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    "Silence and Repose" A Pair of Painted Plaster Bookends, circa 1930
    Marks: each impressed MVWF, Silence inscribed Model - 72 - 1
    7 inches (17.8 cm) high, each

    Considered vanguard in her portrayal of the emotionally raw black experience, well before the Harlem Renaissance, the African-American sculptor Meta Warrick Fuller was the product of a privileged upbringing and traditional art training. Born in 1877 into a middle-class Philadelphia family, Fuller took art lessons as part of her grooming in etiquette: after her woodcarving for a high school project was selected for display at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, she began to sculpt more seriously -- in clay, plaster, and bronze --, studying for three years at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art and, in 1899, enrolling in the Académie Colarossi in Paris. It was through a fellow Académie student that Fuller met the celebrated sculptor Auguste Rodin, who encouraged her to explore further the "push-pull" between the physical and emotional in her work. These lovely pendant busts, Silence and Repose, exemplify Rodin's influence, where classical female faces anthropomorphize states of mind: indeed, Silence, connoting trapped emotion with her downcast eyes and sealed lips, serves as a foil to Repose, expressing openness and sensuality with her fluttering eyelids and upturned face.

    For the remainder of her long career in Philadelphia and Framingham, Massachusetts, Fuller, inspired by her friend W.E.B. DuBois, focused on subjects from African-American history and folk tales. Her famous sculptures include Negro's Progress, Spirit of Emancipation, and Ethiopia Awakening, a symbol of the power of Africa, which was readily appropriated by Harlem Renaissance artists. Whether addressing themes of slavery, colonialism, wartime America, racism, or the Civil Rights Movement, Fuller's sculptures convey the interior struggle or development of the individual. Her work has been exhibited at the Paris Salon, Pennsylvania Museum and School for the Industrial Arts, Boston Art Club, Corcoran Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Art, and New York Public Library, among other institutions.

    Condition Report*:  
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    10th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,856

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

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