Archive for March, 2009

The Bulk of the Work

March 23, 2009


I’m being unkind, but realistic, when I entitle this the bulk of the work. What I mean to say in the most loving way is that Bolton’s creative output was far beyond his means to fulfill. When his studio was emptied there were thousands of drawings and sketches from projects never completed. Many were never paid for, but in some cases, he never found the emotional strength to complete them.

This marvelous figure drawing was for a great Rood beam he spent many many hours designing for the Washington Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge, PA. Other drawings from this set exist as he produced quite a stream of them for what was a very exciting project. Sadly, he had been mislead by well meaning people who dreamt they could actually afford to pay for such a large and elaborate project and he was never properly recompensed for his time. It shows his considerable power as a draughtsman.

One thing I should say is that my scanner could not scan the entire piece, hence some missing fingers. It’s shameful to loose those bits and I hope one day to have it properly scanned and preserved.

Tâches Modestes

March 23, 2009


A small sketch I own shows what I think is St Bernard of Clairvaux, though I had thought I remembered Bolton saying it was St Martin of Tours (?). Clearly it shows what I told him was the influence of the Cubists (much to his dismay) this was, as I recall, intended as a program cover design for an ordination probably for an eponymous parish. He did many drawings and sketches for program covers and ordination cards. It’s a lively sketch and unknown and is a tiny sketch – smaller than the image you are seeing.

He loved the term “tâches modestes” which he took from a French liturgical artist whose name I forget – describing the modest tasks of a liturgical artist. It was his choice as a title for his retrospective exhibition.