Artist: Bessie Potter Vonnoh (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1872–1955 New York)
Date: 1897; cast ca. 1906
Dimensions: 14 x 12 x 8 in. (35.6 x 30.5 x 20.3 cm)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1906
Accession Number: 06.305
In her statuettes of solitary female figures, Vonnoh explored the rhythm of movement and the play of drapery over form. One of her most esteemed works, Girl Dancing presents a fashionable young woman in a high-waisted gown. She steps forward in a bowing posture, pointing her right foot and sweeping her skirt back with her left hand. This dancer may possibly be part of a quadrille, a dance popular in the nineteenth century that was performed by couples in a square formation. The statuette is in keeping with the genteel turn-of-the-century expectation that well-bred women occupy themselves by reading, playing music, or dancing.