Butter sculpture

DEFINITION

Sculpture carved from butter, it has its roots in ancient Tibetan Buddhist art where it symbolized impermanence. It is a method first publicly introduced at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 with a sculpture, "Dreaming Iolanthe" by Caroline Brooks, exhibited in a tub of ice. She became known as the 'Butter Woman', and subsequently patented the method because she felt that butter was a much more sensitive surface for making plaster molds than clay. From the time of its introduction at the Centennial Exhibition, Butter Sculpture became a regular feature at many state and regional fairs and continues into the 21st Century. However, some persons think it is a disservice to the credibility of women as sculptors. Of the 1876 exhibition, it was written that "the unfortunate 'Iolanthe' became the butt of many jokes and some bitterness; many more important exhibits and works of art were forgotten." (Weimann, 3) However, another critic wrote: ???it was the best sculpture at the fair.??? (Rubinstein, 93) Sources: Jeanne Madeline Weimann, "The Fair Women"; Pamela Simpson, "A Look at Women's History and Butter Sculpture as Art", http://www.su.edu/temp_news.cfm?urlnum=469; www.picturehistory.com; Charlotte Streifer Rubinstein, ???American Women Sculptors???, p. 93yn

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