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Wind Machine with Gabriel, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Louis Armstrong

1984 James Leonard Born: Orange, New Jersey 1949 cut, soldered and patinated copper on wood base, cut and soldered copper wire and sheet with localized liver of sulphur (potassium sulfide) patination 28 x 18 1/2 x 10 in. (71.1 x 47.0 x 25.4 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.368 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 25A


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Wind Machine with Gabriel, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Louis Armstrong

Luce Center Label

James Leonard created this wind machine in 1984 to commemorate Eleanor Roosevelt’s hundredth birthday. She is seated because, as Leonard explains, “she is the lady of honor, and the other two guys are playing for her.” The “other two guys” are Leonard’s fantasy duet of Louis Armstrong and the angel Gabriel. When the machine is activated, Roosevelt waves her arms, Gabriel flaps his wings and taps his foot, and Armstrong rocks back and forth. (Lynda Hartigan, Made with Passion, 1990)

Keywords

Performing arts - music - trumpet

Portrait female - Roosevelt, Eleanor

Portrait group

Portrait male - Armstrong, Louis

Religion - angel - St. Gabriel

sculpture

folk art

metal - copper

wood

About James Leonard

Born: Orange, New Jersey 1949