Study for a Monument to Walt Whitman
Cast by Valsuani Fondeurs
12 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.
Proper right rear side of self base: CIRE \ C. VALSUANI \ PERDUE
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Storrs and his artistic generation, which included the painters Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, and Georgia O’Keeffe, whose work is on view nearby, idolized the poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). With his spiritual prose, Whitman was hailed by Storrs as “the one who has discovered a national soul and has given it expression in a form that can be called art.” As a tribute to Whitman, Storrs depicted this rider upon the winged-horse Pegasus from classical mythology that symbolized poetic inspiration. To the sculptor, wings also symbolized freedom, the liberation of the soul, a soaring creative imagination, and the new technology of flight. Storrs hoped to enlarge this work into a public monument in his hometown of Chicago, but he was unable to raise enough funds for the project.