Bird in Space

Constantin Brancusi (Romanian, 1876-1957)
Polished bronze 
73 in. (185.4 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Succession Brancusi - All rights reserved (ARS) 2017 Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
On View

Brancusi produced his first Bird in Space—a sleek abstraction of flight—in 1923. He went on to create fifteen variations on the theme, working in both bronze and marble. This version, cast in 1931, was acquired by Yashwant Rao Holkar II—the young Maharaja of Indore—for his Art Deco palace. During his visit to Brancusi’s studio in 1933, the Maharaja also reserved two other Birds in Space (in black marble and white, today at the National Gallery of Australia). When Brancusi shipped these to India three years later, he enclosed a note explaining, “My birds are a series of different objects based on a central theme that remains the same throughout. The ideal of its realization is to be an amplification that fills the whole vault of heaven.”


The artist, Paris, sold at least by April 1933, through;
[Henri-Pierre Roché, Paris, to];
Maharajah Yeshwant Rao Holkar Bahadur (1908-1961), Indore, given 1943 as part of divorce settlement to;
Peg Branyan, Dallas, by inheritance to;
Richard Holkar, Dallas, and Maharani Usha Devi, to;
[Richard L. Feigen and Co., New York, sold 1972 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

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