The Male Form / Harriet Whitney Frishmuth (American, 1880-1980) Pushing Men Bookends 7 5/8 in (19.4 cm.) high, each (Modeled in 1912; Cast circa 1925.)
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Gorham Company, Bronze Division, New York, cast with royalties paid to the artist, circa 1925.
Sale, Christie's, New York, November 20, 1990, lot 341.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Gorham Company, Bronze Division, Bronze Division Papers: Casting Records of Statuary and Small Bronzes Owned by Sculptors, Identification Assigned to Statuary and Bronzes, 1906-1930, New York, 1912, p. 162, no. QLR, another example listed. (as Book End "Male Figure")
Gorham Company, Bronze Division, Bronze Division Papers: Photograph Files of Statuary and Small Bronzes, New York, 1912, n.p., no. QLR, another example illustrated. (as Bronze Book Ends)
Arlington Galleries, Exhibition of Recent Paintings and Sculptures, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1916, n.p., no. 63, another example listed.
Gorham Company, Bronze Division, Bronze Division Papers: Records of Royalties Paid to Sculptors for Casting Their Works, New York, 1925, n.p., no. 28.
K. Ahrens, Harriet Whitney Frishmuth: Small Bronzes, exhibition catalogue, Athens, Ohio, 2001, pp. 3, 70, no. 2, another example illustrated.
J. Conner, L.R. Lehmbeck, T. Tolles, F.L. Hohmann III, Captured Motion, The Sculpture of Harriet Whitney Frishmuth: A Catalogue of Works, New York, 2006, pp. 20, 63, 66n.42, 67, 86, 107n.10, 130-1, 220, 226, another example illustrated.
There are 170 1/2 known pairs of Pushing Men Bookends that were produced, 169 of which, including the present work, were cast by the Gorham Manufacturing Company, Bronze Division. Another example of Pushing Men Bookends is found in the collection of the Syracuse University Art Museum (obj. no. 1987.087).
Between 1910-12, Harriet Whitney Frishmuth actively set forth into designing and producing functional objets d'art, such as paperweights, ash trays, and bookends. The elegantly decorative and functional qualities found in these works, such as in Pushing Men Bookends, were in high demand during the early twentieth century and Frishmuth's close associations with her preferred foundry, Gorham made producing these works a commercially viable venture. Pushing Men Bookends is one of three designs for bookends that Frishmuth created during this period alongside Greek Dancers modeled in 1910 and Female Figure Bookends modeled in 1912. The present work represents her first known exploration in to modeling the male nude and is handled in a stylized manner reminiscent of her anatomical studies of the subject. Pushing Men Bookends was created under Gorham's royalty system and was the only design intended as a royalty work from its inception (J. Conner, L.R. Lehmbeck, T. Tolles, F.L. Hohmann III, Captured Motion, The Sculpture of Harriet Whitney Frishmuth: A Catalogue of Works, New York, p. 226). Produced by Gorham Manufacturing Company, Bronze Division between 1912 and 1956, including the present work numbered 28 cast in 1925, Pushing Men Bookends was a significant long term-commercial success for Frishmuth that provided her with a steady source of revenue.