Medieval Walrus Ivory Chess Pieces on Display at the Cloisters, in New York

Photograph © Andrew Dunn, 3 December 2004.

I miss New York. I was born in New Jersey and spent my young childhood there. We spent a lot of time in New York City and I really miss having quick access to things like the Natural History Museum and in my more recent years the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Articles about events like this one don’t make living on the west coast any easier…

The Cloisters: ‘The Game of Kings: Medieval Ivory Chessmen From the Isle of Lewis’ (through April 22) In 1831, a farmer on the Isle of Lewis, the largest island of the Outer Hebrides, discovered a lost cache of medieval chess pieces. Today, thanks to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” in which Harry and Ron play with magically animated replicas of them, the Lewis Chessmen are world famous. On tour from the British Museum, these adorable, bug-eyed little kings, queens, bishops, knights and warders, each beautifully carved from walrus ivory, are wonderful to examine up close. You don’t have to be a chess player or a Harry Potter fan to love them. 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights, (212) 923-3700,

Here is the website of The Cloisters. I highly recommend a visit, walrus ivory or no.

Here’s the Wikipedia entry on the Lewis Chessmen.

Amazing walrus chair

Walrus Chair Front View

Spanish Artist Máximo Riera has created a very dramatic piece of art in his “Walrus Chair”, part of a larger series of animal-inspired art chairs which includes a rhino and a truly amazing Octopus. I would love to see this chair (well chaise lounge, actually) in real life. The scale of it and the apparent realism must be very striking indeed.

The piece sure speaks for itself, but Maximo’s promotional material for this piece contains the following…

The Walrus was drafted to accommodate the seats upon its back, merging into the animal, with a flawless compatibility. This fact gives a uniqueness to the composition. The artist wanted to preserve the real elevation of the animal, making the person who sits on it, share the same perspective. One of the most challenging aspects in this work, was the skin’s texture and consistency. The Walrus owns a natural volume and magnitude, attributes that makes him recognizable and distinct from any other species. It’s thick skin wrinkles and rests along its surface, this was a key element to have in consideration to prevent an artificial result.

According to the silhouettes on Maxim’s press page – there are more animal chairs coming in the series. The page shows a place for a lion, a whale and a rhinoceros stag beetle! The sculptural elements of the chairs seem to be carved out of compressed foam.

Walrus chair rear view

Learn more at

The site contains beautiful hi-res imagery of all of the chairs, as well as a well-designed PDF document about the entire series.

Nice piece of walrus clip art

If you’ve even done an image search for walrus art, you know there are MILLIONS of images out there. However, it can be tricky to find a piece of artwork that’s not a cartoon. That’s why this one caught my eye. It’s from Arthur’s Clip Art.

Here’s the link to the full size image (it’s a GIF and quite large).

Freehand Profit: Super Cool Street Art Walrus G.A.S. Mask

This killer image comes from the blog of “Freehand Profit” an LA-based street art creator.

Freehand Profit is a Los Angeles based artist who earned his name as a graffiti artist in DC and Northern Virginia. In 2005 he graduated Corcoran College of Art & Design with a BA in Fine Arts. Since then he’s rooted himself in LA’s Hip-Hop scene and has been working to forget what he learned in art school and make work without the pretentiousness that all too often accompanies “good” art.

Currently Freehand Profit is exploring the iconographic nature of masks through his MASK365 project…

This walrus mask is part of the MASK 365 project – G.A.S. stands for Guerrilla Art Squadron, and there’s a section on FP’s blog with the full series of mask images at this link:  (Check out the excellent Star Wars inspired G.A.S. Mask illustrations while you’re there).

You can find this walrus mask image at:

Judging by my previous posts about this genre, the walrus is somewhat popular for street artists.
I love this image. Great cyber-punk illustration. I like this guy’s work.

Visit Freehand Profit’s blog, the Hip Hop Nerd.
Follow Freehand Profit on Twitter.

OK, How about a papercraft walrus?

We’ve posted about an Origami Walrus, and now thanks to the Canadian Design Resource Website, we can add a papercraft walrus to the blog!

Note that this link eventually leads to an order form for the pattern/instructions which will run you $6 for the walrus, or $25 for the entire set of 5 animals (black bear, polar bear, buffalo, moose, walrus). The video at the link below is well worth watching.

Here’s a link to the Post..

And our post about Donya Quick’s origami walrus gets a lot of traffic, so here’s that link as well:

Great painting of a walrus being created – check this video out!

I got an email today from a guy asking me to check out this video of his brother’s walrus art, ’cause he thought it would go great on the blog. OK, I’ll check it out… And he was right. Thanks for the tip! Great painting and amazing process. Seriously, stay with this video ’til the end because you’ll be amazed. I guarantee you’ll be saying to yourself, OK – where’s the walrus? But just wait….

Nice work!

The Rare and Deadly Vampire Walrus!

Bob Canada's Vampire Walrus

Cartoonist Bob Canada turns us on the Vampire Walrus, horrific scourge of the arctic. His posting is as amusing as this drawing. Beware the vampire walrus!

The Vampire Walrus’ wings are mostly for show, as they are far too small to lift its impressive bulk off the ground.

Here’s the link to the full post on Bob’s Blogger site:

Bob’s a designer and cartoonist from Indiana. Not Canada. I like his drawing style. I like the fact that he posts sketches along with the final art – I always like the energy contained in an artists sketches, sometimes more than the final.

Dancing Walrus: Intuit Sculpture by Aqjangajuk (Axangayu) Shaa

Photo © 1997-2010 Spirit Wrestler Gallery

This dancing walrus is one of many sculptures by Inuit carver Aqjangajuk (Axangayu) Shaa. Represented by the Spirit Wrestler Gallery in Vancouver, BC. Sorry for the seemingly dashed-off post, but I wanted to share this fun work wit readers of the blog. I need to look into shamanistic native sculpture and the meaning of the walrus within this form of art.

Click here to visit Mr. Shaa’s page at Spirit Wrestler gallery including a catalog of available pieces.