Bowdoin College Museum of Art

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1916.10

Artist

John Adams Jackson

Title

Musidora

Creation Date

ca. 1873

Century

19th century

Dimensions

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

sculpture

Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

white marble

Credit Line

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

Copyright

Public Domain

Accession Number

1916.10
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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