43 in. x 12 1/8 in. x 13 3/4 in. (109.22 cm x 30.8 cm x 34.93 cm)
North America, American
Medium and Support
Gift of Professor Margaret Jackson, in memory of her father, the sculptor
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.
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