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Passing the Baton

Passing the Baton, R. Tate McKenzie (Canadian 1867-1938), 1934, plaster frieze, donated by Joseph B. Wolffe, 2011.36.

Not all artists gain their talent from art schools. One example is the Canadian sculptor R. Tate McKenzie. McKenzie’s early years as a physician, athlete, and solider greatly influenced the anatomical interest in his art of his later years. This piece shows the entitled passing of the baton in a relay race between four teams. This work was entered into the 1936 Berlin Olympic Art Competition, although it was most likely not featured as it was shipped back to Canada before 1936. McKenzie’s contribution to a then Nazi controlled Olympic game and his large studio consisting of the white male form points that he may have had white supremacy leanings.

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