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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Royal Incubator

Photo courtesy of Artech/Seattle

Royal Incubator


David Smith

American, 1906-1965

Steel, bronze and silver
37 x 38 3/8 x 9 7/8 in. (94 x 97.5 x 25.1 cm)
Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Provenance: [Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, Inc., New York]; Mr. and Mrs. B. Dunkelman, Toronto; [Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc., New York]; purchased by Virginia and Bagley Wright, Seattle, Washington May 1978
Photo courtesy of Artech/Seattle
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, Willard Gallery, David Smith, April 1950.

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Walker Art Center, 1952.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University, Fogg Art Museum, Sept. 1966 - Feb. 1967 (Washington, D.C., Washington Gallery of Modern Art, 1967).

Edmonton, Alberta, Edmonton Art Gallery, David Smith: The Formative Years, Sculptures and Drawings from the 1930s and 1940s, Jan. 16 - Mar. 1, 1981 (Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Mar. 19 - May 10, 1981. Work did not travel to subsequent three venues: Winnipeg, Hamilton, and Windsor). Text by Karen Wilkin. No cat. no., p. 74, reproduced pp. 18, 70.

Düsseldorf, Germany, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, David Smith: Sculpture and Drawings, Mar. 14 - Apr. 27, 1986 (Frankfurt, Germany, Städelsches Kunstinstitut und Städtische Galerie, June 19 - Sept. 28, 1986; London, England, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Nov. 7, 1986 - Jan. 4, 1987). Text by Jörn Merkert. Cat. no. 19, p. 172, reproduced p. 70.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The New York School, Nov. 23, 1988 - Jan. 29, 1989.

New York, New York, The American-Australian Foundation for the Arts, Salander-O’Reilly Galleries, Barnard Collects, Sept. 27 - Oct. 31, 1989.

Seattle, Washington, University of Washington, Henry Art Gallery, Modern Masters and the Figure: Picasso to De Kooning, Sept. 17 - Nov. 28, 1993.

Mountainville, New York, Storm King Art Center, The Fields of David Smith, May 18 - Nov. 15, 1998.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection of Modern Art, Mar. 4 - May 5, 1999. Text by Trevor Fairbrother. No cat. no., reproduced pp. 92, 195.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, International Abstraction: Making Painting Real, May 2, 2003 - Feb. 29, 2004.

New York, New York, Guggenheim Museum, David Smith: A Centennial, Feb. - May, 2006 (Paris, France, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, June 14 - Aug. 21, 2006; London, England, Tate Modern, Nov. 1, 2006 - Jan. 21, 2007). Text by Carmen Giménez. Cat. no. 45, p. 301, reproduced no. 45.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5 - Sept. 9, 2007. Text by Chiyo Ishikawa. No cat. no., reproduced p. 106.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Big Picture: Art After 1945, July 23, 2016 - May 16, 2021.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Reverberations: Contemporary Art and Modern Classics, Dec. 22, 2022 - ongoing.
Published ReferencesBreuning, Margaret. “Smith’s Genetic Metals.” The Art Digest, vol. 24, no. 15 (May 1950): p. 11.

Gray, Cleve. David Smith by David Smith: Sculptures and Writings. London: Thames & Hudson, 1968; reproduced p. 63.

Krauss, Rosalind E. The Sculpture of David Smith: A Catalogue Raisonné. New York & London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1977; cat. no. 234, p. 47, reproduced no. 234.

Hackett, Regina. “Early Signs of Power.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 20, 1981.

Glowen. Ron. “David Smith: The Early Years.” Artweek, vol. 12, no. 4 (April 11, 1981): reproduced p. 1.

Kangas, Matthew. “David Smith: Paradox of Sex.” Vanguard (Summer 1981): reproduced p. 19.

Rubin, William. “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern. Exh. cat. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1984; reproduced p. 624.

Wilkin, Karen. David Smith. Modern Masters. New York: Abbeville Press, Inc., 1984; cat. no. 47, reproduced cover, p. 45.

Malaurie, Jean, et al. L’Art du Grand Nord. Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2001; reproduced fig. 625, p. 571.

Cotter, Holland. “Modernist Delicacy: David Smith at 100.” New York Times, Weekend Arts, February 3, 2006; reproduced B31.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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