Skip Navigation

Jonah and the Whale: Rebirth Motif

John B. Flannagan

American Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries, 5th Floor
Often there is an occult attraction in the very shape of a rock as sheer abstract form. It fascinates with a queer atavistic nostalgia, as either a remote memory or a stirring impulse from the depth of the unconscious.

My aim is to produce a sculpture feeling as direct and swift as drawing, a sculpture with such ease, freedom and simplicity that it hardly feels carved, but rather to have always been there. . . .

—John Flannagan
MEDIUM Bluestone with wood base
DATES 1937
DIMENSIONS 30 1/4 x 11 x 2 1/4 in. (76.8 x 27.9 x 5.7 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Unsigned
COLLECTIONS American Art
ACCESSION NUMBER 1992.11.12
CREDIT LINE Bequest of Edith and Milton Lowenthal
RIGHTS STATEMENT Orphaned work
After diligent research, the Museum is unable to locate contact information for the artist or artist's estate, or there are no known living heirs.

Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION John B. Flannagan (American, 1895-1942). Jonah and the Whale: Rebirth Motif, 1937. Bluestone with wood base, 30 1/4 x 11 x 2 1/4 in. (76.8 x 27.9 x 5.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Edith and Milton Lowenthal, 1992.11.12
IMAGE overall, 1992.11.12_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"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 Statue of flattened, upright whale (face down, tail up) with contorted figure of bearded man in its stomach carved in relief on both sides; statue attached to rough wood block base. Condition: Good.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (83%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.