Anna Hyatt Huntington: A Collector's Eye

by Robin R. Salmon

 



 

Object labels from the exhibition

 
Cupid and Gazelle
Carl Paul Jennewein (1890-1978)
Bronze, 1919
Acquired January 3, 1936; placed 1936
 
After winning the Prix de Rome in 1917, Paul Jennewein's study at the American Academy reinforced his penchant for pure outline and classical proportion in sculpture. The small pieces produced at that time, including Cupid and Gazelle, are among his finest works. It was purchased from Arden Studios in 1936. Another Jennewein small bronze, Comedy, was acquired from Bertelli Galleries in New York City around 1924 by Archer M. Huntington. Although the purchase was for his private collection, the sculpture was transferred to Brookgreen Gardens in 1931, and became the first piece accessioned into the collection - S.1931.001.
 
 
Bali Dancer
Malvina Cornell Hoffman (1885-1966)
Gilt bronze, 1934
Acquired December 7, 1936; placed 1937
 
In 1930 the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago commissioned Malvina Hoffman to travel the world and model the racial types she encountered. After five years, the results of her trip were shown in Races of Man, a landmark exhibition of 100 figures. Hoffman tried to capture the moment at which each subject represented the individual characteristics of his race. Bali Dancer (with Hoffman's Andaman Islander) was the last piece accessioned in 1936, purchased from the English Book Shop in New York. Through 1937, the purchases made by the Huntingtons were primarily large, outdoor sculptures. On December 2, 1937, Archer Huntington wrote to Betty Rogerson of Arden Gallery: "We will come in at the first chance, but I rather fear that we are out of the market for statues at this time. Things are getting pretty bad in America, as you know, but I am hoping for an improvement. When the improvement comes, we will be interested."
 
 
Giant Sable Antelope
Louis Paul Jonas (1894-1971)
Bronze, 1928
Acquired 1934; placed 1934
 
The epitome of Art-Deco stylization, Giant Sable Antelope transcended its zoological design source and presented a purely decorative sculpture that also happened to be anatomically correct. Louis Paul Jonas blended his art training with his experience in taxidermy -- working in natural history museums, creating models and dioramas for display, and continuing his career as a sculptor. Anna Hyatt Huntington also commissioned Jonas to portray a portrait of "Prophetic", one of her champion Scottish deerhounds. Giant Sable Antelope was purchased from Bertelli's Gallery in 1934.
 
 
Water Lilies
Bessie Onahotema Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955)
Bronze, c. 1913
Acquired 1934; placed 1934
 
At a time when most sculptors produced monu-ments, Bessie Potter Vonnoh made significant contributions to small bronze sculpture and garden statuary designed for the embellishment of the home. Her work commanded admiration for her fluid and suggestive modeling, graceful lines, and sculptural form. In 1904, she won the gold medal for sculpture at the World's Columbian Exposition in Saint Louis for her bronzes of contemporary American women and children. Concentrating on sculpture for domestic settings that combined naturalism with elegance, Vonnoh entered a male-dominated field creating a pathway to professional success and making high-quality sculpture accessible to a wider audience. Water Lilies was purchased from the Gorham Company in 1934.
 
 
Dance
Victor Frisch (1876-1939)
Bronze, undated
Acquired August 7, 1936; placed 1937
 
Austrian native Victor Frisch studied medicine then entered the Academy of Fine Arts at Munich. His work came to the attention of Auguste Rodin in 1894, and he was invited to work in Rodin's studio. For 12 years, Frisch assisted him and remained associated with him even after opening his own studio in Paris. His bust of Rodin, lost during World War I, had been intended for Rodin's grave. After coming to the United States in 1925, Frisch became known for portraiture, small figures, and monuments. Dance was purchased from Arden Studios in 1936.
 
 
Arab
Allan Clark (1896-1950)
Fire-gilt bronze, 1929
Acquired December 11, 1935; placed 1936
 
More than any of his contemporaries, Allan Clark drew upon the art of the Orient for subject matter and ornamental features. In 1917, after studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Students League in New York, he began to work independently in his own studio. In 1924, he left on a three-year trip to study in the Far East: Japan, Korea, China, Cambodia, Java, Malaysia, Thailand, and Burma. This stallion, modeled after Clark's return to America, shows the influence of Asian art in its smooth planes and formal lines. It obviously appealed to Anna Hyatt Huntington, whose favorite subject in sculpture was the horse. Arab was purchased from Arden Studios in 1935.
 
 
 
The Driller
Mahonri Mackintosh Young (1877-1957)
Bronze, undated
Acquired March 31, 1936; placed 1936
 
Although he utilized many subjects in his art, Mahonri Young's depictions of working men were his most distinctive artworks, winning for him a silver medal at the Panama-Pacific Exposition. In these figures, his focus was on the pure sculptural quality of their form, rather than on any sociological aspect of the subject. The triangular composition formed by the figure's body and the jackhammer contributes to the feeling of power and masculinity portrayed in the sculpture. Anna Hyatt Huntington purchased The Driller and a second work, The Rigger, from Arden Studios in 1936.

 

Return to A Collector's Eye; article by Robin Salmon


Search Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art.

Copyright 2010 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.