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The Heavens

1913-1917 Solon H. Borglum Born: Ogden, Utah 1868 Died: Stamford, Connecticut 1922 bronze 40 3/8 x 12 3/8 x 16 3/4 in. (102.6 x 31.5 x 42.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Monica B. Davies and Paul Borglum in memory of Mrs. M. Nash Bly 1968.127 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 19B

Luce Center Label

The Heavens, along with three other works representing earth, water, and man, was commissioned for the National Geographic Society in New York. Solon Borglum and three other sculptors were involved, including his brother Gutzon. World War I interrupted the project and it was never completed, but Borglum made this smaller bronze version as well as a larger plaster version, which has since disappeared. Representing the heavens, a male figure emerges from the planets and clouds, looking back to acknowledge his creation. The man has mortal beauty but embodies God’s transcendent powers.


Allegory - element - earth

Allegory - religion - heaven

Figure male - full length

Figure male - nude


metal - bronze