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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Bird in Space

Photo: Paul Macapia

Bird in Space


Constantin Brancusi

French, (born in Romania), 1876-1957

Polished bronze, on marble and wood base
Height overall: 115 1/4 in. (292.7 cm)
Partial and promised gift of Jon and Mary Shirley, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum
Provenance: Purchased by Edward Steichen from the artist in France, 1926; gift from Steichen (d. 1973) to Joanna (Taub) Steichen, 1960s; sold by Joanna Steichen to Harold (d. 1982) and Hester Diamond, New York, NY, 1980; sold by Hester Diamond via [Vivian Horan, New York] to Jon and Mary Shirley, Seattle, Washington; partial-and-promised gift from Jon and Mary Shirley to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2000
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, Brummer Gallery, Brancusi, Nov. 17 - Dec.15, 1926 (Chicago, Illinois, The Arts Club of Chicago, Jan. 4 - 22, 1927). Cat. no. 33.

New York, New York, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Brancusi: A Retrospective Exhibition, Oct. 25, 1955 - Jan. 8, 1956 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Jan. 27 - Feb. 26, 1956). Exhibition catalogue by James Johnson Sweeny.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5 - Sept. 9, 2007.

Published References"Catalogue of Brancusi exhibition," New York: Brummer Gallery, 1926, cat. no. 33

Giedion-Welcker, Carola (translated by Maria Jolas and Anne Leroy), "Constantin Brancusi," New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1959, pp. 212-218

Seuphor, Michel, "Sculpture of this Century", New York, 1960, illus. pg. 10

Jianou, Ionel, "Brancusi", New York, 1963

Deac, Mircea, Constantin Brancusi, Bucharest, 1966

Geist, Sidney, "Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture," New York: Hacker Art Books, 1968, pp. 98, #166

Spear, Athena, Brancusi's Birds, New York, 1969, illus. plate 20

Adams, Laurie, "Art on Trial: From Whistler to Rothko", New York, 1976, pp. 35-58, illus. p. 36

Kraus, Rosalind, "Passages in Modern Sculpture", Cambridge, MA 1977, illus. p. 84, #60

Geist, Sidney, "Brancusi: A Study of the Sculpture," New York: Hacker Art Books, 1983, cat. no. 166, pp. 98, 228

Varia, Radu, Brancusi, New York, 1986, illus. p. 239

Hulten, Pontus, "Brancusi", New York, 1987, illus. p. 304, pl. 159

Shawes, Eric, Constantin Brancusi, New York, 1989, pp. 37-38

Chave, Anna C., Constantin Brancusi: Shifting the Bases of Art, New Haven, 1993, pp. 198-203, illus. p. 200, #19 and #20, following p. 208

Andreotti, Margherita, "Brancusi's 'Golden Bird': A New Species of Modern Sculpture, in Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2, 1993, pp 150-151, illus.

Bach, Friedrich Teja, Margit Rowell and Ann Temkin, "Constantin Brancusi 1976-1957," Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1995, pp. 60-63, 381-383

Miller, Sandra, Constantin Brancusi: A Survey of his work" New York, 1995, p. 156

Rowell, Margit, "Brancusi Contre Etats-Unis, Un Procés Historique 1928", 1995, p. 7, illus on cover

Hughes, Anthony and Erich Ranfft, "Sculpture and its Reproductions". London, 1997, illus. p. 145

Centre Georges Pompidiou, "L'Atelier Brancusi: La Collection", Paris, 1997, pp. 118, 155, 205-213, illus. pp. 36-37

Steichen, Joanna, "Steichen's Lecago: Photographs, 1895-1973," New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000, p 149

IFAR (International Foundation for Art Research), "Case Summary: Brancusi v. United States,", accessed 8/16/2010

Ishikawa, Chiyo et al., "A Community of Collectors: 75th Anniversary Gifts to the Seattle Art Museum," Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2007, pp. 92-93, illus.

Ishikawa, Chiyo et al. "Seattle Art Museum Downtown." Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 2007, illus. p. 49

Delvaux, Celine and Vignes, Marie-Helene. "Les Proces de l'Art." Editions Palette, 2013, pp. 13-18, illus. pp. 8, 12

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