Charles Cary Rumsey (1879-1922), Charles Cary Rumsey: In Motion exhibition installation image, October 12, 2018 - March 28, 2021; Image courtesy of the Burchfield Penney Art Center
Charles Cary Rumsey: In Motion
A recurring theme in the conversation about the work of sculptors is their ability to represent movement with still forms. The Center has looked at this theme with the work of contemporary artist Ellen Steinfeld, in the exhibition Suspended Motion, and many others. In the exhibition being presented concurrently, Display: The Sculpture of Anne Currier, the artist refers to her work as, “…the interplay of masses and voids. Absence and presence, light and shadow, stasis and motion are subject matter.”
Charles Cary Rumsey Curator, Nancy Weekly has recognized active motion in the work of Rumsey writing: “His special love of horses, which deepened while playing polo and creating equine portraits, can be seen in his ability to articulate anatomy in motion.” His work is a great representation of classical early 20th-century action, arrested.
The work of Rumsey is primarily focused on action. The Wave, a triumphant sculpture of horses and riders rearing, best represents the artist’s skill of creating a narrative around an activity that is experienced in a still moment. Frolicking animals and people, scratching horses, and the mythological Centaur, range from frenetic to controlled acts.
The Burchfield Penney Art Center is fortunate to be the home to a major collection of Charles Cary Rumsey’s work and archives. Through the support of an endowment set up by the artist’s estate, we are able to explore various facets of his life and work, and that of other sculptors in the community. The exhibition was curated by Scott Propeack, Associate Director and Chief Curator.
Explore a self-guided virtual tour of this exhibition here.