Head of a Woman

Copied Gaston Lachaise, Head of a Woman, 1935, bronze on marble base, 15 148 1210 in. (38.721.625.3 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation, 1986.6.51, © 1935, Lachaise Foundation

Artwork Details

Head of a Woman
Not on view
15 148 1210 in. (38.721.625.3 cm.)
© 1935, Lachaise Foundation
Credit Line
Gift of the Sara Roby Foundation
Mediums Description
bronze on marble base
  • Figure female — head
Object Number

Artwork Description

In 1906, with thirty dollars in his pocket and no knowledge of English, Lachaise left France for Boston in pursuit of the woman who would later become his wife. Head of a Woman is a stylized portrait of Isabel, his wife and muse. She was, he said, “the primary inspiration that awakened my vision and the leading influence that has directed my forces.”

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

Gaston Lachaise created his first sculpture of his wife, Isabel, just a few weeks after they met. Once they were married, she became the subject for numerous ideal busts and nude figures, including Head of a Woman, which was originally carved in 1918. The Museum’s piece was cast from a plaster version of the carving, and was probably completed after the artist’s death in 1935.


Media - 1986.6.100 - SAAM-1986.6.100_2 - 135134
Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection
This exhibition presents some of the most treasured paintings and sculpture from SAAM’s permanent collection, including artworks by Will Barnet, Isabel Bishop, Paul Cadmus, Edward Hopper, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Jacob Lawrence, George Tooker, among others.