Constantin Brancusi's bust of Mademoiselle Pogany, which inspired intense attention and debate when it was first shown in 1912 and has since been acclaimed one of the great masterpieces of the 20th century, is now the subject of a virtual exhibition. Brancusi sculpted five images of Mademoiselle Pogany over two decades-the 1912 original and evolving versions in marble and bronze dating to 1913, 1919, 1931 and 1933. Mademoiselle Pogany I and III (1912 and 1931) are both in the permanent collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Designed by Narrative Rooms LLC, New York, for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the exhibition can be seen at www.philamuseum.org/pogany/.
Comprising five distinct virtual galleries, the exhibition features three-dimensional representations of Mademoiselle Pogany I and III. Visitors are able to "walk" through the gallery spaces and around the works they contain. Descriptions of the sculptures, illustrated with photographs, encourage an in-depth comparison of the works. A "biographical" corridor documents Brancusi's development as a sculptor.
"With the Mademoiselle Pogany virtual exhibition, the Museum continues its longstanding commitment to the use of innovative technologies within the Museum and on the web. Inspired by the sense of creative experimentation embodied in the works of great artists like Brancusi, we are continually searching for new ways to bring the Museum's collections to ever-wider audiences while expanding the reach and effectiveness of our educational efforts," said Danielle Rice, the Museum's Senior Curator of Education and coordinator of the Mademoiselle Pogany project.
The exhibition was constructed at the Narrative Rooms LLC studios, using state-of-the-art hardware and software from Silicon Graphics, Inc. Recording of the two sculptures was done at the Museum using a 3D scanner and digital camera. The final program was written in VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language), which allows visitors to experience three-dimensional environments online.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses the most important collection of works by Constantin Brancusi outside of Paris. In addition to the two marble versions of Mademoiselle Pogany, the Museum's Brancusi Gallery includes masterpieces such as The Kiss (1916), Newborn I (1915), and two versions of Bird in Space (1923-1924?; 1924). Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957) was born in Romania and spent most of his professional career in France. It was in Paris that Brancusi met Margit Pogany (1879/80-1964), a Hungarian art student who first visited his studio in 1910, and later posed for him in December 1910 and January 1911.
Narrative Rooms LLC was founded by Anthony McCall and Hank Graber in 1997, to write, design and produce web projects, web sites and web exhibitions for art institutions. For more information, visit www.narrativerooms.com.