Kenyon College

Dance Mother


John Waddell 
(American, b. 1921)

Dance Mother, c. 1962.
78 x 53 inches.
Kenyon College Collection; Gift of Nathan Cummings H’74.

On Public View: Kenyon College, Cromwell Cottage, West Lawn

Dance Mother appears suspended in midair, floating in a graceful pirouette above the ground. Best known for expressive bronze sculptures of female nudes in motion, John Waddell is also accomplished in both drawing and painting. Much of Waddell’s work was lost in a studio fire in 1984 which makes an early piece like Dance Mother rare and unique. The work incorporates influences from music and dance, fitting the mission of a liberal arts college. It seems appropriate for the sculpture to be located in the college president’s backyard. A testament to their commitment to public art, Waddell and his wife, who is also an artist, have consistently opened their private studio and sculpture garden to visitors.

Emma Garschagen `19