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African Elephant Scenting Danger

after 1926 Eli Harvey Born: Ogden, Ohio 1860 Died: South San Gabriel, California 1957 bronze 31 5/8 x 28 3/4 x 8 1/4 in. (80.2 x 72.9 x 20.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1948.9.1 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 48B


Luce Center Quote

“I must choose the most essential truth to be presented, which gives . . . the most agreeable lines as a work in sculpture. I chose for this elephant the attitude when scenting danger.” Eli Harvey, Eli Harvey: Quaker Sculptor from Ohio, 1966

Luce Center Label

Wild animals were Eli Harvey’s favorite subject matter. The elephant that “sat” for African Elephant Scenting Danger had been driven mad from seeing his mate killed, and he became very agitated as Harvey modeled him. At one point, he nearly upset Harvey’s modeling stand by grabbing the leg and shaking it with his trunk. The finished sculpture shows the elephant in his most defensive stance. As he anticipates an attack, he raises his trunk to smell the air and tries to locate his enemy.

Keywords

Animal - elephant

sculpture

metal - bronze

About Eli Harvey

Born: Ogden, Ohio 1860 Died: South San Gabriel, California 1957