Hoffman’s inspiration for Bacchanale Russe stemmed from the work of Anna Pavlova (1881-1931), whom she first saw perform in July 1910 with Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes at the Palace Theatre in London. In this statuette, modeled in Paris in summer 1912, Pavlova and Mikhail Mordkin (1880-1944) are depicted beginning the Bacchanale, a ballet choreographed to the autumn section of The Seasons by Aleksandr Glazunov. Hoffman distilled brilliantly a moment of action as the figures move forward together holding a billowing cloth.
Marking: Foundry mark (back of base): ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N–Y–
Mary Stillman Harkness, New York (until d. 1950; her bequest to MMA)
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. [section V, as "Pavlova and Mordkin ('Bacchanale')"].
Philadelphia Art Alliance. "Dance in Sculpture," November 4–29, 1971, no catalogue.
Winston-Salem, N. C. Salem Fine Arts Center. "Women: A Historical Survey of Works by Women Artists," February 27–March 19, 1972, no. 43.
Raleigh. North Carolina Museum of Art. "Women: A Historical Survey of Works by Women Artists," March 25–April 20, 1972, no. 43.
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.
New Brunswick. Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. "The Enduring Figure 1890s–1970s: Sixteen Sculptors from the National Association of Women Artists," December 12, 1999–March 12, 2000, no. 23.
Malvina Hoffman. Heads and Tales. New York, 1936, p. 57, ill. p. 39 (Luxembourg Gardens, Paris cast).
Albert TenEyck Gardner. American Sculpture: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1965, pp. 160–61, ill.
Janis Conner and Joel Rosenkranz. Rediscoveries in American Sculpture: Studio Works, 1893–1939. Austin, 1989, pp. 54–55, 62 nn. 10, 17.
Joan M. Marter inAmerican 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, pp. 734–35, no. 366, ill.
Janis Conner. "The Ethereal Icon: Malvina Hoffman's Worshipful Imagery of Anna Pavlova." Perspectives on American Sculpture before 1925. Ed. Thayer Tolles. New York, 2003, pp. 137–40, 145, 148, fig. 111.