An American Stoic
1912, cast 1913
10 1/8 x 28 x 6 1/4 in.
Signed, on back left hip on belt: Calder
Signed, on back of base: A. Stirling Calder \ Copyrighted 1912
Stamped on back of base: GORHAM CO FOUNDERS Q309 #3
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Wrapped in a blanket, shoulders squared, an American Indian figure gazes forward. The title of Calder’s bronze, An American Stoic, explains the man’s stern demeanor. A stoic, the epitome of self-control, is someone free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and able to quietly endure.
The silent, stone-faced American Indian was a common image in art and popular culture at the turn of the century. But this stereotype did not reflect reality. Native peoples were vocal civic participants during Calder’s lifetime. They debated and advocated for a range of reforms—as they continue to do today—including tribal land ownership and political self-determination.