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
© 2021 The Estate of David Smith / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), 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.