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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Sculpture: 20th century: Bronze Turkey
Bronze Turkey


Bronze Turkey
about 1911
Albert Laessle
bronze on marble base
31 1/2 x 24 3/4 x 26 3/4 in. (80 x 62.9 x 67.8 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the heirs of Albert Laessle: Mrs. Albertine de Bempt Laessle, Mr. Albert M. Laessle and Mr. Paul Laessle
1972.167.81
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Albert Laessle wrestles with a turkey 4.5MB

". . . when you want to model an animal you must manage it . . . And when you do that you don’t know how much like people they really are." Albert Laessle, quoted in Grafly, "Albert Laessle, Sculptor, has a persuasive way with Animals," Christian Science Monitor, August 18, 1922

Albert Laessle's sculptures of insects, lizards, frogs, and snails were not always taken as seriously as the works of other animal sculptors. Laessle chose to sculpt animals because he found them to be as expressive as people. He enjoyed working with animals so much that he eventually moved his studio to a farm in the Pennsylvania countryside. Laessle gave this turkey enormous tail feathers to emphasize the bird's proud preening in the farmyard.


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Luce Center for American Art