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Head of a Woman

1935 Gaston Lachaise Born: Paris, France 1882 Died: New York, New York 1935 bronze on marble base 15 1/4 x 8 1/2 x 10 in. (38.7 x 21.6 x 25.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation © 1935, Lachaise Foundation 1986.6.51 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 48A

Exhibition Label

In 1906, with thirty dollars in his pocket and no knowledge of English, Lachaise left France for Boston in pursuit of the woman who would later become his wife. Head of a Woman is a stylized portrait of Isabel, his wife and muse. She was, he said, “the primary inspiration that awakened my vision and the leading influence that has directed my forces.”

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014

Luce Center Label

Gaston Lachaise created his first sculpture of his wife, Isabel, just a few weeks after they met. Once they were married, she became the subject for numerous ideal busts and nude figures, including Head of a Woman, which was originally carved in 1918. The Museum’s piece was cast from a plaster version of the carving, and was probably completed after the artist’s death in 1935.


Figure female - head


metal - bronze

stone - marble