Half Woman, Quarter Bird

  • Howard Newman, Half Woman, Quarter Bird, 1974-1975, bronze, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1975, Howard Newman, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.68

Exhibition Label
Howard Newman casts elements from machines and assembles them into interlocking geometric shapes that resemble human figures. Influenced by the cubists and Italian futurists of the early twentieth century, Newman transforms their celebration of speed and mechanization into reflective statements about modern life. The mechanomorphic figure of Half Woman, Quarter Bird fuses images from nature and industry, offering a cautionary note that speaks to the potential for technological entrapment.

Modern American Realism: The Sara Roby Foundation Collection, 2014
Luce Center Label

Howard Newman often assembled his sculptures from cast machine parts. Half Woman, Quarter Bird was built up from tubes and mechanical parts to create an ominous figure with the head of a woman and the shoulders of a bird. The piece fuses together nature and technology to conjure up a gruesome creature and sinister weapon at the same time.

Half Woman, Quarter Bird
On View
Not on view.
24 1/8 x 13 x 20 1/4 in. (61.3 x 33.0 x 51.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation

  • Fantasy
  • Dress – accessory – hat
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI