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Elie Nadelman. Woman at the Piano. c. 1917

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Elie Nadelman (American, born Poland. 1882–1946)

Woman at the Piano

c. 1917
Wood, stained and painted
35 1/8 x 23 1/4 x 9" (89.2 x 59.1 x 22.9 cm)
Credit Line:
The Philip L. Goodwin Collection
MoMA Number:
© Estate of Elie Nadelman
Audio Program excerpt

American Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe

, August 17, 2013–January 26, 2014

Director, Glenn Lowry: Elie Nadelman collected folk art—an interest that influenced works like this one.

Curator, Kathy Curry: It's a wood figure that is rubbed with paint and other pigments and gesso to bring out the colors in her cheeks and nose.

It really harkens back to another time. It doesn't feel as modern. It's interesting also to think about how she might be tapping her foot or using the pedal and her hands are very whimsical. Even though she's sort of frozen there's still action within.

Glenn Lowry: Nadelman often sought to capture such expressive gestures. His sculptures, composed of sleek, elemental shapes, transform the fleeting activity of vaudeville performers and society figures into timeless, idealized forms.

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