On view

American, 1906–1965
Personage of May, 1957
71 5/8 x 31 1/2 x 18 1/2 in. (181.9 x 80 x 47 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
© 2021 The Estate of David Smith / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
The witty Personage of May originated with a hoe and part of a truck fender, which Smith coated with plaster, subtly modifying the original objects’ found forms. The “spine” of Personage of May is a shovel that Smith also covered with plaster, accentuating its long handle, making it longer and thicker. Impressed “eyebrows” on the spade make it look like a face, and the smoothed truck fenders resemble a cape. Casting the assemblage in bronze unified the surface. Smith characterized this work as “sweet,” fondly referring to it as “shovel head.”


Other works by this artist
Albany I

Albany I, 1959


Becca, 1964

Cubi XXI, 1964

The Iron Woman, 1954–58

Volton XX, 1963