• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12165

    American Art

    22 November 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 29

    Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955)

    Springtime of Life

    Price Realised  


    Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955)
    Springtime of Life
    inscribed 'Bessie Potter Vonnoh/© 2' (on the base)--stamped 'ROMAN BRONZE/WORKS N-Y-' (along the base)
    bronze with greenish-brown patina
    67 in. (170.2 cm.) high
    Modeled circa 1924-25.

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    Describing Bessie Potter Vonnoh's Springtime of Life, Julie Aronson writes, "the sculpture portrays an adolescent girl amidst representatives of the natural world. The willowy lines of the nude figure are a trait often seen in Vonnoh's garden sculpture. At the girl's foot is a charming rabbit modeled on a docile creature the artist borrowed from the Zoological Society...When placed in a garden or fountain setting, Springtime of Life, piped so that water ran off the shell in the girl's hand, was seen to great advantage. In 1928 it won the prize for the best single figure at the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition of the Philadelphia Art Alliance, where it adorned a large pool in the middle of Rittenhouse Square." (Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women, exhibition catalogue, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2009, p. 190)

    Pre-Lot Text



    "Sculpture-in-the-Open-Air," Landscape Architecture Magazine, vol. 18, 1927, p. 314.
    Arts Magazine, vol. 2, 1927, p. 3, another example illustrated.
    Art and Archaeology, vol. 25, 1928, p. 307.
    The American Magazine of Art, vol. 19, p. 390.
    J. Conner, J. Rosenkranz, Rediscoveries in American Sculpture: Studio Works, 1893-1939, Austin, Texas, 1989, p. 167.
    S.E. Menconi, Uncommon Spirit: Sculpture in America, 1800-1940, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1989, p. 54.
    J. Aronson, Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women, exhibition catalogue, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2009, pp. 178, 190-91, 204, 221, another example illustrated.