- Gallery Text
A study for the Spencer Trask Memorial in Saratoga Springs, New York, this bronze reveals Daniel Chester French’s idealizing approach to commemorative sculpture. In 1913, Katrina Trask commissioned a memorial in the city’s Congress Park in honor of her late husband. French, celebrated for his ability to design civic sculpture that sat harmoniously in its context, proposed this winged female with a bowed head and gently outspread arms. Placed within a large limestone niche at the end of a rectangular reflecting pool, its form would have actively engaged with its architectural setting, responding to the semicircular walls surrounding it. Ultimately, French abandoned this design in favor of a more dynamic composition. He created several versions of this earlier proposal, however, which suggests his dedication to its artistic principles.
- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
Daniel Chester French, American (Exeter, NH 1850 - 1931 Glendale, MA)
- Spirit of the Waters
- Other Titles
- Former Title: Fountain Figure: A Winged Female
- Work Type
- Creation Place: North America, United States
Level 2, Room 2130, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, The Pre–Raphaelites and Their Legacy
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- Physical Descriptions
- 82.6 x 63.5 x 31.8 cm (32 1/2 x 25 x 12 1/2 in.)
- Inscriptions and Marks
- Signed: back of base: D.C. French 1914
- inscription: on base: Roman Bronze Works NY
- Purchased by Grenville L. Winthrop, 1914, bequest; to the Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- European and American Art
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- Publication History
Margaret French Cresson, Daniel Chester French, W. W. Norton & Company (New York, NY, 1947)
H. Wade White, "Nineteenth Century American Sculpture at Harvard, a Glance at the Collection", Harvard Library Bulletin (Cambridge, MA, October 1970), vol. XVIII, no. 4, p. 365
Kenyon Castle Bolton, III, Peter G. Huenink, Earl A. Powell III, Harry Z. Rand, and Nanette C. Sexton, American Art at Harvard, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1972), cat. 124, ill.
Michael Richman, Daniel Chester French: An American Sculptor, exh. cat., National Trust for Historic Preservation / Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY, 1976), pp. 139-140, ill.
- Exhibition History
Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, [Unknown venue, Stockbridge MA], Stockbridge, 01/01/1914 - 12/31/1914
American Art at Harvard, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/19/1972 - 06/18/1972
Daniel Chester French: An American Sculptor, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 09/30/1977 - 11/30/1977
For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004
32Q: 2130 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050
- Subjects and Contexts
Google Art Project
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