Country Store, c. 1958<img alt="" src="/sites/GovernorsMansion/Exhibitions/PublishingImages/Art-of-Illinois/Plochmann-Country%20Store.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Country Store, c. 1958<div class="ExternalClassF3BC860745C44F2AB375ABEE93999205"><p>​Carolyn Plochmann has written that her painting <em>Country Store </em>"is at once a composite and a fragment" of the typical "friendly" neighborhood stores found in southern Illinois. It demonstrates her "usual way of working—illustrating no specific incident but attempting to symbolize graphically an accumulation of opinions, experiences, and, I hope, some insights."</p><p>Here, the incongruously varied group gathered in front of a local grocery includes an aging woman with two small children, an African American boy, and another youth wearing the skullcap and sidelocks of Jewish tradition and holding a pole that supports a <em>tzedakah </em>(charity) box. The contemplative, even haunted expressions of the principal figures endow <em>Country Store </em>with the aura of quiet mystery and timelessness that has characterized Plochmann's art throughout her long career. Rich detail, delicate technique, and the enigmatic juxtaposition of figures and objects for dream-like effect all link her work to the artistic mode known as magic realism. </p><p><em>Country Store </em>is the first in a group of paintings by Plochmann published in 1959 in a portfolio entitled <em>University Portrait, </em>a companion volume to <em>The Ordeal of Southern Illinois University </em>by her husband, philosophy professor George Kimball Plochmann. While most of the portfolio's nine paintings show campus scenes and vignettes of academic life, <em>Country Store </em>focuses on the ideal of local community, reflecting the artist's experience as a resident of the Carbondale area, where she continues to live.</p><p>Born Carolyn Gassan, the artist received early recognition of her talent in her native Toledo, Ohio. After graduate studies at the University of Iowa, she was hired as art supervisor of Southern Illinois University's Training School, resigning upon her marriage to embark full time on a long and critically successful artistic career.</p></div>GP0|#270d4889-9467-4f58-b9e9-2eb3398b6fc0;L0|#0270d4889-9467-4f58-b9e9-2eb3398b6fc0|Carolyn Plochmann;GTSet|#6a9f5109-021d-478a-ae73-864102492159;GPP|#9d68cbd3-25f3-49f0-8924-6cbe6cdb2f21;GPP|#be65f490-4890-487c-bb16-c396d99511f7Art;#TemporaryPainting;#Painting Oil;#Painting Oil on Masonite;#Southern IllinoisOil on Masonite, 239⁄16 × 299⁄16 inches Collection of the University Museum, Southern Illinois University