Charles Keck (American, New York 1875–1951 New York)
20 1/4 x 18 1/4 x 9 3/4 in. (51.4 x 46.4 x 24.8 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Charles Keck, 1952
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Keck modeled this portrait of Elihu Vedder (1836–1923) while living in Rome as a student at the American Academy. Combining in-the-round and low-relief sculpture, Keck terminated the bust with a frieze of figures inspired by his subject’s drawings for an 1884 edition of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Instead of following the poem’s original sequence, Keck selected images for compositional and symbolic effect, distilling Vedder’s drawings “The Soul’s Answer,” “The Cup of Death,” “The Cup of Despair,” and “The Magdalen,” among others.
Signature: [front of base]: C K / Rome
the artist, until d. 1951; his widow, Mrs. Charles (Anne C.) Keck, until 1952