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Friday, February 19, 2010

Snow Dance

I don't think anyone in the Washington, D.C. area will be doing a snow dance anytime soon, but here is a photograph I discovered while searching SIRIS for images of snow. This photograph is of a marble relief sculpture by Chester Beach (1881-1956) titled Snow Dance. The photograph is from the American Sculpture Photograph Study Collection in the Photograph Archives at the American Art Museum.

The sculpture is mentioned in the Art Notes section of the New York Times on January 31, 1914:

"At the Macbeth Galleries Chester Beach is holding an exhibition of his sculpture in which are pieces of quite extraordinary beauty. One is a relief called the "Snow Dance," a couple of draped figures, turning in a dance that suggests wreaths of snow caught and swirled by the wind. The conception is delicately fanciful, but the figures are so full of life and the composition shows so vivid a sense of style that the touch of symbolism counts for little except to prove to the unimaginative how artists think in terms of movement and color, and swirling snow may be dancing maidens, or circling birds, or curling wave-crests, or anything that answers in the mind to that call of the moving line." View the full article.

Personally, I've seen enough swirling snow this winter, haven't you?

-Nicole Semenchuk, Research and Scholars Center, Smithsonian American Art Museum