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.
- Bessie Potter Vonnoh (Sculptor)
- A Young Mother
- United States (Artist's nationality:)
- 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.)
- William C. Seipp Fund