FROM THE COLLECTION

SEP 2014

JACK GAUGHAN

(American, 1930–1985)

Acrylic on bristol board, 1963

Jack Gaughan (American, 1930-1985) is a celebrated and prolific illustrator of science fiction, most active in the mid 1950s and 60s. He created many illustrations for Ace Books (see additional text panel) but also worked for DAW Books and the science fiction magazine Galaxy in the 1960s.

Using a simple linear style, Gaughan created works that were abstract, artistic, playful and edgy for their time and genre. The images were somewhere between juvenile magazine illustrations of the 1950s and abstract art movements of the early 1960s. This combination allowed the illustrator to touch upon countercultural elements that would have been unthinkable years earlier.

Gaughan is noted for being able to render very complex landscapes, situations, animate and inanimate beings based solely on the author’s descriptions of fantastical places and objects. Many of the book covers he created contained hand-drawn fonts and maps, such as The Duplicators. Some books contained multiple maps for each story, which led to him being commissioned to create the covers, maps and title pages for the Ace Books edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Gaughan won multiple Hugo Awards in the 1960s for both Best Professional Artist and Best Fan Artist. After his death in 1985, the New England Science Fiction Association established the Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist, an award still given out each year.

Compiled and written by museum intern Candi Inc

Jack Gaughan Cover art for The Rebellers, 1963
Gift of Ralph and Ann Secord

FROM THE COLLECTION

AUG 2014

NITA ENGLE

(American, b. 19262)

Watercolor on paper, circa 1966

Marquette Native Nita Engle is internationally recognized as one of the best contemporary watercolor landscape painters. Engle attended Northern Michigan University for a year before transferring to the Art Institute of Chicago. Engle first gained experience as an artist on Chicago’s daily newspapers – The Chicago Tribune, The Sun Times, and The Daily Times – and additional experience as an artist and art director for Kirkland Advertising Agency in Chicago. Engle illustrated for a variety of publications including the World Book Encyclopedia, Readers Digest and Playboy. Her paintings reflect her love for the wilderness and beauty of nature and have been inspired by the places she has taught workshops, ranging from Africa to Alaska, Italy to Indonesia, Thailand to Tahiti and every state in the U.S.

Engle’s signature style of art is achieved with the aid of a spray bottle, masking and texture tools, and a plan that consists of two parts: a spontaneous phase and a thinking controlled phase. During her spontaneous phase Engle reacts to the paint by letting it paint itself through its movements on the paper, thus creating a field of textures. In the second half of her process, she includes a few well-chosen details such as flowers, grass, trees, etc. to paint in the foreground.

Because of her experimentation within the medium, Engle was asked to become a member of the prestigious American Watercolor Society and the Society of Illustrators of American where her work has been published in its yearly annual. Each year she has competed with thousands of illustrators in both of these juried competitions and has consistently exhibited on a regular basis since 1964. As a member of the American Watercolor Society, she received in 1977 the Strathmore Paper Awards, in 1985 a Merit Award, and in 1986 the Barse Miller Memorial Award. She has received four Merit Awards from the Society of Illustrators of America. She was also invited to exhibit in the New York Historical Society’s Bicentennial Show, “200 Years of American Illustrators,” and was accepted to the Detroit Institute of Art, “Michigan Artists 80/81” exhibit which traveled throughout the state of Michigan. She was the featured artist in the American Artist magazine in 1968, 1983, and 1984 and was the first woman to be selected for inclusion in the American Artist Collection. In 1986 Engle was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate degree by Northern Michigan University.

Compiled and written by museum intern Candi Inc

Peng Daiming's painted triptych Daisies in the Mist, circa 1966

FROM THE COLLECTION

JUN / JUL 2014

George Shiras III

(American, 1859–1942)

Black and white photograph, circa 1900
Printed digitally in 2011

Nationally renowned naturalist and major contributor to park and recreation development in Marquette, George Shiras was known as the “father” of wildlife photography. Before becoming involved with wildlife photography, Shiras was determined to follow his father in the practice of law and politics. In 1903, after one term in congress, Shiras declined to run for reelection to instead focus on biological research. As a part-time resident of Marquette for over 70 years, Shiras contributed greatly to the development of the city where in 1938, he established the Shiras Institute. The Institute continues to support charitable organizations in the area to this day.

It was an interest in the natural world that led Shiras to invent the first processes to capture wildlife at night in natural habitats. An avid hunter and fisherman, in 1889 Shiras decided to set aside his gun and experiment with a camera instead. His intention was to obtain permanent records of the type of wildlife found around the Whitefish Lake area. This lake was home to his family camp and was his laboratory for his early experiments in flashlight photography. Shiras came up with the idea to rig trip strings across trails (sometime with bait) that led to a flash connected to the camera. The animals would set off the flash when the string was moved and Shiras would be (quietly) waiting nearby behind the camera to take the photograph. The methods developed by Shiras have inspired scores of wildlife photographer around the world and have been recognized by many magazines including National Geographic. His book, Hunting Wild Life with Camera and Flashlight: a Record of Sixty Five years' Visits to the Woods and Waters of North America, contains a two-volume set of over 900 photographs of wildlife in the area.

Compiled and written by museum intern Candi Inc

Peng Daiming's painted triptych Black and white photograph, c. 1900

FROM THE COLLECTION

MAY 2014

Peng Daiming

Maoxian, China (Qiang, b. 1956)

Qiang Spirit
Shibi Series, 2010
Oil on canvas
Gift of the artist and Aba Teacher’s College,
Sichuan, China

Peng Daiming painted this triptych of three portraits of Shibi, who are the transmitters of Qiang culture and representatives of the Qiang’s religious and philosophical values. They are considered Shaman and conduct marriages, funerals and other ceremonies. Qiang language has no written form and there is a shortage of historical documents and recordings, thus the Shibi are also the historians of the culture. As modernization continues in China, the history and traditions are precariously close to being lost. In addition, the 2008 Sichuan earthquake claimed many Shibi among the 68,000 killed in the tragedy. Through his historical paintings, Peng hopes to preserve the cultural heritage of the Qiang and the Shibi. He continues to study Shibi and Shibi culture, including locating and archiving historical ephemera and objects. His paintings create visual documents with the hope of calling attention to the endangered culture and language. Peng Daiming is originally from Maoxian, Sichuan, China. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Art Department of Sichuan College of Education. He is currently a professor and the dean of the Art Department of Aba Teachers College in Sichuan, China.

For more information on Shibi culture and the project to preserve the traditions of the Qiang people, please visit the US Embassy website.

Peng Daiming's painted triptych Qiang Spirit, Shibi Series, 2010