Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cats in Art: Madi & Vessantara (Buddhist Story Cloth)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I am using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.  

I have a loved one who lives in Eureka, CA, and works at the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art.  So...I perused the on-line images held by the Morris Graves Museum of Art and came up with 3 works containing cats (this is post 2 of 3).

Here's what the museum website says about their mission:

Museum art collections represent the nation’s patrimony and heritage, and the Humboldt Arts Council is conscious that we are entrusted with a resource that essentially belongs to the whole community— it’s yours to enjoy!

Collecting works of art is one of the most basic undertakings of an art museum. Moreover, what the museum collects strongly determines its overall character and influence in the art community at large. As a consequence, the Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art is founded upon the principles of ethical art collecting and stewardship. The Museum recognizes that it holds for posterity a significant portion of our cultural wealth.  The Morris Graves Museum of Art is dedicated to the arts and artists of the Pacific Northwest with the highest priority given to the works of our patron artist, Morris Graves. Emphasis is placed on collecting art which builds on the evolving strengths of the collection and which also have a significant potential for long-term usefulness. 

With that intro, here's an image from the recent past:

Image credit Humboldt Arts Council in the Morris Graves Museum of Art, Madi & Vessantara (Buddhist Story Cloth), artist unknown, 1900, on loan from Jeanne Nash.

And a close up of the kitties on the left:

As I have seen repeatedly over the past few years as I have explored the topic of Cats in Art every Sunday, many ancient images feature big, wild cats such as lions, tigers, and leopards as we see here.

Since this theme of depicting dangerous wild kitties is recurring across numerous cultures and times, it's fair to conclude that people have had an enduring fascination with cats of all sorts.  Maybe that's why we domesticated the smaller, less dangerous version and keep them until this day.

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