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"Ode to a Soapstone Monkey" Cabinet-on-Stand

Decorative Arts

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
MEDIUM SURREL (TM) solid surfacing material, Colorcore (TM), metal, porcelain, fluorescent bulb
DATES 1988
DIMENSIONS Overall: 69 7/8 x 31 1/2 x 30 in. (177.5 x 80 x 76.2 cm) Cabinet only (excluding attachments): 16 x 16 x 16 in. (40.6 x 40.6 x 40.6 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
CREDIT LINE Gift of Formica Corporation
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CAPTION Peter Shire (American, born 1947). "Ode to a Soapstone Monkey" Cabinet-on-Stand, 1988. SURREL (TM) solid surfacing material, Colorcore (TM), metal, porcelain, fluorescent bulb, Overall: 69 7/8 x 31 1/2 x 30 in. (177.5 x 80 x 76.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Formica Corporation, 1991.6.1a-d. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE detail, open, 1991.6.1a-d_detail2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2004
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Whimsical piece consisting of (a) cabinet, (b) interior sculpture, (c) orange appendage, (d) flag; made of SURREL, Colorcore, metal, porcelain, and fluorescent lightbulb. White SURREL cubical cabinet raised on four metal legs (a). Exterior of cabinet: top and all four sides decorated with grooved lines running across surface at different angles, and a few applied Colorcore decorations in different geometric shapes (circles, rectangles, fans) and colors (red, black, purple, green, yellow). Top of cabinet: rising up antenna-like from front right is a thin chromed-metal tube supporting a rectangular frame with rounded corners; a plastic (?) American flag (d) in faded colors slides into this frame. Front of cabinet: has two equally sized doors hinged at sides, with no handles. Proper right side: attached at upper back, a pink SURREL shelf in shape of a scallop-edged semicircle with pink disk bracket underneath; shelf supports removable "orange appendage" (c) consisting of realistic orange atop two thick white disks, supported by a gray SURREL pedestal of a flat square atop cube. Back of cabinet: attached in upper left, small rectangular cabinet (about 3 ½ x 6 ½ x 2 ½") of white and pink SURREL with two hinged white doors; small cabinet contains bronze (?) statue of three seated monkeys making different gestures, from left to right, covering ears, covering eyes, covering mouth ("hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil"). Interior of main cabinet: undecorated walls; contains removable "interior sculpture" (b) consisting of bronze monkeys statue ("hear no evil … ," identical to one in small back cabinet) atop a 6" high pedestal of two stepped pink SURREL rectangular bricks; a fluorescent lightbulb sits inside this pedestal, its white cord extends out through bottom of cabinet. Four legs: all legs bolted to underside of cabinet and are described from top to bottom. Proper right front leg: large flat, gold-colored metal disk, tubular shaft, foot in form of Japanese sandal or clog (rectangular base raised on two upright rectangles) made of pink SURREL with purple velvet straps. Proper left front leg: copper-colored metal tubular shaft, foot of stack of SURREL pieces in different sizes, shapes (mostly rectangles and triangles), and colors (pink, white, gray, and light blue). Proper right back leg: silver-colored, thick metal tube in serpentine shape, foot of four stacked SURREL triangles (white, light blue, and gray) that increase in size toward floor. Proper left back leg: silver-colored tubular shaft, foot of large flat gold-colored metal triangle; a realistic apple sits atop this triangle.
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