Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Slavonic Dancer

Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1880–1980 Waterbury, Connecticut)
13 1/4 x 6 1/2 x 3 1/2 in. (33.7 x 16.5 x 8.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
Frishmuth’s sculptures are known for their lively poses often inspired by professional dancers. For Slavonic Dancer, she collaborated with her model Leon Barté, a member of the Fokine Ballet, who suggested the intensely physical pose. The muscular figure displays fluid surfaces and an active silhouette, with contrasts of curving and angular forms. Slavonic Dancer recalls Auguste Rodin’s advice to Frishmuth when she was his pupil in Paris: “First, always look at the silhouette of a subject and be guided by it; second, remember that movement is the transition from one attitude to another.”
Inscription: Signed and dated (top of base, below heel): HARRIET W. FRISHMUTH © 1921

Marking: Foundry mark (back of base): ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N–Y–
[Grand Central Art Galleries, New York, until 1923; sold to MMA]

New York. National Academy of Design. "97th Annual Exhibition," March 25–April 23, 1922, no. 184.

Art Institute of Chicago. "Thirty-Fifth Annual Exhibition of American Paintings and Sculpture," November 2–December 10, 1922, no. 265.

New York. Grand Central Art Galleries. "Initial Exhibition of the Works of Artist Members," opened March 21, 1923, no. 169 (as "Slavonic Dance").

Vincent Astor Gallery, Library & Museum of the Performing Arts, the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. "Dance in Sculpture," February 1–April 30, 1971, unnumbered cat.

Philadelphia Art Alliance. "Dance in Sculpture," November 4–29, 1971, no catalogue.

New York. Berry-Hill Galleries. "The Woman Sculptor: Malvina Hoffman and Her Contemporaries," October 24–December 8, 1984, no. 13.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Human Figure in Transition, 1900–1945: American Sculpture from the Museum's Collection," April 15–September 28, 1997, extended to March 29, 1998, unnum. brochure.

Albany. New York State Museum. "Cast Images: American Bronze Sculpture from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 20, 2007–February 24, 2008, not in brochure.

Marion Couthouy Smith. "The Art of Harriet Frishmuth." American Magazine of Art 16 (September 1925), ill. p. 476.

Albert TenEyck Gardner. American Sculpture: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1965, p. 140, calls it "A Slavonic Dancer"; tentatively identifies the subject as "the dancer Merio of the dance team Merio and Desha"; notes that according to the artist, there exist eight or ten bronze casts.

Charles N. Aronson. Sculptured Hyacinths. New York, 1973, pp. 123–25, 208, ill., relates the recollection of Frishmuth's companion, Ruth Talcott, that this sculpture derives from a pose suggested by Leon Barté while he was modelling for the sculpture "The Dancers" (1921); notes that this sculpture was cast in an edition of ten.

May Brawley Hill. The Woman Sculptor: Malvina Hoffman and Her Contemporaries. Exh. cat., Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc. New York, 1984, pp. 19, 38, no. 13, ill.

Joan M. Marter in American Sculpture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Thayer Tolles. Vol. 2, A Catalogue of Works by Artists Born between 1865 and 1885. New York and New Haven, 2001, p. 641, no. 293, ill.

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