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Adoration of St. Joan of Arc

Artist
J. William Fosdick, born Charlestown, MA 1858-died Boston, MA 1937
Date
1896
Type
Sculpture
Medium
fire etched wood relief
Dimensions
three panels, each: 109 3/4 x 49 1/2 in. (278.8 x 125.7 cm.)
Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of William T. Evans
Object number
1910.9.8
Gallery Label
Fosdick made this relief to appeal to wealthy industrialists who favored richly designed interiors and uplifting art. He tapped into the fantasy of a more spiritual past, and when the screen was exhibited, it was praised for craftsmanship that rivaled a medieval masterwork.At the turn of the twentieth century, Joan of Arc was a popular symbol in American culture. Mark Twain wrote about her in 1896, Anna Hyatt Huntington created a sculpture of the martyr for Riverside Drive in New York, and George Bernard Shaw's famous play about her was first produced on Broadway in 1923. She could be a figure from the romantic past and an emblem of the "New Woman" in the modern world. Joan may have died for king and country—as the legend at the bottom of the screen records—but her symbolic power as a woman who took history into her hands also resonated among women fighting for the right to vote.Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006
Data Source
Smithsonian American Art Museum
See more items in
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department
Painting and Sculpture
On View
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2nd Floor, East Wing