ivan Summers established himself as one of the accomplished practitioners of American Impressionism with his colorful landscapes.  He studied at the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts where he was an award winning artist.   His painting style is dynamic, spontaneous, yet disciplined with an eye …

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Robert Youngman’s Cedarhurst One

Robert Youngman’s sculpture, Cedarhurst One, was the very first outdoor sculpture to be commissioned and installed by the Mitchell Foundation. It was done to celebrate the museum’s tenth anniversary in 1983. Well before the sculpture park began formally in 1993 with the NEA’s Jane Alexander dedication. Youngman, Cedarhurst One, 1983, Goldman-Kuenz Sculpture Park, Mt. Vernon, IL Photos …

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James Baldwin & The Toilette of Venus

James Baldwin is having a revival of sorts, in 2020 and continuing in 2021, in the mass media as renewed attention is brought to his writings on civil rights.  The Fire Next Time is again being referenced for its eloquent prose and condemnation of American racism.   In Jed Jackson’s painting, titled, The Toilette of Venus, the James Baldwin image plays …

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Animals with Tales

Fables, or animals with tales, are short stories that date to ancient times.  The two-thousand-five-hundred-year-old animal fables of the Greek slave Aesop are still heard today.  Often moralizing or satirizing, the stories are told by animals who speak.  Contemporary fables include Charlotte’s Web, 1952, by E.B.White  and George Orwell’s 1945 political fable Animal Farm.  Fables with talking …

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The Op Art Vessel

Tom Orr’s Vessel is a three-dimensional sculpture, but it also creates an amazing visual feature of moire patterns that echo historically the Op Art of the Sixties. Moires are the appearance of wavy lines that form when two separate sets of lines overlap. Vessel’s waves of moire, TOM ORR, Vessel, 2009, powder coated steel, Collection of Goldman-Kuenz Sculpture Park …

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Slavery ended for millions in the United States with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment on December 6, 1865.  But celebrations began earlier with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, which freed only the enslaved African Americans in ten of the eleven Confederate states.  However, news of the Proclamation took two and a half …

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