This object was once part of the folk art collection of Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), the avant-garde sculptor. From 1924 to 1934, Nadelman's collection was displayed in his Museum of Folk Arts, located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The Historical Society purchased Nadelman's entire collection in 1937.
In 1925, the Nadelmans paid $100 for this bust which is an unusually large peice of chalkware. Both its abstract classical form and colorful decoration would have appealed to Elie Nadelman, whose sculptures sometimes shared a similar formal aesthetic.