Tag Archives: 1948

Modern Art Monday Presents: The Wedding By Jacob Lawrence

the wedding by jacob lawrence photo by gail worley
Photo By Gail

Jacob Lawrence (19172000) once wrote, “For me, the most important function of art is observation.” He was inspired by and created works based on his own experiences of everyday life in Harlem and the history of African Americans the United States. In  The Wedding (1948), Lawrence simultaneously depicted the solemnity and the joy of the marriage ceremony. Although the preacher’s face is only partially defined, he appears to look down with great seriousness at the couple as they contemplate their vows. The large, colorful urns overflowing with brilliant flowers signify the prosperity of this union

Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Edward Hopper, Seven A.M.

Edward Hopper Seven A.M.
Photo By Gail

Edward Hopper’s Seven A.M. (1948) depicts an anonymous storefront cast in the oblique, eerie shadows and cool light of early morning. The store’s shelves stand empty, and the few odd products displayed in the window provide no evidence of the store’s function. A clock on the wall confirms the time given in the title, and indeed the painting seems to depict a specific moment and place. Yet a series of Hopper’s preparatory sketches reveal that he experimented with significant compositional variations, depicting a figure in the second story window. He even considered setting the painting at another time of day. His wife, Josephine Hopper, a respected artist herself, described the store as a “blind pig” — a front for some illicit operation, perhaps alluding to the painting’s forbidding overtones.

Hopper 7 AM Study
Study for 7 A.M.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in Manhattan.

Edward Hopper Seven A.M.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Kurt Seligmann, Magnetic Mountain

Magnetic Mountain
Photo By Gail

After Kurt Seligmann (19001962) settled in Paris, his sinister, biomorphic compositions gained the attention of Andre Breton, who invited him to join the Surrealist group in 1937. With the outbreak of World War II, Seligmann became the first Surrealist to arrive in New York, and he was instrumental in the emigration of most of the movement’s leading figures. Transformed by contact with new cultures, Seligmann’s work continued to evolve, and as the Surrealist’s acknowledged expert on magic, he infused his paintings with mythology and esotericism. Indeed, the year he made this work, Magnetic Mountain (1948) he published The Mirror of Magic, a history of the occult. The winding forms and mystical quality of this canvas would influence a new generation of American artists, including his student, Robert Motherswell.

Photographed in the Art Institute Chicago

Eye On Design: Vintage Toys By Wham-O

Wham-o Toys Display
All Photos By Gail

Childhood friends Arthur Melin and Richard Knerr formed Wham-O in their Pasadena garage in 1948. They championed outdoor fun that demanded children’s energy  — throwing, catching, hip-swinging, sliding — and ample space.

Slip 'N Slide

Wham-O jumped from fad to fad: Frisbees, Hula Hoops, Superballs, Slip ‘n Slides, Silly String and Hacky Sacks are just a few of Wham-O’s inventions.

Hula Hoops and Frisbee

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Play! at the Autry Museum of the American West in Los Angeles.

Eye On Design: Eames Chaise Lounge

Eames Chaise Lounge
Photos By Gail

This Chaise Lounge (prototype 1948) by husband wife design team Charles and Ray Eames was inspired by Gaston Lachaise’s 1927 sculpture Reclining Nude, and nicknamed “Lachaise,” after the artist. It did not receive a prize in MOMA’s International Competition for Low-Cost Furniture Design because it was considered to specialized in us and too expensive to manufacture. However, it was highlighted by the judges, who admired its striking, good-looking and inventive molded construction.

Eames Chaise Lounge

La Chaise finally went into production in 1990, and is now one of the Eames‘ signature works.

Photographed in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.