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Bust of Marsden Hartley

Jacques Lipchitz

American Art

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor

Jacques Lipchitz, who had fled war-torn Paris and emigrated to America in 1941, met the modernist painter Marsden Hartley in 1942. He recalled his eagerness to do a portrait of Hartley, whose face he considered "typically American" and "very sensitive." This penetrating portrayal was done the year before Hartley's death at sixty-six and poignantly captures the painter's age and melancholy. The monumentality of the profile is in marked contrast to the wasted and drawn features of the frontal view, with its tragic overtones. Lipchitz commented that this brooding likeness of a fellow artist had been "made for myself as an exercise and demonstration." In fact, it required twenty-seven life sittings to complete Hartley's portrait. This cast, one of seven, belonged to the collectors Edith and Milton Lowenthal, who also left the Museum a rich legacy of nine paintings by Marsden Hartley.

MEDIUM Bronze, wood base
DATES 1942
DIMENSIONS Overall: 21 1/8 x 9 x 13 1/4 in. (53.7 x 22.9 x 33.7 cm) Base only: 7 3/4 x 6 1/2 x 8 1/4 in. (19.7 x 16.5 x 21 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Inscribed on back of neck: "J Lipchitz"; and below signature, a raised circle which possibly contains the artist's fingerprint.
CREDIT LINE Gift of the Edith and Milton Lowenthal Foundation, Inc. in memory of Carl L. Selden
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Over life-sized bronze head of an older man on a square, wood base painted black; man looks straight ahead; hair in comb-over parted on proper left side; figure has large beaked nose, small closed mouth, and deep wrinkles around eyes and mouth; loose modeling. Condition: Good. Some white/greenish corrosion in crevices.
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
CAPTION Jacques Lipchitz (American, born Lithuania, 1891–1973). Bust of Marsden Hartley, 1942. Bronze, wood base, Overall: 21 1/8 x 9 x 13 1/4 in. (53.7 x 22.9 x 33.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Edith and Milton Lowenthal Foundation, Inc. in memory of Carl L. Selden, 81.38. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 81.38_transp2735.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 81.38_transp2735.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © The Estate of Jacques Lipchitz, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York
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