Thursday, January 6, 2011

Object of the Day: A Lucky Dog, 1941

This little figure of a Westie dog is dated 1941. Whimsically sculpted from a salt-based medium, the figure is the epitome of 1940’s styling with its sweetly exaggerated features and pronounced musculature.

A favorite theme of 1940’s novelty art was the “lucky”’ horse shoe. This cheerful little dog is holding a bright blue horse shoe which is inscribed, “Lucky.” With his quizzical expression and raised eyebrows, the dog seems to be challenging us—in a typically terrier way—to be lucky. I love this little guy with his hand-painted nose, tongue and eyes. Artists of the 1940’s had a wonderful ability to capture the innate organic spirit of their subjects and to express great emotion with abstracted detail. This is a perfect example of that ingenuity.

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