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This bronze, the black rhinoceros with tick birds on its back, was modeled by James L. Clark in 1914 shortly after his return from a trip with A. Radclyffe Dugmore to Africa, where they followed the big game over the African plains and obtained a famous collection of photographs. Mr. Clark has studied his animals in the field at close range and is interested in them as individuals. He shows in the arrangement of his subjects a familiarity with their inner psychology as well as with their external anatomy. The love of the animal for its own sake marks the true animal painter or sculptor. This rhinoceros bronze (which stands about two feet high) takes on additional interest because it is a duplicate of one which formed the centerpiece on the library table of the late Colonel Roosevelt's trophy room at Oyster Bay

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Wild Life in Art



Illustrations from the work of Carl Rungius, James L. Clark, Charles
Livingston Bull, Carl E. Akeley, and others'


O the Brooklyn Museum belongs the credit of holding what is probably the first exhibition of animal painting and sculpture in this country. By this I mean an exhibit shown in a picture gallery

and therefore regarded by artists and laymen as a true art expression along the lines selected by the sculptors and painters who took part in it. The purpose of those who had the exhibition in charge was to include

NOTE. That our country is young and has, to date, been developing commercially rather than in the arts is evidenced in the lack of local encouragement of art. We have great centers like New York City where the painter or sculptor is recognized, finds some small chance for study, inspiration from the attitude of the people to do the best that is in him, and also the very necessary commercial market for his canvases or bronzes. But there is an emphatically disadvantageous situation in this country as a whole for the artist-perhaps particularly for the animal artist.

A young artist in America has to go to a great art center like New York to sell his work. His townspeople in the West, or the South, or the North, would seldom think of buying it, or even of holding him in the high esteem his work deserves. As a people we are not yet educated to it. The only art seen in many places is by means of the circuit system of sending pictures from city to city, and these of course do not reach the small towns.

Even in New York an artist must hire a place himself if he wishes his work exhibited. The American

1 For examples of the animal sculptures of A. Phimister Proctor the reader is referred to pp. 470-476 of this magazine; for further illustrations of the work of Carl E. Akeley, to the AMERICAN MUSEUM JOURNAL for April, 1913, pp. 172-178, and May, 1914, pp. 175-187; for that of Louis Agassiz Fuertes to the JOURNAL for May, 1915, pp. 220-224; and the work of Charles R. Knight is illustrated in the JOURNAL for March, 1914, pp. 82-98. We regret that we have not been able to give a reproduction of Bruce Horsfall's "California Condor" or other of his notable canvases


Mis Grace Mott Johnson approaches the study of large game animals purely as a sculptor. Her elephants are studio models rather than wild life, but modeled with a suggestion of movement and force. She follows an interesting insistence on the planes of the muscular surfaces

works having both decorative and realistic character, with the result that many different styles of design were presented at the same time. This seems to me a very excellent idea, my only regret being that the necessarily limited space forbade the assembling of a still larger and more comprehensive exhibit. It was with much pleasure, therefore, that I was privileged to spend several hours wandering about the alcoves set apart for the purpose.

On first entering the main hall a bronze statuette of a rhinoceros caught my eye. This is the work of James L. Clark, at one time connected with the American Museum of Natural History. Mr. Clark made this

model, which represents a black rhinoceros with several small tick birds on its back, shortly after his return from a collecting trip in Africa in 1913. The character of the great beast is very well expressed and one is impressed by the fact that Mr. Clark loves animals for their own sake and strives to depict not merely their outer form, but their inner psychology as well. This is a most important point and always marks the true animal painter or sculptor as the case may be. Miss Grace Johnson, on the other hand, to judge by her models such as those of elephants and lions has evidently studied modeling in the schools, as her work shows an insistence on the planes of the muscular

art museum seldom holds an exhibition of the work of American artists, except perhaps of such men as Whistler and Sargent. It buys mostly foreign pictures or bronzes, yet-and here is the crux of the whole matter of comparison of conditions in America and Europe-not many European paintings or bronzes and never any European wild life art is seen for sale in America, because if there is any cleverness in that kind of work in Europe, it is kept in the particular home town of the artist as a special possession. In Europe artists do not have to flock to the great centers to find encouragement or market for their work. In France and various other European countries there are many art galleries scattered in many towns, and there is a well developed general appreciation of art by the people.

It will take time to educate ourselves to a similar spirit in America, but this is what we must accomplish if art in America is to become at all comparable with art in Europe. Can we doubt that obligation -responsibility for the result-rests upon the great centers, especially upon New York?-C. R. KNIGHT.


The famous bronze, "The Wounded Comrade," represents two elephants assisting a wounded bull to a place of safety. It is perhaps Mr. Carl E. Akeley's best known group. The subject of the bronze and its sympathetic treatment make a strong emotional appeal. Mr. Akeley, noted as a hunter of African elephants, has studied intimately the animals he portrays, and he gives to his sculptures the true form and character of wilderness life, which animals living in captivity do not possess. (An illustrated description of the clay model of "The Wounded Comrade" appeared in the JOURNAL for April, 1913)


"Children of the Sage," a canvas showing the pronghorn antelopes in their wilderness home, by Carl Rungius. The artist is a hunter and traveler who has lived much among the western game, painting the animals as he found them in their natural surroundings. This picture sets forth well the life of the pronghorn antelope, one of our most graceful ruminants and once the commonest large animal of the Plains. Mr. Rungius has been making a large series of paintings of western big game for the New York Zoological Society. All of these are from sketches and observations in the field and are valuable records of our disappearing North American wild life

surfaces, a good point, but one which may easily be carried too far. She is vastly more interested in this study than in the real character of the animal and I therefore mention her work in this connection as diametrically opposite that of Mr. Clark. She has an excellent eye for general proportion and a certain suggestion of movement in her work, yet I feel that she approaches the subject purely as a sculptor and not as a lover of animal life.

Two points of view apparently prevail in any collection of paintings or sculpture connected with this subject: one which deals with the animal as a living creature and gives a portrayal of its exact character as is done in a portrait, the other merely regarding the animal as a piece of color or pattern and treating it accordingly. Both seem logical and I suppose are really correlated, as in most other fields of artistic endeavor.

Mr. Moorepark's interesting compositions in pastel, for example, show a love of color and decorative line, but the birds themselves are often quite lacking in construction and the finer drawing which should accompany every serious attempt in art. The condor in

one of these panels is absolutely grotesque in its proportions, with its huge head and puny body. I fear that work of this sort rather takes for granted the general public's lack of knowledge on the subject and for this reason, if for no other, the practice is a bad one. Mr. Moorepark evidently has very little interest in his subjects as living entities, which is to be deplored, as no one who regards them merely as spots of color can grasp the full beauty of the living creatures. They are so fine, so graceful, and withal so vigorous in line and construction that it seems a pity not to do them full justice.

Mr. Benson's studies of wild ducks and geese represent the work of an artist who, if I am not mistaken, began life as a figure painter. They show what one would expect, a knowledge of composition and values essential in the work of a serious painter. I understand that Mr. Benson has had great success with these pictures, yet they are sometimes trivial in handling and not. well enough drawn to be convincing. One panel, for example, presents a flight of swans or geese, but the individuals in the group are so carelessly drawn that their real identity


Copyright by Carl Rungius

"The Mountaineers," an oil painting of bighorn sheep, by Carl Rungius, portrays magnificent specimens of an animal in many ways the most picturesque of the Rocky Mountain fauna. Mountain sheep are now so nearly extinct that to attain his sketch Mr. Rungius must have spent many difficult weeks or months among the wilds of the Rockies. This canvas is one of the series belonging to the New York Zoological Society

is rather a mystery. This seems unnecessary and in no way adds to the artistic effect. In other pictures the character of the birds is most accurately indicated and one gets an impression of life and atmosphere which is very charming. Taken as a whole, the work is interesting and a departure from the more hackneyed paintings of game birds. As a complete contrast with the above, one may mention a drawing of a partridge done by Gerald G. Thayer. This is an elaborately painted work illustrating the value of protective coloration in birds of this species. The picture is unique in its way, as the values of the bird against its background have been most painstakingly indicated, with the result that the creature is almost invisible at first sight, so closely does it merge into its surroundings. It was painted under the personal guidance of the artist's father, Abbott H. Thayer, and exemplifies many of the points so carefully brought out by the celebrated painter in regard to what we now call "camouflage," or the science of concealing an object by means of masses of color artfully distributed over its surface.

The picture was loaned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and will repay careful study on the part of the observer.

Carl Rungius, rather meagerly represented in this exhibit by his bighorn picture and studies of pronghorn antelope, is a hunter of big game a man who has lived for months in the mountains of the great West, shooting and painting during a considerable part of each year. All his studies are made in the field, and the animals he depicts are rarely seen in our zoological parks where they are represented at best by a few sickly individuals not at all comparable with the magnificent creatures so ably portrayed by the artist. Mr. Rungius has endured hunger and privation in his search for the various species of big game, and he has been working for some years on a series of pictures for the New York Zoological Society. These pictures, which include the moose, elk, caribou, antelope, and musk ox, have all been painted in the true environment from sketches made on the spot, and should prove a valuable record of our rapidly vanishing big game animals.

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