Fine Arts

Frank Pierson Richards

Image of General Grant on horseback, hand-carved and painted wood sculpture, Frank Pierson Richards, ca. 1880-1888
General Grant on Horseback
ca. 1880-1888
hand-carved and painted wood
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Earl Richards, Springfield, Illinois
Frank P. Richards was a farmer living near Rochester, Illinois, who spent his evenings and winters carving. He quit farming and moved to Edinburg, Illinois, and eventually Springfield, Illinois, where he did odd jobs and became known as an inventor. 

Chicago River

Image of Chicago River, oil painting, Jean Crawford Adams, 1917
Jean Crawford Adams 
(1886-1972, b. Chicago IL, d. Oak Park IL)
Chicago River
1917
oil on canvas
1928.060.700643, museum purchase, Illinois Academy of Fine Art
In 1914, at age 28, Jean Crawford Adams began her training at the Art Institute of Chicago, continued her studies at the Provincetown School of Art in 1920, and finished in the 1920s in Paris. Throughout her career, Adams painted still-life and landscapes, acceptable subjects for a woman artist of her day, but her scenes of Chicago are what memorialize her.

Weathervane

Image of Weathervane, metal sculpture, L.Brent Kington, 1977
L.Brent Kington
(1934-2013, b. Topeka KS, d. Carbondale IL)
Weathervane
1977
forged steel
1977.063.005, museum purchase  
Trained as a silversmith and self-taught as a blacksmith, L. Brent Kington was a distinguished American master who is celebrated for reintroducing the ancient craft of blacksmithing to the modern world of fine art. In 1961, Kington came to Carbondale to lead the metals program at Southern Illinois University, where he offered the first studio iron classes in an academic setting anywhere in the country.

Measure Me by My Dreams

Image of The College of the Hills, Herod, Illinois, watercolor painting by Penrod Centurion, 1935.
The College in the Hills, Herod, Illinois
 
Penrod Centurion  
(1905- ?, b. Germany) 
Measure Me By My Dreams 
1935 
watercolor on paper 
1973.037.551, Gift of Miss Louise Borchelt
Young college graduates, largely from Northwestern University in Evanston, came to southernmost Illinois in 1933 and established a college just outside of Harrisburg. The College in the Hills was an experimental liberal arts college offering courses in history, economics, sociology, psychology, and art for the surrounding communities. Its mission, as stated in a newspaper announcement, was "to develop students capable of living in a modern world of new social and economic values.

Chromorfia Constructiva

Image of watercolor painting by Penrod Centurion, Chromorfia Constructiva #49-8-12-1, 1949.
Penrod Centurion
(1905 - ?, b. Germany) 
Chromorfia Constructiva #49-8-12-1
1949  Watercolor
Few abstract paintings are known to exist from this once prolific, German-born artist who immigrated to Chicago in 1926 and lived in Evanston, Illinois, until 1933. In 1934, Penrod Centurion, also known as “Penny Cent,” moved to southern Illinois to teach art at the College in the Hills, an experimental college near Harrisburg. In 1937, he received a stipend award from the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation in New York City for the Museum of Non-Objective Painting.

Death Portrait of Charlotta Richardson

Image of Death Portrait of Charlotta Richardson
Today in the United States, many people feel very uncomfortable looking at a death portrait. However, in earlier times, it was an accepted means of remembering and memorializing someone who had died. In the 19th century, many families lost children to accident and disease.

Remember Me is All I Ask

Image of Anna Pottery Cemetery Urn
The urn harks back to ancient Greek funeral cremation urns. The interest in Greece and Rome—the Neo-Classical Revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries—inspired architecture and decoration that emulated these ancient cultures.

Edward Richardson Jr., Self Portrait

Image of Oil painting on canvas, Edward Richardson Jr., self-portrait
Edward Richardson Jr. worked as an artist in Springfield, Illinois, from 1850 until his death in 1858 at the age of 31. He advertised himself in the local newspaper as a portrait artist and decorative painter.

Tornado

Image of Robert Larson painting, Tornado.
Illinois' predominately flat landscape leaves us with ample sky to contemplate, making us all forecasters of coming storms. Nothing is more indicative of the powerful and unpredictable forces of weather than tornadoes, a not uncommon sight on our horizons.

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