Thursday, June 22, 2017

From the Publications Office: Art of the Press Check

Spreads from "Black Belt Color: Photographs by Jerry Siegel" at press check with Friesens, Canada.

In an ever more digital age, fewer and fewer people understand the printing process and how, exactly, it works. Press checks — where a representative from a publisher tweaks and approves every page in a book coming off a printing press — are less common than they used to be, but for color-critical publications (like exhibition catalogues) they can make a big difference. I traveled all the way up to Altona, Manitoba, Canada, recently to do a press check at Friesens, a printer that the museum has used for years. Friesens prints a lot of art books, but the Georgia Museum of Art’s latest publication, “Black Belt Color: Photographs by Jerry Siegel,” needed some special care.


Most people don’t realize that, even when you get proofs from a printer, those pages aren’t always produced on the same machine that will print the final job. Soft proofing, or proofing on a computer screen only, isn’t recommended for color-critical publications. “Wet proofs,” which do come off the actual press, are less common and much more expensive. Even then, printing is as much an art as a science. Friesens has a color profile that graphic designers apply both to individual images and to the final files for a book, which, in theory, tells the computers that run the press exactly how to match the intended color. But specific papers, even white ones, can have a slightly different tone—one that’s a little more blue or more red—and those tiny differences can affect the final result. The Epson proofs that the publisher typically receives to check color try to match the effects of paper tone, but they’re run on what is essentially a big, fancy inkjet printer.

The big four-color press, on the other hand, stretches the length of a room, with, in the simplest cases, one plate each for cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink (watch this one-minute video to see how it works). Together, those four colors can produce a big section of the visible spectrum, but they can’t capture everything, and sometimes tinkering is necessary on press to match the Epson proofs to the client’s satisfaction.


It’s more complicated than just getting a single image right, though. Books are printed in signatures, or chunks of pages divisible by four, and “Black Belt Color: Photographs by Jerry Siegel” was printed in 16-page signatures, meaning usually groups of 16 images at a time. The larger the signature, the more financially efficient a book can be to print because it means fewer sheets run through the press.

Cyan, magenta, yellow and black can be tweaked from levels of 0 to 100 in columns that run the vertical length of the large sheet of paper. At the same time, too much ink on the page will look muddy, not accurate and it won’t dry, either. If one image out of 16 has sections that seem to have too much red, you can’t just reduce the magenta for the entire press sheet, or other images may be negatively affected. Getting every image on the sheet to reproduce as accurately as possible can require creative thinking as well as a good eye for color and a knowledge of how the process works.

Hillary Brown
Director of Communications

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Avocation to Vocation: Prints by F. Townsend Morgan

F. Townsend Morgan, Untitled (harbor scene), n.d., etching on paper
The exhibition “Avocation to Vocation: Prints by F. Townsend Morgan,” curated by independent scholar Stephen Goldfarb, begins this Saturday, June 17, and will be on view through Sunday, September 10. The exhibition highlights the work of F. Townsend Morgan, who created many prints of the places he lived in and the objects around him. Forty prints of sailboats, architecture and natural beauty will be on display.

Morgan F. Townsend and family in Key West, Florida. ca 1940.
Image: State Archives of Florida
F. Townsend Morgan grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and studied at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League. The title of the exhibition comes from a writing of Morgan’s, who wrote that he pursued art as an avocation—or hobby— which eventually turned into employment. He developed his style while living in Pennsylvania with Joseph Pennell, a fellow artist and friend of famed artist James McNeill Whistler. After the Great Depression, Morgan focused on perfecting his craft and turning it into a career to support his family. He found work in New Deal art programs for several years; Morgan moved to Key West through a Federal Relief Agency and worked as director of the Key West Community Art Center in 1941. Morgan eventually moved to Annapolis, Maryland, and received the post of artist-in-residence at St. John’s College from 1948 through 1950.

Morgan’s prints focused on the architecture and nature of the many places he lived and visited including Maryland, Orlando, and Louisville. He especially enjoyed making prints of sailboats, which particularly caught the eye of Goldfarb, who said, “Morgan’s boats are in a tradition that, at least to my eye, goes back to Turner by way of Joseph Pennell and Whistler. I particularly like the dark ships against the water and atmosphere, which is rendered with very little ink, so the original color of the paper shows through. A sort of ‘less-is-more’ aesthetic.”

F. Townsend Morgan, "Covered Bridge," n.d., etching on cream paper

Morgan achieved many accomplishments in his life; he was chosen to make the stamp for the tercentenary celebration of Annapolis and he won several awards for his prints. His works can be seen today in collections at the New York Public Library, the Library of Congress and the Treasury Department of the United States. He had several exhibitions during his life, but “Avocation to Vocation: Prints by F. Townsend Morgan” is the first exhibition to focus entirely on his work since his death. Goldfarb hopes that this exhibition teaches visitors that many artists of the past deserve to be remembered and that they are a part of history. Goldfarb said, “Many of the artists that I am interested in did not join the movement to abstraction and other modernist movements after World War II and for that reason have been, like Morgan, all but forgotten by art historians, as well as the collecting public. Exhibitions like this one could reverse that trend.”

Programs related to the exhibition of Morgan’s work include a film series focusing on Key West (“Reap the Wild Wind,” “Key Largo” and “Matinee”), starting June 22; 90 Carlton: Summer, the museum’s quarterly reception (free for members of the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art, $5 for nonmembers) on July 28 at 5:30 p.m.; and public tours on August 23 at 2 p.m. and September 10 at 3 p.m. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated.

Stephanie Motter
Communications Intern

Thursday, June 08, 2017

Modern Living: Giò Ponti and the 20th-Century Aesthetics of Design

“Modern Living: Giò Ponti and the 20th-Century Aesthetics of Design” opens this Saturday, June 10, and will be on view through Sunday, September 17th. The exhibition focuses on furniture and decorative objects by Giò Ponti, an Italian designer and architect, whose iconic career spanned almost 60 years. The Georgia Museum of Art has also published an accompanying full-color catalogue written by curator Perri Lee Roberts, available now at the Museum Shop.

Giò Ponti, chest of drawers, ca. 1955
Ponti’s work combines traditional and modern techniques and materials, a rarity in Italian design at the time. He promoted new concepts of modern living and influenced the public’s ideals on design by exposing them to works from the United States and Europe as well as his own works. Ponti aimed to modernize the Italian manufacturing process and promote the artistic design of industrial products. This artistic design can be found in a plethora of Ponti’s creations, from ceramics, to glassware, and even a coffee pot he designed.

Giò Ponti and Piero Fornasetti, Madrepore table and four armchairs, ca. 1950
Ponti’s attention to detail and design can be seen in his and Piero Fornasetti’s design  known as the Madrepore dining suite. The “dining suite” consists of four beautifully crafted chairs and a large, bowl-shaped table. The entire set is a captivating robin egg blue; the table is made of a lithograph transfer-print and lacquered wood, brass, glass and silk. The lithograph print is of stony coral (madrepore in Italian) and covers the top, sides and legs of the table. The top of the table mimics a tide pool with its concave base covered by a piece of glass, as if while sitting at the table, you were given a secret glimpse of a tide pool full of the fauna of the ocean. This attention to detail is what makes Ponti’s work so intriguing and influential.

Exhibition catalogue available
now at the Museum Shop.
“The most resistant element is not wood, is not stone, is not steel, is not glass. The most resistant element in building is art. Let’s make something very beautiful.”

Ponti’s influence is still prevalent today. In Milan, his Pirelli skyscraper stands tall among classical and modern structures. His Via Dezza chair, created for his own home, is still produced by Molteni & C, an Italian furniture company. Retailers are mass-producing silverware sets with his design. The combination of art and design is what makes Ponti’s works so relevant. Ponti said, “The most resistant element is not wood, is not stone, is not steel, is not glass. The most resistant element in building is art. Let’s make something very beautiful.” Ponti’s works are timeless and elegant, sleek and practical; they combine the beauty of art with the stability of architecture and furniture. It’s no wonder Giò Ponti is known as the father of modern Italian design.

Stephanie Motter
Communications Intern

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Staff Spotlight: Ed Tant Retires After Seventeen Years

Walk into the Georgia Museum of Art any day and you will see a security guard with long, white hair. This man, Ed Tant, is well known by visitors and staff alike for his wry humor and dedication to his job. He has become almost a permanent fixture at the museum, so many people are surprised to hear of his upcoming retirement. We are extremely thankful for his time here and will miss him greatly. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Ed before he retires on Thursday, June 22! We met with Ed to discuss his time here and hear what advice he had to share.

Ed in the Byrnece Purcell Knox Swanson Gallery.
Clockwise from top, the works behind him are by Ben Shahn,
Paul Cadmus and Jacob Lawrence. Image: Stephanie Motter
How many years have you been working here?

Almost 17. I started in August 2000.

What did you do before you joined the museum?

I worked for eight years at Book Peddlers [a bookstore located here in Athens].

What have you learned after being a security guard at a museum? 

I’ve learned that my job is to protect art from art lovers. Most people don’t mean any harm, but they forget how sensitive art is and get too close or touch the works.

How is working security at a museum different than other places? 

If you work museum security it’s easier, other places have to deal with other problems like shoplifting. I like the peace and quiet of the museum, it’s calming.

What is your favorite memory from the museum? 

The kids on Family Day are fun to see enjoying the museum, and I enjoy meeting the artists. I’ve been in Athens since 1972, and I visited the museum back then. It’s been interesting to see the change of location and extension of the museum. I miss the north campus location, but I like that this museum is bigger and shows off more works of art.

What is a normal day like at the museum?

There is no normal day; expect the unexpected, predict the unpredictable. Some days you think it will be slower than others and then, out of nowhere, a bus full of people will pull up to the museum.

Security staff photo. Ed Tant (front, center right) is retiring
after 17 years at  the museum. Image: Michael Lachowski

Has working in a museum given you a greater appreciation for art?

I’ve always appreciated and been interested in art. I enjoy listening to the tours and learning more about the works; learning things you may not see at first glance.

What’s something you want people to know about security guards? 

We are here to protect the art. We really don’t want people to touch works because we want works that have survived hundred of years to be enjoyed by people for another hundred years. I believe everybody should work in museum security at some point in their lives; to walk a mile in our shoes. 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen while working here? 

Art never quits; when you think you’ve seen it all, something new comes up. It’s also cool to see people come in uninterested but then find something they like. We’ve got something for everybody.

What do you plan on doing after retiring?

I don’t have much planned. I’ve never missed a day of work in 25 years, so I’ll enjoy relaxing for a change. I do plan on coming back and visiting the museum, but only as a guest.

What’s the biggest misconception about your job?

People think security guards are mean; people disparage security guards. We are trying to protect the art and preserve it for future generations. Security guards are more important than people think; a security guard discovered Watergate [a major political scandal during the Nixon era]. We really enjoy what we do.

What advice do you have for museum visitors? 

Do not touch the works or stand so close, and take time to enjoy the museum.




Interview by Stephanie Motter, Communications Intern


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Highlights from the Permanent Collection: “White House — Summer” by Maurice Prendergast

As summer comes upon us, we highlight “White House  — Summer” by Maurice Brazil Prendergast. Born in Canada and raised in Boston, Prendergast was greatly influenced as an artist by French Impressionism, Paul Cézanne, the decorative patterns of the French post-Impressionist Nabis and Fauvism. Prendergast studied at the Académie Julian and at the Académie Colarossi in Paris during the early 1890s. In 1898, he traveled to Italy, visiting Siena, Florence, Rome, Capri, and Venice. In 1908, he participated in the exhibition of the Eight at Macbeth Gallery in New York — a display of eight “independent” artists organized by Robert Henri following his dismissal from the National Academy of Design. Prendergast served on the organizing committee of the Armory Show of 1913, and seven of his paintings appeared in the exhibition, which introduced Futurism, Fauvism, and Cubism to a mass U.S. audience. Prendergast’s works are in the collections of many major institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Maurice Prendergast, White House – Summer, ca. 1910–13
Like many of Prendergast’s large oil paintings and watercolors dating after 1910, “White House — Summer” depicts leisure in a modern and idyllic New England landscape populated by young women. In the immediate foreground, two females adorned in green and yellow converse with each other while a third woman, in pink, reads while strolling. Prendergast communicates the vibrancy of the day and the lush vegetation of midsummer through rich, broad brushstrokes in various shades of green. Billowy pink and white clouds fill the azure sky. In “White House — Summer,” Prendergast juxtaposes “old” New England with the industrialization of the region by visually linking a vertical cypress with a factory smokestack in the distance.

Artist and critic Walter Pach, Prendergast’s friend and a supporter of American modernism, published a tribute to the artist in 1922: “When he comes nearest to creating a new world in his joyous fancy of a summer all of light — clear and radiant. His picture is real for us and consonant with our experience: a thing in harmony with the law that we are conscious of in all art, even though we are never able to formulate it.”

Adapted from “One Hundred American Paintings” by Paul Manoguerra

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Martin Johnson Heade and Cherokee Roses

Beginning June 3, the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia will present the exhibition “The Genius of Martin Johnson Heade,” organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Although the exhibition includes landscapes, seascapes and Heade’s trademark paintings of tropical birds and flowers, it does not include any of his Cherokee Rose images. The Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata) is the state flower of Georgia.

To remedy this situation, Mrs. Deen Day Sanders, a noted art collector, gardener, philanthropist and Georgian, has agreed to lend Heade’s painting of two Cherokee Roses to the museum, along with four other works by Heade. Mrs. Sanders’ paintings will make up a small supplementary exhibition, on view the same dates as “The Genius of Martin Johnson Heade.”

Martin Johnson Heade, Cherokee Roses, n.d.
Nearly forgotten for the first part of the 20th century, Heade’s paintings were rediscovered around World War II and Heade is now recognized as one of the most important American painters of the 19th century. His works are in the collections of many major museums, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which has the largest public collection of Heade’s paintings.

Botanical illustration of the 
Cherokee Rose engraved by 
Pierre Joseph Redouté (1759–1840).
Image: New York Public 
Library Digital Collections 
Heade devoted equal time to landscape, marine and still-life subjects, but is best known for his studies of tropical birds and flowers. He began painting still lifes of flowers native to the southeastern United States when he moved to Florida, in 1884. Heade’s paintings of magnolias (two of which are included in the MFA Boston’s exhibition) date from the same era.

T.E. Stebbins, author of the catalogue raisonné on Heade, writes, “These paintings of Cherokee Roses . . . have a lushness and an aggressive confidence that far surpass [Heade’s] accomplishment in landscape during the same years and are more successful than those of northern roses in the same setting.”

Mrs. Sanders will also lend Heade’s paintings “Apple Blossoms,” “The Meadow,” “Still Life with Glass of Roses” and “A Red Rose” from her collection.

Sarah Kate Gillespie, the museum’s curator of American art, said, “The loan of these important works from Mrs. Sanders beautifully augments the pieces in the MFA Boston’s exhibition, as they feature Heade’s other well-known floral subjects: the rose and the apple blossom. The rose in particular was a significant subject for Heade, as he painted both the red rose and the Cherokee Rose more than any other American artist in the 19th century, and we are thrilled to be able to share these works, as well as the meticulously rendered landscape, with our visitors.”

Hillary Brown
Director of Communications

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New Acquisitions: "Minnehaha" by Edmonia Lewis

Edmonia Lewis, Minnehaha, 1868
The museum recently purchased a significant 19th-century neoclassical work with funds from the Collectors of the Georgia Museum of Art. “Minnehaha” is a petite marble sculptural bust carved by artist Mary Edmonia Lewis (1844–1907). Born in Greenbush, New York, Lewis was an artist of mixed African American and Chippewa (Ojibwe) ancestry who was among the few female artists to have worked actively in Rome, Italy. Prior, she studied at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and then moved to Boston. She gained a following there creating busts of prominent anti-slavery activists. Lewis also often portrayed American Indian subjects.

In Rome, Lewis produced several commissioned busts of prominent abolitionists and biblical and mythical figures. She was also known for her American Indian subjects drawn from the popular literature. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “The Song of Hiawatha” (1855) inspired her to produce several figural groups, of which “Minnehaha” is an example. In Longfellow’s fictional poem, Minnehaha, a Dakota, was the lover of Hiawatha, a warrior among the once enemy nation of the Ojibwe.

Unveiling of "Minnehaha" as part of the annual Black History Month dinner.
This Minnehaha bust represented a rare opportunity to acquire a quality sculpture by this 19th-century pioneer. The purchase fills a major gap in the collection for both American and African diasporic artists who worked in the U.S. and abroad.

Shawnya L. Harris
Larry D. and Brenda A. Thompson Curator of
African American and African Diasporic Art

Thursday, May 04, 2017

“Kristen Casaletto: The Past is Never Dead” and Contemporary Art

The exhibition “Kristen Casaletto: The Past is Never Dead” opens this Saturday, May 6, and will be on view through Sunday, July 30. The exhibition highlights the works of Kristin Casaletto, a contemporary artist based in Augusta, Georgia, and features many of her prints as well as one three-dimensional object.

Kristen Casaletto, Apocalypse, 2008

Casaletto’s work deals with contemporary American culture and identity by combining visual motifs from both the past and the present. She draws upon a historic and mythic past, employing a complex iconography of American images and ideas. Through these means, she produces an allegorically imagined exploration of life in the 21st century. The title of the exhibition comes from a quote from William Faulkner: “The past is never dead. It's not even past.” Like Faulkner, Casaletto’s work insists on the overwhelming impact of the past on the present.

Kristen Casaletto, Lost Cause: Jefferson Davis / Dead Fish, 2010

“Lost Cause: Jefferson Davis / Dead Fish” (not featured in the exhibition but shown here) exemplifies this idea. The piece currently belongs to the collection of the Georgia Museum of Art and was released in Casaletto’s “American Parable” series. The color etching features a depiction of the president of the secessionist Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, next to a dead fish, all embedded within the stars and stripes of the American flag. By positioning the visage of Davis and the form of the dead fish in parallel arrangements, Casaletto introduces a strong juxtaposition of imagery. By doing so, she presents a work open to multiple interpretations. The composition might emphasize Jefferson Davis’s now obsolete position in American culture — like that of a dead fish — while still reinforcing the way in which certain ideas and symbols become a part of a grander cultural narrative. The Confederate States of America, to most a dark part of American history, still looms large in the narrative of the American South. The stars and stripes of the American flag emphasize the role of America’s dark past in its current culture. There are many layers of allusion to the piece, each enhancing its referentially rich yet semantically ambiguous wealth of iconography.

Kristin Casaletto is a quintessential contemporary artist, which we tend to think of as an artist living and working in the 21st century. By nature, contemporary artists are engaged with the present and its cultural dialogue. They often look to current issues in their society and produce art that is engrossed in these problems. Contemporary art in the greater historical context is also defined by a lack of overarching narrative or stylistic form between artists. In other words, there is no singular, cohesive way of producing art but rather a diverse mix of individual practices. For visitors, “Kristen Casaletto: The Past is Never Dead” is an opportunity to contemplate the complex politics of the past and where we are today.

Jamie Brener
Publications Intern

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Art+Feminism’s Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at the University of Georgia

Art+Feminism aims to improve the representation of female
artists on Wikipedia. Image: Museum of Modern Art

Art+Feminism is a global initiative that aims to improve the representation of female artists in articles on Wikipedia through Edit-a-thon events. In March of this year, the Lamar Dodd School of Art and the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia partnered to sponsor an Edit-a-thon here in Athens. An Edit-a-thon is a community-based event that instructs people on how to edit, improve or create new articles on Wikipedia. Since Art+Feminism was founded in 2014, events like these are held worldwide every March and have resulted in the creation or improvement of over 4,600 Wikipedia articles.

Art+Feminism logo. Image: Art+Feminism
This global effort was prompted by the release of some troubling statistics. According to a 2012 editor survey conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation, just 10% of Wikipedia editors are female. This gender imbalance means that although this online encyclopedia is open to the public for editing, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is representative of the population at large. The skewed editorship has a great effect on the content produced. Editors naturally choose to work on subjects they’re most familiar with, and in art history, this often results in neglect for already-underrepresented female artists. Many female artists have pages that lack sources and crucial information, and many more female artists don’t have a page at all.

Additionally, most Wikipedia editors live in the Global North (the richer, more developed region of the globe), resulting in a website tilted towards one perspective. According to Adeline Koh and Roopika Risam of Post-Colonial Digital Humanities, "Wikipedia reproduces forms of knowledge already implicit in older forms of print knowledge, in which marginalized groups (see: not white, poor, female, queer, disabled) are considered less worthy of representation." The skewed perspective inherent to the existing editorship of Wikipedia has a direct impact on the content that is produced, and the content produced has a direct impact on public perception.

The reproduction and propagation of these biases is dangerous on a site as widely used as Wikipedia. According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, as of May 2010, 53% of Internet users look for information on the site. This shows that U.S. adults (in 2010) used Wikipedia at a significantly higher rate than sites like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This gives Wikipedia a large amount of authority in conveying information online, so when women are left out of its pages, it influences what people perceive to be meaningful subjects to learn and discover.

Elizabeth Jane Gardner, La Confidence, ca. 1880

This is where Art+Feminism comes in. The organization aims to tackle the gender gap on Wikipedia by encouraging new editorship amongst people of all gender expressions and identities. The Edit-a-thon held in Athens included the participation of several volunteers who had little to no experience editing Wikipedia and who, by attending the event, now have the skills to continue editing pages on the website. Effectively, the events have lasting impact beyond the month of March, as new editors are equipped and inspired to combat the male perspective on Wikipedia and to give due representation to female artists.

This event held by the Georgia Museum of Art and the Lamar Dodd School of Art was preceded by a brief tour highlighting works by female artists in the museum. In terms of square footage, the Georgia Museum of Art features a proportionately large amount of female artists. The Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden, for example, only features work by female artists. The space most recently held the exhibition “Driving Forces: Sculpture by Lin Emery,” which are works by the New Orleans–based sculptor. Indoors, “La Confidence” by Elizabeth Jane Gardner is a painting from the permanent collection that was also highlighted on the tour. It features two modest, youthful women sitting and exchanging a secret. Despite the efforts of institutions like the Georgia Museum of Art, the historical exclusion of women from the art world still results in a proportionately low representation of female artists. This makes events like the Wikipedia Edit-a-thons all the more important. Art+Feminism recognizes that mobilizing female editorship on Wikipedia will have lasting effects on biases against female artists.

Jamie Brener
Publications Intern

Thursday, April 20, 2017

New Acquisitions: "Shad, Altamaha River, Georgia" by Warren Cushman

Warren Cushman, Shad, Altamaha River,
Georgia
, 1895. Oil on canvas.
As Earth Day approaches, we reflect on this new acquisition, which touches upon the subject of the ecology of Georgia’s rivers. Through the generosity of Greg and Jennifer Holcomb, the Georgia Museum of Art reeled this work in to its permanent collection. The image is of a shad fish. By the time Warren Cushman painted this image in 1895, the fish may have been something of a rarity, for the shad species had disappeared in the upper waterways of the state, though it played a significant role in the human experience of Georgia, from prehistoric times into the late antebellum period.

Shad fish had been a prominent part of the food culture for early American Indians as well as later settlers. Interestingly, Athens was found to be an attractive settlement site in part because the Oconee River had a “shad run,” but by 1807, the Augusta Chronicle reported that the shad had ceased to “run” on the upper Oconee River. By 1812, the Georgia legislature tried to secure open rivers as part of some of the first environmental legislation in this region. Writing in 1877, W.L. Jones observed the radical demise of various species of Georgia fish: “It is lamentable fact that our food fisheries are so rapidly decreasing in numbers, and, unless the State, in a few years, shall take the matter in hand, and resort to artificial propagation to replenish our nearly exhausted streams, our grand children will have to refer to a book on Natural History to ascertain the kinds of fish upon which our fathers fed so bountifully on.”

Books of natural history were created from works of art such as this depiction, a visual description designed to catch the observable physical characteristics of this species. Cushman’s work, however, also betrays a genre of decorative still life. Within the image, he uses decorative wood “graining,” a technique used to simulate either wood on nonwood surfaces or expensive woods on cheaper ones. While Georgia’s children can now have a shad fish image to view, thankfully they are not restricted to it. Ecological restoration to Georgia’s rivers has since resulted in increased runs of shad. Happily, objects like this one point to cross-disciplinary study and collaboration, one of our sustained educational goals. We extend our appreciation to the Holcombs for their generosity in making this gift.

Dale L. Couch
Curator of Decorative Arts