Monday, May 26, 2008
Sleeping Homeless Princess
Gloria Alford's piece, The Jaded Princess, appears above (at the top). The original, Gloria's inspiration (hers is consciously modeled after the jade burial suit of Chinese Princess Tou Wan, Han Dynasty, 140 B.C.), appears below.
Now for something completely different.
Moving from Emily Gould, Gawker and the NY Times (yesterday's posting) to something closer to home. We're re-visiting Gloria Alford's sculpture The Jaded Princess, now on display at Santa Cruz’ Museum of Art and History. She's part of the museum-wide MAH exhibit, Ying: Inspired by the Art and History of China, scheduled to end July 1. After that date the oft-exhibited Princess will be technically homeless.
At the opening, Paul Figueroa, the Museum’s Executive Director, spoke of the "breath-taking impact" of Gloria's Jaded Princess, which, "as a replica of an historical artifact transferred to the contemporary immediately sets the 'tone' for the gallery."
Following a showing at the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art, the director, June Braucht, wrote, “A lot of excitement left the Museum when we returned your exhibition. I really hated to see it leave.The show was one of the very few ‘modern’ shows we’ve had that was as popular with the conservatives as it was with the more avant garde enthusiasts. All comments were favorable as is evidenced in your guest book.”
Earlier, exhibited in a show titled Technology and Art, Metro San Jose wrote, “The show could begin and end with Gloria Alford’s The Jaded Princess and have said it all. Lying in state in her Plexiglas coffin, the figure, constructed of meticulously wired, jade-green computer rchips and soldered lead, replete with a scalloped headdress of round chips the color of tarnished bronze, calls to mind Buddhist temple sculpture, medieval church monuments and mummies—icons of a culture’s revered elite, studied by anthroplogists for insight into past practices...”
Sarah Handler, author of Austere Luminosity of Chinese Classical Furniture, writes, “Mirroring the famous burial suit of the Chinese princess Tou Wan, constructed of pieces of jade which, like a great cathedral, took a generation to carve, Gloria Alford suits her princess out in a stunning coat of computer chips. Using lifeless chips, she brings face and body alive in serene beauty. With the electricity of creation, she resurrects the princess for our time. Inspired by the second-century B.C.E. jade suit, she transforms a Chinese tradition into an original and imaginative work of art.”
The Princess draws rave reviews and, retired English teacher, I've been lazy. I'm the composer of business letters, self-appointed agent. So I keep promising I'll write on my wife's behalf, approach some likely venues, curators, directors... "What about the National Museum of Women in the Arts?" I ask. "Or that Computer Museum in Palo Alto? Or the Tech Museum in San Jose? Or Google, say? Or Intel? Sun? Oracle? Microsoft... Bill and Melinda Gates?"
We think of loaning the piece with a footnote that it could be purchased. I dunno. Other things get in the way. Even now. Here I am working on my blog. The show ends June 30. I'm gonna make some coffee. I'm gonna write some letters.
Gloria's piece appears above (at the top). The original, Gloria's inspiration (hers is consciously modeled after the jade burial suit of Chinese Princess Tou Wan, Han Dynasty, 140 B.C.), appears below.