Jitterbug Dancers, c. 1950<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Sieving-Jitterbug-Dancers.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Jitterbug Dancers, c. 1950<div class="ExternalClassB266C6359B1440018F6102DE0F78AE69"><p>Locked in an embrace, two figures seem to swing to a lively beat in Arthur Sieving's playful <em>Jitterbug Dancers</em>. As the woman bends her knees, her skirt twisting with the checked movement of her body, she looks up; her taller partner, meanwhile, turns his head to rest his cheek against her head in an affectionate gesture. The contrasting angles of his thrusting left foot and her bent legs suggest their syncopated action as each partner counters the other's momentum.</p><p>Sieving carved his sculpture from a single block of wood, leaving the marks of his chisel evident in the heavy base that supports the dancers. Their forms, in contrast, are streamlined into rhythmic facets that twist with their movement to capture the dynamic nature of the dance. The jitterbug, an exuberant swing dance also called jive or jump, is characterized by freewheeling acrobatic swings and lifts. Popularized in the U.S. during the 1930s by entertainers such as Cab Calloway and Benny Goodman, it became an international craze during World War II as American troops introduced it around the world.</p><p>The stylized appearance of <em>Jitterbug Dancers </em>hints at Sieving's awareness of modern art, but he probably was self-taught as a sculptor. Born on a farm in central Illinois, Sieving spent his adult life in Springfield. He worked for a painting contractor before becoming a professional magician and ventriloquist. Dissatisfied with the available dummies, he took up wood carving to create his own, eventually becoming a skilled maker of dioramas and models. Beginning in the late 1940s, Sieving constructed dioramas and he carved model dinosaurs, portrait busts, and other display aids for the Illinois State Museum. There, a sculpture titled <em>Jitterbugs</em>, presumably this work, was featured in his solo exhibition in the early 1950s.</p></div>GP0|#0a4a7f09-53bb-4263-a82a-62f696efff2f;L0|#00a4a7f09-53bb-4263-a82a-62f696efff2f|Arthur Sieving;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporarySculpture;#Wood;#Woodcut;#Manito, IllinoisCarved wood, 231⁄5 × 8 × 6¼ inches Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum, Gift of the Artist