Feathered Favorites

By: Jane Weinke, curator of collections/registrar on June 20th, 2018

The Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum’s collection is amazing. With more than 14,000 works available for exhibitions, the combinations and themes are endless. A frequent question, “do you have a favorite?” still takes me aback. I’ll admit some works appeal to me more than others, but mostly I find something intriguing in each artwork.

Edward Aldrich, Crested Barbet, 1997, oil on hardboard

Here are my thoughts on three works from among the more than sixty comprising a new exhibition, Regal Bearing: Bird Portraiture, which opens September 4, 2018.

It’s the face. Every time I view Ned Aldrich’s painting, I see something different. The nuances of color, varying textures, and radiant light challenge me to look again and again.

Barbara Banthien, Tribute, 2007, acrylic on hardboard

The elegance of the preening great egret is a show stopper. Barbara Banthien composed the bird’s posture, highlighted by glowing light on its delicate feathers, in such a way to keep my eye moving through the composition.

Karl Taylor, Plymouth Rock, 2005, acrylic on hardboard

Some paintings immediately grab your attention. With Karl Taylor’s Plymouth Rock, even a common chicken is fascinating to me. Karl chose to share the details in a long, narrow, cropped format. The bird’s character shines through; the enlarged image creates drama.

My intent with this exhibition is to spark blog readers’ and visitors’ interest in Regal Bearing: Bird Portraiture. We’ll share more of my Feathered Favorites via Facebook and Woodson Wanderings posts and I’ll look forward to learning your favorites once the exhibition debuts in September.

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