Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Mutual Surprise

Edwin Willard Deming (American, Ashland, Ohio 1860–1942 New York)
9 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 8 in. (24.1 x 8.3 x 20.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1908
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
An illustrator, painter, and sculptor, Deming specialized in the depiction of North American Indians and the wild animals of the American West. Bears were a favorite subject and he modeled them in pursuits both violent and amusing. The sculptor invested humor in an unexpected encounter between two creatures by emphasizing the contrasting sizes of a bear cub and a snapping turtle. This light moment is enhanced by the questioning pose of the open-mouthed turtle and the grinning visage and looming stance of the gawky bear. Statuettes depicting the gentler side of nature were produced by other contemporaneous animal sculptors such as Eli Harvey, Edward Kemeys, and Alexander Phimister Proctor.
Signature: [left side of base]: Copyricht [sic] 1907 BY E W DEMING

Marking: [foundry mark, back of base]: [cursive] Roman Bronze Works N Y; CAST NUMBER [underside of base, stamped] No 5.
the artist, until 1908
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