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The Awakening

Maurice Sterne

American Art

On View: American Identities: A New Look, Making Art: Centennial Era, 5th Floor
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.
DATES ca. 1926
DIMENSIONS 65 1/2 x 62 x 26 in. (166.4 x 157.5 x 66 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Adolph Lewisohn
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CAPTION Maurice Sterne (American, born Latvia, 1877-1957). 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
IMAGE overall, 26.157_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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