Artwork of the Week: June 14, 2021
John Septimus Sears, The Kodak Fiend (1/30), Bronze, 6 x 10 x 5 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1994.
“Jack” Sears studied cartooning in New York and worked as an illustrator for newspapers and magazines. His style is evident in this witty caricature that captures the rising craze of amateur photography in turn-of-the-century America, largely due to the introduction of personal cameras. Like the stealthy figure in this bronze, people could be found snapping candid picture
wherever they went. Harper’s Weekly magazine reported, “[The camera’s click] is heard on the street, in the cars, at the theatre, … in fact, wherever men and women congregate.” Sears grew up in the Avenues neighborhood of Salt Lake City, where he formed an early friendship with fellow art enthusiast Mahonri Young, and the two remained very close throughout life. This sculpture was part of Mahonri’s personal collection, donated to the University following his death in 1957.