Pelican Rookery

Pelican Rookery


Gustave Baumann

(American, born Germany, 1881-1971)

Tempera over graphite on gray paper

Support: Gray paper

Image: 27.6 x 31.2 cm (10 7/8 x 12 5/16 in.); Sheet: 37.2 x 31.3 cm (14 5/8 x 12 5/16 in.)

Gift of Ann Baumann 2005.471



Sketching trips throughout the Southwest and California stimulated Baumann’s imagination, and he returned home renewed and inspired. “When mental excursions within the four walls of the studio fail to get me anywhere, I begin to overhaul the sketching outfit. . . . And I’m off, taking with me the secret hope of a sketching ground no artist’s eye has ever beheld.” California brown pelicans nest in offshore colonies to protect their young from predators. Baumann’s only seascape, Pelican Rookery depicts the birds on a rocky outcrop along the Pacific shore near Monterey or Carmel. Using a palette of pale colors, the lively drawing, later translated into a color woodcut, depicts rippling water and silvery ocean reflections, while black strengthens shadows and delineates rugged curvilinear forms.

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Gift of Ann Baumann

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