Friday, October 21, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Going Ape

On our recent wanders around antique and vintage stores in Kansas I found another piece of sculpture by Austin Productions. In an antique mall in Emporia KS, this one came as a surprise. I picked it up for a closer look mainly because I liked the idea it represents; turned it around and was very surprised to see "Austin Productions" carved into the base at the back, dated 1962 - quite an early piece for them. We already have four other Austin Productions pieces (see here, here, here, and here).
I bought the piece at a very reasonable price, much lower than is being asked for similar pieces on E-bay and elsewhere.

I wasn't, originally, aware that it is an "homage" piece, or rough copy, of a famous sculpture by 19th century German sculptor
Wolfgang Hugo Rheinhold
(26 March 1853 – 2 October 1900) who was arguably most famous for his
Affe mit Schädel (Ape with Skull), inspired by Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. There have been several variations, copies of, and tributes to Rheinhold's sculpture over the years. Austin Productions was one of the original US manufacturers. The Austin Productions piece differs from Rheinhold's original in fine detail, and in material used.


mike said...

Geeeeeeeez - lost my original comment...effin Google! Is there a signature on "Ape with Skull"? Too bad Morfy never came clean as artist-in-residence for BMW, but there's enough evidence to incriminate her as the one, much to her chagrin. You and anyjazz will need to convert your garage to house your Austin Production acquisitions.

Re Terry Pratchett quotation - It seems so very difficult for us humans to comprehend our inter-relatedness, that we all come from the same ancient, parental source. More difficult is the concept that all life shares the same core, biochemical reactions from millions of years' evolution that have produced all life on Earth. We in the USA have granted personhood to corporations, so I guess AT&T is my cousin! Personhood of nature (Earth or Gaia) is slowly integrating into our modern-human consciousness:
Native Americans (and many other cultures past and-or present) have always considered nature to be an integral part of each human, that there is no separation. Global warming is a critical symptom of our disconnect from nature.

mike (again) said... comment posted!!! I forgot to provide this link:

Twilight said...

mike ~ No signature on this one. I suspect that in their early days Austin Prods mainly put out this kind of "homage" piece, then a little later around BMW time they allowed individual employees to work on designs. Maybe from designs/sketches provided by Austin Prods, and these were signed. Just guessing. The ape isn't huge - it's less than a foot high so doesn't take up the kind of space BMW does. :-)

Thanks for the link to the Guardian article - it's a very good read! Some of the comments are disappointing though. I especially disliked these lines from one of the comments, one fairly well down the thread The cosmos as a whole is as dumb as a bag full of rocks. Clouds of hydrogen and helium are not conscious. Some, because of chemical action turn into conscious things. Dang cheek! The cosmos is ALL, and we are but teeny teeny teeny tiny almost sizeless particles of it. (Still, maybe we all ARE dumb as rocks ourselves, considering how we act.)

mike (again) said...

Here's a Neil deGrasse Tyson quote for that commenter:
“However, every advance in our knowledge of the cosmos has revealed that we live on a cosmic speck of dust, orbiting a mediocre star in the far suburbs of a common sort of galaxy, among a hundred billion galaxies in the universe. The news of our cosmic unimportance triggers impressive defense mechanisms in the human psyche.” Neil deGrasse Tyson, Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

The number of galaxies in the universe was recently increased by a factor of twenty from Tyson's above quote. The new estimate is at least 2 trillion galaxies! The number of total stars in the universe is almost infinite.

mike (again) said...

And this just in:

"A Republican congressman said on Thursday that 'sometimes a lady needs to be told when she's being nasty.' Rep. Brian Babin of Texas made the remark on Fox News radio when host Alan Colmes asked if it was appropriate for Donald Trump to have called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" at Wednesday's debate."

Twilight said...

mike (agains) ~ Our human brains are not capable of properly digesting much of what we're told about the cosmos/universe. Anyjazz always says he gets a nosebleed after $1000; I get a nosebleed after considering just a couple of solar systems! Two trillion though...YIKES!! the "just in"...LOL! And sometimes a Republican Representative needs to be told when he's right. ;-)