A small painting by the late George L.K. Morris was sold for $9,375 at Doyle NY Auction Galleries on May 8th, double the price it fetched 10 years earlier at Christie's and double its pre-sale estimate. Titled, "Spatial Perspectives 1953", the oil on canvas measures 16x13 inches and features Morris' interest in surface rotational planes. Morris' auction record of $169,000 was set in May 2008.
La Montagne, the 4500 pound monumental cement sculpture by Gaston Lachaise,was successfully moved indoors to prevent further deterioration. She has resided in a wooded grove on the grounds since her 1934 commission by George L.K. Morris.The approximately 4'x8' reclining woman was placed on 6 cement posts, six feet high.
La Montagne is the culmination of a series begun in 1913 by Lachaise in New York. The work represents at once a landscape and the figure of Isabel Dutaud Nagle, the artist's muse, model and eventual wife. Lachaise envisioned a piece that was "great and solemn." "You are the Goddess I seek to express in all my work," he wrote to her in 1915-16.
This veritable Mother Earth, mature and abstracted, looking East to the rising sun, offers a rewarding contemplation for people in motion.
E. E. Cummings once likened Lachaise's work to a "slow arrow of beauty vigorously expressing something of a civilization of which speed seems to be the god." Lincoln Kirstein, a friend of the artist's and a founder of the School of American Ballet, described La Montagne as "the balance of breathing sumptuousness, a mountain raised into air, earth sharing the shape of clouds." (MoMA Retrospective, 1935).
"Richmond Mountain Road twists through dense forest that envelopes it like a drooping canopy. As you drive its undulating path in the Berkshires, the whirl of thickly entangled trees and branches whiz by as if fragmented lines in an abstract painting", writes Albany Times-Union.
"A gem of a house & and collection"-Armen
"Wonderful tour! Guide was so interesting..one of the best guided tours ever"-Dianne & Gary
"Truly an eye opening,inspiring experience to see the art in the context of their living space"-Keely
"Unbelievable! We will tell our friends of this hidden treasure, which doesn't begin to describe it"-Victoria
"Breathtaking and so personal"-Lisa & Bob
"A wonderful glimpse into two creative spirits & minds"-Linda & Stephen
"What an interesting hidden gem"-Ruth
"Lovely walk up the the house & studio..speechless-lovely mix of medias. We enjoyed the garden and gazebo by the pond too!"
You didn't miss the enriching lectures at FMH&S. Click below to experience the first lecture by Clark Art History Professor, Kristina Wilson.
Click on the vimeo icon to view the other four lectures.
Using newly restored and edited films from Morris' 1934 Far Eastern voyage and a selection of Morris' late work, viewers are encouraged to make plausible connections between the paintings and films, and to arrive at possibly one avenue of interpretation.
Click on the vimeo icon to view more films.
Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities, "We the People" grant. The $36,265 award was given to support sustainable conservation of the collections and historic house. It will allow analysis of the complex data collected from a year long, ongoing environmental monitoring program. An outdoor weather station, 27 indoor dataloggers, pollutant data loggers, and microstations were placed on walls, in wall and ceiling cavities and in crawl spaces to collect and record temperature, relative humidity, pollutants and solar gain. This information will be used to understand climate activity inside and outside the house and solve problems such as moisture migration through walls and insure that the correct climate controls are being utilized.
The goal of the "We the People" initiative is to encourage and strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history
Listen to Director Kinney Frelinghuysen's interview with Alan Chartock about the House & Studio, the stories behind it, and this past season's special exhibit.
In 1933, George L.K.Morris and Alexander Calder exhibited together at the Berkshire Museum. Morris most likely purchased the mobile from Calder at that time. The two artists went on to exhibit at the highly publicized "Five Contemporary American Concretionists" show in 1936 at the Reinhardt Galleries in New York.
The mobile's installation in the Crane Room at the Berkshire Museum celebrates the homecoming for the Calder collection which has been on tour in New York, Paris, and Toronto. The Berkshire Museum was the first to give Calder a public commission, the mobiles in the theater. They also gave Morris his first exhibit.
"Indian Composition", a 1942 George L.K. Morris painting owned by the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. has been replicated and enlarged to 150' tall to screen a luxury condominium project in Seoul, Korea. The condominiums are called Mega Hills and sell for $3 million dollars. They are located in the fashionable Gangnam section of Seoul, on Cheongdam Street which is sometimes referred to as the Fashion and Art Street or Rodeo Street, referring to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California.
Mega-Mark, the construction company for the project, chose the Morris work for the giant screen to express the artistic and modern flavor of their high end condominiums in a neighborhood full of art galleries and boutiques.
Frelinghuysen Morris House and Studio in Lenox, which owns the copyright to the painting, was paid a fee for the use of the image. Director Kinney Frelinghuysen would not disclose the figure but remarked, "It pays for the fully assessed property taxes the Foundation pays to the towns of Lenox and Stockbridge." He added, "I love that a piece of artwork shown in Seoul can be used to beautify a construction project and pay for schoolbooks in Lenox and Stockbridge".
"Of all the towns that could have played host to New England's first modernist building, Lenox, Mass., is among the least likely. When Mrs. Astor's 400 finished summering at their extravagant, ironically named "cottages" in Newport, R.I., they would shift to Lenox, in the Berkshires, for several more weeks before returning to Manhattan in the fall. Lenox's cottages embraced many architectural styles, but modernism definitely was not among them," writes Art and Antiques journalist Sheila Gibson Stoodley. Read the full article
"Of all the historic houses in Berkshire County, the only one in which I feel the presence of non-ghostly inhabitants is the Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio in Lenox," writes Berkshire Eagle reporter Milton Bass. "The art that George L.K. Morris and his wife, Suzy Frelinghuysen, incorporated into the very essence of their home gives you the feeling that at any moment one of them may step in from an adjoining room.
A 1957 painting by the late George L.K. Morris was sold for $104,500 at Christie’s Auction House, New York, in their “Important American Paintings, Drawings & Sculpture” sale May 20th. The price was well above Christie’s estimate of $50-70,000 but still below Morris’ auction record of $169,000 reached last May at Sotheby’s Auction House.
Titled, “Labyrinth”; the painting measures 49x36 inches. It was sold by The Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, New Jersey to benefit their Acquisition Endowment fund. The museum had acquired it directly from the artist in 1974, the year before his death.
Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio Director Kinney Frelinghuysen commented that "it is unfortunate for such a beautiful painting to be removed from public view" as it will now go into a private collection.
Morris’ paintings, sculptures, frescoes and archives and those of his wife Suzy Frelinghuysen, can be viewed at the Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio in Lenox, MA in their International-style house, along with their collection of Master Cubist paintings. The house-museum is opens June 25 for hourly guided tours Thursday-Sunday.
"For a culture vulture, whizzing through the Hudson River Valley and across the Berkshires in Massachusetts en route to somewhere else can be frustrating," writes Post-Gazette reporter Mackenzie Carpenter. Read the full article