(Buffalo, N.Y.) – Charles Cary Rumsey was one of the most influential artists in western New York and his artwork is currently on display at the Burchfield Penney Art Center.
Rumsey died in an automobile accident in 1922, but had he lived longer he might be more well known for his classical figure and animal sculptures.
The Burchfield Penney currently has one of the largest collections of his sculptures, studies and archival materials, which provide insight into his career.
The exhibition highlights Rumsey’s life as an artist, World War I solider, athlete and descendant of two of the most influential Buffalo families.
The exhibit, entitled “Charles Cary Rumsey: Success in the Gatsby Era,” also demonstrates parallels between Rumsey and Jay Gatsby, the fictional character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel “The Great Gatsby.”
According to literary researcher Dr. Michael Workman, there are some unique parallels between Rumsey and the Gatsby character.
For example, like Rumsey, Gatsby was a captain in the U.S. Cavalry who was on the front lines in France during World War I.
Additionally, Fitzgerald may have been a boyhood friend of Rumsey during the few years the Fitzgerald family lived in Buffalo and the two knew each other as adults after Rumsey moved to Long Island.
“Charles Rumsey’s work is really appealing to see to the eye to compare the Gatsby Era in the early 1900s to today’s generation,” said Alexis DePaulo, a fashion major at Buffalo State who viewed the exhibit.
DePaulo said it is a beautiful exhibition that she really enjoyed and she knows many of her colleges were touched by it too.
The exhibit will be displayed at the Burchfield Penney until June 25.