Muses

These three works on paper, painted with black and gold sumi ink, were installed as part of the gallery show Field Work III at Co-Prosperity Sphere in Chicago, IL in May 2017.

Record, Research, Science and Dissemination of Knowledge, Henry Herring's four Muse sculptures which adorn the corners of the Field Museum of Natural History’s main hall, were meant to embody grander; as is the whole Neo-classical building, with its columns and marble. A temple to the pursuit of science.

The faces of these figures are strong and stern, but equally, they are passive. Still, passive females - the way nearly all allegorical sculptures of that era were, whether representing liberty, justice or honor. But a museum is not a still, nor a quiet, place - the way taxonomy itself is neither still nor quiet, but rather a squirming chaotic organism, changing and adapting; taking things in and spitting things out — clamoring towards perfection in a ceaseless struggle.

Copyright © Kelsey Keaton 2019.