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Sketch for "Clowns"

Item #6237.jpg

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Title

Sketch for "Clowns"

Subject

Clowns in art
Drawing, American--20th century.
Figure drawing.
Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998

Description

Pencil on yellow drawing paper
8.5" x 4.75"

Although the first clowns date back to ancient times, the descendants of modern clowns were the traveling minstrels of the Middle Ages. They wore brightly colored costumes with ruffled collars and bells, plus they painted their faces or wore masks. They entertained by various means including poetry, music, juggling, acrobatics, and working with trained animals. Not until the sixteenth century when the commedia dell' arte began did pantomime become popular. Today it is a basic tool for clowns. From very early times the purpose of the clown was to display the gamut of human experience and emotion in an uninhibited manner, often by exaggeration.

Fredericks' clowns possess all the characteristic attributes. First, they wear the familiar costume: baggy pants, bells, and ruffled neck, wrist and ankle bands. Their faces are painted also. Their postures and gestures are very expressive. The Lovesick Clown shows exaggerated, unrepressed emotion. The mute Clown Musicians with their invisible instruments humorously remind us of the ability of clowns to entertain without sound. The Circus Train Clown has the circus train down below on the base and the Lovesick Clown has Cupid's arrow through his heart. The Acrobat Clown is depicted with a little dog balancing on the palms of his hands. The Juggler Clown has a ball balanced on the tip of his nose and the Clown Musicians play their imaginary instruments.

Fredericks sculpted the clowns using simple geometric shapes. The forms are highly stylized with clean lines and sharp edges making them visually appealing.

Creator

Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998

Source

Marshall M. Fredericks Papers
Series VIII, Cabinet 1 Drawer 5 Folder 1

Date

n.d.

Rights

Use of this image requires permission from the Marshall M. Fredericks Archives.

Relation

VIII-01-05-01

Format

image/jpeg

Type

Pencil drawing

Identifier

VIII.1998.001.488

Drawing Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Pencil drawing

Physical Dimensions

8.5" x 4.75"

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