January 4, 2010

When a woman makes a statue, we don't say she sculpted it, do we?

I give a 1-minute lecture on that cowboy statue that's out in front of the Texas capitol building.

31 comments:

Albatross said...

Heh heh heh. Nice analysis. And welcome to Texas, where stereotypes fall by the wayside!

By the way, did you go inside the Capitol? Nice pile, isn't it?

Charlie Martin said...

Find me a sculpture that was "sculpted" by a man first. "This was fashioned by" is standard highfalutin' by not being highfalutin' Western talk.

pduggie said...

Bronzes are cast, right, not sculpted?

To sculpt would be to cut away clay or stone.

She did that at one point, but casting in bronze is another part of the fashioning process.

F said...

In the creation of monumental sculpture it is common to have the actual labor of creating the positive, then the mould, then the actual casting, done by workers who are more artisans than artists. Some artists do their own artisanry, but the creative aspect is the conceptualization of the monument, not it's production. This could explain the tortured wording on that plaque. F

Doctor said...

A quick Google finds 62, 500 instances of the phrase "Statue was fashioned," so even if it was Paris fashioned by a fashionable lady, it's not sexism that causes them to use that phrase.

Constance Whitney Warren was a fashionable lady--see the announcement of her marriage to Count Guy De Lasteyrie, or the picture of the two of them here in the Library of Congress's Flickr basket. The Warrens were New York economic royalists, the Lasteyrie were just royalist royalists--their family goes back to the time of Froissart.

Skyler said...

Ann, this is pathetic and is a classic "feminist" or other picked upon minority statement that I would expect from the likes of victim hustlers.

Absent any evidence that this term was used for this artist because she happened to be female then you're just making things up.

I guess you're just trying to provoke because you're smarter than this.

But then again, you fell for B. Hussein's claims that he wasn't a marxist.

EDH said...

My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium... a master!

You see, men always receive artistic attribution, whatever the medium, even for the crudest things.

former law student said...

Googling shows that macho dudes Benny Bufano and Gaston Lachaise each fashioned sculptures. So I don't think it's a chick thing after all.

A lot of those google hits refer to the basic material the sculptors used, by the way: fashioned from limestone, or an old oak tree or whatever.

AST said...

I'll bet a woman wrote the words on that plaque.

edutcher said...

They should have gotten another New Yorker to do that statue, a guy named Remington.

Only an Easterner doing her work in Paris would fashion a horse rearing on the tips of its hooves, especially with a prickly pear between its legs (at least she didn't make it a saguaro).

That's what happens when some danged Eastern she-male artist decides she knows anythin' about cowboys.

Skyler said...

ed utcher,

When did you become an expert on the motions of equines? Or sculptures?

It would seem to me, though I profess no expertise, that if a horse moves from one position to another that the hooves would at some point be required to rotate to only the tips contacting the ground. It would further seem that this would be an excellent way to give the viewer a sense of motion because clearly the horse could not remain in such a position except momentarily.

As for the cactus, I thought everyone knew that you can't cantilever a ton of metal from just two hoof tips. There are limits of the medium that require some artificiality to allow the fashioner to put the horse on hoof tips to portray the image of violent motion.

In other words, get a clue! :)

bearbee said...

re: fashioned vs sculpted, would be curious to know when the plaque wording was .....fashioned

traditionalguy said...

This reminds you of the classical view of women being the bearers of the material of life, while men act upon that material from outside to cause a form.So the man who is outside and sculpts away what he wants and leaves his mark, while the woman as an insider, only has to change forms of herself from within to be transformed into a New thing. That view really says that women are not in need of a men, while a man has nothing without a woman. So yes, it is a sexist pov because it sees Difference. Remember that in cowboy culture the need of the dominant male figure to harshly make his horse and then his cattle submit under his control is seen as THE valuable male talent.

bearbee said...

Little bit more background on the political wrangling and finally a
dedication in 1957.

traditionalguy said...

Mary...I missed that film. But whether gay or not a cowboy has a necesary pov caused by his need to succeed in keeping the upper hand over a difficult and independent minded animal called a horse.

bearbee said...

Photo of the fashioner herself.

edutcher said...

I'm a Frederic Remington buff and I can't recall him ever portraying horse in that fashion - and few artists studied horses like Remington. If you view his work (or even look at the title sequence of The Lone Ranger), the horse leans back on his hindquarters and stands flat-footed (hooved?) when he rears. When he gallops, the hooves (front or rear) pull forward and, possibly, may be in that position for an instant until the the other hooves hit the ground, but a rearing horse would probably fall forward. The same could be said of a running man, he never ends up on tiptoes - the closest he gets is the balls of his feet. Not being an expert in equine anatomy, I'm not sure, but I imagine a horse's ankle pivots much the same as ours.

As for the cactus, there are better ways to show the same motion, witness Remington's cowboy on West River Drive in Philadelphia or his sculpture, The Rattler, if, in fact, the cactus offers any support at all - it didn't appear to me that it did.

I take it you're being argumentative just for something to do.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

tradtionalguy said...

...But whether gay or not a cowboy...

For the last time, ( okay, probably not ) how many head of cattle were in these guy's herd? Zero. They were herding sheep.

Gay Cowboys = Controversial.
Gay Shepherds = What did you expect?

former law student said...

few artists studied horses like Remington

From the links, Constance Whitney Warren was one of them, an avid rider who "filled notebooks with sketches of horses" as a girl.

bearbee said...

Maybe the horse when coming down and making contact of cactus to genitalia, Jackson-like, sprung to its tippy toes to avoid further contact.

Was the fashioner making a subconscious statement about her attitude of men, marriage and sex?

Oligonicella said...

The horse is springing. It's either just reached apogee or just after. You can tell by the rear leg extension. As a horse can easily achieve air, it can easily come to a point of appearing to stand on it hoof tips.

The cactus lends support. The last pic in the series is pretty clear with that.

Remington did better horses, but that's my preference.

traditionalguy said...

Texas is a state of mind where cow culture has gone wild with oil wealth and a central location among the USA for distribution. The educational system is very good and has spent that oil money well. If you have not had the pleasur, than rent the movie Giant for a well told story of Texas with Giant Stars playing the leading roles: Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean, and Rock Hudson. They don't make movies like that anymore.

William said...

Much as a man paints with his penis, a woman fashions with her vagina. This is a hypermasculine subect, but, as you note, the artist lends a feminist touch with the subliminal threat of testicular discmfort The leaves on the cactus bush have an oval shape. It is not the cowboy who is in charge of the action, but the cactus with its oval shaped leaves. One can see what the artist was getting at and what Althouse was drawn to. Ride 'em cowboy.

ricpic said...

Greatest western equestrian statue I've ever seen is End Of The Trail which I think, not sure, may be by Remington. But I guess a dejected injun on a horse is not what Texas's founding fathers had in mind for their state house.

Warren spent her last 18 years in an insane asylum, which is neither here nor there, but there is something overwrought about her sculpture.

bearbee said...

Cowboy art

edutcher said...

Oligonicella said...

The horse is springing. It's either just reached apogee or just after. You can tell by the rear leg extension. As a horse can easily achieve air, it can easily come to a point of appearing to stand on it hoof tips.

The cactus lends support. The last pic in the series is pretty clear with that.

Remington did better horses, but that's my preference.


I only looked at the statue as Ann showed it in the video, and it didn't appear so to me (no, I didn't replay it).

So we're looking at an optical illusion, technically speaking. If in real life, the horse would be off the ground a la Muybridge. This would be more in line with a horse taking the jumps. Although, having seen the Lippizzaners (sp?), I can see the same situation.

fls, that may be true, but I still say Remington (or Russell or Schreyvogel, etc.) never would have done it that way - his style was to paint/sculpt it as it was.

former law student said...

I can't prove she died in an insane asylum, but she was married to a French guy, Guy de Lasteyrie, from 1912 till they divorced in 1920. De Lasteyrie was apparently a descendant of Lafayette. The count remarried, to a Sophie Julie Schneider, in 1923, and died in 1944 at the age of 64.

I doubt Warren spent the last 18 years of her life in an insane asylum, because she donated the statue to Texas in 1924, and passed away in New York in 1939, at the age of 50. I'm pretty sure no one lets asylum inmates donate anything, so some fact checking is required.

An identical statue was given to the state of Oklahoma in 1929. The WPA guide to OK states there's a third copy which was given to Colorado.

I'm sure crackmc would agree that marriage to a French person could drive one crazy.

As a young woman, Warren once walked 28 miles in one day, and was able to go dancing after she got back. She also was an expert distance swimmer.

ricpic said...

If the horse was all hooves off the ground ala Muybridge the sculptress could have still balanced the piece by supported his left testicle on a cactus thorn oy OY OY.

Skyler said...

ed utcher wrote: The same could be said of a running man, he never ends up on tiptoes - the closest he gets is the balls of his feet.

This is a singularly ignorant thing to say.

It kind of reminds me of the ancient Greek philosopher who posited that motion is impossible because in order to be able to cross a threshold, one must first go half that distance, and then half the remaining distance, and then half the remaining distance, and so on ad infinitum. (Can you use Latin phrases when talking about Greeks?) Thus, motion is impossible. It makes no sense.

Your statement is likewise nonsense. In order to go from flat hoofed to having the hoof behind the horse and moving forward again, it has to rotate. Part of that rotation necessarily involves a rotation onto the tip of the hoof. There might be some contortion where this doesn't happen, but to say it's impossible is bordering on the inability to perceive reality and conclude properly how it exists -- in other words, insane.

Since I don't think you're insane, I think you're probably just not thinking very clearly.

Meade said...

Ha ha -- feminist fashion horse hoof humor -- Althouse keeps us on our toes!

And yes, I do mean toes.

Plumb Family In Turkey said...

Go give a listen to the great punk tune "(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures" by The Rezillos for the answer.