Olin Levi Warner (American, West Suffield, Connecticut 1844–1896 New York)
1880, cast 1897–98
21 1/2 x 11 x 8 in. (54.6 x 27.9 x 20.3 cm)
Gift of National Sculpture Society, 1898
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 770
Warner and J. Alden Weir (1852–1919) likely met in New York in 1877, when both were elected charter members of the Society of American Artists. They probably agreed to sit for each other as a demonstration of artistic camaraderie. This bust reflects Warner’s tendency to fuse idealism with individuality: Weir’s tufted hair, taut skin, and youthful verve were truthfully portrayed. Warner also took inspiration from his mentor, the French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, whose male busts feature the same assured modeling, asymmetrical termination of undraped shoulders, alert turn of the head, and integral socle with a decorative tablet.
Signature: [back]: [cursive] Aldin [for Alden] Weir / [O.] L. Warner / 1880.
Marking: [foundry mark, back of socle, stamped]: TIFFANY & Co
Commissioned by the National Sculpture Society, New York, for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1897–1898