In 1958, Norman Daly, a Cornell art professor, entered a contest sponsored by the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in Utica, NY. The assignment was to create a mural design for a new bank in Utica. It is likely that Daly, who had a deep regard for the art of native peoples, chose the mural’s theme –The Legend of the Oneida Stone. Daly’s entry was the winning design for which he received two cash prizes. No documentation has been found concerning a proposed size for the completed mural, but since a commission from the bank did not come through the mural was never executed.
Daly’s demo mural consisted of five contiguous panels, forming a 16 inch by 8 foot-4-inch long modello. The panels, stored in Daly’s residence, were recently found while archival preparations were undertaken. Efforts are underway to find a permanent home for the mural design.
Looking back over Daly’s life and work, it is significant that he chose a theme that represents the Oneida Nation and the Travels of the Oneida Stone. As an art student at the University of Colorado he had immersed himself in and acquired a life-long reverence for the art of the Native Americans of the Southwest, particularly the Pueblo Nations. Daly’s striking Southwest series of paintings (1945-48) is a substantial homage to the arts of Native peoples which Daly described as having made “splendid artistic contributions.” It seems perfectly fitting that through his mural design Norman Daly would honor one of New York State’s Native American Nations.
We are happy to announce that the current Rollins Museum e-Newsletter announces an exhibition (January 14-April 2, 2023) of five new acquisitions which includes “Bull and Cow”, boldly featured on the newsletter’s front page. Aside from its use in educational programs at Rollins, the painting will likely be shown in context as part of themed exhibitions in the future.
Rollins Museum of Art displays a sustained commitment to acquiring works in various media and time periods, and by artists of diverse backgrounds, in alignment with their teaching mission and the curriculum of a liberal arts education.
We recently discovered this one-of-its-kind painting by Daly, named it and included it with his Southwest Series collection. For his vast work of fictive art, “The Civilization of Llhuros” (1972), Daly created many such fragments said to be from one of the five Llhuroscian archaeological periods. Most likely created around 1946 as a spin-off of a traditionally framed painting by Daly entitled “Composition” (whereabouts unknown) The fragment was found in Daly’s residence in 2022 while preparing materials for the new Norman Daly Collection at the Cornell University Archives. There is a distinct possibility that Daly turned the painting itself into this object.
We are delighted to announce that Daly’s modernist painting ‘Bull and Cow’ (1949), from his Mythical Animal Series, has been acquired by the Rollins Museum of Art in Winter Park, Florida. The 24 x 36 inch oil painting was conserved by the esteemed West Lake Conservators in Mottsville, New York. Subsequently, the painting was crated and shipped to Florida by our long-standing partner in the storage and handling of Norman Daly’s work-—Naglee Fine Arts. Accompanying the painting was a small, exquisite preparatory study done by Daly while planning the execution of ‘Bull and Cow.’ Gisela Carbonell, curator at the Rollins Museum writes, “We are so thrilled to receive ‘Bull and Cow’ and look forward to integrating it into our collection, website and teaching.”
In the 1940s, several decades before the “Civilization of Llhuros” was ‘discovered’, Norman Daly was creating his Southwest Series and Mythical Animal Series of paintings. In the 1950s he wrote of his deep reverence for the art of the American Indian and the Spanish southwest, lamenting the fact that few universities had the courage to offer courses in these essential subjects. His remarkable paintings, in which we clearly see many of the themes later developed in “Llhuros”, are now available for acquisition by qualified museums in the United States.
To facilitate acquisitions of Daly’s paintings, we are a registered donor in partnership with the online Museum Exchange where donors are matched with museums who subscribe to the quarterly online catalogs. “Bull and Cow” was acquired during the Winter 2022 quarter.
Norman Daly had an illustrious career as a painter during the 1940s with his Southwest Series and Mythical Animal Series. Several works from that period are now offered for donation through Museum Exchange, the first digital platform for art donations that matches approved donors with subscribed museums. Three paintings will be available in the summer catalog from July 1 through September 2022.
We are always happy to discuss aquisition of a work, included in the galleries, to a qualified museum or organization. Please contact us if you are interested.
This newly digitized review with photos, first published in the April 1961 issue of the Trojan Horse magazine at Cornell University, reveals many early clues to further development into the vast Civilization of Llhuros installation.
The Asheville Museum of Art in Asheville, North Carolina has added the Norman Daly painting Tobias and the Angel to its collection. The painting was in the private collection of Elizabeth Cornell, a long-time friend of the artist. Upon her death in May 2012 in Asheville, her children gifted the museum with the painting in her memory. Exhibition dates will be announced here when they are set by the museum.