Art favorites: Joy of the Waters

This sculpture seems out of place. It is tucked in a nook immediately before you ascend the stairs to the first floor of the Lilly House rather than in the Indianapolis Museum of Art proper.

You could easily miss it. I’m glad I didn’t. I return specifically to see it now. The sculpture exudes joy and motion.

Harriet Whitney Frishmuth created this particular casting in 1928. Frishmuth was taught by Rodin and by Gutzon Borgulm, the man who created Mt. Rushmore. (Reading that the latter was her teacher gave me pause: Borgulm was a pretty racist white nationalist and in correspondence with Stephenson.) Frishmuth also was an assistant to Karl Bitter, who designed the Depew Memorial Fountain in Indianapolis.

Joy of the Waters
Harriet Whitney Frishmuth
American, 1880-1980
Indianapolis Museum of Art


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