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Classification: Sculpture

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Image of Descending Night

Adolph Alexander Weinman
American, 1870–1952

Descending Night

about 1916

Object Type: Sculpture
26 in. x 22 1/2 in. x 9 1/4 in. (66.04 cm x 57.15 cm x 23.5 cm)
Medium and Support: Bronze
Accession Number: 1995.0007.0002

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase

Currently On View

"Descending Night" and its pendant, "Rising Sun" aka "Rising Day", are bronze reductions of finial figures made for the tops of colossal columns in the Court of the Universe designed by McKim, Mead and White for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915. The originals were made of non-permanent materials, but the designs were so popular that Weinman requested permission of the exhibition organizers to make reproductions at his own expense. He made these reproductions in bronze, and in editions of two sizes.

In this composition, the languid female figure appears to float softly to earth, buoyed by her enveloping wings, touching the ground lightly with her toes. The heavy eyelids of her sleepy face, the long hair lifted by her graceful hands, and the sinuous curves of her svelte nude body are combined in an extraordinary expression of ideal feminine beauty.

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