Artwork of the Week: September 13, 2020
Minerva Teichert (1888-1976), Moving South, 1949, oil on canvas, 60 x 101 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of the Stake Museum of Art, Orange, Texas.
This painting was created in memory of Teichert’s art agent and close friend Alice Merrill Horne, who had died the previous year. Over the years, the two had developed a close personal and professional relationship as Horne, a prestigious art dealer in Salt Lake City, encouraged private buyers and public institutions to collect and display Teichert’s work. Teichert created this piece to honor Horne, who had often expressed her desire for Teichert to paint Native American subjects.
Teichert was inspired by the Gobelin tapestries of France as well as the decorative style of Beaux-Arts murals. These elements are seen in the shallow depth of the composition which places the processional of native women in front of a flattened background of bright yellow aspen trees. The elaborate border surrounding the painting contributes to the decorative effect. Women are in the central focus of the work: the two women in the center are rendered in careful detail and on the left, a mother reaches back to comfort her child in the cradleboard she carries on her back.