Gerald Peters Gallery Contemporary

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Alice Levi Duncan

Senior Director

Cyrus Dallin (American, 1861-1944)

Born in Utah, Dallin first studied modeling with Truman H. Bartlett in Boston. In 1888, with the support of his fiancée’s family, Dallin continued his studies in Paris, enrolling at the Académie Julian. It was during this time that the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show was in Paris. Although the young sculptor passed the entrance exams for the École des Beaux-Arts, he never attended as that same year (1890) , he had great success with a work he submitted to the Salon – a large scale Signal of Peace . This coinciding with his participation in the World’s Columbian Exposition , with the commission of a bronze cast of Signal of Peace (purchased for Lincoln Park, Chicago), and his election as a member of the National Sculpture Society. Upon his second term in Paris (1896-99), the sculptor exhibited Medicine Man at both the Salon of 1899 and then the Expositon Universelle of 1900 (acquired for Fairmount Park, Philadelphia).

In 1903, Dallin was commissioned to create an equestrian figure for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. That work, The Protest, portrayed a more dramatic and politically charged image of a Native American.


The fourth monument that Dallin completed was his iconic and transcendental Appeal to the Great Spirit which the sculptor displayed at the Paris Salon of 1909 in plaster, the Pan American International Exposition in California that year and again in 1911 in bronze (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston).

Dallin completed many commissions for public sculptures throughout his career, including historical figures and memorials for the Salt Lake City Temple, the Library of Congress, the Boston State House and Washington University. Yet the majority of his subject matter related to Native Americans and their treatment by the US Government during Western Expansion. These works were imbued with a sense of empathy, historical unease and outrage at social injustices which reflect the sculptor’s increasing involvement with the plight of his Native American subjects.