Leo Amino, Jungle Palm, 1954, wire and wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Wright, 1986.88.2
Leo Amino visited London on a business trip in 1938. While there, he saw an exhibition of Henry Moore sculptures and was inspired by the English artist’s use of organic, abstract shapes. Amino began to work more with rounded forms and would often incorporate hollows, holes, or thin wire structures in his pieces to emphasize the importance of empty space. Jungle Palm is a mobile whose delicate wire shapes and small pieces of wood were intended to move and spin when touched by a faint breeze. In Seedling the artist carved richly colored ebony and sabicu woods to resemble simplified plant forms. The larger piece of wood curving around the tiny “seedpod” evokes the classic image of a mother and child.