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Head of Gertrude Lawrence

1931 José de Creeft Born: Guadalajara, Spain 1884 Died: New York, New York 1982 ceramic and shell 9 x 4 1/2 x 4 1/8 in. (22.9 x 11.5 x 10.5 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1983.72 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 47B


Luce Center Quote

"If you like stones and carve them any stone will contain unlimited forms." José de Creeft, Arts, 1927

Luce Center Label

José de Creeft frequently traveled to the island of Mallorca, off the coast of Spain. On one of his trips, he met the actress Gertrude Lawrence and carved two portraits of her. This small sculpture combines part of Lawrence's face with two shells found on one of the island's beaches. Shells are often used to symbolize femininity, and de Creeft may have been suggesting that Lawrence had a beauty and immortality similar to the goddess Venus, who in classical myth was born of the sea.

Keywords

Figure female - fragment - face

Object - other - shell

Performing arts - theater - performer

Portrait female - Lawrence, Gertrude - head

sculpture

animal parts - shell

ceramic

About José de Creeft

Born: Guadalajara, Spain 1884 Died: New York, New York 1982

More works in the collection by
José de Creeft