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Artists in Wood

DATES July 15, 1943 through September 6, 1943
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa , Asian Art
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  • July 15, 1943: On Friday, July 16, the Brooklyn Museum will open to the public its major summer exhibition entitled “Artists in Wood”. This show will consist of fine examples from the Museum’s permanent collections and will be installed in the Special Exhibitions Gallery where it will remain on view through Monday, September 6.

    The material will demonstrate the use of wood in art, both utilitarian and esthetic, from earliest times to the present and will reveal contrasts in the skillful handling of this medium around the world. Important wood-carving gathered from the Americas, the Orient, Africa, the Pacific Islands -- almost every country in the world -- will be exhibited.

    Theatrical material and musical instruments will include: masks, from Japan, Java, Africa, Northwest Coast American Indians and Mexico; puppets from Java; musical instruments from China, Japan, Malaysia, Africa and the Amazon.

    Household furnishings and utensils will comprise a door, stools, headrests, food bowls, boxes, cups, etc. from American Indian tribes, Oceania, the Ainu, Africa, the Amazon and Peru.

    Implements of peace and war are represented by blocks for printing from India and Japan; paddles from Polynesia; spears, clubs and shields from Africa and Oceania; sword fittings from Japan.

    African combs, Japanese toggles, Oriental shoes, Ainu mustache lifters, pipes, etc. will constitute some of the costume accessories.

    In the ceremonial and religious groups are American Indian masks, rattles and figures of gods; African and Oceanic fetishes, ancestor figures and masks; religious carvings from Burma and Japan, also figures of saints from Colonial Latin America.

    Among the contemporary American Sculpture is an important historical example by William Rush, our first sculptor. Works by Chaim Gross, Wallace Rosenbauer and Phildias Alexandre, Mexican contemporary, will also be exhibited. In this group of decorative sculpture will be Japanese and African examples.

    The work of the skilled wood-carvers of four thousand years ago, who fashioned household objects for the rich and the great in Egypt, will be the earliest pieces shown. Examples of fine work-manship from the Pyramid Age and later include details of furniture, which are masterpieces, not only of carving but of joining; wooden “pillows”, much like the modern Japanese head-rests, which supported the neck of the sleeper, and charming boxes and trays made to hold cosmetics and other accessories of the toilet.

    Among other Egyptian objects to be shown are a model of a Nile-boat with a crew of six oarsmen, dating from about 2000 B.C., wooden figurines and a carved wooden mask from a coffin of about the same period.

    (NOTE: PRESS PREVIEW will be Monday, July 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 4-6/1943, 093-4. View Original 1 . View Original 2
  • Date unknown, approximately 1943: “Artists in Wood”, an exhibition of wood carving, will open in the Brooklyn Museum on Friday, July 16 and will remain on view through Monday, September 6. Installed in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, this will be the major summer show and will consist of fine examples from the Museum’s permanent collections.

    Demonstrating the use of wood in art, both utilitarian and esthetic, the material will emphasize contrasts in the skillful handling of this medium around the world, from earliest times to the present.

    Implements of peace and war, household utensils, religious and ceremonial objects, personal ornaments, theatrical masks and puppets, musical instruments and decorative sculpture will constitute some of the important wood carving gathered from almost every country in the world. Beyond this there will be examples of wood sculpture of purely esthetic type and at least a suggestion of the importance of wood in major constructions.

    (NOTE: Press Preview, Monday July 12, from 10:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m.)

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 4-6/1943, 091. View Original