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Nov 17, 2021
Modeled 1923-24, incised with signature and 'N° 1' and dated '©1924' bottom right of base, stamped 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N – Y –' on back of base. Bronze with brown patina.
height: 16 in. (40.6cm)
width: 7 1/8 in. (18.1cm)
depth: 3 3/4 in. (9.5cm)
(dimensions include base)
C.W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, New York, New York (acquired directly from the above in 1924).
Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, April 9-10, 1947, lot 130.
Walter C. Pew, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Private Collection, Florida (by descent in the family).
"Gaston Lachaise Portrait Sculpture," National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C., November 22, 1985-February 16, 1986 (another cast exhibited).
"Gaston Lachaise: A Modern Epic Vision," Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 10-September 22, 2012 (another cast exhibited).
Lula Merrick, "In the New York Galleries," Spur, vol. 33, no. 9, May 1, 1924, p. 124 (plaster model illustrated).
"News and Views on Current Art,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 11, 1924, section B, p. 2 (plaster model illustrated).
"About Artists and Their Work," New York Evening Post, May 24, 1924, section 5, p. 5 (plaster model illustrated).
[Gaston Lachaise, in] A.E. Gallatin, Gaston Lachaise, New York, 1924, p. 53 (an unidentified cast referenced).
"The Spring Exhibition of Decorative Arts of the Society of Arts and Crafts," Detroit News, April 4, 1926, Rotogravure Section, p. 3 (plaster model illustrated).
Donald Bannard Goodall, "Gaston Lachaise, Sculptor," 2 volumes, PhD dissertation, Harvard University, 1969, volume 2, p. 465 (another cast referenced).
Carolyn Kinder Carr and Margaret C.S. Christman, Gaston Lachaise: Portrait Sculpture, exh. cat., Washington, D.C.: National Portrait Gallery, 1985, pp. 72-73 (an unidentified cast illustrated).
Gaston Lachaise: A Modern Epic Vision, exh. cat., Santa Fe: Gerald Peters Gallery, 2012, n.p., plate 19 (another cast illustrated).
The Lachaise Foundation has assigned the identification number LF 205 to this work.
Gaston Lachaise likely decided to create this charming portrait of Marjorie Spencer (b. 1904), the sister of the painter Niles Spencer (1893-1952), when he saw her in 1923 at a jolly Thanksgiving party in Woodstock, New York, hosted by Slater Brown (1896-1997), Hart Crane (1899-1932), and Lachaise’s stepson, Edward Nagle (1893-1963). He may have sought to please his stepson, who entertained a deep, ultimately unrequited infatuation with Miss Spencer. Three bronze casts were produced in early 1924. Two were promptly delivered to his dealer, John Kraushaar, owner of the C. W. Kraushaar Art Galleries, New York, and one of them was exhibited in May of that year. The present cast, as part of the dealer’s estate, was auctioned in 1947; the other Kraushaar cast is unlocated. The third cast, originally intended for the sitter, was sold by Lachaise in 1930, and auctioned in 2007. A cast of the upper half of the work [LF 205A] was sold by the artist in 1929, and remains in a private collection. No other casts of the statuette are known, and the plaster model is lost. - Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation
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