Little Ida

Charles Calverley American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 762

In a 1908 interview Calverley recalled the subject of this naturalistic relief and the circumstances of its production. He met Ida at a summer hotel while she tended a boy whose portrait he was modeling, and noticed the "string of alabaster beads around her long neck, and large red ear-drops." Calverley included anecdotal touches in this portrait, including the curls of hair escaping from her knotted scarf, the unbuttoned collar, and the slight twist of the necklace. A prominent portraitist in Reconstruction-era New York, Calverley also produced likenesses of Abraham Lincoln and the radical abolitionist John Brown. In 1899 he revised Ida’s portrait to include the inscription "The Race John Brown Died For," a testament to Brown’s legacy.

Little Ida, Charles Calverley (American, Albany, New York 1833–1914 Essex Fells, New Jersey), Marble, American

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