Maud Morgan

Olin Levi Warner American
Cast by Tiffany & Co.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774

Warner may have been inspired to model a portrait of harpist Maud Morgan (1860–1941) after seeing her perform in New York. There is no evidence of a commission, so presumably the sculptor undertook the subject on his own initiative. His treatment of the bust integrated antique forms with the naturalistic features of Morgan’s face. Morgan’s filleted hair, blank eyes, and fragmented shoulder termination align the bust with antique prototypes. While her round face and delicate lips imply classicizing simplicity and refinement, they also truthfully represented the features of the harpist. The modeling and expression of the portrait tie it to the French Beaux Arts tradition. The irregular shoulder truncation is in the manner of Warner’s teacher Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. The Metropolitan’s cast rests upon an integral socle base. It was one of eleven works by Warner given to the museum by the National Sculpture Society after Warner’s untimely death in 1896; the bronzes were cast by Tiffany and Company from the artist’s original plasters.

Maud Morgan, Olin Levi Warner (American, West Suffield, Connecticut 1844–1896 New York), Bronze, American

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