Gaston Lachaise

Lot Details

Lot 48
Gaston Lachaise
French, 1882-1935
Head of Woman (Egyptian Head), [LF35] model 1922, cast by 1964
Signed and dated G. Lachaise 1923, and with estate stamp
Bronze on composite base
Sculpture 12 7/8 x 9 x 8 1/4 inches (32.7 x 22.9 x 21 cm), overall including base 20 x 8 x 8 inches (50.8 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm)

Provenance:
Lachaise Foundation, Boston
[Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York], from the above
[Robert Carlen, Philadelphia], from the above
Meyer Potamkin, Philadelphia, acquired from the above, Jan. 8, 1965
Acquired from the above by Makler Gallery, Philadelphia
Purchased from the above by Clara & William Fishman, circa 1970
Thence by descent in the family

Exhibited:
A Museum Looks to the Future, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME, Oct. 10 - 30, 1964, as Head of a Woman, 1923

Literature:
The Dial, vol. 74, no. 3, March 1923, following p. 240, the plaster model illustrated (as Woman's Head).
A. E. Gallatin, Gaston Lachaise, New York, 1924, p. 52, the work referenced (as Head of Woman), 1922; Pl. 5, an unidentified example illustrated (as Woman's Head).
Catalogue of an Exhibition of Works by American Artists Selected by the Associated Dealers in American Paintings Inc., Feb. 21-Mar. 10, 1928, exhibition catalogue, New York: Anderson Galleries, 1928, no. 415, an unidentified example illustrated (as Egyptian Head).
A. D. Emmart, Review of the Exhibition of Sculpture by Bourdelle, Maillol, Lachaise, and Zorach at the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Sun, Baltimore, April 8, 1928, section 2, p. 6, an unidentified example illustrated (as Egyptian Head).
Holgar Cahill, Newark: The Museum and American Contemporary Art, Creative Art, vol. 4, no. 3, March 1929, supplement pp. xxxviii-xxxix, an unidentified example illustrated (as Woman's Head).
Museum of Modern Art, New York, Painting and Sculpture by Living Americans; Ninth Loan Exhibition, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1930, p. 20, no. 105, Pl. 105, another example exhibited (as Head).
Museum of Modern Art, New York, American Painting & Sculpture, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1932, p. 43, no. 133, another example referenced (as Head).
M. Knoedler & Co., New York, Gaston Lachaise, 1882-1935, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1947, p. 18, no. 42, another example illustrated (as Egyptian Head).
Jack C. Rich, The Materials and Methods of Sculpture, New York, 1947, Pl. 26C, an unidentified example illustrated (as Egyptian Head).
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gaston Lachaise 1882-1935: Sculpture and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles, 1963, n.p., no. 35, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman, 1923).
Hilton Kramer et al., The Sculpture of Gaston Lachaise, New York, 1967, p. 48, no. 20, illustration another example (as Egyptian Head, 1923).
Donald Bannard Goodall, Gaston Lachaise, Sculptor, Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University, 1969, vol. 1, pp. 421-42, 536n. 6; vol. 2, pp. 141-42, 470-71, Pl. LXV, the plaster model and 9 examples, including the present cast, referenced (as Head of a Woman, or Egyptian Head, 1920); another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman, 1923).
Gerald Nordland, Gaston Lachaise: The Man and His Work, New York, 1974, pp. 84, 86, fig. 24, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman (Egyptian Head), 1923).
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, New York, 1974, pp. 219, 710, fig. 296, another example illustrated (as Egyptian Head, 1923).
Alfred H. Barr Jr., Painting and Sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, 1929-1967, New York, 1977, pp. 252, 557, another example illustrated (as Egyptian Head, 1923).
San Bernardino California State College, The Art Gallery, San Bernardino, Gaston Lachaise: Sculpture and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, San Bernardino, 1980, pp. 21, 26, 30, 48, fig. 31, no. 12, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman (Egyptian), 1923).
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Gaston Lachaise: A Concentration of Works from the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, by Patterson Sims, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1980, pp. 18, 19, another cast illustrated (as Head of a Woman, 1923).
Newark Museum, Newark, American Art in the Newark Museum: Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture, Newark, 1981, pp. 226, 412, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman, 1923).
Margaret Liebman Berger, Aline Meyer Liebman: Pioneer Collector and Artist, Canandaigua, NY, 1982, pp. 64, 64n.4, another example referenced (as Egyptian Head).
Robert Schoelkopf Gallery, New York, Gaston Lachaise: Twenty Sculptures, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1982, n.p., another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman, 1923).
Newark Museum, Newark, American Bronze Sculpture: 1850 to the Present, by Gary A. Reynolds, Newark, 1984, p. 44, no. 51, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman (Egyptian Head), 1923).
National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, Gaston Lachaise: Portrait Sculpture, by Carolyn Kinder Carr and Margaret C. S. Christman, exhibition catalogue, Washington, DC., 1985, pp. 46-47, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman (Egyptian Head), 1923).
Hirschl & Adler Galleries, Inc., New York, Modern Times: Aspects of American Art, 1907-1956, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1986, pp. 64-65, no. 56, another cast illustrated (as Head of a Woman (Egyptian Head)).
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, American Mastery: Eight Artists in the Permanent Collection of the Whitney Museum, [exhibition at] Whitney Museum of American Art at Equitable Center, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1987, pp. 5, 6, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman, 1923).
Salander O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., New York/Beverly Hills/Berlin; and Meredith Long & Company, Houston, Gaston Lachaise: Sculpture, with an essay by Barbara Rose, exhibition catalogue (New York, 1991), pp. 22, 81, Pl. 4, no. 4, another example illustrated (as Egyptian Head, 1923).
Sam Hunter, Lachaise, with photographs by David Finn, New York, 1993, pp. 88-89, 242, another example illustrated (as Egyptian Head, 1923).
Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY, American Vanguards, curated by Constance Schwartz and Franklin Hill, exhibition catalogue, Roslyn Harbor, NY, 1996, pp. 56, 67, 91, another example illustrated (as Egyptian Head, 1923).
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at Twenty Years: The Collection Catalogue, edited by Jason Steuber, Laura K. Nemmers, and Tracy E. Pfaff, Gainesville, 2010, pp. 122, 140, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman (The Egyptian Head), circa 1923).
Julia Day, Jens Stenger, Katherine Eremin, Narayan Khandekar, and Virginia Budny, Gaston Lachaise: Characteristics of His Bronze Sculpture, Cambridge, MA., 2012, pp. vii, 30, 63, 66 note h, pp. 67, 68 note f (as Egyptian Head [LF 35]).
Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, The Enormity of the Possible, curated by Priscilla Vail Caldwell, exhibition catalogue: New York, 2017, another example illustrated (as Head of a Woman, Egyptian Head, 1922).

Head of Woman (Lachaise's title) evokes the features of his wife, Isabel Dutaud Lachaise (1872-1957) when she was a young woman, yet also represents his evolving sculptural vision of Woman principally inspired by her (and discussed in his essay, A Comment on My Sculpture, Creative Art, vol. 3, no. 2, 1928, p. xxiii). As suggested by Donald Bannard Goodall in 1969, Lachaise evidently created the model for this work by making a plaster cast from the sandstone Head of Woman [LF 291] he had carved in 1917 without the aid of a sculptural model; then revising that plaster cast, for example, by eliminating part of the woman's coiffure, tilting her head, and lowering her eyes, so as to suggest the serene, contemplative mood of the subject. A contemporary, the esteemed critic A. D. Emmart (1902-1973), praised Lachaise's achievement in this work: "he has infused force into repose and some way made restraint into life" (The Sun, Baltimore), April 8, 1928, section 2, p. 6). This reworking of a previous sculpture to create a new one is typical of Lachaise's artistic practice throughout his career, and in fact resulted in other sculptures ultimately derived from the initial work. (On the sandstone head: V. Budny, in Bernard Goldberg Fine Arts, LLC, New York, Gaston Lachaise: For the Love of Woman, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2016, pp. 5-6, 20-21, fig. 5. Other variants include the plaster head [LF 295] illustrated in Some Novelties in the World of Sculpture, The New York Herald, January 5, 1919, Rotographic Section, and subsequently destroyed by Lachaise; and Mask [LF 73], owned by the Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, and illustrated in that museum's 1984 publication, Masterpieces from the Cincinnati Art Museum, p. 95.)

Although the model for Head of Woman (Egyptian Head) [LF 35] has generally been dated 1923 on the basis of the copyright date inscribed on the artist's plaster model, and reproduced in the bronze casts made from the model, Lachaise himself dated the work 1922 (G. Lachaise, typescript checklist of his sculpture, 1925; Lachaise Foundation). He also named the work Head of Woman. Yet by 1928, for unknown reasons, it became known as Egyptian Head, the title by which it is generally known today. Another, posthumous title, Head of a Woman, particularizes the subject, and downplays the universal values Lachaise sought to express in this work.
Lachaise sold the rights to cast Head of Woman (Egyptian Head) [LF 35] in bronze to his dealer, John Kraushaar, reserving the right for his wife to make a cast for herself in the event of his death. Five casts were made by 1925, and a total of six, all produced by the Roman Bronze Works, New York, were sold by 1928, four of which now belong to the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainsville, Florida; the Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. The other two are in private collections. The surface treatments of these six casts vary. Afterward, a cast produced by an unknown foundry was acquired by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller; it was donated by her to the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1939.
The present cast is the first of an edition of six Estate casts issued by the Lachaise Foundation, which was established in 1963; owns the artist's plaster model; and assigned the identifying number of LF 35 to the work. Unlike the other Estate casts, this first example was not inscribed with the edition number. The last of the Estate edition was cast by 1973, and in 2012, the Lachaise Foundation issued an Artist's Proof.
Virginia Budny, author of the forthcoming catalogue raisonné sponsored by the Lachaise Foundation


Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Sold for $28,350 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

Naturally occurring patina throughout. Some small areas around eyes where patina is darker. Faint rubs to nose. Scattered flecks of white oxidation in deepest crevices.


Any condition statement is given as a courtesy to a client, is an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact and Doyle New York shall have no responsibility for any error or omission. Please contact the specialist department to request further information or additional images that may be available.

No condition report? Click here to request one.

Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000
Sold for $28,350 (includes buyer's premium)

Ask the Specialist Track Lot
Catalogue Info

Impressionist & Modern Art / Post-War & Contemporary Art

Wed, Nov 09, 2022 at 11am EST
View All Lots