Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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Image of Musidora 1396



John Adams Jackson



Creation Date

ca. 1873


19th century


43 in. x 12 1/8 in. x 13 3/4 in. (109.22 cm x 30.8 cm x 34.93 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

white marble

Credit Line

Gift of Professor Margaret Jackson, in memory of her father, the sculptor


Public Domain

Accession Number

The source for John Adams Jackson’s Musidora was a character in a 1727 poem by the British author James Thomson (1700–1748). In “Summer,” Thomson writes about young Damon who accidently spies the maiden Musidora bathing in a stream. He is torn between a desire to look at her and his recognition that respect for the young woman dictates that he should turn away. Damon ultimately decides to leave her a note and retreats. Upon finding the message, Musidora initially panics, then comes to appreciate the character demonstrated by his discretion and refusal to engage in the demeaning role of a voyeur. Interrogations of the power implied by the (male) gaze was a popular subject for artists in the nineteenth century and continue to be relevant today. Jackson, a native of Bath, Maine, completed this sculpture during a period when he lived in Florence, Italy.

Additional Images

Additional Image 1916.10.jpg
Additional Image side

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