Early American Carousel Sculptures Find New Home at the Crocker

  • August 04, 2020 15:33

  • Email
Gustav Dentzel (American, born Germany, 1844–1909), Horse, ca. 1907. Basswood and pigments and hair, 60 x 62 x 12. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Larry and Gail Freels, 2019.94.6.
Gustav Dentzel (American, born Germany, 1844–1909), Goat, ca. 1907. Basswood and pigments, 57 x 60 x 11 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Larry and Gail Freels, 2019.94.4.

The Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, Calif., has welcomed to its collection six hand-carved carousel animal sculptures by top makers from the golden age of carousels. The menagerie includes a deer, giraffe, horse, goat, bear, and greyhound, and is a generous gift from the renowned collection of the Freels Foundation.

The golden age of carousels spanned the 1880s through the 1920s, when resorts and cities throughout the United States and England featured them in their amusement parks. Most carousel animals were horses and were based on the French 17th-century origins of the ride. Additional menagerie animals were later added, including lions, tigers, giraffes, deer, rabbits, goats, pigs, ostriches, bears, and dogs.

Advertisement

The best carousel carvers were highly trained, their work literally sculpture in motion. Today, carousel sculpture is grouped into three basic carving styles: the Philadelphia Style, the Coney Island Style, and the County Fair Style, the latter being smaller, more simply carved animals intended for traveling fairs.

The Philadelphia Style includes figures by The Dentzel Company and is generally considered the most realistic and graceful. The Dentzel Company created the giraffe, horse, goat, and bear now in the Crocker’s collection. Daniel Müller apprenticed at the Dentzel company prior to founding his own company, D.C. Müller & Bro., in 1902. Müller’s training at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is evident in the skillful carving of the deer.

D. C. Müller & Bro. Company (active 1903–1914), Standing Deer (detail), ca. 1908. Basswood with pigments, 54 x 69 x 11 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Larry and Gail Freels, 2019.94.3.

In contrast to the Philadelphia style, the Coney Island style boasted flashier decoration, including silver or gold leaf and sometimes glass jewels. This ornate style is exemplified by Charles Loof’s classic greyhound.

The sculptures are now installed inside and just outside the Crocker Art Museum’s Setzer Foundation Auditorium. Visit the museum website for visitor guidelines and opening updates: https://www.crockerart.org/


  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

From Berry Campbell Gallery, Yvonne Thomas, Untitled (March 1957), 1957.  Oil on canvas.  55 1/2 × 65 in.

ARTFIXdaily's Holiday Gift Guide 2020

  • ArtfixDaily / November 29th, 2020

Find a selection of holiday gift ideas here, for your favorite people or to enhance your own collection, from ...

Read More...
Rock art found in the Amazon rainforest.  Image: Professor José Iriarte via CNN

Incredible Ice Age Rock Art Featuring Extinct Animals Discovered In The Amazon

  • CNN / December 3rd, 2020

Researchers from Colombia and the U.K. have found nearly eight miles of ancient rock art depicting numerous ...

Read More...
Julian Alden Weir, Early Moonrise, 1891.  Oil on canvas.  Weir Farm National Historic Site, The Friends of Weir Farm NHS, The Weir Farm Art Alliance, and the Weir Farm Donation Account

View Highlights Of The Connecticut Art Trail Collaborative Exhibition at The Wadsworth Atheneum

  • ArtfixDaily / December 2nd, 2020

One of the first tourism trails in the state--The Connecticut Art Trail--is celebrating 25 years of guiding art ...

Read More...
Frederic Edwin Church.  Image: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.  Brady-Handy Photograph Collection.

Church and Rothko Pairings Prove Sublime In This Gallery Exhibition

  • ArtfixDaily / December 2nd, 2020

A current exhibition titled Church & Rothko: Sublime at Mnuchin Gallery in New York pairs the Hudson River School ...

Read More...

Related Press Releases

Schwenke Auctioneers - Shagbark Farm Collection - Dec 6

ARTFIXdaily Artwire