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Ben Casey V

Idelle Weber

Contemporary Art

On View:
In the late 1950s and early 1960s Idelle Weber began adapting the style of eighteenth-century silhouette portraiture to the Pop idiom. All of the artist’s works included here feature this approach, which imbues her subjects with an anonymous, everyman character. Subjects like Ben Casey, the doctor-hero of a melodramatic 1960s television series, become flat representations of cultural stereotypes; for Weber, the literal flatness of the figures is analogous to the superficial renderings of pop culture characters. In other examples, Weber depicts the quotidian—people on an escalator or skipping rope—with a cold precision. In Munchkins I, II & III, Weber portrays nondescript businessmen in New York’s PanAm (now MetLife) building, one of the world’s largest office buildings at the time, in the middle of the drudgery of their daily commute.
MEDIUM Acrylic on canvas
DATES 1962
DIMENSIONS 60 7/8 × 50 7/8 in. (154.6 × 129.2 cm) frame: 61 × 51 × 1 1/2 in. (154.9 × 129.5 × 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Inscribed verso on canvas over top stretcher: " 50" x 60" 1962 ... IDELLE WEBER ...Ben Casey V - 1962 ..."
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Idelle Weber (American, 1932– 2020). Ben Casey V, 1962. Acrylic on canvas, 60 7/8 × 50 7/8 in. (154.6 × 129.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 79.135.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 79.135.1_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 79.135.1_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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Idelle Weber (American, 1932– 2020). <em>Ben Casey V</em>, 1962. Acrylic on canvas, 60 7/8 × 50 7/8 in. (154.6 × 129.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 79.135.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 79.135.1_bw.jpg)