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Mother and Child (study)

ca. 1926 William Zorach Born: Eurburg, Lithuania 1889 Died: Bath, Maine 1966 plaster 6 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. (15.5 x 6.3 x 6.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Tessim Zorach and Dahlov Ipcar 1968.154.153 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 47A

Luce Center Quote

“Every artist throughout history has expressed himself through a life motif. I have chosen the mother and child . . . [this composition] is the embodiment and expression of the love of man for his family . . .” William Zorach, Art is My Life, 1967

Luce Center Label

William Zorach represented the bond between mother and child in different compositions. He often formed the figures with very little space between them, creating an inseparable unit in which the mother holds the child in a protective embrace. Zorach worked slowly and painstakingly on his monumental sculptures, often creating smaller studies of the subject. The final carving of Devotion was purchased by the Laurence Rockefellers, while Mother and Child (study) was made into a monumental stone carving that won the Art Institute of Chicago’s Logan Medal in 1931. Zorach spent three difficult years carving it, and afterwards said, “[It] is my finest piece of sculpture.”


Figure group - family - mother and child

Figure group - family - nude

Study - sculpture model