Artwork Detail

Mother and Child
American, b. Lithuania, 1891–1973
48 x 32 1/8 x 30 1/8 "
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Weil, 1964
WU 4216
© The Estate of Jacques Lipchitz, courtesy of Marlborough Gallery, New York
Mother and Child, by the Lithuanian-born sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, depicts a tender scene of a mother suckling her baby. The work was inspired by the birth of Lipchitz’s daughter Lolya in 1948, an event that pulled the artist out of a mood of pessimism following World War II, during which he fled from France as a Jewish exile to the United States. Of his daughter’s birth the artist stated, “It was a fantastic experience at the age of fifty-nine finally to have my own child. The result in my sculpture was a series of extremely lyrical works on the theme of the mother and child.” At the beginning of his career in the 1910s Lipchitz participated in the Cubist movement, and much of his sculptural work at that time strove to adapt the spatial ambiguities of pictorial Cubism into a three-dimensional language. While Mother and Child represents the artist’s interest in spiritual and humanist themes that developed in the later stage of his career in the United States, one can also see the early influence of Cubism in how the mother’s eyes are positioned on different planes and the lower section of the head is hollowed out. [Cell phone tour, 2019]