Brookgreen Gardens

This page includes works by Henry Clews, Jr.

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The Duchess

Henry Clews, Jr.
c. 1914
aluminum, 1' 8" H, 4" D

Clews' satiric portrait of the aristocracy is emphasized by the contrast between the duchess' nude, skeletal body, sagging breasts, and bloated abdomen and her haughty pose, elaborate hairdo with an ostrich plume, and her affected hand--holding a fan.

Beads cross diagonally across the duchess' torso while posing flamingos on the base, set between classical pilasters, satirically comment on her pride.
The Thinker
Henry Clews, Jr.
c. 1914
aluminum on bronze base, 15' 1" H

The old thinker

Carefully modelled, the thinker has aged in his search for truth. Symbolic elements include, among others, the skull over his groin (the death of sensuality in the pursuit of truth?), the peacock's tail at his head (the vanity of his search?), and the book of Mother Goose stories on which he stands (folk wisdom?)

Mother Nature

A symbol of the life force? Yet on her back is a bat--a negative symbol.
The complex symbolism of the base. The creatures on each face have one closed, one open eye--like the thinker himself. The figures symbolize the evils of society while the smaller corner figures represent forces which influence human thinking--religion, government, education. See Beatrice Gilman Proske, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture, 1968, for fuller explanation.

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Copyright Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.

Page created by Mary Ann Sullivan