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Madonna and Child

Published onJan 28, 2022
Madonna and Child

Christian Petersen (Danish-American, 1885-1961)

Madonna and Child, 1936

Wooden sculpture

Purchased by University Museums from Rose Turley. In the Christian Petersen Art Collection, Christian Petersen Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University. U2000.136


Several drawings, including those exhibited nearby, include this draped and mourning female figure, sometimes shown making a gesture of prayer, sometimes with hands crossed on her chest, and other times with her hands clasped together and thrust downward. This motif was repeated by Christian Petersen multiple times to represent the cost of war and who was left behind to deal with the consequences of the violence. He continued working with this theme well into the 1950s, as Petersen prepared models in proposal for WWII memorials in Ames, featuring a similar draped figure.

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