Object Image

The Young Acrobat

Douglas Tilden exhibited The Young Acrobat at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The work shows a chubby, nude baby poised unsteadily in the palm of a man's outstretched arm. The rolled-up sleeve may symbolize the working man who holds up to the world the hope and promise of the future. The work reveals Tilden's characteristic choice of subject matter that shows a measured balance between delicacy and force. Tilden believed that sculpture should be beautiful from all sides; the attention to musculature and fleshy detail on all surfaces of this work suggests that he intended it to be seen in the round.

Credit: Gift of Dr. Wayne H. Decker

Modeled ca. 1891
Bronze
85.4 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm
1991.62
Image and text: Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2024

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