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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Mellyn, Sean
Culture:American (1965- )
Title:Crème Brûlée
Date Made:2000
Type:Painting
Materials:oil on canvas mounted over stretcher and board (unframed)
Measurements:Stretcher: 60 in x 48 in x 1 5/8 in; 152.4 cm x 121.9 cm x 4.1 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2013.17
Credit Line:Gift of Steven M. Jacobson (Class of 1953)
2013-17.jpg

Label Text:
Sean Mellyn often uses advertisements from the 1950s as inspiration and source material for his paintings—imitating their saturated color palette and airbrushed surface quality and borrowing imagery. With a few conspicuous but simple alterations, Mellyn mocks the idealized portrayal of American character in midcentury advertisements.

Although a corresponding advertisement isn’t identified, it is easy to surmise where Mellyn may have deviated from the original design to create Crème Brûlée. Here, Mellyn adds an exaggerated and ridiculous hairdo to what would otherwise be a sweet and unremarkable portrait.

Steven M. Jacobson, the donor of this quirky painting, has given extensively to the Mead over the last thirty-five years. Additional artworks from a recent gift are highlighted in an adjacent gallery.

MD, 2013

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