Unbound. Terra cotta bust mounted on heavy oak plinth. Signed in ink on a label on the back of the plinth: "No. 24. F. Eliz. Bahr, Simone de Beauvoir, 1955". Bust is approximately 13" tall; the base is about 6" tall; overall about 19". Slightest soiling, about fine. De Beauvoir is portrayed from the neck with vacant eyes (not judging, I've never sculpted anything in my life!), and a typical upswept 50s hair-style. It is not clear whether the sculpture was taken from life.
Born in Baltimore, Bahr (1909-1998) was the first artist elected to the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame. Married to another artist and her former teacher, Leonard Bahr, her career began in earnest around 1930 when she penned illustrations for many children's books. She turned her attention to painting and other media, and took as her main subject of interest activism, particularly the Civil Rights and Human Rights Movements; her "Homage to Martin Luther King" was displayed in the Baltimore headquarters of the NAACP. She also captured Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, the Catonsville Nine courtroom trial, a march on The Pentagon, and Robert Kennedy's funeral. Additionally she produced a WPA-sponsored mural for the Harriet Lane Home for Children at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
According to *Women of Achievement in Maryland History* (as per Wikipedia): "Florence Bahr captured some striking images in her day, and her work remains important. She had a curious eye, a compassionate heart, a dogged determination, and an undying passion for portraying life in twentieth-century America. Frequently described as a 'Renaissance woman,' she was a diverse role model. Artist, feminist, environmentalist, consummate social activist – Florence Bahr gave her all to make the world a better place."
An interesting and somewhat haunting bust of the great French feminist.