Old Gloves, around 1950
Gloves have always been important. They protect us from the cold, from injury or even from infection. Gloves are worn next to our skin and are a necessary item of clothing, particularly in the winter. Fine leather gloves with five fingers are most closely shaped to the human hand, but woollen mittens also fulfil their purpose.
In 1950, Ruth Baumgarte drew an old pair of woman's gloves. An everyday motif, but on closer inspection, we can see that this depiction is in fact complex and sophisticated. The brown suede gloves with striking backstitching along the edges lie crosswise, one over the other, with the palms touching. We can see that they are well worn: the outline of the wearer's fingers is clearly visible. These gloves are like an image of the hands that they otherwise protect.
The middle finger of the glove underneath is pointing up, almost as if there is still a hand inside it. The glove on top seems a little tired and appears to be resting. It is curved up slightly in the middle as if it is trying not to crush the glove underneath. The two are careful and gentle with each other and clearly belong together.