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A Musée Sentimental

sentimental brocure

A Musée Sentimental August 2005
Hope for the Wood Gallery and Vermont College

Within the Wood Gallery at Vermont College I constructed A Musée Sentimental, using as my source elements found in the historic Wood Collection. Thomas Waterman Wood (1823-1903) was a self-taught, itinerant portrait painter and Sentimentalist, who also made careful reproductions of "educational and uplifting paintings" for his own and others' edification. Having no heirs, Wood gave his collection of work to his hometown Montpelier Vermont, for the establishment of The Wood Art Gallery.

I was interested in this project to consider what an artist collects and how the construction of art and identity changes over time. The Wood Gallery is primarily based on what was left behind: what remained of the artist’s work after “important” work was sold. It also contains copies of Wood’s favourite pieces and reproductions of well known work of others for the edification of citizens in his hometown. My choices for the installation were also based on what was available in the vault when I installed the exhibition and a desire to consider the idea of sentimentality in many ways. I was also interested in the idea of reproduction. Wood earned a living as a reproductionist and a printmaker and he made many reproductions of his own visage throughout his life, often in poses reproduced from Rembrandt.

A Musée Sentimental also reproduces a title used by artist Daniel Spoerri for installations of collections of objects belonging to a particular community. He himself refers in the title to another artist’s personal museum in Spain. Were Wood’s paintings important to his community during his lifetime? Are they now? How does this geographically isolated personal collection reflect aspects of the current Vermont College community? What is important? What is remembered? Is all art just a particular language used to describe currently popular imagery and ideas? I collected favourite quotes from the visual culture reading of fellow students and juxtaposed these randomly with images from the Wood collection and a collection of floral biscuit tins presented in Port Hope as Content: Hope. These souvenir cards became a new collection of sentimental greetings that gallery visitors chose from and purchased for themselves. Who is sentimental? Sentimental for what-- the language? --the imagery? --the memory of an experience?

Wood Gallery Installation
nw
Northwest corner of gallery
nw
Northwest corner of gallery

card boutique
Sentimental card boutique

 


T.W. Wood Self-Portrait after Rembrandt with T.W. Wood Fetish vitrine

vault
Vault

 

east
East side of gallery
boutique
Sentimental boutique
Thomas Waterman Wood
child and dog
Child and dog
spaniels
Landsdowne's Spaniels by T.W. Wood
rembrandt
Rembrandt
world gone awry
"The World Has Gone Awry"
(T.W. Wood etching)

familiar faces
Leaf found in Familiar Faces of Montpelier
(T.W. Wood Sketchbook)


self portrait
Self-portrait




Sentimental Favourites

These images provide a souvenir counterpoint for the Content Hope Window Project and the installation Sentimental Favourites at the Wood Gallery. The Images are available along with images from the Wood Gallery collection as Sentimental Favourite Greeting Cards. The cards quote collected visual culture texts as sentimental greetings.

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Parterre

gifts received
fragments
souvenirs
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Parterre: An outdoor garden/room meant for contemplative strolling. (litho, drypoint, acrylic & flocking; 1995-) This suite examines three collections of natural and nature inspired objects. In each large scale print hands choose, examine and compare elements. Coloured maple buds link the three images to each other and previous Acer work. In contrast to the apparent scattering of information in the central grouping, each editioned print is bordered with a formal distillation of the contained imagery in the form of a Renaissance inspired flocked pattern.
Although based on locally found flora and fauna in my own collections, Parterre suggests links to early botanicals where colour and black and white information is merged in scientific/artistic catalogues of peculiarities in familiar and novel species. The abstract quality of some of these botanicals, perceived when groups of closely observed forms are viewed together on a page, clearly relates to the work as well.
The majority of the Parterre thinking is built upon the original matrices in combination with other litho and intaglio matrices, drawing and painting. These related images consider alternate recognitions within collections of information. This work continues to quietly evolve as new information is chosen, examined and compared.

Complete Listing of Parterre

 

Canadensis

paratypes Les Rouges Taiga On Water Sensitive (Kearney) Bluffs (Scarborough)
hush and i walked out from the sea la baleine stones of avalon en hivert

The Canadensis Suite considers choice from the point of view of a 20th Century journey of exploration. The work is specific to three historic Canadian locales, with echoes of previous imagery suggesting a method, history and overall context for the collection. Canadensis is a re-exploration of territory long known and inhabited: An echo of former documents of discovery in a collection of images of the familiar. Within this familiarity is an acceptance of the less than perfect, the dried and twisted, the discoloured and decomposing. The specific identification of forms is less important than this sense of familiarity - a possible recognition, a similarity, a reminder.
(litho; suite of 12 images; each edition 10; 26"X20"; 1997-1999)

Complete Listing of Canadensis


 Acer Family Viewing
Norway Maple Bud Black Maple Bud Vernal Reach Red Maple Seed Flowers
Black Maple
Red Maple Pollen Flowers Winter Red A Granite Monument Tumescence
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Acer Family Viewing comprises thirty-three editions of lithographs which present traditional keys to memory - accurate portraits of individuals at specific stages of development. This work arose from an examination and collection of brilliant maple tree buds on winter walks through Toronto's Mount Pleasant Cemetery and Arboretum. Consideration of memory, public and private, is natural to this site.
(litho; suite of 33 images; each edition 10; 11"X15"; 1991-1994; $300)

In 150 Maples an iconic representation of a maple bud form is present for each maple known. Here in the accumulation of information, it is the repetition of sameness that underlines the commonality of experience: Maple. Family and history merge in an installation which suggests an heraldic precedent.

Complete Listing of Acer

installation 1  
installation 2
Installation, Blackwood Gallery, September 1995
 
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