The Permanent
Collection

The Masur Museum of Art’s permanent collection numbers approximately 500 works of art and is largely comprised of masterpieces by regional artists, minor works by more broadly known artists, and, more recently, entire series or bodies of work commissioned from individual artists. As a whole, these categories provide context for one another as they relate to artistic and historic trends in the American South and beyond.

John James Audubon (1785-1851)

Lark Finch, Prairie Finch, Brown Song Sparrow; Plate 390, Havell ed. 78 1836-37

1836-37

Printmaking

Aquatint and engraving, hand colored plate

Audubon was born in present day Haiti in 1785, the son of a French naval officer and planter. As a young child he had a passion for exploring the countryside and drawing wildlife; his interest in nature intensified in 1803 when he came to the United States and was confronted by the pristine and bountiful American frontier. This passion was the cause of many successes and failures throughout his life. Early in adulthood, it led to the downfall of several business ventures. However, in 1820, while living in Cincinnati, Ohio, working as a taxidermist at the Western Museum and teaching art lessons on the side, he finally discovered what his life’s work would be. Audubon wanted to be the first to successfully blend fine art and science by capturing the natural beauty of birds and their environment using scientific observation as the basis for his art making. This idea eventually became Bird’s of America, his attempt to document and name every bird in America.

Peter Jones (b. 1941)

Lemon, Cup, and Shell

2000

Painting

Oil on masonite

Peter Jones is a second-generation Woodstock, New York, artist. His father, Wendell Jones, painted murals for the U.S. Treasury’s Section of Fine Arts program during the Depression, and went on to teach at Vassar College, while his mother, Jane Jones, specialized in portraits. He earned a degree in fine arts from Amherst College and studied art history at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, before transferring to the University of Iowa, where he received his M.F.A. in painting. He began his teaching career at Sullins College in 1969-73, and spent seven years as art director of Vermont Life Magazine before returning to teaching at Louisiana Tech University’s School of Art, where he retired after thirty-one years as Professor Emeritus.

Edwin Pinkston

Stratum #4

2006

Painting

Acrylic on Canvas

Edwin Pinkston lives in Ruston, Louisiana, where he taught painting and drawing at Louisiana Tech University from 1968 to 2004. He is an abstract painter. Pinkston intentionally limits his compositions to a square format because the shape pleases him and it gives him a consistent foundation on which to build his work. He contrasts a painterly application of bold colors and a largely geometric composition to draw a parallel to any number of hotly contested social issues. His work is a visual metaphor for how experience, memory, and the like heap on top of one another in a fairly random fashion. Pinkston focuses closely on the physical textures created by his treatment of paint; he builds a composition in layers reminiscent of geological records. Stratum #4 was acquired through a purchase award from the Forty-Fourth Annual Juried Competition.

Eugene Martin (1938-2005)

Finally Complaining

1995

Painting

Acrylic on canvas

Eugene Martin was born in Washington D.C. in 1938 where he spent most of his life and married his wife, Suzanne Fredericq in 1988. He moved with Fredericq to Lafayette, Louisiana in 1996. Untitled, 1992 features several collaged elements. The collaged additions include a small, undated mixed media drawing from the 1960s on the right, a larger signed and dated mixed media drawing from 1983 dominates the center, covering most of a drawing from 1994, and off to the left is a photograph of Flemish Glory, an acrylic painting on canvas, that was added in 1995. These three works of art seem to disrupt the 1992 composition while still effectively interacting with it. The manner in which the individuals form a whole is akin to improvised notes in a jazz composition. Martin’s abstractions are meant to resemble images viewers can relate to, but in most cases his own personal narrative is nearly incomprehensible.

Eugene Martin (1938-2005)

Untitled

1992

Painting

Mixed media

Eugene Martin was born in Washington D.C. in 1938 where he spent most of his life and married his wife, Suzanne Fredericq in 1988. He moved with Fredericq to Lafayette, Louisiana in 1996. Untitled, 1992 features several collaged elements. The collaged additions include a small, undated mixed media drawing from the 1960s on the right, a larger signed and dated mixed media drawing from 1983 dominates the center, covering most of a drawing from 1994, and off to the left is a photograph of Flemish Glory, an acrylic painting on canvas, that was added in 1995. These three works of art seem to disrupt the 1992 composition while still effectively interacting with it. The manner in which the individuals form a whole is akin to improvised notes in a jazz composition. Martin’s abstractions are meant to resemble images viewers can relate to, but in most cases his own personal narrative is nearly incomprehensible.

John Geldersma (b. 1942)

Wall Totems

1998

Sculpture

Wood and paint

John Geldersma works primarily in wood and has produced a wide array of pieces in archetypal forms, from his hanging Shamans to mandala-like totemic sculpture termed Spirit Poles. These are inspired by primitive fetishes, various trans-historic ritualistic geometric designs, and the vibrant cultural milieu of his native southwestern Louisiana. The artist has cited his early immersion in the intersection of such divergent cultures as French, Spanish, African American, Caribbean, Anglo-Saxon, and Native American as a major influence on his art.

John Geldersma (b. 1942)

Totem

2001

Sculpture

Wood and paint

John Geldersma works primarily in wood and has produced a wide array of pieces in archetypal forms, from his hanging Shamans to mandala-like totemic sculpture termed Spirit Poles. These are inspired by primitive fetishes, various trans-historic ritualistic geometric designs, and the vibrant cultural milieu of his native southwestern Louisiana. The artist has cited his early immersion in the intersection of such divergent cultures as French, Spanish, African American, Caribbean, Anglo-Saxon, and Native American as a major influence on his art.

Jenny Ellerbe

Cypress Cabaret

2003

Landscape, Monroe, Photography

Jenny Ellerbe is a self-taught photographer whose black and white images are landscape driven and often deal with the historical or ecological importance of a site. Ellerbe’s images are meant to give a sense of the places she photographs. Her work has an enduring quality that manages to make subtle references to the passage of time. For instance, Cypress Cabaret alludes to human activities and ecological processes with its title and anthropomorphic cypress tree. The tree seems to emerge, moving forward like a mythical creature from a mysterious shroud of fog. The image speaks to the interrelatedness of human culture and nature, a relationship that is increasingly treated as mutually exclusive in society.

Jenny Ellerbe

On Bended Trees

2002

Landscape, Monroe, Photography

Jenny Ellerbe, a Monroe, Louisiana native, is a self-taught photographer that creates black and white digital archival images with a conceptual strategy to illustrate the historical importance of her surroundings. She makes work within about sixty miles of her home, often traveling on the water by kayak. Ellerbe focuses on the environments as they are and what is developing in its natural state. For instance, On Bended Trees alludes to a human action and emotion by the title and the way the trees are leaning into the water.

Bruce Davidson

Untitled, Time of Change (Two Women at Lunch Counter)

1963

Photography

Silver print

Bruce Davidson is an influential artist who has been taking photos since he was ten years old. He attended Rochester Institute of Technology and then Yale University, and later was drafted into the US Army. In 1957 he became a freelance photographer for LIFE magazine, and a year 7later, a fulltime photographer for Magnum. Davidson is well known for the photographic series The Dwarf, Brooklyn Gang, and Freedom Riders. He brings his subjects to life by becoming a part of the subculture he is documenting. In 1962, he was granted a Guggenheim fellowship to focus on the Civil Rights movement. This series, Time of Change, was done with an urgent energy and puts the viewer in uncomfortably close situations of racial dispute. The image Two Women at Lunch Counter has a subtle undertone of disgust shown on the woman’s face on the right, while the woman on the left of the image is making eye contact and confronting the tension.

Samuel Corso

Elysian Fields #21

2001

Landscape, Pastel

Oil pastel and pencil on paper

Born in 1953, Samuel Corso is a Louisiana native. He attended Louisiana State University where he received a Master of Fine Arts in 1977. In the same year he became business partners with his mentor, Paul Dufour, a long time professor at LSU. Corso is skilled in the use of charcoal, ink, paint, and glass. He depicts idealized landscapes, paying close attention to the way light interacts with color to create delicate forms. He is best known for his use of bold color and soft edges within landscapes that appear almost geometric in nature. His scenes have a utopian sensibility related to his belief that the natural world is perfect. He is also known regionally for his intricate stained glass. Examples of his fine stained glass can be found at Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Monroe, as well as throughout the state of Louisiana.

Samuel Corso

Elysian Fields #15

2000

Landscape, Pastel

Oil pastel and pencil on paper

Born in 1953, Samuel Corso is a Louisiana native. He attended Louisiana State University where he received a Master of Fine Arts in 1977. In the same year he became business partners with his mentor, Paul Dufour, a long time professor at LSU. Corso is skilled in the use of charcoal, ink, paint, and glass. He depicts idealized landscapes, paying close attention to the way light interacts with color to create delicate forms. He is best known for his use of bold color and soft edges within landscapes that appear almost geometric in nature. His scenes have a utopian sensibility related to his belief that the natural world is perfect. He is also known regionally for his intricate stained glass. Examples of his fine stained glass can be found at Jesus the Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Monroe, as well as throughout the state of Louisiana.

Clyde Connell (1901-1998)

Red Earth Series: 4/10

1990

Sculpture

Mixed media

Clyde Connell began showing her work in Shreveport in the 1960s. She made her reputation in New York in the 1980s. Connell was embraced as one of the last contemporary artists, and one of the few native-born U.S. artists, to use authentic primitive imagery to express surrealist-derived Abstract Expressionist principles. Connell had her first major one-person exhibition in 1981 at New York's influential Clocktower Gallery. Her work was also notably included in Different Drummers, a 1988 exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C.

Lynda Benglis (b.1941)

Aquanot #16: Bird and Butterfly

1980

Sculpture

Paper

Lynda Benglis, a Louisiana native, studied at Newcomb College, the Women’s College at Tulane University. She moved to New York City in 1964, and currently splits time between New York; Santa Fe; Kastelorizo, Greece; and Ahmadabad, India. Feminism and sexuality inform her abstract sculptures. She elicits this connection in her work by alluding to the human form. Subsequently her sculptures resemble body parts as well as other imagery. Bird and Butterfly is a good example of this, seemingly alluding to animals and perhaps the more visceral implications of pairing birds with insects. Bird and Butterfly was purchased by the Masur Museum and Twin City Art Foundation in 2001.

Lynda Benglis (b.1941)

Waitemata

1993

Sculpture

Glass

Lynda Benglis, a Louisiana native, studied at Newcomb College, the Women’s College at Tulane University. She moved to New York City in 1964, and currently splits time between New York; Santa Fe; Kastelorizo, Greece; and Ahmadabad, India. Feminism and sexuality inform her abstract sculptures. She elicits this connection in her work by alluding to the human form. Subsequently her sculptures resemble organs or other parts of the body. Waitemata is made from translucent blue glass and appears poised like a snake ready to strike. As the viewer moves around it, pieces of copper and other particulate matter reveal themselves beneath its shimmering surface. The sculpture’s likely namesake, Waitemata Harbor in Auckland, New Zealand, is a commercial and social nexus between Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand, and the rest of the world. Taking Benglis’ above-mentioned interest in human interactions and the sculpture’s serpentine appearance, Waitemata is a metaphor for how society conducts itself.

Julian Stanczak (1928-2017)

Conferring Blue

1979

Printmaking

Serigraph, Gift of Jayson D. Pankin

Julian Stanczak became a leading pioneer of Op Art, despite having lost the use of his right arm in a soviet concentration camp as a child. Op Art arose as a global movement in the early 1960s, influenced by the Bauhaus, a school founded in 1919 in Weimar, Germany. The school integrated the fine arts, design, and architecture into a single curriculum. Like Bauhaus artists, Stanczak was interested in the interplay between function and form. The luminous, pulsating effects of Op Art, or optical art, are created through hard-edged patterns of contrasting colors that create optical illusions in the mind. To Stanczak, Op Art is “nothing but the scrutiny of how we go about seeing – how much is sight, how much is mental interpretation.”

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)

Frankie & Johnny

1936

Lithograph, Portrait, Printmaking, WPA

Permanent Collection, Masur Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Ellen Montgomery Schnaiser

Born in Missouri, Thomas Hart Benton’s childhood was shaped by discussions of Mid-Western ideals. In 1908 he moved to Paris to study at the Academie Julien, where he was influenced by Cubism and by the distorted and elongated figures in El Greco’s paintings. He returned to the United States and soon became a central figure in the American Regionalist movement, along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry.

The image found in this lithograph comes from Benton’s mural The Social History of the State of Missouri. It depicts the legend of Frankie and Johnny, a St. Louis couple in the 1880’s. In this scene, Frankie discovers her husband Johnny with another woman and fatally shoots him. The legend is not only immortalized by Benton, but also in a folk song of the same title.

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975)

Jesse James

1936

Lithograph, Portrait, Printmaking, WPA

Permanent Collection, Masur Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. Ellen Montgomery Schnaiser

This image of Missouri’s infamous James Brothers was included in Benton’s mural entitled The Social History of the State of Missouri, which is in the state’s Capitol building. The Missouri House of Representatives commissioned the artist to create the mural on the four walls of the House Lounge, a large meeting room. This particular image depicts the brothers in two different robberies, one of the Chicago and Alton Railroad and another of a small town bank.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Planetary and Scatological Vision

1974

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Irving G. Kennedy, Jr. M.D

The Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is known for his imaginative and often disturbing dream-like images. This lithograph, along with the five in the adjoining gallery, is from the Conquest of the Cosmos II series. The French graphic arts publisher Jean Lavigne asked Dali to create a series based on a theme of the artist’s choosing. Dali always had an interest in the concept of cosmic consciousness. The works took 18 months to complete.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

The Caduceus of Mars fed by the Fireball of Jupiter

1974

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Irving G. Kennedy, Jr. M.D

The Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is known for his imaginative and often disturbing dream-like images. This lithograph, along with the five in the adjoining gallery, is from the Conquest of the Cosmos II series. The French graphic arts publisher Jean Lavigne asked Dali to create a series based on a theme of the artist’s choosing. Dali always had an interest in the concept of cosmic consciousness. The works took 18 months to complete.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

The Last Comer from the Last Planet

1974

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Irving G. Kennedy, Jr. M.

The Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is known for his imaginative and often disturbing dream-like images. This lithograph, along with the five in the adjoining gallery, is from the Conquest of the Cosmos II series. The French graphic arts publisher Jean Lavigne asked Dali to create a series based on a theme of the artist’s choosing. Dali always had an interest in the concept of cosmic consciousness. The works took 18 months to complete.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

The Unicorn Laser Disintegrates the Cosmic Rhinoceros

1974

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Irving G. Kennedy, Jr. M.D

The Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is known for his imaginative and often disturbing dream-like images. This lithograph, along with the five in the adjoining gallery, is from the Conquest of the Cosmos II series. The French graphic arts publisher Jean Lavigne asked Dali to create a series based on a theme of the artist’s choosing. Dali always had an interest in the concept of cosmic consciousness. The works took 18 months to complete.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Caballero

1968

Lithograph, Printmaking

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

The Chevalier’s Dream of Cecile

1968

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dorsky

This illustration is from the Marquis de Sade Portfolio, based on plays by the extremely controversial writer of the late 18th century. Sade was imprisoned and placed in an insane asylum for his sexually violent writings and actions.

Auguste Rodin (1840-1917)

Antonin Proust

1885

Portrait, Printmaking

Drypoint

The French artist Auguste Rodin is widely considered to be the most important sculptor of the 19th century. Though his personal life and much of his work was considered controversial, he achieved recognition and numerous commissions.

This etching is a portrait of Antonin Proust, the French Minister of Fine Arts in the early 1880’s. After being prosecuted then acquitted for involvement in a government scandal, Proust committed suicide in 1905.

Robert Motherwell (1915-1991)

Automatism A

1965-66

Lithograph, Printmaking

A member of the Abstract Expressionists, Motherwell shared the groups’ interest in spontaneous, subconscious creation. The finished artwork of an Abstract Expressionist would often convey not only the artists’ physical engagement in the work, but also a deeper connection with their inner emotions or thoughts.

Early in Motherwell’s career he was influenced by the Surrealists and their theories on automatism. Automatism is a technique that was often used by the Surrealists to probe into the unconscious. This spontaneous way of drawing would allow unconscious ideas and feelings to be expressed.

Rick Brunner (b. 1954)

Adze Head

2000

Sculpture, Wood

Cherry, wood, metal, and pigment

Rick Brunner is a sculptor in Covington, Louisiana. He and his wife Susan own Brunner Gallery in Covington. This sculpture is from Brunner’s Signifying Shields series.

Reuven Rubin (1893-1974)

Riders of the Negev

1969

Lithograph, Printmaking

Color lithograph

This Romanian-born Jewish artist had strong ties to his people and his religion. These ties were frequently reflected in his art, and he often used Bible passages as subject matter for his work. The Negev is a desert region in southern Israel that is referred to in Numbers 13:22.

Rubin served as Israel's first ambassador to Romania, from 1948-1950. He is considered one of the most famous Israeli artists, with work in collections of museums worldwide. The Rubin Museum in Tel Aviv is housed in the artist’s former home.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Femme Nue Assise (Seated Nude)

1906

Lithograph, Portrait, Printmaking

The French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir created thousands of paintings, drawings, and prints over the course of his life. One of his favorite subjects, as seen in this lithograph, was the female form. Femme Nue Assise, done in 1906, is one of Renoir’s etchings displaying a soft female nude with a barely suggested background. The female figure seems innocent and modestly has a cloth over her lap.

Philip Guston (1913-1980)

The Street

1971

Lithograph, Printmaking, WPA

During his career, Philip Guston’s work spanned from the murals he created under the Works Progress Administration, to Abstract Expressionism, to a more representative, almost cartoonish style. The lithograph seen here is typical of his later work and was created only nine years before his death. Images from this time often include shoes, clocks, light bulbs, and disembodied hands or arms.

Betty Waldo Parish (1910-1986)

The Sea City

c. 1940

Landscape, Printmaking, Woodcut, WPA

Born in Cologne, Germany, Betty Waldo Parrish was a painter and printmaker known for her detailed landscapes and cityscapes. She studied art at the Academie Julian in Paris, the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, at the Art Students League in New York under the artist John Sloan.

During the Great Depression she worked under the Works Progress Administration, a federal program that helped create work for millions of Americans, including artists. The expressive power of woodcut lines made the medium a favorite among WPA printmakers.

Parish is best known for her paintings and engravings of landscapes and cityscapes. Here, The Sea City from 1947, an intricate black and white woodcut depicts a quaint village scene near a wharf. It seems at once an accurate rendering of a seaside community, but it also has an emotional quality that speaks to the hardscrabble life the city’s inhabitants lead. Among Parish’s accomplishments are a research prize from the National Association of Women Artists and a National Arts Club Award for graphics.

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Deux Sculpteurs Devant une Statue (Two Sculptors in Front of a Statue)

1931

Etching, Portrait, Printmaking

Picasso is widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Taught to draw by his father, he showed artistic talent at an extremely early age. He continued to create work until his death at the age of 92.

This print is part of the Vollard Suite. This collection of 100 prints was named for the art dealer Ambroise Vollard, who was a key figure in their production. The subject matter for the prints is derived mostly from classical literature and mythology. In addition to the legend of the Minotaur and the tale of Pygmalion, themes in this series include the artist in his studio, as seen here, and Picasso’s preoccupation with sexual desire.

Michael Elliott-Smith (b. 1952)

Immaculate Conception

2006

Photography

Digital print

A Louisiana native, Michael Elliott-Smith lives and works in Alexandria, Louisiana. He was a Soil Scientist for the Southern Research Station of the United States Forest Service for thirty-two years. Elliott-Smith first became interested in photography while using manual film cameras to document his research. His familiarity with the medium is what allowed him to make the jump into fine art photography. Elliott-Smith uses both manual and digital cameras to produce work, though he appreciates them for different reasons. Here, Immaculate Conception, which is a dark room silver gelatin print, shows a white church that boldly contrasts with a jet black background. The low camera angle makes the church seem monumental, perhaps authoritative. At the same time the church is dwarfed by the sky which looms overhead. Immaculate Conception’s straightforward composition reveals the simple sophistication with which Elliott-Smith creates his images and interprets the world around him.

Mary Cassatt (1844-1926)

Sara Smiling

c. 1904

Portrait, Printmaking

Drypoint

Mary Cassatt was the only American to exhibit with the Impressionists. She was invited to show with the group by Edgar Degas, who would remain her close friend. Cassatt is best known for her images of women. Although she was never a mother herself, she frequently painted mothers tending to their children. This image of a child smiling exhibits Cassatt’s tender consideration of the subject.

Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

Joshua Prostrates Himself

1931-1935

Etching, Printmaking

Hand colored etching

Marc Chagall was born in the small Russian town of Vitebsk to a devout Jewish family. His hometown and his faith served as an inspiration in his work throughout his life. After completing several commissions for the art dealer Ambroise Vollard, Chagall was asked to create a series of 105 etchings based on the Bible. The first 65 of these were created between 1931 and 1939 and the rest between 1952 and 1956.

The scenes depicted are derived from twelve books of the Bible, with an emphasis on the experience of the Jews. Renowned art historian Meyer Schapiro said “if we had nothing of Chagall but his Bible, he would be for us a great modern artist.”

Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

God’s Mercy Proclaimed

1931-1935

Etching, Printmaking

Hand colored etching

Marc Chagall was born in the small Russian town of Vitebsk to a devout Jewish family. His hometown and his faith served as an inspiration in his work throughout his life. After completing several commissions for the art dealer Ambroise Vollard, Chagall was asked to create a series of 105 etchings based on the Bible. The first 65 of these were created between 1931 and 1939 and the rest between 1952 and 1956.

The scenes depicted are derived from twelve books of the Bible, with an emphasis on the experience of the Jews. Renowned art historian Meyer Schapiro said “if we had nothing of Chagall but his Bible, he would be for us a great modern artist.”

Leonard Baskin (1922-2000)

Crow

1922

Intaglio, Printmaking

Born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Leonard Baskin was committed to art at a young age. During his lifetime he studied briefly at NYU’s School of Architecture, Yale’s School of Fine Arts, and beginning in 1950 went overseas to study at Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, and Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1953. His art typically has no background and as a result is not concerned with creating a natural rendering of depth. He often created portraits of animals and humans with exaggerated features. Here, Baskin’s work features a crow gazing at a point above a viewer’s head with little affect. The crow stands on two legs so disproportionally large, it is hard to imagine it walking gracefully.

Crows are commonly associated with death. Baskin’s depiction of this crow serves as a reminder of death’s undeniable, but often abstract relationship to the living. Like much of his work, Crow seems to be a parable without a definitive message. Baskin had a life-long friendship with the poet Ted Hughes, famously married to writer Sylvia Plath, who dedicated her poem Sculptor to Baskin. Baskin illustrated Hughes’ collection of poems from 1970 entitled Crow. This literary work was inspired in part by Baskin’s numerous images of crows, such as this one. The two men motivated each other through their respective creations of literature and visual art.

Leon Golub (1922-2004)

Head

1967

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Dorsky

The American artist Leon Golub was a member of The Monster Roster, a group of Chicago based artists who studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Their images were known for being unrelated to New York art trends of the time, and were often described as existential, gruesome, and grotesque. Also included in this group was his wife, the artist Nancy Spero.

After living in France for five years, Golub and his family returned to the United States in 1964. For the next several years he created violent and expressive images based on the Vietnam War.

Ida Kohlmeyer (1912-1997)

Composite 87 -2

1987

Mixed Media, Painting

Purchased by the Twin City Art Foundation in memory of Carol Tennis

At the time of her death in 1997, Ida Kohlmeyer was widely considered Louisiana’s most renowned artist. Composite 87 -2 is a fine example of the gestural movement, vibrant color, and expressive shapes that are often found in her work. She is known for these organic shapes and symbols, which at first were structured in a grid format, then later applied in looser compositions such as this painting.

Ida Kohlmeyer (1912-1997)

Immanence

1962

Painting

Oil on masonite board

Ida Kohlmeyer received her master of fine arts degree in 1956 from Newcomb Art School at Tulane College in New Orleans, and she spent the following summer in Massachusetts studying with the artist Hans Hofmann. She also was influenced by the Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko, who became an artist in residence at Tulane in 1957.

Immanence was the first artwork purchased for the Masur Museum of Art’s permanent collection. It was a purchase award from the First Annual Juried Competition in 1964.

Georges Rouault (1871-1958)

The Virgin of the Seven Swords

1926

Etching, Printmaking

Original etching and aquatint

Rouault was born in 1871 and witnessed the tragedies of World War I. Inspired by the suffering of fellow human beings and his devout Catholicism, Rouault used his art to express the social turmoil and spiritual corruption he observed.

From the Misery volume of the series entitled Miserere et Guerre, or Misery and War, this print depicts the anguish and suffering of the Virgin Mary, with the seven swords of the title representing the seven sorrows of Mary. Widely considered to be his masterpiece, Miserere et Guerre is comprised of 58 prints.

Rouault was known as a Fauvist and later as an Expressionist painter. He was skilled in paint, printmaking, lithography, and etching. Most of his influence came from historical medieval artwork and his mentor Gustave Moreau, who he studied under at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1891 - 1898. Georges is known for his use of bold colors and strong moral beliefs that come through in his work. Here, he has a female figure’s profile displayed with her gaze upward. Her features are defined by the dense black lines shaping her contours, while the surface area of her skin is slightly gestural with a light wash of tonal value. Rouault’s work reflects humans with all of their perceived flaws and as he expressed, “As men without masks.”

George Rodrigue (1944 - 2013)

Blue Moon Over Me

1991

Painting

Oil on Canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George Moses

Louisiana native George Rodrigue painted his first Blue Dog in 1984. Created for a book of Cajun ghost stories entitled Bayou, it was his version of the loup-garou, a werewolf-like dog from an old Cajun legend. Using a photograph of his late studio dog as a model, he painted a creature with an eerie presence, slightly scruffy coat, and red eyes. Over time this image became the more abstract Blue Dog that is prevalent in the pop series he continues to produce today. The dark landscape and cypress trees found in this painting help it retain the ghostly quality of his earliest Blue Dog paintings.

Fairfield Porter (1907-1975)

Dog at the Door

1971

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Dorsky Galleries

The American realist Fairfield Porter created his representational work, largely landscapes, during the height of Abstract Expressionism. Although he was never interested in the movement, he was very close friends with, and continually inspired by, Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning. Porter was a painter, a lithographer, a poet, and an art critic for publications such as Art News. He attended Harvard, then the Art Students League in New York, where he studied under Thomas Hart Benton.

Alexander Drysdale (1870-1934)

Untitled

Early 20th c.

Landscape, Painting

Oil on board, Gift of Gay Noe McLendon

This hazy river scene including an oak tree covered with moss is a characteristic subject for an Alexander Drysdale painting. The artist moved to New Orleans in the 1880’s and frequently painted images of the local bayous or the Mississippi River. After moving to New York in 1901 to study at the Art Students League, he returned to New Orleans and opened a studio on Magazine Street. Drysdale would dilute his oil paint with kerosene, and sometimes apply it to the canvas with cotton balls to create a misty atmosphere in his landscapes.

Bruce Davidson (b. 1933)

Untitled, Time of Change, (Damn the Defiant)

1963

Photography

Silver print

Renowned photographer Bruce Davidson received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1962 to photograph the people and events of the Civil Rights Movement. As witness to some of the most heroic and important events of the 1960s, Davidson gives us a first hand account of these racially charged times. He also tenderly records the every day experience of the African American, from images of school houses to weddings.

Born in 1933, Davidson attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University. In October of 1955 his college thesis was published in LIFE Magazine, where he later worked as a freelance photographer. In 1958 he became a member of Magnum Photos and in 1966 Davidson was awarded the first grant in photography from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Clarence Millet (1897-1959)

Woodville Road

1935

Painting, WPA

Oil on canvas board

Born in Hahnville, Louisiana, Clarence Millet studied at the Art Student’s League in New York and later opened a studio in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Millet worked as an easel painter for the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression.

Claude Weisbuch (1927 - 2014)

Clown et Ecuyer (Clown and Rider)

Lithograph, Printmaking

The French artist Claude Weisbuch, born in 1927, taught engraving at the Saint-Etienne Art School in France. An enthusiast of classical music and theater, he often portrayed musicians and actors in his work. His dramatic compositions and expressive brushstrokes reveal the raw emotion of his subjects.

As is evident in this lithograph, Weisbuch’s compositions frequently have a spontaneous, sometimes unfinished look. In his own words: “I like the sketch, the [un]completed, the painting filled with mystery.”

Charles Reinike (1906-1983)

Untitled (Cabin Scene, St. Francisville, LA)

1935

Painting, Watercolor

Gift of Edward F. Dalton

New Orleans native Charles Reinike studied art in New Orleans and at the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. With his wife Vera he founded and ran the Reinike Academy of Art and an art colony in St. Francisville, Louisiana. As is seen in this watercolor, he often depicted the southern landscape and the people of south Louisiana.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

The Blood of Yin and Yang

1974

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Irving G. Kennedy, Jr. M.D.

The Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is known for his imaginative and often disturbing dream-like images. This lithograph, along with the five in the adjoining gallery, is from the Conquest of the Cosmos II series. The French graphic arts publisher Jean Lavigne asked Dali to create a series based on a theme of the artist’s choosing. Dali always had an interest in the concept of cosmic consciousness. The works took 18 months to complete.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

Saturnalian Giraffe

1974

Lithograph, Printmaking

Gift of Irving G. Kennedy, Jr. M.D.

The Surrealist artist Salvador Dali is known for his imaginative and often disturbing dream-like images. This lithograph, along with the five in the adjoining gallery, is from the Conquest of the Cosmos II series. The French graphic arts publisher Jean Lavigne asked Dali to create a series based on a theme of the artist’s choosing. Dali always had an interest in the concept of cosmic consciousness. The works took 18 months to complete.

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Upcoming Exhibitions

61st Annual Juried Competition

61st Annual Juried Competition

February 22 12:00 AM - May 4, 2024 12:00 AM

The River is the Road: Paintings by George Rodrigue

The River is the Road: Paintings by George Rodrigue

April 27 12:00 AM - October 6, 2024 12:00 AM

Angela Fraleigh: With Ready Eyes

Angela Fraleigh: With Ready Eyes

May 23 12:00 AM - August 3, 2024 12:00 AM

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