Acrobat Clown [Bronze]

Dublin Core

Title

Acrobat Clown [Bronze]

Subject

Figure sculpture, American--20th century

Description

Acrobat Clown, 1938
Bronze, cast 1988

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Marshall M. Fredericks
1991.042

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.

The bronze full-scale sculptures are located outside the Arbury Fine Arts Center near the University Art Gallery on the campus interior's courtyard.

Creator

Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998

Date

1988

Rights

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

Type

Sculpture

Coverage

University Center (Mich.)

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Physical Dimensions

29.5" h

Materials

Bronze

Catalog Number

1991.042

Object Location

Main Exhibit Gallery

Files

1991.042.jpg

Citation

Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998, “Acrobat Clown [Bronze],” Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, accessed May 23, 2024, https://omeka.svsu.edu/items/show/5091.