Woman Knitting

Media - 1958.11.25 - SAAM-1958.11.25_2 - 135149
Copied Paul Wayland Bartlett, Woman Knitting, modeled 1885, cast 1895, bronze mounted on wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Armistead Peter III, 1958.11.25
Free to use

Artwork Details

Woman Knitting
modeled 1885, cast 1895
17 3413 78 in. (45.135.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Armistead Peter III
Mediums Description
bronze mounted on wood
  • Figure female — knee length
Object Number

Artwork Description

In the late nineteenth century, images of women knitting and working at spinning wheels alluded to American colonial life, popularly known as the age of homespun. Such scenes embodied nostalgia and patriotism in the midst of rapid technological changes. Although Paul Bartlett was living in France at the time he made this work, he maintained close ties to America throughout his career. Like his subject matter, the casting technique that Bartlett used was also enjoying a revival in popularity. Lost-wax casting, or cire perdue, involved casting the model with wax to reveal the smallest detail of the original. Bartlett set up a foundry in his studio in the 1890s to experiment with this method. Woman Knitting was modeled in 1885, but Bartlett did not cast it until ten years later and proudly inscribed the wax model, “Cire Perdue---Fondue en 1895.”