Art is a jealous mistress, and, if a man have a genius for painting, poetry, music, architecture, or philosophy, he makes a bad husband, and an ill provider. (Waldo Emerson)

Monday, May 23, 2011

You Call That Art P2

Brancusi's Bird In Space: I recently read this story about this bronze sculpture and I wanted to share it.

There was a trial held in NY City back in 1927. Edward Steichen, an American photographer,bought this sculpture from the artist herself while she was living in France. He imported the piece to the US where normally the law does not require customs duty on original works of art as long as they are declared. But when the customs official saw this piece he denied it. He said it was not art! No matter how much Steichen protested, the piece was admitted into the US under the catagory of "Kitchen Utensils and Hospital Supplies". So because it was not declared as art, Steichen was now charged $600 in order to import the sculpture.

After time and with the help of an American sculpture and patron of the arts, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Steichen appealed the ruling. The trial brought a lot of publicity and had a lot of people questioning if the piece was in fact a bird or just metal.

Finally the court decided in Steichen's favor and the bird was declared a work of art after all.

Did you miss Part one? You can still read it here..


The Daily Book of Art: 365 readings that teach, inspire & entertain
Art: Over 2,500 Works from Cave to Contemporary
200 Projects to Strengthen Your Art Skills: For Aspiring Art Students (Aspire Series)
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2 comments:

Kristen said...

How interesting! I'm glad they appealed... I think it's a beautiful elegant piece. And I also think I would like that Daily Book of Art too... thanks for sharing!

P.S. Thanks so much for your heart felt comments... I always look forward to what you have to say. I liked your critique on my logo designs as well... I will be working on more sketches soon and will be sure to share them :) Thanks again for being such a great blogger friend!

Frankie said...

aww.. you are most welcome Kristen! And you do not have to thank me for being friendly with you.. I like you :)