Thursday, 18 July 2013

Dagmar Hooge (1870-1930) - Woodcuts

Woodcut print - Boats at Rest c1915?

I just had to own this print - I saw it, I liked it and know someone else will share my love of such a evocative scene. So much movement in a scene of utter stillness !! Boats at anchor or perhaps becalmed, not sure. An evening or morning light ? and just a light breeze to ripple the surface of the water, breaking up the foreground into shimmering reflections. Very impressionistic.

It is signed and number - the signature ?? seemed to read Dagmar Hooge ? - not a name I was familiar with and I wondered why not. Was this a lucky one off, an artist's "tour de force" or the work of a minor artist who talents have just slipped through the critical and commercial net?

Perhaps only a minor artist in terms of lasting legacy but clearly not in talent. She was born in Hamberg in 1870 and studied art at the Schule des K√ľnstlerinnen-Vereins, Munich. from c1905.

After completing her studies she moved to Berlin, where she shared a flat the her sister Helene and established a friend ship with the graphic artist Kathleen Bagot (1890-1925), whose was married to the influential modernist artist Georg Tappert (1880-1957) - see right.

Some Exhibition record noted for the period c1905-20;
1906 - Internationalen Kunstausstellung Bremen
1907 - Group Exhibition - Kunstverein in Hamburg,
1908 - Deutschen Kunstausstellung
1912 - Group Exhibition - Kunstverein in Hamburg

Oddly, after searching the internet for other works - the greatest concentration, is here in the UK and contained within the collection of the Nottingham City Museums & Galleries, who have at least 4. All still life studies, Anenomes, Nesturiums, Daisies and Roses. Staple subject of many woodcuts by artists such as John Hall Thorpe, Thomas Todd Blaylock, Eric Slater or Arthur Rigden Read. We have seen them all before, technically excellent, very of the moment but for me, a little soul less.

Give me the boats every time, in fact I have had it hanging on the wall at home, pretending to be stock in storage !! Sadly now time to move it on, so I will be exhibiting it at the next Antiques For Everyone and the NEC Birmingham 25th-28th July, 2013 - CLICK HERE for free tickets.


Monday, 1 July 2013

Percy Metcalfe (1895-1970) - Medals

This is the medal you are mostly like to encounter when searching for the medals by designed by the British Artist Percy Metcalfe - the bored blacksmith sitting on his anvil - a striking (sorry) art deco design created for the British Company "Nobel Industries Ltd" and struck at The British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley in 1924.

1933 - Everest Flight Medal.

For me this isn't the first time that I have encountered him..... for years I thought of him as a sculptor and designer of ceramic figures. For years my collecting interest was the pottery of "Ashtead Potters" and among the numerous designers associated with them was our Percy.

His most recognisable designs were a series of character jugs, including several politician of the day. These designs include Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin, Rt Hon S M Bruce and Rt Hon Sir Douglas McGarel Hogg.  Also reproduced in ceramic was his "Lion of Industry"

..... but there was no limited to his talents, he was able to apply his art to ceramics, bronze sculpture, war memorials,  decorative and commemorative medals and coinage for the Empire. He created coins for the Irish Free State, Australia (the same design was used on Rhodesian, New Zealand and Fijian coinages), 

He was born in Longfield Terrace, Alverthorpe, Wakefield, Yorkshire and studied at the Leeds School of Art, winning a scholarship to attend the Royal College of Art, London in 1914. This was at beginning of WW1 and soon Metcalfe enlisted and went to France to serve in the Royal Field Artillery. Whilst on active service he was badly injuring a leg. The injury was later to force him to give up large scale sculpture, as he could not stand for long.

I wonder whether he served in the armed forces and how that influences his later designs. There is something quite brutally simple about some designs, such as the  blacksmith or his Lion of Industry, all brooding menacing power, nothing soft or subtle.

Sadly he died in 1970 of bronchopneumonia in Fulham Hospital, Hammersmith, London.

His medals, coins and other designs can be found gallery and museum collections around the world, including; Museum Victoria (Australia), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), British Museum (75+ items), The Royal Mint Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

His legacy continues to this day, as his design for the Great Seal, the George Medal and the Irish coinage are still in use.