Artwork Detail

Portrait of Wayman Crow, Sr.
American, 1830–1908
Carrara marble
25 x 14 3/4 x 10 3/4 "
Gift of the heirs of Wayman Crow, Sr., 1868
WU 2061
The American artist Harriet Hosmer spent much of her career in Rome, where she specialized in neoclassical sculpture, becoming one of the most celebrated women artists of the nineteenth century. This portrait pays homage to Wayman Crow, a founder of Washington University and the St. Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts (now the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum) as well as an important benefactor of the artist. Crow was introduced to Hosmer by one of his daughters, who was Hosmer’s close friend; he played a pivotal role early in her career by helping her get admitted as the first woman to study anatomy at what would become the Washington University School of Medicine, and he remained one of her most loyal patrons. In this sculpture Hosmer fashioned his likeness in a highly idealized manner that recalls a bust of an ancient philosopher. The work was bestowed upon Crow at the University’s 1868 commencement ceremony, with “A Tribute of Gratitude” inscribed on it. Hosmer’s first original sculpture that she created in Rome, Daphne (1854) (WU 579), was also given by the artist to the Crow family.