The last gallery contains Bellow’s bold canvases, of which “The Polo Game” is the best known, another fine canvas by Henry Muhrman, and some older American work by Stewart, typical of what we used to send to Europe in years gone by.
In the Garden.
While many plastic works have been mentioned in the survey of the galleries, still great numbers of statues, statuettes, and fountain figures call for investigation, out of doors. Sculpture is, on the whole, not so complex as painting, and dealing with the expression of emotions much more directly than painting, it can easily be understood. Of the many pieces displayed outside, Janet Scudder’s fountain figures earn all the applause they receive, and most of the other sculptors are old friends, since they have been met with in the decorative embellishments of the architecture of the Exposition. There is Aitken, with a bust of Taft; Chester Beach, with a young girl in marble, of great charm; Solon Borglum’s Washington, Mrs. Burroughs’ garden figure, Stirling Calder, and Piccirilli — all well remembered. It is gratifying to meet all these men, and many others, in freer and more detached expression of their art, under conditions where no severe architectural restrictions were put upon them.
The Graphic Arts
It will be necessary to retrace our steps to take up a series of galleries all along the outer curve of the building. They are devoted to illustrations, miniatures, stained glass, plaques, and the many expressions of graphic art we know as black and white, charcoal and pencil drawing, monotypes, lithotints, etchings, and so on. With Whistler’s etchings on one end of the arch, we find Howard Pyle at the other.
Pyle, since his death a few years ago, is recognized as the most important of American illustrators. His art is most intellectual. It commands immediate respect for its historical interest, which is based on more than mere knowledge of the story illustrated. His milieu is always right, distinctly so when he deals with the West Indian buccaneers. His sense of colour is simple and dignified. It has the typical breadth and decorative feeling that men like Jules Guérin and Maxfield Parrish developed. Pyle was not an ordinary illustrator. His interest in his work showed much depth and great originality. There is nobody to take his place. In the small adjoining gallery (41) his black and white drawings strengthen one’s impression of this versatile man’s art.