The piece that I was instantly drawn to was The Geneva Window, for the International Labor Building, League of Nations in Geneva. The window was designed by Henry Clark and was assembled by Clark Studies in Dublin, Ireland. The medium of this piece is stained glass and lead cames. It stands at seventy-one inches tall with a width of forty inches. The window was completed in 1930 however it was never installed. The stained glass window now resides at the Wolfsonian museum in the historic Art Deco sector of South Beach, Miami Beach and is partnered with Florida International University.
Located on the sixth floor, the piece is found in the collection named “Art and Design in the Modern Age: Selections from the Wolfsonian Collection. ” This collection imparts an observation of American and European artifacts from the late ninetieth to mid-twentieth centuries. Topics depicted in the pieces of this collection range from design reform movements and transportation to political propaganda. The Art and Design in the Modern age displays works that corroborates the idea that social and technological changes were triggered by the Industrial Revolution.
The Geneva Window is brightly colored and reminded me of the stained glass windows typically found in gothic cathedrals. The color blue that was used in the window is reminiscent of the same shade of lapis lazuli. Many works in the renaissance featured this pigment and I am always amazed by its splendor. The subject matter that is depicted are fourteen various scenes from the works of contemporary Irish writers. His choices in the scenes were controversial to political and religious leaders.
A few have been banned by the Censorship Board, half of the writers were protestants and the Catholics were not considered devout enough. One of the scenes in the eight-paneled window contains elements of people drinking alcohol in excess and sexual innuendo caused the window to not be installed in the League of Nations. The government was too embarrassed by the explicit content and did not want this behavior to be associated with Ireland’s national identity so it was never sent to Geneva. You need to have knowledge of Irish Literature to understand the full context of this work.
Each panel is derived from it’s national literature. I am not an expert in this area, which made it difficult for me to understand it’s content. Oddly enough, there is not much information on the Internet about what is depicted in each scene and what piece of literature the subject matter is acquired from. Visually, the piece accurately portrays a gothic inspired stained glass window. There are proper proportions among the people portrayed. They are positioned in normal stances and the people have some movement to them. They are not stoic.
Facial features are very minimalist. However, the borders and landscapes are highly detailed and intricate- a quality closely related to manuscript illuminations. The colors are very deep and rich which makes this work very appealing to the eye. The Irish government commissioned the window. The purpose of this window was intended to be a piece to represent Ireland in the League of Nations in Geneva. As stated earlier, due to content, it never made it to the League of Nations and is now housed in the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami Beach, Fl.
The second piece I chose for this assignment is the Evolution of Transportation. The artist who created this piece is Otto Kuhler. . The Evolution of Transportation was produced in the United States circa 1930. The medium is graphite and black crayon on paper. I was drawn to this because this piece represents how the world is constantly changing, which is a common theme in all works of art. The only constant we have is change and this piece epitomizes that idea. The piece is very simple visually. It is meant to be observed from the left to right.
The first images in the series of transportation are wagons that were used when the American people were expanding into the new frontier. Thousands of people voyaged across our countries plains to reach new land. The wagon is symbolic of American expansion for this period. It transitions with an old fashioned ship that uses sails to trek across waters. As the piece progresses to the right, technology is the key to advancements in the way we travel and gain access to reach other people. Engines were added onto boats and wings were added onto structures to fly in the air.
Eventually it ends with cruise ships, submarines, and a modern train, which was the main factor in the great economic boom. It could be narrative in the sense that the piece is telling the story of how over time, our means of transportation have vastly improved with the aid of advancements in technology. It shows that we have evolved so much and makes people question how much further we can evolve. This piece was produced in 1930, imagine if the artist knew how much more transportation would expand? The only knowledge you need to understand this piece is general American History.
The subject (means of transportation) are distributed in a linear fashion. The artist tried to make the different forms of transportation such as the steam boat and horse proportional to the other. Nothing is exaggerated; the objects are in the simplest form. Overall, Kuhler’s message is portrayed effectively to show the American people how much transportation has evolved, and the idea that we are always progressing. [pic] Geneva Window Harry Clarke 1930 [pic] Evolution of Transportation Otto Kuhler 1930