So much to see here. This photo was taken sometime in the mid 1890s and shows the a teacher with his students at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
It’s a surreal, faintly unsettling image. The huddle of students on the floor, squashed, awkward and seemingly confused & unready; the teacher Borglum is leaaning in unnessecarily photobombing a fame he’s alread well within; then theres what’s happening behind this group. This background is what sends panic electrons into basic standby mode. What at first group appears to be a group of identical scuptures sitting on stools looking like they’re lazily relieving themselves of one is in fact not. One of the sculptures is alive. Barely. He really doesn’t give a fuck. Then there’s also that tiny, glowing albino man taking a shit. It’s all too much.
One of the students is an artist whose extraordinarily full name is Solon Hannibal de la Mothe Borglum. Borglum was known for his depictions of frontier life, and especially his sculptures of cowboys and native Americans which litter the United States from New York to Arizona. The image comes from the Solon H. Borlum and Borlum family papers collection at the Smithsonian.
The American modernist sculptor John Henry Bradley Storrs (1885 – 1956), best remembered for his art deco sculptures that examining relationship between architecture and sculpture is at the back to the right of the model wearing a hat.