Herma

Media - 1983.105.5 - SAAM-1983.105.5_1 - 60524
Copied Man Ray, Herma, 1975, bronze on wood base, 14 184 583 18 in. (35.811.77.9 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Juliet Man Ray, 1983.105.5

Artwork Details

Title
Herma
Artist
Date
1975
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
14 184 583 18 in. (35.811.77.9 cm.)
Markings
base on metal label incised: Man Ray left thigh rear incised: Mou Roy (sic) right thigh inside incised: Artcurial, EA II/VI
Credit Line
Gift of Juliet Man Ray
Mediums
Mediums Description
bronze on wood base
Classifications
Keywords
  • Figure
  • Abstract
  • Figure female — nude
Object Number
1983.105.5

Artwork Description

The distorted figure of Herma was originally carved in 1919 from marble. In Greek mythology, a herma or herm is a primitive fertility statue of the Greek god Hermes. Man Ray emphasized fertility and the female anatomy by exaggerating the woman’s rounded stomach and thighs. The title of this piece and the way the artist chose to carve the figure without complete arms and legs evokes an archaic sculpture that has been ruined by time.