Abstract Sculpture Two

Abstract Sculpture Two
Abstract Sculpture Two
Abstract Sculpture Two detail
Abstract Sculpture Two detail
Abstract Sculpture Two, artist's signature
Inventory
Collection Number: 
17384
Building: 
Current Location: 
Missouri Valley Room
Floor: 
5th
Object Description
Artist Dates: 
1906 -1991
Artist Nationality: 
American
Object Type: 
Details: 
Created by Cecil C. Carstensen this abstract two-piece carved wooden sculpture is held together by two brass post-hole features.
Framed: 
No
Length: 
30 3/4 inches
Width: 
11 inches
Height: 
26 1/4 inches
Description: 

Cecil C. Carstensen was born in Marquette, Kansas in 1906. In 1940, he moved to Kansas City with his wife Blanche and became a part of the art community. Carstensen primarily worked in wood carving, however, woodcut printmaking was another important medium. He taught wood sculpting at the Kansas City University and was President of MidAmerica Artists Association. He wrote "Craft and Creation of Wood Sculpting" in 1971.

The Kansas City Public Library has four of Carstensen’s wood sculptures in their art collection. This sculpture of American folklore lumberjack, Paul Bunyan, is fittingly carved out of a tree trunk. The sculpture maintains the cylindrical shape of a tree trunk. Bunyan appears aghast with his mouth and eyes wide open. He has a head of stylized hair represented by rivet holes that condense near his face and expand around the back of his head. His beard, made with deep-cut narrow lines, fuse into the hide of Babe the Blue Ox beneath him. Babe's body wraps around the sculpture and his head emerges to the left of Bunyan's beard, but in lower relief than Bunyan himself. The carving technique and form of this sculpture encourage the viewer to move around it to get the full story, although it is unclear what caused Mr. Bunyan's expression.

Carstensen and Blanche’s woodcut prints were part of a Print Society of Great Kansas City Spotlight in 2013. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, MO has two woodcuts by Carstensen entitled "Family Unit."

Reproduce the Work in Library publications/publicity, including film or videotape: 
Yes
Make slides or videotapes for educational use: 
Yes
Permit the general public to photograph the work : 
Yes