Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Performing Elephant

Artist:
Frederick George Richard Roth (American, Brooklyn, New York 1872–1944 Englewood, New Jersey)
Date:
1902, cast ca. 1906
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
6 x 4 3/4 x 3 in. (15.2 x 12.1 x 7.6 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number:
06.402
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
An accomplished animal sculptor, Roth portrayed humorous aspects of animal life, often modeling his subjects in local zoos "Performing Elephant" and its companion piece (06.401) are among a series of sculptures depicting circus animals performing stunts. Here the elephant struggles to perch on a wooden tub, its tremendous weight balance on just two legs. Roth’s careful depiction of the elephant's muscles, bones, and leathery hide reflects his training in both art and veterinary anatomy. This statuette is one of five in the Metropolitan’s collection that was purchased from Roth in 1906, at a time when the museum was making a special effort to collect smaller bronzes by American sculptors.
Signature: [back of tub]: copyrighted 1902 by/ F.G.R. Roth

Inscription: [cast number, underside of tub]: M.2. NI2

Marking: [foundry mark, back of tub]: ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y.
the artist, until 1906
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