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In the wake of World War I, many European and American artists abandoned modernist experiments with fractured form to celebrate the idealized human body in ways that signaled recovery and liberation. Maurice Sterne, who had experimented with modernism after encountering its leading practitioners Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse in Paris from 1904 to 1907, also took a more classicizing direction in The Awakening, begun in his Rome studio in 1921 and based in part on the forceful, idealized nudes of Michelangelo. The modern proportions and sleek geometries of the figure—a blend of classical art and a very fashionable modern body type—are hallmarks of the twenties style, as is the figure’s “strange combination of the masculine, feminine, and child,” as Sterne himself described it.
- Artist: Maurice Sterne, American, 1878-1957
- Medium: Bronze
- Dates: ca. 1926
- Dimensions: 65 1/2 x 62 x 26 in. (166.4 x 157.5 x 66 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is on view in American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor
- Accession Number: 26.157
- Credit Line: Gift of Adolph Lewisohn
- Rights Statement: © artist or artist's estate
- Caption: Maurice Sterne (American, 1878-1957). The Awakening, ca. 1926. Bronze, 65 1/2 x 62 x 26 in. (166.4 x 157.5 x 66 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Adolph Lewisohn, 26.157. © artist or artist's estate
- Record Completeness: Good (62%)