View full screen - View 1 of Lot 38. Joy of the Waters.

Property from an American Collector

Harriet Whitney Frishmuth

Joy of the Waters

Lot Closed

July 20, 04:37 PM GMT


60,000 - 80,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from an American Collector

Harriet Whitney Frishmuth

1880 - 1980

Joy of the Waters

inscribed HARRIET W FRISHMUTH SC / © 1912 [sic] and stamped GORHAM CO / FOUNDERS (along the base) 

bronze with verdigris patina

height: 61 inches (154.9 cm)

Modeled in 1917.

Jordan-Volpe Gallery, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 1994
Charles A. Aaronson, Sculptured Hyacinths, New York, 1973, pp. 26, 107-09, 206, illustration of other examples
Janis Conner and Joel Rosenkranz, Rediscoveries in American Sculpture: Studio Works 1893-1939, Austin, Texas, 1989, pp. 37-38, 40-42, 190, illustration of another example
Janis Conner, Frank Hohmann, Leah Rosenblatt Lehmbeck, Thayer Tolles, et al., Captured Motion: The Sculpture of Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, A Catalogue of Works, New York, 2006, no. 1917:3, pp. 28, 66, 79-80, 86, 200, 236, 277-78, illustration of another example
The present work was cast in an edition of 30 between 1920 and 1971. Frishmuth submitted Joy of the Waters to the 1925 Women’s World Fair in Chicago, held in April at the American Exposition Palace. The event attracted more than 160,000 visitors and showcased women’s accomplishments in art, literature, and science. As a result, the present work quickly became one of Frishmuth’s most well-known sculptures. Other examples are found in the permanent collections of the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri.

Best known for her captivating bronzes of female nudes in large and small formats, Frishmuth was one of the most successful American sculptors of the early twentieth century. She maintained a studio in the charming half-street mews known as Sniffen Court in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York City, where her fellow sculptor Malvina Hoffman also lived and worked. Both women preferred professional dancers as models and their grace and athleticism translated fittingly into Frishmuth’s active and expressive sculptures. She felt that “the unrestrained freedom of a figure’s pose was an expression of life within” (as quoted in Janis Connor, et al., Captured Motion: The Sculpture of Harriet Whitney Frishmuth, New York, 2006, p. 28).