Dancing Figure

  • Elie Nadelman, Dancing Figure, ca. 1916-1918, bronze on marble base, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Countess Helen Naselli in memory of Harry Wardman, 1972.168

Luce Center Label

This sculpture, titled Dancing Figure, was also titled Artemis, representing the Greek goddess of the hunt and the dawn. Elie Nadelman’s irreverent depiction of this deity as a common dancer shows how he tried to combine the look and themes of classical sculpture with American popular culture. For example, the sculptor combined ancient Greek motifs, such as the dancer’s wavy hair and almost masklike face with a modern pleated dress and theatrical pose. Nadelman shared the belief of mathematicians and physicists that waves were the most beautiful shapes, so he created Dancing Figure entirely out of curves, including the repeating flutes of her dress, the bands around her head and ankles, and her small fingers and feet.

Dancing Figure
ca. 1916-1918
31 5/8 x 13 7/8 x 11 7/8 in. (80.4 x 35.3 x 30.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Countess Helen Naselli in memory of Harry Wardman

Mediums Description
bronze on marble base
  • Figure female – full length
  • Performing arts – dance
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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