Friday, March 31, 2023

Floating Figure

Next up we've got a few photos of Floating Figure, a sculpture by French-American artist Gaston Lachaise that used to be outside the Portland Art Museum, to the left of the main entrance. (Another Lachaise, Dans le Nuit (Lovers), sat on the right side of the entrance.) It replaced Auguste Maillol's La Riviere sometime around 2013-2014, and went off exhibit sometime during the recent pandemic; Floating Figure is clearly visible on Google Street View imagery dated June 2019, and absent in Microsoft's Bing Streetside View dated September 2021, so that gives us a rough time window for when they were removed.

What I don't know is whether the removal was pre-planned, or happened because of the recent bout of civic iconoclasm that resulted in toppling the dead president statues along the Park Blocks and elsewhere around town, as well as Harvey Scott on Mt. Tabor, the gun-n-bible-totin' pioneers in Chapman Square, and even the Thompson Elk that used to be in the middle of SW Main St. So maybe the museum figured they'd be targeted eventually, once the supply of slaveholding aristocrats and other canceled white guys ran out. Which, I dunno, I don't recall that anyone was toppling statues over cis- and hetero-normativity or excessive Pepe-le-Peu Frenchness at the time, but who knows.