Featured Acquisition

Viola Frey

Kathryn Sharbaugh standing with Frey Sculpture of Arrogant Man

Over the course of her 50-year career, Viola Frey produced an impressive body of artwork, including sculptures, paintings, and drawings, but she is best known for her brilliantly colored, monumental ceramic figures. Frey belonged to a generation of California artists who pushed the boundaries of clay as a craft to produce sculptural artworks, which would elevate ceramics as a medium of fine art as we know it today.

Although she rarely worked in small scale it was not until the mid-1970s when Frey’s art took on the massive scale for which she is most well known. After two of her figures buckled under their own weight, Frey developed a new technique that allowed her to build well over life-sized. Figures like Arrogant Man are built in individual sections that weigh between 30 to 70 pounds. Since they are essentially three-dimensional puzzles, each section required careful planning. Because of this, she sacrificed spontaneity in creating the form but expressed herself instead with the creative application of glazes. She could mix colors, add gestural lines, and incorporate texture to make the sculptures dynamic and colorful.

Control and power are underlying themes in Frey’s work. She lived in a time where men held most of the authority. She likely felt some of the effects of that in her own career, often being compared to her male contemporaries. It is not surprising that she addressed it in her artwork with depictions of imposing men in business suits. In a 1995 interview, Frey explained what her suited men were about—“the power to do good and the power to do bad.” At nearly 10 1/2 feet tall, Arrogant Man towers over the viewer with hands on his hips and a stern expression on his face.

Image: Viola Frey American, 1933–2004. Arrogant Man, 1986. Glazed polychrome ceramic on a steel armature, 123 × 57 × 23 inches. Gift of Tiffany Lovett in honor of her father William S. White, who was not an arrogant man, 2020.54 © 2021 Artists’ Legacy Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY


Recent Acquisitions

Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Overtown Cityscape, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood, 25 × 82 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks in honor of David Miller, 2020.70
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Showgirls, 1980s. Mixed media on board,  45 1/2 × 37 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.71
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010.  Fireworks, 1980s. Mixed media on found pegboard panel with attached acrylic and mixed media works,  36 × 57 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.72
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Night Club Dance Floor, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood 17 1/2 × 42 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.73
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Miami Cityscape with Liberty Tower, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood stockade fence section with pieced painted found wood frame, 48 × 48 inches Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.74
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood 47 × 58 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.75
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Guitar Man, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood, 53 × 24 1/2 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.76
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Trucks, Deer, Horses, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood with attached mixed media on wood with pieced, painted found wood frames,  70 × 36 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks in memory of Larry T. Clemons, a champion of Purvis Young, 2020.77
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. In the Park, 1980s. Mixed media on pieced found wood with pierced, painted found wood frame, 79 × 13 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.78
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Overtown Street Concert, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood, 42 × 42 1/2 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.79
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Bubble People, 1980s. Mixed media on untrimmed canvas glued to carpet, 37 × 48 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.80
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Evening in Overtown, 1980s. Mixed media on paper, 33 × 26 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.81
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Triangular Creatures, 1980s. Mixed media on found panel, 17 × 17 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.8
Purvis Young, American, 1943–2010. Great Bald Head, 1980s. Mixed media on found wood with pierced, painted found wood frame, 29 × 14 1/2 inches. Gift of Selig D. Sacks, 2020.83
Thomas Roese, American, born 1948. 625 CL Urban Series: Promised/1,2,3, 2010. Graphite and acrylic on illustration board, 22 × 29 inches. Gift of Thomas Roese, 2020.84
Thomas Roese, American, born 1948. 899 Cle Series: Split But Together, 2020. Graphite, acrylic, and colored pencil on illustration board, 16 × 40 inches. Gift of Thomas Roese, 2020.85
Thomas Roese, American, born 1948. 898 Cle Series: Double Crossed and Standing Alone, 2020. Graphite, acrylic, and colored pencil on illustration board, 16 × 40 inches. Gift of Thomas Roese, 2020.86 
Thomas Roese, American, born 1948. 801 Cle Series: Yellow Grove, 2017. Graphite, acrylic, and colored pencil on illustration board, 32 × 40 inches. Gift of Thomas Roese, 2020.87   
Thomas Roese, American, born 1948. 907 Cle Series: Monumental Momentum, 2020. Graphite, acrylic, and colored pencil on illustration board, 32 × 40 inches. Gift of Thomas Roese, 2020.88 
Frank Lloyd Wright, American, 1867–1959. Window from Robie House, Design No. 2, n.d. Hand-made iridescent and clear glass; crafted in solid copper came construction, 43 7/8 × 15 1/2 inches. Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson, 2020.89 
Sam Wolson, American, born 1989. Denard X. Robinson, 2010. Color photograph 13 × 14 1/2 inches. Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson, 2020.90 
Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, German, founded 1710. Widderkorb (Ram’s Head Basket), 1815–1860. Porcelain, 7 1/4 × 14 1/2 × 9 inches. Gift of Johanna E. Harmon, 2020.91
George Rogers, American, 1930–2002 Sculptural Forms 1 (Black and Silver), 1984. Color sculpturegraph on paper, 13 1/4 × 8 7/8  inches. Gift of Dr. Jamile Trueba Lawand, 2020.92 
Ke Francis, American, born 1945. Untitled, n.d. Woodcut on paper, 26 × 26 inches. Gift of John and Janice Henry, 2020.93 
John Morning, American. Two Circles, 2019. Screenprint on paper, 8 × 8 1/2 inches. Anonymous Donor, 2020.94 
Ed Watkins, American, born 1950. Surrender Pock, 2013. Polyester plate lithography on paper, 16 × 10 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2020.95 
Ed Watkins, American, born 1950. The Draw, 2013. Waterless lithography on paper, 13 × 17 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2020.96 
Senufo, Côte d’Ivoire. Double-faced Mask (Kpelie), 20th century. Wood, 17 × 9 × 4 1/2 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.1 
Lwalwa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mask, Early 20th century. Wood, pigment, 14 × 10 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.2 
Bété, Côte d’Ivoire. Spider Mask (Nyabwa), 20th century. Wood, pigment, fiber, metal, beads, 15 × 8 × 6 1/2 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.3 
Igbo, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Elephant Spirit Mask (Ogbodo Enyi), 20th century. Wood, pigment, metal, 14 × 12 × 22 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.4 
Salampasu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Mask, 20th century. Wood, wicker, 16 × 11 1/2 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.5 
Mumuye, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Standing Figure, Early 20th century. Wood, 22 × 7 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.6
Federal Republic of Nigeria. Seated Female Figure, n.d. Wood, 26 × 6 × 6 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.7
Northern Igbo, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Seated Figure, Early 20th century. Wood 29 1/2 × 10 3/4 × 11 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.8 
Yoruba, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Figure of Eshu, n.d. Wood, beads, 17 × 8 × 6 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.9 
Michael James Hunter, English, born 1958. Close Concentric Murrine with Finch, 2019. Glass, 2 15/16 inches. diameter Gift of Ralph Edwards, 2021.10 
Igbo, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Mask, 19th century. Polychrome wood, 12 × 9 × 7 inches. Museum purchase with funds from the Collection Endowment, 2021.11