Captain Jack, a 7-foot -tall wooden cigar store Indian carved by Julius Melchers, Gari Melcher’s father and first instructor, will be featured at Gari Melchers Home and Studio starting Saturday, Sept. 12.
Highly regarded among his peers as one of the pioneers of carved tobacconist figures, Julius Theodore Melchers (1829-1909) was a master sculptor trained in Germany and France before immigrating to Detroit in 1852, where he operated a workshop for the next 40 years. Melchers had an illustrious career, known for a wide range of architectural sculpture, interior carvings for churches and other buildings, figureheads and maritime work, and shop and cigar store figures.
In conjunction with the spotlight exhibition, Ralph Sessions, director of special projects at New York’s DC Moore Gallery and former chief curator of the Museum of American Folk Art, will present “Julius Melchers: Detroit’s Master Sculptor,” an illustrated talk at Belmont on Sunday, Oct. 25 at 2 p.m. in the Pavilion at Belmont. The talk will highlight Julius Melchers’ many contributions to Detroit, and place his celebrated cigar store Indians in the larger context of 19th century American figure carving. The program is free of charge.
The sculpture will be on display through Sunday Jan. 3, thanks to a generous loan from a private collection.
For more information, contact Michelle Crow-Dolby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-654-1851.