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3 days until chicks arrive | Finding chickens at Museum of Wisconsin Art

West Bend, Wi – Three days until the chicks arrive at West Bend Elevator. It’s one of the favorite times of year as the chicks signal a start of spring, new birth, and the eggs have ties to Easter celebrations.
There is an interesting piece of artwork at the Museum of Wisconsin Art that incorporates chickens into the fabric of the painting. Summer Afternoon is a piece by German artist Carl Von Marr.
According to the Museum of Wisconsin Art: Carl Von Marr’s Summer Afternoon, perhaps the most popular painting in the Museum of Wisconsin Art, depicts some of life’s greatest pleasures: glorious weather, food and leisure, and the company of family and friends. Within the quiet, shaded recesses of a back garden, women and children gather to escape the heat of the summer sun under a verdant canopy of trees. Women of all ages enjoy tea and conversation, while a nanny and her charges congregate nearby. A toddler entranced by a brood of chickens in the foreground underscores the painting’s quotidian subject. Soft, dappled sunlight illuminates this slice of life in Munich.

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Graeme Reid, the Director of Collections & Exhibitions at MOWA, offered some insight on the painting.
– Von Marr painted Summer Afternoon in Germany in 1892. It was probably one of his greatest examples of what you’d call German Impressionism.
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– One of the most significant things is the painting, Summer Afternoon, which came over to the United States in 1893, for the Chicago World’s Fair along with The Flagellants, another painting by Carl Von Marr which is also housed at the Museum of Wisconsin Art.
– During Von Marr’s birthday celebration in February Professor Rebecca Graff of Lake Forest College spoke about the famous World’s Fair and the—literally—ground-breaking archaeological work she does by digging up historic trash that is a treasure trove of information.
– After the World’s Fair the Hearst family, Phoebe Hearst, the mother of William Randolph Hearst, purchased the painting. A lot of her artwork ended up at the University of California, Berkeley. The piece was later purchased by the Museum of Wisconsin Art.
– Summer Afternoon, according to Reid, is “just a classic example of Von Marr and a scene of everyday life.”
– “You’ve got one table at the back, where you put the younger kids, and you have the older kids and the young ladies on the left-hand side. I always ask the kids who’s sitting at what table? It’s like the kids table for Thanksgiving and Christmas; it’s nothing new to be doing it for hundreds of years.”
– It’s a great painting to explore with children and ask them what they see, what they hear?
– “The painting came over for the World’s Fair in 1893 in Chicago. Von Marr must have rated it very, very highly amongst his paintings because the list of artists who were in the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair was literally a who’s who of American art. Every big name in the late 19th century, was in that shop.”
– “That beautiful, dappled sunlight coming through the back in the painting; that’s what makes a great artist rather than having the light coming from the front.”
– Mark your calendar – the chicks arrive on March 29 at West Bend Elevator.
Chicks at West Bend Elevator
Chicks arrive Wednesday at West Bend Elevator
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