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Sculptor Robert Laurent’s Carved Chest: An Immigrant Story

Jul 14, 2019 5 MINUTES
In this video, listen to sculptor Robert Laurent (1890–1970) tell his story of emigrating from Brittany, France to New York City in the early twentieth century. His home movies, featured in this video, show the artist at work in his studio and at the school he co-founded in Ogunquit, Maine. Curator Elizabeth Kornhauser discusses the relationship between Laurent’s carved chest from 1911 and the traditions of American Folk Art.

MetCollects introduces highlights of works of art recently acquired by the Met through gifts and purchases. Discover a new work each month.

Featured artwork:

Carved chest
Robert Laurent
Black walnut, tulip poplar, plywood, and brass
Purchase, Ronald S. Kane Bequest, in memory of Berry B. Tracy, 2019

Archival materials:
Robert Laurent home movies, 1933–1938. Robert Laurent home movies [motion picture], 1933–1938. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Robert Laurent interview for I'm an American radio broadcast, 1942 February 1. Robert Laurent phonograph records, 1942. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

© 2019 The Metropolitan Museum of Art