Head of Gertrude Lawrence

  • José de Creeft, Head of Gertrude Lawrence, 1931, ceramic and shell, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1983.72

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.

Luce Object Quote
"If you like stones and carve them any stone will contain unlimited forms." José de Creeft, Arts, 1927
Head of Gertrude Lawrence
On View
9 x 4 1/2 x 4 1/8 in. (22.9 x 11.5 x 10.5 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Museum purchase

Mediums Description
ceramic and shell
  • Portrait female – Lawrence, Gertrude – head
  • Figure female – fragment – face
  • Performing arts – theater – performer
  • Object – other – shell
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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