About Me

Brittany Sigley is a junior Art History major and Museum Studies minor at St. Mary's College of Maryland. She was born in Anchorage, Alaska and moved around to several places before moving to Maryland. Her first memory of museums is of standing in front of the T-Rex skeleton at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. It was awesome and huge. She was in love. After graduation, Brittany plans to pursue a career in art museums.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Under the art

My third piece that I chose from the collection is Untitled and is a print by artist Ellen Wiener. SHe was a guest professor at SMCM at one point and the work was donated by SMCM professor Lisa Scheer.

When you begin digging into works of art, you sometimes find little surprises. When this print was being reframed, it was discovered that there was a poem on the back. The poem read:

"the height of her cheeks
more pale more glowing than crystal
vanishing on her rabbit eyes
as they opened as soft as furs"

from Mother Cabrini Poem
John Logan

Thursday, November 19, 2009

About my artists...

Jack Levine
January 3, 1915-
Jack Levine was born and raised in Boston’s South End. The drunks, prostitutes and politicians from his childhood inspired much of his later work. Jack Levine is typically known for his large oil paintings, but he is also incredibly skilled at drawing. He is known as a harsh political and social commentator never afraid to paint his criticisms of society. Check out his works which are in many major art collections including the Museum of Modern Art.

“I am primarily concerned with the condition of man. The satirical direction I have chosen is an indication of my disappointment in man, which is the opposite way of saying that I have high expectations for the human race.” - Jack Levine

Esteban Vicente
Spanish-born American
Esteban Vicente was born in Segovia, Spain but spent most of his life working in New York. He was originally a sculptor but eventually abandoned it for oil painting. Vicente is considered to be an Abstract-Expressionist painter (like Jackson Pollock, Elaine de Kooning and Mark Rothko). His works are most known for their very expressive colors.

Fun Fact: SMCM art Professor Carrie Patterson had Esteban Vicente as a professor at the New York Studio School.

Microfilm wonderland

So just like my fellow curators, its research time. Luckily for me, my two artists Esteban Vicente and Jack Levine are relatively famous enough that there is a good deal of information on them, you just have to dig it out.

I got a lucky break recently with the arrival of both of their papers and correspondences on microfilm. I've been spending my days in the back corner of the library that nobody goes to searching through reels of microfilm. I've found some really fun stuff though. For example:

- There is a copy of Jack Levine's driver's license (random but fun)
- The microfilm contains drawings and small sketches from Levine's early 20's. It is so fascinating to see his early work and a lot are just simple little sketches on scraps of paper.

In Esteban Vicente's papers, there are a lot of letters from gallery directors, curators, friends, etc. However, they are all writing to Esteban's wife Harriet. She apparently took care of the business side of his art. She found buyers for his artwork and museums to exhibit his works. There are even some letters back and forth between her and one museum arguing about the wall color of that museum because she did not want her husband's art on a wall painted that color.

My next task with the microfilm is to try and find letters between the artists and the donor who donated the work to the collection.