Edward W. W. Warburg, 1932-1992
Mary Warburg, until 2009
Gaston Lachaise evidently completed the plaster model of Dolphins in September 1931 (Lachaise to his wife, Isabel Dutaud Nagle, letters of September 25 and 27, 1931, Lachaise Papers, The Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library). By the following January, Edward M. M. Warburg had ordered a bronze cast, and plans were being made to send the model to Germany, since the foundry there was thought to be less expensive and better than those in America. Warburg received the completed work by the following April, and was reported to like it very much.
The present work exemplifies one of four different sculptures by Lachaise on the theme of a flight of dolphins, all of which reflect his joyous response to the animal world. The first was created in 1917 and copyrighted in 1922 (an example belongs to the Muskegon Museum of Art, Michigan). The largest version, a fountain sculpture, was copyrighted in 1924 and replicated twice in bronze in 1925; these casts are owned by the Lachaise Foundation, Boston (on extended loan to Cedar Crest College, Allentown, Pennsylvania), and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The present example is one of possibly two bronze casts of Lachaise's last--and freest--version of the theme: what may be the second cast, known only by a description written at the time of its sale in 1945, is unlocated. The plaster model is lost.
Dolphins has been given the number 318 by the Lachaise Foundation, Boston.
We are grateful to Virginia Budny for her assistance in preparing the catalogue entry for this work.
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