Currently the Memorial Art Gallery is exhibiting the results of the 63rd annual Finger Lakes juried art competition. And so last weekend Assistant Curator Jessica Marten made a gallery talk about the annual show and competition as it was in the 50s, the jurors and the jury process, and some of the art selected in those years. While she spoke, I focused on a painting by Syracuse artist Gordon Steele (1906 – 1961), a work that won the purchase prize in 1957. It’s called “On the Porch”, and try though I might, I cannot find an image of the original. Anyway, here’s a sketch or two.

A woman leans on the porch railing while a man nearby appears to be reading a newspaper.

Kind of reminded me a tiny bit of a two story version of a Giotto we have parsed together.

Jessica Marten went on to offer an interesting recap of the reviews of the works in those days, with some pointedly lamenting the rise of ab-ex, and others defending same. It was a most interesting afternoon at the museum.

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