The Sitting Printer, 1954–55
7 ft. 3 in. x 15 3/4 in. x 17 in. (221 x 40 x 43.2 cm)
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
Art © The Estate of David Smith/ Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
The Sitting Printer, one of the earliest sculptures by Smith in Storm King’s collection, is assembled from cast-bronze elements, including an old printer’s box and a stool. Smith found these objects in another artist’s studio that he used while teaching at the University of Indiana, Bloomington, in the fall of 1954. As Smith later recounted the experience: “I had to take another sculptor’s studio…. It was a hell of a mess when I walked in there, and I didn’t know what to do, so I started picking up things that he had left behind. This is the top of a broken stool … this is the center part of a chair…. The first thing I did was to make a sculpture out of them.” The sculpture forms a human-like figure, its elements suggesting body parts.