New research on a sculpture in the collection of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has resulted in a shift of about 100 years and 45 degrees.
Saint Paul the Hermit, before restoration
St. Paul The Hermit was acquired by the MIA in 1973; at the time it was believed to be a work of Italian sculptor Francesco Mochi (1580-1654). But experts recognized the hermit differed from Mochi's other pieces.
And even those with an untrained eye had to ask - why does the hermit look like he's about to dive into a lake?
MIA curator Eike Schmidt began investigating the history of the sculpture in 2010, and it didn't take long to figure out that the hermit was NOT by Mochi, but by the lesser known Andrea Bergondi in 1775, more than a hundred years later than previously thought.
According to an article by Schmidt for an upcoming edition of the MIA's member magazine, a handwritten note in the MIA's old index-card catalogue bearing John Pope-Hennessy's attribution of the sculpture to Bergondi provided the clue for the correct identification.
It represents the first hermit saint of the Christian church, Saint Paul (not to be confused with the Apostle Paul), who in the third century retreated to the Egyptian desert near Luxor to live a solitary life dedicated to the worship of God.
That's right, he's worshipping - NOT swimming.
Over the past year and a half, with the help of the Midwest Art Conservation Center, the MIA has painstakingly restored the sculpture, removing blocks of stone that add been added by a previous owner in the 1960s to create a solid base. MIA staff then repositioned Saint Paul so that he stands more upright. Suddenly those hands aren't preparing for a dive - they're praying.
Saint Paul the Hermit, after restoration
Much better, don't you think?
Starting Saturday you can pay a visit to Saint Paul, and learn more about his restoration, and the church he came from. He'll be on display in the Cargill Gallery.
The hounds lead us to the premiere of an alt-musical in Duluth, a charitable community choir in St. Paul, and an exhibition that pairs up male and female artists.
"Spring Awakening succeeds as musical theater, by breaking the rules of musical theater." That's according to Rebecca Katz Harwood, who's heralding the premiere of the broadway sensation Spring Awakening at Renegade Theater in Duluth. Rebecca, who teaches theater and dance at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is a dancer and choreographer, says the musical is about German teenagers in the late 19th century trying to emerge from an oppressive childhood. It's not suitable material for children, though. On stage at Renegade Feb. 9 - 25.
Anne-Marie Wagener paid her first visit to Bloomington Art Center and was wowed by its current exhibition "Lace and Gunpowder." The show puts the work of male and female painters, sculptors and illustrators side by side to demonstrate unlikely contrasts and similarities. Anne-Marie, who directs public relations at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, wasn't drawn so much to the gender divisions as the sheer power and beauty of the art. You can see the show through Feb. 17.
VocalPointhas a dual purpose, to create the most compelling choral music it can while raising money for humanitarian causes. St. Paul choral singer Shahbaz Shah says the choir has one of the most dynamic directors in the Twin Cities in Jennifer Anderson. VocalPoint is singing this weekend (2/11 & 2/12 at 3pm) at its home base of Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Maria Jette is the guest soloist.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
Art Hounds is powered by the Public Insight Network.
Posted at 4:13 PM on February 9, 2012
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Events
Here are some good bets for showing your affection to a loved one before, during and after Valentine's Day:
Dennis Oglesby, Dennis Spears and Julius Collins perform at the Capri Theater this weekend
Before Valentine's Day
Three handsome men sing of love, so you don't have to find the words. Join Dennis Oglesby, Dennis Spears and Julius Collins at the Capri Theater, accompanied by Sanford Moore on piano. The show features a range of genres and musical moods, from pop to jazz and blues, and perhaps a poem or two. The concerts are at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb 11 and 3 pm Sunday, Feb 12.
Come witness a Hot Metal Iron Pour at the Park for Valentines day. Bring your love, potential love or meet someone new... Twelve sculptors brave the cold for a short, sweet and HOT affair! Bring a thermos of cocoa and warm your hands over the hot sculpture molds. Sunday · February 12th 12 - 5pm
On Valentine's Day
Let the fabulous Steele family sing you songs of love as you dine on some seductive fare at the Dakota. Seating available for dinner and "dessert" performances.
Usher in Valentine's Day the old fashioned way by enjoying classic poems of the 19th century in the elegant drawing room of the Hill House. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson and Ann Daly, wearing 1890s eveningwear, perform a wide range of humorous and stirring poems. Visitors will hear works by Dickinson, Poe, Longfellow, Browning and others dealing with love, romance, temperance, sports, war and even poems about James J. Hill himself. Audience members are invited to bring a short Victorian poem to read aloud. The one-hour program will be followed by light refreshments and tours of the Hill House.
After Valentine's Day
A fisherman falls in love with a woman who is a selkie - part human and part seal. She must make a choice between betrayal and self-sacrifice: past or future, heart or home in The Ballad of the Pale Fisherman. Written and directed by local playwright Isabel Nelson, Pale Fisherman is inspired by Irish and Scottish folk tales. At the Illusion Theater through February 25. (Editor's note: this performance actually runs before, during and after Valentine's Day, but for the sake of symmetry I've place it in the post V-day slot)
Enjoy Gothic chant by candlelight accompanied by interpretive projections, as you escape to a time when artists were heroes and composers were paid better than politicians. I know it's in a church, but aren't those lovely voices romantic? In the Twin Cities performances are Saturday at The Basilica of Saint Mary and Sunday at St. Mary's Chapel of The St. Paul Seminary.