Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor
Edgar Degas (French, 1834–1917), Dancer Ready to Dance, the Right Foot Forward, modeled 1885-90; cast 1919-21, Bronze, No. 57, Modèle cast, Norton Simon Art Foundation
- 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Explore Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor, an exhibition of the Norton Simon’s collection of modèles, the first and only set of bronzes cast from the artist’s original wax and clay statuettes.
- Free with admission.
- Meets in Entrance Gallery
"One should follow the model like a fly running around on a sheet of paper." MORE INFO
Tours & Talks:
Edgar Degas modeled in wax and clay throughout his career, producing hundreds of small-scale, informal studies of horses, dancers and bathers that were seen only by close friends and visitors. The Tub is one of the most remarkable of these works, with a variety of media in an unconventional format. Explore Degas’s process in creating this sculpture, and develop a new appreciation for this piece. MORE INFO
Beloved by museum visitors today, Degas’s Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen was deeply divisive when it was first exhibited at the sixth Impressionist Exhibition in 1881. Although some viewers welcomed the tinted wax figurine as an exciting new direction in realist art, many others were disturbed by Degas’s unidealized treatment of the dancer’s body and facial features, which he reinforced by outfitting the statuette in a cotton tutu and linen slippers and a wig made from human hair. Emily Talbot explores the controversial reception of the Little Dancer in relation to other 19th-century sculptures that were seen to be excessively lifelike. She situates Degas’s mixed-media techniques within a history of challenging the classical ideal in sculpture and the legacy of these practices in 20th-century art. MORE INFO
Tours & Talks:
Join us for an evening exploring the work of Degas. Interact with the Museum’s staff to learn about Degas’s technique as a sculptor, painter and printmaker through the works on view in Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor as well as in the Museum’s 19th-century galleries. Sketch dancers like Degas did, or work alongside fellow artists to create your own sculptures. End the evening listening to pop-up musical performances in the galleries. MORE INFO