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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Craft: Wood: African Dance
African Dance

African Dance
Oliver Hilliard Booth III
turned and carved black walnut
8 1/2 x 17 1/4 in. (21.7 x 43.9 cm) diam.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of George Peter Lamb and Lucy Scardino in memory of Natalie Rust Lamb
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"Shaping the wood... gratifies my fascination with spatial form and line, grain, color and texture." Hilliard Booth, 1997

Hilliard Booth turned and sanded his vessels before applying designs in pencil. He meticulously carved the details into the wood with a fine tool, taking many hours to complete a single carving. Groups of tiny cutouts follow the same direction around the vessels: in African Dance they form a ribbon around the center, and in Bowl they flow down from the opening in textured waves.

Posted Comments  
Golden Mean

in response to Phil Brown: The Golden Mean is 1 to 1.618 ratio, not 2 to 1. The piece is, however, very beautifully measured.

Posted by Anne Pasek from Edmonton, AB August 19, 2010

Proportion in

Hilliard carefully measured to apply the golden mean in his pieces. Note the 2:1 ratio of diameter to height. The opening is likely 5.75", one-third of the diameter. The base is likely 2.875" (2 7/8"), a 2:1 ratio to the opening. The vertical tangent to the textured belt likely touches at half the height, a 1:1 ratio.

Posted by Phil Brown from Bethesda, MD August 11, 2010

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