Lesson of a Disaster

Jacques Lipchitz, American (born Lithuania), 1891 - 1973



27 x 17 1/4 x 10 1/4 inches (68.6 x 43.8 x 26 cm)

© The Estate of Jacques Lipchitz, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
125th Anniversary Acquisition. Gift of the Jacques and Yulla Lipchitz Foundation, Inc., 2002

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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.