Bronze with dark brown patina
cast by RUDIER
early 20th century
height 28 cm
Janet Scudder (1869-1940) was an American sculptor. Born Netta Deweze Frazee, but called Janet, her childhood was difficult. Her mother died at age 38 in 1874. Despite limited financial means, her father sent her to study drawing at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. She also studied sculpture with Louis Rebisso. She taught in 1888 women wood carving, at Coates College in Terre Haute, then moved to Chicago in 1891, where she became the assistant of the American sculptor Lorado Taft, preparing sculptures to be presented at the Chicago World Fair in 1893. Janet Scudder was then honored with official controls as Justice for Illinois state building.
After the Universal Exhibition of 1893, Janet Scudder decided to join the sculptor Frederick MacMonnies in Paris, where she was then the only woman working there. She studied at the Académie Colarossi, also called Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Vitti. These private schools received most foreign or French students rejected by the National School of Fine Arts but also women who did not have access; Women will be admitted to the fine arts only in 1902. In 1896, after two years in Paris, Janet Scudder returned to the US, where she worked with difficulties for various sculptures commands. However, she realized many portrait medallions, architectural ornaments and funerary urns. In 1898, Scudder returned to Paris and spent a year traveling through Italy where she found new inspiration in the cherubim of Donatello and Verrocchio.
Scudder was opposed to having separate exhibitions for male and female artists, and she did not like to be described as a woman artist. Janet Scudder was elected member of the National Academy of Design in 1920 and was named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor for his relief work during World War II. She lived in Paris until 1939, then returned to New York to live with his companion, the author Marion Benedict Cothren.