Signed and dated, on back: Bessie Potter Vonnoh, No. VII, 1902; on back: Copyright Roman Bronze Works, N.Y.
This diminutive statuette on a maternal theme characterizes the type of work that brought Bessie Potter Vonnoh popular success and critical approbation at the turn of the twentieth century. Impressionistic in its light touch and intimate mood, the sculpture relates to paintings of the same period, many of which also portrayed modern-day Madonnas embracing their babies or children. Here the seated mother leans attentively toward her baby, as the folds of her dressing gown cascade gracefully to the floor around her. Shortly after studying under and assisting sculptor Loredo Taft, Vonnoh established her own studio and devoted herself to creating her endearing family group sculptures. Later in life, having no children of her own, she remarked, “I have only my bronze and marble babies, but I love them as much as if they were flesh and blood.”
From the 2019 exhibition American Art, Colonial to Modern, curated by Barbara J. MacAdam, Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art
American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 9-December 9, 2007.
American Art, Colonial to Modern, Israel Sack Gallery and Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-September 12, 2021.
American Viewpoints: Painting and Sculpture from the Hood Museum of Art, Timken Museum of Art, San Diego, California, May 5-August 31, 2003.
Gifts of the Class of 1937, Beaumont-May Galleries, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, October 10-November 11, 1973.
Israel Sack Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, March 2, 2009-present.
New England Women, As Artist, As Subjects-1820-1920, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, New Hampshire, November 18-December 11, 1987.
Barbara J. MacAdam, American Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2007, p. 126, no. 99.
Julie Aronson, Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women, Athens: Ohio University Press, 2008, p.124, ill. fig. 51.
Helen L. Card Gallery, New York, New York; sold to M. R. Schweitzer (dealer), New York, New York, September 25, 1963; sold to present collection, 1964.
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