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Head of Dr. W.E.B. Dubois

1956 William Zorach Born: Eurburg, Lithuania 1889 Died: Bath, Maine 1966 cast plaster on plaster base 12 5/8 x 8 5/8 x 9 1/4 in. (32.1 x 21.9 x 23.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Tessim Zorach and Dahlov Ipcar 1968.154.141 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 47A


Luce Center Quote

“To the artist, a sculptured head is registering in permanent form not only the likeness . . . but the spirit and sculptural character of the person.” William Zorach, Zorach Explains Sculpture, 1947

Luce Center Label

William Zorach modeled this portrait of W. E. B. DuBois from life and presented it to the Schomburg Collection on DuBois’ ninety-second birthday. DuBois was the first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard. A powerful black leader in the early twentieth century, he cofounded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). As an author and educator, he played a significant role in the Harlem Renaissance, a period in which African American artists confronted race, discrimination, and identity through their works. Zorach, who lived in the same neighborhood as DuBois, greatly admired his positive impact on African American culture and felt that there should be “a record of this fine gentleman and scholar.”

Keywords

Ethnic - African-American

Occupation - writer - author

Portrait male - DuBois, W.E.B. - head

sculpture

plaster

About William Zorach

Born: Eurburg, Lithuania 1889 Died: Bath, Maine 1966

More works in the collection by
William Zorach