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Identification and Creation

Object Number
David Smith, American (Decatur, IN 1906 - 1965 Bennington, VT)
Leo Lances Photographing a Piece of Sculpture; verso: Three Reclining Female Nudes
Other Titles
Alternate Title: The Artist Photographing a Piece of Sculpture
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Black ink, gray and white gouache, and scratchwork on cream wove paper; verso: turquoise ink
17.3 x 25.4 cm (6 13/16 x 10 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: black ink, l.r.: [delta sigma for D.S.]
  • inscription: verso, center, graphite: opposite / Leo 1937
  • inscription: verso, l.r., graphite: 1785-11


Recorded Ownership History
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

  • 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. 43, fig. 10, p. 35
  • Karen Wilkin, David Smith, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1984), Reproduced on p. 92, fig. 107
  • Marjorie B. Cohn and Sarah Kianovsky, Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 227, pp. 267 note 76, 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Drawing Media" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 2003), Unpublished, pp. 1-43 passim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

  • 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
  • Lois Orswell, David Smith, and Modern Art, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/21/2002 - 02/16/2003

Verification Level

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