Joslyn Art Museum has received a spectacular new addition to its permanent collection, Consuelo in Black
(1924) by Robert Henri. Born in Ohio in 1865, Henri moved with his family to Nebraska in 1873, where his father founded the town of Cozad. As a young artist, he studied at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and later in Paris. Returning to Philadelphia in 1892 to teach, Henri became mentor to William Glackens, George Luks, Everett Shinn, and John Sloan. Under Henri’s guidance, these artists championed a new urban realism that celebrated the vitality of everyday life. Henri moved to New York in 1900, and participated in a landmark 1908 exhibition of “The Eight.” This group, which included his Philadelphia students as well as recent colleagues Maurice Prendergast and Arthur B. Davies, recorded the seamier side of the metropolis, as well as current social and political concerns. Henri first visited Spain in 1900 and would return there six times between 1906 and 1926. Inspired by the canvases of Diego Velasquez and Francisco Goya, Henri painted numerous portraits of people he met on the street or in a café, including bullfighters, gypsies, peasants, and musicians. Consuelo in Black
was made during a trip to Madrid in 1924, and exemplifies the dark palette and strong painterly gestures he drew from his Spanish predecessors. The striking beauty and intense gaze of his sitter are portrayed with a compelling immediacy. Henri died in 1929, and Consuelo in Black
was featured in a memorial exhibition of the artist’s work at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1931. This remarkable painting comes to Joslyn as a generous gift from an anonymous collector and patron, and is certain to make a lasting stamp on the Museum’s notable collection of twentieth-century American painting.
This painting has been on view in Gallery 10, and will be traveling from the end of 2013 through 2014 in the exhibition Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain.
(Above) Robert Henri (American, 1865–1929), Consuelo in Black,
oil on canvas, Joslyn Art Museum, Anonymous gift
Spring 2012 —
Joslyn has recently acquired an important oil study by Jules Breton, Two Women Picking Grapes,
1862, which relates to one of our best-known paintings, The Vintage at Château Lagrange,
1864. Born in the agriculturally-rich Artois region of northern France, Breton never lost his affection for the land and people of his childhood, drawing inspiration from rural traditions throughout his career. The Vintage at Château Lagrange
depicts a harvest festival at a vineyard in Southern France. Breton made numerous drawings and oil sketches in the field like Two Women Picking Grapes,
which became a study for the central figures of the finished canvas. In his final version, however, Breton added a classical formality that ennobled his subjects and their labor. The Vintage at Château Lagrange
was painted as a pendant to Breton’s 1860 canvas The Weeders,
also part of Joslyn’s remarkable collection of nineteenth-century academic painting.
See select Breton works in the Kiewit Gallery
(Above) Jules Breton (French, 1827–1906), Two Women Picking Grapes,
1862, oil on canvas, Collection of Joslyn Art Museum, Museum purchase, 2012.1
The Maximilian Journals
Between 1832-34, the explorer and naturalist Prince Alexander Philipp Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied, Germany, embarked on a voyage into the furthest reaches of the American Interior. Accompanied by the Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, Maximilian set forth from St. Louis in April 1833 on a 2,500 mile journey by steamship and keelboat up the Missouri River, traveling as far as Fort McKenzie, Montana. Wintering at the Mandan village near Fort Clark, they returned downriver the following spring, having spent over a year amongst the tribes of the Upper Missouri. The watercolors that Bodmer produced on this journey remain one of the most perceptive and compelling visual accounts of the West ever created. Meanwhile, his patron Maximilian was equally hard at work on a journal documenting his scientific and anthropologic observations. Few historical chronicles are as informative and eloquent, describing the topography, Native peoples, natural history, and the burgeoning fur trade of the High Plains. Today, Maximilian’s journals are a centerpiece of the Joslyn collection, accompanied by his collection of over 350 watercolors and drawings by Karl Bodmer.
Joslyn Art Museum recently announced the milestone publication of the third and final volume of the English translation of The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied, one of the most important documents of the nineteenth-century American West. Volumes 1 and 2 were published in 2008 and 2010 respectively. In 2008, Volume 1 was named the "Outstanding Nonfiction Book" of the year by National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. In the fall of 2011, Volume 1 received the Western History Association’s Dwight L. Smith Award, a biennial award recognizing outstanding bibliographic or research work. Earlier in 2011, Volumes 1 and 2 were reviewed by Stuart Ferguson of The Wall Street Journal, who called the works a "magnificent chronicle."
The North American Journals of Prince Maximilian of Wied — Volume 1: May 1832–April 1833; Volume 2: April–September 1833; and Volume 3: September 1833–August 1834 are available in Joslyn Art Museum’s Hitchcock Museum Shop for $85 per volume. The Journals are edited by Stephen S. Witte and Marsha V. Gallagher. Volumes 1 and 2 are translated by William J. Orr, Paul Schach, and Dieter Karch with forewords by John Wilson. Volume 3 is translated by Dieter Karch with a foreword by Joslyn’s Executive Director and CEO Jack Becker.
Support for the Maximilian Journals Project has come from many sources. Robert Daugherty funded the completion of the translation in 2003. The Bodmer Society, Charles W. Durham, and Marlene and J. Joe Ricketts made timely contributions to support initial editing and production costs. Dorothy and Stanley M. Truhlsen, Arader Galleries, Ann and Steve Berzin, Judy and Terry Haney, Susan and Michael Lebens, Pinnacle Bank, and Phyllis and Del Toebben provided additional support. Joslyn was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the University of Oklahoma Press received funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Ultimately, however, it has been the extremely generous gifts of Howard L. and Rhonda A. Hawks and The Hawks Foundation that have made this important publication possible.
Art of the Americas
Art in America:
Colonial Times to the Present
August 9, 2011 — A major reinstallation of Joslyn Art Museum’s American and American Western galleries is now open to the public. Click here for all the details.
Support for this reinstallation has been provided by the Gilbert M. and Martha H. Hitchcock Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and The Sunderland Foundation.
(Left) Thomas Moran (American, born England, 1837–1926), In the Teton Range,
1899, oil on canvas, Lent by William C. Foxley, 2006
The Scope of Joslyn's Collections
Eugene Kingman (far right), the second director of Joslyn Art Museum (1947–1969), oversees the delivery of art at the north door of the Memorial building. Photo ca. 1962.
For a brief synopsis of the Museum's collections,