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Minna Harkavy
Bronze Modernist Sculpture Portrait, Gertrude Stein by Minna Harkavy WPA Artist

c.1930-1940

About the Item

Minna Rothenberg Harkavy (1895-1987) Estonian-American signed bronze portrait bust, marble, stone base. Minna Harkavy (1887 – 1987) (birth occasionally listed as 1895) was a Jewish American sculptor born in Estonia to Yoel and Hannah Rothenberg and immigrated to the United States around 1900. She studied at the Art Students League, at Hunter College and in Paris with Antoine Bourdelle. Harkavy was a WPA Federal Art Project artist, for whom she created a 1942 wood relief piece, Industry and Landscape of Winchendon for the post office in Winchendon, Massachusetts. She was a founding member of the Sculptors Guild and showed a work, My Children are Desolate Because the Enemy Prevailed in the Second Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition Negro Head in the 1940-1941 and Woman in Thought in 1941. Harkavy was an early feminist, a founding member of the New York Society of Women Artists. Politically she was known as a leftist and anti-fascist with a strong social consciousness. In 1931 she exhibited a bust of Hall Johnson in the Museum of Western Art in Moscow and the work was purchased for the Pushkin Museum there. Abraham, Walkowitz sat for a portrait by her. In 1932 she represented the John Reed Club at an anti-war conference in Amsterdam. A bust of Italian- American anti-fascist (and her lover) Carlo Tresca who was assassinated in New York in 1943 was installed in his birthplace of Sulmona, Italy. She showed at Associated American Artists gallery, along with Max Weber, Waldo Peirce, Ernest Fiene, George Biddle, Isabel Bishop, Arnold Blanch, Adolph Dehn, Thomas Hart Benton, John Sloan, Raphael Soyer and William Zorach. She was one of 250 sculptors who exhibited in the 3rd Sculpture International held at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in the summer of 1949. Her bronze sculpture American Miner’s Family is owned by the Museum of Modern Art and the large stone sculpture Two Men won first prize in a sculpture competition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1951. Harkavy helped to found the New York Society of Women Artists in 1920 and the American Artists’ Congress and Sculptors’ Guild in the 1930s. She was a frequent orator and spoke on behalf of the John Reed Club at a Communist anti-war conference in Amsterdam in 1932. Harkavy also served on the art committee of the American section of the Jewish cultural organization, the Yidisher Kultur Farband (YKUF). Her work was featured in group exhibitions at the Jewish Art Center, John Reed Club, and both the Whitney Studio Club and Whitney Museum. A retrospective of Harkavy’s work was mounted in 1956 at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. She married Louis Harkavy, a New York pharmacist who also wrote for Yiddish-language periodicals. SELECT COLLECTIONS USPO, Winchendon, Massachusetts Metropolitan Museum of Art Whitney Museum of American Art Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, Michigan Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio Wichita State University, Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita, Kansas Merchandise Mart, Chicago, Illinois Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, Russia Pushkin Museum in Moscow Mishkan LeOmanut museum, Ein Harod, Israel Harkavy's New England Woman, was displayed at the New York World's Fair of 1939 Gertrude Stein (1874 – 1946) was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. Stein moved to Paris in 1903, and made France her home for the remainder of her life. By early 1906, Leo and Gertrude Stein's studio had many paintings by Henri Manguin, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Honoré Daumier, Henri Matisse, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. She hosted a Paris salon, where the leading figures of modernism in literature and art, such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Sinclair Lewis, Ezra Pound, Sherwood Anderson and Henri Matisse, would meet. She sat for a sculpture portrait by Jacques Lipchitz. In 1933, Stein published a quasi-memoir of her Paris years, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. The book became a literary bestseller and vaulted Stein from the relative obscurity of the cult-literature scene into the limelight of mainstream attention.
  • Creator:
    Minna Harkavy (1887 - 1987, Estonian)
  • Creation Year:
    c.1930-1940
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 16 in (40.64 cm)Width: 7.25 in (18.42 cm)Depth: 10 in (25.4 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Surfside, FL
  • Reference Number:
    1stDibs: LU3827703152
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