Skip to Content
Today Open today 10–11 members | 11–5 public

A Young Mother

A work made of bronze.

Image actions

  • A work made of bronze.


Modeled 1896, cast 1903


Bessie Potter Vonnoh
American, 1872–1955

About this artwork

In A Young Mother, Bessie Potter Vonnoh recast a traditional subject into a modern, lively composition of a woman and child. Impressionist in finish, the sculpture’s surfaces are suggestive and earthy rather than detailed and polished. The woman’s slender features and the lines of her dressing gown point to a contemporary sitter, yet the work invites a broader interpretation of maternal affection.

Raised and trained in Chicago, Vonnoh set up a studio in the city in the mid-1890s, garnering wide acclaim for her sculptures of female figures, whose small scale suited domestic spaces. Vonnoh experimented with materials, producing finished compositions in plaster (sometimes tinted), terracotta, and bronze. A plaster version of A Young Mother was exhibited at the Art Institute in 1898 and this bronze was shown in 1914–15.


On View, Gallery 171


Arts of the Americas


Bessie Potter Vonnoh (Sculptor)


A Young Mother


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Modeled 1896




Inscribed on base: Bessie O. Potter/ No. XX copyright 1903 Foundry: Roman Bronze Works, New York, N.Y.


34.3 × 32.4 × 39.4 cm (13 1/2 × 12 3/4 × 15 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

William C. Seipp Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions