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Group Showing the Present Condition of the Country

ca. 1907-1910 Emily Clayton Bishop Born: Smithsburg, Maryland 1883 Died: Smithsburg, Maryland 1912 limestone/carved 12 3/8 x 7 5/8 x 5 3/4 in. (31.3 x 19.3 x 14.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Miss Beatrice Fenton and Miss Marjorie D. Martinet 1976.127.10 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 46B


Luce Center Label

In Emily Clayton Bishop’s Group Showing the Present Condition of the Country, the roughly carved figures appear to be wrestling. The larger figure stands over a smaller one on its hands and knees, possibly representing internal conflict or oppression. At the turn of the twentieth century, many Americans were concerned about the unbalanced relationship between poor laborers and the upper class. These inequalities gave rise to socialist and anarchist movements, and it is possible that Bishop’s sculpture reflects her sympathy for the working class.

Keywords

Allegory - other - civilization

Figure group

Occupation - sport - wrestling

sculpture

stone - limestone

About Emily Clayton Bishop

Born: Smithsburg, Maryland 1883 Died: Smithsburg, Maryland 1912

More works in the collection by
Emily Clayton Bishop