• Bruce Moore, Tyger, ca. 1950, wood mounted on wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Alice H. Moore, 1984.121.6

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Bruce Moore had a natural love of animals and was particularly drawn to large jungle cats. His favorite was the tiger, and he would spend hours at the nearest zoo, attempting to capture the forms of these great mammals in motion. His most famous tigers, a pair of ten-foot-long snarling bronzes, can be found at Princeton University, in New Jersey. This sculpture, which shows the tiger lunging at a snake, is one of many the artist made during his lifetime. The unique spelling of "tyger" may have been a reference to the William Blake poem quoted above, which includes the line "Did he who made the Lamb make thee?" It is possible that the poem inspired Moore to create a depiction of the Garden of Eden with a fearsome "Tyger."

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"Tyger! Tyger! burning bright In the forests of the night, What immortal hand or eye Could frame thy fearful symmetry?" From William Blake's poem "The Tyger" (from Songs of Experience, 1794)
ca. 1950
8 1/2 x 15 in. (21.5 x 38.1 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mrs. Alice H. Moore

Mediums Description
wood mounted on wood
  • Animal – tiger
  • Animal – reptile – snake
  • Landscape – plant
Object Number
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