Exhibit: Burt Johnson’s World War One Memorials - Honoring the Centennial of Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918

Exhibit: Burt Johnson’s World War One Memorials - Honoring the Centennial of Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918
by: icaa-socal on: Wed, 11/07/2018 - 12:47pm

Fine Arts Building Gallery, Los Angeles, Nov. 8 - Dec. 9, 2018
811 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Opening Reception: Art Walk Thursday, Nov. 8, 6-8pm, with Live Jazz

Curated by Priscilla Schwarz, Ph.D., Lecturer in Art History, Oklahoma State University priscilla.schwarz@okstate.edu
Burt W. Johnson (1890-1927), a young artist related to the famous American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, created significantly distinct World War I memorials. This exhibition will feature enlarged photographs of his public commissions and original archival material, including a piece titled November 11th, the date of the armistice signing.

With studios in Los Angeles and New York City, Johnson made bronze sculptures for both areas as well outside Atlanta. His Huntington Park fountain memorial, apparently the earliest WWI memorial in California, is of a girl bravely clutching the caps of a soldier and sailor. In Garfield Park, Pomona, CA, stands a 7-foot tall heroic pair: an allegorical figure of Pomona handing the Crusader’s sword of Honor to a determined volunteer.

In New York City are two unusual doughboy (soldier) figures. While most sculptors depicted fighting or victorious doughboys, Johnson created pensive, contemplative soldiers quietly remembering their deceased comrades. Flanders Fields bears McCrae’s famous verse on the granite base. Elsewhere, two memorial panels, following a traditional mode, bear the names of the deceased watched over by comrades in arms or an allegorical figure. Memorial and Veteran’s Day ceremonies continue to be held at these public monuments.

The exhibition will also include works by Johnson’s older sister Annetta Johnson St. Gaudens, a pacifist, who produced a peaceful figure of Victory, and Casey Schwarz, grandson of Johnson, who created two abstracted pieces of remembrance and honor.
The Fine Arts Building of Los Angeles is home to Johnson’s 1926 exterior cast stone reliefs and interior bronze sculptures. The gallery is open daily, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The Fine Arts Building Gallery exhibitions are presented by Lisa Ames of Art Meets Architecture lisa@artmeetsarchitecture.com

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