Mutual Surprise

Edwin Willard Deming American
Cast by Roman Bronze Works

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

An illustrator, painter, and sculptor, Deming specialized in the depiction of animal life in the American West. Bears were a favorite subject and he modeled them in pursuits both violent and amusing. The sculptor invested humor in an unexpected encounter between two creatures by emphasizing the contrasting sizes of a bear cub and a snapping turtle. This light moment is enhanced by the questioning pose of the open-mouthed turtle and the grinning visage and looming stance of the gawky bear. Statuettes depicting the gentler side of nature were produced by other contemporaneous animal sculptors such as Eli Harvey, Edward Kemeys, and Alexander Phimister Proctor.

Mutual Surprise, Edwin Willard Deming (American, Ashland, Ohio 1860–1942 New York), Bronze, American

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