In my ‘Sculpture in the US’ class we recently were required to read 40, COUNT EM!, 40 pages about a sculptor named John Rogers. Here is what I have learned:
John Rogers was an American sculptor who turned away from neoclassical ideals. He is known for his genre sculptures, scenes of everyday life. His are the sculptures that would appear in Victorian homes in 19th and 20th century homes because of how inexpensive and likable they were. A lot of people in the cities bought his art depicting farm life and rural scenes because it connected them to a place they didn’t actually live in. There were thousands of these sculptures produced and sold.
After finishing the reading our next class was held in the storage section of our University Museum building and were were able to actually see and touch some of the sculptures by John Rogers (suhweet!). In particular, my group was looking at ‘Coming to the Parson’. Instead of getting into the depth of the subject matter, I would like to touch on a few technical things.
I don’t particularly like this sculpture, but there are a couple of interesting things about it. For one- the detail in the table the parson is sitting at is pretty impressive (clawed feet). For two, even though this sculpture is meant to be viewed from the front, there are interesting details in the back of the parson’s chair and in the books behind the newspaper. I admire when details are not overlooked in places that may not be viewed as often.
(I do also quite like the animosity between the animals around the feet of the figures.)
What really IRKS me about John Rogers’s sculptures, though, is the color. The color of his sculptures is meant to look like the clay it was made out of, but it isn’t. It is a paint that is added after the sculpture has been fired. Whoever mixed up the color was definitely waiting until it was the most detestable color possible before applying it and solidifying it for every other sculpture he makes. It is distracting.. and detracting. Why not leave it the pretty white color that the cast makes it? Or why not sell the bronze models? The muddy brown, not-even-a-color color ruins all of his work for me. Call me immature, but I can’t enjoy his sculptures (eye-sores).