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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Greyhounds Playing

Photo: Paul Macapia

Greyhounds Playing

ca. 1916

William Hunt Diederich

Born Szent-Grót, Hungary, 1884; died Tappan-on-Hudson, New York, 1953

Through a rediscovery of ancient and unfamiliar non-Western art traditions, Diederich and other American sculptors in the early 20th century found models that to them seemed also to epitomize a thoroughly modern spirit, which embraced simplification and abstraction. These elegant playful greyhounds recall the lively arabesque designs in silhouette on ancient Greek vases, which Diederich greatly enjoyed and had mimicked in his own cut-paper forms from the time he was a small child.

Bronze on self-base
21 x 38 1/4 x 10 3/8 in. (53.4 x 97.2 x 26.4 cm)
Gift of Mrs. John C. Atwood, Jr.
Provenance: [Grand Central Art Galleries, New York]; purchased by Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, probably with funds from donor, 1933
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryTacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art League, College of Puget Sound, 1955.

Tacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art League Gallery, Contemporary Sculpture, 1960.

Seattle, Washington, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Art of the Thirties: The Pacific Northwest, Apr. 1 - 30, 1972 (Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, May 24 - June 25, 1972). Text by Martha Kingsbury. Cat. no. 198, pp. 22, 30, reproduced p. 76.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, American Art Deco and the Seattle Art Museum, May 4, 2006 - Jan. 22, 2007. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art: The Stories We Carry, Oct. 20, 2022 - ongoing.
Published ReferencesAnnual Report of the Seattle Art Museum, formerly The Art Institute of Seattle, Twenty-eighth Year. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1933; p. 25.

Conner, Janis and Joel Rosenkranz. Rediscoveries in American Sculpture: Studio Works, 1893-1939. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1989; pp. 23-24.

W. Hunt Diederich, 1884-1953. New York: D. Wigmore Fine Art, Inc., [2005]; pp. 40-41 [dates work 1920].

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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