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Ice Cream Scoop Whirligig

1995
Origin: America, North Carolina, Lucama
Overall: 27 x 19 x 18 3/4in. (68.6 x 48.3 x 47.6cm)
Paint on metal with reflective coating and plastic film
Gift of Ellin and Baron Gordon
Acc. No. 2006.801.1
A freestanding metal sculpture having a yellow-painted ball on a circular-based stand. Four ice cream scoops extend outward from the central stand below the ball; their bases are cut off, leaving the bowls on shortened lengths of their stems; they are set at right angles to one another. Four more scoops extend outwards from the ball, their stems passing through red or white stars. A metal finial tops the ball; it can be pulled straight up to disconnect the ball from the stand.
Label:Artist Vollis Simpson first harnessed the power of wind to drive a washing machine he constructed at his station in the Marianas Islands during the Second World War. His ingenious large-scale, wind activated sculptures delighted viewers and earned him accolades during his lifetime. In 2013, the year of his death, North Carolina named the whirligig the official state folk art. In addition to his large scale works, Simpson made tabletop assemblages. An example is this colorful confection studded with ice cream scoops and metal stars cut from cast-off reflective highway signs. It, too, turns in the breeze.
Provenance:The Gordons, AARFAM's donors, bought this scupture directly from the artist in July 1995.