Collection of the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Purchased through anonymous funds; 2005.66
Tom Beale is a New York-based sculptor who works primarily with found objects and natural materials. A member of the Dartmouth College Class of 2000, Beale studied studio art and English as an undergraduate. Although initially inclined toward painting, Beale found his artistic voice and vision in sculpture following an introductory course in the medium at the end of his junior year. He continued to explore sculpture at the Vermont Studio Center following graduation. While there, he created Harlequin. The work's title is a reference to the sad clown figure from the commedia dell'arte (a form of popular theater characterized by masked "types" that began in Italy in the sixteenth century), who is identified by his colorful, diamond-patterned costume.
The sculpture is made of found wood that Beale collected from a variety of locations across New Hampshire and Vermont. Harlequin is composed of hundreds of pieces of untreated, carefully crafted local woods glued together. According to Beale, the work is one of the most labor intensive and rewarding pieces he has ever made. Harlequin was first displayed in a gallery exhibition in Burlington, Vermont. One of Beale's studio art professors, Brenda Garand, traveled to Burlington to see the show and fell in love with the sculpture. She suggested that it be installed in Fairchild Tower, where it remains today. Beale has said, "I am so happy to have the Harlequin there. It is special sculpture for me, and it is nice to know that generations of Dartmouth students will get to experience this piece in a place that means so much to me."
Last Updated: 5/22/14