The Indian Hunter

John Quincy Adams Ward American

Not on view

Preliminary maquettes (sketch models) for nineteenth-century American sculptures are relatively rare given their fragility and their transitory role in the process of sculpture-making. In this plaster, as in the edition of finished bronze statuettes (1973.257), Ward paid close attention to realistic anatomical form and textural detail in depicting a Native American man leaning forward in mid-stride tracking his prey and restraining his dog. The most significant compositional difference between this sketch and this finished bronze is the transition of the base’s shape from rectangular to oval. Ward later enlarged his model, making additional refinements resulting from an 1864 trip to Dakota Territory. A monumental bronze was dedicated in New York’s Central Park in 1869.

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