Discontent (front view)
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Discontent (front view)
Photograph of Sculpture
1929. Printed in France. Inscribed on reverse by artist: "Discontent, in wood" "1929" "Rhode Island Museum Collection" has been crossed out, along with the "N" before her name. The remaining inscription reads as follows; "Elizabeth Prophet", "over life size", "owned by the Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design". Discontent is a portrait carved in wood completed between 1925 and 1929. (Amaki, 50) With little documentation on the pieces she has made, some authors have speculated that Discontent was modeled on a man Prophet met in a Paris café in November, 1925. An excerpt from her diary (19 Nov. 1925) reads, "The morning, working away on the head of a man whom I had picked up in a cafe, working with the most delicious sensation of rightness." This however, remains speculation. (The Rhode Islander, 10) This piece was purchased by Eleanor B. Green and Ellen D. Sharpe for $1000 in 1930 and donated to the Art Museum of the Rhode Island School of Design. (RISD) Prophet received the Richard S. Greenough Prize in 1932 after Discontent was exhibited by the Newport Art Association. She was the first African American as well as the first sculptor to win the Greenough prize. (Amaki, 51) This piece was included in a 1945 exhibition at the Providence Public Library; the last exhibition of Prophet's work during her lifetime. (Providence Journal, 11)
Bibliography (1) Amaki, Amalia K, Hale Woodruff, Nancy E. Prophet, and Andrea B. Brownlee. Hale Woodruff, Nancy Elizabeth Prophet, and the Academy. Atlanta: Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, 2007. Print. (2) "I Will Not Bend An Inch" The Rhode Islander Magazine, 10 July 1994, p. 8-10. (3) "Discontent - Objects - RISD Museum." Accessed October 12, 2017. https://risdmuseum.org/art_design/objects/7031_discontent (4) "View's Daughter's Work at Library." Providence Journal [Providence, RI], 23, April. 1945, p. 11.
SubjectProphet, Nancy Elizabeth, 1890-1960; Sculpture; African American artists;Native American artists; Women artists; Rhode Island School of Design.
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