Title: “Nostalgie De La Boue”
Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 36″ x 30″
Title: “Tree of Life”
Lithograph – Edition of 450
Dimensions: 22″ x 30″
Original artist information backing card.
“TREE OF LIFE”
ABOUT THE ARTIST…
Arthur M. Kraft is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. After his graduation from Yale University, his art was utilized on covers and throughout the inside leaves of many Henry Luce publications. His first one man show, “Arthur M. Kraft, American Artist,” was launched in Paris by Jean Cocteau’s “Le Gallerie Palais Royale.” Since that time, Mr. Kraft has had exhibits in many of the major art centers, including the Jacques Seligmann Gallery in New York.
Arthur Kraft was director of the National Mural Society and is associated with the American Watercolor Society. He was chosen as a Fellow in the International Institute of Arts and Letters, and also claims a membership in the American Academy in Rome. In 1954, he was honored by the National Junior Chamber of Commerce as one of the TOYM (Ten Outstanding Young Men) in the United States.
His sculptures, murals and mosaics grace buildings and galleries in Kansas City, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Chicago, New York City, Manila, Japan—the world over and stand as monuments to his genius.
Original lithograph backing card.
The Tree of Life
Suggests four seasons….
Spring—the lurch of conception and birth, the liaisons of fecundity, the fullness; thereof Summer and the glimmer of growth and jocundity in the round.
The next to last lock of the canal, Autumn, is the glint of elder grace. Brittleness from burdens borne branches to Winter’s ice reflecting one’s own face.
The bird shatters the image to harken departure.
The Milwaukee Journal article by Emily Genauer – September 5, 1954
Super-Sculpture – A Detroit shopping center sets a surprising art style.
Twenty-five years ago a U.S. Customs official provoked a furor by ruling that modernist Constantin Brancusi’s “Bird In Space,” a piece of bronze vaguely resembling a five-foot-long cigar, was not art and so had to pay a tariff.
Since that famous ruling (subsequently reversed), what has happened to popular art taste in America constitutes a revolution. A good illustration of the surprising sophistication the U.S. public has developed is shown on this page. The huge Northland Shopping Center, outside Detroit, designed to serve 15 million people a year with the latest in marketing conveniences, might seem the last place in the world for modernist sculpture. But 13 examples of this most rarefied art form, mostly the bristling, praying-mantis barbed –wire type, have been strewn through the 161 acres of shops, gardens and plazas.
A 12-inch replica of a 24-foot-tall work has become a best selling souvenir item. A restaurant uses photographs of the sculpture on its menus. Shoppers identify various areas of the center with its art. “Meet me at the Peacock Terrace,” they say. (The peacock, by Arthur Kraft, is a network of bronze rods welded together with an acetylene torch.)
The art was the idea of architect Victor Gruen. He says the public’s warm response is due to the fact that the sculpture injects “an emotion element” into the gigantic $20,000.000 project. The one condition Gruen laid on the six artists, chiefly of the Midwest, commissioned to execute models for the project, was that their work be light and airy. He needed pieces, he told them, that would be modern, “but fun to look at.”
His orders have been followed to the letter. Not even Gruen could have foreseen the trouble mothers would have dragging children off a big stone bear by Marshall Fredericks (see cover). Chances are even that the crusty customs official of 1929 would enjoy this art.
Newspaper clipping from the Spokane Daily Chronicle – Nov 18, 1960:
Walrus Walled In
Artist Arthur Kraft of Kansas City, Mo., contemplates his Big Problem: How to get Albert, his 400-pound plaster walrus, out of his studio. Kraft says one doesn’t stop to consider the size of doors while in the throes of artistic creativity-and Albert just grew and grew as he sculptured him. But Kraft has figured out an answer-he is having a large glass window and part of an inner partition in his apartment removed so Albert can gain his “freedom.”