Gallery spotlight: Lucioni & Pont

As a component of the exhibition, A Chicken in Every Pot and Affordable Art in Every Home, group curated by Dr. Slipp’s Spring 2021 Museum Studies class, student were assigned two prints each. They researched the artworks and wrote catalogue entries and labels for adults and children. Sticking to a tight word count, students produced different kinds of writing for different audiences.

The texts below were authored by AUM student Jenna Abbott

Luigi Lucioni (Italian, 1900-1988)

Stones & Shadows, 1970

Etching (brown), ed. 250, 11 x 8 inches

Label for Adults – Italian-born Luigi Lucioni found inspiration for his realistic style of painting in the Vermont countryside, which reminded him of his childhood home in Northern Italy. In Stones & Shadows, Lucioni affords painstaking detail to depicting the individual intricacies of the stonework along each building, and expertly rendering shadows in the tight spaces between them. This careful attention continues out into the valleys and hillsides beyond, with his linework gradually becoming lighter moving into the distance.

Label for Kids – Stones & Shadows is a landscape featuring a view of the mountains from between two stone buildings. This image was etched onto a plate before printing, making it possible to easily create copies. Have you made any art that you would want to etch?

Catalogue entry  Born in Malnate, Italy, near the Swiss Alps, Luigi Lucioni began studying art at a young age. His family immigrated to the US in 1911, settling in Union City, New Jersey. Lucioni continued his art studies at Cooper Union and the National Academy of Design before receiving a fellowship to the Tiffany Foundation in Long Island.

In 1931, Mrs. J. Watson Webb of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont commissioned a work after one of Lucioni’s paintings was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vermont reminded Lucioni of Northern Italy and served as the primary subject of his still life paintings over the next 50 years.

In total, Lucioni contributed 83 paintings to the AAA, fondly remarking that he believed their prints to be “fine because it’s gone out to the public and I think there’s a much more knowledgeable art-loving public in America than there was thirty years ago.”

Sources Consulted

Luigi Lucioni, https://americanart.si.edu/artist/luigi-lucioni-3011

Luigi Lucioni Papers, Syracuse University Library

Oral History Interview with Luigi Lucioni, 1971 July 6, Archives of American Art

Charles E. Pont (Swiss, 1898-1971)

Heave Up, 1938

Wood engraving, 8.5 x 10.5 inches

Label for Adults – Many of Charles E. Pont’s nautical paintings are firmly centered on seafaring vessels. In Heave Up, however, Pont focuses on the straining of sailors working a winch. The sea itself features many peaks, indicating rough waters. The deep shading on the sailors themselves could be an indication of the heavy work they are performing. The strain is the most apparent in the two middle sailors, with Pont carefully rendering the bulging muscles in their necks.

Label for Kids – Heave Up is an etching of sailors raising a ship’s anchor while in rough seas. Anchors are large, made of metal, and are extremely heavy. This is so that they keep ships from moving while in the water. Could you imagine lifting something like that?

Catalogue entry  Charles E. Pont was best known as a watercolorist and oil painter, with many of his works focusing on nautical themes. He studied at Pratt Institute and Cooper Union in New York City. In addition to his more traditional illustrations, Pont also created murals, lithographs, and more for the Works Progress Administration Arts Project—Part of FDR’s New Deal program in the 1930s and 40s. His works are in collections at the National Gallery of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Heave Up was the only work Pont contributed to the Associated American Artists.

Sources Consulted

Charles Pont, https://www.askart.com/artist/Charles_Ernest_Pont/

109587/Charles_Ernest_Pont.aspx

Charles E. Pont, MoMa, https://www.moma.org/artists/62280

Charles E. Pont, https://americanart.si.edu/artist/charles-e-pont-3834

Charles Pont, NGA, http://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.33895.html

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