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Faun

1915 Alice Morgan Wright Born: Albany, New York 1881 Died: Albany, New York 1975 bronze 21 x 12 x 15 in. (53.3 x 30.5 x 38.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist 1933.1.4 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, W320


Luce Center Label

Alice Morgan Wright created Faun to decorate a country garden. She cast it in 1915 at the height of the boom in garden sculpture, when middle-class families began to move out of the city to second homes in the country. New homeowners wanted their plots to resemble European villas, so they created gardens filled with miniature fountains and small sculptures. They often decorated their gardens with fauns, which represented the dual nature of country gardens as both rural and urban. The faun is a mythical creature with the features of men and goats. Here, its legs appear to emerge from the rock as if he has sprung straight from nature, but he holds a flute symbolizing the power of music and culture to tame wild creatures, as humans domesticate the natural landscape.

Keywords

Mythology - classical - faun

Performing arts - music - flute

sculpture

metal - bronze

cast

About Alice Morgan Wright

Born: Albany, New York 1881 Died: Albany, New York 1975