Indian Vase

Ames Van Wart American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 760

While living in London, Van Wart modeled this commanding amphora-shaped sculpture, a departure from his usual portrait busts. Its motifs explicitly acknowledge the displacement of Indigenous Americans by Euro-American settlement in the West. One of the figures sitting on the rim looks proudly and confidently into the future, while the other, dejected, seems to reflect on the maltreatment of Native peoples. The main frieze recounts the story of a buffalo hunt—from the departure of the hunter with his weapons to his successful return. Bands of maple and tobacco leaves underscore the intended American symbolism.

Read a Native Perspective on this work.

Indian Vase, Ames Van Wart (American, New York 1841–1927 Paris, France), Marble, American

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