“Standing Woman” a de facto football fan?
The Super Bowl is upon us and everyone is getting hyper with the hoopla — even the Milwaukee Art Museum has gotten into it. There’s a friendly wager between MAM (apparently adopted by the city of Green Bay) and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh that the winning team’s art museum will get a long-term loan from the losing team’s museum. It’s a charming bet, and very sporting.
But late this week, Packermania at MAM reached both a fever pitch and a new low as the monumental Standing Woman by Lachaise has been unceremoniously decked out with a cheesehead hat.
This figure been the brunt of crude public gestures before, most notably during the notorious Martinifest when drinks were spilled and her bronze body groped. It was a major diss against this sculpture of an overtly powerful female, and there was a firm and sober reaction from the Museum.
So why is this same sculpture now sporting a cheap hat like an oversized dress-up doll? Is she only a figure of parody?
Standing Woman, which exists in copies in international museums and is sometimes titled Heroic Woman, has now been relocated near MAM’s entrance, and literally positioned like a sideshow.
Really, this begs the question about why this sculpture is such an easy target. Lachaise’s figures on the order of Standing Woman are big and unapologetic. Their bodies are large, voluptuous, sensual, and powerful. The figure stands proudly and is much larger than the average puny museum goer. Bosoms? Got a problem with them? Too bad.
Well, what the hell. How about a lampshade on her head for the next MAM After Dark? There are plenty of holidays in the year, let’s make it museum-wide. Giacometti’s Large Seated Woman could sport bunny ears for Easter. But boy, did we miss a chance to stick a tutu on Rodin’s Walking Man during the Degas sculpture show.
If a sporting analogy is really in order, then Standing Woman seems less like a football emblem than a punching bag.