Perpetual Motion

  • Beatrice Wood, Perpetual Motion, ca. 1970, glazed earthenware, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of George C. Zachary in memory of Devlin Mario Archie, 1994.104, © 1970, Radha R. Sloss, Conservator for Beatrice Wood

Beatrice Wood began to create sculptures like this woman in the early 1970s, calling them sophisticated primitives.” She intended for these sculptures to appear humorous, and used them to reflect her feelings about society, human behavior, and gender relationships. The woman, presumably a prostitute, happily sits on a chair wearing an oversized hat and a strapless dress that reveals her slip at the bottom. Wood often said that she would make figural sculptures such as Perpetual Motion in order to take a refreshing break from making pots.

I make naughty figures to laugh and comment on this funny world in which we are caught.” Beatrice Wood, quoted in the exhibition catalogue for Intimate Appeal: The Figurative Art of Beatrice Wood, 1989

Perpetual Motion
ca. 1970
19 1413 1214 34 in. (49.034.337.5 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of George C. Zachary in memory of Devlin Mario Archie

Mediums Description
glazed earthenware
  • Dress – accessory – hat
  • Figure female – full length
  • Object – furniture – chair
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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