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The Wounded Comrade

Carl E. Akeley

American Art

On View: Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor

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.

DATES 1913
DIMENSIONS 11 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 10 1/2 in., 46 lb. (29.2 x 52.1 x 26.7 cm, 20.87kg)  (show scale)
MARKINGS Foundry mark inscribed on proper rear of base: "ROMAN BRONZE WORKS N.Y."
SIGNATURE Inscribed on proper front right corner of base: "The Wounded Comrade / © Carl E Akeley / 1913"
CREDIT LINE Gift of George D. Pratt
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Statuette 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
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Luce Visible Storage and Study Center, 5th Floor
CAPTION Carl E. Akeley (American, 1864–1926). The Wounded Comrade, 1913. Bronze, 11 1/2 x 20 1/2 x 10 1/2 in., 46 lb. (29.2 x 52.1 x 26.7 cm, 20.87kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George D. Pratt, 13.14. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 13.14_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 13.14_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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