1907 Abastenia St. Léger Eberle Born: Webster City, Iowa 1878 Died: New York, New York 1942 bronze 12 7/8 x 11 1/2 x 6 3/4 in. (32.8 x 29.2 x 17.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the C.K. Williams Foundation 2011.29 Not currently on view
Luce Center Quote
"The children of the East side play without restraint; their griefs and their joys are expressed with absolute abandon. . . . They laugh loudly. They shout. They race on roller skates and dance unrestrainedly. I can get at the human quality in these children. They are real— real as can be. They express life." The artist, quoted in the Washington Post, 1906
Luce Center Label
Abastenia Eberle created several bronze casts of Girl Skating (also known as Roller Skating or Girl with Roller Skate). A year after she was elected to the National Sculpture Society, Eberle exhibited Girl Skating in New York City and Philadelphia. As her first piece that displayed the children of Manhattan's streets, it marked the beginning of her focus on urban poverty. Eberle addressed social issues in this sculpture while capturing the spirit of these poor communities. Girl Skating's uneven surfaces accentuate the girl's tattered appearance, yet her outstretched arms and open-mouthed expression still convey joy and the thrill of play.
metal - bronze