Mary Callery. Water ballet, (1947).

Mary Callery. Water ballet, (1947)
Bronze, mounted on glass
24 x 48 in. (60.9 x 121.9 cm)
Acquired 1947 from Buchholz Gallery
(L01167-70)


The following is an excerpt from: Miller Company (Collection of Abstract Art). (1948). Painting toward architecture book accompanying exhibition (pp. 114-15 with photos of Amity (study) and Water ballet). (Essay by Henry-Russell Hitchcock; foreword by Alfred H. Barr, Jr.; statement by Burton Tremaine; acknowledgements by Emily Hall Tremaine.)

"Much of Mary Callery’s sculpture seems to have been specifically designed for architectural use. The "Amity," which is enlarged to architectural scale in the finished work, could readily serve as a balustrade. Such a piece as "Water Ballet" is perhaps not so obviously intended for a particular position on a building. Yet the size and thickness of the glass plate suggest that it might well be installed in a transparent partition or above an entrance door. The rhythms of the tenuous metal forms— so simple, even structural, in themselves that they seem at first sight merely shapes in heavy wire— form a complex three-dimensional pattern in space. But the subtle modeling of the metal members also creates the illusion of figures in motion above and below the surface of water. This is emphasized by the difference in tone between the natural bronze on one side of the glass and the green-patinated bronze on the other side. Although cast in a heavy metal, the Callery sculptures seem almost as weightless and as full of motion as Calder’s mobiles. Yet they have the strength and stability appropriate to a physical adjunct to a building."

Mary Callery’s Water ballet is understood to be in a private collection.

To learn more about Mary Callery’s Water ballet since 1947, click the links to articles and exhibition compilations with documentation below.

Emily Hall Tremaine - Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in publications (compilation; 1945-present)

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ADC staff - 14 Jan 20

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The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition catalogue (list of photos of artworks and designs) (1984)

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ADC staff - 26 Aug 19

The Tremaine Collection: 20th Century Masters exhibition catalogue (list of photos of artworks and designs) (1984) The following is a photo index of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (26 February - 29 April 1984). The following photos of artworks...

Rethinking Painting toward architecture (1947-52) (2017)

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R. J. Preece - 01 Jul 17

Rethinking Painting toward architecture (1947-52) (2017) Painting toward architecture exhibition as installed at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston (January-February 1950). Courtesy the Karl Kamrath Collection, University of Texas at Austin architectural archives. (See FN "Photo A" below...

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52) by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: The artworks and designs (2016)

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ADC staff - 28 Aug 16

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52) by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: The artworks and designs (2016) Artworks exhibited in Painting toward architecture (1947-52) It is important to note that over the 28(+) venues of Painting toward architecture, the...

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52), Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: Documentation and historical information

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ADC staff - 16 Jul 16

The Painting toward architecture exhibition (1947-52), Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art: Documentation and historical information "The part that the Medicis played in Renaissance Italy can be best approximated today by such great corporations as those that I have named...

Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in exhibitions (compilation; 1945-present)

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ADC staff - 16 Jun 16

Tremaine Collection artworks and designs in exhibitions (compilation; 1945-present) Starting with their Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art, Burton Tremaine and Emily Hall Tremaine, known for her great eye, built a collection of works which were featured in hundreds of exhibitions. After...

Emily Hall Tremaine - Painting toward architecture press release (1948)

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ADC staff - 15 Jan 48

Emily Hall Tremaine - Painting toward architecture press release (1948) The following is a copy of the original press release prepared by the Miller Company Collection of Abstract Art. This show travelled to at least 28 venues across the US and generated significant art, design, architecture...