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Elie Nadelman (American, born Poland, 1882 - 1946)
circa 1920. Oil on canvas, 28 1/2". 2001.001
Elie Nadelman had already become an acclaimed member of the Parisian avant-garde by the time he arrived in the United States in 1914. He quickly became a celebrated American Modernist and a voracious collector of American folk art. As an artist, Nadelman was prolific in marble and bronze, but he also created a few works in cherry wood during two brief periods—circa 1917–19 and circa 1920–23. The Museum’s Host is one of three versions of the subject and is the one that was included in the groundbreaking retrospective of the artist’s work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, in 1948. Characteristically, Host is distinguished by the spare simplicity of its curvilinear forms—a perfect synthesis of Nadelman’s Modernism and his love of folk art.