"Oriental Fan" by J. Seward Johnson
Last month on my birthday, we took a nice Sunday drive over to Graham, NC to visit the "Beyond the Frame" exhibit hosted by the Alamance County Arts Council. The free exhibit featured the work of J. Seward Johnson (of the Johnson & Johnson family). Johnson created life-sized sculptures inspired by well-known nineteenth-century Impressionist masterpieces. At this exhibit, getting close to the art was not only allowed, but encouraged! Perfect for small children!
Johnson entitled this 19 figure piece, "Were You Invited?" It is inspired by Renoit's Luncheon of the Boating Party. Our guide mentioned the lady above with the dog was Renoit's wife.
The sculptures allow Johnson to take the viewer "beyond the frame". Note the lady in blue.
Below the table, Johnson shows her with one shoe off!
More members of the boating party
There was a very small space amongst the sculptures where one could sit with the party. Ashleigh joining in.
The boating party continued
In the actual painting, the man with cane raised is in the background of the work. Here Johnson makes him a more prominent figure by having him engage some uninvited guests. The uninvited guests are not apart of Renoit's work. They are actually J. Seward Johnson himself (leaning back) and three of his real life artist friends.
Entering the garden, we find Johnson's "On Poppied Hill" inspired by Monet's Poppies and Woman With A Parasol. The woman and child are Monet's wife and son.
Johnson's sculpture of Monet painting the scene
Outside the garden, Johnson's work entitled "A Thought to Consider" (inspired by Manet's In the Conservatory)
The beautiful house where the Alamance Arts Council is located in Graham. The Queen Anne Revival style house was constructed in 1871 and was the home of Captain James White and Emma Holt White.
I loved the light blue color of the porch's ceiling!
On the porch, "A Turn of the Century" inspired by Renoir's Dance at Bougival.
As you enter the house, you are greeted by Johnson's "Landlady" (Van Gogh's L'Arlesienne)
To the right, a work entitled "Pondering the Benefits of Exercise" (Renoir's Lunch at the Restaurant Fournaise)
Ashleigh getting close
Johnson's "Oriental Fan" inspired by Monet's La Japonaise.
She has a little surprise underneath her kimono :)
And outside of the house, a 20-foot version of the "Turn of the Century" sculpture.