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Sketches of a Runner

Published onSep 15, 2022
Sketches of a Runner

Sketches of a Runner, 1936

Christian Petersen (Danish-American, 1885–1961)

Paper, black graphite or conté

Purchased by University Museums from Mary Petersen. In the Christian Petersen Art Collection, Christian Petersen Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.



The study of motion and how it affects the human form is an important aspect in the preparation by an artist to create a large-scale sculpture. Christian Petersen was likely sketching athletes and studying the form of the body in motion in preparation to create Three Athletes, located outside State Gym, and other public works of art on campus or proposed sculptures. When Petersen depicts these figures in the act of running or dancing, how does your interpretation of the figure change? Do these figures seem strong and powerful, or light and delicate? What aspects of their form gives you that impression?

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