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Nancy Graves (December 23, 1939October 21, 1995) was an Americanmarker sculptor, painter, printmaker, and sometime-filmmaker known for her focus on natural phenomena like camels or maps of the moon. According to [179937], her works are included in many public collections, including those of the National Gallery of Artmarker (Washington, D.C.marker), the Brooklyn Museum of Artmarker, the Smithsonian American Art Museummarker, the National Gallery of Australiamarker (Canberramarker), and the Walker Art Centermarker (Minneapolismarker). She was the first woman to receive a solo retrospective at the Whitney Museummarker.

Early life and studies

Graves was born in Pittsfield, Massachusettsmarker. Her interest in art, nature, and anthropology was fostered by her father, an accountant at a local museum. After graduating from Vassar Collegemarker in English Literature, Graves attended Yale Universitymarker, where she received her bachelor's and master's degrees. After her graduation in 1964, she received a Fulbright Scholarship and studied painting in Parismarker. Continuing her international travels, she then moved on to Florencemarker. During the rest of her life, she would also travel to New York, Morocco, Germany, and Canada.


Graves's most famous sculpture, Camels, was first displayed in the Whitney Museum of American Artmarker. The sculpture features three separate camels, each made of many materials, among them burlap, wax, figerglass, and animal skin. Each camel is also painted with acrylics and oil colors to appear realistic. The camels are now stored in the National Gallery of Canadamarker, and two later "siblings" reside in the Neue Galerie der Stadt Aachen in Germany.

Graves also created a distinctive body of aerial landscapes, mostly based on maps of the moon and similar sources. Below is a link to an example (VI Maskeyne Da Region of the Moon). Author Margret Dreikausen (1985) writes extensively of Graves's aerial works as part of a broader discussion of the aerial view and its importance in modern and contemporary art.

Some of Graves's other works include:

  • Goulimine (film, 1970)
  • Izy Boukir (film, 1971)
  • VI Maskeyne Da Region of the Moon (lithograph, 1972) [179938]
  • Fragment (painting, 1977) [179939]
  • Wheelabout (sculpture, 1985)[179940]
  • Hindsight (sculpture, 1986) [179941]
  • Immovable Iconography (sculpture, 1990)
  • Footscray (oil on canvas, paint, and sulpture) [179942]


  • Skowhegan Medal for Drawing/Graphics (1980)
  • New York Dance and Performance Bessie Award (1986)
  • Honorary Degree, Skidmore College (1989)

See also



External links

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