Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Robert B. Howard

"Multiple Compass" - Robert B. Howard                        Photo by Ian Reeves
I really like this mobile by Robert Boardman Howard (1896 - 1983).  This article describes the propeller-like sculpture as being black, with dark blue blotches painted on it, suggesting the markings on military aircraft.

Here is another one of his sculptures at the San Francisco MOMA:

This sculpture is entitled "Ram".  The photo does not convey the mammoth size of this sculpture, which is listed in the SFMOMA website as being 117 inches (nearly 10 feet) tall!  It appears that the three-legged geometric shape is free to rotate on the bulbous black base.

Here is another sculpture in wood, also at the SFMOMA, which I like the best of the three.  It is called "Semaphore".

photo by Marsi - via Flickr

Here is a picture that I found of a party in his studio.  You can see some interesting mobiles and stabiles.  Hey, that guy on drums looks like Bobby Kennedy!

I've tried to find more information about this artist via the Internet without much success.  Wikipedia mentions his name as being one of the Coit Tower muralists from the California School of Fine Arts.  Since there is also a painting in the holdings at the SFMOMA I suspect this is the same artist.  I also found this memorial on the Internet but it appears to be about another artist with the same name - his birth/death dates do not match the dates listed in SFMOMA and there is no mention of Coit Tower or any involvement with San Francisco.

Do you know anything about Robert B. Howard?   Leave a comment if you do!