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early 20th century Unidentified carved and painted wood approx. 10 x 6 x 5 in. (25.4 x 15.2 x 12.7 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson 1986.65.295 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 27A

Luce Center Label

Early-twentieth-century wood-carvers often made toy figures with movable parts to amuse their children. The Fiddler’s arms and legs can be moved to suggest that he is playing the violin and dancing; in Seated Man with Pipe the figure’s left arm can move up and down to simulate the gesture of smoking. In both sculptures the artists paid more attention to animating the figures than they did to detail or color.


Figure male - full length

Performing arts - music - fiddle


folk art