Identification and Creation
Object Number
David Smith, American (Decatur, IN 1906 - 1965 Bennington, VT)
Studies for "Pillar of Sunday;" verso: Box Constructions
Work Type
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Black ink, gray-blue watercolor, and spots of white gouache on cream wove paper; verso: graphite
actual: 25.4 x 18.5 cm (10 x 7 5/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: in image, black ink and gray-blue watercolor, in artist's hand: [Black ink:] Tower of Sunday; [black ink:] ass Jaw; [black ink:] Pillar - of - Sunday / totem / [crossed out:] tower; [watercolor:] Assyrian / death bd / tabernacle / promenade / with twin / carriage / sacrament / platter
  • inscription: verso, u.r., graphite, in artist's hand: Stainless / & / Bz / beads / with / projections
  • inscription: verso, l.r., graphite, in artist's hand: 4" wide / live plates / get what you can!
  • inscription: verso, l.l., graphite: 5776 / 7-7
  • inscription: l.r., graphite: 1785-2
David Smith, Bolton Landing, New York, gift; to Lois Orswell, Pomfret Center, Connecticut, 1961, gift; to Harvard University Art Museums, 1966.

NOTE: See correspondence from Mrs. Orswell in curatorial file for 1966.16: "Some time ago, David gave me the sketches saying they were early ones and would I give them to the Fogg "some time."... I think my name should not be used for the purposes of labels etc., and that they should be "gift of David Smith"."
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of David Smith
© 2020 The Estate of David Smith / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art
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Publication History

The Sculpture of David Smith, exh. cat., Buchholz Gallery, Willard Gallery (New York, NY, 1946), reproduced inside back cover

Jeanne L. Wasserman, Six Sculptors and Their Drawings, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1971), no. 32

Karen Wilkin, David Smith: The Formative Years, Sculpture and Drawings from the 1930's and 1940's, exh. cat., Edmonton Art Gallery (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1981), no. 60, fig. 35, p. 57

William Rubin, ed., 'Primitivism' in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York, NY, 1984), vol. II, p. 650, reproduced in b/w

Sarah Kianovsky, David Smith: This Work is My Identity, brochure, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1995), reproduced in b/w p. 2

Marjorie B. Cohn and Sarah Kianovsky, Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 235, fig. 97; pp. 214, 267 note 76 (repr. color), 349, 379

Richard Mulholland, "Of Dreams and Visions and Things Not Known: Looking at David Smith's Drawing Media" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 2003), Unpublished, pp. 1-43 passim

Exhibition History

Six Sculptors and Their Drawings, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 05/07/1971 - 06/07/1971

David Smith: The Formative Years, Sculpture and Drawings from the 1930's and 1940's, Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, 01/06/1981 - 03/01/1981

David Smith: "This work is my identity", Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/03/1995 - 05/05/1996

Under Cover: Artists' Sketchbooks, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 08/01/2006 - 10/22/2006

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at