Over the course of her career Vonnoh created a series of mother and child sculptures in bronze as well as plaster. The Young Mother was her first such genre group. The piece was modeled in 1896, and the first casts were made in 1899. It was incredibly popular, and received several awards, including a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition of 1900. According to the sculptor’s own telling, thirty examples of the piece were cast. Vonnoh’s friend and former classmate at the Art Institute of Chicago, Margaret Gerow Proctor, served as the model for the mother. Art historian Julie Aronson has recently remarked that with this work Vonnoh “elevated the status of domestic genre to a legitimate subject for fine American sculpture.”


  • Title: The Young Mother
  • Creator: Bessie Potter Vonnoh
  • Date Created: 1896
  • Physical Dimensions: 14 x 12 1/2 x 15 3/4 in.
  • Provenance: Gift of the artist, NA diploma presentation, December, 5 1921
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Medium: Bronze

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