Harriet Whitney Frishmuth

the-vineHarriet Whitney Frishmuth (1880–1980) was an American sculptor known for her work in bronze.

Frishmuth studied briefly with Rodin at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, for two years with Euchtriz in Berlin, and at the Art Students League of New York under Gutzon Borglum and Hermon Atkins MacNeil. While in New York she worked as an assistant to the sculptor Karl Bitter and performed dissections at the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Her first commissioned piece was a bas relief for the New York County Medical Society. She also modeled small figures for Gorham; these early pieces are highly sought after by collectors. Her career grew steadily and she became known for her bronze sculptures of women, particularly dancers (Desha Delteil frequently modeled for her).

Her work was exhibited at the National Academy of Design, the Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the Salon in Paris, the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939–1940) and the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. One of her last exhibits was in New York City in 1929; although she remained active in the art world for decades afterwards, the Great Depression affected her livelihood and she closed her New York studio in the 1930s and returned to Philadelphia. She died in Connecticut in 1980, at the age of 99.

“The Vine” (1923), a larger-than-life-size bronze considered one of her finest pieces, is in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


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