Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955)
Distinguished American Art from a New York Private Collection
Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955)


Bessie Potter Vonnoh (1872-1955)
inscribed 'Bessie Potter Vonnoh/NO. 10' (on the base)--inscribed 'ROMAN BRONZE WORKS. N.Y.' (along the base)
bronze with greenish-brown patina
25 ½ in. high (64.8 cm.)
Modeled in 1920.
Berry-Hill Galleries, Inc., New York.
Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2003.
National Sculpture Society, Exhibition of American Sculpture Catalogue, New York, 1923, p. 241.
National Sculpture Society, Contemporary American Sculpture, New York, 1929, p. 322.
B.G. Proske, Brookgreen Gardens Sculpture, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, 1968, p. 82 (as L'Allegresse).
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, 1969, p. 50.
J. Conner, J. Rosenkranz, Rediscoveries in American Sculpture: Studio Works 1893-1939, Austin, Texas, 1989, pp. 165, 167.
C.S. Rubenstein, American Women Sculptors: A History of Women Working in Three Dimensions, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990, p. 113.
“Bessie Potter Vonnoh,” American Arts Quarterly, vol. 26, no. 2, Spring 2009, another example illustrated.
J. Aronson, Bessie Potter Vonnoh: Sculptor of Women, exhibition catalogue, Cincinnati, Ohio, 2009, pp. 180-82, another example illustrated.

Lot Essay

With its title meaning joy or mirth in French, Bessie Potter Vonnoh's Allegresse is an exuberant sculpture inspired by images of the Three Graces of antiquity and modeled after the poses of professional dancers. The work was awarded the Elizabeth N. Watrous Gold Medal of the National Academy of Design in 1921, allowing the artist to join her husband Robert Vonnoh as a full member of the Academy.

Other examples of Allegresse are in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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