Study for the Head of The Melvin Memorial

Artist: Daniel Chester French (American, Exeter, New Hampshire 1850–1931 Stockbridge, Massachusetts)

Date: 1907; cast before 1914

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: 18 x 10 3/8 x 11 3/4 in. (45.7 x 26.4 x 29.8 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, Erving Wolf Foundation Gift, in memory of Diane R. Wolf, 1974

Accession Number: 1974.324


This head is based on the angel figure in French’s "Melvin Memorial," erected in 1908 in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts (a marble replica of the full figure is on view in the Charles Engelhard Court of the American Wing; 15.75). The practice of extracting parts from large monuments gained favor with sculptors attempting to create a market for small-scale bronzes around the turn of the century. French deliberately gave the masklike head an unfinished quality by leaving a seam line running vertically through the profile.