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Aesop's Crow

Melissa Miller (American, born 1951). Aesop’s Crow, 1985. Oil on linen, 66 x 48 inches (167.6 x 121.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Armand J. Castellani, 1987 (1987:11). © 1985 Melissa Miller.

Exhibition Spotlight—Menagerie: Animals on View—Birds

March 17, 2017

On the occasion of Menagerie: Animals on View, we're taking a closer look at several of the thematic groupings in the exhibition. This week: Birds.

Birds, in all of their majesty and fragility, have long been a source of awe and mystery. Throughout art history, their images have played a role in scientific inquiry, taxonomy, and spiritual symbolism, allowing us to meaningfully connect with the vast natural world that exists between the Earth and the sky. The all-knowing, all-seeing owl has represented wisdom and the quest for knowledge, while the crow and the raven have heralded bad omens. However, while many modern and contemporary artists have looked to winged creatures for inspiration, their interpretations are anything but ordinary. The myriad works in Menagerie: Animals on View present birds as allegories for our own earthbound existence. 

Caprice

Leonard Baskin (American, 1922–2000). Caprice, 1963. Bronze, 25 x 25 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (63.5 x 64.8 x 29.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Elisabeth H. Gates Fund, 1964 (1964:10). © Estate of Leonard Baskin.

White Bird

William Baziotes (American, 1912–1963). White Bird, 1957. Oil on canvas, 60 x 48 inches (152.4 x 121.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1957 (K1957:13). © Estate of William Baziotes.

Large Bird Shape

Chryssa (American, born Greece, 1933–2013). Large Bird Shape, 1973–75. Neon and Plexiglas, 18 x 36 x 5 inches (45.7 x 91.4 x 12.7 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Frank L. Gentile, 1982 (1982:45). © Estate of Chryssa.

135

Megan Greene (American, born 1976). 135, 2011. Mixed media on paper, 11 3/4 x 8 3/4 inches (29.8 x 22.2 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Charles Clifton Fund, by exchange, 2012 (2012:2.1). © 2011 Megan Greene.

155

Megan Greene (American, born 1976). 155, 2011. Mixed media on paper, 8 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches (22.2 x 29.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Charles Clifton Fund, by exchange, 2012 (2012:2.2). © 2011 Megan Greene.

When the Raven Was White

Grace Hartigan (American, 1922–2008). When the Raven Was White, 1969. Oil on canvas, 88 1/2 x 78 1/2 (224.8 x 199.4). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; The Martha Jackson Collection at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, 1974 (1974:8.10). © Estate of Grace Hartigan.

St. Francis Preaching to the Birds (after Giotto)

Jiří Kolář (Czech, 1914–2002). St. Francis Preaching to the Birds (after Giotto), not dated. Transformation chiasmage, 20 7/8 x 15 3/4 inches (53 x 40 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Galerie Schreiner, Basel, 1978 (1978:9). © Estate of Jiří Kolář / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Gallic Cock

Frances Kent Lamont (American, 1899–1975). Gallic Cock, 1939 (cast executed 1947). Polished brass, 15 1/4 x 42 1/2 x 25 inches (38.7 x 108 x 63.5 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Winthrop Kent in memory of their son, Henry Mellen Kent, 1954 (1954:4). © Estate of Frances Kent Lamont.

Startled Bird

Bernard Meadows (British, 1915–2005). Startled Bird, 1955. Bronze, edition 2/6; 24 x 17 3/8 x 11 1/4 inches (61 x 44.1 x 28.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958 (K1958:39). © 1955 Estate of Bernard Meadows.

Small Girl With Bird

Keiko Minami (Japanese, 1911–2004). Small Girl with Bird, ca. 1950s. Etching, edition 27/100; 15 x 20 1/2 inches (38.1 x 52.1 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Frederic P. Norton, 1999 (P1999:6.399). © Estate of Keiko Minami.

Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit (Woman and Birds in the Night)

Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893–1983). Femme et oiseaux dans la nuit (Woman and Birds in Night), 1945. Oil on canvas, 51 x 64 inches (129.5 x 162.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1958 (K1958:10). © Successió Miró S.L. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

Aesop's Crow

Melissa Miller (American, born 1951). Aesop’s Crow, 1985. Oil on linen, 66 x 48 inches (167.6 x 121.9 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Armand J. Castellani, 1987 (1987:11). © 1985 Melissa Miller.

Flying Bird

Carl Henning Pedersen (Danish, 1913–1993). Flying Bird, 1951. Oil on canvas, 47 1/2 x 40 inches (120.6 x 101.6 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; Gift of Seymour H. Knox, Jr., 1964 (K1964:12). © Estate of Carl-Henning Pedersen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.

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