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Between and Mortarboard


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Mildred and William Dean Howells

Accession Number
2017/2.2

Title
Mildred and William Dean Howells

Artist(s)
Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1897, cast in 1898

Medium & Support
bronze

Dimensions
18 ½ in x 21 ½ in (46.99 cm x 54.61 cm);8 ¼ in x 13 in (20.96 cm x 33.02 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of John H. Dryfhout (Rackham, 1966) in honor of the University's 200th Anniversary

Label copy
This sculpture speaks to the cultural and social awareness that arose in reaction to the unbridled economic development of the so-called Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century. It celebrates William Dean Howells (1837-1920), a literary figure who explored issues considered taboo at the time, including class struggle, racial and labor inequality, and divorce. Often referred to as the "Dean of American Letters," Howells was a strong proponent of realism, as opposed to romanticism, in American literature. As the editor of Atlantic Monthly (1871-81), he publlished fellow realists, such as Mark Twain and Henry James. Here he is shown reading a manuscript while sitting across from his daughter, Mildred, a poet and artist who illustrated and edited some of his writing. The sculpture is a bronze reduction relief, meaning it is a smaller and more affordable version of a larger work. 

Physical Description
A reduction featuring the raised image of a woman and man sitting at a table. The woman leans on the table and the man reads a paper.

Primary Object Classification
Sculpture

Primary Object Type
relief

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

& Author Notes

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