Allen identifies some of his work in his diary as “ideal.” The term used in sculpture sometimes refers to the artistically presented subjects from mythology or allegory that were used decoratively in 18th and 19th century homes. Continue reading “Ideal Sculpture”
Polychromy is the art of employing many or various colors in decoration, especially in reference to architecture, pottery or sculpture. Polychrome decoration has existed since the Bronze age. Ancient Greek sculpture was painted in bright colors, bold patterns and lifelike colors. Sometimes other materials were added such as metals, Continue reading “Polychromy”
Taken from the biography by Agnes H. Allen:
“With the possibility of doing the sculpture on a War Memorial by Maginnis in the Fenway, which later went to another architect with change in politics, Fred spent a good deal of time thinking about it, studying historic uniforms etc. He talked to me about his need to get it all worked out in his mind or on paper before starting the actual work. He explained his thought of the need of two allegorical groups, one Memory, one Peace. Continue reading “On War Memorials: Allen’s theory and opinions”
It is interesting to note the difference between the carved marble relief of Mrs. Cole and the bronze bust of her brother-in-law done a few years later. Although the bust has more detail, the character of the two subjects is clearly portrayed.
Two different media, two different styles, the marble carved carefully with silky smooth surfaces and restrained details, the bronze textured and exuberant. Continue reading “Carved vs. Modeled Portraits”
Medallic and numismatic art is one that combines artistry and technical skill. Not only was Allen trained in the technicalities of this art as a teenager in the jewelry factories of Attleboro, but he was also trained in the artistry of the work by Bela Lyon Pratt, one of the two most famous numismatists of the day, the second was Pratt’s teacher Augustus St. Gaudens. On his own, Allen had an extraordinary ability to create depth and detail in extremely low relief. This medal is an example. As is the custom, two designs are created to complement each other on opposite sides of the medal or coin. Continue reading “Medallic and Numismatic Art”
Direct Carving is the practice of creating an original stone or wood sculpture, carving from a rough block of stone or piece of wood without making a model to copy. The sculptor lets the material suggest his subject matter and treatment, often leading to creative and artful solutions to the challenges the material presents. In his more advanced classes at the Museum School, Allen taught the principles and techniques of this method to his students who used stones and driftwood harvested from the New England beaches to sculpt extemporaneously. Continue reading “Direct Carving”