A Study of a Head by Solon Borglum


A head emerges from this plaster block study, the left hand, just only discernible, clutches at what would be cloth draped around the figure's head. The figure is representative of the artist's daughter. The back of the draped head is quite rough, the finger markings of the sculptor's hands deep and pronounced as he gives form to the sculptor's stone block. But there is a softness to the round features of the face that have been worked smooth by the sculptor, and the emotion of the figure has begun to take shape. The raised position of the head and the tightly closed eyes suggest Borglum has captured a moment of pain or grief, one that is similar in composition to that of the standing figure in the sculpture "Burial on the Plains".

In 1898, Borglum was awarded a scholarship from the Art Academy that allowed him to go to the Académie Julian in Paris to study sculpture, where he was a student of Denys Puech. Borglum received a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1900, and another at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. In 1920, he established the School of American Sculpture in New York City, where he taught until his death.

Borlgrum achieved a reputation as a notable American sculptor, but it was his depictions of Western frontier life, specifically his experience with horse ranches, cowboys and North American First Nations peoples, for which he was celebrated.

c. 1890

14 ¼ x 9 x 8 ½ in.