(b Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1880; d 1980) American Sculptor. Harriet Whitney Frishmuth spent a great deal of her childhood in Paris and Dresden. At the age of nineteen, the aspiring artist studied under Auguste Rodin. She pursued her studies in Berlin as an assistant in the studio of Professor Cuno von Euchtritz and later with Hermon MacNeil and Gutzon Borglum at the Art Students League in New York where she was awarded the Saint-Gaudens prize. As a graduate from the École des Beaux-Arts and the Art Students League of New York, Harriet Whitney Frishmuth was intrigued by bronze sculpture. Around 1910, Frishmuth began to receive commissions for the Gorham Manufacturing Co. and the New York County Medical Society. While her patrons desired specific creations such as ashtrays or bookends, the artist was inclined to create sculptures of the female form. A master of lyrical sculpture, Frishmuth is renowned for her graceful and lively figures.* At the height of her career, women’s rights became an increasingly significant controversy. In response to this growing activism, Frishmuth joined a group of female artists called ‘The Philadelphia Ten.’ The group promoted opportunities for women who were having a difficult time exhibiting their work in a male-dominated society. Due to financial troubles during the Great Depression, Frishmuth was forced to leave New York and return to Philadelphia, where she continued to sculpt until her death in 1980. (Credit: Christie’s, New York, The James L. Britton Collection of Americana, January 16, 1999, Lot 540)
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