Lesson of a Disaster
Jacques Lipchitz, American (born Lithuania), 1891 - 1973
Lipchitz commemorated the blaze that devastated his New York studio in 1952 in a number of sculptures over the following decade. In Lesson of a Disaster, the artist depicts a phoenix feeding a nest of small birds that are surrounded by flames but remain unharmed. An ancient symbol of hope and renewal, the phoenix rising from the ashes embodies Lipchitz's enduring sense of optimism despite the tragedy of the fire, which destroyed much of the work he had made since his arrival in the United States in 1941.