Jacques Lipchitz

Sketch for Duluth Monument


Not on display

Jacques Lipchitz 1891–1973
Object: 533 × 127 × 127 mm
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982

Catalogue entry

T03528 Sketch for Duluth Monument 1963

Plaster, coated with shellac and pigment 21 × 5 × 5 (533 × 127 × 127)
Not inscribed
Presented by the Lipchitz Foundation 1982
Lit: Lipchitz 1972, pp.210, 213

Lipchitz made the first studies in 1963 for a commission from the Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota, Duluth for a monumental portrait of the founder of the city, Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Luth. He had been asked about this commission a few years earlier, but had refused because it was too large a bronze for the Modern Art Foundry in New York. The Tommasi Foundry in Pietrasanta, Italy, were able to cast on this scale, and the plaster studies were made in Lipchitz's Italian studio.

The proportions of the figure were adjusted to suit the viewpoint on the restricted site of the museum's extension:

The Duluth monument was interesting because it was a portrait of a man of whom no portraits existed. Therefore, I had to create an idea of the explorer rather than a specific portrait. The result was that I made a great number of sketches, including a nude model for which a man at the foundry posed one morning. The sculpture was designed to be placed on a high pedestal in a rather narrow courtyard between buildings. So I actually distorted the figure in order to correct the perspective from which it would normally be seen, with the upper part of the body larger than would be natural. The sculpture is about nine feet high and the base about ten feet or more, eighteen feet in all. I worked on it in Italy during 1963 and it was installed in 1964 (Lipchitz, loc.cit.).

Apart from the posthumous memorials to Senator Taft and John F. Kennedy (1964) this was the most conventional of Lipchitz's public monuments, as an imaginary over life size portrait of the figure commemorated.

A different plaster study of the whole monument is in the collection of the University of Arizona Museum of Art (Arizona 1982, 22, repr., 24ins. high) and was cast in bronze (Arnason 1969, repr. 159).

[For T03397 and T03479 to T03534 the foundry inscriptions, and reproductions of casts in other materials in the books listed below, are recorded. Abbreviations used:

Arnason 1969 H.H. Arnason, Jacques Lipchitz: Sketches in Bronze, 1969

Lipchitz 1972 Jacques Lipchitz, My Life in Sculpture, 1972

Stott 1975 Deborah A. Stott, Jacques Lipchitz and Cubism, 1975 (reprinted 1978)

Otterlo 1977 A.M. Hammacher, Lipchitz in Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 1977

Centre Pompidou 1978 Nicole Barbier, Lipchitz: oeuvres de Jacques Lipchitz (1891–1973) dans les collections du Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 1978

Arizona 1982 Jacques Lipchitz. Sketches and Models in the collection of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona. Introduction and catalogue by Peter Bermingham, 1982]

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986

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