The Search, by Barney Bright, Featured at the New Albany Public Library

Sculptures have always interested me. As far as 3D art goes, they are probably my favorite. I think the biggest part is that unlike a painting or a drawing or something else that is 2D, with 3D art you literally get to experience the entire thing. If I see a figure in a painting I may wonder what is behind them, or perhaps I might want to know what is in that dark corner I cannot see. But with 3D sculptures if I want to know what is behind the subject all I have to do is walk around and see for myself.

Not every sculpture is 3D, of course. Other types of sculptures, such as reliefs, offer only a frontal view. Works such as Senwosret I’s Senwosret I led by Atum t Amun-Re as well as Maidens and Stewards, the fragment of the Panathenaic Procession, are relief sculptures that are only 2D as opposed to 3D.

I happen to work at the New Albany Public Library, and the pictures below are an example of the artwork we have on display. It is my favorite not only because it is a sculpture, but also because of the feeling of emotion that can come from something that does not even actually move. It is called The Search and the artist is Barney Bright (1927-1997). The medium is bronze with black patina. I do not know the exact dimensions, but you can tell from the pictures that it is a relatively large piece. It is located in front of the top level entrance and is virtually impossible to not notice. The picture on the left is a closer shot that shows the details, such as the dramatic emotions emanating from each character. The picture on the right is its actual position in front of the library entrance. a5eb2e6a8bd3f73023b69031c2fa0659So what is The Search all about? Well, some of it is fact and some of it is rumor. What is fact is that the hooded figure is Time and the figure just to left of Time is Barney Bright himself. The rest is still rumor, but supposedly the other figures are said to be the Library Director and Board Members at that time (1986). Given that Bright passed away in 1997, there is no way that anyone will ever know for certain. Perhaps the mystery itself adds to the work’s wonder.

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2 thoughts on “The Search, by Barney Bright, Featured at the New Albany Public Library”

  1. Hmm… That I don’t know. The artist is local. He grew up in Kentucky and is relatively well-known for this art even outside of the local region. I assume they simply asked if he’d like to do something for the library and he obliged.

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