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Animals in Bronze: The Michael and Mary Erlanger Collection of Animalier Bronzes from the Georgia Museum of Art and Audubon's Animals: Works from the John James Audubon Museum

 

Animals in Bronze: The Michael and Mary Erlanger Collection of Animalier Bronzes from the Georgia Museum of Art and Audubon's Animals: Works from the John James Audubon Museum will both be on view from May 16 to August 8, 2004 at the University of Kentucky Art Museum.

In Animals in Bronze, you will see equine energy and beauty in 17 bronze horses, from an Arabian mare by Pierre-Jules Mêne to Will Rogers on his horse by Charles Russell. And there is more: whippets, panthers, and bulls, in sculptures that are romantic, expressive, and humorous. (left: Susanna Holt, The Swerve, bronze with dark brown patina, 9 x 4 1/2 x 19 inches)

Animalier sculpture in nineteenth-century France was the first "school" devoted exclusively to animals as independent subject matter, and its rise paralleled the burgeoning sporting picture genre of the English aristocracy.

Among the artists included in the exhibition are Antoine-Louis Barye, the most famous artist of the French animalier school, and Rembrandt Bugatti, the foremost animalier sculptor of the twentieth century. Also represented in this collection are works by the Romantic painter Rosa Bonheur, her younger brother Isidore-Jules, and twentieth-century American sculptors Herbert Haseltine and Charles Marion Russell.

Animals in Bronze was organized by the Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, and guest curator Eleonora Luciano. This exhibition is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Promotional support is provided by Greg and Laura Ladd, Cross Gate Gallery; Equus Run Vineyard; and Alltech's Lexington Brewery.

In Audubon's Animals you will see several little-known animal prints and paintings. People are familiar with Audubon's birds, but not always aware that he also painted a wide range of fauna.

The exhibition will include the watercolor Leopard Marmots and an unfinished oil called Brook Mink, as well as renditions of birds and two of the bound print series. (right: John James Audubon, American, 1785-1851, American Redstart, 1828. engraved by Robert Havell, Jr. (American, born England, 1793-1878), hand colored engraving on paper, Plate 40, The Birds of America, Double Elephant Folio Edition Private collection, Lexington, Kentucky)

Audubon was born in 1785 in Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti) and raised in France. One of the first American explorer-artists, he came to America at the age of 18, when the nation was young and just exploring its vast territories. From 1806-1820, he pursued business ventures in Kentucky, including a general store and a gristmill. These were unsuccessful and eventually abandoned in favor of his passion for exploring the new land and recording its birds. Through intense dedication, hardship, and careful observation in the wild, he discovered many species; his journals are a wondrous account of an unspoiled land. His paintings are unique for their artful arrangement of the birds in their natural postures and habitat. Audubon's famous assemblage of "The Birds of America" was published in several versions.

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