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Two Favorite Memorial Art Gallery Artworks

By Bethany Mosher, Memorial Art Gallery volunteer

For me, picking my favorite piece of artwork is as difficult as deciding on a greeting card. I can’t tell you how many times my husband has received multiple greeting cards for Valentine’s Day or his birthday because I like too many at the store. Whether they are funny, sweet, or just interesting, I find a lot of good qualities in each. That or I am just simply indecisive. So when asked to write this blog about my favorite work of art at the Memorial Art Gallery, I knew I would have the same challenge. Luckily, I was able to narrow it down to two!

70.25_A1The first piece I selected was John Scholl’s Crested Swans, ca. 1910. I was fascinated by this piece the first time I saw it. At my initial glance I wasn’t sure if it was a weather vane, bird bath, or no functionality at all, but I did know that I wanted it as décor in my house. It has such an interesting style that is unlike anything I’ve seen. I proceeded to do some more research on the artist and the really intriguing thing to me was the history of Scholl himself. He was born in Germany, but came over to the US in his late 20’s in 1853. Scholl made his living as a carpenter, building his own house, local church, general store, and a brewery. I must admit that my stereotyping got the best of me. A hard working man, constructing buildings for a living in the late 19th century, I would not have taken him for an artist at heart. But on the contrary, he loved wood carving for the sake of the art. He did not do it for a profit. The majority of his sculptures were not even created until his 60’s. So I was surprised and honestly excited to see that a man of this background creating such delicate and lovely carvings. It is remarkable to me, and I have a newfound respect for this piece each time I see it at the Gallery.

51.3_A1The second favorite work of art is Landscape with Garage Lights, 1931-1932 by Stuart Davis. I love this piece because it’s one of those paintings that I can stare at for hours, and still not see everything that’s in it. I find something new each time I visit the MAG that I did not see before. And if a painting can do that to someone as detail-oriented as me, it has to be on my favorite list due to its mere accomplishment! But that’s not the only thing I like about this painting. This early modernist painter has the ability to take typical American landscapes and give them a pop-art-type twist. I’m sure the inspiration for this painting looks very dull and lifeless in person, but Davis paints with such bold colors and interesting lines that would turn an empty field into something beautiful.

As I mentioned, even narrowing it down to two favorites is a difficult task for me. But I like the challenge of having to choose, and I just feel privileged to have such options at MAG.


Comment from Thelma Oliver
Time: February 12, 2010, 6:55 pm

I like the second Image! colors are bright yet it is resembled perfectly that resolves the conflict of subjects. about the second one I would suggest to put it on wall with a light paint that would be contrast to your painting. thumb up for this!

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