7 02 2010

Painting entitled "Clinic" by Martina Gangle Curl


This painting is one of the many treasures uncovered in the Gold Room.  Painted by the Oregon artist Martina Gangle Curl, it depicts a man using a stethoscope to listen to the heartbeat of a small child, while his headlight shines on red-haired woman with her hand on her chest.  A reluctant figure stands in the dark background, hand held up to its distressed face. 

Curl (1906-1994) was a prominent Oregon painter, printmaker and social activist.  She attend the Museum Art School in Portland and worked with the WPA Federal Art Project and federally funded Oregon Art Project on public art at Timberline Lodge, Rose City Park Elementary School and Pendleton High School.  A one time member of the Communist Party, she was a vocal advocate for civil rights, peace, and immigration and labor  issues.  Read more about Curl in Dr. David Horowitz’s article: Martina Gangle Curl (1906-1994): People’s Art and the Mothering of Humanity

We’d love to know more about how this painting came to OSH or where it used to hang.  If you have any information, please leave a comment or contact us. 

Signature on the back of "Clinic," painting by Martina Gangle Curl




3 responses

17 02 2010

This painting is listed on an inventory of materials of historical interest transfered to the Oregon State Hospital from the Fairview Training Center in January of 2001.

18 03 2011

I am one of Martina Curl Gangle’s great nieces. I love this painting. A few days ago, my sister Clytie discovered an unknown painting in my grandmother’s things. It was in a pile of old paperwork, ready to be burned.

I was fascinated to find your entry about her work. I’ve featured Clinic on my art blog on this week. I would enjoy knowing how this painting was discovered. What a treasure! From all the art I’ve seen by Aunt Martina–this one is my favorite.

Does it hang in Salem today? I would love to drop by to see it first-hand.

Beth L. Niquette

23 03 2011

I’m so glad you posted. The painting was at the Oregon State Hospital with a variety of historical material that had been accumulating in a room in the basement of the Administration building known as “the Gold Room.” It was discovered during an inventory of the room in preparation for a new museum that is being established at the hospital. We had Art Historian Roger Hull come look at the artwork in the Gold Room, and he was the one that identified it.

As mentioned above, the painting was transferred to OSH with historic material from the Fairview Hospital and Training Center when it was closed, and I am assuming that it originally hung somewhere on the campus.

The painting is in storage now, but we are hoping to incorporate it into the displays in the new museum which is set to open in May of 2012.

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