GASTON LACHAISE | HEAD OF WOMAN
Property from an Important Long Island Collection
1882 - 1935
HEAD OF WOMAN
inscribed Lachaise/Estate and numbered 8/12 (on the back of the neck at proper left); also stamped with the conjoined initials of the Modern Art Foundry MA and the symbol of the Art Founders Guild (on the back of the neck at proper right)
polished bronze with selectively applied light brown patina
height: 11 inches (27.9 cm) on a 4-inch black lucite base (10.2 cm)
Modeled between 1917 and 1922; cast in 1989.
We are grateful to Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation, for her assistance in preparing the following catalogue entry for this work.
The Lachaise Foundation, Boston, Massachusetts
Gallery Camino Real, Boca Raton, Florida, 2001 (acquired from the above)
Irving Galleries, Palm Beach, Florida
Acquired by the present owner from the above, circa 2001
Henry McBride, "Views and Reviews in the World of Art," The Sun, New York, February 17, 1918, p. 23, illustration of the limestone carving
Donald Bannard Goodall, Gaston Lachaise: Sculptor, Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1969, vol. 1, p. 427; vol. 2, p. 469, the plaster model and another example referenced
Herschel Browning Chipp, Gaston Lachaise: 100th Anniversary Exhibition Sculpture and Drawings, Palm Springs, California, 1982, no. 23, pp. 28, 30, 33, illustration of another example
John Holverson, Gaston Lachaise: Sculpture & Drawings, Portland, Maine, 1984, no. 25, p. 35, the painted plaster model referenced
Sam Hunter, Lachaise, New York, 1993, pp. 48, 86-87, 242, illustration of an unidentified example
Hilton Kramer, Gaston Lachaise (1882-1935): Sculpture and Drawings, New York, 1998, n.p., illustration of another example pl. 20
M.B. King, ed., Marking 20 Years: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, 2014, p. 90, illustration of another example
New York, Salander-O’Reilly Galleries; Houston, Texas, Meredith Long & Company, Gaston Lachaise: Sculptures, January-April 1992, pp. 24-25, 81, illustrated fig. 5
Paris, France, Galerie Gerald Piltzer, Gaston Lachaise Sculptures, May-July 1992, no. 31, pp. 31, 60, illustrated
The long-necked version of Gaston Lachaise’s Head of Woman is one of two versions made from a plaster cast of a selectively polychromed limestone head [LF 172], now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Lachaise carved the limestone version in 1917 without the aid of a preliminary model. He first exhibited the work in 1918 and sold it in 1922. Both the stone head and the other version of Head of Woman [LF 38] feature a shorter neck. In all of these works, the woman’s simplified, archaizied facial features exhibit Lachaise’s modernist aesthetic, while distinctly referring to Isabel Dutaud Nagle (1872-1957), whom he married in 1917. They also recall his Standing Woman (Elevation), 1912-15, a monumental statue in the Art Institute of Chicago similarly inspired by her.
Sometime after 1928, Lachaise used his plaster cast of the stone head to produce the bronze casts of the shorter-necked version now owned by the Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. A cast of that version was also made by Lachaise’s widow, and six, by the Lachaise Foundation (established in 1963). In the early 1960s, the Lachaise Foundation authorized an edition of twelve numbered bronze casts of the long-necked version of Head of Woman, nine of which, including the present example, have been produced thus far. The first is owned by the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City, Missouri, and the third, by the Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. Head of Woman (long-necked version) has been given the identification number LF 109 by the Lachaise Foundation.