Artist + Muse: 24 woodcuts by Charles Beck
from the Timothy Murphy Collection
Now on view at the Polk County Museum & Historical Society
This activity is funded in part by
a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council
through a Minnesota state
The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum is pleased to present Artist + Muse: woodcuts by Charles Beck from the Timothy Murphy Collection, an exhibition of woodcut prints by the late artist Charles Beck (1923 - 2017) from the collection of the late poet Timothy Murphy (1951 - 2018). This exhibit and collection are currently on tour through west central Minnesota.
Murphy was an admirer and friend of Beck and derived both enjoyment and inspiration from his friend’s artwork. Murphy’s poem “Snowgeese” references and gives direct attribution to Beck’s iconic landscape of the same name:
for Charles Beck
The flock is whorled like a translucent shell
and intricate as the tubing of a horn,
its embouchure, the soft foot of a snail
lighting on sand, except the sand is corn,
chisel sloughed and left to build the soil
from which indebted farmers have been torn.
I catch one note—a wild, wayfaring cry
as snow geese splash into a glacial mere.
Framed by moraines under a nacreous sky,
they echo in the chambers of my ear.
How does an ear rival your artist's eye
that sees what I can only hope to hear?
Reproduced images of Beck woodcuts are also featured in most of Murphy’s published collections of poetry. The Timothy Murphy Collection includes 24 Beck woodcuts and will remain on semi-permanent loan to The Rourke Art Gallery + Museum.