United States, born Poland, 1882-1946
Standing Female Figure (Gertrude Stein), c. 1908, cast c. 1926
30 ¾ x 10 x 9 ⅜ in.
Weatherspoon Art Museum. Gift of Anne and Benjamin Cone, 1972
Born in Poland, Elie Nadelman came to America in 1914, already well known as a modernist. He was interested in all kinds of art: ancient, classical, primitive, folk and contemporary. He worked in a wide variety of media, including bronze, marble, wood, and plaster and was also a prolific and accomplished draftsman. In Standing Female Figure (Gertrude Stein), the artist recast the notoriously immodest Gertrude Stein in the guise of a modest Venus, yet he kept her short-cropped hair and substantive physical girth intact. While Nadelman may have been inspired in his creation by the Greek sculptor Praxiteles, the work’s reductive and stylized distortions of forms are fully modern.