Research: Luce Center for American Art

The Wounded Comrade
Accession #13.14
Artist Carl E. Akeley
TitleThe Wounded Comrade
Date1913
MediumBronze
Dimensions11 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 10 1/2 in., 46 lb. (29.2 x 52.1 x 26.7 cm, 20.9kg)
MarksFoundry mark inscribed on proper rear of base: "ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y."
SignedInscribed on proper front right corner of base: "The Wounded Comrade / © Carl E Akeley / 1913"
Credit LineGift of George D. Pratt
LocationVisible Storage: Case 29, Shelf B (Sculpture)
DescriptionStatuette of three bronze elephants standing in tightly packed group; they press their bodies pressed together and wrap their trunks around each other; on ovoid base. Condition: good

Curatorial Remarks:

Carl Ethan Akeley was a well-known naturalist and taxidermist who worked for many years at the American Museum of Natural History (1909-26). After his first trip to Africa in 1896, Akeley conceived the idea of creating a full-scale African diorama to show the animals in their natural habitat. The Wounded Comrade depicts a scene that Akeley had directly observed in the wild: when an elephant is wounded, others from the herd will rush in and attempt to convey it to safety. Akeley's production of art bronzes was the direct result of his working habit of making clay models to design dioramas. A fellow sculptor, Alexander Phimister Proctor (whose works are on exhibition nearby), suggested that Akeley cast a series of these models into bronze. The first and most famous work in the series is The Wounded Comrade.