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The clean-out of Mom and Dad’s attic in 2019 yielded some art that I had never before seen. Dot did this painting of the Chicago River (I think) during her years at the Art Institute. The frame is signed “D. Thiele.” She probably painted it in about 1943.
“Sculpture is like farming. If you just keep at it, you can get quite a lot done.” —Ruth Asawa
After studying art in Chicago and Maine, Stacey was admitted into the sculpture program at the University of Illinois, sometime in the 1980s. Here are two bronze works that she made back then, which grace our gardens to this day.
My recent posts have been all about the art of my late mother, Dot Replinger, and her and my father’s collection of arts and crafts. This post, and possibly some subsequent ones, will feature the art of Stacey Replinger, my wife. Stacey and Dot grew close over the years by working together on art investigations and study. They spent many days together making art at the “Replinger Arts Colony” in Michigan in summers past, particularly 2013 and 2014. In a lakeside boathouse converted to a studio, they would gather the materials and resources needed to explore various disciplines including collage, gelatin prints, acrylic painting, jewelry, and more.
Stacey’s sister recently asked about a painting from Stacey’s high school art days. Today Stacey will give her that painting, inspired by Dorothea Lange’s famous 1936 photograph, now known as Migrant Mother. The back of the painting includes the teacher’s comment that although Stacey didn’t exactly follow the instructions, her work deserved an A.
Last night, forty-some years later, Stacey finished another painting for her sister, this one channeling Van Gogh’s Sunflowers.
The weekend just passed marked the final dissolution of Mom and Dad’s estate. Sold to happy buyers were Mom’s original woven garments and the art collection that our parents assembled over their 60 years together—paintings, jewelry, pottery, basketry, glass, weaving, and jewelry—as well as several notable pieces of midcentuy modern furniture. Additionally, the sale included some of the outmoded though still interesting devices that Dad used over the years, such as typewriters and view cameras. Mary and Katie Clegg of Clegg Estate Sales described the sale in detail:
Incredible sale packed with designer mid-century modern furniture, Chihuly glass, a wide selection of art, including many original pieces by Dot Replinger, a well-known local weaver. The sale will be held in the Replingers’ beautiful mid-century home, designed by John Replinger a celebrated local architect and former University of Illinois architecture professor. This sale also includes folk art, art pottery, Navajo rugs, Georg Jensen “Blue Shark” flatware, Royal Danish sterling flatware, Native American pottery, kachinas, jewelry & baskets, art books, and much more.
Furniture includes Johannes Hansen Peacock Chair, George Nelson for Herman Miller Thin Edge desk, Eero Saarinen for Knoll Carrara Marble Tulip table, original molded fiberglass Eames chair, pair of Hans Wegner “The Chair” for Herman Miller chairs, George Nelson for Herman Miller chest, Alvar Aalto stool, vintage Herman Miller Eames wire chair, architectural drawing cabinet, Hamilton map case, primitive pie safe, Techline chests, bookcases and side tables, mid-century desk, wooden trunks, wooden bench, drop leaf table, double bed, and more.
We have an incredible collection of art pottery including pieces by Lela & Luther Gutierrez, Donald Frith, David Shaner, Margarite Wildenhain, Don Pilcher, Alan Vigland, Tim Mather, Larry Richmond, Marie Chino, and many more. There is a wide selection of textile art by Dot Replinger, Dianne Shullenberger, Kaija Sanelma Harris, Junichi Arai, and more. We also have several clothing items and scarves made by Dot Replinger. This sale includes glass pieces by Mark Fowler, William Warehall, William Carlson, Robert William Bartlett, Iittala, and more.
We have a turned wood bowl by Bob Stockdale and handmade Native American, African & Colonial American baskets. Art includes pieces by Ed Betts, Louise Woodruff, Lee Chesney, Ruth Fash, Pamela Redick, Gemma Taccogna, Eugene Wicks, Mimi Muller, Shozo Sato and more. We have a fantastic retablo by Kathleen Vargas titled “La Cocina de Frida” paying homage to Frida Kahlo.
Additional items include an Issey Miyake purse, Oaxacan carved figures, Arabia Valencia & Ruska dishes, Eilene tea set, rugs, weaving & art supplies, vintage fabric including Knoll, Marimekko and other Scandinavian designers, dolls, bag collection and women’s clothing including several Eileen Fisher pieces, a large selection of jewelry, including Native American sterling and turquoise, including squash blossom necklaces. Sale includes kitchen items, model trains, vintage toys, Kachina dolls, jewelry, vintage car ephemera, vintage typewriters including Hermes, Corona, Olivetti, Olympia and a Hermes calculator, a large selection of books (architecture, art, weaving), photography equipment including a Korona View Camera, Conley camera, Polaroid 100 Automatic Land camera, and Beseler enlarger . . . .
The Cleggs promoted the sale heavily, expertly photographing the many items for sale, shown here. I heard that the crowds were large and cheerful, excited to find treasures and perhaps keepsakes from among the many items displayed. Some people came to the event just to see the house. I heard from one correspondent in the Champaign-Urbana art scene that the sale was the talk of the town.
I present Mom’s last art show:
Dot Replinger would have been 95 years old today. She lived happily in her house until three days before her death last May, after a short illness. She left behind a large body of art work, notably her works in fiber. One her favorite pieces, Olive Angel, will later this year be on view at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois.
As museum director Jon Seydl wrote,
“We are thankful to have such an outstanding example of fiber art in the collection—a striking work that would make an impact in any museum, It’s particularly meaningful not only because KAM was her museum but also because it allows both of your parents to have a presence in perpetuity in Champaign-Urbana . . .”
These are the last four cards that Dot sent out. Like Matisse, Mom moved toward collage in her later years. Technology in the form of color photocopying helped here, of course.
Surely, the famous San Francisco de Asis Mission Church near Taos, New Mexico, which Dot had visited several times and as recently as October 2008, with her friends the Aronsons, was part of her inspiration.
Merry Christmas. Joyous Noel.
Two changes happened during these years. First, Dot used just a single color in her designs. Second, Jack took over for several years as the card designer and maker. His cards show the house he designed for themselves, which they moved to in 1993.
Harold Young, like my father Jack Replinger, was a professor on the faculty of the University of Illinois School of Architecture. Jack and Dot counted him among their best friends. Harold designed and printed these wonderful silkscreen cards in the 1950s. I imagine that he and Dot inspired one another each Christmas season.
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