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Defiance

1939 Albert Laessle Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1877 Died: Miami, Florida 1954 bronze 31 x 16 3/8 x 27 1/2 in. (78.6 x 41.6 x 69.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle 1971.124 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, W330


Luce Center Quote

"To do anything with animals, you have to know your subject. Looking at it from the safe side of iron bars won't give you much information. That's why I've never made a lion." Albert Laessle, quoted in the Gainsville Sun, 1972

Luce Center Label

For many years, Albert Laessle worked out of a country studio, allowing animals such as chickens and goats to be a part of his daily routine. Laessle's fascination with animals started when he was a boy and a classmate brought a snapping turtle into science class. The entire class crowded around the turtle, watching its every move. Close study of animals was crucial to Laessle's artistic process, whether he was observing them in their natural habitat or in the Philadelphia Zoo. He wanted to understand completely the spirit of the animal he was portraying, and often gave them almost human characteristics. In Defiance, Laessle depicted a powerful eagle with an air of dignity and spirit by emphasizing the bird's rigid posture and wind-blown plumage.

Keywords

Animal - bird - eagle

Animal - reptile - snake

sculpture

metal - bronze

cast

About Albert Laessle

Born: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1877 Died: Miami, Florida 1954

More works in the collection by
Albert Laessle