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ca. 1918-1919 Elie Nadelman Born: Warsaw, Poland 1882 Died: New York, New York 1946 painted cherry wood and gesso 28 1/4 x 14 1/2 x 5 1/8 in. (71.8 x 36.8 x 13 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Partial and promised gift of Linda Lichtenberg Kaplan 1999.102 Not currently on view

Gallery Label

American popular culture transformed the classical sculpting style that Nadelman brought from Europe. The artist reveled in vaudeville and the circus and fell in love with the simple shapes and sly humor of American folk art, which he smoothly integrated into his carvings. This work was likely inspired by a photograph of the vaudeville star Eva Tanguay demonstrating a high, split kick from her routine. It is as elegantly carved as an archaic figure of a temple dancer but still conveys the impudent energy of the can-can.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006


Figure female - full length

Performing arts - dance