Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)

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Lot 11
Cyrus Edwin Dallin
(1861-1944)
Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high

Sold for US$ 100,312 inc. premium

Western Art

26 Feb 2021, 13:00 PST

Los Angeles

Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944)
Appeal to the Great Spirit
inscribed '© C.E. Dallin 1913' (on the base) and inscribed 'GORHAM Co. Founders QPN' and stamped 'GAC' and '12' (along the base)
bronze with brown patina
22in high
Modeled in 1913.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The collection of Gates White and Elizabeth McGarrah, New York, New York, prior to 1940; by descent in the family to the present owner.

    Literature
    E. Wilbur Pomeroy, "Cyrus E. Dallin and the North American Indian: Four Statues Which Express the Fate of a Dying Race," Arts and Decoration, February 1914, p. 153, another example illustrated.
    R.G. Francis, Cyrus E. Dallin: Let Justice Be Done, Springville, Utah, 1928, pp. 33, 43-50, 52, another example illustrated.
    P.J. Broder, Bronzes of the American West, New York, 1973, pp. 94, 98, pl. 96, another example illustrated.
    Masterworks of American Sculpture: Selections from Members of the National Sculpture Society 1875-1999, Fleischer Museum, Scottsdale, Arizona, pp. 20-21, another example illustrated.
    K. Ahrens, Cyrus E. Dallin: His Small Bronzes and Plasters, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1995, no. 10, p. 51, 106, another example illustrated.
    D.B. Dearinger, Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of the National Academy of Design, New York, 2004, p. 143, another example listed.

    Cyrus Dallin was a politically active and vocal supporter of the rights of Native Americans. His activism was manifest in his respectful and authentic depictions of Indian figures and portraits, as well as in his work to reform government policies that suppressed Native rights, and in his participation on the Massachusetts state and national level in the creation of advocacy groups including what would ultimately become the Association of American Indian Affairs. 1

    Dallin devoted his artistic practice to creating heroic depictions of Native American subjects, real and not idealized and from their point of view, that underscore "the deceitful and inhumane treatment of the Indians by the United States government. 2 As a child, Dallin had close interactions with Ute Indians who lived near and traded with his family's rural Mormon settlement of Springville, Utah. The friendships he created and his first-hand experience with the Ute peoples' sense of honor and community would shape the artist's political and social views of Native Americans for his entire life. In fact, Dallin's interest in sculpture derived from playing games and creating small animal models out of clay with local Indian boys. 3

    In the late 1880s, Dallin conceived of an ambitious series of four major life size equestrian protest sculptures that would visually illustrate the story of the problematic relationship between the Native American peoples and the white man. The first, The Signal of Peace, cast in Paris in 1890, tells the story of a Sioux chief ready to offer friendship and goodwill. The Medicine Man, cast in 1899, depicts the tribal prophet and protector lifting his arm in a gesture of warning. In The Protest, cast in 1904, the enemy is clear, and the Indian raises a clenched fist against his foe. Finally, in Appeal to the Great Spirit, cast in 1907, the Sioux Chief throws his head back and extends his arms upwards in a raw and emotional plea for divine intervention.

    The first life size cast of Appeal to the Great Spirit won the gold medal at the Paris Salon of 1909. That monumental bronze was brought to the United States and is displayed in front of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. After transferring ownership to the museum in 1912, Dallin retained the right to make reproductions that would not exceed three feet in height. The copyright for this model was granted in 1913, and Dallin successfully produced an edition of 107 with the Gorham Bronze Company in New Jersey, of which the present work is number 12. Each cast is marked with the Gorham foundry code 'QPN'. This same sized model is in many important institutional collections including the White House and the State Department, and was displayed in the Oval Office during the presidency of Bill Clinton.

    Appeal to the Great Spirit was in the collection of the international financier Gates White McGarrah (1863-1940), and has remained in the family for four generations to the present owner. Time Magazine described McGarrah as a 'tycoon' in 1930, but he had humble origins. Unable to afford high school, he started his career as an office boy in a local bank and worked his way up to become President of the Mechanics National Bank in 1902. When it merged with Chase National Bank, in 1926, he became Chase's Chairman. McGarrah was appointed the Chairman of the New York Federal Reserve in 1927, and in 1929 became the founding President of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. McGarrah's friends and associates were the giants of the Gilded Age - Rockefellers, Morgans, Prossers and Mellons. A grandson remembered it as being in McGarrah's office. An appraisal of his estate lists the sculpture at his and Elizabeth McGarrah's home on Park Avenue, New York in 1940.

    1 H. Leavell, "New Research Sheds Light on Cyrus Dallin's Activism for Native Rights", The Scout: Cyrus Dallin Art Museum Newsletter, July/August 2018, p. 1.
    2 P.J. Broder, Bronzes of the American West, New York, 1973, p. 92.
    3 Ibid, p. 93.
Contacts
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
Cyrus Edwin Dallin (1861-1944) Appeal to the Great Spirit 22in high (Modeled in 1913.)
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