Herbert Crowley: A Visionary Artist Rediscovered

By Alina J. RSS Mon, October 29, 2018

Who was Herbert Crowley? And why did he almost fade into obscurity after exhibiting critically acclaimed work at the start of the 20th century? Crowley was part of the very influential 1913 New York Armory Show and he went on to create an impressively varied body of work that ranged from elaborately detailed drawings of fantastic buildings to theatrical set designs and ceramic sculptures of imaginary animals. One of these, called a Wigglemuch by its creator, ocurred periodically throughout his work and was the protagonist of a newspapers strip Crowley drew for the New York Herald in 1910. Until very recently, this short-lived series was the part of Crowley's artistic output he was most remembered for.

Local author, artist, and musician Justin Duerr set out to learn more about Crowley after first seeing a selection of reproductions from The Wigglemuch series. His exhaustive research took him to numerous libraries and archives, the ruins of The Brocken, an artist commune in New York, and finally the Crowley family in Switzerland. Justin's exhaustive research culminated in a stunning book published by Philadelphia-based Beehive Books earlier this year. The Temple of Silence offers a premier look at the majority of Herbert Crowley artworks so far known along with thorough biographical information and documents. 

Join us on Thursday, November 1 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 108 of Parkway Central Library for a free event and author talk with Justin Duerr. An artist himself, Justin is no stranger to pursuing difficult mysteries. He will share some of his finds from his suprise-filled research process and present material from the library's collections related to his subject.

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