Stalking Panther

Alexander Phimister Proctor (American, Bosanquet, Ontario 1860–1950 Palo Alto, California)

1891–92, revised mid 1890s, this cast ca. 1914–17
9 1/2 x 37 1/2 x 6 1/4 in. (24.1 x 95.3 x 15.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, William Cullen Bryant Fellows Gifts and Maria DeWitt Jesup Fund, 1996
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Proctor based an early version of "Stalking Panther" on childhood observations in Colorado, studies of panthers in New York's Central Park Zoo, and dissections of cats and cougars. Exhibited at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, the statuette was shown the following year at the Society of American Artists in New York. In 1894, Proctor went to Paris and brought along a plaster cast of "Stalking Panther" in order to continue refining the composition. Using a shaved cat for anatomical reference, he completed the second version and had it cast in bronze. The Metropolitan's statuette is presumed to be from this second version. The work is more than an anatomical assessment of an elongated cat in mid-stride; the piece is a psychologically engaging study of predatory motion toward an unseen prey, reflecting the artist's interest in depicting animals as forces of uncivilized nature.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Signature: [top of base, by right front leg]: A PHIMISTER PROCTOR 1891 1902

    Inscription: [top of base, under right hind foot]: COPYRIGHT; [top of base, near left hind foot]: 4. [underlined] (?)

    Marking: [foundry mark, front of base, near left hind leg, stamped]: ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y.

  • Provenance

    This cast was sold by Proctor or his agent to a Connecticut hunting lodge in the 1920s or 1930s. It was there until the 1950s and then belonged to a family associated with the lodge. They passed it to the vendor in 1994.

  • See also