Head of Etta Cone

Copied William Zorach, Head of Etta Cone, 1943, cast plaster on plaster base, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Tessim Zorach and Dahlov Ipcar, 1968.154.152

Artwork Details

Head of Etta Cone
148 129 34 in. (35.521.624.8 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Tessim Zorach and Dahlov Ipcar
Mediums Description
cast plaster on plaster base
  • Portrait female — Cone, Etta — head
Object Number

Artwork Description

William Zorach modeled this portrait of Etta Cone from life. He traveled to Baltimore, where she and her sister Claribel lived and operated a private museum that housed their extraordinary art collection. The sisters grew up in a wealthy family; Clara studied medicine and Etta was the housekeeper until her mother died. In the 1890s they befriended Leo and Gertrude Stein, who introduced them to leading modern artists including Matisse and Picasso. The Cones soon began to divide their time between Baltimore, where they held salons at their home, and Europe, where they traveled and collected art. Zorach was very pleased with this portrait, but thought Cone, who had been sketched by Henri Matisse, disliked it. She was “convinced that she looked like these drawings,” Zorach claims. “They too were a likeness but I couldn’t see her through the eyes of Matisse.”